We did pretty good this week! We were able to eat up everything, and though I did take two weeks to get around to the Colcannon, surprisingly nothing went bad. Here is a recap of where all our food was used from Week #2:
Paris Market Carrot – Coleslaw
Napa Cabbage – Coleslaw
Siberian Kale – Colcannon
Garlic Scapes – Pesto Sauce in Pasta dish
Sugar Snap Peas – We ate these up as snacks throughout the week and they were pretty freakin delicious.
I think this week really exemplifies what I was hoping the CSA would provide for me. I am learning about produce I have never heard of before (garlic scapes), and learning how to use produce I probably wouldn’t go out and buy on my own (Napa Cabbage). I’m also being challenged to find recipes for dishes I wouldn’t think to make on my own. Up to this point, a lot of my cooking has been “one main dish”, but a lot of the food from our CSA is going to rock the side dishes I usually wouldn’t be up for making (coleslaw). And of course, once they are made, I love them! Looking forward to next week!
As a random side-note, Week 2 also ended with a fun concert on Main Street in our little city!
Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe made with mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. I found out about it a year ago when I came across a Denver band named Colcannon, wondered about the name, and looked it up. So totally random!
I am always more of a fan of using a recipe from one of my books before turning to the internet, and of course I ended up finding a recipe for Colcannon in the world’s most versatile vegetarian cookbook to go off. Their recipe includes cooking some eggs on top, which seems to be a variation from the traditional dish.
I’ll be honest, I kind of slacked on this one. In fact it took me 2 weeks to get to it. We were both getting home late from work and had a lot of craziness going on, and I kept pushing it off so I could make “easier” recipes. But I did finally get to it, and it was really easy and delicious (and healthy! Holy cow one serving gives you 127% of your daily recommended Vitamin A!). I guess it was a good thing I waited so long to make this dish, because it calls for scallions, which we got in our CSA for Week 4!
- 5 medium-large russet potatoes cut into pieces
- 8 0z kale, shredded
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 4 large eggs
- 3 0z mature cheese (I used Gruyere)
- Boil the potatoes until they are tender (easily can stick a fork through them)
- Drain potatoes and mash well
- Boil the kale for a few minutes, then drain
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Mix the kale with mashed potatoes, scallions, and butter
- Season with salt & pepper to taste
- Spoon mixture into shallow baking dish
- Make four hollows in the mixture and crack an egg into each hollow
- Bake for around 12 minutes, or until eggs are set
- Serve sprinkled with the cheese
Since my dreams of homemade sauerkraut were dashed to the wind, I settled on the other thing I know cabbage is good for: coleslaw. Yes, I could have done another leafy salad type thing, but at this point we still weren’t done with our original leafy salad and I didn’t want things piling up. I initially found a recipe from Smitten Kitchen that specifically calls for Nappa Cabbage, but the idea of making wasabi coleslaw with my entire head of cabbage scared me a little.
So I just opted for some normal coleslaw based off a recipe in my favorite versatile veg book. The recipe calls for a quarter of head of cabbage but I was determined to use it all up, so I just took a look at the ratios of ingredients and started throwing stuff together and hoping it worked out. Here is my ingredients list, and vaguely the quantities I used:
- Mayonnaise (12 tbsp)
- Plain Yogurt (8 tbsp)
- 1 apple
- 15 celery stalks
- Entire Napa Cabbage
- The rest of my Paris Market Carrots (7? 8?)
- Salt and pepper to taste
I chopped up the cabbage, celery and apple, and I shredded the carrots. Overall it turned out pretty yummy. It looks like a lot of mayonnaise and yogurt, but because there was just so much of everything else, it was actually pretty minimal. Ryan and both agreed that it was a lot less ‘soupy’ than most coleslaws (which was nice because you could actually taste what was in it).
I think my main regret was shredding the carrots so fine. This particular cabbage is apparently more ‘leafy’ and less stiff than ‘normal’ cabbage from the grocery store (obviously there is no such thing as normal cabbage, but I am a product of America and therefore any produce that is consistently available at the grocery store becomes the ‘normal’ version). So, because of this the coleslaw already wasn’t as crunchy as I would have liked. And with the carrots grated so fine, they were more like ‘carrot paste’ and less like ‘strips of crunchy carrots.’ In the end it wasn’t too bad, because the apple and celery gave it a lot of crunch.
Since I pretty much fell off my chair when I saw that we would be getting Garlic Scapes (after looking them up and finding out what they are), I knew I had to use them for something that night. Our farm suggested that they make a great pesto, and even gave us a quick recipe, so I decided to make Whole Wheat Penne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Tomatoes for dinner.
By the time I finished making the pesto, our whole apartment smelled amazing! I took a taste test and oh man. It was STRONG. Like way-stronger-than-when-Ryan-makes-the-garlic-bread strong (I didn’t think it was possible!). The recipe says “We did find that the garlic scape pesto mellows a little after sitting, so if you find it a little overpowering at first, just refrigerate it and taste it again once it’s had a chance to sit for a few days.” Right. So basically if you are a normal human being, make this pesto a day in advance. It was practically burning my mouth it was so strong! Ryan of course loved it 🙂
I just boiled up 2 boxes of whole wheat penne (yes we still have lots of spaghetti, but I felt this pesto really deserved some fancy pasta). While the pasta was cooking I whipped up the pesto and sliced 8 cherry tomatoes in half. I initially was going to use sun-dried tomatoes, since those always go amazing with basil pesto. But, I was scared they would over-power the garlic scape pesto (HA) so I used some fresh cherry tomatoes instead. Once the pasta was done I just mixed everything all up together. Super easy.
Luckily for me, things really mellowed out over the night in the fridge and the leftovers I had for lunch the following day tasted much better. I loved it so much that I went back to the farm a few days later and bought another bunch of them. I thought that the pesto could make a really awesome pizza sauce (Ryan and I are in the midst of a pizza experiment), so I will keep you posted on how that goes.
Whole Wheat Penne with Garlic Scape Pesto and Tomatoes
- 1 cup garlic scapes, chopped
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 8 or 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 boxes of whole wheat penne pasta
- Cook the pasta
- While pasta is cooking, place all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
- Place cooked pasta in a large bowl and mix with pesto and tomatoes
It’s week 2 and I feel like pro! I know to drive in the correct entrance and how to cross my name off and everything. Yay. Here is what we got this week:
Napa Cabbage – I instantly thought to myself “HOMEMADE SAUERKRAUT!!!!” And then realized I don’t have a basement and I don’t really want to be fermenting cabbage in our tiny apartment during the hot summer months. (ew) I am pretty sure if I ever give up my beloved apartment life, homemade sauerkraut will be the reason.
Paris Market Carrot – These guys are so freakin’ fat and cute! Also the name makes me feel fancy about eating carrots.
Siberian Kale – Also excited about this one. Kale is apparently this cool vegetable that everyone is always talking about. (It is strange to me that foods can be “in style.”) I’ve never had it, but now we can be like all the other cool kids.
Garlic Scapes – Aka cool curly things that taste like garlic. I had never heard of them until now, and I’m not quite sure how I’ve lived without them.
Sugar Snap Peas – YUM!