Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 4

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Chop the big greens, leave the small ones like spinach and arugula alone.
  3. Spin the greens dry in a small salad spinner we picked up a few years ago.
  4. 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!

Turnip and Kohlrabi Pickles

I made this Vietnamese pork and cold rice noodles dish for dinner, but didn’t have carrot or daikon on-hand for the vegetable pickles. I did have turnips and kohlrabi from the CSA, though.

Above: Sous vide pork, basil, cilantro, mint, rice noodles, quick pickles, nuoc cham.

I quickly sliced them thin with my food processor, minced a few cloves of garlic, grabbed a few dried hot peppers from my Vietnamese pepper plant, tossed them all in a quart jar, and filled it with a typical pickling liquid. I didn’t peel the kohlrabi, so they colored everything a delightful pink.

Kohlrabi, turnips, garlic, and hot peppers make a good combination!

Pickling liquid

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the hot liquid over the jar of vegetables and let it cool before putting it in the fridge.

Thinly sliced vegetables should pickle quickly and be ready to eat within an hour. They’ll keep in the fridge for at least 2-3 weeks. We’ll probably eat these before then!

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 3

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

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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!)
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  • 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.

 

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.

What I’m Doing With My CSA Shares: Weeks 3 and 4

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.

Week 3

  • 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.

Week 4

  • 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!