CSA Week 2–The Greens Keep Coming But So Does Summer Fruit: June 22-28

Farmers strive to provide a wide variety for their customers. But this year, the spring downpours mean that’s a tall order in June. Even for a CSA sourcing from many farms. There are always repeats from week to week, but this week’s CSA box looks a lot like last week’s.

Week 2 Family Size CSA Box Including Yogurt and Cheese Shares

Week 2 of the Family-size CSA box from Growing Washington. Top half (left to right): Red Hornet leaf lettuce, bunched spinach, strawberries, clover sprouts, fava beans, Italian basil, and Green Winterbor kale. Bottom half: French breakfast radishes, scallions, salad mix, garlic scapes, Early Robin cherries, asparagus, green garlic, and rainbow chard. Also shown: handmade yogurt from Silver Springs Creamery and Scamorza cheese from Ferndale Farmstead. These add-ons are available as full-season shares or weekly purchases.

Some varieties of fruits and vegetables are different. There are a few other types of leafy greens, fresh herbs and alliums. But the real differences come down to two ingredients. I received fresh strawberries and fava beans instead of storage apples and fennel. Does that mean I’m eating the same meals as last week? Of course not!

The Big Dinner Salad

To immediately contradict myself, yes, Thursday night’s dinner is salad again. But that’s on purpose and it’s a completely different salad than last week. Salads are best enjoyed with the freshest ingredients. This first dinner just makes sense.

Green Salad With Asparagus, Fava Beans, Radishes, Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese

Growing Washington blend salad mix and clover sprouts topped with boiled asparagus, garlic scapes, and fava beans. The salad also includes radishes, scallions and Beecher’s Flagship cheddar cheese. Vegetables tossed in apricot mustard vinaigrette, soy sauce and roasted sesame oil before placing on greens. Garnished with fennel fronds and fresh basil, and served with Eva’s crackers. Salad combination inspired by Asparagus & Fava Bean Salad from Vegetable Literacy.

A few points about this salad:

  • By “big,” I’m not referring to the size of the salad so much as the number and variety of ingredients. No matter how large, a salad of lettuces cannot serve as dinner. Not only are savory tastes provided by the fava beans, cheese, soy sauce, and crackers, but the salad has more protein than you might imagine. Fava beans have 13 grams of protein per cup. Then there’s the cheese and assortment of vegetables (yes, vegetables have protein!). In total, my dinner salad has about 20 grams of protein per serving. Think that’s not enough? I disagree. Read my post on the protein craze.

  • I almost never boil anything, let alone vegetables. But if it’s good enough for Deborah, then I’m willing to try it. I learned the light flavor of the boiled asparagus and garlic scapes was perfect for this salad. The scapes were also more tender than when roasting which many people would prefer. A great reminder—there’s no one right or perfect way to cook anything. Sometimes “something different” is actually the best choice.

  • Leftover salads make easy lunches. The key is to wait to dress the salad greens or other delicate ingredients until right before eating. So although I tossed all the vegetables with the vinaigrette the night before, I stored the salad greens and sprouts in a separate container from the other vegetables. Add some crackers and cherries and enjoy this gorgeous lunch:

Leftover Green Salad With Asparagus, Fava Beans, Radishes, Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese With Cherries

Leftover salads make delicious and simple lunches the next day. Make sure to dress greens at the last minute. Asparagus and fava bean salad served with crackers and cherries.

No More Foliage, Please

When my mother-in-law used to visit us, I’d always buy bags of washed greens at the market to cook up for fast meals. Farmers market convenience food, I like to call it. She usually looked skeptical and accused me of eating weeds. It’s true. A few market foods do amount to little more than “weeds”dandelion greens, purslane, and nettles. But I was serving the kale, chard and arugula variety of greens. In any case, all this roughage may prove too much for you at times. And that’s when it’s nice to turn to smoothies. I didn’t have a blender at the time so this wasn’t an option. Even so I’m not sure she feels any better about green smoothies. (I got the same skeptical look about the ones from the Palm Springs farmers market, which was my favorite place to go when we visited her. Also, I highly recommend the date smoothies. Local dates—definitely worth getting excited about.)

