A quick update on how the CSA project is going. We managed to cook/eat most of our first box, though I’m sad to report that certain things did go to waste (RIP turnips, half a bag of spinach). Here’s what we made:
- White beans and cabbage — The recipe was included on the CSA newsletter that came with the box. It looked quite promising, but ended up being very boring. (Hence, no pictures here.)
- Bacon and broccoli (and romanesco!) pasta — I thought for sure this would be a winner, but we bought lackluster bacon from Whole Foods, which didn’t help matters.
- Bok choy and mushrooms – Finally, a winner! We used criminis, since Whole Foods was out of shiitakes (or perhaps they’re out of season). Turned out great though!
- “Kimchi” using the cabbage and daikon — I used a recipe from this cookbook. It turned out OK, but not what I was expecting. I don’t really recommend it.
- sautéed collards and arugula — we used these greens to rescue our bacon and broccoli pasta, and they worked wonders. All I did was a simple saute with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.
We got our second CSA box last Wednesday. Since it was nearly identical to the first one, I didn’t take a photo. Here’s the list:
Butternut Squash (x2)
Pink Lady Apples
1/2 dozen pasture-raised eggs
We were supposed to get one head of green cabbage, but I saw an extra butternut squash in the “trade” box, so I swapped the cabbage for the squash. This is what we made with Box #2:
- Butternut squash risotto — The recipe is from Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse Vegetables cookbook. It is so yummy and rich, despite “only” having a 1/2 stick of butter and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
- White bean and butternut squash soup — Another Alice Waters recipe, only this time we got it from the CSA newsletter. This turned out very odd — the flavor was alright, if a bit bland, but the texture was too watery. We tried to rescue it with some spinach, which helped a little.
- Roasted turnips and carrots — A generic vegetable roast (olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper). It turned out pretty good. I found the carrots to be better than the turnips, which I found to be a bit watery.
- Turnip greens — same saute as above. Really good; better than spinach but not as good as collards.
- Roasted broccoli, romanesco, and carrots — Again, pretty much a vegetable roast, but at a higher temp (425F). I got the idea from Post Punk Kitchen, but I wimped out, thinking it was about to burn, and took out the veggies before they “toasted” properly. Still good though!
In summary, I think we’re doing a decent job so far with the CSA box, and I’m learning a lot about preparing different vegetables. There’s a Chinese adage: “Failure is the mother of success.” This is what I keep in mind when we’ve “failed” to make something tasty; hopefully, there’s yummy success right around the corner.