How did I not know of this until now?

My state as a grain CSA?

Crop examples are:

  • “Red Lammas” hard red winter wheat (heirloom)
  • “Redeemer” winter wheat
  • Oats
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Emmer (Known as Farro in Italy)
  • Barley
  • “Nothstine Dent” Corn
  • “Plymouth Flint” Corn
  • Black Turtle Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Winter Rye
  • “Tom Thumb”Popcorn
  • Triticale

WHAT?  I read thekitchn all the time and only noticed this eight months later?  Could I do this?  I’d need a way to get to Natick, seeing as I don’t have a car of my own right now.  Granted, pick up is once a year (or so it seems), but this sounds so amazing.  Spelt?  Emmer?  I want this!

Other reference link:

chickpeas and mixed greens


I decided to go “Super Natural Every Day” on the braising mix greens I got from my CSA.  Heidi Swanson’s second book was one of those books that I love looking at, tell myself to cook from it, and then never get around to cooking from it.  Well, it was time to change my bad habits!

Adapting one of her recipes to fit what I had on hand, here’s what happened:

I soaked 1/2 cup of chickpeas overnight (probably about 16 hours?) and then simmered them in fresh water for about 35 minutes.  (Although the soaking liquid has a lot of flavor, that’s the same liquid that’s going to make you fart.  I’m not going to lie to you.)  I usually add a large pinch of salt halfway through the cooking time.

In a different pan, I heated some olive oil (3T) and softened some finely chopped onions over medium heat (I used one small onion).  I added some garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and maybe 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes.  When the onion looked soft enough, I added in my mixed greens.  Once the greens had wilted, I mixed in the chickpeas.  When everything was incorporated, I threw in some lime zest (I’m zany that way), and killed the heat.

Overall?  This is simple and tasty.  It’s a good way to use up some CSA greens.  I really liked the lime zest to be honest.  It was supposed to be lemon zest but my lemon zest was in the freezer and I had limes that wanted some attention.  I think, next time, I’ll try it with some preserved Meyer lemons (which I almost used this time around, but then the limes were staring at me down).

veggie CSA, no. 1, 2012

This year, my sister and I are trying a full-sized share with Brookfield Farm. My sister’s roommate is also splitting the share with us.

Our first pick up was tonight. According to Brookfield Farm, what we got was:

Lettuce: Our spring harvest of head lettuce has begun. We aim for fresh lettuce from now until November.

Braising Mix: A mix of delicious greens which are perfect for quick cooking. This mix may include the following: red kale, mizuna (mild spiky leaf), and red mustard (purple and spicy).

Komatsuna: Every week we plan on having a big cooking green available for your share. This week, we’ll start out with this large-leaf bok-choy type which is great for stir-frys.

Arugula: We keep this peppery green separate so that you can decide what to do with it! It’s great either raw (chopped into the salad) or cooked (loses some of it’s tang). The first crop is beautiful with many more (9) to come!

“French Breakfast” Radish: Red radishes with delicate white tips. Try them for breakfast (like the French), cut up in a salad, or get creative.

Spinach: What? Really? Spinach? Yes!! This crop always has a tough time at our farm, but this year we have one great bed which should make for nice salads this week! Fresh cut and delicious!

I took the spinach, one head of green lettuce, and 1/3 of the mix.  My sister took the komatsuna, 1/3 of the mix, and I think the arugula.  M* took the radishes, 1/3 of the mix, and I think the red lettuce.

I think I’ll probably stir-fry the mixed greens.  Half of my spinach has already been wilted and then cooked with eggs and scallions.  My green lettuce might get stir-fried as well.  I haven’t decided yet.

roasted eggplant puree for pasta

Early in the summer, I had experimented with a batch of garlic scape pesto only to find myself terribly disappointed.

Today’s pasta sauce was the antithesis of that.

I was home from work by 6pm, and I’m away from the office for the rest of the week. I went to visit the plants in the garden before heading inside, and saw that some of the eggplant my mother planted was ready to be picked. I had three pretty eggplants in my greedy hands, and didn’t know what to do with them. I knew I wanted to roast them in some manner, but not much more than that.

Then, I remembered seeing an eggplant puree recipe in one of my library books. On page 130 of Giada’s Kitchen by Giada De Laurentiis was a recipe for “penne with eggplant puree.” I used the method but didn’t follow the ingredients  exactly, and still I was very pleased with the end results.

Roasted Eggplant Puree for Pasta
inspired by Giada De Laurentiis

3 small eggplants, unpeeled, cut into one inch pieces
a large handful of sweet grape tomatoes (from the market… I wish I hadn’t eaten all my tomatoes. I pop ’em like candy if they’re sweet)
2 small onions, quartered (from my CSA)
1 small bell pepper, cut into medium slices (I had a purple one from the CSA)
garlic powder (I’m out of fresh garlic cloves)
red pepper flakes
olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup basil leaves, torn

Heat your oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a separate baking dish or sheet, spread out the pine nuts and set aside.

