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CSA Week 8: Fruits AND flowers of the field

In this week’s box:

2 tomatoes

1 bag squash

1 bag cucumbers

1bouquet sunflowers

14 ears corn

4 lb red/white potatoes

2 bunches green onions

2 heads green cabbage

2 pints raspberries

0.5 pint blackberries

Fresh flowers add a nice touch to any dining table, but they’re not something I usually feel like spending money on when food shopping. So I was pleasantly surprised to find a bouquet of sunflowers in this week’s CSA box. Five days later, they’re still going strong on our dinner table.

After picking up the flowers, berries, cabbage, cucumbers, squash and other items in the box, I was handed a bag and told to add 14 ears of sweet corn to my haul.

We’re really starting to get into the time of year when the freshest produce needs minimal preparation. The first night after we brought the box home, we paired sausage links with a quick salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and feta cheese, along with corn that had taken just a 3-minute bath in boiling water.

(If you’re looking for more cooking ideas for corn, check out this post, and be sure to read down to the comments.)

Most of the squash were sauteed with the onions at various points during the week and tossed into quesadillas and atop pizzas. (A great, easy recipe for using squash, corn, onions and other similar vegetables is this one for quesadilla pie, which I turn to a lot.)

Included in the squash bag were two small, slender zucchini. I always love these early-picked zucchini, which don’t have quite as many seeds and seem more tender than the larger ones that stay on the plant longer. I shaved these with my vegetable peeler and layered them on another pizza. I also love these shavings raw, sprinkled with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.

I’ll admit that I haven’t used the cabbage yet. We ate a lot of cabbage just a few weeks ago and I’m trying to take a step back and find some new ways to use it. While I’ve been tempted by hearty dishes like stuffed cabbage, that felt a little heavy for the hot weather we had last week. So I’m thinking cole slaw or another salad. The good thing is cabbage will keep for a bit, so I’m not quite as up against the clock (And your recipe suggestions are welcome!).

I’ve been impressed with the generous helpings of berries we’ve had so far. We’ve been eating all of them and then some. And lest you think I do all the cooking in my house, stay tuned to this blog tomorrow. With some help from my husband, I’ll share a recipe that’s great with all varieties of summer berries and that has become a favorite in our house.

Happy cooking!

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