Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: week 1

Welcome to Growing Washington’s Emergency Spring CSA!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Growing Washington in any way, other than being a supporter like you. I am a professional chef that loves to help people learn to cook healthier at home.

If you’re looking for ideas about what to do with the produce in your box, here some ideas. If you have questions about the recipes or want advice on other recipes or ideas, please reach out. I have decades of cooking experience and love to share my craft. 

I find the best way to avoid produce waste is to cook it and have it ready to add to dishes as you go. If you are a recipe follower, I’ll include a few of those for you as well. But, I want you to spend less time worrying about having all the right ingredients and focus on what you have on hand. My mantra is simple is best, the produce you’re about to eat is delicious and doesn’t need to be overwhelmed with a fussy recipe. Give yourself a break.

Small Share Ideas

Asparagus

This is a great quick way to cook your asparagus. You can then eat it right out of the oven or add it to other dishes. At my house we chop it up and add it to fried rice or use it as a pizza topping. Also great for frittatas or any egg dish.

While I’m a big fan of using avocado oil and grassfed butter for better health, you may not have those on hand, no worries, use what you have right now. Homemade is always better, no matter where you’re starting from.

Asparagus

Ingredients

  • Asparagus
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Toss all well
  3. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes, or until tips are starting to brown and stalks are still slightly crisp.
  4. Cool and save for the dish of your choice, or eat right away.
  5. Meal idea, serve with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

Leeks

Ingredients

  • Leeks 
  • Salt 
  • Butter or neutral oil, such as avocado

Method

  1. Trim green tops, compost or save for stock
  2. Trim root, compost
  3. Cut leeks in half lengthwise
  4. Place flat side down on your cutting board and thin slice half moon
  5. Rinse half moons very well, leeks are grown in sand and are notoriously dirty
  6. Saute leeks in butter or oil over medium-low heat stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.
  7. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  8. Meal idea: mix with heavy cream and cooked seafood of your choice to enjoy with pasta.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms are a superfood and valuable in chinese medicine. I always trim the tips of the stems at a minimum, sometimes I remove them all together. The stems can be saved and used to make mushroom stock. Additional note, please don’t ever eat raw mushrooms, they are not meant to be eaten that way. 

Ingredients

  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado (can omit if roasting)

Method

Option 1:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Remove stems completely, save for stock.
  3. Place gills down in a parchment lined baking sheet and roasted until mushrooms start to release their liquid.
  4. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  5. Meal idea: rough chop and add to cooked rice with other vegetables of your choice and grilled or roasted chicken. Top with shoyu-miso sauce: 2 T shoyu, 1 T miso, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp chili flake (or substitute sweet chili sauce).

Option 2:

  1. Trim stem tips and rough chop mushrooms
  2. Saute over medium-high heat with oil until mushrooms have released their liquid.
  3. Cool and save for the dish of your choice.
  4. Meal idea: rough chop and add to cooked rice with other vegetables of your choice and grilled or roasted chicken. Top with shoyu-miso sauce: 2 T shoyu, 1 T miso, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp chili flake (or substitute sweet chili sauce).

Celery

Celery for a lot of folks is often eaten raw, maybe in chicken salad (tarragon chicken salad, yum!), but the celery in our box is probably a little different from what you get from the grocery store and I highly recommend you cook it. This is because it’s likely better than what you’re used to, and elevating it to the front of your dish is worth it. I won’t’ judge you if you eat it raw though, it’s still delicious!

Ingredients

  • Celery
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Rinse celery well, trim root area and leaves, save leaves for another purpose.
  3. Cut celery into half moons, toss with oil and salt
  4. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet until just beginning to brown.
  5. Meal idea: toss with roasted broccoli and serve with whole roasted chicken with butter and herbs.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Ingredients

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Wash potatoes thoroughly, cut into bit sized cubes.
  3. Toss with oil and salt
  4. Roasted until soft and beginning to brown.
  5. Meal idea: if these make it to a meal, good for you! My family usually devours them before anything else is ready. Serve with breakfast sausage of your choice (quick pan sausage, ground beef with fennel, paprika, salt, and black pepper), and fried eggs. Top with your choice of hot sauce, mine’s anything with habaneros

Yellow Onions

Two words, caramelized onions. Thin slice and saute in butter or oil over low heat until beginning to brown. You can’t rush this team, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes. Add salt as desired. If you want to take this a step further, here’s a recipe.

