I don’t know if I will do this every week, but I wanted to mark the first week of my first CSA. It’s a long-ass post. Ruth Reichl said (students, chime in here), “It’s just not about ‘it tastes good.’” This post kind of is that, so if that’s not your bag, pass on this one. What I got, what I’ve learned, and what I did with all those greens are after the jump.
WHAT I GOT
Arugula, bok choi, mizuna, mustard greens, Swiss chard, fennel, chives, garlic scapes (read up here), and fresh eggs.
WHAT I LEARNED
I quickly realized is that no matter how you choose to keep in greens (wet paper towels, crisper drawer, glass of water), they wilt quickly. That means that if I don’t want things to go to waste, I need to prep meals in advance.
WHAT I MADE
Pasta (I think it was brie-and-roasted-garlic filled) with arugula and garlic scapes. (John made it. It was tasty.)
Leftovers from John’s dinner at Founding Farmers. (Good goddamn, I need to go there. Candied. Bacon. On. A. Stick. Uh-huh. Plus chicken and waffles, mac-and-cheese, and collards. A beignet for dessert, too. Why yes, that IS the sound of my arteries hardening.)
I did, however, make stir-fried bok choy and mizuma with tofu that night. Tofu and I have a dicey relationship; I really like it when prepared well, but I have trouble preparing it well. The recipe was easy and the tofu tastes great thanks to the sauce and greens. I’m seriously impressed with my mad sautéing skills. Pat on the back! This dish was good even leftover two days later.
Scrambled eggs with chives for breakfast, and the leftover bacon-on-a-stick. Cynics claim that eggs are eggs, no matter what. No they are not. Free-range, organic, farm-fresh eggs have clear albumen and yolks the color of orange marigolds. Once scrambled, the fresh eggs don’t get spongy and are not that faded shade of yellow that you get with store-bought eggs; instead the eggs are smooth, flavorful, the color of Crayola’s yellow-orange crayon. (Not to be confused with orange-yellow.)
Supposed to make tilapia, chard and couscous, but John ended up not getting home until late and the mustard greens were wilted. Tried to make chickpeas with mustard greens. After I started, I realized I had opened a can of cannellini beans, and had no chickpeas; then I realized I did not have enough mustard greens, so I added some chard. I thought it might be nice to use garlic scapes instead of garlic. I could try it again with all mustard greens and chickpeas and garlic, but I’m not sure. Perhaps I just don’t like mustard greens, or the substitutions weren’t right.
Leftovers, plus an apple-fennel salad. Once again, I found myself without an ingredient: pecans. I substituted chopped walnuts, of which I had maybe 1/8 cup (much less than required). Pecans would have definitely matched the flavors, but walnuts weren’t bad at all. Tasty and sweet; the arugula added a nice bite. I did squeeze some lemon over the apples and fennel before adding the other ingredients. I also added a pinch of salt to the dressing. A little salt goes a long way to bring out subtle flavors, even in sweeter stuff.
We tend to eat out on Fridays or make pizza. We decided to get sushi. It is too damn hot for the frequent weekend pizza-making fest (though maybe we will do it anyway). A 450-degree oven in a poorly ventilated kitchen is not pretty.
Good question. Weekends will be a little tough, food-wise. We eat out a lot, or will have to go to the grocery store if we do cook. Same with Mondays, since the share comes on Tuesdays. I’m sure there’s some creative finagling I can do to stretch the share further—let me know in the comments, pleeez.
Saturday’s Farmer’s Market Goods
Tried to reign in my urge to buy anything pretty and tasty. Bought strawberries and rhubarb at the farmer’s market to make strawberry-rhubarb meringue bars tomorrow with Dubs. Bought golden beets and asparagus because they were pretty…and I can use them.
- Two eggs (still good, will be used soon)
- Some garlic scapes (still good, will be used soon)
- Most of the chard and mustard greens (bye bye)
So that’s the rundown. I have a lot more questions and thoughts about how I use and prepare food, but I’ll save those for other posts.