CSA and Summer {Finer Things Friday}

This just arrived, and I have no idea what to do with most of it.

Just kidding!  Kind of.

We are thrilled to have purchased a share of our brand new local Community Supported Agriculture this summer.  Fresh, organically grown veggies, delivered to our door once a week, and the opportunity broaden our veggie horizons.  ;)

Now… what do I do with it?!

Pretty sure the top right bunches are simply different lettuce varieties.  Add some ranch dressing, and we’re good to go there.  Below that is turnips.  Uhhh, I think I’ve fixed turnips.  Once.  And I didn’t like them.  Help!  How do you make turnips tasty?

As for the bottom right bunch… it’s Pak Choy.  I know that only because our CSA farmer said we should have some and a Swagbucks search confirmed it with a photo.

The top middle greens are Swiss Chard.  Again, no experience here!  Yay for onions – bottom middle.  I’m all over those.

On the left we have kale.  I have never eaten or cooked kale, but I hear kale chips are all the rage.  Can’t wait to try them (possibly even this evening!) and give you the lowdown soon.

And finally, on the bottom left is a bunch of radishes.  I’ve only ever eaten radishes in my lettuce salads (which works for me).  Is there another way I should know about?

So there you have it!  I’m celebrating a whole lotta greens and the great ideas that you are sure to share with me!  What Finer Things are you celebrating this week?  Link up and let us know!

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Comments

  1. Kale can go in just about anything, and takes on a nutty flavor when cooked. I have a kielbasa and kale hash on my site that is to die for. I don’t really care for turnips normally, but they’re decent when roasted (a little oil, salt, pepper) in the oven low and slow.

    Pak Choy can be sauteed in stirfry, I believe, and be mighty tasty.

    My general experience with greens of any type is that if you don’t know what to do with them, simply toss them in oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and lightly saute them for about 45 seconds. It takes out some of their bitterness and leaves a nutty flavor. We do this with spinach all the time and then drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on top.

    • “if you don’t know what to do with them, simply toss them in oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and lightly saute them for about 45 seconds.” Sounds like a plan!

  2. I roasted some carrots with my radish bunch. I used a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Also try the turnips in either your hashbrowns or mashed potato dishes.

    Or try this: 1 bunch of turnips
    2 T chicken stock
    2 T olive oil
    2 T butter
    salt and pepper to taste

    Chop leaves and baby turnips into medium size chunks. Wash and shake dry. Heat oil in skillet. Add the turnips and leaves and saute for 8-10 minutes. Add some chicken stock to the skillet to help steam the turnips. Cook until just soft (not mushy). Then toss with butter, salt and pepper. Serve as a delicious side dish to your protein of choice.

  3. Christina says:

    I used to eat turnips raw :-)

  4. I don’t see the linky. Here is the link to my post:

    http://simplythingsfamily.blogspot.com/2012/05/arbor-day.html

  5. I cut up turnips, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes (the orange ones AND the white ones) and roast them with oil, garlic and rosemary. MMM! I roast them in a very hot oven and only stir them a couple of times so they caramelize.

  6. Just Linked up–my to do list and celebrating (hopefully) finally doing my big girl’s room! So looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing your CSA box–we always have fun figuring out how to prepare our veggies.

  7. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure you’ve got your chard on the left and kale top-middle rather than the other way around. Chard is good in salad if it’s tender or can be sautéed or treated like spinach. My family likes a mashed turnips and potatoes mix.

    • Oh, Kelly. Ready for a laugh? When I saw your comment, I checked via google images. You are SO RIGHT, and it’s SO FUNNY because I already made my kale er, um… CHARD CHIPS. LOL (I am such a mess.)

      • I just saw the email and noticed you had the kale and chard mixed…so now I want to know how the chard worked as chips?

        • Well, I had nothing to compare it to at the time, LOL, but it had a funky aftertaste. The texture was awesome, though. Light and crispy.

  8. You can do Kale in green smoothies. Search for them. I never made them, only heard about them. You can even do smoothy bags where you freeze all the ingredients in a bag together. then just toss into the blender with some liquid of your choosing, milk, juice, water.

    • We love green smoothies! I usually use spinach, but will definitely try kale.

      • The kale is even better than spinach in smoothies–can’t even taste it. And I like the swiss chard just steamed and served with butter and salt and pepper. It’s probably the tastiest of the greens that I’ve tried!

  9. I haven’t tried it, but my friend swears by skipping the oil in her kale chips and instead rubbing the leaves with just a little bacon grease. It sounds yummy!

