Week 7: June 18, 2014

In this week’s box:

3 half-pints raspberries

2 pints blueberries

1 dozen eggs

1 kohlrabi with tops

1 bag zucchini

2 bags yellow squash

2 bags pickling cucumbers (small cucumbers)

1 bag slicing cucumbers (larger cucumbers)

2 bunches beets with tops

4 half-pints pick-your-own raspberries 9 a.m. to noon only, for CSA members only

Total retail value of goods in this week’s box: $58

Total retail value of goods distributed so far this year: $475

Emily’s notes:

If you want to make pickles, but are watching your sodium intake, here is a recipe from Eating Well magazine that I made a couple of CSA seasons ago. It makes a nice crisp pickle with a sweet-salty flavor.

Quick Pickles

1.25 pounds pickling cucumbers, trimmed and cut into quarter-inch slices

1.5 teaspoons salt

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup slivered onion

2 cloves garlic, slivered

1 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

Place cucmber slices in a colander set in the sink. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Let stand 20 minutes. Rinse, drain and transfer to a large heatproof bowl.

Meanwhile, combine apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, dill and mustard seed in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the hot liquid over the cucumbers; stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to bring to room temperature. Refrigerated leftovers keep for up to 10 days.

Back when we had kohlrabi earlier in the season, a CSA member submitted the following recipe for a shaved kohlrabi salad. Originally from Epicurious, this recipe has been adapted to reflect this week’s quantity. However, I encourage you to adapt it further to fit what is in your pantry (i.e., don’t go looking for white wine vinegar if you already have apple cider or even red wine vinegar). Similarly, you could throw in some thinly sliced summer squash to make better use of what you have this week.

Shaved kohlrabi salad

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted for about 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven and coarsely chopped

1 kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline

1 tart apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced on a mandoline

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (remember to zest the lemon before you slice it to juice)

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon white wine or white balsamic vinegar

kosher salt, to taste

1/4 cup torn mint leaves

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 oz.  shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese (about 1/8 cup)

Toss the kohlrabi, apple, lemon zest, juice and vinegar in a large bowl to combine. Add mint and toss again gently.

In a small bowl, combine hazlenuts, oil and salt and stir to combine.

Place kohlrabi mixture on plates and top with hazlenut mixture, cheese and more mint, if desired.

Don’t forget that you can bake with shredded yellow squash in the same way you would bake with zucchini. Last week I made this recipe for squash and blueberry bread that turned out very nicely. The coconut oil added a nice nutty sweetness and good moisture.

 

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Week 3: May 21, 2014

In this week’s box:

10 pounds asparagus

2 quarts strawberries

1 bunch dill

1 bunch cilantro

2 heads purple kohlrabi with green tops

2 heads red leaf lettuce

2 bunches spring onions

4 pounds pick-your-own strawberries from Braehead Farm, to be picked at any time during strawberry season, which will last another 2 to 3 weeks

*Braehead Farm is located in the city of Fredericksburg. In addition to its pick-your-own berries, it offers a play area for kids, party rental space and other activities. When you visit the farm, check in at the market and identify yourself as a Snead’s CSA member. You will be given a special bucket sized to hold 4 pounds of strawberries. Buckets will be weighed, and you will be responsible for paying for any overages.

Emily’s notes:

Pickling is a popular treatment for kohlrabi. To take advantage of the fresh dill in this week’s box, try this recipe.

Don’t throw away the greens atop your kohlrabi. It’s like getting two vegetables in one. I have used kohlrabi greens interchangeably with other hearty cooking greens. This week, I recommend subbing them into a soup I made during the first week of the CSA using asparagus and Swiss chard.

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Asparagus, kohlrabi and quinoa soup

1 tablespoon butter

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

greens from two kohlrabi bulbs, coarsely chopped

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup dry quinoa

4 cups water or stock

1/2 teaspon salt

pinch cayenne pepper

1/4 cup white wine

Heat butter over medium-high heat, and cook garlic and onion until tender. Add spices and quinoa and stir. Add broth. After 15 minutes, add kohlrabi greens. After 3 more minutes, add asparagus and wine. Cook 3 minutes, then puree. Do this in batches in a regular blender or in the pot with an immersion blender. Leftovers can be frozen, or just make a batch to freeze for an easy meal later!

