CSA Box for the Week of July 5, 2016

Greetings, CSA folks! We hope you had a fun Fourth of July. We finished stringing all of our dried beans last week, and we also started harvesting the first of our tomatoes. There’s nothing quite like biting into a good, juicy, vine-ripened tomato to make it feel like summer! Here’s what’s rocking and rolling in this week’s CSA boxes.

Fresh-Collard-Greens   Shell-Peas

Shell peas: If you’ve never had fresh-from-the-pod shell peas, you’re in for a real treat. Just “shuck” these peas out of the pods (as in the picture above), and discard the inedible pods. The sweet peas inside can be lightly cooked and enjoyed with butter, salt and pepper, or in any dish you normally use peas. We especially love them in fried rice and in pasta dishes, such as this Cheesy Spring Pasta with Shell Peas, Canadian Bacon and Dill.

Collard greens: Collards are sturdy, flavorful greens that are popular in Southern cooking (pictured above). To eat them the traditional way, cook up this recipe for delicious Slow-Braised Collard Greens.

Broccoli: Why not try something totally new with this week’s broccoli? Perhaps a broccoli quiche, parmesan roasted broccoli, or this Broccoli and Three-Cheese Lasagna.

Tomatoes: It’s that time! The first CSA tomatoes, picked just this morning. Everyone gets a yellow Taxi tomato and a purplish-red Black Krim tomato (one of our absolute favorite varieties). Storage tip: Be sure to never store your tomatoes in the fridge, which will give them an unpleasant texture. They’ll keep best, and maintain their flavor and texture, sitting in room temp and out of direct sun. I keep a small towel at the back of my kitchen counter to set fresh tomatoes on. 

Cilantro: This flavorful fresh herb works well in everything from Thai dishes to Mexican cuisine.

Swiss chard: This leafy green is a relative of beets. Use it like you would other cooking greens, such as in veggie sautés. Want to try something more creative? Here’s a recipe for Swiss Chard Risotto.

Dried beans: When we hit fall, we’ll have our new dried beans ready to share. We’re growing about 40 varieties of dried beans this year! Until then, though, we didn’t want to leave you hangin’ if you had a hankering for these awesome beans, so we tucked aside some of our own stash from late last fall to share with you. These are classic Pinto dried beans.

Fresh dill: Lovely in pastas (such as the Shell Pea Pasta recipe linked above), dips, and so much more. Here’s a recipe for Veggie Dill Dip we love!

Shallots: How about some enchiladas featuring sautéed shallot and Swiss chard, along with some dried beans and cilantro? YUM.

Have a great week, everyone, and let us all know what you’re cooking if you discover something really good!