This week, we welcome member Nicole Fabri to the “What I Did With My Share.” Read more to find out how she feeds her family with her CSA.
The Fun of Being in the Kitchen
What joy that our CSA has finally started and we are getting fantastic fresh and nutritious vegetables every week! I have personally been delighted to see my little boy (2 yrs) munching on mustard greens and asking for more “salatt”. What follows is a few fun creations from our kitchen that might give you some interesting ideas.
One of the first things I made with all that lovely fresh mint and peppermint was a cool summer drink. First, I brewed strong mint tea (chop up the mint leaves, put them in a teapot, pour boiling water over them and let it sit for 20 minutes minimum–additional time also allows the tea to cool). Then I poured the brew into a pretty glass pitcher along with the juice and pulp from four limes, filled it to the top with cool water and enough sugar to just barely take the edge off the tartness (although no sugar is great too!). It looked so pretty there with ice cubes floating on the top.
Last night I was staring at all that dill (as well as the limp, unused dill from last week) and wondering what to do with it. I came up with something pretty scrumptious and am inspired to share it. I used: all the dill, all the greens from the turnips and radishes, and about 3 large turnips. First, I peeled and boiled about 6 medium potatoes (unpeeled red potatoes would have been great too if organic) in a large Dutch oven on the stove top (in case you’re not familiar with the term, a Dutch oven is a heavy cast iron pot with a tight fitting lid). Once boiled, I drained the potatoes in a strainer and put the Dutch oven back on the heat. The heat dried the inside of the Dutch oven, leaving little bits of potato substance. I poured in about 1/8 cup of olive oil, two medium onions (chopped), six cloves of garlic (mashed and chopped finely) as well as three turnips (sliced fairly thin). I let that sweat for a few minutes. Then I threw the drained, boiled potatoes back into the pot and gave it all a good stirring. I added some course gray salt and plenty of fresh cracked black pepper. (My cook’s secret: the dried potato substance on the sides of the Dutch oven created a slightly caramelized flavor to the dish) A minute later, I piled all the turnip and radish greens (chopped at the base of the leaf, washed and spun dry) onto a cutting board along with all that dill, and chopped the whole pile into medium sized pieces. I threw that on top of the potatoes and stirred. I covered the pot for about three minutes, then stirred again, making sure to take the pot off the heat when the greens were still brightly colored. Off the heat it went, and onto a dish with dinner. Quite delicious!
One last story for the fun of it. My toddler (2 yrs) has started really enjoying salad. I think he likes the balsamic vinegar. Last night, I had to refrain from both laughing and scolding as my husband held our huge wooden salad bowl tipped at an angle right in front of our son’s face, allowing him to dip his whole face into the bowl and grab a leaf of salad with his own teeth! How can a mother complain?!?! The child is eating salad; my heart sings. So a few nights ago, baby and I were preparing dinner alone as my husband was working late. I had no lettuce, but baby was asking for “salatt” with those big brown eyes. So, necessity being the mother of invention, I pulled a big leaf off a head of boc choy and washed it, chopped it up, put it in a cute little ramkin. I then allowed baby to “help” me pour olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper over the chopped leaves, and handed him a fork. His own personal salad; he loved it! I had discovered a new use for our lovely organic boc choy.
Here are Nicole’s Recipes:
Leaves from 4 sprigs of mint
Juice and pulp from 4 limes
3 tablespoons sugar
1. Chop up the mint and place in a heatproof jar. Pour 3 cups boiling water over mint and let it sit for 20 minutes.
2. Add juice and pulp from four limes. Add additional water to make 2 quarts. You can dilute it more if you want a less strong brew.
3. Add sugar (optional).
4. Serve over ice.
Note: You can also add black tea bags in addition to the mint to make a richer, stronger tea.
Radish & Turnip Greens with Potatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, mashed/chopped finely
6 medium potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
3 large turnips, sliced thin
Turnip greens from 2 bunches of turnips, coarsely chopped
Radish greens from 2 bunches of radishes, coarsley chopped
Two bunches of dill
1. Peel and boil the potatoes in a large Dutch oven on the stove top.
2. Drain potatoes
3. Put Dutch oven back on the heat (do not clean) with 1/8 c. oil.
4. Add onions, garlic and turnips and saute for 3-5 minutes.
5. Add boiled potatoes and saute an additiona 3-5 minutes.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add turnip and radish greens with dill into Dutch oven. Cover and stir occasionally.
8. Remove from heat when greens are soft, but still bright green.
9. Serve immediately.