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CSA 2017: The Rest of The Story

Eating locally is something that I’ve been excited about for the last several years. (If you’ve been here for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that.) It’s why I pick local restaurants and gravitate toward the “made in Wisconsin” label on my cheese, wine and beer. It’s also why I’ve opted to get my veggies through a CSA from a local farm each summer.

I typically share a recap of our produce share each week, but this season just got away from me. (And I became the world’s laziest blogger, which I’m working on fixing.) So, here’s a year-end photo round up of 16 of the 19 weeks of home-grown goodness from Olden Organics. (Yes, I only blogged through week 3. MAJOR FAIL.) And technically, we’re missing photos of two weeks because we spent a couple weeks in Washington state this August.

Since I obviously don’t remember what I made with each vegetable, I’ll give you  the run-down of  what does stick out in my mind from this summer.

Corn on the cob. We eat it as-is 99.9% of the time because nothing says summertime like fresh corn.

Cucumbers. In addition to our CSA, our cucumber plants went crazy this summer. I made quick pickles, and I tried a new-to-me orzo pasta salad with cucumbers, mint, feta and red onion. Yum yum yum.

Fennel. It’s still not my favorite CSA vegetable, but I’ve figured out how to make the best of it. This root vegetable gratin is my go-to, but if I don’t have the other vegetables on hand, I discovered that caramelized onions and fennel is an excellent pizza topping. I actually froze a big container of this mixture before our vacation this summer, and it’s just waiting for the next pizza night.

Garlic scapes. I’m a garlic junkie, and scapes are just one more way for me to get my fix. I turn most of them into pesto. My favorite “fast dinner” is pasta with garlic scape pesto sauce and a bit of Parmesan cheese.

Thai basil. I just discovered this variety of my favorite herb, and I cannot get enough of it. We had two plants in our garden this summer, and I loved it. It adds a little extra oomph to dishes, and I liked putting it in stir fries.

Golden beets. They’re similar to regular beets in flavor, but they are so pretty. If you’re someone who eats with your eyes, these are the beets for you.

Carrots. Our late season share had some beautiful rainbow-colored carrots. I tried a new recipe for glazed carrots with dried cherries and orange zest, and it was as beautiful as it was delicious.

Cranberries. We received a big bag in our late season share (and I also stocked up on more at the grocery store). I’ve made cranberry bars and cranberry sauce, and I can’t wait to try a pan of these breakfast buns.

That’s the whirlwind tour of our produce for the year. I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!

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Posted by on January 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Taste the Rainbow!

I picked up our final CSA share of the 2017 season today, and while I plan to do a wrap-up post on the entire season (especially since I dropped the ball on weekly updates), I decided to share this picture right away. 

These have to be the prettiest carrots I’ve ever brought home. Any suggestions for them? 

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2017: Week 2 & Week 3

Happy July! I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. We had a four-day weekend, so we spent part of it camping and then spent Tuesday doing stuff around home. We did responsible things (like laundry and taking care of the weed problem in the cracks in the driveway) and fun things (like a bike ride for ice cream and dinner with some of our favorite people). All in all, it was a great long weekend, and Andy and I are both counting down the days left until our next vacation. (Only two work weeks left! Wooo!!!) 

CSA2017_Wk2

Week two was had some great things.

  • 12 ounces of sugar snap peas
  • 1 jar of dilly sugar snap peas from Hippie Wayne
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • Garlic scapes
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 head of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch of “mini broccoli”

And since July is getting away from me faster than I’d like to admit, I’m going to go ahead and share week three’s goodness with you as well.

CSA2017_Wk3

Week three had a little less than the first two weeks, and I’m sure we can thank the weird weather for that. We received:

  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bag of popcorn
  • Garlic scapes
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 head of leaf lettuce
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bag of shelling peas
  • 1 bunch of kale

I’m sure you’re wondering what two people did with all of those vegetables, right? The sugar snap peas and some of the lettuce went on a road trip to Otsego Lake State Park last weekend. The dilly sugar snap peas went to a picnic on the 4th of July, and the rest of the lettuce is destined for many, many salads. Salads are becoming my default dish for all potlucks this summer.

Half of the Swiss chard, a handful of garlic scapes, the broccoli, the summer squash and the kale from week 1 wound up in this pasta bake on Thursday evening.

We still haven’t learned to love kohlrabi, but we are big fans of dill pickles, so I’m probably going to try this method. I’ll let you know what we think!

