Posts Tagged ‘Onions’

CSA2 Week #10

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by virginia

We had another heavy week of produce, so I was glad that Josh was the one to pick up our CSA share this week. The tote bag we use to carry our stuff was packed to the brim. I was glad to see a lot of variety though, and not just multiple pounds of one item. This week our share contents included:

Cucumbers – 1.75 lbs
Squash – 1 each
Asian Melon – 1 each
Napa Cabbage –  1 each
Shisito Peppers – 0.6 lbs
Tomatoes – 2 lbs
Tomatillos – 0.35lbs
Greens – 1 lb
White onion – 1 ea.
Broccoli – 0.8 lbs

Chard, onion, cucumbers, tomatillos, broccoli, tomatoes, Asian melon, squash, shisito peppers, napa cabbage

I’m intrigued by the shisito peppers because when I was looking for padron peppers in NYC, I read that shisitos are a common substitution for padrons. Maybe we’ll pan fry these in olive oil and sprinkle them with sea salt to make our version of pimientos de padron, on of our favorite tapas.

The napa cabbage we got this week is HUGE. I still hope to make (and post about) lions head meatball stew with it. It’s such a tasty meal served over white rice, and the leftovers usually last me a week.

I was kind of disappointed that we got chard again this week for our greens. I had commented early on in the season that we got a lot of kale last year and not so much chard, and this year we’re getting lots of chard but not a lot of kale. We made collard chips one week but I have still yet to make any kale chips!

I still haven’t used the tomatillos from a few weeks ago, and so I hope they’re still good. Combined with this week’s batch, hopefully I’ll have enough to make a decent amount of salsa verde. They’re really quite small. We also didn’t get a ton of broccoli this week, just two small heads. Maybe I’ll try stir frying them with some green beans.

I’m not sure what to do with all the cucumbers. We still have some from last week as well, and I’m a bit pickled out at this point. Any suggestions?

CSA2 Week #1

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by virginia

I’m happy to announce that it’s CSA time again!! Josh and I have been eagerly looking forward to the start of the CSA season, and we can’t wait to dive into all of our fresh veggies. For those of you who would like to learn more about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), please read here. Basically we have purchased a share in a farm for the summer,  which means that we will start getting weekly vegetable deliveries for the next 22 or so weeks.

After much debate, we decided not to get the fruit share this year. While we loved all the fresh fruit and juices last year, we simply couldn’t keep up with the amount that we received. Sadly, lot of fruit ended up going to waste, and we really didn’t want to see that happen again this year. We thought about getting a bi-weekly fruit share instead, but even then I doubt we would have been able to consume it all.

There was a bit of a snafu with our usual CSA pickup location, but fortunately the organizers were able to find an alternate location that was extremely convenient. I picked up our share before heading to the gym, as Josh is away on a business trip. The earlier weeks of the share are usually smaller harvests, but I was happy with both the amount of the quality of the items we got. For our first share of this season, we received:

Lettuce – 1 head
Greens – 1 lb
Radishes (mixed colors) – 5 each
Garlic – 2 each
Garlic scapes – 8 each
Spring onions – 4 each
Beets – 3 each

Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, radishes, garlic, onions, garlic scapes in the middle

For the greens, we had a choice of kale or swiss chard. I know Josh was looking forward to making kale chips, one of our favorite CSA recipes, but the ruby stalks on the chard just looked too inviting for me to pass up. Plus I figured that we got a lot of kale last year, and only a few weeks of chard, so I wanted to take advantage of the shorter swiss chard season. For the lettuce, we had a choice between green leaf and red leaf, and I opted for the larger green variety.

The beets are a bit small but came with the leafy tops intact, so we’ll be sure to use both parts. The radishes came in an assortment of colors so I tried to get a different variety. They also had nice leafy tops that we either saute briefly or chop up and mix in with our salads.

Both the onions and the garlic came with green stalks, which I’m sure we’ll find use for. I was happy to see that we got so many garlic scapes, as I’m still experimenting with scape pesto. We also made a delicious garlic scape dip last year with white beans that I never posted about, so I’ll have to be sure to rectify that this year.

All in all it looks our CSA is off to a great start this season. We are excited to see what the harvest will bring over the next few months!

CSA Week #22 (Last Share of the Season!)

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by virginia

Sadly, today is the last day of our CSA share for the season. We decided not to do the winter share so we will have to wait until next summer before we can join the CSA again. This was our first year trying it out, and it was definitely a great experience for us. Even though the produce got a bit overwhelming at times, we definitely tried our best not to let anything go to waste.

