The second week of our CSA saw the return of some old friends and the introduction of a few new ones — most thrillingly, our first pot of herbs, lemon basil, for planting.

It was a gloomy, stormy weekend here in New York. The weather provided the perfect excuse to stay home and try out a few new recipes, which I’ll get to, but first let me tell you about this week’s haul of produce!

Week 2 Haul

  • Arugula
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Rainbow chard
  • Red Russian kale
  • Asian cucumber
  • Kohlrabi
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Green garlic
  • Shallot scallions
  • Lemon basil

What Rolled Over?

About two cups of bok choy leaves and tender shoots, and half of the thyme. The other half of the thyme went towards a batch of thyme butter. Have you ever made herb butter? They’re just lovely, and so easy to whip up. We’ve been using our thyme butter on toast, and also slathered some on slider buns when we had burgers for dinner. Pretty fancy!

Would you like to try your hand at making an herb butter? You’ll need ¼ – ½ cup of chopped fresh herbs, a stick of butter, well softened, and a pinch or two of salt. Mix the ingredients together with a spatula and store in the refrigerator.

Tomato Count

This week: 0

Season to date: 0

What I Made

  • Simple arugula salad with red wine vinegar
  • Vietnamese steak with cucumber and shallot scallions salad and rice noodles
  • Chopped salad with kohlrabi, romaine, roasted red pepper, shallot scallions, chickpeas, and grilled chicken
  • Vegetable stir fry with celery, baby bok choy, rainbow chard stems, shallot scallions, green garlic, kohlrabi and black sesame seeds, served with Mark Bittman’s ketchup chicken and jasmine rice
  • Andouille chicken sausage with Roman beans, kale, turnip greens, kohlrabi greens and rainbow chard

Italics represent CSA vegetables used

Technique of the Week: Storing Greens

Last week I shared my approach to handling the many bunches of greens we’re getting, which can be time consuming to wash and chop. To manage that process, I like to do all the washing and prep at once, as you can see in this photo.

But then those greens need to be stored! In week one, we lost some of our lovely arugula to moisture, even though we’d lined the container with paper towels. I was sad. But I quickly saw an easy solution to the problem of storing greens in a lidded plastic container — we needed to get some air holes up in that baby. So I doctored a Gladware tub by poking a few holes in the lid to allow for circulation, and voila! This week my greens are much happier.

Standout Meal of the Week: Vietnamese Steak with Cucumber Salad

The best thing I made this week was … well, it’s hard to say! We had a bunch of winners this week, including a vegetable stir fry I served to accompany Mark Bittman’s ketchup chicken recipe from the New York Times.

I mean, look at this beauty!

Vegetable stir fry with black sesame seeds to accompany Mark Bittman’s ketchup chicken. #CSASurvival

A photo posted by Jolie Kerr (@joliekerr) on Jun 22, 2015 at 3:21pm PDT

But still, I’d have to say the best thing I made was another NYT recipe: Vietnamese steak with cucumber salad. I suspect we’ll make that a few more times as the summer goes on and cucumbers begin showing up in greater and greater numbers.

One week last year I ended up with 11 cucumbers in one go and went into an absolute panic. This year, I’m ready.

Join me here each week, as well as on Twitter and Instagram, as I wash, chop, cook and eat my way through my CSA using the hashtag #CSASurvival. Got questions for me? Ask away!