CSA Things: First Pick-Up

Our CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, started up on Memorial Day and three weeks in (we did a bi-weekly pick-up), I couldn’t be happier with our choice of farm.  (Which for the record, is Red Wagon Organic Farm.)  Actually, I would be happier with a shorter drive to the farm but a little field trip out to Longmont every other Monday isn’t so bad.  Especially when the view looks like this.


Our first bundle of farm fresh veggies included:

Salad greens
Bok choy
Broccoli rabe
Pea shoots

Everything we got was beautiful and even after letting them sit in the fridge for a week (oops!) the veggies were still bright and crisp-looking.

What We Cooked:


For the broccoli rabe and turnips, I used these two recipes, alongside a simple piece of grilled chicken. I’ve only had rabe once and it was bitter. Blanching it, as our recipe called for, totally took the bitter taste away and we were left with a delicious sautée of greens. As for the turnips, I was really surprised by their taste. Almost potato-y and radish-y at the same time? We simply trimmed the tips off (Joey commented that they looked like little mini versions of Wilson from Cast Away, ha ha!) and roasted them, then served them with a mustard dipping sauce. All together, it was a simple meal but we were both blown away by the fresh flavors.


I used the rhubarb in 2 batches of Rhubarb Berry Baked Oatmeal. Side note: my mom is literally repulsed by oatmeal and made the most horrible face when I told her how I’d used my rhubarb. I, however, loved this recipe. Obviously, since I made it twice. Waking up in the morning, throwing a piece of this oatmeal in a bowl then popping it into the microwave for a minute is the epitome of easy. And topped with a splash of milk, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a spoonful of peanut butter, this breakfast is out of this world. Pie-like even!


The bok choy was served alongside some salmon in this recipe.  In fact, we made this for a late dinner on Monday after picking up our second batch of CSA goodies.  It took all of 15 minutes and was so dang tasty.  Our salmon was on the thicker side so we ran into some trouble with the cooking time difference between the sauce/bok choy and the salmon but overall, I loved this dish.  My mom is probably also repulsed by this picture of “stinky fish.”

photo 2

As I mentioned earlier this week, we used the pea shoots in a pesto potato salad. Paired with some portobello mushroom burger sliders + a picnic blanket = perfect summer meal.

The salad greens were used for a few simple salads I threw together for lunch sides.  They were fresh and delicious.  Like I said, we had our second pick-up yesterday and I was annoyingly excited about everything we got to take home.  But seriously, garlic scapes, spicy mustard greens and the most deliciously sweet snap peas and strawberries I’ve ever tasted?  Yes!  Can’t wait to use everything up!


Have you ever cooked with any of this produce?

Do you like “stinky fish,” aka normal-smelling fish?

When was the last time you went on a picnic?

Pesto Potato Salad with Pea Shoots

At our first CSA pick-up on Memorial Day, we were given the option of taking home kale or pea shoots.  Right away, Joey’s answer was “KALE!”  We know kale, we’re comfortable with kale.  But upon second glance at the pea shoots, with all their leaves and those adorable curly-q “pea tendrils,” we immediately changed our minds.  We just had no idea what to do with it.

I went to Foodgawker for some inspiration, came across a picture of a pesto potato salad with pea shoots and was sold.  Not that Joey is a picky eater at all but I also knew he would approve of this idea especially because he loves white potatoes and because I rarely buy them,– I’m a devout sweet potato-atarian — this would be a great chance to get his white potato fix.

photo 1

Pesto Pasta Salad with Pea Shoots

For the pesto:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh arugula (we used the baby variety)
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Place garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add basil, arugula, nuts, salt and pepper and process until combined, then stream in olive oil, broth and lemon juice until mostly smooth.

*This makes about 1/2 cup of pesto, so you will have some leftover after making the potato salad.  Use it on pasta or pizza!

**This time around (maybe Joey was a little heavy handed with the lemon juice :P), our pesto turned out a little thin, but that made it perfect for the potato salad, as you usually need to thin pesto out before mixing it with other things.  If your pesto turns out thicker, just add a bit more vegetable broth.

For the potato salad:

  • 1 lb. small potatoes, cut into small chunks (we used Yukon Golds, but you could use anything, even fingerlings!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch pea shoots, remove thick stems and thoroughly chop remaining bunch
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, toss potatoes, olive oil and salt, then roast for 30-ish minutes or until potatoes are soft and golden.
  3. In a bowl, toss pea shoots, pesto and roasted potatoes.

Really, this potato salad could not have been easier, or more flavorful.  Side note: pea shoots taste exactly like snap peas and we may or may not have been tossing it in our mouths during the entire production of this dish.  Pea shoot season is very short so if you are lucky enough to snag some this year, I really recommend this recipe.  I also recommend that you pack it up and take it on a picnic.