Hey, it's me, your friend who showed up to her CSA pick up location 15 minutes before the farmer even arrived. I just really like vegetables, okay? I'd say my affection is partially because my Mom (happy Mother's Day!) fed me things like sweet potato pie and broccoli casserole instead of baby food, and partially because I'm still an ADHD child who stops and oggles over anything shiny or brightly colored or with an interesting texture. And a Bloomsbury Farm CSA basket is all of those things. Please join me on my bizarre joy ride of produce once a week for the next 23 (!) weeks to read about what I'm doing with the contents of my baskets.
In my basket this week, I have:
Straighter Head Lettuce
Easter Egg Radishes
The strawberries didn't even make it all the way back to my house and I suspect yours didn't either. I usually throw any kind of sprouts into smoothies, but I'm going to give you recipes and ideas for what to do with the rest of this produce. Email me and let me know if you have questions or requests!
We'll start with my go-to solution for any vegetable and it just so happens to please those among us who insist on refraining from meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, or vegetables in general: the fritter. All you do is puree or chop up the cooked vegetable up and mix it with potato, egg, flour and some spices. Flax eggs and potato starch will happily sit in for the real stuff and the variations are endless! You can add in pickled greens, beet greens, kimchi, grated or cooked root vegetables, cheese, herbs, or any kind of spice that tickles your fancy.
The other really nice thing about the fritter is that the batter freezes well in individual portions. At some point this summer, you're going to get sick of kale or cabbage or collards and fritters are a great way to make like a squirrel with your momentarily unwanted greens. They're a hearty, quick breakfast alongside an egg during the winter. Yes, mine got a little extra crispy because my fur husband chewed on our good spatula until the handle came off and as you can imagine, it was very difficult to flip the fritters.
I'm setting aside the cabbage for next week, when I'll be making a grilled Napa wedge salad with a parsley buttermilk dressing alongside some nice, smoky chicken. I also quick pickled about half of the carrots and all the radishes. Don't overthink pickling- just make sure you're using a 1:1 ratio filtered water and a vinegar that isn't aged. For an 8 ounce jar, I use 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, a spoonful (2ish teaspoons) of raw cane sugar and whatever spices I have on hand, usually a sprig of dill, a garlic clove, 1/2t yellow mustard seeds, and a few peppercorns. That's it! The carrots will go on the napa salad next week and the radishes will wait for taco or nacho night.
A friend of mine gave me this nice olive oil that's pressed with the rind of blood oranges and it happens to go quite nicely with the remaining contents of this week's basket. I used it to make a big batch of dressing for two salads. The first isn't pictured, but it's rubbed curly kale with roasted beets, quick pickled red onions and ricotta salata. The second is comprised of straighter head lettuce, paper thin slices of fennel and radish, and spicy green olives. It's a pleasing, light dinner alongside the turnip fritters, but if you or yours are the type that insists on eating meat, I think salmon would be a nice choice. Get a big piece, cover it with a couple pats of butter, sliced shallots, salt and little half moons of lemon. Stick it in a cold oven, set it to 400, and wait 20 minutes. Better yet, have a dinner party and ask someone else to bring salmon.
-makes 12 small fritters
The batter can be made ahead, then frozen in 1/4 cup patties. Sub a second potato for turnips if you don't have turnips or are folding in other vegetables.
1 bunch turnips with greens (10 ounces of root, if you must know)
1 medium/large russet potato (12 ounces total, after peeling)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped green onions, green part only
1/4 cup flour*
3/4 t kosher salt
1/2 t white pepper**
oil for frying
yogurt, sour cream or creme fraiche to serve
1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Peel potato and cut into eight even pieces. Cut turnips roots in half (do not discard greens!). Boil both until fork tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove vegetables from pot with a slotted spoon, then drain and run under cool water. Dry well. Cut away any large stems from the turnip greens, then drop them into the same pot for another 5-10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out excess liquid and chop finely.
4. Push potatoes and turnip roots through a vegetable ricer if you have one, or spin them around in a food processor until smooth.
5. Gently fold green onions, turnip greens, salt, pepper, egg and flour into the turnip mixture.
6. Heat a large skillet over medium with 1/4" oil.
7. Spoon mixture into the pan and press it flat with the back of a spatula. Fry about three minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
8. Drain on compostable brown paper bags and serve immediately.
* You can use potato start to make these GF.
** If you're one of those weenies who's averse to "spicy" food, maybe only use 1/4 t white pepper.
Sorta Provencal Salad
one large head lettuce
one small bulb fennel, with fronds
as many pickled radishes as you like
your favorite spicy olives
dreamy orange dressing
1. It's a salad. Toss that shit together.
Dreamy Orange Dressing
-yields about two cups
If you're using this for a salad with less piquant toppings, consider adding dijon mustard to taste at the end.
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
3T white balsamic vinegar
2T orange marmalade
1 large egg yolk
1 cup neutral oil such as grapeseed
1/2 cup olive oil*
3/4 t kosher salt
1. In a blender or stand mixer, puree shallot, water, vinegar and marmalade until smooth.
2. Add egg yolk and give it a whir!
3. While the blender or mixer is running, slowly stream in oils.
4. Add salt and taste.
*I used 1/4 cup regular olive oil and 1/4 cup Galena Garlic Blood Orange Olive Oil. Regular olive oil will do just fine.