Last week my CSA from Coonamessett Farm came with field greens, thyme, turnips, parsnips, chard, fennel, strawberries, flowers, garlic scapes, and a raspberry bush. Here’s how I ate my way through.
Fennel and Field Greens
This salad is a little of everything, but somehow it all tastes good together. The fennel gives a good crunch to a tomato, basil, and lemon vinaigrette salad. Fennel tastes a little sweet too, which paired nicely with the little tomatoes that just started popping up in my garden. For the dressing, I mixed 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Full disclosure: I also ate this salad with feta cheese, but my hunger overcame my patience to take more photos.
We bought some bacon this week too, because: bacon. We just ate this with breakfasts throughout the week. Sometimes creativity isn’t necessary to enjoy a good thing.
Pork Chops and Swiss Chard
I wanted to do right by the tender and enormous pork chops that came in my meat CSA from week one. Being from the midwest, a dry, chewy pork chop is just not an option. I can remember instances growing up where family members have compared over-cooking meat to sacrilege. If there are two things Midwesterners can’t tolerate, it’s dry meat and being impolite.
To keep my meat juicy without burning the miso marinade, I sear each side briefly, then move it to the top grill rack for about 3 minutes on each side. After they’re up to 145F, I let the meat rest with a tin foil cover. This allows the meat to suck back in its juices.I to my meat CSA to make this Miso Ginger Grilled Pork Chops and Swiss Chard recipe.
Spicing up some light greens, like sautéed swiss chard paired nicely with the pork, but the real treat was grilling the stalks. Every part of the buffalo, right? I can’t get over how sweetened the stalks got as the miso-ginger spread carmelized on them.
The recipe is available here.
Parsnips and Thyme
I boiled the parsnips in water for a good 20 minutes. Then I added a little milk, butter and thyme before whipping it all into a fluffy mash. It was sweeter than regular mashed potatoes, and I’m excited to try this again...only next time I plan on leaving out the milk. I like my mash a little thicker than what’s shown here.
Pureeing fresh fruit is so good in popsicles! No sugar necessary. They’re sweet and tart all on their own. This time, I also added a can of diet orange soda; it was a killer combo.
Chocolate Goat Cheese
When we saw that Crystal Brook Farm had cheese available this week, we had to get it! We’ve been in love with their cheese since the Boston Beer and Cheese Fest. I also visited the farm with some friends this Spring. If you have a chance to get out there, I totally recommend doing a tour. The owner, Ann Starband, is a truly knowledgeable guide and can explain in detail each part of the process. This week we didn’t do anything creative with the cheese, and just ate it with pretzels. The chocolate was totally different. It was almost like a more solid mousse.
Could been made from this goat, who knows!
Turnips and Thyme
Although I really liked roasting the turnips from week 1, I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the oven, so I gave grilling the turnips a try. I marinated them in italian dressing with summer squash and zucchini just like my chicken and summer squash skewers recipe. Unfortunately, the turnips were still a little bitter for my liking after being grilled.
I had these out on the coffee table for a while, but then added them to the bunch I’m drying on the wall. When the weather cools, I plan on making these lavender lemon drop cookies. I totally recommend it to those of you with AC! If you’re using lavender that hasn’t dried out yet, double the amount listed in the recipe.
I steamed some littleneck clams open with white wine, butter, and garlic scapes. I was so pleased! After enjoying the clams, getting to the bottom of the bowl is like finally getting to the artichoke heart. The broth is always my favorite. The scapes add some nice garlicy, peppery flavors to a rich classic dish. We ate this with lots of crusty bread! View the recipe here.
Left Over Greens
To make sure I didn't leave anything to waste, I made a vegetable stock out of all the left over veggies I had in the fridge. I added turnip leaves, parsnip leaves, left over thyme, a bay leaf, an almost too old thing of celery, an onion, and left over fennel into a pot. Then I tried to add about the same mass in water. After boiling for an hour, I jarred it up and put it in the freezer for when I need it. Having homemade stock can heighten recipes calling for it, and it's a great way to lessen waste!
Looking forward to next week!