CSA Cookbooks

CSA season has begun! It’s great to bring into the kitchen all these wonderful fresh greens coming in from the garden, but what are we going to cook? CSA members want to know. There are so many choices, its nice when I can offer up some favorite CSA recipes. Its even better when other CSA members post one on the Facebook page or email it to me to include here on the blog. Maybe it will become a new CSA favorite recipe, like kohlrabi coleslaw and turnip fritters, both of which were submitted by CSA members.  So please share your favorite recipes and dishes with us.

With more time in the garden than the kitchen, my own cooking tends to be simple and feature the fresh vegetables in the raw. I like to stir-fry or sautee, call it what you want. A splash of olive oil, garlic, onions cooked down. Garlic scapes and scallions are great to toss in. Briefly sautee chopped greens–bok choi, chard, kale, or nappa cabbage these days. A splash of tamari. Slivers of kohlrabi and sweet white turnips can go here too, but we usually eat those raw in slices because the kids like them best that way. I’ll add them to my salad. This is the base to my stir-fry, which is varied by its starch, protein and sauce. I add a spicy peanut sauce, asian rice noodles, and scrambled eggs and its pad thai. Or pasta, pesto or tomato sauce and romano cheese. You get the idea. Find your favorite sauce!

Every now and then, I look to cookbooks for new inspiration. There are a bunch of cookbooks specifically written with the CSA box in mind. My favorite CSA cookbook is Recipes from America’s Small Farms: Fresh Ideas for the Season’s Bounty. Amazon also has this one in a kindle version for a couple dollars. I love this cookbook because of how its organized. Stirfry, two flavors. Coleslaw, five flavors. Learn one thing and five varieties. Gotta love that. There’s a lot to love about the skill-building of this cookbook, so its my number one recommendation.

House in the Woods Farm is a contributor to a 2012 cookbook, so check this one out too: Vegetable Bliss: Simple Seed to Table Inspiration by Julie Sochacki. She has a whole section with tips from CSA farmers, including us, and then a section of her own tested recipes. Julie’s recipes always feature simple freshness, easy and quick.

There are many others: From Asparagus to Zucchini has been around for a long time. Its nicely organized by the type of vegetable often found in a CSA box.

Rebecca Katz has a great one out called The Longevity Kitchen. I love her philosophy: her most important health tools are her garden and her kitchen. Amen, sister. She features healthy herbs and spices that add health power and “wow” taste power to her recipes. I can learn a lot from her on that front, so I’m going to be visiting her book a lot this summer. I want to make all the recipes in her greens chapter, which features ethnic greens dishes including Indian and Mediterranean. Yum. This cookbook is not among the comprehensive CSA cookbooks that include recipes for all the different kinds of produce that you will encounter in your CSA box, but I include her book here for its educational value. She represents the big picture of health through fresh delicious food in an inspiring way.

You can always search the web and my blog for many recipes, but pick up one of these cookbooks for a complete collection of handy ideas as you embark into the CSA season.

As for some CSA favorite recipes for turnips, kohlrabi, garlic scapes and greens, check out this link:

http://blog.houseinthewoods.com/2011/05/27/recipes/

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