Deconstructing your CSA Share

Deconstructing your CSA Share

This Week's Share:

Salad Mix, Radishes, Beets, Swiss Chard, Cucumbers, Zucchini and/or Summer Squash, Parsley, Lavender

I've been having some nice chats with members about how they use their share and there seems to be a wide variety of tactics. Some are experienced CSA members and seasoned home cooks. Some are just starting out with the concept of eating and cooking a pot luck variety of produce situation that is a CSA share. This week I want to share some tips about how to deconstruct your share. 

General Notes on Deconstructing Your Share: 

1) Take a look and see what you've got. Some things you will gravitate towards and you know you'll eat them right away as a quick snack on the way home - or in a favorite recipe.

2) Then you'll have the "what is it and what do I do with it" category, which is closely related to the "I think I know what this is but I never liked it or I never have tried it". We'll do our best on our end to offer tips, suggestions and recipes with these 2 last categories.  

The internet abounds with culinary resources. *Caution: there are so many food blogs out there it can often be hard for beginner cooks to weed out the good, reliable guides and the one

s that will leave you with unreliable results. Here are my favorite go-to recipe sites.

Epicurious

Food & Wine

NY Times Cooking 

Food 52

David Leibowitz

3) Menu Planning - This sounds daunting but I don't mean anything complicated. When planning out how to use your share keep in mind the following:

  • Use up tender greens like salad first.
  • It can be helpful to think about what you want to eat raw and what needs to be cooked. Especially on these hot summer days. Raw: Salads are your friends, but also carrots, radishes, cakes, cherry tomatoes with hummus or other yummy dip. So many delicious crunchy salads  out there - not just lettuce. This is a huge topic for a forthcoming blog post for sure! Cooked: Swiss chard, bok choy and other leafy greens, potatoes and other root veggies. 
  • If you get root veggies like turnips or beets, take the tops off when you get home if you aren't going to use them right away or they will get a little dehydrated and rubbery. Don't forget you can eat the greens too! 
  • You can store your herbs in water like you would cut flowers - stick them in a jar and put them in your fridge. Use your herbs of the week to inspire your recipes. Have parsley? Think Middle-Eastern Tabbouleh. Cilantro? Tacos or Indian curries. 
  • Let the veggies inspire your planning instead of making your weekly shopping list first.  For example that arugula and tomato salad you love? No arugula in your share? Try it with frisee or lettuces instead. Have a recipe that calls for garlic? Use your garlic scapes first before heading to the store. Be flexible! 

We'd love to hear about your tips, strategic planning and favorite recipes! Share them @huskymeadowsfarm in Instagram or on our Facebook page. 

 

Still need some inspiration for this week? This is how I'll use this week's harvest:

Radishes - chopping them up and adding them to egg salad along with some parsley for some extra crunch.

Swiss chard and Beet Greens - I'll saute these with some left over garlic scapes from last week and add a little cream at the end. 

Beets - I'll pick a day when it isn't so hot out and roast these in the oven wrapped in tin foil at 425 for about 40 minutes. When they are done I'll take them out of the oven and running them under cold water, peel them. Then slice and make and dress with a simple vinaigrette with lots of parsley. Maybe I'll serve them over my salad greens with some toasted walnuts and Lost Ruby Chèvre.

Cucumber - won't last long in my house, probably will get eaten as a snack.

Zucchini or Squash - This will be cooked up as a simple side dish. Butter, salt and pepper. Sometimes the least amount of effort yields the best results! 

Lavender - To me this is the extra special part of the share. If I become highly motivated I might make homemade blueberry lavender ice cream for a special birthday treat. Alas if I run out of time, I can always give as is as a lovely fragrant gift!