Abigail Cahill O'Brien

Summertime, And The Return Of The CSA Share

In Food on June 24, 2010 at 5:30 am

It’s CSA season, if you hadn’t heard.  My share from Farmer Dave’s of Dracut, MA started last week.  I really must sharpen my knives before picking up today’s share; there’s a lot of chopping involved.

Here’s what I did with the loot, the sad bits first.

Snap peas: Opened the bottom vegetable bin Tuesday morning to find them sodden and rotting.  Ashamed.  I vow to either eat these immediately this week or at least get them into a Debbie Meyer green bag to prolong their life.

Beet and radish greens: Left to languish til yellowed.  Drat.  Must sauté them immediately this week, and then doctor with poached eggs for breakfast.

Three gorgeous heads of lettuce: Devoured in simple salads with balsamic vinaigrette.  I’m not sick of salads yet, but if that day comes, I’ll try Savory Kitchen’s lettuce soup.

Garlic scapes: Diced and thrown into a quick sauté with one zucchini.  Next time I’ll make pesto; everyone raves about scape pesto.  Or this white bean and scape dip as an alternate.

Beets: Food and Fiction’s pickled beets went over so well, I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture.  I’ll make them again when I have a bigger hoard in the drawer.

Bok Choy Stirfry: (Pictured above.)  In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup chicken stock or water, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch, and two dashes dried ginger or a tbsp fresh grated ginger.  Heat a wok or skillet, and add 2-3 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil.  Add two diced yellow onions; cook until translucent.  Add 12 thinly sliced garlic cloves and cook, stirring so as not to burn.  Add two heads bok choy, washed and coarsely chopped.  Cook until bok choy greens are tender and stalks wilted.  Add the reserved marinade and cook for another minute or so.  Transfer to a bowl.  Drizzle with sesame oil, toss and top with roasted sesame seeds.

Pickled Radishes, From The Kitchn: Mine turned this lovely salmon color after one day.  I hope the color continues intensifying.

3/4 cup hot water (can be from the tap)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar ( I substituted apple cider vinegar for my second batch.)
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 bunches red radishes, rinsed and drained

Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl, whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside. Quarter the radishes, place them in your container of choice, cover with the brine and replace the lid.  Refrigerate for at least 3 days and up to one month.

Thyme Zucchini: Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet.  Add one diced yellow onion, two diced garlic cloves, and several tbsps fresh thyme.  Sauté over medium heat for several minutes, until onion and garlic are cooked.  Increase heat.  Add three small diced zucchinis.  Add more thyme if you like.  Cook until zucchini is tender but not mushy, stirring often.  Salt and pepper to taste.

And now for two bonus recipes, not from the CSA but still timely (okay, there’s no local watermelon in New England right now; I caved to an early summer craving at the market).

Mint Simple Syrup: A terrific way to use leftover mint.  Combine 3 cups water with one cup sugar in a saucepan.  Heat until boiling, stirring occasionally.  Boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add several handfuls of whole mint leaves and allow to steep for one hour.  Remove leaves.  Syrup will keep for a good long while in the fridge, likely months.  We’ll add it to cocktails all summer long.

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Basil: Toss cubed watermelon and basil strips with this minty honey pepper vinaigrette.

  1. Timely post, at least for me – have radishes, beets, zucchini and bok choy and very little impetus to find uses for them right now. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. […] bags – they’re well beyond the recommended 10 uses) but nothing as heartbreaking as last week’s sodden English […]

  3. […] chased my ice coffee with a glass of minted limeade, drawing on the reserved mint simple syrup and a bag of limes left over from weekend […]

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