Helllloooo, peeps! I know, I let another week slip by. Dudes, IT HAS BEEN SO EFFING HOT IN NYC LATELY. Argh. Thank goodness for the shaved ice man across the street. And lots of watermelon. And lots of iced green tea. And air conditioning! Anyway, I have been remiss in posting about this year's CSA adventures, and we're already into the fourth week! And man, has there been a HUGE amount of good stuff this season! My CSA changed farms this year to Hepworth Farms (and the CSA name itself has changed from Chubby Bunny to Cream of the Crop), and I dunno if it has just been a particularly good growing season or what, but from the very first pickup, I've been overwhelmed by the variety and quantity of veggies! I mean, check out week 1 in the top photo there. So much that I had to put it on the floor to take a picture of it! Scallions, scapes, basil, cilantro, kale, chard, spinach, radishes, garlic, lettuce.
Compare this with week 1 from last year! Holy vegetable explosion!
And the fruit share from week 1--two boxes of awesome strawberries, and some apples from last season (I'm guessing because they were a bit wrinkled and also June seems like too early for apples.)
Aaaaaand here is week 2. I decided this week that I didn't want to be taking pictures of my veggies on the floor, but there were still too many to take one shot on my window sill, so collages it is! Of course, now that Flickr's gotten rid of Picnick, I have to use a different tool to make collages, grrr, argh. Anyway, check it out--more kale, more radishes. More lettuce (like two whole heads!). Onions, garlic, lots more spinach, basil, cilantro, two kinds of scallions (I had never seen red scallions before!), a huuuuuge amount of carrots, collards, and kohlrabi. Oh, and peas!
And here we are at week 3. Yes, you guessed it--more kale! Good thing I like kale, huh? Beets, cucumbers, round and regular zucchini, snap peas, carrots, radishes, spring onions, chard, purple and regular cabbage, the first tomato of the summer, basil! Spinach! Two MORE heads of lettuce! String beans! GOOD GOLLY!!
Somehow I had neglected to get a photo of the fruit from week 2, so here is a photo of week 3; cherries and a heap of plums. I'm not sure what type of plums the yellow ones are. Sooooo perhaps you are wondering what I have been doing with all this bounty....well, a LOT. I tell you, keeping up with a CSA is practically a full time job. But I cannot complain, I certainly am eating well!
Naturally with all that basil, I had to make pesto (several jars of it at this point!). Garlic scapes make delicious pesto, although one morning I ate pesto pasta for breakfast, and despite careful tooth brushing, I think I was still exhaling garlic scape fumes for the next several hours. Poor coworkers. Good thing I'm isolated in an office. (P.S. I don't use pine nuts because I never have 'em. This time I used some walnuts, because I am trying to clear out my pantry, but I've also used almonds before.)
I was really despairing about using up all the spinach, but as it turns out, two bunches is just perfect for making a spinach and feta pie; and one box of filo dough handily makes two pies, hooray! And it turns out making spinach pie is totally easy, and I love it, which is fortunate, because for a while there I was eating spinach pie for breakfast every morning.
Scallion pancakes seemed like a no-brainer; I also chopped up a bunch of cilantro to fold into these, but I should have added more. You could barely taste it! Oh, if you are interested in making your own, check out this old post for my recipe and step-by-step instructions.
I used up a bunch of carrots in a chicken stir fry with sesame oil; I also added an entire bunch of cilantro, right at the very end just to let it wilt down. I have not typically cooked with cilantro in the past, but if you are a cilantro lover, you should totally try treating it as a vegetable. Mmm, cilantro. (If you are a cilantro-phobe, sorry, I cannot help you!)
My biggest challenge every year is dealing with the lettuce; I am just not that big into salads, so I'm always looking for new ways to use it up. One thing I tried was lettuce soup, which turned out surprisingly tasty, but was a horrible murky swamp color, so no photo. (It did use up two whole heads though.) And then while I was searching for more lettuce recipes, I found one for lettuce and peas braised together. Perfect! This was rather yummy (I suppose braising in butter helps). (Also, ummmm, I need some new backgrounds, haha.)
With the heatwave, cooking has definitely taken a backseat, so I was glad just to eat my lovely ripe tomato with some olive oil, some mozzarella, and some basil. Man did this hit the spot. Simple is best!
And here is an (almost) all CSA meal; a slice of spinach and feta pie, some carrot and cabbage slaw (made with rice vinegar), and some braised radishes. I love when my food is colorful. By the way, you can check out my ongoing CSA Adventures in my Flickr set and if I come up with any astonishing recipes, I will post them here. One I feel like I should mention is this recipe for kale and chickpea stew; someone pinned it on Pinterest recently and it got a gajillion hits (but no comments! I like comments *sadface*). Let me tell you, even kale haters will love kale in this stew. I've made three different batches already and I could happily eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Give it a shot if you have more kale than you can shake a stick at.
And if you've got any awesome ideas for using up my remaining heads of lettuce....please tell me! Quickly, before they start multiplying in my fridge....