spring CSA, weeks 6 and 7

These past couple weeks flew by for me, as we were traveling a lot. Fortunately our kid was very well-behaved in airplanes and slept almost the entire time we were in the air. As for me, I was less than thrilled with the culinary delights available at Newark airport: overpriced sandwiches and sad-looking shrinkwrapped fruit were my only alternatives to chips and candy. Unfortunately, it’s hard to sneak a decent meal past the TSA (no liquids over 3oz) or the border police (no fruits or vegetables). I’m so relieved to be back home.

Week 6 of the CSA brought us green leaf lettuce, apples, cucumbers, beets, carrots, grapefruit, kale, eggplant, bread (Great Harvest White) and eggs:

spring CSA, week 6

The good thing about cold storage items (the apples, beets, and carrots) is that they stayed perfectly fresh in the refrigerator while we were out of town. The bread, eggs, eggplant, cucumbers, and kale also held up fairly well in our absence. The lettuce was the only unfortunate casualty.

Week 7 of the CSA: green beans, spinach, green leaf lettuce, mushrooms, oranges, Vidalia onions, red potatoes, yellow squash, bread (Great Harvest Herb de Breezy Willow) and eggs:

spring CSA, week 7

We ate the lettuce with a quick dressing of mayonnaise, anchovy, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese. I had been aiming in the general direction of a Caesar salad, but I must have gotten the proportions wrong; it didn’t taste at all similar. Still, it turned out pretty tasty.

Another pleasant surprise was the pasta bake that we made with whole wheat rotini, ground beef, tomato sauce, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and mozzarella, feta, and cheddar cheeses; the flavors combined beautifully and masked the taste of the whole wheat pasta (which I personally find rather unpleasant). I like pasta bakes; they come together quickly and reheat easily on busy weeknights.

Finally, the yellow squash became sublime when sliced and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then roasted briefly at 400 degrees. I generally prefer green zucchini to yellow squash but this treatment was frankly delightful. I’ll be making it again in our toaster oven as the summer goes on.

spring CSA, week 5

This week’s CSA pickup is the usual mix of fresh vegetables combined with last year’s harvest out of cold storage. We got Brussels sprouts, zucchini, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, oranges, assorted apples, spinach, mushrooms, and the usual eggs and bread (Great Harvest honey bunny).

spring CSA, week 5

The honey bunny bread is particularly adorable. It’s their normal honey wheat bread recipe, but shaped into a bunny.

honey bunny bread

They also had hot cross buns available as an option. I love it when bakeries get into the holidays.

spring CSA, weeks 3 and 4

Sometimes I want to detail what we do with our CSA vegetables, but when I think about it, it seems so pedestrian. Brussels sprouts: bisected and roasted, with lots of minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Potatoes: treated much the same as the sprouts. Carrots: roasted with cumin, ginger, and honey. Spinach: cooked down and seasoned. Green beans: blanched and seasoned. Parsnips: boiled, then pureed with butter and milk. Apples, oranges, and grapefruit: eaten just as they are. It’s not even like I can provide recipes.

Anyway, week 3 of the CSA brought us spring mix, oranges, grapefruit, parsnips, beets, Brussels sprouts, apples, garlic, fingerling potatoes, eggs, and bread (Great Harvest sourdough).

spring CSA, week 3

The spring mix was wonderfully peppery, and I served it with sweet orange segments. I used Spilled Milk’s recipe for the pureed parsnips, except I didn’t bother straining it. Fortunately, the texture worked just fine; maybe my parsnips were just extra-tender. Anyway, the parsnip puree was excellent, lovely and nutty, and rich with cream.

Week 4 of the CSA gave us Swiss chard, green beans, apples, oranges, onions, carrots, red potatoes, a beautiful Savoy cabbage, bread (Great Harvest honey whole wheat) and a bonus item. We could choose between eggs, applesauce, and an apricot butter with ginger. I chose the apricot butter. I had some for breakfast this morning, spread on the wheat bread; it was sweet and tangy.

spring CSA, week 4

One good thing about visiting the farm is that you get to see the animals all the time. The llamas were out when I got there, stretching their long necks and batting their thick eyelashes. The farm dogs were out too, and the spotted puppy they’d gotten last year was now a tall, leggy creature. And of course it’s nice to see the farmers and the working shares too.