Hallelujah. Today was the first spring CSA pickup from Jenny Jack Sun Farm, and not a moment too soon. Our jar count of tomatoes, apples, and pickled veg is down to single digits, and the last of the root vegetables vanished last week.
For local folks who are new to the CSA — or for anyone who’s curious but not convinced a weekly subscription is manageable — here’s a list of what we received and how we’ll be cooking it up.
What we got:
Creamy spinach pasta
First up will be a batch of Spinaci alla Fiorentina. To make it a meal, pull the pan out of the oven after ten minutes, toss in eight ounces of al dente pasta, and bake for five more minutes. Serves four.
Frittata with chard, bacon, and feta
Frittatas are a staple year round, as they can be thrown together with any combination of meat, cheese, and veggies. This recipe is just a starting point and can be changed up based on personal preference and what’s in the fridge.
Vegetarian? Skip the bacon and use olive oil instead. Hate feta? Any other cheese will do. Got a bunch of green odds-and-sods at the end of the week? Toss ‘em in. Need to feed lots of people? Add more eggs.
You get the point.
Since they can be whipped up in a few minutes, save frittatas for your toughest weeknight, when you’re tired and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
- ½ pound of bacon
- One bunch Swiss chard
- Sliced green onions (to taste)
- Sliced green garlic (to taste)
- 6 eggs
- Splash of milk
- 4 ounces feta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to broil. Chop the chard stems into ¼” thick slices. Coarsely chop the leaves.
Fry bacon and remove from pan, keeping the bacon grease. Add onions and green garlic, and sauté in bacon grease until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chard stems, season with salt, and sauté 5 minutes. Add the chopped leaves and sauté another 3 minutes or so, until tender. Transfer to a plate.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a splash of milk. Season with salt and pepper, then crumble in the feta and bacon, and add the cooked veggies.
Gently squeeze the liquid from the chard and stir the leaves into the egg mixture. In a large cast-iron skillet (or other overproof pan), warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the egg mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggs are set around the edges, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to the broiler and cook until set, checking every minute or so to prevent burning. Serves four.
Chicken and Japanese lettuce egg rolls with ginger soy dip
We’re big fans of the White On Rice Couple’s recipes and often turn to their cookbook “Bountiful” for CSA ideas. This winner calls for kale, but we’ll substitute Japanese lettuce, saving the kale for the end of the week.
Speaking of kale, don’t throw away those kale and lettuce stems or garlic and onion tops. While you’re relaxing this weekend, put them in a large pot, cover with water, add a healthy teaspoonful of salt, and boil for two hours. (I also tossed in a bunch of parsley stalks that were bolting, and the flavor was fantastic. If you’ve got herbs around the house, experiment with flavors and have fun.) Strain, pour into a large glass jar with lid, and store in the fridge or freezer for the next time you’re making soup. Note: If freezing, leave at least an inch-and-a-half of air at the top of the jar, so there’s room for expansion.
Slow cooker tomato and kale soup
We’ll be using that stock right away in a crock pot of tomato and kale soup. Never tried this recipe before, but we’ll substitute 1/2 cup of arborio rice for the 1 cup of quinoa, since that’s what’s in the pantry. And don’t worry about buying bulbs of garlic and onion — instead, use plenty of the green garlic and green onion from this week’s share. All winter, I’ve been saving a couple of jars of bright orange, heirloom Valencia tomatoes for a special occasion, and I think this just might be it.