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Aug 14, 2010 02:53 PM

Overwhelmed by CSA... need ideas!

Hey all,

I love my CSA, but I am completely, utterly overwhelmed. And we keep getting the same things, I only know so many ways to use a cuke. Any ideas, below please find the share:

Sweet Corn, Green Peppers, (way too much) Basil, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cukes (again), Zucchini (again), Fennel, Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes and Red Cabbage. From market: Cilantro, Tomatillos, Baby Bok Choy.

Pantry is well stocked!


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  1. note: I am all kinds of pesto-ed, salsa verde-ed and cole slawed OUT. (Also of note, I find raw tomatoes horrifying, I know... tragedy.)

    1. Zucchini relish could take care of the zukes and peppers. If you can, you don't even have to eat them anytime soon.

      You can also chop the peppers and freeze them. Use when you need some chopped peppers for a stew in the winter. You can also freeze the corn kernels.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte

        Pesto freezes well and is nice to pull out on a (some) cold winter day(s). That's what I've been telling myself as I use my CSA bunch of basil to make and freeze a weekly batch of pesto. Also, last year I made and froze tomato-pepper-basil soup (made up a recipe), which was great on a few cold days last winter. I used up some of the cukes in a cucumber-watermelon-mint salad to take to my book group this week, took the same thing to a barbecue a few weeks's refreshing, delicious and effortless beyond the peeling and chopping. How lucky we are to be faced with the challenges of bounty.

        1. re: janeh

          I agree, but the OP is "pesto-ed out." However, janeh, I've made a few pesto batches myself and my basil plant is ready to be plucked for yet another batch. Your soup sounds interesting--was this done on-the-fly or did you write down your recipe? If the latter, please post!

          Agree on how grateful we should be to have such plenty.

          1. re: nofunlatte

            Unfortunately, the soup was made on the fly....knowing myself, I probably sauteed some onions and garlic, added the other veggies, maybe added some kind of broth, then pureed. Sort of gazpacho without the cucumbers, which I'll try again soon. I got the "pesto-ed out" and I'm there too - I figure that by the time the fresh basil is long gone, the pesto in the freezer might have some allure!

      2. Fennel makes a great pasta sauce with some mild Italian sausage (out of casing), sage, shallots, and tomato. I wouldn't have put the combination together myself, but it's awesome:

        Baby bok choy is great just simply stir-fried with some garlic and drizzled with your favorite sauce, such as oyster sauce. Try it in a stir fry with shrimp, perhaps:

        Tomatoes? I'd cook them down into a whole mess of sauce and freeze. How about homemade ketchup?

        Tomatillos: use those in chili or stew:

        Basil and cilantro are good in chimichurri. Try Emeril's recipe, subbing cilantro for the oregano:

        Cherry tomatoes are good on shish kebabs. I also think you have a lot of the makings for ratatouille.

        Sweet corn: grilled corn salad, corn chowder, addition to cornbread

        Green peppers: fajitas, stir-fry, stuffed peppers

        Cukes: awesome in this mango, jicama, and cucumber salad, which also uses cilantro:

        And if you get really stuck, mail me a box :) I love fresh produce.

        1. Red cabbage: This is great, easy to make, uses a whole head, and with brown rice makes a meal:

          Corn: I just discovered Mexican grilled corn, and i could eat nothing but that for dinner. This is a stellar recipe. Green can parmesan is an acceptable substitute for the grated Cotijja.

          For surplus heirloom tomatoes, toss them with olive oil and roast very slowly in a low over - 200 or 250 for a long time. (Sorry, don't have a recipe.) They freeze, and it's so rewarding to be able to pull them out of the oven in the middle of winter. They're great for pizzas, among other things.

          1. This time of year, we just drag out our grill and grill everything we can.

            These recipes us a heroic amount of vegetables:

            Soups, hot or cold: works for corn, tomatoes, cucumbers
            Sauerkraut (for your cabbage)
            Sun dried tomatoes
            Zucchini, bread, of course, or slice it super thin into ribbons and make a pasta of sorts. We just blanch and shred it and put freeze it in 2 cup portions to add to chili and stews etc in winter.
            Here are some ideas for too much basil:
            Larb is a great thing to do with too much cilantro:
            Vietnamese spring rolls are a great way to use cilantro and basil:

            I have a slow cooker recipe from Rick Bayless that I like that uses tomatillos. I'll link that in a second.

            Good luck!