  10. We have been getting a CSA box for almost two years now, and my children eat LOTS of veggies as a result. Just this week I said, “Please eat some hamburger before you finish your veggies!”

    Bok Choy is one of our favorites – start with cold pan, add olive oil, minced garlic and grated ginger. Warm very slowly so the oil gets the flavor. Add the roughly chopped bok choy (can add stems first if you want) and steam until done, tossing occasionally – so good! Also good chopped up in a stir fry.

    Try the cookbook Simply in Season to help you with the CSA box – it helped me tremendously!

  11. Swiss chard is yummy… Chop up some bacon. Cook on a skillet till crispy. Remove pieces of bacon, raise to medium heat, add Swiss chard (tough stems removed), and cover. Stir chard after 5 minutes, add bacon pieces back n, cook for five minutes more, then, YUM!

  12. Thank you so much for hosting:)

  13. Radishes dipped in sea salt use to be a regular summer snack around my home growing up.

  14. Elisabeth says:

    My mom makes a veggie soup that usually uses rutabegas, but you can use turnips…it also has potatoes, pumpkin, rice, spinach, onions, garlic, etc. It is my favorite soup ever, but its really not soup weather here in FL anymore. Still I would eat it anytime…she would make it and puree it for us as infants and I can never get enough of it. I can send you the recipe if you want.

    • We won’t eat soup now (not during summer! ;) ) BUT I did have a lightbulb moment. If I could freeze some of this for winter, I will have a baby who should be ready for some soft veggies then…

  15. Jeanine says:

    You cook swiss chard as you would spinach. My Italian grandmother used to grow it in her garden and she would put it in soup, or cook it with white beans. Yum!

  16. Okay smoothie time, especially if you own a Vitamix! Raw kale, banana, and orange smoothie just blend and you have it. Very nutritious and my family likes this! Otherwise, I would steam any of those darker greens and eat them. They are great on their own steamed, or add olive oil with a little pepper if desired.

    • We LOVE green smoothies. But… my daughter won’t let me use the kale. She is now in love with kale chips and doesn’t want to try it any other way. ;)

  17. Laura S. says:

    I agree with the eating turnips raw-my husband loves them that way! I haven’t tried this but you might cut a few up in a salad.

  18. Last summer my in-laws gave us some Swiss Chard, I brought it home and put it in my salad and it was disgusting! I felt bad because this Swiss Chard was going to waste when I got my monthly copy of the Rachael Ray magazine. There were probably 3 recipes in there that month that used Swiss Chard but this is the one I ended up using and my husband and I loved it.
    http://aggieskitchen.com/2011/10/26/eat-your-greens-swiss-chard-with-white-beans-in-tomato-sauce-over-pasta/
    Have fun!

  19. Rebecca says:

    I eat the turnips and the radishes raw. I love radishes on salads. Use the bok choy in stir fry. You may need to start doing stir fry with all the new veggies you are going to get this summer. That is often how I clean out the fridge to get rid of lots of the last of those fresh vegetables. Plus it is very simple. Funny…the leaves on the top left look like the spinach leaves I just bought with my CSA. My CSA lets my buy what I want so I love that. I don’t have to experiment quite so much.

  20. I usually make a green smoothie with spinach, banana and peanut butter but last week at Kroger I found some “power greens” which was a mix of spinach, kale, and chard. I made our green smoothie with that and it tasted delicious.

  21. Kathy L. says:

    Amy–I’m with you. I wouldn’t know what to do with–or identify–the veggies you received from CSA. Good thing you know so many knowledgeable ladies!

  22. My CSA box looked fairly similar this week, but we’ve been doing them for nearly 10 years I think. The radishes: I often wrap all of them in some aluminum foil with an ice cube and a little butter then toss on the grill. Yum!! Turnips: raw in a salad or our new favorite http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/turnip_and_potato_patties/ Kale and chard: sometimes I chop up and toss in with some black eyed peas (don’t forget the bacon) or this recipe http://couponingincriticaltimes.blogspot.com/2010/10/potato-and-kale-soup.html (I think she just posted a bok choi recipe too). You could also blanch and freeze the kale or chard for use later this summer or this winter. I often do this when we start getting overwhelmed with all the greens.

  23. Haha, when I picked up CSA basket I had no idea what half the stuff in it was either! :)

  24. Any unknown greens I put in smoothies or blanch and freeze for next winter. I freeze the blanched greens in plastic muffin cups, which makes nice little cakes of greens to go in smoothies.

    Turnips and radishes can be sliced and dipped in ranch dressing or salt. If you want to be Healthful Mother you can make your own ranch dressing with yogurt and herbs.

