CSA Things: Faaava Beans

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t feeling as excited about this week’s pick up.  I mean there’s only so much excitement you can feel about spinach and arugula — and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing much more of those two things — and the “OH MY GOD, GARLIC SCAPES” ship I was on two weeks ago has apparently sailed.  There’s really only so much pesto a person can eat.  But I think we made the best of it anyways.

CSA Pick-Up #3 Included:

  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Fava beans
  • Garlic scapes
  • Swiss chard

What We Cooked:


How crazy-huge are fava beans?!

We served them up plain and simple as a side dish for a summery pasta salad (below).  Joey and I were really surprised by the taste/texture of the beans.  They’re pretty soft and have this flavor that’s pea-like but potato-y at the same time?  Upon first taste, Joey declared it “his new favorite bean!” — do people have favorite beans? — then decided they smelt weird, ha!  I would certainly try them again, but we’ll have to wait till next year as fava bean season is super short and this will probably be the only time they’ll be offered to us.


As for that arugula I was so excited about, we tossed it in this salad.  We swapped millet for orzo, and arugula for spinach because that’s what we had on hand (and I had other plans for the spinach :P) and it turned out fabulously.  There’s something about fresh corn and a light lemony dressing that just screams summer.  And look, I know it isn’t quite corn season yet and what we bought at the grocery store probably wasn’t local, but CORN IS SO GOOD!  No lie, after we boiled this corn and cut off the kernels, Joey and I stood over the sink and ate anything that was left on those cobs.  It was very classy in our kitchen that night.


Okay, stay with me on this one.  I was at a serious loss for what to do with the Swiss chard.  It was actually Joey who suggested I use the leaves as a wrap.  I just smeared some hummus and pesto on the leaves then tossed in some cheese and cherry tomatoes.  Plus a good sprinkle of salt and pepper, of course, it wasn’t half bad and I’ll admit I repeated this meal a few times.  Still, I think I could do with any more chard in our CSA bundle.


The spinach went to good use in a homemade pizza.  We just sautéed some onion and spinach and tossed it on some pizza dough — homemade, mind you! — then topped it all off with some fresh mozzarella.  I can’t remember the first time I ate fresh mozzarella, but I imagine it being a very strange taste if you’ve never tried it before.  And I mean plain, not inside a fried breading!


My plan was to use the garlic scapes in place of anything that called for garlic this week, but it after making my favoritest summer pasta dish with them, I realized scapes and regular garlic maybe aren’t so interchangeable.  They’re kind of crunchy!  That being said, nothing could ruin this pasta dish, especially when paired with some butter roasted carrots and a glass of white wine.


Also, this is what garlic scapes look like, for any of you who’ve never come across this weird looking produce.  They’re usually even more weird looking, but it’s the end of garlic scape season, so this happens to be a smaller bunch.

And thus ends this weeks edition of “the weird (and probably extremely unappetizing-looking) things I did with a bunch of produce I wasn’t all that jazzed about.”  I’m sure it was crazy exciting to read, huh?

Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderfully fun and exciting 4th of July!


Is there a certain vegetable (or vegetables!) you just really don’t care for?

Have you ever seen a fava bean?

Favorite kind of pizza?

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?