This weekend we hosted a fun event, inspired by this earlier post, to demonstrate easy & tasty ways of preparing an early-summer full share. With our two attending households, we walked the fields on a beautiful afternoon and harvested the share’s contents together, a great chance for kids to get their hands on the source of their food. Then we laid the contents out on a table, took a photo, and after a brief discussion, dove into the cooking. The time stamps on the photos show that exactly 63 minutes after arranging the fresh share on the table, with an attentive audience, we’d prepared everything in the share into a diverse and tasty set of dishes that we enjoyed together. If the two of us can prepare a whole share in an hour, so can you! Harvesting the share on a glorious June afternoon.
Here’s what we started with, as listed in the newsletter. Clockwise from the top: head lettuce, fennel, scallions, snap peas, snow peas, strawberries, chard, herbs (dill, chives, mint, sage), kohlrabi, beets, garlic scapes, cabbage.
The only things we did in advance of the above photo were to preheat the oven for the roasted veggies, start heating the milk for cheese, and make the herbal tea so it could cool sufficiently. The rest happened live.
And here’s the result, two cooks and 63 minutes later:Clockwise from top right, share contents in italics: All cheese & yogurt produced from on-farm goat’s milk, available for purchase with shares, as are the on-farm eggs.
Vegetable saute: scallions, scapes, snow peas, snap peas, fennel fronds, kohlrabi leaves, chard; sauteed with cubes of on-farm goat cheese, ginger, sesame oil, & rice vinegar.
Roasted vegetables: Kohlrabi, fennel, snap peas; tossed with olive oil & salt and roasted. Good on their own or as salad topping. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cube/chunk veggies, toss with oil, sprinkle with salt, put on baking pan. Stir after 10 minutes, then check again after 10 more. Most veggies finish in 20-30 minutes.
Herbal iced tea: (made ahead of time, but easy to make). Mint, lemon balm, anise hyssop. So easy, the recipe fits in a tweet:
“ #CHFrecipe Lemon-balm mint tea. Bring 1-2 quarts of water to not-quite boil. Add bundle each mint & lemon balm; steep til cool. Serve iced.” Can vary herbs as desired, but the methods are the same.
Fresh goat’s milk ricotta: Demonstrated making this live, in two versions (plain and flavored with garlic & sage). Made with our standard ricotta recipe.
Slaw: cabbage, beets, snap peas, fennel, dressing (scapes, chives, rice vinegar, citrus, olive oil). The dressing was roughly that of our favorite Asian cabbage slaw recipe.
Strawberries: Dessert. Meant to serve with cajeta (Mexican goat’s milk caramel, made ahead of time) but forgot.
Frittata: Farm eggs, scapes, scallions, chard, snap peas, fresh herbed ricotta (see above). Frittatas are ideal for improvisation, but sometimes it helps to consult a cookbook for a reminder of cooking time or for some inspiration on ingredient combinations. For such inspiration, we’ve been known to study the frittata section of Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. We sauteed scapes, scallion whites, chard stems, then chard leaves. Mixed with eggs, ricotta, snap peas, returned to cast-iron pan with oil, cooked on stovetop approx. 10-12 minutes, shaking after a minute or two to loosen from bottom, and finished under the broiler until browned & fully set.
Green salad: Two heads lettuce, snap peas, dressing (goat’s milk yogurt, dill, scapes, sugar, salt). Some not shown, set aside for later.
Scraps (not shown): All the trimmings filled a good-size mixing bowl, and can easily be boiled in a gallon pot to produce a nice vegetable broth for later use as a soup base or for cooking rice, thus generating more food and value from the share.
This entire menu is vegetarian and gluten-free, uses only minimal off-farm ingredients and certainly nothing complicated or expensive, and fed seven adults and a child with some salad/slaw leftover. This was a “standard” full share, with no extras, even though such extras are often available for at least a few items per week through our customization system.
Everything in the shares, with the exception of the strawberries, should last at least a week under good storage conditions, meaning these dishes can be spread out over many days to make preparing and using your share reasonable even with a busy schedule (or you could make lots of things in one pulse, and eat off that work for days). We hope this provides some ideas and inspiration to make the most out of the diverse, tasty produce offered to you through the CSA!
We had fun with this event, and we’ll likely do it again when the balance of the share shifts towards summer crops. If you’re interested in taking part, feel free to contact us in advance.