Green Smoothie With Spinach and Apples

Green smoothies are simple to make without a recipe. I layered whey, ginger root, turmeric root, spinach leaves, and Gala apples in my Vitamix blender (left). You can add any liquid you like—dairy-based, non-dairy milks, juice, or water. Puree the mixture and add more liquid or other ingredients to reach the desired consistency. I garnished mine with fresh strawberries (right).

I gave up using recipes for smoothies about five minutes after getting my blender. Many recipes call for things I don’t have and almost never buy, like grapes or tropical fruits. I’ve found it helpful to use a fruit or vegetable that produces a lot of juice—apples, pears, or cucumbers. I also add at least one sweet ingredient—again, apples and pears, or bananas or dates, or even chocolate. This way I only need a little extra liquid and can leave out the added sweeteners. But even these aren’t hard rules. And you don’t need them. If something isn’t right (too thick, not sweet enough), add more of this or that and keep pureeing.

Composite of Green Smoothies With Lunch and Leftover With Breakfast

Green smoothies are great for anytime of day and are even good made ahead. I served mine for lunch with farmers market snacks: pretzels, radishes, cheese, mustard and cherries. The meal was complete with a Caprese-inspired salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, Scamorza cheese and fresh basil (left). The smoothies were still tasty served the next day for breakfast with scallion-scrambled eggs and cherries (right).


Because who doesn’t love tacos? Since learning how to make tortillas a few years ago (and buying a tortilla press), tacos have become a staple meal. Yes, you can buy tortillas too. But homemade ones are seriously delicious. If you keep masa harina in your fridge, you can have them any time.

Quinoa Tacos With Spinach, Radishes, Fava Beans, Cheddar Cheese and Tomatillo Salsa

Taco night! Tri-color quinoa tacos made with homemade corn tortillas (top). I cooked the quinoa in the leftover water from boiling asparagus and garlic scapes. Then I mixed it with sautéed spinach, radish greens and garlic for the taco filling. I served the tacos with tomatillo salsa made with red padron peppers, jalapeno chiles, mint, celery and tomatoes. All the salsa ingredients were in my freezer. For toppings, I offered radishes, scallions, fava beans, fresh basil, sprouts and cheddar cheese (bottom). Offer only one or two of these toppings and you still have a fantastic (and healthy) meal.

Taco toppings and fillings work a lot like salad. Look at what you have and offer anything that’s good raw or is otherwise simple to prepare. Like dinner salad, make sure to include a protein in the filling. In this case, quinoa, which has 8 grams of protein per cup cooked.

What Comes After Tacos?

No, not leftover tacos. (Although they do make a good lunch the next day.) But if you can keep from eating them all, then you are well set for another easy meal: enchiladas.

Turkey and Quinoa Enchiladas With Tomatillo Salsa and Cheddar Cheese

Turkey and quinoa enchiladas topped with tomatillo salsa and Beecher’s Flagship cheddar cheese (left). I added thawed shredded turkey along with chopped onion, garlic, smoked paprika and red pepper flakes to the leftover quinoa mixture. Served with a lettuce and green tomato salad (right).

Another dish well worth improvising. It’s a basic formula: wheat or corn tortillas + filling + sauce. Cheese is optional. I don’t always offer a sauce with tacos but it’s a must with enchiladas. With everything already made from previous meals, this was an assembly job.

More Greens

Continuing with last week’s promise to give you lots of ideas for using greens, here’s a couple more:

Braised Kale With Bratwurst, Garlic Scapes and Wheat Berries

Braised Green Winterbor kale with bratwurst from Skagit River Ranch and garlic scapes. Served over white wheat berries from Bluebird Grain Farms. You can use almost anything as the braising liquid, including plain water. I used the braising liquid from last week’s chard and pilaf for extra flavor. Add some chicken or vegetable stock and you have a variation on kale and sausage soup. Or add white beans instead of wheat berries for yet another soup variation.

