Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 2

Week two came just in time! We finished our greens from last week’s share with today’s salad lunch.

Here’s what we’re doing with this week’s share:

  • Lettuce, spinach, radishes, and scallions – These will make up the bulk of the ingredients for our lunch salads this week. I’ll cook some chicken or flank steak for the protein and add cheese, bell peppers, and some light dressing.
  • Kale and Basil – I used both of these in tonight’s dinner. I made pasta with pancetta, sausage, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, Parmesan, kale, and basil. I also made enough for us to have for lunch tomorrow. (We’ve been using chickpea-based and lentil-based pastas for the last few months to cut down on carbs.)
  • Turnips – I usually enjoy small, early turnips like these by halving them and roasting them with grapeseed oil for 20 minutes at 400F, usually with other root veggies. This week, though, the CSA newsletter included a recipe for a Turnip Puff. It intrigued me, so I’ll probably make it this week. Perhaps with ribeyes.
  • Bok Choi and Kohlrabi – I have two possibilities for these and I’m not sure which one I’ll pick.
    • 1. Stir fry. I’d shred the kohlrabi and rough chop the bok choi, add a protein, ginger, soy sauce, and serve it all over rice.
    • 2. This bok choi and kohlrabi pizza. My mandolin would make quick work of slicing the kohlrabi, we have enough bok choi for the pesto and the toppings, and we love making pizza on our baking steel. We have dinner plans with people multiple nights this week, so this would make a weekend lunch.
    • Alternatively, the kohlrabi would make a great addition to the roasted turnips if you peel it and dice it in one-inch chunks. The bok choi I made last week was great, or you could add it as another salad green as long as it isn’t more than 1/3 of the total greens. It is a little bitter and stands out in a salad. Keep it minimal.

Negroni Week is Coming. Age Your Negronis Now.

Negroni Week (June 4-10) starts in five days.

I remembered this morning and mixed up 500ml of my favorite equal parts cocktail in a glass flask and dropped in a charred oak stick.

To prepare for the celebration next week, check out some of my other Negroni-related posts:

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 1

After a cold spring, the weather finally turned and it is finally fresh vegetable season again!

I switched CSAs this year. The Groundwork Hudson Valley lost some of its funding, so many projects like the farm market and CSA got cut. We loved Peace and Carrots farm, but they aren’t delivering down to Yonkers anymore without the support of Groundwork. I searched for another CSA that delivers nearby and I found the Sisters Hill Farm, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity New York. We pick up every Tuesday at Mount Saint Vincent College in the Bronx. There are still spots if you’d like to join!

Here’s what I plan to do with this week’s share:

Salad dressings

Since most of this week is dedicated to salad, here are a few dressings we love:

  1. Lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper – This is a regular for us. We squeeze half a lemon on some greens, drizzle some nice olive oil on top, give it a few cranks with your black pepper mill, and mix it all up. We’ve been using this Frankies 457 olive oil. We found a great deal on it locally.
  2. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. For two people, we do 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a few cranks of black pepper. We often mix it together right in the bowl with the salad greens and toss everything to coat. It is worth using some quality balsamic since it is the backbone of the dressing. We’ve been using this 18 year from The Olive Scene.
  3. Creamy oil-roasted garlic dressing
  4. Not a dressing, but this is our favorite seasoning for salads: Sunny Paris from Penzeys.

See you next week!

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Week 22

This is the final week! We’re going to miss our fresh veggies over the winter. We signed up for a Winter CSA through Farm Bridge, so we won’t be totally out in the cold. They purchase fresh vegetables throughout the summer to package and freeze, then they deliver them to local pick-up spots once a month. We’ll pick up the first share in December.