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A (mostly) white vegetable soup recipe

What do you do when you’ve got a small cabbage head and a bunch of small carrots from your CSA? Not to mention that your mother bought you half a nagaimo (Japanese mountain yam) and a couple of chayote squash for no reason?


And I must be absolutely mad to be making soup on a hot summer Sunday evening (a little humid and 90F!). It was only made possible by the lone air conditioner in my apartment which was strategically placed in the kitchen.

I was inspired by two driving forces: by the memory of the shiso-white wine-chicken recipe in “Ancient Kitchen, Modern Wisdom,” and by my belief that chayote squash doesn’t pair well with traditional herbs. (I roasted chayote squash once with dried basil, and discovered it was one of the worse pairings I could have done.  It generally tastes good with spices.)

Here’s how the (mostly) white vegetable soup went:

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veggie CSA, no. 5, 2011

Last week’s share:
Salad Mix 0.5lb (split between me and my sister)
Cabbage 1 (me)
Basil 1 bunch (me)
Chard 1 bunch (my sister)
Snap peas (pint) 1 (me)

This week’s share:
Lettuce (head) 1 (my sister)
Carrots (bunch)  1 (me, only because my sister had just purchased carrots)
Basil (bunch) 1 (me)
Cukes (lb) 1 (4 small cucumbers, I took 3)
snap peas (me)
new potatoes (my sister)

I’ve learned that my sister doesn’t like snap peas.  As for the basil, I’ve been getting them because my sister doesn’t think she’ll use it fast enough and she has no place to store it.  Basil cuttings prefer being kept in a container of water, instead of being stored in the fridge.  Our CSA cuttings are really short because they are prunings really, which makes it hard to put in water.  Basil leaves don’t like sitting in water.  They will wither or get blotchy.  Right now, I have some with a longer stem in a used soda bottle.  For my short ones, I’m trying out using an ice cube tray as a plant container.  I have water in every other cube so that the basil leaves can fan out without getting wet (hopefully).  So long as I don’t kill them, my sister can grab some whenever she wants.  Or if too many of them grow roots, out into some dirt in the yard they will go. 

Meal-wise, I haven’t done anything interesting with my CSA so far.  I’ve been enjoying it prepared as simple as possible.  (My only failure so far is letting arugula go to waste.  At least, I think that’s my only CSA “d’oh! moment” so far.)  I boiled my beets from a couple of weeks ago.  From last week, I ate the salad mix straight up.  The cabbage is still in the fridge and looking ok, while the snap peas were boiled for a few minutes and then eaten along side some pasta.

I’m trying to decide what to do with my carrots (I must cook them as I am allergic to raw carrots).  Some recipes under consideration are: need to cook carrots before blending)  
or pickled carrots?

But now I’m thinking about making a soup with the carrots and the cabbage.  Maybe with thyme and white wine?  I do have some old white wine in my fridge.  Hmmm…

veggie CSA, no. 4, 2011

Did you know that beets are actually the same species as Swiss Chard? Swiss chard is bred to have big colorful leaves, while beets are bred to have big juicy roots, but you can absolutely eat the root of a chard plant, or the greens of a beet. We at the farm almost never eat chard, just because beet greens are more plentiful and virtually indistinguishable from chard once cooked. For now, we’ll be bunching beets with their tops on, so that each bunch is basically like getting two items in one. For more info and recipes, see our Veggipedia entries on Beets and Chard

Also, we’re giving out green garlic this week to full shares. Garlic plants, as you know from last week’s share, are completely edible. The green garlic plants we’ll give out are not yet fully mature, but you can cut up and mince the stalks and leaves and use any way you’d normally use garlic.

For herbs this week, we are going to roll out lots of mint, since it is kicking butt this year and the rest of the herbs have been struggling to keep up with our harvest schedule. There are lots of fun things to do with mint. You can use them in some cooking dishes, but it also goes good in many cocktails (mojitos, mint julep), or make mint tea, or for the adventurous bake it into chocolate brownies or fudge. See our veggipedia’s Mint page for lots of ideas.

This is our best guess of what will come in the Stone Soup shares this week.

Please remember that sometimes we can’t harvest exactly what we expect!
Lettuce (SE and I split this)
Beets (also split)
Herbs (we only got a bunch of mint… which SE gave to me)
Other bunched item (turned out to be baby turnips again… I told SE to keep them and give them a try)

Oh yay… more mint. NOT! Too much mint in my fridge!

I chopped it finally with some parsley and basil from the garden, used it to top of chickpeas, threw in some extra virgin olive oil and rice vinegar, and finely diced some sweet peppers.

