CSA Things: Pleasantly Surprised

I let Joey do the meal planning and grocery shopping last week.  This is a big deal.  And the reason this is a big deal really boils down to the fact that I have kitchen control issues.  I had to bite my tongue several times because I kept having an alarming urge to say things like, “Don’t go over our budget!” or “Don’t forget the coupons” (for the record, he did forget the coupons) or “Remember to pick meals that use up our CSA veggies!”  I’m a joy.  Anyways, turns out Joey is a pro at using up our CSA veggies and we pumped out some fun, new and tasty things this week.

CSA Pick-Up #5 Included:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Tarragon
  • Green Beans
  • Spring Onions

What We Cooked:



I’ll be honest, after reading up on tarragon and finding out it had a licorice flavor, neither of us were too thrilled.  I had pretty much convinced myself it was going to go to waste when I came across a recipe for green beans and tarragon that promised to be amazing.  Turns out, it was!  I was kind of stunned that I really liked the flavor.  I used up the rest of the licorice-y herb in a salad dressing and could not get over how much I loved the flavor.  Sometimes it pays to try new things, eh?



Also, a secret for the best green beans…butter!  Seriously, last year Joey and I discovered that sautéing green beans in a little bit of butter yields some incredible flavor.  In other words, butter makes everything better.   This recipe kicked things up a notch by suggesting you blanch the beans before sautéing them, which makes this process even faster.  For the record, the purple beans turned green when I blanched them!


For the kale, we used this recipe for inspiration and changed it up a little bit by doubling the filling, adding some shredded mozzarella and making 8 smaller phyllo wraps.  We had a little phyllo wrap assembly line going.  We filled this particular one a little too much, hence the filling bursting out at both ends (doh!). Despite the fact that farm fresh kale kind of freaks me out (it’s like you can never really get it clean!), these were pretty good.  I say “pretty good” because they really could have used some goat cheese to take them to the next level.  Oh, and this is where the onions went too.

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Joey is totally the opposite of me when he does the meal planning.  I pull up my Pinterest recipe list and look at the most recent pins, which pretty much guarantees that I never make anything that’s been hanging out at the bottom of my recipe folder.  Joey goes straight to the bottom and picks from there, which is great because all those forgotten recipes actually get used.  He added these tofu bánh mì sandwiches to our list and we roasted up the carrots and some snow peas on the side.

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If you’re thinking these carrots look a little too much like human fingers for comfort, well then, you and me both, sister.  Even more so after I roasted them… But aren’t the yellow insides of those purple carrots awesome??  I definitely wasn’t expecting that when I sliced into one.  Anyways, these sandwiches were okay.  I probably won’t go through the trouble of making them again, but it was a good way to use up our cucumber.  The hoagie rolls were the star of the show anyways.



Oh, right, the broccoli!  I cut it up and tossed it into this Sesame Soba Noodle dish, along with more snow peas and some leftover tofu from the banh mi sandwiches.  We’ve made this once before and it’s really simple and really tasty — anything with a almond butter sauce can’t be bad — but the real story was the florescent green caterpillar that was eating its way through this head of broccoli when we picked it up from the farm.  It was gross and cute at the same time.  In other news, would it be weird if I asked Hannah to let me hold a bouquet of broccoli at her wedding?

If you stuck through it with me on this novel of a post about farm vegetables (on a Friday, no less!) then you deserve the happiest of weekends.  Enjoy!

CSA Things: It’s Garlic Scape Season!

One of the many things I love about Red Wagon Organic Farm (and we’re only one month in!) is that they are really on top of things.  In addition to keeping their website updated with new recipes,  they send out a nice little email the day before our pick-up to A) remind us about it and B) tell us exactly what we’ll be receiving.  The Sunday before we made our second pick-up, I woke up to an email saying we’d be getting garlic scapes, my favorite, odd-looking, short-seasoned, best kept produce secret.

CSA Pick-Up #2 included:

  • Strawberries
  • Snap Peas
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Mustard Greens
  • Garlic Scapes

What We Cooked:

You know, sometimes fresh produce is best in its most basic form, which was certainly true for the strawberries and snap peas, which we just ate raw.  I was particularly stoked about the strawbs (my all time favorite fruit).  I can honestly saw both of these were the best I’d ever tasted.  The berries were perfectly sweet and the peas were so crisp.  Pure perfection.


I bought a bunch of radishes at the grocery the week before we got our CSA so I was interested to see how the farm fresh bunch compared.  They were definitely bigger, crisper and prettier.  The purple-y ones were so cool looking!  We threw them into some simple wraps with roasted red pepper hummus, English cucumber slices and lettuce, which I wasn’t expecting much from but was pleasantly surprised by how tasty they were.


When we got the mustard greens home, we tore off pieces to taste raw, then looked at each other and said “WHOA!”  Mustard greens have definitely got a great kick to them.  Raw, it had a real horseradish taste to it.  We used it in place of kale in this recipe, which we make all the time because A) it takes 15 minutes and B) it involves pasta and cheese.  This time around we added a couple tablespoons of butter to the noodles.  Butter + mustard greens made this recipe about 10x better.


I hope this is a safe space to admit I do not like farm fresh spinach.  It’s a little too…sturdy(?) for my taste.  Nothing like the soft baby spinach I get at the store (imagine that!), so I wasn’t all that excited to see it on the list.  But!  I figured sautéing it and hiding it inside a delicious calzone would fix everything.  I was really proud of myself when these turned out to be absolutely tasty.  And I even made the dough all by myself!


Both the garlic scapes and the arugula went into this dish.  I’m not Julia Child or anything (I’m reading a book about her so I’ve got Julia on the brain lately), but I love this original recipe of mine.  And it was combined with another recipe of mine for garlic scape pesto, which is hands down the best pesto I’ve ever tasted.  It took this already delicious recipe up to a whole new level.


P.S. This meal was made even more delicious by the fact that I didn’t lift a finger to make it.  Hooray for nights when Joey does all the cooking 🙂


Have you ever heard of a garlic scape?

What is your favorite fruit?

Pizza or calzones?