Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CSA Diary Week 2

Well, folks, so far so good. As per last week's notes, this week's haul (as shown in the picture) was:

Veggie Share
strawberries curly peppercress
jerusalem artichokes (in the plastic bag in front)
spring onions

Herb Share
flowering sage

Here's what I did with it the night I got home:

--Rinsed and spun out bronze lettuce and peppercress (which is VERY peppery), put them DRY in a covered bowl lined with paper towels in the fridge. This actually worked very well; by changing the paper towels each day everything stayed fresh and crisp and not brown and gross.

--Made sage/oregano vinegar in an old mayo jar (steeping in fridge until I need it). This turned out to be VERY mellow and almost sweet; not sharp or vinegary.

--Made sage/oregano herb butter (unsalted butter, no pepper--can always add that later)—this was really really good just on toasted bread.

--Made creamy herb garlic dressing (most of which I used for a slaw that I brought to a party on Saturday, which also used up the other 2 onions and was quite the hit).

--For dinner: Made big salad of bronze lettuce, peppercress, a few small (really teeny) sliced Jerusalem Artichokes, and one of the big spring onions. Poured on some of the creamy herb garlic dressing and ate with a fresh flatbread (my Key Foods sells whole-wheat nonpocket pita that is baked fresh right here in Queens-it's called the Astoria Pita Company and they literally are made about 15 blocks from my apartment by the water).

--For dessert (after I cleaned up every last thing in my kitchen): Fresh strawberries and a little teeny bit of aged goat gouda from Murray's and a bit of fresh raw-milk goat cheese also from Murrays (gotta have protein in there somewhere).

--Breakfast the next day: More bronze lettuce and peppercress; cut up a ripe nectarine on top of it and drizzled on some balsamic vinegar reduction that Mom gave me. Also took the rest of the herbs out of the water that I had them in, washed, and then tied into two bunches to hang to dry in my kitchen (I put two teeny nails in under my cabinets). When they dry I can bag them and just use them first (see before and after pix—pulling the leaves off tonite or tomorrow and putting in baggies. Hope my LL doesn't think I'm smoking them).

I ate LOTS of salads for breakfast in the past 7 days, including salads of peppergreens and strawberries with no dressing on them, just black pepper. I also ate more fish—I had some smoked vacuum-packed salmon that I ate on the greens. Next pickup tomorrow; I only have two teeny Jerusalem artichokes left which I will eat tomorrow.

What I am picking up next:

Veggie Share
strawberries <---yay more strawberries!
sugar snap peas <--big yay also!
purple mustard

Note: herb share next week; fruit share starts June 24. I also pick up that meat and cheese drop on the 24th.

BTW, mizuna is some kind of interesting Japanese green, almost like a mini-cress but not as sharp. I assume that Purple Mustard is a spicy green, but I'll find out. I am traveling part of the weekend, so I have to find a way to eat as much as I can before it goes bad—may bring stuff to the office and/or pack lunch. I forsee more salads for breakfast. I also need to get a lunchbox with one of the pockets for a cold pack. In the meantime, I have de-bloated a lot just from one week of pretty much tripling my greens intake and cutting out a lot of the fat and starch that normally was a part of my diet. Let's see where this goes!

NOTE: I know that the produce was way fresh because it was admittedly FILTHY. I don't have a problem with that, but MAN I now have to have two dedicated bags just for the produce, and there was a film of dust on top of my stove after I did the glamor shot here. I didn't put any produce in plastic bags (the Jerusalem artichokes were bunched out in them when I picked them up); I just lined my crisper drawer with paper towels and laid things on them. That seemed to really work.

I am especially excited RE the Sugar Snap Peas; that's one thing that is a fortune at the market that I would normally be tempted to make a special trip to Union Square for. We were also pretty much warned RE an overabundance of radishes to come, thus, I am very happy to have found several radish salad recipes online. Vinegar-based salads (hello, herb vinegar from last week!!) abound, and I know that those in particular stay in the fridge well.

As always, looking forward to your suggestions, recipes, thoughts, etc.

UPDATE: We got to pick mizuna OR purple mustard; I took the mizuna. Just washed the greens and did the paper towel/bowl thing; about to go make a salad