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Sea of Green

June 13, 2012

Yesterday was the first official pick up for the Roxbury Farm CSA. It was a great way to return from a long vacation where I ate well, but not particularly with a focus on healthful choices.

After a short nap to recover from the rigors of the red-eye out of San Francisco, I went with Young Master Fussy to get our vegetables. While we were loading gorgeous looking turnips and radishes into our bags, I struck up a conversation with some of the other members about kale chips. The kiddo’s endorsement (and perhaps my enthusiasm) seemed to seal the deal.

Now my refrigerator shelves are sagging under the weight of the vegetables, and greens are everywhere. You have no idea. Why don’t I tell you what we got, and how I hope to make it through our stash before next Tuesday rolls around.

– A bunch of kale
– A bunch of turnips (and their greens)
– A bunch of radishes (and their greens)
– A purple kohlrabi (and its greens)
– A large crown of broccoli
– A head of napa cabbage
– A head of loose-leaf lettuce
– A head of romaine
– A bowl full of loose salad greens
– A bowl full of arugula
– A summer squash
– A zucchini
– Six garlic scapes

Let’s not forget that I don’t like salad. Mrs. Fussy isn’t crazy about it either. She also will not eat cabbage, and that probably means I’m also responsible for eating the entirety of the kohlrabi. Given the sheer amount of lettuce, we’ll have to eat salad every night this week, regardless of what’s being served for dinner.

That made things especially challenging last night when we had fried rice, which used the broccoli.

Loose greens don’t last as long as head lettuce, so I tried my best to ad lib a Chinese-inspired salad dressing. It was rice vinegar, peanut oil, toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Not my best work, but at least it didn’t clash with Mrs. Fussy’s fried rice. The fried rice was necessary, because we needed to clear out space in the fridge for the produce.

Tomorrow, the dark leafy greens from the turnips, radish and kohlrabi will be sauteed. Those will get mixed with cannellini beans (which are still soaking) and some happy Italian sausage. Served over pasta with Parm-Reg, this is a favorite of my children. And it will go great with a very simply dressed green salad.

I love arugula. I love it lightly sauteed the most. But I don’t think that will happen this week. There are just too many other vegetables. This may have to get pureed with garlic scapes, some olive oil, salt and perhaps walnuts for a verdant, raw pasta sauce. At the table it can be mixed with Parm-Reg or some good pecorino. But without the cheese, it will also freeze well, and that might be its fate.

The cabbage and kohlrabi are all me. I’m feeling like they might get turned into some kind of spicy slaw. I’m not going to ferment it into kimchi, because I just don’t have the time, and it would cause me all kinds of marital issues to have fermenting pots of cabbage around the house. But an oil-and-vinegar-based slaw would be a great healthful snack for between meals. Perhaps I can get the radish in there too.

Kale naturally gets turned into kale chips.

Turnips themselves will hopefully be transformed into a lovely vegetable for Friday night dinner. Alongside a roast chicken, these get glazed with chicken stock and a little bit of honey. If I recall, there’s a little bit of butter in the recipe too. It’s been a long time, so I’ll have to look it up when the time comes around.

All that leaves are the heartier summer squashes, which Little Miss Fussy couldn’t abide last summer. She didn’t care for their slippery texture. So I’ll either try and figure a way around that, or simply try a basic saute out on her again, in the hopes her palate has changed.

Regardless, I have more time to think about them. Maybe they will go on the grill. And as long as we are grilling, I might consider grilling wedges of the romaine. Mrs. Fussy and I enjoyed a grilled caesar salad in Berkeley many years ago, and that would be fun to recreate.

With all those salad greens, we’re going to have to find some way to keep them interesting. Homemade croutons might be just what we need. We’ll have to wait and see.

If you can’t tell, CSA season has gotten me excited and inspired. And I love to hear what other people do when they are confronted with the same list of ingredients. It’s fascinating stuff. Well, at least to the food obsessed.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2012 10:17 am

    Hmm this is really making me regret not signing up this year. I will definitely do it next year, provided I am still in the region.

  2. June 13, 2012 10:23 am

    I’m jealous you got cabbage! Maybe it wasn’t ready for my Friday pickup. I’ve been posting on my blog about what I’ve been doing with my Roxbury share ingredients.

  3. June 13, 2012 10:48 am

    “…and we leaved beneath the waves…of our Yellow Submarine”

    Love the title.

    I’m getting more and more into the dark greens and eating more vegetables, so I’m definitely considering a CSA in the future.

  4. Jean Patiky permalink
    June 13, 2012 11:20 am

    I think using the available food in your pantry and fridge is a CREATIVE endeavor for everyone…not only the food obsessed. I love your creative titles of your daily blogs. keep up the good work!

  5. June 13, 2012 11:49 am

    There are some paleo recipes for using zucchini as a sustitute for spaghetti. Haven’t tried it personally, but I plan to this summer.

  6. June 13, 2012 1:00 pm

    I think I am very glad I only ordered a half share from my CSA this year. Figuring out how to work everything in before the next batch comes around is becoming a bit of a game in our house… (Fortunately, the fruit seems to disappear with out much intervetion)
    My favorite “CSA/pantry” meal to date was steamed kale & bok choy from the share that were tossed in a OJ/ chili paste reduction over soba noddles. Even the finicky one ate her greens when served up that way…

  7. June 13, 2012 1:09 pm

    Fab recommendation with Roxbury. The greens are legit. I’m most excited about the Red Boston Lettuce this week because it’s pretty. I know that’s not a good reason, but that’s the reason nonetheless.

  8. June 13, 2012 1:10 pm

    I have been wondering how radish greens are. I eat beet and turnip greens but have yet to try cooking the radish greens.

  9. Marianne permalink
    June 13, 2012 1:12 pm

    A whole bunch of your veggies could make a fabulous vegetarian lo-mein, including the napa cabbage, the greens, the zucchini and squash, even the turnips! It is on our “regular” dinner list when CSA starts up and I have lots of greens. I can pick up a few others, i.e., mustard greens, and with hoisin and soy, some edamame, water chestnuts, onion, etc. – lo-mein has become a favorite kid requested meal. Agree totally on the kale chips – kids love them. Myself, I could down the weeks until tomatoes start rolling in – have a recipe for a fabulous heirloom tomato pie made with a cornmeal crust that is pure heaven! Enjoy your bounty – it’s fabulous, isn’t it?!

  10. Elyse permalink
    June 14, 2012 12:27 pm

    Trying out Otter Hook Farms this year. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  11. ThinkAndDo permalink
    June 14, 2012 2:24 pm

    During my first year with Roxbury, I found the cookbook below pretty valuable. Recipes are organized by the items one was likely to receive from a CSA throughout the growing season.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1423600142

  12. enoughalready! permalink
    June 15, 2012 7:53 pm

    took half a summer but then the quickly-perishables were conquered:

    when there was too much (which was usually) i have sliced and grilled eggplant, peppers, and squash, froze them in one layer then placed in freezer bags, then at a later time made a pretty good vegetable lasagna. i have also blanched the large bundles of greens and put them in freezer bags to later make soup, pasta dishes, greens and beans or whatever.

    also, after cooking dried beans, they go in 1cup measures in the freezer. you can whip up a good meal pretty quickly with the above.

    we had a half-order and even that was too stressful to deal with for just two people, so now i just go to farmer’s markets every week and still buy the veggies but of my own choosing and am STILL supporting the farmers, just not up front.

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