Ada here. Some of you might know me from Club Home Made. If we don't know each other, hello! Nice to meet you!
When Becky asked me if I wanted to help supply her CSA Members with recipe ideas, it was a no brainer. I’ve been a CSA Member of various farms on and off for over 10 years. I know that the constant deluge of vegetables can *sometimes* feel like a chore rather than the vegetal blessing that it actually is. Today, I live very rurally, with no access to a local CSA. I limp my way through the season growing what I can (I am no production farmer), and let me tell you: I miss having easy access to the awesome food Becky grows. Some of the recipes I suggest will be based on what I’m actually cooking, and some of it will be based on what I wish I was cooking should I be in your position - *the lucky recipient of a VRDNT CSA share*.
Either way, the recipes will be seasonally relevant, gathered from my favorite corners of the internet and bookshelf.
My hope is that I suggest a way to use turnips, for example, that you may have not thought of (keep reading). Or maybe I’ll turn you onto a new favorite food blog, or share a video with a recommendation that revolutionizes the way you think about tupperware. You get the idea.
Without further adieu, welcome to the first ever Vrdnt Farm Recipe Roundup!
Vrdnt Farm’s LONG BEANS are a special crop because it was the first vegetable Becky ever sold when she founded the farm a few summers ago. Don’t let their length trip you up. These beans behave just like the green beans you’re likely used to.
BEAN season is usually short, and I almost always make the classic French Nicoise salad which is "traditionally" more of a spring plate, but we get fall green beans in Texas, too. Here is a great Bon Appetit version. I've only ever made this salad with canned fish, so don't let recipes featuring fresh-caught ahi steaks deter you.
Or, make a Chinese pork and BEAN stir fry. Garlic chives would also be great in here. I love this recipe for its ease and simplicity.
While we’re on the Chinese thread, checkout this recipe for EGGPLANT with garlic sauce which is sweet, sour, and spicy. I usually stir fry my eggplant when I make this dish, but I love the idea to steam the eggplant, instead. Less mess. Also, this recipe features a great Yuxiang sauce which, honestly, would be delicious on almost any VRDNT veggie.
My favorite thing about ARUGULA is that it makes an incredible salad simply dressed on its own. Here is the perfect lemon vinaigrette to go with your arugula. With or without the fennel and pecorino, this salad is a keeper.
OKRA will be gone before you know it. Love it while you can! There are so many okra recipes from around the world including:
Bamya - an Egyptian okra and tomato stew (bamya is also the word for okra in Arabic).
Okra Ohitashi - a Japanese preparation wherein the okra is marinated in dashi, and then served cold.
Coconut Okra Rice - A Caribbean rice pilaf of sorts which would be happy to accept your sweet peppers, as well.
Kurkuri Bhindi - Indian fried okra, or “ladies fingers”, cut into spears. Squeeze of lime, yum.
WHAT I’M EATING
I recently was driving from Louisiana to Fredericksburg and quickly exited somewhere just past Katy when I saw a Starbucks marker. This particular Starbucks was situated next to a 99 Ranch, and because I am almost out of my favorite Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp, I decided to take the bait and stretch my legs. Where I live, there are no Asian markets, and I’m always quick to seize any opportunity to snag some hard-to-find ingredients.
In addition to chili crisp, I got some dried shrimp which I’ll eventually use for a stock, some Thai curry paste, a nice bottle of soy sauce, some baby oyster mushrooms, a bag of these awesome hairy fruit called rambutans, and most importantly: a whole roast duck from the hot food section, which I opted to have chopped up for me. Nestled in the corner of the styrofoam was a container of a slightly-sweet dipping sauce. The duck was so delicious- moist, fatty, with crispy skin that I was able to re-crisp in a skillet later that evening. I ate off the duck for 3 days, mostly enjoying it over white rice with some boring leftover roasted turnips that were honestly just passing on the coattails of the perfectly glazed bird. After a week on vacation, a ready-to-eat duck was just the solution I needed for re-entry.
I also bought some dumpling wrappers from 99 Ranch, and made use of the aforementioned boring turnips which I mashed with a bit of miso, garlic, ginger, finely minced onion, soy, and sesame oil. Fry, steam, fry, delish! I referenced this recipe for sweet potato dumplings for my turnip-rendition.
Penne pasta tossed with confit cherry tomatoes and pecan pesto - both of which I got from my freezer, making this a very speedy dinner.
WHAT I’M WATCHING
On day 2 of eating my delicious duck, I turned to the internet to try and figure out what was in the dipping sauce. This video, a YouTube review of the 99 Ranch duck, was about as far as I got. It’s really a lackluster review, but if you’re curious what the duck looked like, here ya go.
This very amazing YouTube channel called Made with Lau that features so many incredible Chinese recipes. The channel is a heart-warming family-affair wherein Kyle Leung shares (well-produced and entertaining) videos of his father making classic Chinese fare and sharing their family’s heritage.
WHAT I’M READING
This piece from Vittles titled "Yum Tong, Eat Bitterness" which was a fun and educational peak into the world of Chinese soup culture.
This Eater article on Chili Crisp. If you’re new to the versatile condiment, here’s a crash course.
Till Next Time!
Do you have a recipe that you think should be included in the Roundup? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email with “Recipe Roundup” in the subject line. If you have a photo, we’d love to see that, too!