Weird Produce in a CSA Box
July 9, 2010
What can I say? I strive to go long on the standard veggies, but what would a CSA be without a little surprise? You know when you open your box and find some real oddball veggie you need a botanical guide to identify.
Members often tell me this is part of what they like about CSA, although too many surprises tends to scare some people away. Still, I think you trying to hit a curveball every now and then is probably good for you…when you get that bulb of fennel in your box here in July, I hope you approach it as an adventure to reach out for that cookbook you never look at and try something new. I’m just as bad as anyone, making those dishes I’ve always done, but it’s good to get out of my rut too.
I was thinking about this today when I was out picking fava beans. I have to confess I’ve never grown these or eaten these in my life, so they are a grand experiment. We had to do a little research to get a general jist to prepare them, especially since you just have a few. A simple way to use your fava beans is to shell them, boil the beans (just a few minutes), remove skin, and toss with olive oil and lemon juice and serve with a sharp cheese like pecorino or parmesan. Otherwise, you’re on your own-good luck!
In the box:
English Peas (the ones you need to shell)
Deep Purple Scallions
Kohlrabi (these could also be added to recipe below)
Fresh Mint (stuff that look like a weed)
Fava Beans (big monster beans):
1-2 little cucumbers (just a taste, but the first of the season!)
Black Spanish Onions (see recipe below)
A bit of Spinach (every week for 4 weeks…are you tired of this yet?)
Raspberries (for some)
This could also be good without the cabbage.
2-3 black Spanish radishes, scrubbed and grated
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup coarsely grated carrots, any color
1/2 cup thinly sliced green or red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or mint leaves
In a bowl toss together the radishes, the cabbage, the carrots, the onion, the lemon juice, the sugar, the oil, the herb, and salt and pepper to taste.