Using share #2’s spring vegetables

We ended up packing a surplus full share on Monday, realizing after packing but before delivery that we had forgotten a household’s honeymoon absence. So we decided to have fun pretending to be CSA members and making a point of cooking with the share contents for a couple days, instead of using the seconds, extras, and preserves we normally eat this time of year. Here’s a detailed look at how we used our share, hopefully providing some insight and inspiration for members on using similar spring produce for the next few weeks. We tried to focus on vegetarian recipes that are quick/easy to make. We ate through the entire share in less than 2 days; bigger shares will be coming soon enough!  (Note this was a standard share without extras; those who asked this week got extra green onions, saute mix, and kale.)

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Here’s the share itself: Green onions, garlic scallions, 1/2 lb mixed baby greens, 1/2 lb kale, 4 small radishes (c’mon, grow, radishes!), two heads of lettuce, a small amount of pea shoots, and one bundle each of mint, lemon balm, sage, and garlic chives (herbs vary by share). In the descriptions that follow, all farm-sourced ingredients will be listed in italics, with share ingredients also in bold.   Many of these dishes also use our own eggs and goat’s milk, important parts of our diet and products available to CSA members. 

MONDAY

Dinner this evening was a simple pasta with greens, and salad. We minced 2 green onions and a garlic scallion, sauteed them with olive oil (from World Harvest) in a cast-iron pan, then added the entire 1/2 lb bag of chopped mixed greens (along with the radish greens). As these quickly wilted, we sprinkled some sherry vinegar (from WH) and salt on top, then served over simple pasta (from WH). This could be dressed up with mushrooms, dried vegetables, meat, or various other additions, but works great as a simple CSA-sourced main dish. For a gluten-free version, the same greens preparation could be served over polenta or beans, or under meat.

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For the salad, we made a simple dressing of 1 cup goat’s milk yogurt, 1/2 of the mint and lemon balm bundles, and a few small garlic scallions. All of the latter we minced and ground into a paste using a mortar & pestle before mixing into the yogurt with a touch of salt. Then we shredded half the lettuce, topped it with minced radishes & 2 green onions, and the pea shoots, along with several boiled farm eggs. We ate half of this, and saved the rest for Tuesday.

This all took maybe 20 minutes to make, and was a delightful meal.

TUESDAY

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Breakfast consisted of 6 scrambled farm eggs with garlic scallions and chives, along with some goat’s milk ricotta. Not pictured, a bowl of goat’s milk yogurt with our own strawberry jam.

Lunch was a simple bean dish, using a few cups of cooked farm beans we had sitting in the fridge (canned beans can be used instead). We heated some home-rendered lard (oil works too) in a cast-iron pan, fried all the sage leaves in it until crispy, then set them aside and minced them. We then sauteed a pile of chopped green onions and garlic scallions in the sage-infused lard, then added all 1/2 lb of chopped kale and let it wilt. Then we stirred in the beans and let everything heat up a few minutes more, and served it with slabs of goat’s milk queso fresco cheese and the minced fried sage leaves. Like Monday’s dinner, this took maybe 20 minutes to make, and could be dressed up more with meat or other ingredients but works just fine on its own.using_share2_3

Lunch was completed by the other half of Monday’s salad, and some leftover herbed creamy tomato soup made with other herbs, goat’s milk, and our canned tomatoes. We also made a simple iced tea with the remaining mint and lemon balm (see recipe on Twitter). Dessert was homemade chocolate goat’s milk ice cream.

Dinner used the remaining bits of the share in fried rice and salad. We had saved all the allium trimmings from this week’s produce and simmered them in salted water for 30 minutes to make a flavorful broth, in which we cooked two cups of organic brown rice to add flavor. We sauteed the rest of the chopped green onions & garlic scallions in a wok, then combined them with a variety of last year’s dried produce (mushrooms, hot & sweet peppers, zucchini) and 6 lightly cooked farm eggs. While these were set aside, we toasted the cooked brown rice in the same wok before recombining everything with a touch of rice vinegar and organic soy sauce.

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We also made a basic viniagrette with the rest of the minced garlic chives, balsamic vinegar & olive oil (from WH), and a touch of sugar & salt. This topped a salad of the remaining head lettuce and goat’s milk ricotta. Dessert was a fresh custard of 1 quart goat’s milk, 6 farm eggs, and organic sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, topped with some early fresh strawberries (you’ll get some of these soon enough!).

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While all this took less than two days to use up, these early shares have been smaller than we’d like due to the problematic winter & spring weather. Soon enough we expect the shares to be rounding out into full form, although we’re still quite capable of eating many shares’ worth of vegetables each week between the two of us! If a feature like this is of interest and use to the membership, maybe we’ll do it a few more times throughout the season. Let us know.

 

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