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the shelling peas yet. I love fresh peas, so I want to find a recipe that’s worthy of their early-season goodness. I’m pretty sure that I used them in this pasta dish last year. I really liked it, but Andy thought it was so-so (probably because he’s not the biggest fan of dollops of ricotta).  I could go with this one instead.

Our garden is thriving, especially the lettuce and the Swiss chard. We’ll keep eating salads, and I’m going to start sauteing the chard with some bacon grease and garlic scapes. I also need to make another batch of garlic scape pesto before the season is over!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I hope it’s as nice there as it is here!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2017: Week 1

Finally! Summer produce is here again! Last Tuesday (the 20th) was our first pick up for our CSA from Olden Organics. It was one of the highlights of my day, for sure. (Especially since we had to say goodbye to the tree in our yard last week. I was overly emotional about the whole thing, so it was nice to have some fresh veggies to cheer me up.) 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our first week, since the weather has been all over the place this spring. (It was dry, then crazy hot, then really rainy – complete with hail – and now it’s much cooler than normal for late June, and it’s still raining almost every day.) Welcome to Wisconsin, where you can have all the seasons in one day.

CSA2017_Wk1

In spite of the crazy weather, things are off to a good start, at least in my opinion. We received:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 head of green romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of red romaine lettuce
  • 1 quart of strawberries
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch of kale tops
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 Thai basil plant

We didn’t have a lot of dinner leftovers last week, so both heads of lettuce wound up in our lunches. The lettuce in our garden is going strong too, so we will probably continue to take salads for lunch for the foreseeable future. It’s an easy way to get our greens in.

I made one batch of garlic scape pesto over the weekend, and I still have enough scapes in the fridge to make another batch. I used some of the pesto and half of the kale in a pasta dish for dinner Saturday night.

I’d like to tell you that I did something new and creative with the asparagus, but it’s so good roasted with some garlic that I couldn’t bring myself to make it any other way.

Some of the strawberries made their way into a pie, and some of them wound up on this pizza.

The basil is living happily in our garden (right next to the cucumber plants). I can’t wait to use it!

I’m on the fence about the zucchini. We love fritters, so it seems like that would be the perfect way to use the first zucchini of the season. However, I still have the Best Mexican Recipes cookbook, and there’s a soup recipe in there that calls for a zucchini. And with our unseasonably chilly weather, soup sounds pretty good right now!

I also don’t know what to do with the celeriac. Last fall, Smitten Kitchen came to my rescue with a gratin that uses both celeriac AND fennel, and, much to my surprise, we ended up loving it. The question is, do I love it enough to go buy fennel and sweet potatoes so I can make it? Good thing celeriac keeps well in the fridge so I can ponder that a little more.

I can’t wait to see what week 2 has in store for us!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Week 6

Let’s start with the important stuff this week. Do you see what I see?!? TOMATOES! I was extra excited to see these in our share Tuesday night. My friends and I had were talking about menus for the week, and Bethany said she was going to make bruschetta, which sounded like a really good idea, except for the fact that the tomatoes in my garden are completely green. And no one should make bruschetta with grocery store tomatoes in July.

Our CSA came through for me though, with four beautiful tomatoes! So, bruschetta it is. I actually think it will make a good snack next week at Airventure, as long as I prep the bread at home before we go.

CSA 2016 Week 6

Here’s the rundown for week 6:

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 small heads of fennel
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pound of green and yellow beans
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes

The cucumbers are probably going to wind up in our cooler next week. The scapes are destined for pesto, and I am probably going to caramelize the fennel. We started eating through our kohlrabi stash this week, so now I am down to just three in the fridge. I took my sister-in-law’s advice and oven-roasted them with olive oil, salt and pepper. They were all right, but I may turn the next batch into fritters.

I’ll probably roast the cauliflower, since that’s our favorite way to enjoy it. As for the onion, well, I put onion is almost everything, so I’m sure it will be consumed rather quickly. I’d like to use the zucchini and summer squash in this galette.

Which brings us to the green beans. When they are fresh from the garden, they are one of my favorites. I steamed some with dinner the other night, and I’ve been taking a handful to work each day for easy snacking. Between our garden, the CSA and our generous neighbors, we have a LOT of green beans in the fridge. I might get to can some for winter enjoyment at this rate!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Week 5

Week five! And I’m actually sharing it the same week that we picked it up. I’m making progress!

