CSA, Week Two.

The contents of this week’s CSA box were way more nerve-racking than last week’s. I mean, then all I had to think about and research were turnips and parsnips (which I did end up doing in a purée, by the way, with some baby purple potatoes, garlic and thyme;it was delicious). This week, what’s got me stressed are those bright pink radishes.

Just to make it all clear, this week we received:

  • Two heads of lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Bok choy
  • Radishes

The salad greens were easy — I added them to the ingredients I happened to have on hand: sliced strawberries, broken-up pecans and crumbled chèvre. Then I whisked together a really quick balsamic vinaigrette while I caramelized several cloves of minced garlic for a lemon-garlic sauce to toss with tortellini. (Really quickly: I can’t even remember the last time I had tortellini. And you know what? It was so good, especially once I mixed in some chopped parsley.)

The bok choy, too, were simple. I made a citrus sauce, half of which I used to steam the bok choy; I drizzled the remainder over a piece flank steak cooked with sesame oil, garlic and chilis, then sprinkled a handful of toasted sesame seeds over everything. It really couldn’t have been any more effortless.

What’s really getting me, though, are those damn radishes. I’ve actually never even tasted one, in spite of the fact that my dad has always loved to eat them raw, dipped in salt. I’m kind of bouncing around the idea of pickling them, but seriously — I’m not a huge fan of pickled items, so what am I going to do with some pickled radishes? I bet they’d be really pretty to look at though, even pinker and vibrant.

On an unrelated note: English is technically my second language. The first things I ever said were in Armenian, but, truthfully, it’s gotten to the point where my first word could have been pineapple, for all intents and purposes. Regardless, I keep on discovering that there are items whose English names I’ve never known. I don’t mean in the sense of learning a new word such as edacious (adjective, meaning greedy or avid) — I mean in the sense of knowing what an item is, but not in English. For example, I never learned the word trivet until the past five years or so; I had always just known it as its Armenian name. The same for radish. That one I first encountered in high school, and to this day it makes me think, What else is out there?

I’ll keep you posted.

Citrus Sauce, from Whole Foods (with slight adaptations)

1 ½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus one tablespoon (about 2 lemons)
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus one tablespoon (about 3 limes)
¼ cup chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine the ingredients in a heavy sauce pan over high heat. Boil until slightly syrupy and reduced to one cup, about fifteen minutes. Add more liquid and scrape sides of pan as needed.

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6 thoughts on “CSA, Week Two.

  1. Your dad is right! Leave those damn radishes alone! Wash them, dip them in butter and eat with French bread and a little butter. Radishes and Fava beans are best that way. Don’t wait until they lose their crunch!

    Your weekly indulging expert on raw radishes and Fava beans (that’s second to your dad’s expertise of course.)

  2. That does sound good, but I think only because of the inclusion of 1) butter, and 2) a baguette. You’ve seen me tear into a baguette…

    My dad eats radishes with just salt. He’ll wash them, roll them whole in a bowl of coarse salt and eat them with his meal. They never seemed that appetizing to me, though I will say that they are fun to carve. And they are pretty.

    I think it may take time to convert me.

  3. You need the salt to balance the peppery nature of radishes. I obviously meant dip them in salt and eat with bread & butter, not dip them in butter and eat them with bread & butter, that would be more French than the French or would it?

  4. Radishes are great to use in a “slaw” instead of cabbage. Put the slaw onto some grilled alaskan halibut (or any meat) tacos.

    Parsnips are super great roasted with a little olive oil and sea salt. 425 for 30 to 40 minutes. Love roasted parsnips.

    Love your blog.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions and the compliment! I’ll definitely try the parsnips, but I know I’ll have to amp myself up for the radishes…

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