Coonamessett CSA Week 5

Submitted by Liz Novak on Mon, 07/18/2016 - 22:24

Last week my CSA from Coonamessett Farm came with turnips, field greens, garlic, swiss chard, blueberries, flowers, a petunia plant, snap peas, parsley, celery, and fermented veggies. Here’s how I ate my way through it.


Just when you don’t think it could get any hotter inside without AC, last week presented itself like the lingering shower steam in a bathroom without a fan. I really enjoyed the roasted turnips from week 1, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn on the oven. Caramelized turnips were good too, but I wanted to try something different. After finding an old can of chickpeas and one of those forgettably small cans of tomato paste in the cupboard, I decided to try a Middle Eastern style braise over couscous. It was mildly spicy, and tasted good enough to eat cold the next day as a packed work lunch.

I’m hoping to post this as a full recipe soon, but here’s the gist: I heated some olive oil and a small chopped onion until it was fragrant. Then I added 2 tbsp tomato paste, 8oz turnips trimmed and cut into similar sized pieces, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. I stirred this up before adding 1 drained can of chickpeas and 1 cup vegetable broth (I used the stock I made previously with the leftover CSA veggies!). After this came to a boil, I covered the pan and left the burner on low for about 20 minutes. Then I served this over some couscous (I recommend making it with broth instead of water like most packages recommend).


We mainly just ate these throughout the week as they are. Then Steve mentioned that we should make a mini pie out of the remaining 1/2 cup or so. I couldn’t deny this; I mean how cute would that be? He just knows mini things get me excited and talking in a higher pitch. I used the remaining berries to make a pie filling. Then made just enough dough to make a tiny pie, and then completely pooped out on making it. It’s just too hot! I either need an outdoor oven or central air.


The real prize this week was the walnut parsley pesto dressing we made. I was excited to see branzino at Whole Foods last week; it’s been popping up on cooking shows and menus everywhere! The light dressing paired well with the crispy grilled skin on the fish, and brought out earthy flavors on the sweet and salty white fish. Branzino sounds fancy, but it’s pretty communal when you’re pulling meat off with your fingers. (Also a lake trout would have done the trick.)

Here’s Steve pretending to be patient about me taking photos before eating.

We had the pesto again with some box pasta and grated parm. If we had any of the pesto left, I might have tried it on a salad with some extra lemon juice too.

The recipe is available here.

Fermented Vegetables

Kimchi scares me. I’m not a huge vinegar fan, and this stuff is basically textured vinegar. I had to find a way for this to work for me and fried rice ended up being the answer. There was so much flavor! Somehow the rice mellowed out the vinegar taste too and everything was a little sweeter. I just made jasmine rice per package instructions, then fried it in sesame oil, added an egg, and then mixed in the fermented veggies. I also added some coriander, salt, and pepper.


I love the leafy parts of celery; it’s the most flavorful section. Buying those bunches where the leaves are chopped off at the store is blasphemy. Those leaves are meant for sauteing with onions. Last week I decided to try something new, and grilled the celery. I drizzled oil over it, added salt and pepper, and left it on the grill for about 5 minutes, turning it every so often. Then I chopped it up, added some lemon juice, parm, and fresh anchovies. It wasn’t bad! I have to admit, I think the salad would have been better raw though; the celery got a little tough on the grill. Next time!


The other greens were jarred up and used with various store bought salad dressings for work lunches. Not a lot of creativity, I know, but it’s an easy choice.

Swiss Chard + Garlic

Our friends had a BBQ last week, and I can’t believe I brought swiss chard stems. I’d been craving the grilled stems in ginger miso butter from a couple weeks ago. They were a hit and I didn’t have a chance to take photos.

I sauted the leftover leaves (when do you have the leaves instead of the stems left over?) in sesame oil and mustard seeds, and served them over some rice with edamame.

Garlic + Snap Peas

We still had some of the cashew sauce left over from the previous week’s spicy shrimp and snap pea recipe, so we just made it again. No complaints.

Looking forward to next week!

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