 

 

 

 

Week 8: June 19, 2013

In this week’s box:

sneads19

Total retail value of this week’s box: $41

Total retail value distributed so far this CSA season: $426

Emily’s notes:

First of all, welcome, berry season! These beauties sure are tasty, but be aware that raspberries are some of the most fragile berries, with the shortest shelf life, so carpe diem and heap them on ice cream or yogurt, or just pop them in your mouth, within a day or so. If you do want to save them (something that never becomes an issue in my house) place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet immediately after bringing them home and place them in the freezer. Once they’ve frozen, place them in a zip-top bag for storage.

A friend and fellow Snead’s CSA member recommended to me this recipe for Squash and Kohlrabi Empanadas last year. It would go well with this week’s box, and you could substitute kale, beet greens or kohlrabi greens for the spinach.

Speaking of kohlrabi, it was the featured vegetable this week on the blog Adventures of  a Yankee Kitchen Ninja. The blog’s weekly CSA rescue feature offers six ideas for using this vegetable. Find the post here.

Kale has become quite trendy as a superfood. It’s a dark leafy green that is packed with nutrients. I have grown kale in my backyard for the past two years, and have really grown to love it. In my house, we use it just about every day. I put it in smoothies with banana, yogurt, frozen fruits and other typical smoothie ingredients. I typically chop a handful of kale leaves to sprinkle on pizzas or in quesadillas when we make those. I love it in quiches, omelets and other egg dishes or in soups. And a big pot of stewed kale is also a favorite. I don’t use a recipe, but typically I start by heating either butter, oil or bacon in a Dutch oven. Then I add garlic and onions, and once those have cooked I add my kale, chopped and separated from the thick stems (which you could chop and saute with the onions). After the kale turns bright green, I add just enough water or chicken stock to halfway cover it and salt and pepper to taste (add some crushed red pepper if you like it, too). I cook this for a while, adding more liquid along the way if I think the greens need it. This is not the most exact of recipes, but to me this is a dish that can kind of sit on the stove until the rest of your dinner is ready.

If you want to get a bit more adventurous in your kale eating, I would recommend this recipe for BBQ kale chips from the local Doctor Yum Project. I am also a fan of using raw kale in what are called Massaged Kale Salad recipes.

The last time we got beets I decided that my favorite way to eat them is cooked (either roasted or boiled) and sliced on salads. But just in case you missed it, here is the recipe for chocolate beet cake that I concocted with our last bunch of beets.

You don’t have to get out the heavy canning equipment to make the most of pickling cucumbers. Here is a good post that explains the difference between various pickling methods, and offers a refrigerator pickle recipe for cucumbers.

Midweek recipe: greens and beans (and whatever else) soup

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If your Memorial Day weekend was like mine, you came home from a few days on the road to a refrigerator drawer full of CSA vegetables you still needed to use. My kohlrabi were still rolling around in there, and my Swiss chard was starting to look tired. I woke it up with a soak in cold water, and then got started on one of my favorite vehicles for using the produce that threatens to go bad on us before we can use it: soup.

The recipe below is not the product of repeated fine-tuning in a test kitchen (though it is tasty). It is offered as an example of how you don’t always need a recipe to concoct tasty, economical dishes that will make the most of your CSA share.

A couple of notes:

  • I used a small amount of water in this soup. It came out thicker than most of my soups, and I kind of liked that, but you could use more water to give it a more traditional soup consistency. I also think that pureeing a bit of it, with the chickpeas included, and then pouring the puree back in with the rest of the soup would enhance the texture.
  • You could use chicken stock in place of water. A little wine wouldn’t hurt, either.
  • One of the things I like about soup for CSA cooking is that you can freeze it. Package it up in plastic containers or bags in portions you will use later on.
  • You will see CSA items from two different weeks in this recipe. Beet greens would work in this recipe (I usually prefer the whole beets on their own rather than mixed with a lot of other things in soups, but you could also use them in the same way the kohlrabi is used here.)

CSA drawer soup

1 green garlic plant, bulb and neck chopped finely

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch Swiss Chard, plus the greens from 4 kohlrabi, plus the greens from one beet, washed and chopped into small pieces (I kept the stems with the greens for this.)

2 kohlrabi, peeled and diced

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

the empty can’s worth of water

2 cups chickpeas

In a Dutch oven or other large lidded pot, saute garlic and pepper flakes in the olive oil over medium heat until the garlic parts soften.

Add greens a few handfuls at a time and allow them to cook down. Salt them lightly as you add them. It helps to use tongs to toss the greens and garlic to make sure everything cooks evenly.

Add the kohlrabi, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes. You want to make sure the kohlrabi cooks to a pleasant texture.

Add the chickpeas and cook until warmed through. Serve now or freeze for later. This would be great with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some crusty bread.