spring CSA, week 10

This week in the CSA: a riot of greens and reds. We have spring onions, romaine lettuce, a bunch of radishes, red chard, strawberries, apples, baby bok choy, and cucumbers. Also bread (Great Harvest challah) and Breezy Willow’s own eggs.

spring CSA, week 10

I love getting Breezy Willow’s eggs because their heritage hens lay speckled and colored eggs. I can’t really taste any difference, but they sure are pretty to look at.

Breezy Willow eggs

They are terrible for boiled eggs, though; since they’re so fresh, they are very hard to peel.

Anyway, back to this week’s pickup. I love this recipe for butter-braised radishes; it takes away the harsh bite and leaves them nutty and sweet. Halfway through the simmer I throw the radish greens in to cook as well; they retain some of the bite but get softened by the butter and the long braising time.

butter braised radishes and radish greens

It’s not pretty but it’s incredibly good. Tastes like spring.

spring CSA, week 9

It feels kind of silly making an update because I’m actually going to pick up week 10’s produce later today. But I figured I’d go ahead and get this post out, so as not to crowd the next post. Week 9:

spring CSA, week 9

Green leaf lettuce, green beans, oranges, eggs, bread, spring onions, beets, strawberries (from North Carolina), red potatoes, and mushrooms. I was really excited about the spring onions, but then I just ended up using them like giant scallions.

Whenever you see beets, it means you’ll also see beets on the trade table. I would roll my eyes at the non-beet-users among my fellow CSA members, but I have to admit I have the same impulse regarding kohlrabi.

spring CSA, week 9, trade table

Now that we have the kid at home, weeknight hours are much more precious. I’ve started cooking the vegetables in batches, for easy reheating later. So far it’s been pretty easy; I just mince a lot of garlic (my sister points out that an even bigger time-saver would be to get one of those big jars of pre-minced garlic) and spend a couple of hours at the beginning of the week prepping and cooking.

spring CSA, week 9, ready cooked

Here we have green beans, beet greens, and diced eggplant, all ready to finish chilling in the fridge. The process for cooking all of them was the same: heat oil in a wok, add minced garlic and a bit of chili flake, and let it sizzle a little bit so that the oil gets flavored. Add sliced spring onion, and let it cook just a tad longer. Then add in the vegetable and toss to coat, stirring occasionally, until it’s cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

(I remember asking my mother how she knew when something was cooked. “You’ll just know,” she said. The voice of experience. Now I know to keep tasting the food, to recognize a good color, and to pull it immediately from the heat when it’s done.)

spring CSA, week 8

Last week: chard, romaine lettuce, kale, eggplant, radishes, strawberries, cucumber, and apples. This week was a bonus item so we got almond granola in place of eggs.

spring CSA, week 8

I cooked down the chard and kale with some olive oil and garlic, and stashed it in the fridge for quick weekday meals. We had the lettuce as salad (my preferred salad topping is soy sauce and an over-easy egg, whereas K prefers a quick vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and blood orange olive oil*). The eggplant and some of the radishes are still hanging out in the fridge, and K turned the cucumber into a garlicky Hungarian cucumber salad to go with his grandmother’s recipe for chicken paprikash. It’s incredibly good. Maybe I’ll share the recipe here, if he allows it.

There was also supposed to be a loaf of bread, but I forgot to pick up the bread because it was right next to the strawberries. In-season strawberries! I was so excited that I bought an extra quart.

week 8: strawberries!

They’re not Maryland strawberries, I think, because the ones at Larriland Farm aren’t ready yet. These are probably from somewhere down south where it’s been warmer. But there’s nothing like the intense flavor of an in-season, fresh-picked, almost-too-ripe strawberry. When I bought the extra quart, I was entertaining the idea of making strawberry shortcake, or maybe cooking them down into a coulis to top ice cream.

Who was I kidding? We ate them all just as they were, licking the juice from our fingers. Man, I can’t wait until strawberry harvest hits Maryland. I intend to do some serious damage to the stocks at Larriland and at the farmer’s markets.

…Just a reminder, because Jessie made a comment last week: unlike Breezy Willow’s summer CSA, their spring CSA is not local and a lot of the produce is from farms up and down the East Coast. Anything out of cold storage is from Maryland, but the citrus is from Florida, and then as warmer weather moves up the coast, we get greens from Georgia and North Carolina; we don’t start getting freshly harvested stuff from Maryland until May. It’s all from organic, natural, or IPM farms, so I’m still happy to support it, but just in case anyone was thinking they could find this stuff in Maryland farmer’s markets… you’ll have to wait just a little longer.

(I’m bursting with impatience, myself. I can’t wait for the berry harvest!)

* We got the blood orange olive oil from LOVE in Frederick. It’s worth a visit if you find yourself out there; they sell flavored oils and vinegars, and they let you taste and sniff as much as you want. We got a mushroom scented oil as well, and had to stop ourselves from buying more.