Seasonal Eating in Portland May 2017
Week One is in the bag! We had a successful first week of incorporating our weekly farm share into our meal planning. This time of year the shares start out a little small, but that gives us a chance to get back into the CSA habit. It can take a few weeks to get used to incorporating
them into our weekly shopping/recipe planning. This week we got leaf lettuce, Hakurei salad turnips, fava tops, and a bunch of herbs: mint, lemon balm, oregano, savory, and thyme. Now I’m going to share with you how I used it all.
The key to using your veggies, especially new ones (like Hakurei turnips or fava tops), is keeping it simple. Find ways to substitute things you’d already be using with what’s in your weekly haul.
Here’s a quick list of how we used our farm fresh food (read on for more detail):
Lettuce: sandwiches and wraps
Oregano, savory, and thyme: added to pre-made tomato and red pepper soup
Turnips: Tossed in with some marinated veggies for a chilled salad
Fava tops: Made pesto using the fava tops in lieu of basil
Mint and lemon balm: infused water for a refreshing drink
Lettuce, Oregano, Savory, Thyme
This week our lettuce was mainly used in various sandwiches and wraps. One night we had BLTs with Pacific Foods brand Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup (we used the fresh oregano, savory, and thyme in the soup to make it a bit more fresh), and my son had a few turkey wraps with lettuce in his lunch for the week.
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Later in the week it got hot, so I made a Gingery Asian Noodle Salad. It took very little time on the stove, which is great for hot weather. The salad can be eaten warm or chilled, which makes leftovers a cinch. This week the CSA provided us with a chance to use a new vegetable: the Hakurei salad turnip. While we’re big fans of turnips, this particular kind was new to us. It had a little more bite than the ones we typically eat, which was a perfect compliment to this dinner. Along with the Asian Noodle Salad I made a little side of cucumber, red bell pepper, and the turnips, all thinly sliced. I marinated the veggies in rice wine vinegar (you could use basic white vinegar), and some sugar and salt. The meal was fantastic, and it was fun to try the turnips in this dish.
Lemon Balm and Mint
Over the hot weekend, the lemon balm and mint made a great infusion when added to a pitcher of cold water. It was so refreshing!
The most fun item to use this week was the fava tops. I’m a big fan of pesto, but I don’t really like basil as the main green in pesto. I often make kale pesto, but this week thought I’d try it with the fava tops. Mix the fava tops, some almonds, a clove of garlic, some olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and roughly chop it. I don’t use measurements — just add all ingredients to taste. It was really great. The fava bean tops are slightly bitter, so I added a little more lemon juice than usual. We served it with pork loin and green beans cooked on the grill. My youngest son thought the pesto was so tasty that he ate it with a spoon straight out of the jar.
Stay tuned for next week’s update. On the docket: Leaf lettuce, green onions, bok choy, kale, a basil plant.