I've loved all my previous CSA boxes so far, but this one in particular got me really excited. There were so many items that I absolutely adore...basically everything pictured above except for okra and sweet potato greens. Those two were completely new to me. Well, I've had okra before...just never cooked with it personally. So as I've been doing, here's a recap of how I incorporated all this fresh produce into my weekly meals.
Eggplants, Tomatoes, Red bell peppers, Basil, Jalapeño peppers: As I stared and stared at the contents of the CSA box, focusing initially on the eggplants, ratatouille came to mind. Sure, I could've incorporated them into salads, but this particular week, I was craving something a bit more hearty and comforting. I also added some eggs at the very end to make it a more well-rounded meal. You can find the recipe for Ratatouille with Poached Eggs here. This dish not only tasted amazing, but as you can see, I was able to incorporate many of the veggies from the box. A win-win situation.
Okra, Tomatoes: I was very intimidated by the okra as I'd heard about it's tendency to become a slimy mess if not cooked properly. I spent a lot of time researching about the best ways to prepare it aside from frying. I described my experience as well as a recipe for Roasted Okra, Corn, Tomato Salsa in this post. I had some tomatoes leftover from the ratatouille so I was able to incorporate them here.
Melon: This was a HUGE melon! Since the Hungryman is allergic to melons (I know..sad, but yay for me!), it was up to me to finish it. No problem! I enjoyed some pieces as is, but I also saved half of it to grill. The inspiration came from Deanna and Serena at Teaspoon of Spice who prepared a beautiful grilled watermelon salad. Grilling really intensified its sweetness and depth.
Arugula: Honestly, I should've used it soon after receiving my box instead of waiting nearly 5 days. It was starting to turn yellow so I immediately made these Lemon Arugula Toasted Naan Bites. Simple, light, and delicious.
Sweet Peppers, Jalapeño Peppers: They were added to various dishes (not pictured above), including guacamole, salads, sandwiches, and a Southwestern casserole (recipe coming soon).
Butternut Squash: I normally roast diced pieces in the oven with various seasonings and store them in a container to incorporate into various meals throughout the week. However, after learning of its strong affinity for curries, I made a vegetarian, one-pot, quick and easy Butternut Squash Red Curry (pictured above in the lower right hand corner). I will be sharing this recipe very soon. It's a good one so stay tuned ;).
Sweet Potato Greens: It's no secret that I'm a sweet potato fanatic who eats it almost every single day. Sweet potato greens, on the other hand, I had never eaten nor seen them until now. Have you? Therefore, I took a conservative approach and simply sautéed them with some ginger and lemon.
The sweet potato greens have a pretty mild taste, and similar to spinach, they cook down quite a bit. And just like with all green leafy vegetables, they are an excellent source of vitamin K and other essential nutrients, including vitamin A, iron, and calcium. In addition, they contain polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that have been linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Islam S. Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) leaf: Its potential effect on human health and nutrition. Journal Of Food Science.2006;71(2):R13-R21.
During my weekly grocery trip, I came across this GORGEOUS wild Alaskan sockeye salmon, which I thought would pair beautifully with the greens.
This was such an effortless yet elegant meal. I also served up some whole grain barley to round out the meal. Have you tried sweet potato greens before? If so, how do you like to prepare them? If they're included in my next box, I'd love to do something more with them.
- 1 large bunch of sweet potato greens
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- lemon zest
- 2 4 oz Salmon fillets
- salt and pepper
- Remove sweet potato leaves from stems. Chop smaller stems, and discard the larger ones. Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add leaves and stem pieces, sesame oil, and ginger. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and grate some fresh lemon zest on top.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper, and simply roast or grill.
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