Posts Tagged ‘avocado’

Box 9 – Roundup

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Broccoli – We used the largest of the three spears in the Beef, Broccoli & Green Beans stirfry (along with the green beans from a few weeks ago). The broccoli did a great job of trapping the sauces, and the taste of the broccoli itself wasn’t too bad (considering we’re not really huge fans of it). However, the remaining spears had to be thrown out, as they went bad very quickly, which surprised us.
  • Lettuce – A fair number of the lettuce leaves we used in sandwiches throughout the week, including my strange-sounding-yet-tasty PB/lettuce/radish wrap that I threw together almost at random at one point. We’re only about halfway through the whole head, but the leaves are keeping well, so it’ll be used in yet more sarnies this week as well. As expected, the leaves were crisp at heart, with not too limp leaf ends, which is pretty much the best compromise leaf for this household. They were also fairly sweet, which is always a good thing!
  • Rapini – June managed to find a reasonable recipe that used the raab, from which she made the Pasta with Rapini and Bolognese sauce. While the overall dish was great, the rapini was effectively relegated to being merely a supporting green, and didn’t end up lending that much flavour to the finished product. That’s not to say that it wasn’t good, it merely didn’t show it’s strengths in this particular usage.
  • Radishes – Most of the radishes ended up sliced and added to the aforementioned PB/lettuce/radish wrap (I used a huge wrap to fit it all in), with the rest just munched on while the wrap was being prepped. Once again, the tops started to rot very quickly, so we didn’t get any use out of that aspect, but the radishes themselves were as crunchy and warming as the previous batch.
  • “Young” Onions – Along with the avocado (see below), and a red round tomato from a previous box, June made a guacamole recipe that she really likes. This only used one of the onions, so we’ve still got the rest of the bundle to go. However, they appear to be keeping fairly well, so there’s no reason not to use them in the coming week.
  • Italian Parsley – Last Sunday June made a pot roast for us and her family, which was okay but nothing special (hence no blog mentions other than this). The parsley was added to the pot during the cooking process, so was really just a supporting flavour, thus I can’t really say whether it was “good” or not. We’ve still got about half of it left, so maybe we’ll find a more prominent use for it in the coming weeks.
  • Ponkan Tangerine – Since there were two of these, I had one and June had one. We both agreed that while they weren’t super sweet, they were definitely sweet enough to be refreshing, and I was surprised at just how juicy they were. In fact, there was very little pulp in each segment, compared to the amount of juice, so it often felt more like drinking than eating them!
  • Red Grapefruit – I’ll be honest on this one – I completely forgot we’d got these as they’d been put in the basket with all the other fruit & veg, and their lack of distinction meant I mistook them for something else each time I saw them in passing. However, they still seem firm and ripe, so I’ll have to at least try them this week.
  • Avocado – Since I’m late posting the roundup this week, I actually say that we’ve used (2 of the 3) avocados now, rather than none which would have been the situation on Friday & Saturday. June made a variation on a guacamole recipe a friend of hers made, and from what she tells me it’s a huge success.

Ratings:

  • Hits – Avocado, Ponkan Tangerine, Lettuce, Radishes, Young Onions
  • Near Misses – Broccoli, Rapini, Italian Parsley
  • Total Flops – none
  • Not Rated – Red Grapefruit

Final Opinion:

Even though we didn’t finish everything, we managed to at least try everything (except the grapefruit), which is a good step forward. Obviously, we will not always pick the best use for various things, which is why the rapini and parsley didn’t get top marks, but its a learning process, and we’ll do better the next time we get those items.

Box 9 – Opening

What’s inside our half box #9?

  • Broccoli – three spears, of varying sizes
  • Lettuce – one head
  • Rapini – (AKA Broccoli Raab) one bundle
  • Radishes – one large bundle of the French Breakfast variety
  • “Young” Onions – one bundle of these onions which are halfway between spring onions (AKA scallions or green onions) and full onions
  • Italian Parsley – one bundle
  • Ponkan Tangerine – two
  • Red Grapefruit – two
  • Avocado – two, plus one from the extras box
Box 9

Box 9

Initial thoughts:

Of all the items in this week’s half box, only the rapini stands out as unusual, which means there’s still hope that we might finish an entire box in just the one week – especially since nothing seems to need to sit out ripening either.

