Adventures in EatingKitchen Experiments

Cooking My CSA: Week Three

By on June 18, 2013 9:30am EST

In which I chronicle my attempts to cook with the local, seasonal produce that comes in my CSA box every week (CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a program where you pay upfront and get a weekly shipment of whatever your local farmer has harvested). 

This past week (like the two weeks before it) I got a box of stuff I’m not used to cooking, so I had to spend a loootttt of time on the foodternet searching for appetizing recipes. The box included: oyster mushrooms, asparagus, colby cheese, strawberries, a dozen eggs, a bunch of beets, broccoli, Napa cabbage, and sugar snap peas. Here’s how my attempts at cooking those ingredients went:

strawberry crumble

This strawberry crumble was a clear winner. I’m a big fan of eating strawberries as they are, but got an itch for something rustic and sweet. There’s no recipe here, I just filled a pie tin with chopped strawberries and topped it with a mix of oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter. I served it warm, topped with heavy whipping cream because I am a glutton and can’t be stopped.

 

 

 

napa cabbage rolls

 

These Asian stuffed Napa cabbage rolls were also ah-may-zing. I’m a little wary of regular cabbage rolls, so the Asian fusion vibe was much appreciated here. You could easily make them vegan by omitting the ground beef and just using more quinoa or rice.

 

 

 

 

 

oyster mushroom frittat
Ugh, oyster mushrooms. You are my nemesis. Even pictures of you are blurry and sad! I still don’t really know what to make with them, so I used an old fall back: omelets with feta cheese. It’s basically the Place I Put Vegetables I Don’t Know How To Use.

 

 

 

 

beet greens

 

Half the asparagus went into this risotto, and the beet green tops went into this Warm Beet Greens With Sour Cream Dressing recipe from Food52, which was The Grossest. The sour cream and apple cider vinegar mixture just tasted confusing. My search for a way to use beet green tops (not in omelets or smoothies) continues.

 

 

 

 

asparagus toast

 

The rest of the asparagus went onto these egg sandwiches made with homemade bread, along with the Colby cheese and some of the strawberries. Again, no recipe: put slices of cheese on the bread, put it under the broiler to toast and melt, top with lightly steamed asparagus and fried eggs. That iced coffee is this cold-brewed coffee from The Pioneer Woman, which I drink daily from March until October because it is The Greatest Thing In Life.

 

 

beets salad

 

Finally, I used the beets in a simple beet salad: roast the beets at 400 in some olive oil for about 45 minutes, peel and chop, toss with some goat cheese, chopped mint, lemon juice, and pepper. This was amazing, and confirms my belief that the simplest food is often the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever I did with the broccoli I didn’t record, but it’s gone so I assume we ate it? And the sugar snap peas went bad before I could figure out what to do with them, which is a sad story. I SHOULD’VE SERVED THEM WITH THE CABBAGE ROLLS, hindsight, you’re a sunnofabitch. So that was this week. Any suggestions for recipes that use oyster mushrooms are welcome.

 

 

 

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Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson is the Associate Editor and Community Manager at Food Riot. Give her all the bacon and eggs you have. Follow her on Twitter: @deadwhiteguys

Related

  • Steph

    Oyster mushrooms are great in East/Southeast Asian food, especially stirfries or soups. I can vouch for this recipe (delicious with almost any type of mushroom really) http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/13417/beef+oyster+mushroom+and+broccolini+stir+fry

  • cathn

    I’m using your posts as evidence in my defense to a friend about why I won’t join a CSA – I’m not creative enough to use it all! I visit the local farmer’s market instead, and I have been expanding my eating horizons that way. I’m rooting for you, though!

  • aoibhealfae

    Girl. Put those mushroom into a batter and fry it.