Vegetarian Onion Soup 

Moosewood Cookbook. It’s been my go to for over 20 years.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4-5 yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 Sprigs fresh thyme or a scant 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • White pepper to taste
  • Day-old sourdough or peasant bread
  • Swiss Cheese

Method

  1. Over a medium heat, melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onions and salt. Sweat the onions for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the mustard and thyme. Stir, turn down the heat to low and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Let the onions cook in their own juices for 35 minutes.
  3. Add the water, soy sauce, wine, and white pepper. Stir soup, bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes more.
  4. Heat the broiler on low heat (if option). Place oven-safe bowls onto a cookie sheet and fill bowls 3/4 full with soup. Cover each soup with a slice of bread and a few slices of Swiss cheese. Put the cookie sheet under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Sugarbee Apples

A little research shows this is the flavor profile, “.. mostly red but also yellow-skinned apple is high in sugar content…“The name describes the apple because its very crisp and crunchy and holds its firmness and flavor very well. It’s very sweet””

If you want to preserve apples, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, cut into bite sized pieces, toss in butter and roast until just beginning to brown. Toss with warm spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice for sweet applications, or for a savory option, with roasted potatoes and celery. 

Anjou Pears

You can eat these raw, but if you’re patient and cook them, it’s going to blow your mind. You can cook like the apples shown above, or you can grill or poach them. For poaching, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stem, then simmer in a flavorful liquid, such as wine with whole spices until soft. Remove from liquid, reduce liquid until syrupy. Serve with ice cream or whipped coconut cream, poaching syrup, and chopped, toasted nuts.

Large Share Ideas

If you ordered the large share, you get the above, plus what’s listed below.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

This is such a fun item, know that it will not stay purple when cooked. I’ve included two cooking options.

Option 1:

Ingredients

  • broccoli
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Trim tips of stalks and cut broccoli into thin strips the long way
  3. Toss with oil and salt
  4. Roast until florets are beginning to crisp and stalks are tender
  5. Meal idea: toss with minced garlic and sesame seeds, serve with steak and rice

Option 2:

Ingredients

  • Broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces, or long strips
  • Boiling, heavily salted water
  • Ice bath

Method

  1. Boil broccoli for 1-2 minutes
  2. Drain, shock in ice bath to stop cooking
  3. Meal idea: toss with minced garlic and sesame seeds, warm gently in a saute pan, serve with steak and rice

Red Cabbage

You can certainly eat cabbage raw, but lots of people get a little, well, gassy when they do that. I find a lot of folks tolerate it better when it’s cooked. Also, whether you are eating it raw or cooked, the color can leach out into the rest of your food, soaking it for 30 minutes helps reduce that significantly. If you want to cook it, you can either boil for 30 seconds in salted water or saute it in 1/2 c of water. Either way, rinse well with cold water to stop cooking, let cool completely before using in salads, or in your favorite fish tacos.

Arugula / Mizuna Mix

This clearly makes a delicious salad, there are so many other things in this box you can toss it with for that. I’m just going to add my recipe for honey-dijon vinaigrette here.

Chef Karen’s Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

A basic vinaigrette is made with 1 part vinegar and 3 part oil, the rest of the flavors are up to you. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 T honey, more to taste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dijon
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c avocado oil

Method

  1. Using a stick blender or other type of blender, add all except oil. Pulse to blend well.
  2. Very slowly pour in oil to emulsify.
  3. Adjust all to taste.

Spring Onions

Ingredients

  • Onions
  • Neutral oil, such as avocado
  • Salt 

Method

  1. Options
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

OR

  1. Preheat grill to high heat
  2. Trim root and remove any papery layers
  3. Toss with oil and salt
  4. Roast or grill, until bulb begins to soften and greens become crispy
  5. Menu idea: Serve with pork chops or chicken thighs, grain of your choosing (farro, quinoa, rice), and brown butter

Radishes

These babies are delicious raw, toss them with your red cabbage for your tacos, or you can pickle them. If you choose pickling, eat them within a couple of days, they get very smelly. 

Chef Karen’s Pickles

Ingredients 

  • Vegetable of choice (cucumber, radishes, carrots)
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T coconut sugar or other sweetener of your choice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 T juniper berries

Method

  1. Place cucumber slices in a quart size mason jar
  2. Bring all other ingredients to a boil
  3. Pour pickling liquid into mason jar and allow to steep 30-60 minutes.
  4. Pickles can be used right away or stored in the fridge for up to two weeks, with the exception of radishes. Uses those within three days, or they get very smelly.

Yellow Carrots

Ingredients

  • 8 medium Carrots
  • 1 T neutral oil, such as avocado
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T Vinegar (sherry or apple cider work great)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flake

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Trim and peel carrots. Cut into 1 inch rounds or triangles (oblique cut)
  3. Toss all ingredients together
  4. Roast on parchment lined baking sheet until carrots are soft and edges begin to brown
  5. Add more salt and chili flake if desired

Purple Rapini (aka raab)

I’m going to shortcut and give you a link to my friends at Whistling Train Farm for this one, https://whistlingtrainfarm.com/rapini%E2%80%94its-all-in-the-name/. My favorite way to use rapini is definitely on pizza.

3 thoughts on “Growing Washington Emergency Spring CSA: week 1

  1. Pingback: Growing Washington | Eighteen Sixty-One

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