Chard Rolls Stuffed with Wild Rice Blend, Celery, Green Garlic and Dried Cranberries

Chard leaves blanched before filling with leftover wild rice blend. I sautéed frozen celery with green garlic and the chard stems before adding to the rice. I also stirred in a puree made from kale stems. The rice mixture was finished with apple cider vinegar and dried cranberries. I braised the chard rolls in leftover broth from cooking kale and wheat berries. I also added chopped frozen tomatoes to the braising liquid and sprinkled on sliced almonds at the end.


The variety of vegetables throughout the summer makes seasonal eating worthwhile. Still, it’s the summer fruits that most people (including me) get excited about. June in the Pacific Northwest means strawberry season. While those California strawberries are tempting in April, any true Seattleite waits until June to indulge. (Nothing against those oversized intruders. As a brief Southern California dweller long ago, I can attest to the deliciousness of California strawberries consumed while in California.) Freezing summer berries is always a good idea, but it’s hard to keep from eating them all now.

Composite of Simple Dishes With Fresh Strawberries

In summer, breakfast and dessert are simple with the cornucopia of fresh berries available. June’s indulgences include strawberries and first-of-the-season cherries. Top row: Strawberries and cherries on Scamorza cheese toasts (left) and peanut butter oatmeal (center). Strawberry yogurt pops (right) are healthy enough for breakfast or dessert. Bottom row: Chocolate and strawberries—as an ice cream topping (left), covered in bittersweet chocolate (center), and spread on toast (right). Chocolate toasts made with leftover melted chocolate from dipping strawberries. Top with a layer of sliced strawberries if you didn’t already eat them all!

The Hot Days of … June?

Even in temperate Seattle, we get some uncomfortable heat that makes indoor cooking a chore. I rely on my toaster oven year-round but in summer it’s essential.

Roasted Asparagus Ends With Poached Eggs and Apple Turmeric Smoothies

Roasted asparagus ends garnished with chopped lemon peel, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Breakfast served with poached eggs, apricot-walnut toast and apple-turmeric smoothies. Asparagus and egg creation inspired by this recipe. Smoothies made with Gala apples, frozen lemon peel, apple cider vinegar, water and ground turmeric.

Even with minimal-effort cooking, a few no-cook meals are crucial.

Summer Gazpacho With Apple-Parmesan Melts and Salad

Easy summer gazpacho served with apple parmesan melts and a lettuce salad. I made my gazpacho using a bunch of ingredients from my freezer: tomatoes, vegetable stock, celery, jalapenos, mint and bread crumbs. I also added fresh onions, green garlic, and cucumbers from my CSA box. I rounded out the flavors of the soup with ground cumin, olive oil, spicy pecan vinegar and Rocksalmic vinegar from my pantry. The soup is also good garnished with chopped almonds.

The End of The Week

With all this cooking, I didn’t have much left from my CSA box after a week. Garlic was all that remained.

End of Week 2 CSA Box

Remaining ingredients after one week from Week 2 of the Family-size CSA box. From left to right: Green garlic, garlic scapes, and an heirloom tomato. (I bought the tomato at the farmers market four days prior).

Fridge, Pantry and Freezer Staples

Even in summer, I rely heavily on kitchen staples for easy cooking. I’ve talked about what to keep on hand before. Here are a few more specialized items beyond last week’s list of staples. I store most of these things in the freezer:

  • quinoa (store in the fridge)
  • ginger root
  • turmeric root (or store powdered in the pantry)
  • whey (from draining yogurt or from attempts at making ricotta)
  • homemade stocks
  • herbs and herb purees
  • bread cubes and crumbs
  • citrus peels
  • cooked turkey meat (yes, from Thanksgiving)
  • sausages (like bratwurst)
  • nut butters (store in the fridge)
  • cooked rice
  • crackers (store in the pantry)

I don’t necessarily have all these things all the time. The list includes ideas for the types of foods to keep around for effortless cooking (and no grocery shopping).


If you’d like more information about any of these June CSA meals, leave me a comment.

Read more about my “Week in Review” posts.

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