This was week one of my CSA. Every other week this summer, I’ll receive a giant box of produce from a local farm. We first signed up for a CSA last summer and I really struggled finding ways to use all the produce. Just look at that picture above and imagine getting that much produce EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. I loved it, but definitely struggled with how to cook it all and I LOVE to cook. The quality and freshness of produce is just worlds beyond what you can find at a grocery store and so affordable, so there was no going back. I was hooked. Luckily, my CSA, began offering an every other week deliver option, so this year we signed up again and maybe we’ll make it to a farmer’s market (or at least be able to go out of town for a weekend without overflowing produce drawers). If you’re in the Chicago area, I highly recommend this CSA. They are still accepting pro-rated signups for this season.
This summer and fall, I’m going to post after each of our deliveries, with some inspiration on how to use up all the ingredients. With a year under my belt, I feel like I have a couple tricks up my sleeve, and if you get a CSA, frequent farmer’s markets, or are just looking to incorporate more seasonal vegetables and fruit into your diet then I think you’ll find it helpful and inspiring.
So what did we receive this week?:
Spinach, Arugula, Kale, Bok Choy (Pak Choi), Asparagus, Spring Onions, Green Garlic, Turnips, Butterball Potatoes and Strawberries
I’ve listed the vegetables above in the order that I’ll try to consume them. Some vegetable keep well for several days or even weeks if you store them well, while others should be eaten more quickly. What I realized last year in the first couple weeks of my CSA was WHOA greens. The only way to get through all of these is to eat them for almost every meal. I also realized that you can double up – multiple greens in one meal. I have a very simple recipe, below, that is my go-to method for preparing any type of green, especially the heartier varieties. Here are links to some other recipes I have on the mind this week:
Spring Vegetable Frittata (remember any vegetable can work in a Frittata!)
Dark Leafy Green Fritters from Alexandra Cooks
Actually, Alexandra is pretty experienced at this CSA thing and she just put together her own list of inspiration plus a recipe for a Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad
Seared Bok Choy (or throw it on the grill!) by Mark Bittman
Speaking of… here is a great recipe for Grilled Bok Choy Salad by Naturally Ella
And here is another one…Grilled Bok Choy and Turnip Rice Bowl by dishing up the dirt
I already used up all my spring onions (recipe coming soon, it’s a good one!) but if I hadn’t I’d want to try my hand at this Scallion Kimchi and Fried Egg Tortillas
I might be giving away too much about my next post, but it’s sorta similar to these Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radishes (I made the pickled radishes last year and they were so good!) by Cookie and Kate
I’m pretty sure you’ll have no problem finishing the strawberries but you can make them last a little bit longer with Quick Pickled Strawberries
And last but not least, here is a recipe for simple garlic-y greens. I realized after the first couple deliveries last year that radish and turnip tops are edible and really tasty. TIP: If the farmer sends them home with you, they are most likely edible. Turnips greens have a lot in common with collard greens, radish tops are far better cooked than raw (when raw they have a course texture that isn’t very appealing). Green garlic is just young garlic. It had a milder taste, more grassy notes, and can have a bit of green onion flavor.
You should remove the turnip/radish greens from the root vegetables as soon as you get them home – just don’t throw them out. They don’t keep well and since I’ve already chopped them off, it makes sense they are the first produce I make when I get home with my box. Wash the leaves well in cold water, they will be dirty and remove any thicker stems and dry.
I spend a little time that evening sorting and prepping all the veggies so I want to keep my dinner simple. These are also the freshest the vegetables will be, they did just arrive from a farm that morning after all, so they don’t take much to be tasty – just a little olive oil, lemon and salt. I totally whiffed on getting a picture of greens as a final dish on their own – sorry about that.
I served these greens with charred asparagus, also from the CSA, and chicken legs that were scored, quickly marinated in yogurt and hot sauce, and grilled.
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 heads green garlic, diced (3-5 cloves of garlic can be substituted) if the garlic has began to form cloves you will want to remove the papery shells
- shredded dark greens (see above for details on prep), ~1 lb
- salt to taste
- half a lemon juiced
- additional olive oil for drizzling
- Over medium heat, in a large pot or dutch oven with high sides, heat the olive oil. Add the green garlic and cook until fragrant and just beginning to brown.
- Add the greens and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes, until the leaves are wilted.
- Remove from heat and squeeze in lemon.
- Drizzle with olive oil and serve.