What we got in our final Peace and Carrots 2017 share:

  • Potatoes – I combined these with some of the parsley from last week and made German Potato Salad.
  • Garlic – Added it to the pantry. I’m using the oldest ones first. I might take a few of these and plant them over the weekend. (They are the Rocambole variety).
  • Kale – This will likely go in some sort of kale and lentil soup.
  • Rutabaga – I used half of this, one celeriac, some turnips, some potatoes, and a fennel bulb in a root vegetable gratin.
  • Brussels Sprouts – I pulled these off the stalk and am going to roast them.
  • Celeriac – I used this, half of a rutabaga, some turnips, some potatoes, and a fennel bulb in a root vegetable gratin.
  • Fennel – I use one of the fennel bulbs in the aforementioned root vegetable gratin.

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Week 21

This is the second to last week of the CSA!

Here is what we got and what I’m doing with it:

  • Celeriac – I’ll combine this with the rutabaga, fennel, some turnips, and potatoes to make a root vegetable gratin.
  • Rutabaga – I’ll combine this with the celeriac, fennel, some turnips, and potatoes to make a root vegetable gratin.
  • Rainbow 🌈 Chard – Amanda combined this with two different types of kale we had in the fridge, washed it, cut it up, froze half of it, and put it in the fridge so we can quickly use it during the week. We used some this morning for a frittata.
  • Fennel – Amanda cut the tops off of this to freeze and add to a vegetable broth. I’ll thinly slice the bulb and add it to the aforementioned vegetable gratin.
  • Carrots 🥕- These will probably end up in soups of some sort. Pasta e fagioli or lentil and sausage soups are standouts.
  • Red peppers 🌶 – I’ll probably freeze these to make roasted red pepper and tomato soup.
  • Garlic – Added to the pantry collection.
  • Brussels Sprouts – I’ll roast these one night this week with olive oil for 20 minutes at 400F.
  • Parsley – I’ll probably add this to pasta e fagioli or a lentil and sausage soup.
  • Butternut Squash – I’ll probably save this for Thanksgiving. I love to peel it, chunk it up, and roast it with pearl onions, cranberries, and nutmeg.

What I Did With My CSA Shares: Weeks 15-20

I’ve been a slacker and let six weeks of CSA posts stack up. For most of that time I was traveling either during the week, on the weekend, or both, so I just snapped photos and resolved to post about it later. After driving up to the Peace and Carrots Farm (our CSA provider) today for their Harvest Fest, I decided that I shouldn’t wait any longer.

Week 15

We used all of this except the potatoes in a giant salad that we took with us on road trip up to Maine. We tossed in some grilled chicken and were on our way! When we came home a week later, we used the potatoes in a breakfast skillet.

Week 16

We missed week 16 because we were up in Maine on vacation. I’m sure the veggies were gorgeous as always!

Week 17

The day we got this share we had to drive to Ohio for a birthday party, so we took one of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkins, the shishitos, and the jalapeños to my parents.

The rest:

  • Celeriac – I peeled it, chopped it, and put it in a veggie soup a few weeks later.
  • Garlic – We put it in the pantry with our large garlic store for winter!
  • Bell peppers 🌶- We put these in a veggie soup and cut up some for a breakfast skillet a few weeks later.
  • Broccoli 🥦 – We tossed the florets with olive oil and roasted them at 400F for 15 minutes, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and pecorino cheese afterward.
  • Radishes – We sliced these up and put them on chorizo potato tacos 🌮.
  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin – We intended to roast this and save it for pies, scones, and bread, but it started to rot before we could get to it 😔

Week 18

The day we got this share we drove to Virginia for a wedding, so this stuff was promptly put in the fridge for use the following week.

