What To Do With All Those CSA Vegetables

Suggestions for what to make with veggies from the CSA box.

 

Rubarb! Kale! and Chard! Oh My!


It's that time of year, everyone! Time to start picking up a box of fresh, delicious, locally-grown produce from your CSA. There in the box you will find your vegetables, looking virtuous and healthy... and maybe also a little daunting. What, exactly, are you going to do with all that kohlrabi?

It's the classic CSA conundrum. You want to support local agriculture and eat healthy, but you don't know what to do with all the kale. And the guilt you feel seeing it all wilt in the crisper--it's so depressing. I've done a CSA in the past and this year I've been subscribing to Basis Foods--not a CSA but similar in that every week I pick up a bag of produce not of my own choosing. It's been great overall, but I now have three bunches of radishes languishing in my refrigerator. I'm living for the day someone starts a Local Orbit hub in Park Slope so I'll be able to select my own vegetables.

 

I have two default veggie solutions I rely on. One is to mince or grate whatever root or difficult green I have and toss with olive oil, garlic, and loads of grated parmesean. The other solution is to slice and sautee in olive oil and garlic. These two solutions work well enough but I think I need to move beyond and look around for some new ideas.

 

Catherine Price just wrote a post in Slate with CSA-cooking advice from Mark Bittman and San Francisco chef Deborah Madison. I think I'll try Bittman's diakon radish idea on one of my bunches. I'll probably sautee the rest in olive oil (see solution #2 above). A friend of mine did this the other day, including the radish greens, and loved it.

 

A friend of mine makes a dish she calls "CSA Stir-Fry." Turns out she's not the only one tossing her box of veggies with sesame oil and soy sauce. Google "CSA stir fry" and you'll come up with a whole buffet table of recipes. Here's a few suggestions from BlogHer.

Of course, there's always the salad. I met some friends for dinner at Northern Spy Food Co. the other day (dining outside of Brooklyn--why does this feel like cheating?) and had their luscious farmer's market salad--baby veggies lightly poached with an incredibly luscious buttermilk dressing. There's a lot of buttermilk dressing recipes out there, but I'm going to try Smitten Kitten's buttermilk dressing.

What are you doing with your CSA vegetables? Let me know