Tips for Using Your CSA: Getting the Most from Your CSA
This week we’re featuring a great blog post from Alexandra’s Kitchen, “Getting the Most from Your CSA.” Her first two tips are included below, but be sure to keep reading to see all ten tips, including: Reviving Tired Greens, When In Doubt, Roast, and How to Make a Meal out of a bunch of Radishes. Really fantastic advice for making the most out of your Fresh City Box.
Tips for Using your CSA:
1. Strategize. Some vegetables tire more quickly than others, so it’s important to use those first to prevent waste later in the week. This is the process I go through every other Thursday, when I pick up my CSA:
• Lay the vegetables out on a table to assess the content.
• Roughly divvy them up into side-dish sized portions.
• Make a rough schedule of meals and stick it to the fridge.
• Circle the days that take priority.
• Before storing vegetables, remove all rubber bands.
• Before storing vegetables, clip greens from radishes, beets, carrots, etc., and save the greens when appropriate (beets, radishes, etc.).
Vegetables that tire quickly:
Radishes, carrots, okra, some greens, eggplant (sometimes), cucumbers (sometimes)
Vegetables that keep well:
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, zucchini/squash, acorn squash, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli
Note: Do not wash your greens ahead of time. I know this is kind of a bummer for some of you, but washed greens, unless they are dried really well, don’t do well in the fridge.
2. Raw vs. Cooked. My favorite family of vegetables from my CSA is the dark leafy green family. Most of these dark leafy greens can be eaten raw — kale, mustard greens, arugula, to name a few. How do you know which ones can be eaten raw? Taste one. If it tastes good raw, eat it raw. I love steamed greens with olive oil and lemon, but a huge batch of greens — one that could potentially feed four people — can wither down to almost a single serving when steamed or sautéed for a long time.
So, when you can, try to eat your greens raw — you’ll get more mileage out of your CSA greens. With this in mind, it helps to know how to make a good salad dressing. I’ve compiled all of my favorite dressings on this page: Salad Dressings & Vinaigrettes. Hearty greens like kale can take a heavier dressing like a caesar; more delicate greens (arugula) do better with something lighter, such as a lemon vinaigrette. Both of these dressings are on the salad dressings & vinaigrettes page.