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Cooking from CSA/Farmers Market

So we just subscribed to a local CSA share, and I'd love to start a thread about tasty ways to prepare all the great produce! Is there anyone else cooking from a CSA? What produce are you getting and what meals are you making?

Here's what we did yesterday:

Indian spiced lentils w/ CSA beet greens
Raita with CSA cucumbers, hot pepper and radish
Pasta with braised fennel from Deborah Madison's Farmer's Market cookbook (note: I think the recipe has potential but it didn't knock my socks off. In the future, I would use less lemon than she suggets to let more of the fennel flavor shine through)
Grilled CSA squash with TJ chicken sausages
CSA watercress and arugula salad w/ cranberries, goat cheese and walnuts.

What about you? Anyone else having to find creative ways to cook CSA produce? We still have 4 betts to use up (thinking cold gazpacho/borscht soup or roasted for salad) and a large bunch of radishes. I'm not sure at all how we will use all the radishes. We have sweet cherries (don't know what kind), a few peaches, and several cukes and zuchinni.

I'd love to hear what other folks are doing!

sljones

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  1. cucumbers -- cucumber salad w/ salted, drained and rinsed cucumbers, rice vinegar, sugar, red onion and dill
    the others I am gave away as a gift(!)

    sugar snaps -- par boiled and served as crudites w/ dip
    will cook more and toss w/ sesame oil & toasted sesame seeds

    scallions -- scallion & chive dip (for crudites) w/ sour cream, yogurt, a bit of mayo and romano cheese

    zucchini -- grilled, of course
    also sauteed w/ corn, peppers and onions/scallions

    1. Great idea for a thread!

      Is this your first year with a CSA? Just wait -- it's still early! By the end of the season you'll be frantically trying to use all the produce. You'll be giving it away, and canning, and freezing, and...you'll miss it so much in winter.

      I try to keep the recipes simple (because I'm lazy and) because I want the flavors of the veg to star. So far this year I've made zucchini soup with pesto to use both zuke and basil. Raw fennel salad with green olives. Baked fennel with parm-regg. As you say, roast beet salad (with walnuts and blue cheese). (Later on, I'll pickle beets to use throughout the winter.) Cuke salad with dill. I made an Oriental-style coleslaw with the napa cabbage and snowpeas. Lots of stir-fries. I made a raita with one of my cucumbers, too, along with an Indian zuke dish.
      Earlier there was an abundance of strawberries, and that was a treat.

      I'm in the Northeast. It would be fun to hear what you're all getting in your area.

      4 Replies
      1. re: bakergal

        Hi bakergal,

        This is our first CSA, and we've only had one delivery so far (I signed up late.) We're in the midatlantic/DC area.

        I'd love your recipe for zucchini soup w/ basil, sounds perfect! I guess I should start collecting my tomato sauce and zucchini bread recipes now for the late summer glut. I'm sure we will have more tomotoes than I'll know what to do w/, as I already have 5 plants growing in the yard!

        Any thoughts for a pint of cherries? (not sour or pie). We've been eating them raw, but there's still lots to go!

        Can't wait to see what folks get and what they do w/ it!

        1. re: sljones

          I noticed a similar soup in the Favorite Zucchini Recipes thread currently on Chowhound that you might want to check out. I got this recipe from my aunt, who's been making this for years.

          Zucchini Soup with Pesto

          3 lbs. zucchini, sliced
          2 medium onions, chopped
          3 Tbl. olive oil
          6 cups chicken broth (I use water + Knorr veg cubes)
          3/4 cup (7 oz.) pesto, homemade or bought

          Grated parmesan, for garnish
          Basil leaves, for garnish

          In a large pot, saute onions in oil until limp, about 10 mins. Add zuke and only 1 cup of the broth. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer until tender, about 15 mins.

          Puree in food processor or blender. Return to pot, add remaining broth, and bring to boil. Off heat, stir in pesto.

          Garnish bowls with grated parm and basil leaves..

