CSA Haul: Week Seven

The corn-and-tomato inundation has begun, and every week, my CSA share gets heavier and heavier. Last Thursday—pick-up day!—the plastic handles of the bucket-like bag dug themselves deep into the creases of my bent fingers. And in order to make it from the drop-off cooler back to my car, I had to lean to one side, awkwardly swinging myself in a forward motion. So the real fun started at home, after the heavy lifting, as I stood in the kitchen and puzzled over the fate of my new friends.

With no grill to my name, I relied on Mexican flavors to imbue the ingredients with a summery taste. Not that they needed much garnish—food this fresh doesn’t need to be masked by spice or ever meet a flame to be rendered delicious. But hey, I’m partially in this CSA thing to stretch my creative muscles, and so here’s what I cooked up.

Sweet corn: Two kinds of salad as a vehicle for the spice. Corn and tomatillo salad, which was bright with lime and cilantro, and chipotle-corn salad, with a creamy-smoky yogurt dressing.

Tomatoes: What I didn’t snack on at lunchtime became part of the chipotle-corn salad.

Cucumbers: Gobbled up in raw slices. Maybe next week I’ll use them to de-puff my eyes, because I’m clearly never going to do any creative cooking with them.

New potatoes: These became straight-out-of-the-diner home fries. Cooking the ingredients separately ensured that I wound up with crispy but cooked-through potatoes and caramelized onions that weren’t at all overdone.

Onions: The onions were used in everything from the home fries to both salads, but they really shone when folded into a batch of falafel. The deep-fried exterior had bite, and the center was impossibly fluffy.

Green garlic: Some minced cloves went straight into the falafel too.

Basil: There was just a little bit, so I used it to top roasted peaches that bubbled away in the oven underneath a mixture of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.

Now it’s time to plot the upcoming week’s recipes. Thursday pick-up is sneaking up on me! Better get crackin’…

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