Common Ground has teamed up with Turning Point Farm this season to help CSA members find interesting ways to enjoy their shares. Even if you’re not a CSA member, we think you’ll find lots of useful information in these posts about seasonal veggies you’re likely to encounter at farmers markets and in stores. Let us know what you think!
Rainbow Chard, Red Potatoes, Savoy Cabbage, Celery, Onions, Young Leeks, Kohlrabi & Broccoli
Chard is one of my favorite greens. It’s mild and sweet and cooks quickly and looks pretty even after it’s done time in the skillet. A bit more robust than spinach — which means it doesn’t shrink away to nothing in the pan — you can use it pretty much anywhere you’d ordinarily reach for spinach: omelets, quiche, strata like this one from Martha Stewart. All good.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to cook chard. Pine nuts are a little spendy, I know, and you can replace them with walnuts or sunflower seeds if you want to — no judging here — but the entire recipe only uses a tablespoon of them, and they add such buttery goodness. Worth a splurge, maybe? This version is from Behind the Plates.
Did you get brave and try the salt potatoes we suggested last week? If not, you get another chance with this week’s box. Or you can make yourself a really nice summer potato salad. We like this one from Lana’s Cooking. It’s mayo-free and similar to one we’ve served at the cafe. Bonus: it’ll put that bunch of fresh celery to good use, as well.
Simple and good. Tastes like summer.
Leeks and celery typically find their way into broth in our house. You can pair them up with this week’s potatoes and sweet onions for a classic vichyssoise, like this one from Luna’s Kitchen.
Isn’t that a pretty bowl?
By the way, those long tops of your leeks need not be cast aside or consigned immediately to the compost. At home and at the cafe, we use them them to make stock, adding onions, celery leaves, a clove or two of garlic, and any bits of carrot, parsley, or other mild veggies we might have around.
About stock: people often forgo making stock in the summer because they think you have to make great gallons of the stuff at a time, and simmer it forever on the stove top, steaming up the entire kitchen in the process.
But summer alliums like leeks and onions make a simple stock in almost no time. And you can scale it back to dinner-for-two proportions, using a small saucepan, a bit of salt and pepper, and enough water to cover it all. Set it to simmer, strain it when it’s done, and you’ll have a lovely little veggie broth in about 20 minutes. Season it with ginger and soy sauce, add that broccoli from this week’s box, and you’ve got a meal worthy of a hot July evening.