The trick to cooking bok choy is understanding that the thick stems need different treatment from the thin leaves. This recipe takes all that into account.
If you’re wondering how to use the wonderful late spring surprise of garlic scapes in today’s box, you’ll find that these long curling stalks are soft and juicy, and just right for adding garlic flavor without overwhelming a dish. Cut them into thin slices and add them to anything that could use a little garlic but without the drama. Chop them up and add them to eggs or stir them while you’re cooking rice or bulgur. Add chopped scapes to cream cheese, stir in a little sour cream, and you’ve got the CSA version of French onion dip.
If you want a recipe, here’s one for Garlic Scape Pesto from the Washington Post.
Although it will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator, nuoc cham is best when freshly made.
Instead of trying to dream up with to do with all the individual components of this week’s box, I thought I’d offer an option that would feature several. Where one kohlrabi might not go far in a single dish, combined with some of its neighbors from the box, it can make a really wonderful meal.
I love the way dipping sauces bring things together. Here’s a suggestion for one warm and one cold version. They’d both work well for dipping sliced raw fennel or kohlrabi, carrots and beets (raw or steamed), or you can pour either one over wilted beet greens or Swiss chard. The ideas come from The Splendid Table, that wonderful NPR program on all things delicious.
This is the classic “bagna cauda” perfect for vegetables and bread. Don’t be afraid of the anchovies, although you can leave them out if you absolutely must. And if you have a garlic scape or two left over from last week, try them in this recipe. Also delicious over pasta, maybe with those wilted greens.
So after reviewing the box, I’m ready to make a salad, but not with the lettuce. How about something with cooked grains, the Chinese cabbage, and roasted beets? You can use any grain you like here – rice, bulgur, farro, millet, couscous, whatever you have on hand. The cabbage is nice for salad because every bit of that leaf is tender.
And here’s one more recipe for greens – a frittata. Bake it in a pie plate and cut into wedges for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Bake it in a square pan and cut into bite size pieces for a pre-dinner nibble. It’s good at room temperature, hot or cold, and accommodates whatever greens you want to put into it. The recipe will also accommodate whatever cheese you have on hand. It’s hard to go wrong here. I’ve included a method for steaming greens in the microwave. I prefer to do that instead of heating up the kitchen with lots of boiling water. But you should use whatever method you prefer.
Because we live in Atlanta, it’s pretty much a requirement that you make at least one squash casserole this summer. This recipe came was published recently in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. You can use any combination of summer squash (they use both crookneck and zucchini at Three Dollar Cafe) and top it with any cheese you like, although they definitely use American at the restaurant. If you don’t have chicken base, you can do without it, but it’s a long-lived pantry (actually – refrigerator) staple that adds a boost of flavor without all the liquid of using chicken stock.
I’m sharing two dips, one of which use cucumbers in the recipe. Both would work just as well as a salad dressing, but I was thinking of them as dips for fingers of fennel and kohlrabi, and disks of summer squash and cucumber. Green Goddess Dressing is traditionally made with a mixture of herbs and anchovies, but you can adjust it to suit your household’s taste.