CSA Spectacular: Bacon Greens & Mutant Broccoli

Achievement: #26. Join a CSA

Believe it or not, in just 2 days, we’ll be receiving our fifth week of farm share from Penn’s Corner! As a winter gal, I’m usually not much for the hot mid-year months, but this is one year I can honestly say I’m trying to hold onto every last second of summer because I’m enjoying it so much!

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
First things first, here’s a recipe I made with some of the lettuce remaining from Week 3. This is another one of the Spark Solution recipes, for a lighter Caesar salad. The trick is substituting yogurt in the dressing to keep the calories down. I tried Greek yogurt the first time, which is honestly a little too sour for me. But regular nonfat plain yogurt does the trick! On the side are some of the leftover mashed potatoes from our chicken and peaches dinner – a little bag of russet potatoes went a long way.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
Week 4’s share was gigantic! In the box: snow peas from Blue Goose Farm, beet greens & bibb lettuce from Nu Way Farm, broccoli (that one’s ALLLLLL Michael lol), garlic scapes, and honey puffed corn from Clarion River Organics, a jar of tomatillo salsa from Penn’s Corner, and half a pound of Halloumi cheese from Riverview Dairy.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
I used the snow peas the night we got them. I knew they were coming in the box (we get an email the Friday before the share telling us what to expect), so I had paged through the Spark Solution recipes to see what we could use them in. Turns out, there’s an awesome Thai recipe in there that was the perfect place for my snow peas. The recipe calls for carrots, but I subbed in the peas, and it was wonderful.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
This is the Thai peanut noodles dish. I also got to use some of the remaining cilantro that I had from an earlier CSA box. The cilantro has been keeping fresh for a long time, so the large baggie that we got has lasted us a couple of weeks.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
This week, I also found a home for the Swiss chard we’d gotten in Week 3. I had no clue what Swiss chard was (sounds like a cheese, right?), but I learned you can prepare it similarly to any other kind of greens.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
I made this recipe, which specifically lists beet greens, but can be cooked with kale, Swiss chard, or collard greens. It uses bacon and red pepper flakes, so if you enjoy greens made with hamhock but are looking for something a little less salty, this is a great option. It keeps all the good flavor that the hamhock greens have, but cuts WAY back on the salt and even adds a little bit of spicy kick from the red pepper flakes! I’m planning on re-using this recipe to cook up the beet greens that arrived in Week 4’s share.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
I cooked up the rest of the russet potatoes as a small side to our Spark Solution herbed Dijon porkchops. This time, since we were out of green onions, I used my garlic scapes in the mashed potatoes. Since the scapes are harder than green onions, I sauteed them first to soften them, then added them just before mashing time.

(Even cooler than all my newfound CSA recipes? The thyme that’s on that porkchop……. CAME FROM MY OWN HERB GARDEN!!!! This may seem a small feat to some, but I can NEVER keep plants alive. Right now, my herb garden is thriving, and I am a happy gardener!)

Finally, on Sunday night, the most exciting moment I’d been waiting for all week arrived: halloumi night!!

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
Halloumi is a thicker, semi-hard, unripened cheese made from goat and sheep milk. Because it’s thicker, it is a prime grilling cheese. You may remember halloumi as the star of my New Year’s Eve dinner at Sonoma Grill. Thinking of that meal made me look forward to halloumi night alllll week!

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
Because we ARE trying to watch our diets, we opted to make this grilled halloumi cheese and lemon recipe from Gourmet. The prep was pretty straightforward, and the cheese and bread was delicious. The only thing I’d caution is that the lemon is a *little* strong between the fresh lemon slices and the lemon juice in the sauce.

CSA Weeks 3 & 4
This made four servings from the half pound of cheese, and for the second serving of it, I’m planning to drizzle blackberry balsamic on it instead of the lemon-olive-oil dressing from the recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes!

So that wraps up what we’ve been cooking from our CSA this week. Coming up in Wednesday’s box is our first delivery of fruit! We’ll be getting strawberries and sweet cherries, and I’m already hard at work in my mind coming up with a cherry and olallieberry tart. To find out what an olallieberry is… stop back tomorrow and read our Jelly of the Month Club post! 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under #26, #26-13, buy fresh buy local, cooking, CSA

2 Responses to CSA Spectacular: Bacon Greens & Mutant Broccoli

  1. Carly

    I’m really enjoying these CSA posts. We didn’t join one this year, but next year we are going to for sure. Now that Jay is mostly vegetarian, I think we’ll be able to put a hurtin’ on all the greens 🙂 Way to go with all those tasty recipes, too 🙂

    • steelcityfox

      Thanks, glad to hear it!! The greens feel a little overwhelming at first, but as long as you like making salads, most of the lettuce and spinach has a home right away. I’m loving our CSA share each week.

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