Thursday, August 20, 2009

CSA: What do I do with Purple Cabbage?

When I pick up the CSA box each week, I know when there's a melon or cabbage, because I grunt when I lift it. This week's box featured a personal watermelon and a beautiful purple cabbage that's approximately the size of a bowling ball.

A quick Google reveals that the hollowed-out shell can be used as a decorative vegetal container, perhaps for dips. I'm not putting together a buffet this week, so I'll just have to file that away for future reference. The outer leaves can be used as containers for salads, so I could go that route. I have used purple cabbage previously in my recipe for Chicken Slaw, and that is a dish that my husband really likes, so that's it, a done deal. The chicken slaw is an early post from last year, just cooked, shredded chicken, mixed with shredded cabbage and carrots and onions and cheddar cheese, tossed with a mustard vinaigrette. It's a great summertime meal.

I like sauteed cabbage with bacon or sausage, your usual porkular suspects. Throw some potatoes, leeks and mustard in there, and you have a perfect late summer, taste of autumn, man-pleasing supper.

Also in the box: green beans, due for a braising with tomatoes and onions.

Field peas. Redemption in field peas. Last week's peas were a disaster. In contrast, this week's were clean and dry and fresh. A joy to shell, and an even greater joy to eat. While Lindsey Lou and I shelled the peas, I put a pot of water on to boil, threw in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, some pepper, a diced onion, two diced Roma tomatoes and one banana pepper, (all from the CSA, so this was something of a hat trick.). When the peas were shelled, I tossed them in the water and let boil for about 45 minutes. Delicious, and probably the best field peas ever.

Another pot of ratatouille is in my future, because I now have a bucketload of the cutest Japanese eggplants, yellow squash and basil. The pepper selection includes banana peppers, jalapenos and a poblano. The only use I know of for poblanos is chiles rellenos. I need to find a use for a single pepper.

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