There’s a certain false confidence that attends the first CSA box. Chicago has a late spring, so the box isn’t spilling over with abundance—it’s just the right amount of early vegetables. As Monday rolled around, we found that without too much strain, we’d succeeding in using up almost the entire box. The only things left were some asparagus, baby kale, and a few radishes.
We still had an ungodly amount of spinach pesto. You may recall from a previous post that I had claimed that it was best to freeze pesto before you mix in the cheese. But my older sister told me that was bananas, that she’d frozen plenty of cheesy pesto and it defrosted just fine. So since Andrew and I couldn’t stomach another spoonful of pesto (a welcome problem to have), we decided to go ahead and freeze it. This method from the Kitchn popped up on my Facebook newsfeed, which would have been exciting and convenient if such emotions weren’t shadowed by the sense that the bots are watching my every move.
The pesto method involves spreading it out on a piece of wax paper on a sheet pan, covering it with another piece of wax paper, and sticking it in the freezer. Once its frozen, you can break off pieces of whatever size you need when the urge comes. As a bonus, you don’t have to try to clean pesto out of your ice cube trays.
Grilled Salmon, Asparagus, and Kale with Buttermilk Dressing
Monday, Andrew’s day off, featured an extensive pantry cleansing, including a sorting and culling of spices. During that process, we discovered an unlabeled jar that contained a delicious spice rub. After some detective work, we figured out that it was from this recipe for lamb that consisted of cumin, Urfa Chile (this is the best thing ever), sumac (also the best thing ever), and salt. We slathered this all of the salmon and grilled it, along with the rest of the asparagus. We made a side salad using the CSA kale, and the remainder of the buttermilk dressing from earlier in the week.
CSA vegetables used: half of the asparagus, kale
Other ingredients used: salmon, rice, sumac, Urfa pepper flakes, cumin, salt
And that was the end of week one. To recap:
|Dish||CSA vegetables used||Does it taste good?||$$$?||Exhausted?||Gone? Or rotting in the fridge?|
|Spring Salad w/New Potatoes||Potatoes, radishes, spring onions, asparagus||Yes, thanks to the spring onions||$||Yes||We didn’t quite finish this before I got tired of the asparagus flavor gradually permeating everything|
|Spinach Pesto||Spinach||Yes, but not when you’ve eaten it four days in a row||I know I said this last year, but why are pine nuts so effing expensive?||No||Definitely not gone, but safely frozen for a day a long, long time from now|
|Grilled Chicken & Lettuce with buttermilk dressing||Lettuce, radishes, spring onions||That was legitimately delicious lettuce||$||No||Gone|
|Orecchiette with Sausage & Rapini||Rapini||Totally fine||$||No||We got close to finishing this, but not quite|
|Saag Paneer||Spinach||Oh my god yes||Surprisingly inexpensive, especially if you use paper towels instead of cheesecloth to strain the paneer||Yes, but that’s more the result of eating fried cheese is surprisingly exhausting||Gone, but not forgotten|
|Grilled Salmon, Asparagus, and Kale with buttermilk dressing||Kale, asparagus||yes||$$$ (Salmon)||No||Gone|
Casualties: None so far, but some of the radishes are looking a little shifty.
Next: Oh no more spinach