The tops of the beets were separated and quickly wilted in duck broth, and served with udon noodles in a bowl.  I liked the flavor of the beet greens.  But it made my mouth feel really dry, the same way that spinach affects me but to a lesser degree.  The only downside of serving the beet greens in the duck broth was that the flavor of my duck broth became blander (the color was pretty – a little pinkish!).

I should remember to cook my beets.  But now it’s hot so I don’t feel like cooking.  I wonder what will show up in the CSA tomorrow.

The lettuce was so sweet that I was pretty happy to eat it straight.  I also ate some with my chickpea salad.

veggie CSA, no. 3, 2011

(haha, another entry that I’m posting later than I had originally intended.  CSA #4 is tomorrow… I wonder what it will be!)

“Things are still pretty green at the farm. Until the cukes and zucchini start yielding the shares tend to be pretty light and leafy. But lots of goodies on the way: tomatoes and sweet corn are growing steadily, onion are growing up fast, melons are on the way, and sugar snap peas are just around the corner now. This week we’ll be rolling out garlic scapes, the twisty goofy looking flower heads of the garlic plant. 100% of the garlic plant is edible, including the scapes, which need to come off the plant this time of year anyways. If you leave the flower on the plant, it devotes a lot of its energy to seed, which means less for the bulb. By taking off the flower, we redirect the plants’ energy towards growing a big fat bulb at the base, which is what we prefer. Scapes are actually super versatile, taste exactly the same as garlic cloves, but less intense. Use them any way you would normally use garlic. You can also make some bangin’ green pesto with them, or just hit them with olive oil and salt and roast them in the oven like you would asparagus. They mellow out upon roasting and are super tasty just eaten whole.

This is our best guess of what will come in the Stone Soup shares this week.

Please remember that sometimes we can’t harvest exactly what we expect!

Lettuce (head) 1
Garlic Scapes (lb) 0.25
Herbs (bunch) 1
Arugula (bunch) 1”

SE decided to only keep the lettuce. She let me keep the herbs (purple basil), arugula, and garlic scapes. Ok, I called dibs on the garlic scapes, but I would have thought that she wanted the arugula.

Poor arugula, it has been insect-chomped to kingdom come.

So, what did I do with this week’s CSA so far? I decided to take the garlic scapes (I had about 3.3 oz in reality), the basil (about 1 oz.), two handfuls of pine nuts, a pinch of salt, extra virgin olive oil (1/3 c. + 1/4 c.) and squeeze of half a lemon to my blender. Garlic scape pesto! I think I used just a tad too much oil and pine nuts, but that’s ok.

The true taste test?  I took the garlic scape pesto to pasta.  It was very green tasting.  Not in a bad way, but I realize now that I should have added cheese.  Plus, I’m such a basil pesto fan that I found myself wanting to add more basil to my garlic scape pesto.

I have a whole jar of this pesto, so I’ll be trying to think up of other applications.  I think the next one might be pizza.  (^_^)

veggie CSA, no. 2, 2011

What we got yesterday:
small white turnips
napa cabbage
red lettuce
popcorn on the cob
a purple kohlrabi

I took the popcorn, kohlrabi, and turnips.  My sister took the napa cabbage and red lettuce.  We split the eggs again.  I’m not even done eating last week’s eggs but that’s because I had to use up the store bought eggs that were already in the fridge.

I haven’t decided what I’ll do with the turnips and the kohlrabi yet.  Most likely, I’ll roast the turnips and stir-fry the greens.

veggie CSA, no.1, 2011

I’m so excited! My sister and I agreed to do a veggie CSA sometime ago, and our shares are finally starting!

This is our best guess of what will come in this week.

Please remember that sometimes we can’t harvest exactly what we expect!

Salad Mix (lb) 0.75
Kale/Chard (bunch) 1
Herbs (bunch) 1
Basil Plant 1
Scallion (bunch) 1
Radish/turnip (bunch) 1

I forget if we’re sharing a full share or a half share.  What I copied above was the full share info.  I’m looking forward to seeing if what is in the box is what they emailed out.  And, will I really end up with another basil plant for the garden?  Because I won’t say no to it!


EDIT at 11pm-ish:  ah, we are on a half share.  We got a smaller amount of salad mix and no radishes, but we paid a little more for an egg share.    SE and I split the eggs, three per person.  The scallions were *huge*, and I still have my re-grown window sill scallions, so we gave the scallions to my mom.  My sister isn’t the one growing a container garden, so I got the basil (purple basil – SE said she had a choice of green or purple but picked up the purple so that my garden would have variety).  The herbs turned out to be a large bunch of mint.  SE isn’t a mint fan, so it went to me.  She took the kale (Red Russian kale we suspect) and the salad greens.  I guess I should just eat my microgreens for now!