Hi! It’s LCD’s Guest Food Editor, Sandy Ho, and we’re back this week with a break down of the County Line Harvest CSA (community supported agriculture) box – what you get, how to wash and store your items so they stay fresher for longer, and a simple cucumber salad for all those long cucumbers that won’t fit in the fridge!
I always begin by separating my soft herbs and greens from my harder vegetables. You can do this in your sink with a plug, I use two large mixing bowls.
Fill your basin or bowls with water and agitate the veggies. With the hard veggies you can get into the tops to make sure all that dirt falls off. Repeat with greens. I do 2 washes to ensure there's no dirt left. Once everything is washed and drained...I arrange on a cooling rack or in a colander over the sink for any last drops of water to drip off. Veggies MUST be dry before packing away! Now let’s get into it...
Green beans – true sign of spring! When they are this fresh I love them on a crudite plate or sliced up in salads. Of course, you can also blanch, sauté, or grill them which makes a perfect addition to any meal any time!
Dry green beans I store in deli containers, especially when I don’t have many. It’s airtight and will keep them crisp and fresh.
Agretti (top): one of my favourites, has a crisp texture and a salty juiciness, great in salads also beautiful when sautéed with brown butter, a squeeze of lemon and spooned over grilled fish. Spigarello (bottom): also great in salads. I personally love it well salted with a squeeze of citrus and quickly charred over a hot flame.
Crispy lettuces: so many applications for lettuce as I’m sure you already have your favourite dressing. I often gravitate to a Caesar salad or you can certainly use the Cilantro Cashew Sauce from last week's post to brighten your salad bowl!
Lettuces and greens can be gently rolled up and placed in your ‘crisp’ drawer in the fridge.
Little airflow is best for these soft greens!
Cucumbers: crudite, salads, sliced up with chili salt, pickled, chilled soup, rice paper rolls- you name it! So versatile and cravable for this season. And also adds such fun colour, texture and shape! From left: Armenian striped cucumber, white wonder cucumber.
Squash: roast it, stir fry it, shave it into a salad. So good raw and also delicious cooked. Squash is a great blank canvas for any kind of application and also a nice way to bulk up a meal but still keep it light!
Cucumbers and squash can live together.
I line a ziploc bag with a sheet of paper towel, push out the air and seal. Store in fridge.
Root veg: carrots, French breakfast radishes, and turnips. So versatile and great to have around. Have it raw or roast them in a cast iron for that extra caramelization and crisp! And another great way to inject colour into any meal.
I also pack my root veggies the same as cucumbers and squash! FYI: I often reuse ziploc bags that only store vegetables and greens to try and limit my plastic waste.
Canary Melon: so sweet and juicy. Find a spot in the sun to enjoy. You can keep it in the fridge to eat at a later date or leave it out to ripen and eat sooner. You’ll smell when it’s sweet and ready!
Basil: pesto, pastas, salads, caprese! For basil (or any fresh soft herbs) I usually pick straight away after washing.
And store in an airtight container lined with a very lightly damp paper towel.
Ok I didn’t forget about this insanely beautiful creation from nature! As much as I didn’t want to cut it down, I needed to so I could fit it in my fridge.
If you have also needed to cut yours down, here’s a simple smashed cucumber recipe: About 1 medium Cucumber, smashed and then cut into whatever shapes you like. 1 tbs lemon juice, 1/2 tbs salt, 1 tsp gochugaru or any chili flakes you have, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp sliced ginger. Toss cucumbers in salt and lemon and let sit until salt dissolves. Add remaining ingredients. Enjoy as a snack, a side, over yogurt, in a rice bowl.
See you next week!