Swap-Box Hero: Celeriac Edition

“SELL-err-ee-ack.” Not quite. “SELLer-rack.” Nope, again. “Sell-ryack.” Closer. CSAers, if you bail and say, “celery root,” that’s cool. But, judging by our end-of-day swap-box  contents, way too many of you also bail on the veggie itself. Maybe you’re lacking celeriac confidence. Maybe I can help. First:  pronunciation. Suh-LAIR-ee-ack. Think Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out—”in the fall you…

Taste the Rainbow

Confession: I used to shun the chard. Bulky and mysterious (like its fridge-hog friend, collard greens), chard made it home with me only when the swap box overflowed at the end of pickup day. Not anymore. Thumbing through Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty last winter, when the Swiss chard was a weekly sharebox occupant, I ran across…

Forage Potage

(faw-razh paw-tahzh) A thick soup, stew, or porridge in which found or scavenged items are boiled together until they form a thick mush. Yes, this one was a real hodge-podge. Ramps, the spring-heralding, wild allium that gave Chicago its name, picked up at the season’s first Headhouse Farmers’ Market Sunday. Stinging nettles—another truly foraged plant—that came…

Swap-Box Hero: SpanaKohlpita

Judging by end-of-day swap-box contents, kohlrabi—especially the giant Kossaks we see in the colder months—is in the running for our site’s least-loved (most-feared?) CSA item. Even in high July, after zucchini fatigue has set in, we rarely see a uniform swap box at closing time. But last Tuesday, after all the first-week Winter Season shares had…

Kale and Hearty

It’s easy to take potatoes for granted. But fresh, local spuds are a marvel, with a nutty flavor and creamy texture that can’t be matched out of the mesh sacks shipped halfway across the country. In fact, next to eggs (okay, and maybe sweet, late-season carrots), they’re my favorite CSA staple, and when my stash is…

A Dandy Lunch: Spring CSA Frittata

Everything here was from the last couple shareboxes to arrive in the Winter Season (though we’re bound and determined around here to consider it SPRING): eggs, a wee red onion, portabellos, an aged, gouda-style cheese, chives, and the crown jewel, a bag of dandelion greens. So many CSAers I know don’t bother with the “weed…

KOB salad

No, not Cobb Salad. K•O•B Salad. As in, Kale•Orange•Beet. Inspired by the Roasted Beet Salad at Barbuzzo, where chef Marcie Turney loads chiffonade of raw kale with beets, ruby red grapefruit segments, pistachio pesto, and chèvre, a couple years ago I started playing around with kale, beets, citrus, nuts, and cheese. I’ve swapped around oranges,…

Blackberry-Pecan Chicken Salad

I’m not sure I’ve ever made the same chicken salad twice. Too many variables. Chicken, of course, but poached or roasted or grilled or fried? Curry? Parsley? Cilantro? Tarragon? Heat?  Something for crunch (celery, nuts, or fried noodles?). Something for sweet (grapes, raisins, craisins, berries, apples, or pears?). A little something to bind it all…

10-Minute, Lemony Broccoli Soup

Though I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my month-old Vitamix, part of me still needs convincing that it’s not going to end up as this decade’s NordicTrack. This soup I whipped up to take for lunch tomorrow should save the mega-blender from coat-rack status for quite some time. 10-minute, lemony broccoli soup 1 small…

The heartbreak of micro-amnesia

Tuesday, after having counseled the 30-some CSA picker-uppers who visited Moore Brothers Monday that they ought to use their portion of fragile microgreens within 24 hours, I dutifully packed mine into my lunch bag. I’d assembled the fixings for a lovely salad: butter lettuce, spinach, and scallions from the CSA, a little Red Oak from…