If you’ve visited my site before, you’ll notice that I often include beautiful vegetables in my recipes from my weekly Full Belly Farm Community Supported Agriculture veggie box. I’ve had a number of inquiries from friends and followers on how to best use the produce in my box — how I decide what to use first, how to store the produce, how to not waste the great stuff in the box. (What’s a CSA box? Read this article I wrote a couple years ago. ) This new series will be less about specific recipes and more about inspiration and tips on storage of what’s in this week’s box, and how I’ll likely use it. I hope this encourages you to explore the CSA possibilities in your neighborhood. Enjoy!
First up — collard greens. I’ll stem, slice & sauté in oil, then braise them in a little salted water – just until tender. Serve with Smokey Black-eyed Peas and Wholegrain Cornbread for a perfect combo. These last for a while in the fridge, so this recipe can wait til the end of the week.
Next, spinach. This spinach is sweet and thick leaved. I’ll make a delicious salad with this super fresh salad green with the navel oranges in my box. I’ll dress it with a quick dressing made with sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper, topped with toasted almond slivers.
Here’s a tip: with all my loose salad greens I give them a quick dunk in a big bowl of cold water. Then heap the wet greens onto a clean kitchen towel, roll up, and store in a moisture proof bag or container in the fridge. This simple technique keeps these tender greens at the peak of freshness for a week or more, and also makes salad prep super fast.
Next up — beautiful seedless navel oranges. I’ll use one in a spinach salad, the other two will be ideal snacks.
Full Belly’s carrots are divine — tender, crisp, sweet Nantes carrots. Just toss them unwashed into a bag and they’ll stay happily fresh for weeks, though they usually get eaten up before then because they’re so delicious. Great as a quick mid day snack as is, or perhaps I’ll make Carrot Coconut Soup for dinner one night. The butternut squash will store for a long while. Maybe this week I’ll make Butternut Squash Steaks.
Baby Bok Choi — so tender and crisp. Store unwashed in a moisture proof container in the fridge. I’ll use this in a stir fry with tofu or chicken breast, garlic, and soy sauce. Just add brown rice for the perfect fast midweek meal.
Green garlic is a great aromatic to use in any recipe where you want great garlic flavor — they look much like leeks, but smell of garlic. This is the young garlic plant before the mature bulbs have formed. Maybe this is the week I’ll create a green goddess dressing? For sure I’ll make a soup or stew featuring this fleeting ingredient. Dill will also be fun to use in the green goddess dressing. And if you’ll looking for a new potato salad recipe, try Yukon Gold Potato Salad with Dill.