CSA Charleston: attack of the killer sweet potatoes

Another week, another post about what we got and what we did with our CSA box from Pinckney’s Produce! DSC05657This week’s haul:

  • 4 sweet potatoes, one of which was the size of a football
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 2 bunches collards
  • 2 turnips with greens
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bag field peas/black eyed peas/bean-type things
  • 4 rutabagas
  • 4 slicing tomatoes
  • 6 small tomatoes
  • 4 peppers

When I went to pick up this week’s bounty, I was most impressed by one item in particular.  A sweet potato the size of a football. I held it up in astonishment and showed it off to the folks at the Glass Onion, one of my favorite local restaurants right by our house which happens to be our CSA pick up point. No one could believe the size of the monster sweet potato. In case you think I’m kidding, this is the beast both in my hand and on a dinner plate:DSC05658


Insane, right?

My other immediate concern was rutabagas. Namely that I’ve never heard of nor had one.  Some quick research yielded this recipe for Autumn Soup with Crispy Bacon, which featured both sweet potato and rutabaga. I made a batch the first night using the 3 normal sized sweet potatoes and 2 rutabagas. I also cooked the beans with some garlic and onion. I froze both the soup, which yielded 4 quarts, and the beans which yielded two quarts.  For myself for dinner (Jon was out of town) I made Smoky Greens and Beans using half of the mustard greens and one bunch of collards. It turned out to be a delicious meat-free meal, and I took some of the leftovers to work for lunch the next day.  I’ve got to say I’m pretty happy to have found another way to eat mustard greens.

Another night, I decided to make pasta, so I tossed the broccoli and all of the tomatoes into a pan with some onion, garlic, and a couple of bell peppers from our garden and some herbs.  They made a nice sauce which we ate on top of whole wheat rotini with some feta cheese on top.  This wasn’t a meal I had a recipe for, but I’ve found that most any combo of veggies works on top of pasta with a little cheese. I froze a quart of the sauce.

This weekend, Jon was sick, so Saturday I made him some homemade chicken noodle soup. The only things from our CSA box featured in the soup were a couple of carrots we had leftover, and the second bunch of collards.  Otherwise, it was pretty straightforward: onion, garlic, chicken stock, orzo pasta, bay leaf, some basil, salt, pepper. We had one frozen chicken breast from before we gave up non-humanely-raised chicken, so I tossed that in as well. My secret yummy chicken soup ingredient? A couple of handfuls of parmesan cheese.  All in all a yummy soup, and between that, lots of hot echinacea tea with honey, OJ/ginger ale “mimosas,” ColdEeze, a little Tylenol Cold, and a lot of sleep, he’s doing a lot better.

Saturday I also did a little baking, and while they’re not related to our CSA box, I can tell you that Smitten Kitchen’s jalapeno cheddar scones and also her peanut butter brownies (yes, I made them again) are amazing. I’d just recommend you use at least 3 jalapenos in the scones, as I used 2 and they still weren’t very spicy.

Sunday I used up the turnips, the other two rutabagas, and the big mama sweet potato in a curried sweet potato soup. The recipe only called for sweet potato, but after trying that Autumn Soup the first night, I rightly guessed that the rutabaga and turnip would be undetectable in this recipe. The soup was very tasty served with some No Knead Bread, and I froze two quarts, saving a few servings in the fridge for lunches this week.  It’s also a super easy recipe with next to no ingredients, so it’s highly recommended. I should note that I used chicken broth, because that’s what I had on hand, since I buy it in bulk at Costco, and it was still tasty.  The one drawback to blending a curried soup in my food processor is that the knob on the blade is now stained yellow. Jon actually saw it in the dish drain and wondered if I had gotten a new yellow blade. Nope! Just stained!

Last night we used up the last of the mustard greens and peppers in a frittata with feta cheese, served with a slice of No Knead Bread. Another tasty and meat-free meal.

Overall, another successful week, since we managed to use everything but the turnip greens (really, 3 bunches of greens is enough for ANYONE in one week).  This weekend our CSA farm is hosting an open house and we’re hoping to go see where our food is grown and meet the hands that raise it for us.  I can’t wait to personally thank them for all the delicious food they’ve provided for us this season. I really couldn’t have imagined a better CSA experience, and I’m so glad we still have a couple of weeks left!

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