This week we got our biggest distribution of the season, probably because it was the last share. Our vegetable share contents included:

Winter Squash – 1 each
Brussels Sprouts – 1 each
Radishes – 5 each
Potatoes – 1 lb
Cooking Greens – 1 lb
Bok Choy – 1 each
Cabbage – 1 each
Carrots – 1 1/2 lbs
Onions – 1 lb
Beets – 1 lb
Celery – 1 each

Bok choy, beets, onions, brussels sprouts, celery, carrots, radishes, cabbage, kale, squash, potatoes

I’m excited about the winter squash, which was butternut this time. I might just roast it, or make some butternut squash soup. I was also happy to see bok choy again, since it was always one of my favorites during the season. Everything else looked great as well, and we definitely have enough vegetables to last us for the next few weeks.

Any guesses what our fruit share contained? That’s right, MORE apples! This week the contents included:

Fuji Apples – 4 3/4 lbs
Jonagold Apples – 4 3/4 lbs

Fuji and jonagold apples

The entire bottom shelf of our refrigerator is just packed with apples right now. Some are getting a bit bruised and soggy so I’m going to turn them into a huge batch of applesauce. With the rest, I foresee a few pies and tarts, and maybe a crumble or two. I’m complaining about the amount of apples now, but when we finally do get through them, I know I’ll feel a bit sad.

Joining the CSA was really a great decision for us. We got to try out vegetables that we ordinarily would not have picked up from the supermarket, and it was nice to have fresh produce on hand weekly. Cost-wise, the share was very reasonably priced per week, though you have to pay the total at the beginning of the season. The vegetables and fruits we got more than covered the cost, especially when we saw how pricey certain items were at the local Greenmarkets. We will absolutely join a CSA again next year, and we hope we’ve inspired some of you to check out a CSA as well.

P.S. No worries about CSA posts withdrawal, I’ve still got plenty of recipes to write about. Thanks for reading!

CSA Week #14

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 by virginia

Sorry for the lack of posts lately; we spent most of Labor Day weekend in NJ, and now we’re back again to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. We’ve been eating nonstop and spending lots of time with family/friends. Josh stayed in the city today just long enough to do some volunteer truck unloading and to pick up our CSA share. He also arranged the produce this week and took the pics, so they may look a little different. This week our vegetable contents included:

Watermelon – 1/2
Onions – 3/4 lb
Greens – 1 lb
Tomatoes – 2 lbs
Squash – 2 lbs
Radishes – 5 each

Kale, tomatoes, watermelon, radishes, onions, squash

The original contents list we received also said celery, but unfortunately they weren’t delivered. For the greens, Josh picked kale instead of swiss chard, since we’ve had a lot of chard lately. The watermelon was another half of a yellow watermelon, which we ate with dessert tonight. It wasn’t as sweet as the previous watermelon, but everyone was fascinated by the bright yellow flesh.

The fruit share this week was basically a repeat of last week, and we really do have an overpopulation of peaches in our fridge. Claire just sent us a book about canning and preserving foods (thanks Claire!) so I’ll need to look into that, and I also heard that freezer jam is pretty good as well. This week our fruit share contents included:

Plums – 1 lb
Apples – 11 each
Peaches – 3 1/4 lbs

Apples, peaches, plums

It’s crunch time for us because we have a week and a half to go before we leave on our two-week trip to Peru. We’re really excited about our trip but we want to make sure that we use up all of our veggies and fruits before we leave, or at least find ways of storing them so that they’ll still be good when we get back. We made a pretty good dent last week so I’m confident that we won’t let anything go to waste!

Shrimp Scampi with Swiss Chard and Spaghetti

Monday, August 2nd, 2010 by virginia

Ruby swiss chard

Fresh onions and garlic

Josh and I weren’t quite sure what to do with the gorgeous ruby swiss chard that we got from our CSA so we decided to improvise a bit by adding it to a shrimp scampi pasta dish. We thought that the copious amounts of garlic we put in our pasta would go well with the chard, and that the chard would provide a nice veggie component to an otherwise carb-heavy dish.

First I chopped the swiss chard into one inch pieces, including the ruby red stalks because I loved the color. I knew they wouldn’t wilt down as much as the leaves and figured they could add some crunch to the dish. Then I washed the leaves thoroughly and spun them dry.

Chopped and washed chard

Meanwhile, Josh chopped up the fresh onions and garlic that we also got from the CSA, including the green stalks of each. He set those aside in small prep bowls. We also started a pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Chopped onion and garlic (including the green tops of both)

After washing and drying the shrimp (cleaning out the veins but keeping the shells on), he seared them in a hot pan with some olive oil.

