Cook Like a Farmer

Cook Like a Farmer

Our CSA for the 2019 season starts tomorrow! This year I've taken on a new project. As a farmer, every week I'm managing CSA harvests to make sure there is enough diversity in the share, enough of the crop to give an equal quantity to all members in a given week and only taking to market what the CSA won't need. Meanwhile, I am eating anything I want from the field. Unconstrained by the parameters that I have so carefully selected for the CSA members. Until now. I've tasked myself with cooking with the share each week this season and writing about what recipes I come up with. One might think that in my 20 years as a CSA grower I would have taken on this endeavor sooner! At any rate here are my first set of recipes!

The Share, Week 1: Radishes, scallions, hakurei turnips, salad mix, spinach, rhubarb. Also from the pantry: honey and black garlic vinegar.

Each week I'll offer a few recipes and ideas of what to do with the produce in the share.

This week's recipes: Sweet and Sour Turnips and Radishes with Black Garlic Vinegar, Cous Cous with Spinach, Feta, & Scallions, Rhubarb Scones

Sweet and Sour Turnips and Radishes with Black Garlic Vinegar

This recipe yes, cooks the radishes and their tops as well as the turnip greens. Note that radishes lose their bite as they are cooked, so if you are not usually a fan of radishes, please give this recipe a try.

Serves 2-3 as a side, though I had to stop myself from eating the whole dish.

I ate this with a pork burger on focaccia topped with Hosta Hill's Gochu Curry Kraut and Gochu Chile Mayo.

  • 1 bunch turnips
  • 1/2 bunch radishes
  • 3-4 scallions
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp black garlic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • *sea salt to taste
  1. Cut the tops off your turnips and radishes and roughly chop. Wash in a salad spinner. Yes, we are going to cook the tops in this recipe! Cut roots and stems from the turnips and radishes and cut into wedges - quarters or 6ths if large.
  2. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium high heat. Add the turnips and radishes and let cook until they start to brown, flipping to get roasty brown on all sides. About 10 minutes total.
  3. Wash and slice scallions. When the roots are nice and brown add the greens. Stir until starting to wilt then add vinegar, honey and sea salt. *I used Rolling Rock's Black Ginger Sea Salt. Stir until greens are fully wilted and everything is coated with the vinegar and honey. Add scallions right before serving.
  4. Variations: If you want a really sour bite, add more vinegar. Adding more butter at the end with the vinegar will make a nice glazed coating. If you wanted to make this into a main dish stir fry sort of meal you could easily add ground beef or pork or cubed tofu.

Cous Cous with Spinach, Scallions and Feta

A bag of spinach is a deceptive thing. In the bag it looks like a small amount. Washed in a bowl it looks to have expanded and then cooked it shrinks once again. I also wanted to see if I could stretch the amount I had into a few different dishes. This recipe uses about half the bag. Feel free to add it all if you want the cous cous to be a heartier dish. The other half of the bag can be used in another recipe or would make a simple side dish serving for one.

This recipe is extremely fast and flexible.If you have cous cous in your pantry and a few other things you can whip this up in 10 minutes.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

  • 1 cup cous cous
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 bag of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts
  • 1/4 cut chopped dates, raisins or apricots
  • 3 oz feta cheese cubed
  • 4 scallions, chopped (ok to substitute red onions)
  • optional: handfuls of other chopped herbs: mint, parsley, cilantro, basil
  • sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
  1. Pour boiling water over dry cous cous and cover the bowl with a lid, plate, plastic wrap etc. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

  2. Heat to medium high and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Wash and chop the spinach. When the oil is hot cook the spinach until just wilted.

  3. Combine spinach and other ingredients with cous cous. Add remaining olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.


Rhubarb Scones

For this week's scones I used the recipe for Naughty Rhubarb Scones from Food 52. The recipe says it makes 12 - 16 scones but I opted for larger scones and made 8. These were the size that you would normally get in a bakery so I think if you follow the recipe you will have rather petite ones. Delicious served with honey butter!

Share Recap

After making the above recipe had a full bag of salad to eat through the week, a full recipe of cous cous that I have for another night's dinner or to take for lunch through out the week. I also still had scallions, a few radishes and half a big of spinach. Plenty of honey and black garlic vinegar. What will you be eating this week?