CSA Week 24: Unusually tinted vegetables

This week we got: three giant leeks, two little red butter lettuces, a bunch of scallions, a Hokkaido squash, some parsley, some green beans, a huge Napa cabbage, some rainbow chard, two broccolis, and some watermelon radishes. Look at this enormous haul!

CSA Week 24

We’ve had hokkaido (lower left) before, and sometimes use it for pumpkin carving because of its weird zombie color, but I can never remember its name. Hokkaido! My second favorite squash after the beautifully savory kabocha. Also, watermelon radish is just a delightful jokester of a vegetable. The first time we got them a year ago, we looked at their pale white skins and assumed that they were turnips. But when we started chopping them up–intending them for a pot of mashed potatoes–surprise! It’s bright pink under the green and white skin, as you can see from the open radish sitting on its turnip-lookalike siblings. We peel them to eat; they can be fiery, but are delicious with salt.

Anyway, first things first this Wednesday: collards from last week cooked with bacon and vegetable broth, and old potatoes mashed with half of last week’s celeriac and some fresh parsley. While those things simmered, we chopped up a leek, a broccoli, and some of the cabbage to cook in a wok with some pork and peanut sauce for our usual comfortable, comforting stir fry. I’d say we were cooking for about an hour, but after resorting to takeout after several long work days last week, I was excited to have some nourishing home-cooked food.

Stir fry, collards, and mashed potatoes

It had to last me a few days, since I got one of those earachey colds that were going around. I was feeling better by Sunday, though, finally in the mood to eat salad again (salad must be the least appetizing thing during a head cold) and up for cooking up the rest of my veg for the week. I sliced up the rest of my broccoli, Napa cabbage, scallions and some of the green beans for another stir fry. (Plum sauce instead of peanut sauce, this time.) I chopped up the chard and one gigantic leek for a rice and lentil dish along the lines of this mujadara, a new style of dish for me. (It was tasty, but I am used to my dinners being a bit more colorful, so I reheated it with some sweet tomato chutney during the week.) I also sauteed some sesame beans and roasted potatoes just because, and minced last week’s cilantro to be frozen in an ice cube tray. I was inspired to this cooking madness by having a friend drop by before we went out for a concert; sometimes the promise of company is a good motivator even if they are not coming over expressly to eat all of the dinner. We filled up on salads and picked at the potatoes and green beans.

That pretty much took care of the vegetables, except for the squash, which will be tackled next week. An ideal execution of vegetables, by some standards: two big cook sessions with company; nourishing comfort food; lots of leftovers.

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