This week’s delivery was unusual in that it really didn’t come with any salad greens (arugula, mesclun, lettuce). What did it come with? Beets (like actual mini-beets), turnip greens, more carrots!, cucumbers (including the freakish deliciously crispy yellow heirloom), Swiss chard and fresh oregano.
(Disclosure: We actually got slightly more oregano than pictured, but I was making pasta for dinner, so I recruited some into the sauce.)
Well! I can’t say as I’m disappointed about not having a mess of salad greens (really, I’m not that big a fan of salads unless spinach is involved) but I was a little dismayed by the sheer volume of beet greens that was handed over. At least these ones (for the most part) are well past the “green” stage in their leaves: I’m looking forward to roasting the bulblets along with the two turnips (too small to grate into anything, sadly, although more on that below) in a roasty dinner.
I don’t know if it’s just this year (although from the sounds of Maria’s comments, no) but this farm relies far too much on beets/beet greens for my personal taste. I won’t say I hate them — hate is a strong word, after all — but I have a decided preference for other vegetables.
Anyway, enough of my anti-beet grumbling. Meal ideas for the week?
Stir-fry (with shrimp? chicken?) along with chard stems, and my garden’s last parade of beans and peas before I rip them out in favour of another crop
Roast chicken (is that silly? technically we still haven’t finished with all the meat off the first one) with roasties, roast turnip, roast beets, and garlicky turnip greens and chard
Braised, chard-wrapped fish (it worked for lettuce?) Pork souvlaki with cucumber-pepper-beet green salad featuring our garden’s first tomatoes! stir-fry, over rice
Pizza with roasted mini-beets and goat cheese, cucumbers and carrots on the side.
Before I forget, a word on turnip rösti: don’t do it. Turnip latkes are fantastic, because you get the spicy, radishy flavour of the turnip, the texture is still light and piece-y, and the egg holds the pancake together. Rösti, on the other hand, relies on the starchiness of the spud to hold its shape and turnip… doesn’t have it. You end up with pan-fried turnip shreds. I didn’t think it was that bad, but The Boy described it as “a waste of bacon”. Consider yourselves warned.
I feel like my CSA updates the past couple weeks have been all business, as it were. Inventory of the delivery, and then what I planned to do/actually did with it.
While it’s important for me to document what I got accurately, I think — given that part of the reason for these posts is for me to be able to consider the CSA decision as a whole come Fall — that documenting how I feel and what I learn is pretty important too. So in that light, here’s what I’ve learned in two months with our CSA:
- I like being part of a CSA. It makes me feel connected to my food, and makes me happy to know that I am not only eating fresher organics, but also supporting a local business, and eating local food.
- I like turnips, their greens and arugula. A lot. I like napa cabbage (although not as much as The Boy), and I’m no longer intimidated by lettuce. (I’ve always like mesclun, in reasonable quantities, so no news there.) The turnip was truly a revelation for me, though, especially since I think of it as a cold-weather vegetable. There’ll be a mess of turnip experimentation this winter, let me tell you!
- I like radishes! Now, if only the vermin in my yard would stop eating all of mine, and give them a chance to grow…
- We eat better when I am forced to sit down and really think about What’s For Dinner. Yes, I know: Duh. It’s not like I didn’t menu-plan before, though. It’s just that I was a lot more flexible, because if something didn’t get eaten hey, it just carried over into the next week. With these vegetables, however, that doesn’t work so well — everything wilts faster, and come Thursday, I’ll have another armful of vegetables to plan for so… yes. Slightly stricter meal discipline.
- I’m just not that into beet greens.
There you have it.
On another note entirely, I feel the need to share that although I’m pretty sure I get this excited about every flavour that emerges from my ice cream maker, this lime ice cream — which I made in preparation for a certain white-themed party coming up — is amazing. Definitely sitting alongside the mango ice cream as a “must make again”. (Although I will have to find a finer grater for next time though: it could do with slightly smaller zest bits in.) Light, tangy, creamy, delicious. It’s summer on a spoon.