Usage ideas:

  • Broccoli – Hmmm… I think it’s safe to say that we’ve both got mixed feelings about broccoli, and we’ll both eat it in small quantities, but rarely would we actually specifically chose to eat it, at least not on it’s own. Given that there’s plenty of it this week, our best bet is probably to combine and/or disguise it with other things, such as baking in a quiche with ham and cheese, or steamed then covered in sweet & sour sauce.
  • Lettuce – This will definitely feature in either salads or sandwiches this week, the latter of which I’m going to be eating plenty of, so that’ll probably use up this entire head.
  • Rapini – The CSA newsletter has a recipe for rapini polenta, but I doubt we’ll be making that. A quick search around teh intarwebs seems to hint that it works well with pastas, but since it’s of Italian and Chinese origin, this doesn’t really surprise me! This will probably be the one thing this week that we’ll need to really think about to find a good use for.
  • Radishes – The simple radishes on buttered bread recipe (if you can call something that simple a recipe) from the last time we had these is definitely in consideration, as is featuring in a salad at some point. However, I’m curious as to whether they’d work in a cooked form, so might experiment in that direction as well.
  • Onions – The tops of these can be used in any dish that calls for spring onions, and the bulbs could probably substitute for shallots in a pinch, or whenever only a small amount of onion is required. That being said, they might be good candidates for pickling, so I’ll have to look into that as well.
  • Italian Parsley – Obviously this can be very easily used as a garnish, and otherwise combined with meats and other herbs in any number of other dishes, so I can’t really think of anything in particular that this might be used in yet.
  • Ponkan Tangerine – If these are as sweet as the newsletter says they are, we’ll probably just eat them out of hand (or let el nino attack one again),  but they’d definitely work in a salad as well, as they’d make for an interesting contrast with the radishes.
  • Red Grapefruit – I’ve not eaten grapefruit in years, so I might just do the classic halves with sugar for breakfast one morning. Otherwise, I’m sure we can come up with something for these, perhaps adding them into a small batch of marmalade?
  • Avocado – These are likely to be the last of the season (according to the newsletter), so June will need to make the most of them. That being said, there are three of them, so I might try claiming one for myself (even though I’m not a huge fan of avocado, at least I haven’t been up until now). Thinking of which, I was catching up on my ‘Good Eats’ backlog yesterday, and in the latest episode (“Live and Let Diet”) Alton combined avocado and sardines on toast, which sounds like something I wouldn’t mind trying…

Photos by me, edited by June:

Broccoli

Broccoli

Lettuce

Lettuce

Rapini

Rapini

Radishes

Radishes

Young Onions

Young Onions

Italian Parsley

Italian Parsley

Ponkan Tangerines

Ponkan Tangerines

Red Grapefruit

Red Grapefruit

Avocado

Avocado

Box 7 – Roundup

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Cabbage – Apart from the one or two leaves that we used as props for the Dim Sum, this cabbage is still in the fridge waiting for us.
  • Lacinato Kale – About half of the kale was used in the meat & two veg meal, and was delicious. The other half we’re planning at last to use in colcannon, but June’s cooking so it’ll be a different recipe to the one I usually make – if the meal is successful it’ll be blogged about separately later.
  • Garlic Chives – We used these in most of the Dim Sum recipes, and as garnish on the Szechuan Clementine Pork. I’m glad we managed to use it all while still fresh, and it added that little something to both dishes. Definitely worth having, and I hope to see it in more boxes to come.
  • Red Round Tomatoes – These took all week to ripen, and so we didn’t get a chance to use them until today. June used half of the larger one in a BLT, but it was the same as all the previous tomatoes – firm, not bitter or acid, but not very sweet either. The problem is that we’ve both had very sweet tomatoes (homegrown by my grandparents) in the UK, and it’s hard not to compare all other tomatoes to those.
  • Clementine Tangerines – The little one managed to destroy one of the two by the time we got the box home, but the other we managed to use for the Szechuan Clementine Pork. The Clementine was full of flavour, especially so considering how tiny they were, but since they’re essentially mandarin oranges they’re still a little on the tart side, something that needs to be compensated for in a recipe.
  • Carambola – We left it all week to make sure it was fully ripe, and sliced and ate it this morning. It was nice and juicy, soft yet still firm enough to bite into easily. However, as may seems like a theme of this post, it wasn’t as sweet as previous ones we’ve had. In fact, the sweetest starfruit we’ve ever had came from the ‘Robert is Here’ store earlier last year, and no subsequent ones (from there or elsewhere) have managed to attain that level. That being said, it wasn’t unsweet, and I quite happily polished it off within a few minutes.
  • Black Sapote – Still not ripe, as expected. Three of the four are coming along nicely, but the fourth is still very green.
  • Avocado – This one is definitely ripe now, so June will probably use it in the next day or two.

