CSA Veggie box 2/2/18

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.

Collards

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.

spinach, close up and delicious

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.

washed and stemmed spinach on clean kitchen towel
rolling up the clean spinach, ready to go in a bag in the fridge

Next up — beautiful seedless navel oranges.  I’ll use one in a spinach salad, the other two will be ideal snacks.

navel oranges

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.

butternut squash and carrots

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.

baby bok choi

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.

green garlic and dill
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