  • Tatsoi – I chopped this up and added it to a veggie soup the following week.
  • Delicata Squash – Roasted and topped with brown butter and fried sage.
  • Brussels Sprouts – I roasted them at 400F for 20 minutes with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Peas – I chopped these up and added them to a big pot of veggie soup.
  • Spinach – We froze this to use later this year with creamed spinach or chickpea, spinach, and ginger stew.
  • Carrots – Chopped up and put in the veggie soup.
  • Garlic – We put it in the pantry with the rest to use this winter

Week 19

  • Cabbage – Chopped up and put in a large veggie soup.
  • Fennel – Chopped in half and simmered in the veggie soup broth before all the veggies were added. It is also pretty good braised in chicken broth and eaten as a side, or shaved and put in a salad.
  • Garlic – Saved in the pantry.
  • Hot Peppers 🌶 – Chopped up in tacos and breakfast skillets.
  • Spinach – We froze this to use later this year with creamed spinach or chickpea, spinach, and ginger stew.
  • Celeriac – We saved this and it will most likely get chopped up for a soup.
  • Yellow sweet peppers – We added three of these in a breakfast skillet and will probably freeze the other one with some other leftover peppers.
  • Brussels Sprouts – We are going to roast these in a little olive oil for 20 minutes at 400F and season with salt and pepper.
  • Kale – We have a bunch of greens, so we’ll probably make a big batch of greens sautéed with garlic and bacon.

Week 20

  • Delicata Squash – Roasted and topped with brown butter and fried sage. Or roasted and puréed into a vegetable mash.
  • Jerusalem Artichokes – These are tricky. I’ve only had them once before and I didn’t like how I prepared them (as part of a veggie mash). I talked to the farmer today and she prefers to roast them whole, so that is what I’ll probably try this time.
  • Turnips – I like them roasted and I like them diced up in veggie soup. I’ll probably do half and half.
  • Radishes – We are making flank steak tomorrow, so I might slice these and add them to a guacamole or I might make some radish slaw.
  • Turnip Greens – See below.
  • Lacinato Kale – I’ll probably take a bunch of greens I have in the fridge and saute them with garlic and bacon. Maybe some peppers, too. Though I could take this kale and make a quick breakfast with it.
  • Jalapeños – I’ll probably add this to some guacamole and add them to other dishes to give some heat.
  • Spinach – I’ll probably make creamed spinach later this week.
  • Sweet Peppers – We’ll use some of these in a breakfast skillet, but then we’ll chop up the rest and freeze them for this winter.
  • Celeriac – We already have one of these in the fridge right now, so I’ll probably peel this one, dice it up, and freeze it for soup.

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Week 14

Much of this week’s produce is going to get frozen or canned. We are eating out a lot next week and want to save this for later in the year!

  • Swiss Chard – We got a lot of chard this week! We’ll probably eat one of these this week and then freeze the other two.
  • Green Peppers – I’ll use one of these in a breakfast skillet this weekend and then dice and freeze the rest for winter.
  • Tomatoes – We are going to can these this weekend along with more from our garden.
  • Tomatillos – We are going to clean, chop, and freeze these for tomatillo albondigas soup (recipe coming soon.)
  • Jalapeños – We’ll also chop and freeze these for the tomatillo albondigas soup.
  • Onions – I’ll use one of these tomorrow for a breakfast skillet, then put the other two in the pantry for general use.
  • Garlic – I’ll store this in the pantry with the others we’ve received and more from our own garden. They’ll last for months!
  • Watermelon – We’ll cut this up and have it for either breakfast or snacks this week.

Freeze Your Summer Vegetables

When you have a garden or are part of a CSA you tend to get a lot of vegetables in at once.  If you can’t use them all right away, it is a good idea to save them for later in the year when fresh vegetables aren’t as easy to come by. If you have the freezer space, freezing your veggies is a fast and easy way to save some of those summer flavors for the colder months.