Ratings:

  • Hits – lacinato kale, garlic chives
  • Near Misses – carambola, round red tomatoes, clementine tangerines
  • Total Flops – none
  • Not Rated – cabbage, black sapote, avocado

Final Opinion:

The carambola, tomatoes, and clementines all shared a common quality – tasty, ripe, but not as sweet as they could have been. Otherwise this was a surprisingly good box, particularly so considering the inclement weather that seriously damaged much of the crops in the area. We’re rapidly accumulating black sapotes though, so we’re going to have to start experimenting with those soon.

Box 7 – Opening

What’s inside Box 7?

  • Cabbage – one head
  • Lacinato Kale – one bundle
  • Garlic Chives – one bundle
  • Red Round Tomatoes – two
  • Clementine Tangerines – two very small fruits
  • Carambola – one (AKA starfruit)
  • Black Sapote – four
  • Avocado – one, the Brooks ‘late’ variety this time
Box 7

Box 7

Initial Thoughts:

There was a very long (for Florida) cold spell this week, with several frosty nights, so much of the plants being grown for the CSA have suffered serious damage, so the contents of this box (and the next 4 probably) is reduced from the normal selection – including no extras box for swaps and additionals. If we’d been given the choice, we probably wouldn’t have kept the sapote or the cabbage, and swapped for something else (like a different kale or some more green chard), but since we couldn’t we’re going to have to make the best of what we’ve got.

Usage ideas:

  • Cabbage – We’ve still got the cabbage left from Box 5, so we’re definitely going to need to think of a few more ideas for all of it. While picking up the box from the farm, Farmer Margie suggested we try making it into a soup, cooking it until just translucent (ie not boiling it to death), so that might be worth a try.
  • Lacinato Kale – I’ve had curly kale quite often when cooking for myself back in the UK, so I might try my usual dish with this kale, Colcannon. Quick summary of the recipe is steam the kale until tender, then add to mashed potato to make a bubble & squeak-ish side.
  • Garlic Chives – Last time we only managed to use a little of the garlic chives when fresh, the rest are dry in the fridge. This time I hope we’ll use more, but that’ll really depend on the recipes we come up with to use the other box items.
  • Red Round Tomatoes – These two aren’t quite ripe yet, so they’ll be on the counter this week for use either later this week or next.
  • Clementine Tangerines – You’ll notice from the list above that there are two clementines in the box, but only one in the photo below. El nino managed to get hold of one from the box as we were going through it at the farm, and we (foolishly) let him keep playing with it in the car during the short drive home. Halfway home we noticed a very citrus-y smell in the air, and twisting around I could just about make out that he’d bitten a chunk out of the peel and apparently eaten out all the segments from inside. On getting home we found he’d just squished it so hard that the peel burst and the segments and juices had gotten all over him. So that’s why we only have one clementine left 🙂 As for the remaining fruit, the plan is to tonight cook the recipe in the CSA newsletter (Szechuan Clementine Chicken), but with pork instead of chicken.
  • Carambola – If it’s ripe enough, and hopefully fairly sweet, one or both of us will eat this as is. If it’s not so sweet, then we’ll need to be inventive… in other words, I’ve not a clue yet 🙂
  • Black Sapote – Wow, four sapotes this week, and all nearly the same size. Going on past history, it’ll be two weeks before these are ripe and usable, so these will be sitting on the counter until then.
  • Avocado – I suspect that June will take care of this in her usual way (with rice).

Photos by me, edited by June:

Cabbage

Cabbage

Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives

Red Round Tomatoes

Red Round Tomatoes

Clem

Clementine Tangerine(s)

Carambola

Carambola

Box 7

Black Sapote

Box 7

Brooks Avocado

Box 2 – Roundup

Our second box, and the first that we’d have to try to utilise in just one week. So what did we do with it?

