On Tuesday Jesse picked up our very first CSA box of the year. Pictured above is everything that came in our share this week. Look how green everything is! Since our growing season begins relatively late here, we’re only just getting those spring greens that I’d guess many of you have been enjoying for months now. In case it’s not easy to tell from the picture, we received green onions, cilantro, parsley, green lettuce, garlic scapes, diced rhubarb and a TON of spinach.
Room for Improvement
I’m really looking forward to this CSA season. Since this is our third CSA season, however, I know that belonging to a CSA presents some challenges for me that I want to better cope with this year. The main problems that I run into are:
1. Coming up with ways to use abundant veggies that we don’t normally eat a lot of. (Like spinach.) I am often stumped for ways to use up bountiful amounts of certain veggies, with the result that some of the food goes bad before I get to it. I hope to help counter that this year by coming up with some ideas for how to serve the produce when I first get my share.
2. Serving quicker, easier veggies instead of CSA produce. Getting CSA produce ready to eat often requires more work than prepping other vegetables in my fridge or freezer. (Steaming frozen green beans from Costco, for instance, is way easier than washing and chopping a bunch of dirty spinach.) When pressed for time/energy, I often opt for the quicker veggie over CSA produce. Of course, this tends to cause CSA produce to go bad before I actually get to it. I really just need to bite the bullet on this one and be okay with the fact that prepping veggies is going to take longer when they’re coming straight from the farm.
3. Being realistic about whether we’re going to eat certain foods. While we eat a lot of produce that isn’t on my top list of favorite vegetables, there are a few things that we really just don’t like. (Kohlrabi, for instance.) While I’d like to say that we’ll valiantly eat even hated veggies, that just isn’t reality here. If I really don’t think that we’re going to eat something, I should just leave it in the trade box so someone else can benefit from it.
Ideas for Using This Week’s Produce
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Lettuce: side salads
Green onions: soups, peanut sauce stir-fry
Cilantro: juice, ?
Parsley: juice, parsley sauce for fish
Garlic scapes: roasted as in this recipe
Rhubarb: almond flour crisp with frozen cherries, blueberries and strawberries
Spinach: I’m not sure about this one – we got so much! I think we’ll do a little bit in juice, some in sautéed or steamed side dishes, and maybe some added to pasta sauce. Anyone else have any ideas?
Are you part of a CSA program this year? If so, how’s it going for you?
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