This week my Coonamessett CSA came with green beans, garlic, green onions, turnips, salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, fennel, summer squash, flowers, pork kabobs, Italian sausage, ground beef, pork loins, and a whole chicken. Here’s how I ate my way through it.
(Full disclosure, I did not eat all the meat this week; I get about 10 pounds of meat every other month.)
Turnips + Garlic
It used to be that the turnips would be the last thing unused in my fridge, but braising them with chickpeas and tomato paste has made them one of the first things to be eaten! The recipe also works well as an easy pack-ahead lunch for a few days.
To make these, first heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan on high heat. Add 1 sliced onion (about 1/2 cup). After these are softened (about 4 minutes), turn the heat on low add 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Stir to incorporate the spices all over the onions. Then add 1 can of drained chickpeas, chopped turnips, and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir to mix everything together before adding 1 cup of vegetable broth (I used my homemade broth from week 3). Then let the whole thing simmer for about 20 minutes, until it is thick. Serve over couscous. I also recommend making your couscous with some broth instead of just water.
Salad + Cucumbers
We mainly ate the salad and cucumbers as salads with Italian dressing and blue cheese. Somehow the contrast of the pungent cheese paired well with the fresh cucumbers, and kept an otherwise simple salad interesting.
Pork Kabobs + Garlic + Summer Squash
Keeping this weekly entry on how I use the CSA food has made me realize how much I love the medley of fresh ginger, miso, sesame oil, and garlic. It really is my go to for grilling anything. There’s tang, there’s spice, there’s salt, and the char from the grill adds some sweetness. It's also a great marinade to use at home in Cape Cod, because there aren't a lot of Asian restaurant options when you're eating out.
Here I marinaded pork kabobs, onions, and summer squash chunks in about 2 tbsp freshly grated gingerroot, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 tbsp sesame oil, and about 3 tbsp white miso paste. This was one of the tastiest things we ate all week, and is about the worst photo I took (go figure). But we were hungry and there was no time to get the lighting right!
Tomatoes + Basil
After a somewhat stressful day at work, I was relieved to be alone in the tomato field on CSA day. All I had to do was enjoy being outside and focus on finding the best cherry tomatoes. But I'll be damned, a turkey head popped up beside the row of plants like a Velociraptor. And just like the ones from Jurassic Park, there were friends. I dropped a bunch of my tomatoes as I ran out of there. Turkey ambush!
The remaining ones were used to make these little caprese salad sticks with mozzarella and basil, topped with balsamic and good olive oil.
Tomato + Cucumber
The share also came with one large tomato. I grabbed another one from my own backyard garden to make two stuffed ones with gouda, cucumber, parsley, onion, and Italian bread crumbs. I baked these for about 15 minutes at 350F. It was pretty good, but I was more pleased with using the leftover cucumber mix to make a little baked pie. I just wrapped the mixture with phyllo dough and butter (what can go wrong with that?). I've never baked with cucumbers before but this lil pie has me excited to try more options!
Basil + Fennel
We made this Garganelli with Lobster and Caramelized Fennel Purée recipe from Josh Cohen on Food52 to use up the fennel (and as an excuse to cook some lobster). The only thing we changed was the type of pasta, and using only one set of fennel. The slow caramelizing of the fennel and onions was really nice, adding a mild sweet flavor to the lobster. I wouldn’t have used another fennel head as suggested though; any more and the licorice flavor would overpower the lobster.
Beans + Garlic + Green Onions
I had the green beans and onions left by the end of the week, and I went to my go to grill seasonings: miso, sesame oil, and garlic. I would have used fresh ginger if I had it. If you do this, be sure to use a grill basket. I added some sesame seeds for extra texture and some lime for a little tang after I took them off the grill.
Looking forward to next week!