CSA 2016 Week 5

This week, we brought home:

  • One Walla Walla onion
  • One head of lettuce
  • Two cucumbers
  • Two summer squash
  • One bunch of beets
  • Two kohlrabi
  • One pound of green beans
  • One bunch of garlic scapes

For once, the lettuce is not going into salads. We’re having tacos Sunday night, so I’m earmarking it for them. I plan on using the summer squash in our other favorite zucchini / squash dish soon. The cucumbers are going into salads and lunches for the next couple of days, and I am sure that we’ll simply steam the green beans until they are crisp-tender. I could make something with them, but why mess with perfection?

I used the beet greens from both week 4 and week 5 in last night’s dinner: bacon, scrambled eggs, and sauteed beet greens. A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought to cook the greens, but I’m older and wiser now. I sauteed the greens with chopped garlic scapes and onion in bacon grease. They were so good that I even had some for breakfast the next day. (Much better than a green smoothie, if you ask me.) I’ll probably roast the beets for dinner one night when it’s not 90°+ outside.

I need to do a little reading before I use the onion. If Walla walla onions are something special, I want to do something out of the ordinary with it.

For those of you keeping track at home, we are now up to FOUR kohlrabi in the fridge. I need to do something with them before things get out of hand. Fritters, maybe? Hmm.

In addition to our CSA goodness, our garden is coming into its own. I picked one and three-quarter pounds of snap peas this morning, and I really want to make this. Andy doesn’t love dollops of ricotta like I do, so I either need to make it when he’s gone or make a second dish for him. It looks like we’ll have beans soon as well. And as long as the cucumbers don’t completely invade the tomato plants, we should see fresh tomatoes in a few weeks too. Exciting stuff!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Weeks 2, 3 & 4

Let’s catch up, shall we? We are a month into the 2016 season, and I am loving it! Except for the fact that I’m feeling slightly overrun with lettuce. We received two heads of lettuce for the first three weeks of the CSA and one head for week 4. Plus, our neighbors shared some lettuce from their garden, and now our lettuce is ready to go! Can you say salads?

I was pretty pumped for week 2: Asparagus, garlic scapes and sugar snap peas? Be still my beating heart. CSA 2016 Week 2

We received:

  • One bunch of kale
  • One kohlrabi
  • One bunch of garlic scapes
  • One small bunch of asparagus (the last of the season!) 😦
  • One head of Romanie lettuce
  • One head of Bib lettuce
  • Two heads of broccoli

CSA 2016 Week 3

Week 3 introduced us to something we hadn’t tried before: pea shoots. I used some of them in a quinoa salad with dried cherries and feta cheese, and some of the shoots ended up in a stir-fry. (I used this recipe for the sauce and went with chicken instead of shrimp, just because it was in the freezer, and an assortment of veggies from the fridge.)

Week 3 included:

  • One small bunch of rhubarb (the last of the season) 
  • One bunch of pea shoots
  • One pound of sugar snap peas
  • One head of broccoli
  • One head of Romaine lettuce
  • One head of head lettuce
  • One zucchini
  • One bunch of Swiss chard
  • One bunch of garlic scapes

CSA 2016 Week 4

Which brings us up to the present: Week 4. Here’s this week’s loot:

  • 1 1/4 pounds of peas
  • One head of lettuce
  • One bunch of beets with greens
  • One kohlrabi
  • One zucchini
  • One summer squash
  • One bunch of kale
  • One bunch of garlic scapes

I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re doing with all of these veggies. Besides eating salads, that is. Well, the sugar snap peas are gone before you can blink. It’s like we have es-cape-peas! Hahaha…

The broccoli is making its way into salads and stir fries. Some of the garlic scapes made their way into stir fries as well, and the rest of them are destined for pesto. The zucchini and summer squash will be fritterized by Thursday evening because, yes, we are that predictable.

The kohlrabi… um… yeah. It’s still in the fridge, waiting for inspiration. We don’t hate it, but I haven’t found a way to love it yet. I’m not sure what we’ll do with the kale either. I tossed the first bunch with some pasta, sauteed garlic scapes and Parmesan cheese, which wasn’t bad, but we both thought it was missing something. Bacon, perhaps?

As for the Swiss chard, I’m hoping to use it in an orzo pasta salad that my friend Bethany makes. It has basil, feta, pine nuts and dried cherries, and it’s the only pasta salad that Andy truly likes. It typically calls for arugula, but I think I can sub in the Swiss chard with no problem. I plan to serve that with some salmon (and a salad, of course).

So there you have it.Three weeks of summer-time goodness. Like I said before, it really is a wonderful time of year.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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