Since my last post, I've discovered that, like most great ideas, lots of people were already on to the idea of sharing what they've done with their CSA shares. Thank you to all who commented with their ideas, and I look forward to hearing more! First, I'd like to share a collection of links that are helpful for using up all that good produce.
I think the most helpful and interesting link I was given is for this fantastic Google group called Cooking Away My CSA which Cooking Light used for inspiration for their own CSA blog.
I also found some food bloggers with blogs dedicated to their CSA's, like Greening Local, plus a bunch of bloggers who have sections of their blogs dedicated to their CSA's. These include Indulge and Enjoy, Erin's Food Files, and Oishii.
Thanks to all those readers who sent in their links! I'd also like to suggest that Kath always has great ideas for produce.
I have to give special recognition to my aunt Meggie who brought out her inner food blogger and sent me tons of ideas and pictures to share! Meg works at Lincoln Cafe, under the fantastic Chef Matt. Being surrounded by local delicious food has really helped her develop her own style at home, and this mostly revolves around her favorite toy: the mandoline!
She likes to make slaws of all kinds, but espcially with cabbage and kohlrabi. She also used her handy slicer to make this great salad with an onion from her CSA, cucumbers, vinegar, sugar, salt pepper, and water.
Yum. It doesn't get much fresher than that. Delish.
Meg always makes her greens with bacon fat and onions, which I deeply respect :D She throws her leeks and squash into omlettes, roasts beets for salads, and simply steams her green beans.
She also has quite an operation going for pickled beets! I can't wait to get my hands on a jar of these. Again the slicer comes out!
She bought a $10 sack of beets from David Miller, a local farmer who supplies the cafe with fresh produce. She roasted the beets, put them in a simple pickle mix, canned in a hot water bath for 30 minutes, and of course had to have a BEET SANDWICH!
Thanks for all the great ideas Meg!!
Now that you're caught up with what the rest of the internet is doing, I'd like to fill you in on what I've done with the rest of my one share.
If you remember, my share came with greens of lots of different flavors. I knew I had to get the greens cooked quickly because they really are best eaten the day they're picked. I got this exciting new cook book and it gave me the idea to put greens into my turkey meatloaf.
I thought, why not cram more veggies in there? So I began by grating up some squash. I have no idea why, but this is the first time it ocurred to me to grate something on the box grater into a pie pan rather than a bowl. Flat bottom, high sides. DUH.
I grated up an onion, too. I think grated onion adds flavor and keeps the meat moist.
I just added these shredded veggies, plus some greens that I sauteed with celery to my usual meatloaf recipe, which uses turkey, parmesian cheese, and bread crumbs.
Ina had the idea to make individual meatloaves, and everybody knows the crust is the best part of meatloaf!
I spread a little ketchup + brown sugar + dry mustard on top.
These were done at 350 in about 45 minutes.
Served up with that potato salad.
I wanted to do something really simple with the broccoli, so I heated it on the stove in olive oil and a little water so it steamed, then seasoned it with just salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, and finished with some parmesian cheese. Simple and delicious. Serived with our homemade pizza. Mmmm.
I have to admit that the part of the share I was most excited to dig into was the baby leeks. If you've never had leeks, they are lightly oniony, and the smaller ones are even more tender and fragrant than the full size ones. I had seen a great technique in this book that I've been dying to try: fish en papillote (in parchment)
First, you sweat the julienned leeks until they're soft. (remember sweat means low heat, no browning. butter helps!)
Then, make some herbed butter. I used sage and some of that savory from the share. Just mix them up with softened butter.
Now lay out two sheets of parchement folded along the side. I HIGHLY recommend buying parchment by the sheet. It actually lies flat on your sheet pan, unlike the parchment from a roll that curls up.
Layer your ingredients in the parchement. I started with wild Alaskan king salmon, because we don't mess around when it comes to fish. Then I added the leeks and a good slice of the butter, along with a splash of lemon juice. (I was supposed to use wine, too, but I completely spaced it out. more for me!)
Brush the edges of the parchment with a little egg white, and seal.
Bake at 375 until they puff up a little, around 10 minutes.
If you were in a fancy restaurant, they'd serve the pouch to you whole and let you open it at the table, so make a little hole
the butter and lemon steam the fish, which should be just barely cooked. delicious. We plan to do this again and again.
Finally, we chose to do our favorite thing ever with cabbage: bacon+cabbage. Turns out we were eating this almost exactly one year ago :) See the breakdown here.
Thank you again to all who have contributed to this project, and I look forward to hearing any more you have to share. I hope this project inspired you to get out there, buy some food that grows around you, and make the best of it. I consider myself very lucky to meet the people who grow my food, and I want to do the best I can to highlight the quality of the ingredients.
Summer is the best, no? Get out there and enjoy it!
Next time, canning! :D
p.s. I'm on twitter! check me out @culinarybliss!