Last Wednesday, I picked up our first CSA box, which we are sharing with our friends/neighbors. I had some trepidations, when we first signed up for it, of facing weeks of unending kale, and while our first box did, in fact, contain some kale, we managed to see the end of it, and I’m proud to say we used all but one item, and that one item is still apparently usable. It helps that the farm we chose, Enterprise Farm, works with a collaborative of other small farms, a couple of which are in southern states such as Georgia and the Carolinas, so we weren’t limited to the offerings that the frozen-until-late-April New England soil can produce so early in the season. (Of course the forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 98 degrees. Go figure.) The husband asked what the point of a farm share is if some of the produce has to be shipped here anyway, but I like to think that we are still supporting a small farm somewhere. And besides, we got delicious blueberries in early June. If the husband liked blueberries, perhaps he’d feel differently. Then again, the bottomless pit that is the resident one year old ate 95% of the box, so her father wouldn’t have had a chance to eat any had he wanted to.
Anyhow. Here’s how I used the contents of the first box, in case this gives folks some menu ideas. I know I often feel in a cooking rut, which always amazes me, given the infinite ingredients available to me. But of course there are other considerations: timing meals so that they are ready early enough to feed the kids; finding recipes that are easily doubled for the nights we provide dinner for our neighbors (yes, we do that, it’s kind of a thing that’s developed, and we get fabulous meals in return); finding meals that don’t involve key steps having to happen just before one eats, because that’s invariably when the baby is cranky and flapping for food and the first grader needs help with her homework and the table needs to be cleared of the latest art project and stack of mail; etc. Here’s how it turned out this past week:
Tomatoes: on BLTs for lunch one day, as well as in a lentil salad.
Blueberries: as previously mentioned, cut into quarters and down the gullet of the apparently famished baby. Not all in one sitting, however. That would have had unfortunate consequences.
Cucumbers: in a chilled honeydew, cucumber and yellow pepper soup, with a mound of crab meat in the center, and sprinkled with chives.
Fiddleheads: soaked, blanched (everyone warned me about fiddlehead toxins, whatever those are), and then sauteed with garlic and bacon. (Note the good use of alread-opened package of bacon from BLT making.) Served with aforementioned lentil salad and chilled soup.
Sweet potatoes: no one here is a big fan of these, so I cut them up, steamed them and fed them to the baby, who is happy to consume anything within her reach these days, including her socks, her older sister’s feet, and board books. I’m not dissing sweet potatoes by putting them in this company. I’m just saying.
Kale: blanched and tossed with melted butter, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, and served as a side with smoked Texas brisket (a homemade production of the husband and his Big Green Egg) and a darn fine All American Potato Salad. (Boil some small potatoes in their skins, then peel and immediately toss with some red wine vinegar. Mash up the yolks of a few hard boiled eggs with a small amount of mayo, some Dijon mustard and some finely chopped onion, then toss with the potatoes, chopped egg whites and celery.)
Bok choi: still hanging out in the fridge, looking a bit forlorn. But, the neighbor says she’ll do something with it.
This week’s box features A LOT of onions. Ideas?