CSA Day!

Can it be here already? The beginning of our CSA season is upon us; Steve and I picked up our first box at the Market on Saturday. Look at those beautiful veggies up there! I was surprised at how much was in our box, to be honest. I was expecting it to be a little bit lighter this early in the season. We received: a huge bunch of spinach, green garlic, a head of green lettuce, two bunches of asparagus, overwintered carrots (so sweet!), and chives. 

I've been feeling pretty uninspired for the last few weeks in regards to our evening meals. Picking up our CSA box forced me to sit down with our cookbooks and make a plan for the week and so far, it's been good and a little reinvigorating. It was a little box of veggie inspiration. The carrots, some of the garlic, and some of the chives and their blossoms went into an Herbed Carrot Soup (recipe in The Moosewood Cookbook)...

I didn't know that chive blossoms were edible, but, yum! One bunch of asparagus went into a Baked Lasagne with Pesto Balsamella and homemade noodles (recipe in Simple Italian Food).

We make this dish once a year and now I remember why. The components are all really very simple: noodles, asparagus, and the sauce. But the time to prepare them all from scratch really adds up. We made this on Sunday, starting to cook at 4:30 and sitting down to dinner at 6:45. Oh, but it was worth it. There really is nothing quite like fresh pasta noodles. *swoon*

Three-quarters of the spinach, some of the garlic, and chives (chives top everything this time of year, really) went into Cream of Spinach Soup (recipe in The Moosewood Cookbook).

Silas really loved both of the soups this week. I mixed them with a bit of leftover rice to give them a little more body and make it easier for him to eat (he still does the classic spoon turn as it's en route to his mouth). Soups are so perfect for using up a bunch of produce and they are, usually, an incredibly simple meal.

Instead of tossing the spinach crowns into the compost pile as we usually do, we braised them in sake and tamari. I had no idea that this part of the spinach plant was edible, but in searching through my recipes I found one that called for them. I love discovering ways to use things that we normally throw away. I feel so thrifty and resourceful (recipe in  Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant).

If you're wondering how they tasted, they were good! The bigger ones were not as tender as the smaller ones and I think I needed to trim off more of the root, as that part was rather woody. The pink crowns, though, were a touch sweet and tasted of asparagus, oddly enough.

And finally, the last of the asparagus and more of the green garlic went into an Asparagus Risotto with Mushrooms and Ginger (recipe in The Vegan Gourmet).

It was Silas' first taste of mushrooms so he, of course, promptly spit them out. It's okay though, he was in a surprisingly good mood for the end of the day and actually let me stand in front of the stove for the hour that it takes to make risotto. After that, he can eat whatever he wants.

We still have some spinach and the lettuce to eat up before Saturday...salads, salads, salads! It feels good to be back in the kitchen with some purpose. (It tastes good too.)


  1. Everything looks wonderful Courtney. Our lettuce in the fields has already come and gone for the season so I am trying a new seed mix to see if I can grow more.
    I just saw [ and I can't remember where]about putting chive flowers in vinegar to flavor it and have a jar sitting in my kitchen. Should be great in dressings.

    1. Oh the chive vinegar would be lovely Tracey, will be trying that soon, thanks!

  2. Love CSA days!! Although we decided not to join one this year after about six years of belonging to one. Trying our best to grow what we need and anything else we want we will head to the market for.

    Your meals looks delicious. I have one Moosewood Cookbook, looks like I need to add some others to my wish list.

  3. Oh my that all looks so delicious!! I didn't know either that chive blossoms are edible, it looks very beautiful on the soup. While we are waiting for our veggies to grow I have recently gone back to buying my weekly supply from a 'reputable' guy at our outdoor saturday market. His stuff always looks a little rough around the edges but just tastes great!

  4. Oh yum...it's a good thing it's lunch time. That all looks so amazing. We are getting our fresh produce now too. I had my first tomato sandwich of the season last night. I was so good! I'm off to eat lunch now because I'm suddenly very hungry :)

  5. wow- looks delicious- I'm a huge believer of using all the goodness and juice from organic foods before we compost them- I usually throw everything into my weekly broth but sautéing them sounds like a great idea- Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. What beautiful colors in every single one of those meals. We have gotten two very, very small shares so far this season (just tiny bits of greens), but we are supposed to get a slightly bigger share tomorrow. Of course, down here our selection is quite a bit different than yours. I can't imagine ever getting asparagus, for example. Anyway, you've got me eager for our pick up tomorrow!

  7. Looks like a very good food week at your house, and I love all of the photos! All of the early produce is the upside of the unusually warm spring.

  8. I have been looking forward to your csa cooking :) I love all of the dishes and who knew you could eat that part of a spinach plant!!

  9. Everything looks wonderful! You inspire me to try more homemade soups.

  10. that lasagna sounds so good!! have you tried doing a double batch and freezing the second prior to cooking? makes all the time spent in the kitchen a little more bearable for me knowing that i have another night's meal awaiting us for a busier day.

  11. You did an amazing job of working everything in. Our csa box has been filled with e same sorts of things. I just processed three pounds of carrots and will be making carrot ginger soup tomorrow.