Searing the shrimp

Once the shrimp were cooked on both sides and had turned pink, he removed them and set them aside. Then he added more olive oil to the same pan and sauteed the garlic and onion until they started to brown slightly. We also started to cook the pasta in the boiling water at this point.

Sauteeing the garlic and onions in olive oil

Next we added the swiss chard to the pan, cooking it with the garlic and onion. The chard absorbed most of the oil and took on a nice, garlicky flavor. We seasoned the chard with lots of salt and pepper.

Wilting the swiss chard in the garlic, onion, and olive oil

After the chard was wilted, we removed it from the pan and deglazed with vermouth and lemon juice. We let that reduce for a bit, then tossed it with the cooked spaghetti (we had to use a larger pot for that). We added back the chard and the shrimp and mixed everything together. It was a bit dry so we added some more olive oil and lemon juice, plus a little bit of pasta water to loosen everything up.

There’s really no set amount of ingredients for this recipe. Just use as much garlic and onion as you’d like, and as much olive oil/lemon juice/vermouth. The key is to season everything, and to make sure you taste everything, so that you adjust it all in the end. We plated up the pasta, arranged some shrimp on top, and garnished with some chopped parsley.

Shrimp scampi with swiss chard and spaghetti

It’s not exactly a traditional scampi recipe, but the flavors were there and this was really easy to make. The hardest part was cleaning the shrimp, but once that was taken care of it was just a matter of cooking everything in batches, and then combining it all together in the end. The pasta ended up tasting light and lemony, with just a hint of garlic and vermouth in the background. My only adjustment to this dish would be to use even more garlic!

Kale Chips

Monday, July 19th, 2010 by virginia


During week #3 of our CSA share, we received 3/4 lb of kale. I knew exactly how I wanted to prepare it, something that I’ve read about in many places but never tried. I knew I absolutely had to make kale chips. Most people who have tried it say that they’re better than potato chips, and better for your health too. While I don’t dispute the health claim, I did want to see if I would prefer these to potato chips since I love spuds in all forms.

To prepare the chips, I washed the kale leaves and thoroughly dried them. Then I cut out the thick stem that runs all the way up the leaf. Once the stems were removed, I cut the leaves into more manageable pieces and tossed them with some olive oil and kosher salt (we couldn’t find the sea salt). After preheating the oven to 300 degrees, I spread the leaves out on some baking sheets, trying to get them into a single layer as best as possible. A little overlap is ok, as the leaves shrink after being baked.

Kale leaves tossed in olive oil and sea salt, laid out on a baking sheet

We baked the leaves at 300 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, watching them carefully the last 5 minutes so that they didn’t burn. If they do burn a little, they tend to get bitter so just be warned. After we pulled them out of the oven, they were thin as paper and delicately crispy.

Freshly baked kale chips

We seasoned them with a bit more salt and eagerly dug in. The chips had a concentrated kale flavor and shattered wonderfully in our mouths. It was kind of like an explosion of flavor, and the sensation was addictive. We couldn’t stop munching on these chips, eating them nonstop as batch after batch came out of the oven.

Kale chips - not so photogenic, but delicious!

To go with the chips, we cooked up some burgers that we topped with swiss cheese and tomatoes, as well as some onion from our CSA share.

Swiss burger with tomato and CSA onions

Not exactly the most conventional burger and chips dinner, but the verdict on kale chips? Fantastic! Better than potato chips? Yes and no. I could definitely see myself eating kale chips more often, since I know how bad potato chips are for me, but when I’m craving potato chips? Kale chips aren’t going to cut it. Not because they’re not delicious and not crispy/crunchy, but because when I want potato chips, nothing else will satisfy. Regardless, kale chips are really easy to make, filling, and absolutely worth trying.

CSA Week #5

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by virginia

It’s CSA Wednesday again! I ran home during the day to pick up the share because I had a softball game after work, and boy, is it hot out. Unfortunately the hot weather has not been good for the crops, and our share this week was the smallest that we’ve had so far. I’m not too concerned because we still have stuff left from last week, plus Josh is traveling so I haven’t been eating our veggies (otherwise he might get jealous). Our share contents this week included:

Lettuce – 1 head green leaf
Radishes – 4 each
Squash – 1lb
Onions – 4 each
Peas – 1/2 lb
Fava Beans – 1lb each

The peas and the beans will be interesting to cook with, since we don’t eat too much of either, but I’m really interested to taste freshly shelled peas/beans.

