Saturday, January 3, 2009

CSA week four wrap-up, week five start-up

Another big share this week and only half as long to use it up. Luckily greens freeze well so it shouldn't be too tough to deal with everything if you're dilligent about it.

I didn't quite manage to finish off last week's vegetables. I've still got half the green beans, most of the parsley and the avocado. I've been meaning to make this parsley salad recipe but I need some bread to go with it and I've been lazy with my baking. I've got a loaf rising now so probably tonight if the parsley is still good. The green beans I was going to steam for a side-dish last night but I discovered a squash from the previous share lurking in the bottom of the crisper drawer so I figured I'd better use that instead. The avocado I'm trying not to think about.

I mentioned making an infusion with the carambola and another with the hibiscus syrup I made by cooking down my unsuccessful sorbet. Upon considering that plan I realized that I don't actually drink cocktails so better to just add them to iced tea instead. About a third of a carambola, sliced thin, added to the tea pot was sufficient to flavor a gallon of iced tea. A half cup of the hibiscus syrup worked well too.

I think that's about it so on to this week's haul. The first problem here is making sure I've got everything correctly identified; it's a bit confusing with so many different sorts of greens. I think that's callaloo in the bottom left corner, pei tsai next to it, komatsuna above and chard to it's right. I think.

The callaloo and chard are both medium greens that will respond well to sautéing. I'm going to take Jennifer's advice from the comments of my previous callaloo post and not bother with the full callaloo treatment this time around and instead just cook it up with some salt cod, onion and pepper. The swiss chard is good with Italian sausage, sautéed or maybe in a soup.

The lighter greens, komatsuna and pei tsai, will be good steamed or stir fried. I like using greens like this raw as a substitute for rice under stir fries too. The wilt just enough from the hot stir fry and catch the sauce nicely.

We've also got eggplant which wouldn't be bad at all with the chard and sausage (unless I do soup. I don't generally care for eggplant in soup).

The corn would be good with the chard if I do go the soup route. Or maybe in with the callaloo stir fry? I do like those Peruvean shrimp soups that use rounds of corn still on the cob too.

The breakfast radishes are best raw with bread, butter and some finishing salt.

The scallions and pepper will end up in a soup or sauté without any deliberate effort on my part so I won't worry about them.

And finally, I'd like to make a grapefruit and carambola sorbet but I'm taking a break from frozen deserts for a while since I think my coworkers aren't interested in eating any more for a bit. Anyway, I've already had one grapefruit for breakfast. Maybe I'll just do a fruit salad instead.

Hmm...seems a pretty straightforward cooking week. May make for slow blogging.

Whoops, one last thing I forgot to mention: corn's flavor goes downhill quickly after it's picked. Best to use or freeze it right away. I'm changing my dinner plans accordingly.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Think about the avocado, cut in halves or quarters, each portion filled with bite-sized grapefruit pieces, a few minced scallions, some of that parsley (and some arugula if you have it), in a light vinaigrette of lemon juice sweetened a bit by rice wine vinegar (or white balsamic) mixed with some fruity oil - avocado or sesame or walnut or even olive. With a dash of white pepper plus sea salt to taste. And a half teaspoon of mustard seeds per serving would be nice.

I wish I hadn't given away my last avocado!

We used a prior week's callaloo + mustard greens in our New Years' traditional southern peas & greens - it's probably still not too late in the year to go that route, for luck!