csa week three: drowning in a sea of greens

look at all that green

look at all that green

Boy, am I glad I broke down and bought a salad spinner. The week three challenge:

  • new potatoes
  • carrots
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • walla walla onion
  • scallions
  • basil
  • mizuna
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red oakleaf lettuce
  • strawberries
  • tomato — first of the season!

I’m trying not to repeat last week’s mistakes, so I’ve been thinking about how to make good use of this week’s box. Clearly, I will be eating a lot of green salad with various toss-ins. The one I’m most excited about involves goat cheese, strawberries, and either pecans or hazelnuts. The salad theme will continue with potato salad and cucumbers in vinegar. I’ll probably cook up the mizuna with ginger and garlic and a carrot cake seems like the best way to deal with my growing carrot supply.

There are so many possibilities…

Comments (1) »

csa week two

favas and carrots and cukes -- oh my!

favas and carrots and cukes -- oh my!

After week one, I was feeling pretty confident that I can use up a whole share in a week. As I should have expected, then, week two kicked my ass. Here’s the tally:

  • lettuce
  • red kale
  • carrots
  • new potatoes
  • fennel
  • turnips
  • walla walla onion
  • cucumbers
  • strawberries

At first glance, this didn’t seem too bad and I started out strong. I stirfried the shelled favas with green garlic and tossed them with lemon and pasta. The shelling was a bit time consuming, but it gave me an excuse to watch some old Drew Carey Show reruns. (Since the digital switch, the CW is my only tv channel.) I had a few green salads with cucumber, carrot, turnip, and fennel.

All of a sudden, though, it was Thursday night. A quick survey of my fridge revealed that I still had three turnips, half a bunch of kale, an onion, two potatoes from week one plus seven more from this week’s box, a cucumber, and half a bunch of carrots. I sauted the kale and tossed it with the remaining week one potatoes, roasted. Let’s call that Thursday’s dinner. I mixed the rest of the kale with pecans and pasta for the next day’s lunch.

berrylicious all on their own

berrylicious all on their own

Just when I was wondering what to do with the turnips, I found Kat’s recipe for a simple turnip slaw. The slaw was pretty good. I have to admit, though, that I’m not a big fan of turnips. I don’t dislike them, but I’m not going to be seeking them out either.

Due to my laziness, I didn’t get very creative with this week’s produce and I have a lot left over. Carryover into next week includes:

  • one cucumber
  • several carrots
  • seven new potatoes
  • one walla walla onion

It’s time to get serious, I guess.

Leave a comment »

week one: wrap-up

The first week went pretty well, I think. The only veggies still in my fridge are a couple of potatoes, half the walla walla onion, and part of the green garlic. Hmmm…I should roast all of them together. Yum.

The first veggies to go were the carrots and cucumbers. I made a green goddess dip (minus the anchovies) to go with them and took them to A’s birthday party on Saturday. They were wonderfully crisp and delicious — and so much fun to talk about where they came from and what a CSA is, etc. My only regret is that I didn’t save any back to toss in salads.

I ate a lot of salad the early part of the week. There were two good-sized bunches in my share. Since they were picked shortly after a bad storm last week, GTF warned me that they were fragile and would need to be eaten soon. I didn’t have much in the say of salad veggies left from this week’s box, so I had to get a little creative: a salad with kohlrabi and sunflower seeds; a couple with goat cheese, roasted beets, and pistachios; and a few just tossed with leftover green goddess dip. I’m please to say that none of the lettuce went to waste. (Pretty impressive, since I’m historically lazy about making salads at home.) Potatoes, garlic, and onions were tossed in with eggs this week — good comfort food and a standby in my kitchen.

My final triumph, though, is the rhubarb compote I made tonight. I’ve been contemplating that rhubarb all week. I wanted to find the perfect recipe for it. And, since I had a lot (I went a little crazy and bought some additional from the market stand), I wanted a recipe that would use all of it. I made this rhubarb cornmeal cake (yum) earlier in the spring and this rhubarb streusel cake (double-yum) a few weeks ago. I really like both of them, but neither would use up the 5+ cups of rhubarb in my fridge. A compote seemed like my best bet. I googled “rhubarb compote,” read a bunch of recipes, and came up with a hybrid that seemed promising. Why, oh why did I wait all week to make this? It’s pleasantly tart on its own. Over vanilla bean ice cream, though? Unbelievable.

Dreamy Rhubarb Compote (adapted from epicurious and Martha Stewart)

  • approx 5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • zest of one large orange
  • 2 Tablespoons water, if needed

Toss together the rhubarb, brown sugar, and zest in a large saucepan. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb releases some of its juice. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. If it seems too dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Simmer approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the rhubarb is tender and breaks up easily, remove from heat and chill. Run to the store for vanilla ice cream.

Leave a comment »

csa week one: the haul

ooohhh...the possibilities

ooohhh...the possibilities

I got a bit of a late start last Saturday, due to a morning sinus headache (ugh). So, the market was really crowded when I finally went to pick up my CSA share. I know it’s silly but I was a little nervous, just because I wasn’t sure how the pick-up worked. Where would the bins be? Am I supposed to check in with one of the farm employees? What if I screw something up? I have this thing about never wanting to seem like I don’t know what I’m doing.

There was no need to worry, of course. After a preliminary lap (or two) around the market, I admitted defeat and asked for help. The kind woman (whose name I didn’t catch – oops – maybe next time) showed me where the bins are kept and where to put mine once I’ve emptied it. She explained the sign-in sheet and where to look for announcements. Once she’d gone over the whole process and made sure I’d never feel like a CSA newbie again, she left me to discover the goodies in my bin. Here’s what I found:

  • cucumbers
  • carrots
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • rhubarb
  • purple viking potatoes
  • green garlic
  • Walla Walla onion

A pretty good haul for the first week. After I got home, I realized that the CSA newsletter had promised me chard and bok choy, but there was none in my bin. I did have two heads of lettuce, though. Maybe someone did a little bartering with my bin before I picked it up? Oh well — lesson learned. From now on, I’ll be more aware of what’s in my bin, compared to what’s on the list.

Leave a comment »

what have i gotten myself into?

I did it. I joined a CSA and I feel really good about it.

I love that I’m supporting a local organic farm and that I’ll be getting super-fresh produce every week. I’m even looking forward to figuring out how to prepare whatever food the farm sends me. The only thing that worries me is quantity. Typically, one CSA share is intended to feed four omnivores or two vegetarians. I cook vegetarian (which is close enough to vegetarian for this purpose), but I’m still only one girl.

What was I thinking? Well, I’m really good at rationalizing. The cost of the CSA is about $21/week. I know I spent at least that much every week last summer, so it seems like a good deal in terms of economics. The rationalizer in my head says, “You’ll eat nothing but vegetables for the summer. You can cook vegetarian feasts for friends. You’ll learn to preserve foods!” Yes, I have grand plans. Let’s pretend, for now, that these are perfectly realistic goals.

Leave a comment »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.