We’ve been enjoying our CSA Share from Farmer Dave for the last 3 months. This week, however, we were presented with one ginormous cabbage for which just two of us were somewhat at a loss for how to use it up. Yes, we did find a way to blanche and freeze part of it, but as condo dwellers, our freezer space is at a minimum. Here, however, is a great way to use half of a head of cabbage: soup!
Vegetable Cabbage Soup by Lauren Miyashiro
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 c water
- 1/2 large head cabbage, chopped
- 1 15-oz. can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 TBSP freshly chopped parsley (more for garnish)
- In large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, carrots and celery, and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook stirring often, until vegetables are soft (5-6 minutes. Stir in beans, garlic, and thyme and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and water (I withheld the water until I knew I needed to add it) and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in tomatoes and cabbage and simmer until cabbage is wilted – about 6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in red pepper flakes, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more parsley if using.
We’re coming to the close of our CSA Share for the regular season, and while it has been a positive experience, it is sometimes a challenge to find uses for some of the more unfamiliar items in our share. This week I was introduced to Aji Dulce peppers. Looking vaguely like Scotch Bonnet peppers, I wasn’t sure how we would make good use of a half-pint of them.
However, as I’ve learned this summer, not everything is what it seems. Although there is a bit of heat to an Aji Dulce pepper, they are on the milder side (of hot stuff anyway). As always, Farmer Dave (click the link to explore the CSA options) offers some great ideas for using the produce in our share, this recipe coming from one of the Farm’s crew members, Bonifacio.
I turned the whole lot of peppers into a Puerto Rican style Sofrito which will be used to flavor soups and stews all winter long (froze a portion into ice-cube sized portions).
Bonifacio’s Sofrito (A Traditional Recipe from Puerto Rico)
- 1 Green Bell Peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
- 10 or more Ají Dulce Peppers, chopped
- 20 Cilantro Leaves
- 2 Medium Tomatoes
- 2 Medium Heads of Garlic, peeled
- 2 Onions, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- Combine green peppers, red peppers, aji dulce peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic in a food processor.
- Process to the consistency of salsa, not entirely liquified.
- Add cilantro, salt, and pepper (and process it a bit more)
- Stores well in freezer
As we went into quarantine at the beginning of March, I began to consider making changes to food-sourcing. We were able to get food using food delivery or food pick-up services, but I wanted to go a step further in support of local food sources by joining a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture distribution. We bought a summer vegetable share at our local farm, Farmer Dave‘s which we just began picking up each Saturday.
One of the challenges I found from our previous CSA membership was finding ways to use the distribution so that none is wasted. This year, I’ve been more able to do that with a published “what’s in the box” list that comes out well before weekly meal planning takes place. This was a suggestion for using the broccoli raab and it is not only delicious, it was quick to pull together – and vegetarian (vegan without the parmesan).
Recipe from Vegetarian Times, linked here.
- 3 TBSP Olive Oil (I used coconut oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 12-oz. bunches Broccoli Raab, trimmed and coarsley chopped (or use Swiss chard)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 14-oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for garnish (or use pine nuts)
- In wok or skillet over medium high heat, heat 2 TBSP of oil. Add the garlic and saute until it sizzles, then add broccoli raab and red pepper flakes.
- Season with salt and saute for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli raab is wilted. Remove to a serving platter.
- Add remaining 1 TBSP oil to pan. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the skins brown and tomatoes begin to split.
- Stir in the drained white beans and cook 2 to 3 more minutes or until heated through. Spoon the tomato-bean mixture over the broccoli raab.
- Garnish with Parmesan or pine nuts. Serves 5.