This week we got: cucumber, radicchio, fennel, an onion with a giant oniony top, curly parsley, broccoli, collards, baby arugula, and surprise zucchinis that weren’t originally on the list. I bought radishes from the market, along with some honey and popcorn because I couldn’t resist.
Wednesday I mostly focused on putting away everything to keep, in the spinner or crisper as befitted them. I put some parsley in the oven to dry and chopped some to freeze in ice cube trays, happily putting the stems into the aforementioned “aromatics” bags for future stocks. I packed up my half of the fennel, radicchio, broccoli, and zucchini in a few plastic containers, and stuck them in my luggage on Friday morning when I went off to Boston for a conference.
It was nice to leave the bustle of the downtown Boston convention centers each night and go to Somerville to relax with an old friend from college, particularly one who likes to cook and has a fish share. A fish share! I always say that I want to cook and eat fish more often, and I imagine I would do so if the fish presented itself to me each week as a delicious problem to be solved, the way my CSA box does. I may look into this.
We wore ourselves out this weekend, though; after the conference, a few great meals out, a morning of kayaking and an afternoon of shoe-hunting, we decided to keep it pretty simple Sunday night. My friend baked the fish–redfish and sole–in foil with lemon and garlic, and we roasted potato wedges and florets from my CSA broccoli. We didn’t bother to cook the zucchini; I shaved it into thin slices and let it tenderize for awhile with salt, then drained it and dressed it with lemon, olive oil, and mustard. I also sliced the radicchio and fennel into very thin strips and let them cure for a bit in lime juice with a pinch of sugar and salt. A sliced mango added some more sweetness and tanginesss to this makeshift salad/slaw/dish. Radicchio is quite bitter, and fennel has a licorice-y taste I don’t care for, but I actually finished the dish after we’d each had a couple of servings: once the fennel strips went translucent with fruit acids, it became a mellower, sweet and crunchy vegetable.
A pot of quinoa courtesy of a third college friend, who struggles with food allergies and usually stocks a variety of nutritious grains, finished the meal. Pretty easy and light for a hot summer day. It was cool enough in my friend’s house to use the stove, but if that had not been the case, we certainly could have pan-fried the fish and broccoli and skipped the potatoes. I’ll be revisiting that raw zucchini salad again for sure.
On Monday I took a train home and arrived grumpy and slightly nauseous in time for yoga and dinner with my CSA-sharing neighbor. I didn’t feel like eating much besides the delicious crunchy salad we made from radishes, cucumber, and miscellaneous leaves from the last two weeks, but we did get a pot of collards cooking on the stove with our fresh onion and some smoked turkey wings she had on hand. Collards and some chopped cucumber and radish made a nice lunch the next day.
I have a few odds and ends left after this week. . . more cucumber and radishes, some scapes from the previous week, some arugula leaves. I look forward to cooking at home during the next week, though; it’s nice to go out, but traveling for conferences always makes me long for my own kitchen.