Since breaking up with my organic buying club-style CSA early last summer, I’ve been
patiently anxiously awaiting Florida’s high growing season and the start of a new, more local CSA.
the CSA I joined is Little River Market Garden, and since it’s within a 5 mile radius of where I live, I can’t get more local produce unless I was able to grow it myself (and since I can’t even keep Chia Pet alive I don’t think vegetable gardening is in my near future). Everything LRMG offers is grown in two small local plots and the garden operator (Hi Muriel!) goes to great lengths to really think about what comes in the shares – from a value, variety and learning opportunity standpoint, which is greatly appreciated by food nerds like me. She promised things I’d never heard of, and I’m happy to report that so far she’s right on track. This first box features two (possibly 3) new veggies to me, and I’ve had a great time finding ways to use them.
CSA Share 1
2 bunches red yardlong beans
1/2 lb. green bush beans
1 green papaya
1 ripe papaya
1 bunch roselle
1 bunch escarole (?)
1 bunch finger radishes with greens
1 huge patty pan squash
1 yellow & green zucchini
1 small bunch oregano
2 stalks lemongrass
2 black sapote
What I made with my share
Pizza with mozzarella, parmesan and fresh oregano
Tabasco & long bean quinoa with roselle
Open-faced ravioli with zucchini & possible escarole
Thai green papaya salad with green beans and lemongrass shrimp
I ate the sapote out of hand
I let the ripe papaya go too long, and it was gross when I tried to eat it. Not being a huge fan of ripe papaya anyways, I wasn’t but so upset.
The Best Thing I Made This Week
This week, 95% of the things I made ended up tasting flat and uninspired. I hate those weeks, but they happen. My favorite dish this week didn’t incorporate any CSA veggies. The Candy Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette I made for Thanksgiving dinner ended up being my favorite. Earthy, salty, sweet, tangy – this recipe hit the nail on the head on all notes.
Up next week:
I have the radishes, 1 bunch of long beans & the squash to work through still and I plan to make carnitas, serving the radishes pickled alongside with a bean & squash salad.
I also have another batch of veggies coming this weekend, so we shall see just how backed up I get.
New To Me Veggies
Roselle: According to Wikipedia, roselle is a species of hibiscus native to the Old World Tropics (which makes total sense to grow it here), often used in fiber production and for making infusions (particularly as a diuretic, mild laxative, treatment for cardiac and nerve diseases, and also for cancer treatment. It can also be used as a dye.
It is popular throughout Mexico and the Caribbean as a chicken flavoring and drink, the Indian Subcontinent in dals, and Southeast Asia in stir frys.
The taste is lemony and bright.
Red Yardlong Beans: aka Chinese Long Beans. Native to tropical/subtropical regions of Southeast Asia, these beans grow quickly and are very similar in taste to “regular” green beans, just much longer, and in our case a purplish red.
Black Sapote isn’t 100% new to me, but I haven’t had much luck with eating it in the past. Like most tropical fruit, it’s yum window is really only a day or two – before that and it’s hard and tasteless – after and it’s a nasty rotten mess. I’m not gonna lie: this fruit is kinda gross looking. When ripe, it’s almost mushy and the inside looks like sticky swamp mud. Sapote is also called the chocolate pudding fruit for its resemblance to the stuff and almost chocolatey taste. It is vaguely sweet with bare hints of spice notes. Not half bad, but definitely something to get used to.