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Italian Dandelion – The various other blogs by fellow members of our CSA all seem to agree on one thing – that the dandelion greens are very bitter. Therefore, we’ve not been bold enough to actually try doing anything with it for fear of making something we’d have to trash.
  • Garlic Chives – Added to the rice of the Lemon Chicken dish (see below). It definitely created an extra dimension to the rice, and there’s plenty more which I’m sure we’ll use in the coming weeks.
  • Lettuce (Romaine) – As covered in the previous post, I made an adhoc salad from it, and wished there was more of it!
  • Bok Choy – June cooked up a Lemon Chicken with Rice & Bok Choy dish (which I’m sure she’ll get around to blogging about eventually, since she took enough photos of it), which was excellent all round. The Bok Choy was very flavourful, and surprisingly sweet, so it make an excellent side to the dish. EDIT: June finally posted about the Bok Choy.
  • Green ‘Suntan’ Pepper – I admit I haven’t done anything with this yet, partly from laziness (since I’d be cooking for myself), and partly from inexperience (since I don’t cook that often). It still looks fine, so maybe next week I’ll find something that’ll work.
  • Yellow Squash – Pretty much the same as the green pepper above, I’ve not found anything to make this into yet.
  • Avocado – June did her usual with at least one of the two avocados, so I’m guessing there’s no complaints.
  • Black Sapote (AKA chocolate pudding fruit) – neither has riped yet, so not much can be said about it. It’ll probably be another week or two before they can be eaten.

Ratings:

  • Hits – Bok Choy, Garlic Chives, Lettuce, Avocado
  • Near Misses – none!
  • Total Flops – Italian Dandelion
  • Not Rated – Green Pepper, Yellow Squash, Black Sapote

Final Opinion:

From what we actually ate, there were definitely no complaints. However, from a combination of lack of ideas and unriped fruit, there is still quite a bit of produce left for the coming week(s), so I’ll have to hold off on final judgment until a later post.

Box 2 – Opening

What’s inside Box 2?

  • Italian Dandelion – one bundle
  • Garlic Chives – one bundle.
  • Lettuce – one (small) head, in this case Romaine
  • Bok Choy – one head, complete with caterpillar and other bugs!
  • Green ‘Suntan’ Pepper – one
  • Yellow Squash – one
  • Courgette (Zucchini) – one, swapped for an avocado since neither of us are fans of it
  • Avocado – ‘monroe’ variety this time, one plus the swapped one
  • Black Sapote (AKA chocolate pudding fruit) – two
Box 2

Box 2

Initial thoughts:

Another good selection, with only the Bok Choy being unusual. Black sapote would probably also be considered unusual by many, but since we’ve had it before, it’s not such an unknown to us. See June’s blog post for her thoughts on the box.

Usage ideas:

  • Italian Dandelion – June has already told me she’s going to cook the recipe from the CSA newsletter, namely Dandelion Fetuccini, so I’ll have to see if that comes to pass. Otherwise, a simple salad might work, as would steaming or light sauteing as a side.
  • Garlic Chives – these can be used in pretty much any dish where (a little) garlic is required, so it’s just a case of picking one.
  • Lettuce – another salad is probably on the cards, perhaps filling for a BLT too.
  • Bok Choy – I’ve no clues about this, so will have to research some Asian recipes for ideas. Might work well in combination with the garlic chives.
  • Green ‘Suntan’ Pepper – June’s not a fan of bell peppers, so I’m going to have to think of something for myself here. I suspect it’s not sweet enough to eat raw, so I’ll have to cook it. Maybe if I find a recipe that uses with with bok choy and garlic chives, I’ll kill three birds with one stone!
  • Yellow Squash – it’s pretty small, so perhaps a Yellow Squash Parmesan (ie fried then baked with cheese etc) for a one person meal.
  • Avocados – June will do her usual avocado and rice with these, I suspect…
  • Black Sapote (AKA chocolate fruit) – these just need to be left to ripen (when they become black and very soft), and can then just be eaten with a spoon, oh… or perhaps with icecream? Hopefully they’ll ripen quickly!

