What's in This Week's Farmshare (CSA) Box?

The weeks go so fast! I’ve barely finished last week’s box of goodies from Harmony Valley Farm’s CSA, and it’s Thursday again! To be honest, I do occasionally get a small sense of panic. I don’t want to waste any of the amazing foods I’m getting, especially when I consider the work our local farmers have done to produce all this sustainable, organic food - and get it to the city. Sometimes an embarrassment of riches can feel, well, embarrassing. For recipes and advice, I’ve been following another great blog called Green your Plate, chronicling Amy P’s experience with her Harmony Valley Farm’s CSA bounty - it’s worth checking out.

Last week, I made the best parsnip, sunchoke, and ramp soup ever (which may not sound all that hard, but the soup was truly phenomenal), and I revisited the Birchwood Cafe’s recipe for rhubarb cobbler (which was even better this week, since it came without the additional excitement of the house nearly burning down). We sauteed greens, ate loads of salads, grilled fresh asparagus, roasted root vegetables (white wine, thyme, olive oil, sea salt), and ate like a royal, grass-fed family. Our neighbors Erik and Kathy shared some of their (non-local) halibut covered in (local) greens and ramps, which could not have been better. (And I finally returned Kathy’s copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life - thanks again Kathy!)

Here’s a list of what I’ll be picking up this afternoon, straight from the Harmony Valley newsletter (with their advice on what to do with the produce).

  • Green garlic: Chop and blend with oil in a food processor to make a flavorful garlic base for pizza sauce or marinades.
  • Green onion: Chop and use to garnish soup or chili.
  • Parsnips: Shave thin slices with a vegetable peeler and fry until golden brown; use as a topping for salads or soups.
  • Sunchokes: Sunchokes store well, so save them for a rainy day and make a stew or soup.
  • Spinach: Enjoy these tender young leaves with a creamy dressing that won’t overwhelm their delicate flavor.
  • Salad mix: Top with toasted walnuts or pine nuts and crumbled goat feta.
  • Spring radish: Slice thinly and make a spring veggie sandwich with cream cheese and chopped pea vine.
  • Pea vine
  • Rhubarb: Make a rhubarb vinaigrette with cooked rhubarb and a splash of red wine.
  • Asparagus: Brush with oil and cook on the grill until char marks begin to appear, but not long enough to blacken completely. Serve al dente with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Hon tsai tai: Flavorful Asian cooking green that is delicious sautéed or raw as a salad. Make a quick dressing with sesame oil, cider vinegar, green garlic, and toasted sesame seeds.  Serve as a side with grilled meat or poultry.

Now that I’m fairly adept with the parsnips and sunchokes, I’ll admit to being especially excited for pea vine and hon tsai tai, which I’ve never prepared before. Please let me know if you have a good recipe for any of this stuff, I’m always ready to try new things.