Last week’s CSA box included: one bunch carrots, one eggplant, three green bell peppers, one head broccoli, one box cherry tomatoes, several large tomatoes, one bunch kale, one bunch cilantro, one bag potatoes, two heads green leaf lettuce, and two kohlrabi.
The carrots were so pretty this week. We’ve been enjoying them in chicken soup and roasted with beets, zucchini and onions. I haven’t been doing anything with the tops—I guess I’m short on creativity in that area right now.
I’m making eggplant chips with the eggplant. I used the cilantro and some of my dried parsley to make a (hopefully) tasty marinade for the chips. They’re drying as I write this. I forgot to take a picture beforehand, but here they are about three hours into dehydrating:
This is the first broccoli we’ve seen this season. I already had a lot of broccoli in my fridge from the store so I’m not actually sure whether we’ve eaten the CSA bunch yet. In any case, I’ve been enjoying broccoli just steamed and then topped with grated cheddar cheese. It makes a great quick and easy veggie side dish.
We’re quite behind on potatoes at this point (since Jesse’s the only one eating them), but potatoes keep for a while so I’m really not worried. I also just came across this recipe for hash browns that looks delicious. We both used to love hash browns at good breakfast restaurants but have never been able to exactly duplicate them at home, so I’ll be curious to see what Jesse can produce with this recipe.
The kale’s still sitting in the fridge at the moment, but I do have plans to cook up several leaves of it with bacon and onions for Monday’s dinner. I’m sure more kale is on the horizon, so at some point I’m going to make a big batch of kale chips in my dehydrator.
Lastly, I’m sure you’re dying to know what I did with our first two kohlrabi. Well, I decided to ferment it:
My inspiration was the fact that a couple of week ago I finally got around to trying the fermented radishes that I made weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find them quite enjoyable! Unlike raw radishes, these fermented radishes are sour, crunchy and not at all spicy. If fermentation could take radishes from ick to yummy, I figured it was worth a try for kohlrabi, too. So, I peeled both kohlrabi to remove all of the tough skin, then diced them, packed them into one of my Pickl-it jars and covered everything with brine. It’s been bubbling away ever since, so I can only assume good things are happening…
Last week we also received our latest preserving share item: twenty-five pounds of bell peppers. Let me tell you, twenty-five pounds of bell peppers makes for a very full box! They take up so much more room than something heavy like peaches or apricots.
I had originally planned on doing a mix of freezing and dehydrating to preserve the peppers. After Jesse and I prepped a gallon-sized bag of green peppers for the freezer, however, I quickly realized that freezing was not a viable option. Even after chopping, bell peppers still take up a lot of space, and freezer space is a valuable commodity here. So, I decided to dehydrate the majority of the peppers.
I washed, deseeded, and chopped four dehydrator trays worth of red peppers, then did the same thing for four trays worth of green peppers. They took a while to dry, probably because I opted to roughly chop rather than try to slice then in one-quarter inch slices as my dehydrator book recommends. Still, they seemed to come out fine in the end:
As usual, I was amazed at how little space they took up after dehydrating.
This is my first time drying peppers, so I’m not totally sure how I’m going to use them. I will definitely throw them in soups; I’m also going to try rehydrating them and then adding them to sautéed onions for Mexican dishes. If you have any other great ideas, please share!
This post is shared at Living Green Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Fill Those Jars Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Monday Mania, and the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up.
What local food are you eating/preserving these days?
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