Ada here with your bi-weekly roundup - the spot where I share some recipe inspiration from across the internet to help you make the most of your CSA share.
While other bunched greens are taking their time to arrive, BOK CHOY is here, and looking lovely. Why not make this quick fried bee hoon, or this SINGAPORE NOODLE recipe which features shrimp and BOK CHOY.
OR, for another noodle + bok choy combo, how about this Rooster’s MAC AND CHEESE w/ BOK CHOY?
Or skip the noodles and make this HANGOVER HELPER SPICY POTATO BOK CHOY HASH, actual hangover optional.
I love the idea of really leaning into this transition in the season - the weather is finally cold enough to warrant soup, and yet, ZUCCHINI (at least for another couple of weeks) are still coming in. Why not celebrate this short zucchini-soup weather with a ZUCCHINI AND CORN CHOWDER, like this, or make a CREAMY ZUCCHINI SOUP like this one that uses coconut milk & BASIL.
MORE SOUP:I love the ethos behind this MINESTRONE - ditch the recipe, and cook minestrone (w/ noodles) or RIBOLLITA (with stale bread) with whatever vegetables you have. Both of these are incredible additions to add to your CSA recipe oeuvre. TURNIPS, CARROTS, RADISHES, KALE, COLLARDS, HERBS - aside from tender lettuces, there isn’t really a vegetable that wouldn’t fit here.
The SMALL WHITE TURNIPS that fill your CSA share as of late go by several names - White Japanese turnips, Hakurei turnips, or Salad turnips. They’re sweet, crunchy, and honestly very good raw, but PICKLED, they’re delicious too.
Or, try this recipe for MISO ROASTED TURNIPS, conveniently served together with their greens.
I recently saw this Food 52 Instagram Recipe for a “LAST MINUTE YOGURT DIP”. With the holidays and gatherings of friends upon us and CSA vegetables a plenty, this seems like a great trick to keep up your sleeve. Don’t feel like cooking veggies? Just dip ‘em!
I recently saw this picture of a Neapolitan dish called SCAROLA ‘MBUTTUNATA - escarole stuffed with anchovies, capers, and raisins. I can’t WAIT to use this technique on some Vrdnt ROMAINE, ESCAROLE, NAPA CABBAGE or even BOK CHOY. Here is a basic recipe to get us all started.
At around this moment in the season, I’m usually sick of fresh BELL PEPPERS and all their cheery crunch, but I know their utility in Cajun and Creole dishes like GUMBO and JAMBALAYA. For that reason, I like to finely dice and freeze red, green, and even yellow peppers- a ready-to-go third of a Trinity mix for a future pot.
Bon Appetit posted this photo of DAL PALAK on their Instagram and I, along with 17,200 other people, immediately liked it. What a better way to use ANY of your forthcoming Vrdnt greens like MUSTARD, KALE, COLLARDS, CHARD, or SPINACH? This recipe was also a wonderful reminder for myself about dal - an inexpensive and satisfying bowl, perfect for weeknight nourishment. Stock your pantry with the ingredients now, so you're ready to simmer when the greens hit.
What I’m Watching:
Years ago, my farm friend Mike gave me the book High on the Hog. Netflix put the book to screen, and I’ve spent a few chilly nights recently watching episodes 1 & 2. If you’re eager to learn more about the inextricable impact of African cuisine on American cuisine, see tantalizing footage of low country cookouts, and dazzling shots of open air markets in Benin, I strongly recommend the series. As well as the book itself!
This youtube video of a woman making pan de muerto , a traditional food baked to celebrate the dia de los muertos. This channel and its star may be the closest I ever get to learning traditional Mexican recipes from a kind Mexican grandmother, and I’m so happy I found it! The video is from a channel called “De me Rancho, a Tu Cocina” or “From my Ranch, to Your Kitchen", and while the pan de muerto video has subtitles in English, not all of the videos do - making for an excellent opportunity to practice your Spanish.
What I’m Reading
Last week I got attacked by my aggressive albeit well-meaning rooster, and it prompted a conversation about cock-inspired kitchen decor. Why all the kitchen chickens?
I came across this article from Serious Eats titled “Tips for Meal Planning During Self Isolation”. Though we’re all pandemic pros at this point and are hopefully not having to self-isolate in the strictest sense any more, I thought this article had some amazing cooking tips for more regular times, too. “The majority of your meals should be rooted in dishes, techniques, and ingredients that are familiar to you. Just as it's easier to wander a city you know well without having to stay glued to your map, it's the styles of cooking you know best that will allow you to see more possibilities for variation and adaptation without running into trouble, and introducing more stress and anxiety into your day.” Yes, get creative and cook outside your comfort zone whenever you have the time, but on days when you're stretched for time or desire, don’t be shy of the staples you love. Leaning into what you know will help you go through your CSA veggies more easily. Read the full story here.
I’m always thinking about diet culture and try to avoid falling into writing from this pervasive, and harmful, perspective. New to the concept? Here is some reading.
Earlier this week I found a few limes, now hard and hollow, that were hidden under a bag of potatoes. I know that dried limes are a common ingredient in Persian food, which has me wondering if my dried specimens are suitable for cooking?
What I’m Eating
I had a stale quarter loaf of crusty rosemary sourdough bread crumbling up on my counter, and took the opportunity to make a LARGE pot of ZUCCHINI-heavy ribolitta soup. I used canned white beans plus a quart of chicken stock and some parmesan rinds (both of which came from the freezer) -time saving flavor bombs which yielded a pretty quick, and very nourishing, pot. I’m entering day 3 of eating this soup and am reaching my limit, so tonight I’ll make garlic toast to help push me to the finish line. I can’t stand to waste food, and I feel like it's too late to freeze some portions.
I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend in NOLA recently and this crab gratin from Miss River (served with saltines that had been fried in clarified butter) was a favorite fancy food moment.
Rotisserie chicken, and then chicken salad.
Also, zucchini and sausage over the fire, dipped in yogurt and mustard(s). Sometimes it’s best not to overthink it! Especially on Fridays. Also, quesadillas made with everything from my fridge's middle drawer: leftover zucchini, muenster cheese, and lots of dill.