Today was the first pickup we’ve had in the thunderstorm. Thank goodness for a storage shed nearby that we could use as a pickup location!
Here’s what we received this week:
- Fennel – The licorice taste of fennel is great in a salad. I like to thinly shave it and toss with some lettuce, parsley, bell pepper, radishes, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can also braise it with stock and white wine, but I prefer it fresh.
- Cabbage – Homemade sauerkraut.
- Basil and tomatoes – Caprese sounds pretty good in this hot weather.
- Cucumbers – I already ate one with some salt tonight. I’m going to eat at least another one of these that way, too. One of my favorite snacks. The other two I’ll probably make into dill pickles.
- Eggplant, pepper, onion, zucchini, and cilantro – I want to make a maqluba, a middle eastern chicken and rice dish. Dinner in an Instant has an Instant Pot version I’ve been wanting to try.
- Lettuce, greens, and tomatoes – As always, salads! I’ll spice it up this week with the fennel above.
I hope you have a great Independence Day celebration! We’re having friends over to watch fireworks on the Hudson River and having burgers, hotdogs, Old Bay corn salad, guacamole, pasta salad, cupcakes, grilled peaches with creme fraîche, and margaritas. Here is my margarita recipe:
On to the regularly scheduled vegetable program. What we received this week:
- Red leaf lettuce, salad mix, scallions, cucumbers, broccoli – Salads! While broccoli is a good dinner side, we love it raw in salads.
- Carrots – One of our favorite things to do with carrots with beautiful tops like this is roast them, make a pesto with the tops, and serve it all with burrata. Since we don’t have burrata on-hand right now, we’ll probably eat these as snacks by themselves or chop them up in salads. We’re using the tops as a July 4 table centerpiece.
- Chinese cabbage and cilantro – A few weeks ago I made a Vietnamese pork and rice noodles dish with a bunch of herbs I had. It would also be good with a crunchy cabbage and nuoc cham slaw, so I’m going to make it again this week. The dish is served cold, so it will be really god for this hot weather.
- Zucchini – Normally we like to make zucchini noodles with pasta sauce, but that usually takes two zucchini. This week I think we’ll just cut this one into half moons and roast it at 350F for 20 minutes with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Garlic Scapes and Kale – The frittata we made with the kale last week was really convenient for breakfast, so I’m going to make another one. I have some italian sausage and onions, which will pair well with some of the garlic scapes and kale.
- Cabbage – I’m going to save this cabbage and combine it with a future cabbage and make some homemade sauerkraut.
We are reaching the end of the early vegetables: Spinach, bok choi, arugula, garlic scapes, turnips, etc. Summer vegetables are starting to come in: Broccoli, cucumbers, squash, carrots, beans, kale, beets, etc.
We’re visiting the farm this weekend for a picnic. We’re excited to see where our food grows and meet the farmer and his apprentices! We might also go help pick garlic there on July 4.
What we received in our share this week:
- Lettuce, Scallions, and Cilantro: I’ll add these to taco salads for lunch this week. I’ll probably use the cilantro for guacamole, too.
- Beets: I’ll roast them and serve them with lentils, feta, and aioli.
- Broccoli: Just a simple steaming or roasting with garlic, served as a side for pork tenderloin or steak.
- Cucumber, Garlic Scapes, Chinese Cabbage, and Scallions: I’ll probably make some light kimchi and serve it with bulgogi and rice. It is also timely for upcoming Independence Day because kimchi on hotdogs is amazing.
- Kale: Tossing it in a frittata with sausage this weekend.
- Spinach: We still have quite a bit of spinach right now, so I’ll either make this into creamed spinach or freeze it so I can cream it later.
What we received in our share this week:
- Spinach, lettuce, scallions, and cucumber – Lunch salads! You’ll probably read that all summer long.
- Bibb lettuce – We didn’t chop this for salads. We’re keeping it whole and using the leaves for taco wrappers.
- Basil – I used this tonight in round two of the Vietnamese pork and cold rice noodles dish. I made enough for two meals and needed another set of fresh herbs to chop up and throw in there.
- Bok Choi – I’m going to stir fry it with quinoa and chicken.
- Turnips and kohlrabi – Earlier this week I pickled turnips and kohlrabi. It turned out great. This week I’ll chop them up into roughly finger-sized sticks and roast them with olive oil and minced garlic.
- Garlic Scapes – I’ll chop up some of the garlic scapes and use them in salads. The rest we’ll throw in a frittata with spinach and sausage on Saturday for breakfast.
