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CSA Update 01/30/12

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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:

Mandarin Oranges
Arugula
Spinach
Broccoli
Romanesco
Turnips
Leeks
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!

Butternut squash risotto. Delicious and nutritious!

Roasted veggies, part I: turnips and carrots.

Roasted veggies, part 2: broccoli, romanesco, and carrots, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and red chili flakes.

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.

Author: Jen

Howdy! I'm a 30-something recovering former academic living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

8 thoughts on “CSA Update 01/30/12

  1. I’ve been experimenting with turnips a lot lately. My experience is that they often stay soggy as well. I’m trying various techniques (parboiling and presalting don’t work), but I think microwaving may be an answer (it works for dehydrating eggplant). I’ll let you know.

    Also, my CSA starts tomorrow, huzzah!

  2. We got no good squash this year :( Jealous of your butternut bounty.

  3. @Zach: Yes, please let me know about the turnips. Have fun with your CSA!

    @Em: Oh, that’s sad. Yet another reason to move back to CA. Also, I thought you wrote, “Jealous of your butternut booty.” hahahaha

  4. I’m hungry now. I want to stuff my face with roasted veggies. Thanks for making me crave healthy food! :-)

  5. Try to get the smaller turnips if you can. It will make a difference in taste and texture. Mash them into potatoes for an easy use. Also, when my spinach is going to waste, I throw it into the blend with fresh fruit and have a fruit smoothie.

  6. Tip: Keep a ziplock bag in the freezer and toss any veggies in there when they get close to the end of their life. Then, make stock out of the bag when it’s full. After The Great Turnip Overload of 2010, those suckers taste so nasty to me. Bleh. But, they really have wonderful flavor in stock.

  7. Ooh, another Tip: Fast Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton is a great CSA or Farmer’s Market resource

  8. Thanks for the tips, Tammy and Erin!

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