Friday, July 25, 2008

Everything's gone green

The CSA season can overwhelm a person with green produce from time to time. Sometimes it's hard to make the time for preparation of so much perishable food. I often score some extras on pickup day when someone says "Do you want our spinach? We can never eat that much." Or "you can pick our braising greens. I never know what to do with them." The farm's weekly newsletter includes recipes highlighting a certain item, and there is an additional CSA cookbook for sale that is packed with ideas.
But I thought I'd share some of our typical uses of local greens. This is by no means the only ways I use them, just the most common. I also steam & freeze many greens for use in the fall & winter. If you have a unique way to use any of your local greens please share in comments!

lettuce & salad greens
– I'm actually not a big salad eater, but during the CSA season I keep at least one big bowl of salad greens washed and ready to eat every week. I also use them in sandwiches, wraps, & lettuce roll-ups.

I found a new salad
dressing I'm enjoying
this season. It's creamy,
tangy, and rich in
omega-3's...what could
be better!

spinach – Our favourite
use is blanched cold
spinach with a light soy
sauce dressing (oshitashi),
but spinach is also great in
salads, sushi, cooked with
pasta, cooked into pasta sauce, used in pesto, in tofu "ricotta", an easy addition to homemade veggie burgers & loaves, great in tofu "quiche", added to soup, smoothies, & pancakes.

kale – Sautéed with garlic, chopped or pureed and cooked in pasta sauce, added to a creamy nutritional yeast sauce, as part of a base for veggie burgers, a nutritional boost for pesto, chopped & added to soups.

chard – Sautéed with garlic & raisins, added to soups, baked in muffins.

collards – sautéed with garlic, great in homemade veggie burgers, added to soups.

arugula – cooked with diced potatoes & pasta, soups, added to salads.

mustard greens – added to soups (especially lentil soup), chopped & blanched in Mediterranean grain salads.

beet greens – steamed with creamy dressing, added to salads, added to soup, in sandwiches & wraps, in cold spring rolls.

bok choy – In Chinese dishes, added to salads, in cold spring rolls.

cabbage – I'm not a big cole slaw or sauerkraut fan, but there are many other uses for cabbage that I enjoy: sesame stir-fries, sautéed with other veggies, spicy kimchee, & sweet Russian cranberry coleslaw.

broccoli – steamed, roasted, casseroles, finely chopped in mashed potatoes, with rice & herbs, broccoli coleslaw, in soups, Chinese style, tempura, raw with dip.

green beans – asian dishes, steamed, bean salads, casseroles, raw with dip.

pea shoots & pea greens – in salads, in wraps, stir-fries, pureed as a pasta sauce, blanched cold with light dressing, as a garnish.

peas – raw shelled peas, mixed in salads, steamed, in soups, in casseroles, in stir-fries, in fried rice, raw with dip (for edible pods).

cucumber – In salads, as an asian salad, hummus & cucumber sandwiches, raw slices with dip, chutney, sushi, quick refrigerator pickles.

zucchini – muffins, breads, pancakes, sautéed, soups, tempura, in pesto, pasta sauce, lasagna filling, raw "chips" with dip.

garlic scapes – In soups, sauteed with other greens, in hummus, garnish on salads.

scallions – In stir-fries, dips, hummus, sushi, on salads, as a garnish.

Steamed beets and a
creamy homemade
dressing made this
salad into a meal.
Unfortunately I'm the
only one in the family
who cares for beets,
unless they are pickled!

An easy way to add
nutrition to ramen
noodles--add fresh
greens! I cooked sliced
snow peas with the
noodles, then topped
with plenty of
chopped scallion.

The afternoon included
our first outing with all
4 kids in the minivan
(Maia is facing backwards
so you can't see her). All
the boys got haircuts, then
we went out for sushi. It
couldn't have gone more
smoothly. Whew!


Nate had a great time picking berries at the farm for the first time. He consumed quite a lot of blueberries, raspberries & our entire allotment of cherry tomatoes. Maia visited the farm for the first time too.
Weekly farm share:
- 3lbs garlic
- 3 cucumbers
- 2 quarts green
- herbs (I picked
some dill & cilantro)
- 12 stems kale
- 12 stems rainbow
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 hot pepper
- beets
- 1 lb carrots
- zucchini, summer
squash, & pattypan squash
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 head lettuce
- 1 quart blueberries
- 1 bouquet flowers (not shown)

Also not shown: extra cucumbers & zucchini from the "seconds" table.


Unfortunately AJ's
camp teacher was
sick, so I did not
need to pack him a
lunch. But here is
part of dinner: tempura
zucchini & carrots.

Husband's lunch for work: rice; sauteed kale & chard with garlic & raisins; cold tofu; asian cucumber salad; blueberries; mini bagel "salad" sandwiches; purple grapes.

On his way home from work he stopped at the farmer's market & got 1/2 a dozen ears of local corn, along with some tomatoes, potatoes, & fresh bread.

No food worth photographing. Baby Maia is almost 2 weeks old and weighs 5 ounces above her birth weight and has grown 3/4 of an inch.

1 comment:

Jumbleberry Jam said...

Four wee ones in the car! Congrats on your first successful outing. Thanks so much for all the recommendations for greens!! I would drown in all the produce you're getting right now. I'm hopeless at using up abundance...must purchase only those things/amounts I have planned for on my weekly menu, or it's sure to rot in the frig. But, you give me hope, super mom! :-)