It’s Thursday around 5:00pm. You’re coming up on a group of folks clustered around boxes and bags of produce. They might be in a garage, the gym of a school, or a farm stand. CSA pickup time! If you’re like me, you begin the season of Community Supported Agriculture with avid attention and anticipation. As the season goes on, however, the will (at least my will; yours too?) to create from scratch, to utilize only your CSA box, to eat kohlrabi AGAIN...that will diminishes.
Never fear, intrepid vegetable veteran! I’m going to share some catch-all recipes to deal with those tiny bunches of radishes and massive bunches of mustard greens! These are a couple of basic recipes that you can swap vegetables in and out of:
One Frittata to Rule Them All
Your CSA veggies won’t be able to resist the lure of eggs and cream and neither will your family. Welcome to eggy domination. You shall need:
A non-stick, oven safe pan
1/4 c. of heavy cream (optional)
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Olive oil, coconut oil or butter
Vegetables that could work well:
Leafy greens that aren’t lettuce, Bok choy (try cooking the stems and greens separately), Asparagus, Any of the summer squashes, Eggplants, Potatoes, Herbs, Green onion, Garlic scapes, Tomatoes (you betcha!)
Directions: Whatever you end up selecting, cut it into sizes that you wouldn’t mind putting in your mouth. Whisk the eggs, the cream, and the seasonings together in a bowl. Heat your non-stick, oven safe pan on your stovetop with your oil/butter of choice. Make sure you coat the whole thing. Sauté the vegetables you intend to cover with your egg mixture. Start by sautéing hardier vegetables and add in leafy greens or herbs after those are already partially cooked. Now, fire up that broiler. Once the vegetables all look sufficiently subdued, seal their fate by pouring them over your egg mixture. Keep the pan on the stovetop over medium to low heat until you see the egg starting to set near the edges of the pan. It will still be loose and runny in the center. Get it under your broiler for 3-5 minutes or until that center sets up.After you’ve forged the One Frittata, find a spatula to loosen the sides of the egg from the pan. Let it cool for a couple minutes, then cover it with a plate or cutting board and invert it to get it out of the pan. Slice it up for 6 (or fewer) people. Slice some radishes from the CSA box and toss them with some lettuce or spring mix and a simple vinaigrette. A perfect light complement.
This next recipe is from my wife’s repertoire. It’s more of a technique, really. She calls it:
Roast all the Things
We all roast potatoes and beets and the like. This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a request that you give yourself permission to roast anything bulb or root-like that comes in your CSA box. You will need:
Two sheet pans
High heat spray oil
Salt and pepper
A couple tablespoons of honey, maple syrup, or agave
Vegetables that could work well:
Beets, Turnips, Radishes, Kohlrabi, Carrots, Eggplant, Celery root, Parsnips, Potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, Onion, whole small bulbs or sliced, Spring onion, Garlic scapes, Garlic cloves
Directions: Before you cut anything, spray down your sheet pans with spray oil and stick them in a 350°F oven. I like my sheet pans hot and well oiled, it helps with caramelization and keeping things from sticking. If you aren’t in the mood to dice, try cutting long wedges, instead. Once I’ve got my roastees fabricated, I like to split them up in two groups: hardier characters like carrot, potato, and beets go in a bowl first to get dressed with oil, salt, pepper, and a little honey or maple syrup (if you like). Pull one of your hot trays out just long enough to pour these guys on and appreciate the sizzle, then right back in. Then, I repeat the process with the softer vegetables or ones with more moisture: radishes, celery root, parsnips. The sweetener added to the dressing can really take the bitter edge off of vegetables like radishes and turnips if you’re worried about that. Roast the “hardy” pan for 30-45 minutes, the “soft” for 15-35.
If these techniques aren’t to your taste, I recommend stopping by one of the stores and helping yourself to a copy of Farm-Fresh and Fast or From Asparagus to Zucchini, both by the Fairshare CSA Coalition. Either will arm you with tons of great CSA uses. Happy season!