Photos, by June:

Italian Dandelion

Italian Dandelion

Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives

Lettuce (Romaine)

Lettuce (Romaine)

Bok Choy

Bok Choy

Green Pepper

Green Pepper

Yellow Squash

Yellow Squash

Avocados

Avocados

Black Sapote (Unripe)

Black Sapote (Unripe)

Box 1 – Roundup

Seeing as there was no box for the Thanksgiving weekend, we’ve been eating from this box for two weeks rather than the usual one. That being said, it was a good introduction of what to expect, along with a good warmup for us trying to find ways to use the box contents.

Actual usage & thoughts:

  • Callaloo – after inspecting pictures of it online, we came to the conclusion that this particular bundle we’d got was well past it’s prime, so was not used. However, odds are we’ll get it again in future boxes, and hopefully it’ll be in a fresher state so that we can actually use it!
  • Lemongrass – used in the Thai dish as previously posted. The remains of the bundle are currently drying out in the fridge, so we’ve got the option of using it over the next few weeks or so.
  • Green beans – used in both the Thai dish, and steamed then mixed with onion to be a side dish for our Thanksgiving meal. On both occasions the beans were tender and flavourful, so the Xtras box swap really paid off for us this time.
  • Lettuce – used with the Cherry Tomatoes to make a side salad, also for the Thanksgiving meal. The lettuce stayed crisp and green in the fridge for much longer than we expected, and tasted like a leafier romaine. Another one to look forward to in future boxes.
  • Corn – boiled as mentioned previously, and won’t be boiled next time!
  • Cherry Tomatoes – a few eaten straight from the pot, the rest combined with the Lettuce for a side salad. The tomatoes were fairly tender while retaining a reasonable firmness, and the juices weren’t bitter like shop-bought ones can be. However, the flipside is that they were also not very sweet, which meant they worked best in combination with other salad vegetables, rather than eaten individually.
  • Avocado – half was roughly diced and served as a side for the Thanksgiving meal, the rest was eaten with rice by June at some point in the last week. I personally am not a fan of avocado, so I’m taking June’s word that it was a good one (although the shop-bought ones are not dissimilar, I’m told, since Publix sells local organic avocados as well).
  • Roselle – not used yet, so it’s slowly drying in the fridge. The problem with these flowers is that you need to plan to make something where they are the focal point, as they’re not easy to integrate into normal meals.

Ratings:

  • Hits – Green Beans, Avocado, Lettuce, Lemongrass
  • Near Misses – Cherry Tomatoes
  • Total Flops – Corn, Callaloo
  • Not Rated – Roselle (and Dill)

Final Opinion:

This was a good first box that we used a reasonable percentage of, although much of that was helped by the Thanksgiving meal and having two weeks rather than one. We’ll have to pick up the pace for the next box, since it’d be crazy to let this stuff go to waste. Roll on box two!

Box 1 – Opening

What’s inside Box 1?

  • Callaloo (AKA edible amaranth or pigweed), 1 bundle
  • Lemongrass, 1 bundle
  • Green Beans, 1lb bag
  • Dill – swapped for another 1lb bag of Green Beans, via the Xtras box
  • Lettuce, curly leaf in this case, 1 head
  • Corn, 4 ears in husks
  • Cherry Tomatoes, 1 pint pot
  • Avocado, 1 medium sized Florida variety
  • Roselle (AKA Jamaican Sorrel, or Hibiscus flower), 1 bunch

Initial thoughts:

  • Good basic selection, plenty of potential without too much strangeness (the full boxes had bok choy and mizuna)
  • Glad for the Xtras box, since none of us like Dill that much

Usage ideas:

  • Callaloo – no ideas yet, but the CSA newsletter recommends not eating it raw
  • Lemongrass – always good in stir-fries, possibly later this week
  • Green beans – boiled or steamed as a side, second bag will probably go to June’s family
  • Lettuce – salad!
  • Tomatoes – salad!
  • Corn – boiled for lunch today methinks
  • Avocado – June will probably eat this with rice during the week
  • Roselle – recipe included with the CSA newsletter for Sorrel Tonic, which is one option. The other option would be to make jelly/jam for resale via Etsy (and/or eating ourselves, of course).

No photos this week, but planning to include them in future posts.