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One Dozen …

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… vegetable specialties I would not have discovered without a CSA or garden.

I decided to feature a periodic post about a dozen of something. Every few weeks, I will choose a new category. Next time, it may be cookbooks, or blogs, or wineries, or who knows.

Today, as we are just a few weeks away from the deadline to sign up for a fall extension of our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), I picked veggie items that never crossed my plate, and that I now use over and over.


Like the radish greens in last week’s CSA.

Here is the list:

Radish, turnip, beet, kohlrabi greens – Never see many of the veggies in the stores with all the greens attached, nor did we use them for cooking. Now, they are used in stir frying, or in pesto.

Carrot tops Used these in pesto more than once, and in making veggie broth.

Garlic scapes – Every spring, I love the weeks we get scapes. Jars of scape pesto are in the freezer. Makes it feel like spring, even in the middle of winter, when I open one. I get them from Love Dove Farm, or Breezy Willow, to supplement the CSA and what I grow. You can never have too much.

Squash Blossoms – have been in the swap box a few times. Also, when I grew zucchini, I learned to grab a few blossoms and put them in omelets.

Pumpkin and squash seeds – saved for planting, like my Thelma Sanders, or dried and roasted. I learned to harvest the seeds and use them.

Celery leaves — in the picture below. Huge amounts of leaves on the stalks, perfect for making veggie broth, or starting soups.

fall plus csa week 3 2012 076

Popcorn — see picture above, where we first discovered the joy of popping corn right on the cob. I seek it out when we go to farmstands.

Chard stems — I have done all sorts of things with chopped off stems, including pickling them. Mostly, they get put in stir fries, or used in frittata recipes.

Cilantro stems – I now know I should be using all the cilantro in the cooking. Maybe not in the guacamole, but in chili, YES!

Pea tendrils – these were a surprise, but you really have to eat them quickly. We got them our first year in the CSA. Haven’t seen them since, though. Microgreens since then, like sunflower sprouts and microradish greens.

Chive blossoms – Now I grow chives and use the blossoms, but once we got chives in our box from the CSA with a few blossoms there. Back before I started blogging, I recall.

Scallion tops – The red and the white scallions we get, sometimes are huge, with tops as long as 18 inches. I have made pesto (the one above that also used carrot tops), using only the darker green tops of scallions. I can’t believe I used to toss that part.

We are heading into the fall CSA season. Can’t wait to see what new items we get, and if our old favorites, like popcorn, will be in the box some weeks.

Have any new found favorites from farmer’s markets? Things you can’t find in the stores?


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

8 responses »

  1. Years ago my mother-in-law had a local farmer grow her some popcorn. But I never actually had it still on the cob until the CSA. I have to say we have had some squashes that were new to me, like the Thelma Sanders. And garlic scapes, never heard of eating them until the CSA. Fresh edamame. But for me the best part is having things I know about but just never got around to buying at the store. Now I have them, and we have found we really enjoy eating them.

  2. I made turnip green juice tonight – powerful so I softened it by juicing a couple of oranges. I don’t think they sell it in the grocery store.

  3. This year I’ve fallen in love with beet greens, to the point that they overtook chard (tip to tail) as my favorite green. Fresh figs were a revelation in my second CSA in VA, and now I source local figs here in Ohio.
    I’ve never thought to use cilantro stems, so thank you for that!

  4. This week’s CSA share from the One Straw Farm contained: potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, butternut squash, baby bok choy, lettuce, broccoli, collard greens, and kale. Similar to last year, the shares have been larger in the fall than in the summer.

    Do you mean that you pop the corn while it’s still on the cob (and if so, how?), or just that you receive it on the cob? Last year I removed it from the cob and popped it in an air popper. This year I haven’t eaten it yet.

    • All you need is a paper bag. Drop the cob right in it. Put microwave on two minutes. If it is still popping like crazy, add another 30 seconds. Somewhere in my archives I have a picture of it when it came out, including pieces still attached to the cob. Just use a larger bag, don’t try it in a small lunch bag.

  5. P.S. regarding this week’s share from One Straw Farm: It also included greens that are a mystery to me, and I forgot to take note from the posted list of what the name for them is.


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