How we prep greens for salad
Here’s what we do every Tuesday night to make our week easier:
- Wash all of the greens in a bowl in the sink, a batch at a time. If it is a head of lettuce, we separate the leaves from the head.
- Chop the big greens, leave the small ones like spinach and arugula alone.
- Spin the greens dry in a small salad spinner we picked up a few years ago.
- Store the greens in gallon-sized ziplock bags that we leave unzipped. We put these bags in the drawers at the bottom of our fridge.
Everything usually keeps for about a week, but we prioritize eating the chopped greens first, since they wilt faster. Prepping the greens ahead of time makes putting together lunch salads a breeze.
See you next week!
We love CSA season because it saves us from ourselves. If we had to choose each week to buy these vegetables, we probably wouldn’t. We’d probably eat sandwiches or pizza in their place. Since we made the healthy choice once and it lasts for the rest of the summer, we get a lot more veggies in our diet. We hate wasting food, so we get creative and we persevere through those nights when we are tired and don’t want to cook. CSAs are a good thing.
What we received this week
Here’s what we’re doing with it:
- Garlic Scapes and Spinach – I made a pesto with the garlic scapes, a handful of spinach, juice from one lemon, two tablespoons of pine nuts, and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan. We ate it tonight with red lentil pasta, cherry tomatos, and skirt steak. (If you are looking for other things to do with garlic scapes, I wrote a post about them last year!)
- Arugula, lettuce, cucumber, scallions, and the rest of the Spinach – Salads for lunch!
- Turnips – We love this Turnips in Mustard Sauce recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. That is definitely how we’ll use these gorgeous turnips this week.
- Kohlrabi – Last week I peeled the kohlrabi and cut it into thin slices and tossed it into a stir fry with chicken, carrots, baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli, bok choi, chicken, and rice noodles. I’ll either do something similar this week or dice it up and throw it in a breakfast skillet with potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, and onions.
Our salad template
Since we’ve been getting a lot of greens that we’ve been using for salads, here is our salad template:
- Greens – Spinach, arugula, green/red leaf lettuce, tatsoi, etc)
- Protein – This is mostly dinner leftovers, but some weeks I’ll cook some chicken or flank steak and slice it thinly and we keep it in a container just for salads. On busy weeks like this one, I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it when I get home, then we’ll use that for the protein.
- Vegetables – We use whatever we have on-hand. This is usually scallions, bell peppers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Amanda and I usually dice a bunch up on Tuesday nights and keep them in the fridge so we can throw salads together quickly. Occasionally we include green beans, snap peas, carrots, zucchini, squash, etc. I’m not kidding when I say it is whatever we have. Salads are an excuse to eat vegetables for lunch instead of burgers.
- Cheese – We love cheese and always have some type of it around. As long it is hard enough to grate, it goes on salads.
- Dressing – Here are a few dressings we love:
- 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.
- 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.
- Creamy oil-roasted garlic dressing
- Not a dressing, but this is our favorite seasoning for salads: Sunny Paris from Penzeys.
Here’s how I’m using this week’s share:
- Green curly lettuce – We’ll turn this into salad.
- Napa cabbage – I’ll probably combine this with the carrots, some chicken, cilantro, jalapeños, scallions, and some fresh mint to make a Goi Ga – a Vietnamese chicken salad.
- Swiss Chard – I’ll combine this with some Lacinato kale from our garden and sauté it with some garlic, onions, and bacon to make a dinner side dish.
- Carrots – See above.
- Green beans – We’ll probably blanch these and sauté them in ghee with garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Jalapeños – See above.
- Zucchini – We’ll probably roast these. Half of last week’s ended up on beef kabobs for a picnic and the other half got roasted.
- Cucumbers – These will probably be snacks, though I might make a spicy and vinegary cucumber salad for a dinner side.
- Green peppers – These will end up in salads, most likely.
We are on the Whole 30 again this month, so we are limiting our use of these veggies a little bit. I added some non-Whole 30 options so that you don’t have to suffer with us.
- Green Leaf Lettuce – Once again, this is getting turned into salad for lunches and a dinner side. 2 heads should last us all week.
- Cucumbers – These will get chopped up for salads and turned into spears for snacks. If you are having dairy, I suggest slicing these and making a salad with sour cream, dill, and onions.
