Another great week for CSA produce! As you can see, we received: collard greens, red chard, spinach, chioggia beets, green onions, romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, zucchini, yellow squash, green bell peppers, cilantro, parsley, carrots, eggplant, and tomatoes (!).
I’ve had quite a bit of produce in the fridge this past week, after I hardly cooked any CSA produce in week nine. Nonetheless, I think I am staying on top of it pretty well. Luckily some of what we’ve been getting stays good in the fridge for quite a while so I haven’t had to worry too much about things spoiling really quickly.
First, I have to highlight the new arrivals from last week: eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers. I am very excited about the tomatoes. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are one of those foods that just can’t compare to those bought at the store. I’m not sure how much we’ll end up getting from the farm, but hopefully a lot more! We’ve also been getting some tomatoes from our container garden the past few weeks, so it’s possible that we may soon be overrun with tomatoes, but isn’t that a great problem to have? I have heard that tomatoes are a great thing to dehydrate, so I may try that if we do end up with too many to eat fresh.
I normally buy red bell peppers because they’re sweeter than green bell peppers, but I do think that the green pepper is nice in its own right. We’ve eaten the first one of these already and it was delicious with some onion and chicken sautéed in Mexican spices. I’m sure it would also be good in peanut sauce stir-fry.
As for the eggplant, in the abstract I am not a big fan of eggplant. After struggling with how to serve it last year, however, I discovered this awesome recipe for eggplant chips with a cilantro marinade. Armed with my new mandolin, I turned last week’s eggplant into a couple of trays of eggplant chips. I also decided to do the same thing to a really thick zucchini we got the week prior. Both of them came out great. They’re tangy, crunchy, and utterly delicious.
It’s a bit of a time-consuming process, because I did in fact individually brush the marinade onto every slice as suggested in the recipe. I need to experiment to see if just pouring the marinade over the slices in a bowl and mixing around with my hands can create a similar effect. If that doesn’t work, though, I might still be making them with the brush…they are so yummy! Being on GAPS I just don’t get a lot of crunchy foods in my life.
We got three bunches of greens last week. I was particularly unexcited about the collard greens, as I never came up with a good way to eat them when we got them last year. Last weekend I decided to try them in soup. I’m finally back into a soup mood again and soup can be a really great place for greens. I ended up making a heavily modified version of this “nonton” soup, substituting the collard greens for bok choy. I steamed the collard greens before I put them into the soup, since I thought the flavor might be milder that way. The soup came out great! It also allowed me to use up a lot of green onions, carrots, zucchini and my last few radishes. It’s true what they say about soup being a great way to clean out your fridge.
I haven’t used the chard yet. I think I might try it in another soup. I have some already cooked chicken in the freezer so probably some sort of chicken and chard soup. I wonder what other vegetables and spices would go well with that. I should definitely throw in some of that parsley that’s still lurking in the fridge.
I’m pretty sure that we also have some spinach left. We used a bunch of it at the beginning of the week for this great pesto beef stir-fry we’ve been making. I did get some mushrooms at Costco yesterday, so it shouldn’t be too hard to whip up a yummy spinach side dish with the rest of it.
The zucchini and yellow squash were practically taking over my fridge for a few days. After I stuffed a whole bunch in the fridge when we got our preserving zucchini, I just couldn’t keep up with zucchini influx. More recently, however, I seem to have gained the upper hand. There’s still plenty of zucchini in my veggie drawers but it’s all staying quite fresh while I gradually whittle it down. I’ve been making a lot of zucchini noodles, both for pasta as well as just a good vegetable side dish. I also tried out this broiled zucchini recipe. It made my oven smoke like crazy so I probably won’t be doing it again until I can clean the oven, but Jesse thought it was quite good. So, I am still feeling excited and inspired about the idea of using up all that zucchini. And if nothing else, I can always dry more…once I clean my dehydrator trays from the chip adventure.
This post is shared at Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Living Green Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, Fresh Foods Blog Hop, the Morristribe’s Homesteader Blog Carnival, and Monday Mania.
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