Wednesday, June 25, 2008

CSA Cookin', Week One

Last week I picked up my first (and possibly only) portion of the CSA vegetable share I had signed up for back in January. Nothing terrible happened—I just simply won't be in New York City anymore and there's too much for me to do these days (packing, moving, etc) for me to cook bushels of greenery every few weeks until I go. At least my brother will take over for me, so maybe he'll cook some veggies for me. Hint, hint.
The goods
Since I'm splitting one CSA share with three other people—we set it up so that two people split each week's veg on alternating weeks—here's the half portion I took home: bok choi, half head; Chinese cabbage, half head; red sail lettuce, half head; buttercrunch lettuce, half head; red vein mizuna, one bunch; garlic scapes, two; sage with flowers, one bunch. There was rhubarb and green mizuna as part of our bundle too, but RL took those, and ended up swapping her mizuna for an extra bundle of rhubarb in order to make a proper pot of jam.
I gave half of my head of red mizuna to my folks, and with the other half did kind of a pantry clean-out dish with half a box of thin spaghetti and a cup or two of grated aged gouda that had both been languishing for a while. Basically I sauteed mizuna in a bit of butter (stems first, then leaves) and tossed the mizuna, gouda, and a few ladles of pasta water in with the drained, cooked spaghetti with the heat on low. After a few minutes the cheese melted into a rich coating over the pasta and mizuna, resulting in something between mac 'n' cheese and fettuccine Alfredo.

I was pleased by the pretty color of the mizuna against the spaghetti, but upon eating it I discovered the pasta was heavy with oil. For lunch the next day I tossed in a cut-up grilled chicken breast and some chopped sage, both of which were good pairings, but the pasta still slicked my lips. Next time, less cheese and no butter.
I also did two cheese toasts for dinner the other night, both with French raclette on ciabatta, but one with sage leaves and the other with chopped garlic scapes. I managed to burn both of them, and while the sage toast was still good, I was surprised that the spicy garlic flavor of the scapes had completely disappeared—I know now to eat them raw or just barely cooked, instead. Ah well. But hey, learning about all these new vegetables is all part of the CSA fun....

1 comment:

  1. That looks yummy. I love impromptu pasta dishes. They are great for cleaning out the pantry aren't they?!