In this week’s box:
1/2 dozen eggs
2 pints sugar snap peas
2 quarts strawberries
1 bulb fennel
2 bunches Swiss chard
2 bunches of spring onions
1 bunch of dill
1 bunch of basil
3 pounds of string beans
1.5 pounds of red potatoes
1.5 pounds of white potatoes
1/2 pint of raspberries
1 head of Chinese cabbage
Have you ever cooked fish in parchment, or en papillote, as the French say? This week’s box contains a lot of ingredients that would be well-suited to this easy and healthful cooking method.
Here is an easy step-by-step tutorial with pictures from Cooking Light on how to prep and fold the parchment packets, and below is a rough recipe for how to make the most of this week’s box in such a dish.
Fish and vegetables en papillote
4 salmon fillets (or other fish of choice)
Any combination of the following, depending on your preference:
3/4 pounds green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1/2 pound small red potatoes, sliced about 1/8 inch thick
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
10 fresh basil leaves and/or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
one lemon, sliced
4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
4 teaspoons olive oil
drizzle of white wine (optional)
To ensure your vegetables cook all the way, you might want to blanch them first (fennel and potatoes 2 minutes, green beans one minute) in boiling water, then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking. While they’re in their ice bath, arrange each fish fillet on one of your prepared parchment “heart” halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (If using potatoes, you might want to put the potatoes down first as a bed.)
Next, layer fennel, green beans, then capers, herbs and a lemon slice or two for each packet. Drizzle each package with olive oil and white wine, if using, before sealing.
Place packets on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Maybe saute some Swiss chard with a chopped spring onion to eat as a side dish.
When I see potatoes and dill, I immediately think of this potato salad recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I’ve made it too many times to count, it’s always a winner. Even though I think red onions add a great heat to this salad, you could definitely use the spring onions in this week’s box instead.
Speaking of Ina, she also wrote this recipe for Potato-Fennel gratin that would also be good with this week’s box. I am confident you could get away with using just one fennel bulb here, and the spring onions you’re getting this week instead of a yellow onion, as the recipe calls for (I usually use my spring onions in the same manner I would use mature onions, so it’s one less thing I have to buy during CSA season.).
If you’re looking for a new way to use Swiss chard, give this recipe for Swiss Chard Spanakopita a go. I did something similar with beet greens last year. It worked well as a freeze-ahead meal, also.
With Chinese cabbage, a recipe that has always been a hit in our house is this one for a salad that includes ramen noodles and a cider vinegar dressing. This is excellent for pot lucks.
It’s a real treat to have strawberries and raspberries in the same box. Celebrate by buying some premium vanilla ice cream and spooning on the fruit!