- Carrots – We’ll shred a few for salads and then probably roast the rest. I might grab one for an afternoon snack. If we weren’t on the Whole 30, I’d use the tops to make some pesto and eat it with burrata cheese.
- Zucchini – We turned a few of these into zucchini noodles with a spiral attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer and making a quick cherry tomato sauce with basil and chicken sausage. We’ll slice up the rest and roast it in the oven with some spices as a side dish.
- Basil – We cut half of this into a chiffonade and put it in the zucchini noodles with the cherry tomato sauce. We’ll use the rest for pesto or adding to a fresh vegetable salad. We are on the Whole 30 again this month, so we’re foregoing putting this on homemade pizza or caprese salad.
- Scallions – We’ll include the scallions in salads, in breakfast bowls, or in carnitas bowls.
I took photos of the last two weeks of CSA shares we received, but took my time in getting around to posting them due to some fly fishing, hiking, and an uptick in work. The wait is over.
- Lettuces – We chopped up both lettuces for salads. We are doing the Whole 30 again this month, so we’ve been eating a lot of salads for lunch.
- Kale – We chopped up the kale and combined it with week 4’s rainbow chard and sautéed it all up with bacon, an onion, and some of the garlic scapes.
- Zucchini – We combined this zucchini with a few more that we got from the store and we made a big batch of Fergus Henderson’s mushy zucchini when we had our friends Dakota, Greg, and Madeline over for dinner last week.
- Kohlrabi – I’m probably going to combine this with the small head of cabbage from week 4 and make a big batch of coleslaw. Another good option is peeling, dicing it in large chunks, and roasting it with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I’ll take the greens and either add them to a salad or combine them with some other greens and sauté them.
- Scallions – We sliced up the green onions and added them to salads and a sausage and broccoli frittata.
- Garlic scapes – We sliced them up and used them in sautéed greens and a sausage and broccoli frittata. Here are some more ways to use garlic scapes.
- Lettuce – We chopped the lettuce up for salad again. Eating lots of salad for lunch these days.
- Cucumbers – We cut one up to add to a salad and cut up another for a side at a picnic we had after a hike. The third will meet a similar fate.
- Cabbage – Amanda and I are turning the cabbage into coleslaw today, along with the kohlrabi from week 3.
- Zucchini – We are turning the zucchini into noodles with a spiral attachment for our Kitchenaid mixer and making a quick cherry tomato sauce with chicken sausage.
- Rainbow chard – We chopped up the chard and sautéed it with the kale and garlic scapes from week 3, an onion, and bacon.
I’ll catch you again this weekend with this Friday’s share!
We like to mix up our hotdog toppings in the Grimmett house so that we feel a little less guilty about eating hotdogs. Sometimes it is cucumber kimchi. Sometimes chili, cheese, and fritos. Sometimes sauerkraut. Sometimes coleslaw. Sometimes ginger scallion sauce.
Last night it was quick-pickled cucumbers, radishes, and green onions with a spicy mayo.
Ingredients for the quick pickles
- 1 Kirby Cucumber
- 4 medium radishes
- 2 small green onions, greens and whites
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
- Juice from 1 small lime
Instructions for the quick pickles
- Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/8 inch thick half disks.
- Slice the radishes in half, then slice each half into 1/8 inch thick half disks.
- Slice the green onions into 1/2 to 1 inch long segments at a 45 degree angle. (Or you can slice them however you want. It really doesn’t matter.)
- Toss these all in a bowl with the salt, sugar, and lime juice. Mix together thoroughly.
- Let sit for 15-20 minutes before you top your hotdogs with them.
Daikon radishes work great too, but I didn’t have any when I made this, so I used regular radishes.
Ingredients and Instructions for the spicy mayo
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of mayo with 1.5 tablespoons of whatever spicy asian-style sauce you have on hand.
Sriracha works fine. I prefer ABC Sambal sauce from Indonesia. You can get it on Amazon. This stuff is everything I wanted sriracha to be. It has more garlic, more spice, and is all-around tastier.
This is easy to scale up, too. Keep the ratio 2:1 mayo to hot sauce and you’ll be good to go.
You could make your own mayo, too. But let’s be honest: The reason you are making hotdogs tonight is because you probably didn’t want to cook a full meal. That jar in your fridge will do for now, but plan ahead next time. The homemade stuff is easy to make, keeps for at least a week, and is far superior to the Hellmann’s you are used to.
Since summer is almost here, you know you’ll make hotdogs soon. Do yourself a favor and make some interesting toppings. Write your favorites in the comments.