Return of the CSA meal plan

Things have been a little scatty for the last few weeks with various travel plans and failing to share our CSA delivery a couple of times. All veggies have been consumed or preserved in some way, except those that are still fresh and viable in the fridge, and discovering and cooking up new veggies has been great. The planning, however, has fallen by the wayside a bit.

So here I am, attempting to get back on track. This week’s delivery was particularly exciting, with 2 very fragrant bunches of herbs and no bok choy in sight. (Sorry, bok choy. I still love you, and you have provided me with terrific opportunities to get in touch with my creative side, but I need a little breather.)

We got:

1 Head Napa Cabbage
1 bunch Green Scallions
1 bunch Red Kale
1 bunch Cilantro
1 bunch Basil
1 bunch Chinese Broccoli Guy Lon
1 Boston Lettuce
1/2 pound Adorable Baby Zucchini
1 Cucumber
1 Green Romaine
1 bunch French Radishes
1 Red Oak Leaf Lettuce

We biked the kale, red oak lettuce, most of the radishes, a little cilantro, and half of the scallions and baby zucchini over to our share sharers this evening, and I resumed contemplating vegetables. Here is what I came up with this time around:

  • Cabbage and potato gratin (I am addicted)
  • Rice sticks with sesame-almond sauce, chinese broccoli, scallions, and cilantro (there’s a chance some pickly bok choy will make its way into this dish)
  • Zucchini frittata with basil
  • Salad! Salad! Salad!

It doesn’t look like much typed up there, but most of those things are good for at least a couple of meals for Shawn and me, and there will be a LOT of salad. I will also make a big batch of pesto to freeze up for colder days when fresh herbs are harder to come by. I learned this trick from my mother, whose pesto is legendary among our family friends. The quintessential summer meal, in my mind, consists of sweet corn, juicy sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper and basil, and a pile of my mother’s pesto pasta. Pesto in the wintertime is not only delicious, but has the added bonus of summoning up memories of the long table at Colleen’s house, kids and parents and good friends piled around with lake-wet hair. Definitely a thing worth preserving.

My mom freezes hers in batches big enough to feed a rather large family. As I live with just one other person, I freeze my (less legendary) pesto in ice cube trays to add to soups and frittatas, etc., or to sauce up pasta or sandwiches for the two of us. I freeze it in trays, then toss it all in a freezer bag for the winter. I pulled out the last cube a few weeks ago, and we’ve been eating fresh herb sauces ever since, so it seems like as good a time as any to start building the winter stash.

As for those cucumbers, there’s salad, of course, but also many cocktail applications to explore. I recently muddled some cucumbers and lemon for rhubarby cocktails, which were delicious. And surely something delicious can be done with cucumbers and cilantro, maybe a splash of lime? And there’s always Pim’s, of course, for these breezy evenings, and cucumber is always welcome there…does dreaming about cocktails count as assembling a meal plan? I like to think yes, that I am not digressing too much.

The zucchini basil frittata has been tucked into, and I am off to get started on the rice sticks dish for a picnic tomorrow to celebrate the start of one of my favorite free things to do in Brooklyn with CSA bounty (ours and our friends’) and homebrew. Life is good.

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