Peas, white and red onions, green leaf lettuce, squash, radishes, fava beans

Our fruit share also included less fruit, though we did get a strawberry rhubarb jam, which should be interesting:

Cherries – 1 quart
Jam – 1 pint
Juice – 1 pint

Cherries, strawberry rhubarb jam, blackcurrant apple juice

A new juice this week as well, blackcurrant apple this time. Still sad that it’s the smaller bottle, since the first week was more than double the size. The cherries this week are a different variety from the last two weeks, and hopefully they’ll be a bit sweeter. Still more recipes to come!

CSA Week #4

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 by virginia

It’s Wednesday again (don’t the weeks just seem to fly by?) which means it’s time for CSA! Josh actually volunteered today to help out with the distribution. All members of the CSA are required to volunteer 4-6 hours per season to either help meet the truck delivery, help with distribution, or help clean up the distribution site, which is a church near our apartment. The nice thing about this particular CSA is that all of the unclaimed/extra food is donated to the church at the end of the night so it doesn’t go to waste and it’s helping out people who probably wouldn’t normally have access to fresh vegetables and fruits.

Our share contents this week included:

Lettuce – 1 head romaine
Garlic – 3 each
Beets – 3 each
Carrots – 5 each
Onions – 4 each
Squash – 1 lb
Basil – 2 oz
Mixed Baby Greens – .25 lb

The beets and carrots widely varied in size (some were barely larger than my thumbnail), and I tried to pick out the largest ones. They weren’t super huge but I guess it’s still early in the season. The basil was gorgeous and fragrant, and 2 ounces is really a lot. Same with the mixed baby greens.

Beets, garlic, mixed baby greens, romaine, squash, carrots, onions, and basil in the middle

We also got our fruit share, which was pretty much the same as last week, except a smaller juice (boo).

Cherries – 3 pints
Juice – one bottle

We picked raspberry apple juice this time, and I liked it even better than the rhubarb apple from last week (though Josh prefers the rhubarb version).

Cherries and raspberry apple juice

According to the farm reports, the super hot weather hasn’t been good for the crops. Hopefully it cools down a bit because I’m really loving all these fresh veggies and fruits that we’re getting. And hopefully the pests stay away as well!

CSA Week #3

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 by virginia

Yet another week has gone by and you know what that means: CSA! We’ve got veggies bursting out of our fridge but we still can’t get over how great they are. Farm fresh really does make a huge difference. Our share this week included:

Lettuce  – 1 large head
Garlic – 3 bulbs
Garlic scapes – 5 stalks
Radishes – 4
Onions – 4
Greens – 3/4 lb

We had a choice between romaine lettuce and red leaf lettuce so we chose the romaine, because we still had red leaf left over from last week. We also had a choice between ruby chard and kale for the greens, and we went with the kale because we had chard last week.

From left to right: onions, radishes, garlic, romaine, kale, garlic scapes

In even more exciting news, our fruit share started this week!! The email that we received regarding the contents was a bit confusing, and so we thought we were getting three pints of juice. Not exactly fruit, but we figured it was because it’s still early in the season. Turns out that we got three pints of cherries, plus a juice. There were several juices to choose from and we opted for rhubarb apple, since it seemed to be the most unusual option.

Cherries – 3 pints
Juice – one bottle

Cherries and rhubarb apple juice

The cherries are slightly tart but have a great firm, juicy texture. They’re good for snacking on their own, but I’m hoping to bake with some as well, since three pints is quite a lot of fruit.

Oodles of cherries

We’re still trying to cook more each week, and we’re getting much better about it. More recipes to come!

CSA Week #2

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 by virginia

It’s CSA time again! Can you believe that a week has already gone by? Josh picked up our second CSA share bounty and it was even bigger than the first week! For week #2, our share contents included:

Lettuce – 1 large head
Bok choy – 2 heads
Garlic – 1/4 lb
Garlic scapes – .2 lbs
Radishes – .45 lbs
Onions – .45 lbs
Greens large – .5 lb
Arugula – .2 lbs

The large greens this week had beautiful red stalks – anyone know exactly what kind of vegetable this is?

From left to right: Garlic, large greens, bok choy, radishes, red leaf lettuce, arugula, garlic scapes, onions

We are already starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with vegetables, and it’s only week #2! We still have some mint, bok choy, radishes, and greens left over from last week, and our schedules haven’t let us cook as much as we would like. But we’re making some progress, and we’re definitely enjoying every bit of our fresh veggies. More recipes to come soon!