I have a confession to make. I got a bag of CSA veg last week and DIDN’T DO A THING WITH IT. Sacre bleu! In my defense, it was another week of activity! and fun! and summer! and not cooking! but nonetheless. Veggies had to be Dealt With. So this week, I came up with a Plan. Because in addition to last week’s share, this is this week’s share:
Granted, that has been split between the four of us but still. Way bounteous. This week’s share included three large turnips with their greens, a big bag of snap peas, <3 Swiss chard <3, three summer squashes, five broccolis, four bags of salad greens, one giant head of lettuce, a big handful of garlic scapes, a bunch of purple basil, and a bunch of dill. Now divide all that four ways and add in another fourth from last week. A and I ate the turnip greens and made turnip chips for dinner last night and then I went home and processed up the rest.
First, I made arugula pesto from last week’s big bag o’ arugula. I used this recipe by Michael Chiarello as a guideline, but really, it was a more free-form pesto. Here’s what I did:
First, I went through my arugula. I removed wilty leaves, dubious leaves, bits of grit. My CSA pre-washes everything and so my greens are usually really clean. Then I stuffed the remaining arugula into my food processor with the choppy blade on. There were probably 3 good cups of arugula in there to begin with. To this I added:
- some spinach leaves
- the purple basil from this week’s share
- a chopped garlic scape
- a big ol’ sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
- several cranks of salt and pepper from my grinders
- a big squirt of lemon juice,
- probably about a tablespoon each of non-toasted pine nuts and pecans
- moderate handful of sun-dried tomatoes
Really, I went through my kitchen and thought to myself “this would be good chopped with arugula.” My CSA’s arugula is really spicy, so I tried to moderate that with the brightness of lemon and tomato and punch it up with salt and pepper. I added a good spoosh of EVOO, put the lid on my food processor, and hit the pulse button until everything was finely chopped. And voila! Easy pesto! At this point, I tasted the mixture to make sure that the salt/pepper/lemon balance was good (I added more salt). I then took the ice cubes out of my ice cube tray and froze the pesto so it will keep for the long term.
Next up: dealing with summer squash! I usually eat summer squash and zucchini as zucchini pancakes. I made up a method last summer, only to Google it and find out that they are part of Korean cuisine (hobak jeon is one name I found). Awesome! So after I dumped the pesto out of the bowl, I put it back on my food processor and put on the shredder attachment. I shredded the squash and added:
- a big sprinkle of Parmesan
- a chopped garlic scape (are you sensing a theme here?)
- some salt and pepper
Mmm, shredded squash!
I stuck this mixture in a freezer bag and stuck it in the freezer next to the pesto. When the time comes and I’m hungreh for squash pancakes, I’ll let the mixture thaw, add some flour and an egg to the mixture, and then fry it in a skillet until it is brown and crispy. Yum!
Last up: lunches for the week! This one is the easiest. I shred up the lettuce into individual containers, add some broccoli, nuts, or sun-dried tomatoes (basically, whatever’s on hand) and a sprinkle of lemon juice and salt and pepper. This time around, I topped the salads with leftover pork loin from dinner last night. And then in the morning, I just grab one before running out the door!
I ate the one on the left for lunch today and dudes: it was delicious. I do love salad.
And this is how I deal with veg bounty: by dedicating one or two nights to prepping, freezing, or cooking so that the rest of the week/month/summer can be about eating. When friends drop in unexpectedly, I’ll have things already prepped so I just have to heat and serve. And this means more time with friends and less time with a hot stove!
How do you deal with summer’s bounty?
Edited to add that I’m linking up to What’s in the Box, a weekly CSA blog party at In Her Chucks. Lots of good stuff out there, check it out!