    My mom used to make a broth-based soup with cooked turnip and potato and hamburger chunks. I didn’t especially care for the cooked turnips, but they got down the hatch somehow because the rest of the soup was good. (And I cut them in very small pieces and swallowed them whole with lots of water.)

    • So my homemade ranch with mayo and sour cream doesn’t make me Healthful Mother?! ;)

      The turnips are what I’m most concerned about. A nearly CRIED when E and L2 “ate all the kale chips before I got any!!!!!!!!”

  25. Radishes: Run about 1/4-1/2 c. of radishes through your food processor (or finely chop them). Mix with 8 oz. cream cheese, and a sprinkle of garlic powder and salt. Spread on crackers.

  26. Radishes are surprisingly good boiled until tender and then glazed like carrots.

  27. We were part of a CSA for the first time last year. At first, the boxes all looked similar to yours…lots and lots of greens! As the season goes on, you’ll get more “normal” stuff, don’t worry! It’s just that the greens are ready first…and after all, eating in season is what it’s all about, right? Kudos to you for supporting your local farmer and being willing to try this out! It’s a grand adventure, let me tell you :)

    • Oh, I’m not worried. We’ve been given a “what to anticipate” list. :) And yes, I think it’s fun! Everything from last week is already gone, except for the turnips…

  28. The pak choy (or as I know it bok choy) is a Chinese vegetable. I love that it is available at my local farmer’s market instead of only finding it at asian grocery stores. You can steam it or stir fry it or just cook it like spinach. I love it cooked with sesame oil and a little soy sauce!

    • Ooo, I didn’t think about the soy sauce, but I did sautee it with garlic and onions in some sesame oil. Tasted good to me! (But would have been better with bacon…) ;)

  29. I had success “hiding” turnips in clam chowder. I used potatoes too. But now were past soup weather,I believe they’ll need to be pureed to get them into my family. BTW we eat our radishes sliced raw, alongside tacos,taco salad, grilled burritos etc. We recently ate them along with your crescent taco bake. Would your kids be willing to try, since they like crunchy carrots?

  30. I grow almost all of the pictured items in my garden.

    Chard is defintely on the left. We LOVE chard. Here is how we eat it:
    http://theprudenthomemaker.com/index.php/swiss-chard

    Hard to see the veggies behind the pak choy, but I grow turnips, and those don’t look like turnips. They look like parnsips. If they are long and more carrot-shaped, they are parsnips. Parsnips taste like a stronger carrot flavor. Here is how I use them:
    http://theprudenthomemaker.com/index.php/tomato-basil-soup

    Here is how I use our turnips (you can also see my white turnips in the picture; most turnips have a red top, though):
    http://theprudenthomemaker.com/index.php/turnip-gratin

    You can also roast turnips, parnsips, and potatoes together in the oven.

    Boil turnips in with potatoes and mash them together, and your whole family will eat them without even knowing. Just make it mostly potatoes :)

    Turnips can also be stuck in stir fry and the children will eat them that way.

    Pak Choy is awesome in stir fry. I have used chard in stir fry many times.

    Swiss chard and kale are great in minestrone soup.

    Something fun I’ve learnt this year is that Swiss chard is called “silverbeet” in the rest of the world. I used to live in Switzerland, and I never heard of it until I moved to Las Vegas! Beet greens look very similar to Swiss chard, and the seeds look the same (save that beet seeds are larger). If you get beet greens, you can use them the same as chard.

    You can certainly mix your letuce and chard together in a salad; there are usually baby chard leaves in mixed salads blends from the store.

    • Truly, this is SO very helpful! We’re in Week 2 now. Kale was gone immediately (chips). I used onions and radishes in a cream cheese dip. I have some Asian greens that I suppose I should make a stir-fry with. Half of this week’s chard went into smoothies, and the kids didn’t complain. ;) I might steam the other 1/2 like you do with the lemon juice.

      I am baffled by the turnip/parsnip thing. I googled images for both. One “style” of turnips looks like what I have, but they also look like the parsnip photos. Hmmm. Anyway, we tried eating them raw with dip. Ick. So, I blanched and froze them. Hoping to “hide” them in a beef/veggie soup in the fall. Think that will work?

      You had a baby on my parent’s Anniversary this year! Congratulations!

      • I think they would be fien in a soup like that. Just make sure to include some potatoes in the soup cut in the same way :)

        My husband likes his chard with mayo on it, and so do most of the children.

        We’re enjoying the baby. She’s just started to coo :)

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