          Makes about 11 cups

        2. re: bakergal

          here in the mid-atlantic we're getting greens, fresh garlic and shallots, snap peas, cabbage, brocolli, and the first of the zucchini, at the farmers market, the stone fruits and berries are just starting to come in - the first peaches, blueberries, black raspberries, red raspberries, cherries . . . .all good!

          1. re: bakergal

            make Radishes go away quick!
            quarter or halve radishes and sautee in butter. salt and serve. they loose their bite altogether.

            you can also eat radish greens cooked in the same way.

          2. Well, your CSA boxes are a little ahead of where ours are in the upper midwest--we're getting mostly greens, a few radishes, turnips, kohlrabi. Right now, I'm really enjoying this pea shoot and green garlic pesto recipe:

            http://www.hogsbackfarm.com/almanac/2...

            ~TDQ

            3 Replies
            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              That sounds great! Let us know if you discover any good preparations for kohlrabi. I quite like it, but don't know lots of ways to prepare it.

              slj

              1. re: sljones

                Well, since we have a lot of greens and it's been unsufferably/unseasonally hot here, we've just been chopping it up raw to add a bit of crunch and variety to our (seemingly endless) green salads. Or, just chopping it up raw, adding a sprinkle of salt and eating it as a refreshing snack or to dip in guac or something.

                But, my other favorite preparation of it (when I don't mind having a hot oven going in my kitchen), is to bake it--sort of au gratin style similarish to this:

                http://www.riverford.co.uk/recipes/re...

                We've got a lot of argula right now, too, so we're enjoying argula+watermelon+feta salads.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: sljones

                  I made a curry with diced kohlrabi and chickpeas, served over rice... it was really, really good! The idea was to use it in place of the potatoes. Let me know if you'd like my recipe.

                  I must say though that I do prefer it raw, in slaw or tossed into a green salad... something about that crunchiness w/the subtle sweetness that is just sooo good...

              2. This is the first year that I have belonged to a CSA, and I'm totally overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the weekly share--I can't imagine how much produce there will be mid-summer.

                I've been finding good recipes for most of the veggies, but must admit that the kohlrabi stumped me. I ended up gratining it.

                For the radishes, I made a yummy salad with sliced radishes, a couple of chopped hard-boiled eggs, plenty of parsley, and a dijon-shallot vinaigrette, salt and pepper of course.

                Another salad that uses lots of things that need to be used up is roasted sliced beets, steamed sugar snaps, and dill over arugula, with a honey-mustard dressing. Sounded a little odd to me at first, but it all went together really well.

                Can't wait to see what's in tomorrow's delivery!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Missyme

                  I like making a veggie and rice dish. I chop up all the different veggies (doesn't seem to matter what's in there) and then lightly sautee with some white wine, parsley, basil, lemon peel and salt/pepper. Then I just toss it with wither brown rice, wild rice, or couscous. Last night we used tomatoes, baby turnips, eggplant, scapes, carrots, baby potatoes, chard, spinach, radishes, and onion. It was delicious!!!!

                  Tonight I'm using the last of the chard with some hot sauce, the it's back to market on Friday to stock up for the weekend..

                2. Great post! I, too, joined about 4 months ago and am loving it. I get a lot of greens. Here is a dish everyone seems to enjoy:

                  PASTA WITH GREENS/CHARD

                  Slice the greens and/orchard about twice the size of matchsticks... it doesn't have to be exact, you could tear it, even. Then, cook the greens with chopped onion (or shallots), garlic (chopped or slivered) and chopped parsley. (You could also add chopped tomatoes.) Then toss it with fresh cooked pasta and grated parmesean or pecorino.

                  There are a number of variations, such as adding butter or a little chicken broth or other herbs. I use whichever greens I have, such as spinach or turnip greens or, particularly tasty, beet greens. Greens are really wonderful this way as a 'pasta sauce'.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Tom P

                    greens and beans is one of my faves. No need for pasta, and it's more nutritious!

                    1. re: NYchowcook

                      Agreed - love greens with white beans!