CSA Week 3

Don’t forget to bring back your boxes and cartons to recycle! Both boxes are identical this week.Asparagus

In Monday and Wednesday’s box:

1/2 dozen eggs

10 pounds asparagus

2 bunches green onions

2 bunches kale

2 heads lettuce

2 quarts strawberries

Total retail value of this week’s box: $70.50

Total retail value of good’s distributed so far this year on Monday: $172.50 ($172 for the Wednesday pickup)

Kitchen tips from Emily Freehling

New York Times food writer Mark Bittman offered a recipe for asparagus pesto recently. I have often found that pesto is a great way to use vegetables you have a lot of in new ways. This would be a great sauce for pizza, pasta, sandwiches, spooned over chicken or fish, mixed into scrambled eggs…you name it. I have adapted it here with my usual pesto adaptations, which are typically aimed at keeping costs down:

Asparagus Pesto

Ingredients –

1 pound asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 clove garlic (you could also add in some of the green tops of your onions if you want more aromatics)

1/4 cup pine nuts (I never use pine nuts. Walnuts and almonds are both great alternatives that are much cheaper.)

1/4 cup of olive oil, or to taste

3/4 cup parmesan cheese (pecorino is also very nice with asparagus, and it’s usually cheaper)

salt and pepper to taste

juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

Cook asparagus for about 8 minutes in a pot of salted boiling water. It should be tender, but not mushy. Reserve some of the cooking liquid, then drain well and allow to cool slightly. Place asparagus and the rest of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and reserved cooking liquid, in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are roughly mixed, then scrape down the oil. With motor running, add olive oil, then cooking liquid, a tablespoon at a time, until sauce has reached desired consistency. Eat within a day or two.

For more asparagus recipes, see the asparagus archive on the CSA recipe blog from the past two years here.

Here’s a tip on greens like kale, chard and collards: If they become wilted, place them in a big bowl of cold water to revive them (and wash them) and they’ll be ready to go. I think an essential tool for any CSA kitchen is a large salad spinner (or two). When I bring my vegetables home, I immediately take one bunch of greens, chop them so that they are prepped for cooking (for kale, that usually means removing the thick stems and cutting the leaves into bite-sized pieces) wash and dry them in the spinner and then store them in the fridge in the spinner. That way they are ready to put into smoothies, soups or bake into kale chips on short notice.

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