Wednesday, April 24, 2013

{Wednesday} Links: CSA Special

Photo of Tucker Farms Lettuce at the Marietta Square Farmers' Market
{Oops, I meant this Weekend Links post to go up on Sunday morning, but I must not have used the scheduler correctly! So enjoy a little Wednesday Links this week!}

Last year, we joined a CSA for the first time and did as best we could to embrace the challenge of more spontaneous seasonal meal planning.  I intended to do a CSA wrap-up post of favorite recipes we discovered at the end of the season, but that ended up falling about the same time as Mouse's arrival, and I never got around to it. 

In a way, I think this turns out better, since I am able to share some of my favorite CSA recipes as we gear up for another great season.

We had a lot of radishes last year.  A lot!  As in, every week.  Unlike my dad, I don't care much (or at all) for raw radishes, but as it turned out, these quick pickled ones are great (on a salad, a sandwich, etc.)!

We also had a lot of leeks and while I ultimately started using them in lieu of onions in other recipes, these recipes for braised leeks with lentils and quiche stood out.  The hands-down best were these braised leeks and apples!  We put them over a grilled flank steak and it was out of this world!

I love zucchini simply steamed or cut thick, brushed with olive oil and grilled, so there were really no challenges using these lovelies.  In addition, we had made lots of zucchini muffins (most of which never made it to the freezer)I also enjoyed these zucchini "noodles" in Thai peanut sauce (although mine were mushy since I used a box grater; this year I'm armed and ready with a mandoline).  This cheesy zucchini rice was also a huge hit (we substituted brown rice).

Summer Squash
Our family loved this summer squash mushroom casserole in addition to wonderful steamed squash and raw squash rounds dipped in ranch as an afternoon snack.

It was great to get outside the lettuce "box" with some different varieties.  Over the summer, I found this great article on preserving lettuce that virtually eliminated waste from spoilage.

Early in the season, we had an abundance of joi choi and I discovered this great choi slaw recipe (because one can only have so much stir fry).

We love tomatoes like we love zucchini, so other than sheer volume, we did not have any problems coming up with ways to enjoy the tomatoes (from heirloom cherry ones, to lovely beefsteak ones).  My one attempt at tomato sauce was somewhat uninspired, so I'll need to work on that again this year.  But my very always definitely favorite tomatoes are Heidi's oven roasted tomatoes (you can use cherry/grape or chopped larger tomatoes - any variety). 

What recipes are you looking forward to making with your CSA basket this spring?

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