June marks the six month anniversary of Keep Calm and Eat Paleo, and to celebrate, I’m giving you recipes and helpful/snarky commentary on not one, but TWO CSA’s: the Herondale Farm meat CSA, and the Sol Flower Farms vegetable CSA.
So sit right down, and let’s talk about cooking, shall we?
This week marked the 2012 debut of the Sol Flower Farm CSA at Crossfit South Brooklyn. The box was a beautiful mix of familiar and perhaps some unfamiliar veg.
One tidbit of unsolicited advice for new vegetable CSA folks: Learn to process as much of your box as quickly as possible after you pick it up. This means:
1. The same night you pick it up, wash/dry/repackage all the salad greens. Their quality degrades each day you don’t.
2. If possible, the same day you pick up the box, plan a vegetable roast of a few of the items. You can quickly learn to clean, chop, and roast 2 or 3 cookie sheets of veg in less than two hours; doing so will preserve the flavor of your vegetables and set you up for days of lunches and dinners.
And now, back to our produce.
These lovelies look and taste like spring radishes. Both the turnip and the greens are edible, but you’ll need to cook the tops soon before they wilt.
Here are some options.
1. Eat the turnips raw. I did, and I don’t even like turnips, allegedly. They are pleasantly crisp and a bit astringent.
2. Sautee the washed greens in olive oil and dress with lemon juice and salt.
3. Use your chard, your kale, the turnip greens *and* the baby turnips in this gem of a dish: 3-Green Roasted Baby Turnip salad.
4. Braise the turnips with garlic and herbes de Provence.
Kohlrabi (from the German, “cabbage turnip”) is from the horticultural species Brassica oleracea, to which many familiar vegetables belong: cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
I have to admit, I’ve never cooked it before. But there are two methods I’ll try this month.
1. Sauteed Kale with Kohlrabi - use both your kale and kohlrabi with this well-reviewed and totally Paleo recipe from Gourmet, circa 2009. My new BFF Ian Knauer is the author, so you know this is going to be a home run.
2. Roasted kohlrabi - the Internet is my other BFF and she says the number one way to consume kohlrabi is by roasting it.
To quote David Osorio: I’ll allow it.
Here’s a very well-reviewed roasted kohlrabi (with parmesean cheese) recipe.
Here’s one without cheese.
Kale became the darling of foodies everywhere these last few years. The availability and variety of kale available has changed dramatically since the 90’s; in James Peterson’s authoritative 1998 cookbook/reference guide “Vegetables,” kale is still exotica. He calls it “not worth eating” unless cooked for at least 20 minutes.
These days, raw kale salads are ubiquitous, and baked kale chips are in the repertoire of many cooks.
The variety in our box looks like Red Russian Kale. Here’s how to make love to it.
3. Baked kale chips - do not underestimate the addictive deliciousness
Speaking of trendy vegetables, baby bok choy almost choked us all to death about five years ago. Remember that? The good news for us is that the bok choy in our box is incredible, even though it isn’t “baby” - it’s still so tender and sweet that an innocent nibble of a raw leaf turned me into a raw bok choy munching freak within 30 seconds. It’s unlike anything I ever tasted from a grocery store, even the markets in Chinatown.
Plan to eat your bok choy quickly after picking up your box.
1. My favorite way to eat bok choy is stir-fried with garlic. Here’s a good tutorial.
3. Roasted bok choy. Yum.
Everybody knows what to do with chard, right?
1. This is my favorite chard recipe of all time. Sauteed Swiss chard with onions. Sounds meh, tastes amazing.
2. Leftover sauteed chard? Put it in an omelet.
Our boxes also contained a beautiful head of tender lettuce and a box of sugar snap peas. Again, I advise you to clean the lettuce as soon as you can, and to eat the sugar snaps raw after a quick rinse.
Herondale Farm Meat CSA
This month’s bags contained a mix of the usual, delicious suspects, all of which I’ve talked about before:
Rib steak, T-bone steak, sirloin steak
Ground beef (make the pastelon, please!)
Boneless pork loin or shoulder roast
… along with some new items:
Split chicken breasts (for those who didn’t specify no chicken in their bags.) I’ll probably make something like this.
I’m most excited about the ground pork.
1. Easy paleo meatloaf - I’ve talked ad nauseam about my favorite meatloaf recipe, but I’m ready to try another one. The best meatloaves contain a mix of beef and pork (if not more - say, veal) and this one is no different.
2. Not easy Mexican meatball soup (albondigas soup) - contains trace white rice, but no gluten or dairy.
Whew, that’s a lot of cooking in the next few days! I’m excited to try a couple of new things, and as always, would love to hear from you about your adventures in your Paleo-esque kitchen.
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