Thinking inside the farmbox: 2015 season

It’s June, and this year's CSA started at the beginning of the month. I decided to subscribe to a half share this time, which means I’ll be receiving produce every other week. Although this choice means I'm going to miss out on some items that appear only a couple of times in the share, I think it’ll be more manageable, and I can always swing by the farmer’s market to pick up a few extra items.

This year, the full and half shares include both fruit and vegetables, and the first box contained strawberries. I could eat an entire bowl of these sweet berries stirred into yogurt and topped with granola, but I restrained myself and, instead, made a strawberry cream cheese pie to share with the rest of the household.

On the savory side, I decided to re-create a recipe I made a few weeks ago. The original was for snapper with potatoes and onions. All components were smothered in harissa and baked. I substituted chicken for the fish and simultaneously roasted some asparagus in a separate pan with lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

There are so many different types of hot sauces and chili pastes to try. I love hot sauces, and I’ve sampled a lot of them—from ghost chili to poblano. I’ve even made my own pineapple habanero hot sauce. My whole house smelled like vinegar for days, but the result was worth it.

It’s difficult to pick a spicy favorite, but for me, harissa is near the top. Harissa can contain a mixture of roasted red peppers; serrano peppers; other hot chili peppers; spices and herbs, such as garlic, coriander, caraway; and oil.

I realized as I was writing this post that apparently this week, my cooking method of choice was to slice vegetables and proteins and slide them into the oven on baking sheets. I received pak choi in the share, and I roasted the leaves on one pan and placed a layer of shrimp coated with a mixture of soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, vegetable oil, and salt on another. While those were cooking in the oven, I made some sesame kale on the stove top. Once everything finished, I loaded big bowls with rice, kale, pak choi, and shrimp. It was easy and really tasty. I’ll make it again.

Are you subscribing to a CSA this year? Or have you visited your local farmer’s market? What did you pick up or receive in your box?