As close friends and roommates who love to cook and eat together, Charlotte and I signed up for the CSA this year excited to challenge ourselves and have fun! We subscribe to a weekly vegetable share and a bi-weekly egg share. We often eat at home with friends and try to bring lunch every day.
A fridge full of greens is a beautiful sight, but also an intimidating one. In preparation for this week’s blog post and in need of a little inspiration, on Monday we invited our friend Natalie over for dinner!
Nat and I picked up the haul and headed home along South 4th Street. The early evening sun and sweet smell of kale guided our way. Upon arriving home, we oggled at the bounty. Then, we got to work.
First we lit the oven for roasting, cued up the food processor, and bagged most of the greens in plastic grocery bags to keep them fresh. We chopped the green part of the garlic off to dry it and stored it on top of the refrigerator. We sliced some of the radishes and stored them in a jar with cider vinegar, pepper, paprika, and a dash of sugar for a quick pickle to use throughout the week.
Charlotte was the brains behind Monday’s meal. She whipped up an easy and delicious beet stem hummus from Food52. To make it, she blanched finely chopped stems of some of the swiss chard and beets until tender and and then combined them with tahini, garlic, olive oil, and salt in the food processor. It turned out as a bright pink spread unlike anything I had seen before.
To add to the color palette, Nat wizzed the garlic scapes, three garlic cloves, and olive oil together to make an almost-neon green “pesto” great for pasta or as an addition to a lunch salad.
Charlotte fried up homemade pita bread on the stove, which we topped with salad greens, the garlic scape pesto, and the beet stem hummus.
We were excited to see beets for the first time in the CSA this week, so that night we also went with a classic – roasted with radishes, onions, and little salt & pepper. The result was a sweet side dish and great on a salad the next few days.
For breakfast the next morning, we fried eggs and ate them with some of the hummus, steamed chard, garlic scape pesto, and a bit of the pita from last night. It was a spicy and fortifying start to the day!
With a surplus of broccoli rabe, we steamed a whole bunch one night. Because we can sometimes find the sheer amount of leaves each week overwhelming, we like to steam a few of the bunches of greens, freezing some in ziplock bags for the winter and keeping some for the base of our lunches. This is a shot of the lunch I took to work on Wednesday. Broccoli rabe with more of the hummus and pesto, some parmesan cheese and the quick pickled radishes. We find it easiest to pack a lunch when there are lots of things to throw into a tupperware together; that’s why we keep greens, pickles, and sauces of all sorts on hand.
Throughout the week, Charlotte likes to make smoothies in the morning. One of her go-to includes a base of banana and half an avocado with three or four handfuls of greens (this week the beet leaves, swiss chard, and mizuna) with almond milk and a little spoonful of maple syrup.
We both went out of town for the Fourth of July with a bunch of kale as a host’s gift in the trunk. For a barbecue on Friday night, Charlotte made a quick kale salad with toasted almonds, sheep’s milk feta, dried tart cherries, mustard and olive oil.
We’re trying hard to get some food in the freezer for the colder months, as far off as that seems! When she got back from the beach, Charlotte spent some time by the stove with a cool drink, sauteeing the beautiful red onions with garlic and the last of the radishes. Once they were brown, she added white beans, chicken stock, and radish greens. She blended it with the immersion blender and let it cook for a while with some parsley and sage. There was enough for a couple of lunches and a quart for the freezer.
We came into Sunday with a full bunch of swiss chard and some broccoli rabe remaining. I figure we’ll make a big pot of chard, curry, and potato soup this evening, poach an egg in it for dinner, and call this week a success!