CSA Haul: Week Three

I thought I was done with living out of boxes. Far away from college now, I no longer have to switch dormitories every year or shuttle between Washington and Chicago as the summer waxes and wanes; I’ve got a lease, people, and the quiet stability that comes with one. Right?

Not this week. With contractors here daily to renovate everyone’s kitchens and bathrooms, and “all personal items” ordered out of those rooms (that’s a lot of personal items. Like, a lot), I’ve been stumbling bleary-eyed through my life. You know, trying valiantly to ensure that I don’t leave the coffee-maker napping on my counter after breakfast, or my dishes anywhere in, on, or near a dishwasher, drying rack, or cabinet. Somehow, though, I actually managed to eat all my CSA vegetables. Aren’t you proud of me? Admittedly, though, I’m too tired to remember how I achieved such a feat. A recap is in order, to jog my memory:

Lettuce: Finally, salad success! I riffed on Shannalee’s delicious ideas, pairing red lettuce with arugula, bites of roasted chicken, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and walnuts. A squeeze of lemon, some cracked pepper, and a dash of vinaigrette later, I embarked on some of the happiest lunch breaks of my life.

Arugula: These added peppery goodness to the aforementioned salad perfection.

Turnips: Let’s not mince words: These turnips were aggressively boring. Even worse, they were black holes for added flavor. That is: I roasted ultra-thin slices with rosemary, thyme, and pancetta, topped the whole thing off with boatloads of melty Parmesan, and liberally sprinkled them with salt and pepper, all to no avail. Bland! Tasteless! I almost fell asleep over my dinner plate. The only thing close to a saving grace was the entire onion I caramelized and mixed with the turnip greens, which sort of disguised the root vegetable when introduced in a 1:1 onion-to-turnip ratio. By then, it was too late: I contented myself with a dinner of bread and wine, which was actually less boring than eating turnips. Am I missing something here?

Squash: A conjoined-twin oblong squash and a cute little pattypan erased all memory of Turnip Disaster 2010. I made the zucchini-mushroom tacos with chorizo from my new Rick Bayless cookbook; with a little help from its fire-roasted tomatoes and chipotle chiles, these tacos ignited my tastebuds. Definitely a fantastic introduction to Mexican Everyday!

Bok choy: I went out on a limb and tried a new cooking method for the bok choy, topping the leaves with salmon and orange-hoisin sauce, then baking in foil packets. The sauce was incredibly zesty, and all that foil-packet-induced steam tenderized everything nicely.

Snow peas: Last week’s stir-fry was so good that I made it again, with a twist. Snow peas and chicken were again involved, but this time red bell pepper accompanied tiny florets of…

Broccoli: Yum.

Scallions: Hey there, old friend. These topped the salmon, and added bite to the stir-fry.

So that’s how I did it! Huh. Take me to a pillow now, or maybe to another apartment—one in which the shower curtain need not be hurriedly removed every morning, where the contents of my medicine cabinet may sleep undisturbed. Till next week then, my dears!