Some vegetables get mushy or soft after they are frozen and thawed, so they aren’t great for every use. Here are some common vegetables we like to freeze and what we use them for afterward:

  • Zucchini – Great for soups or dishes like Mushy Zucchini where it is okay that it is soft.
  • Squash – We love yellow squash in vegetable soups.
  • Green beans – Soups, steamed and then sauteed with garlic, or included in stir frys or cauliflower fried rice.
  • Cherry tomatoes – Even frozen cherry tomatoes make a killer quick pasta sauce.
  • Carrots – Soups!
  • Cabbage – Primarily sickie soup.
  • Kale – Kale holds up surprisingly well after being frozen. As long as you are cooking it, you can use it for pretty much any kind of recipe. We’ll probably saute it or add it to soups.
  • Spinach – Garbanzos con Espinacas y Jengibre
  • Bell peppers – We like to freeze red peppers for roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Green and yellow peppers we dice up and use for breakfast skillets all winter long.
  • Hot peppers – Great for chilis, stews, and sauces.
  • Pumpkins and butternut squash – We roast and puree the pumpkins and butternut squash before freezing them. We use it for soups, breads, cookies, and pies.
  • Corn – We like to cut it off the cob before freezing it. We put it in soups, use it for esquites, and other corn salads.
  • Peas – We add them to stir frys and cauliflower fried rice.
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower – These tend to get a little pushy after being frozen, so we prefer to use them in soups. Sometimes I use frozen broccoli in frittatas.

Preparation

Wash, dry, and chop your vegetables for their intended use before freezing them. You won’t be able to separate them when they are frozen, and if you wait to do it until they are thawed, they are more difficult to cut.

Vacuum Sealing

The best way to prevent freezer burn is with a vacuum sealer. These things are worth their price several times over. They completely elimate freezer burn and allow you to store things in the freezer much longert than would otherwise be possible. We also use ours to freeze meat, soups, broths, and leftovers.

Buying them on Amazon is the fastest way to get them, but not always the cheapest. For a good price, go to your local clearance store (Big Lots, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Bargain Bin, etc). We got ours for 70% off the retail price at one of those places. It is four years old and still cranking.

Dating & Inventory

Always write the date you froze something on the packaging. I know you think you’ll remember, but you probably won’t. I’ve made that mistake more than once. Just take the extra thirty seconds to write the date on them. I also like to write what it is just incase two things look very similar.

Bonus points if you keep an inventory list of what is in your freezer. To be honest, I don’t. I do keep a list of the vegetables in my fridge, though. They have a much smaller usage window.

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Weeks 12 and 13

Week 12

  • Heirloom tomatoes: We sliced these up for caprese salad with mozzarella and basil.
  • Regular tomatoes: We combined some of these with tomatoes from previous weeks and canned them for winter.
  • Green peppers: We ate these in breakfast skillets.
  • Jalapeños: We cut these up to put in cauliflower fried rice.
  • Green tiger tomatoes: We put these in the corn, tomato, basil and Old Bay salad.
  • Cherry tomatoes and lettuce: Salad!
  • Garlic: We saved this for later in the year.

Week 13

  • Bok Choy: I’ll saute this with some garlic as a side dish or include it in my next stir fry.
  • Shishito peppers: I’ll roast these and eat them with salt!
  • Parsley: I’ll probably roast some potatoes and toss them with parsley and butter.
  • Green Peppers: I put most of these in a tomatillo albondigas soup. Post coming soon. We’ll cut up and freeze the rest.
  • Jalapenos: I put most of these in a tomatillo albondigas soup. Post coming soon.
  • Green tiger tomatoes: I put these into a soup with lentils and eggplant.
  • Regular tomatoes: I put these into a soup with lentils and eggplant.
  • Watermelon: We’ll cut it up and savor the end of summer.

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Week 8

We are going out of town for a week, so we froze almost everything. We also had some I have a post about that coming soon:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Zucchini and Squash
  • Green Beans
  • Napa Cabbage

What we didn’t freeze:

  • Scallions: We used half of the scallions in the goi ga (Vietnamese chicken and cabbage salad) we made on Monday with the cabbage from week 7’s share. The rest were frozen for future use.
  • Hot peppers: We put the hot peppers in the goi ga as well. Recipe coming soon.
  • Beets: I peeled and finely diced a few of the beets and caramelized them with potatoes, onions, peppers, and bacon to make a breakfast skillet. The rest are still in the fridge and will likely be roasted once we get home.

We are giving this week’s share to a friend. Catch you next week!