The tomatoes have arrived! It’s finally all happening, you guys!

We’re now hitting the sweet spot of the CSA (community-supported agriculture), when the weekly haul becomes more varied than the early summer offerings of greens, greens, more greens and some onions. Not that I don’t love greens, of course. But it’s nice to bring home a colorful mixture. This week I ended up with red, yellow, white, and green vegetables (I left a purple kohlrabi behind, I’ll admit it). So what did I get? Here’s a look at this week’s haul:

Week 6 Haul

  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Summer squash
  • Broccoli
  • Onions
  • Braising greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Collard greens
  • Mixed salad greens

What Rolled Over?

A lone onion.

Tomato Count

This week: 2

Season to date: 2

Oh man, I was so happy to see those two measly tomatoes. In fact, I was so pleased that I decided to make steak pizzaiola as a Friday night dinner treat. Steak pizzaiola is an Italian-style steak that’s smothered with a sauce of tomatoes and onions. It’s a dish I find myself making over and over again during the summertime CSA because we are treated to such an abundance of tomatoes and onions. It’s also a stovetop dish that cooks relatively quickly — which, given the heat wave we’re currently experiencing on the East coast, is an admirable trait in a dinner dish.

What I Made (Italics represent CSA vegetables used)

  • Steak pizzaiola with garlicky braising greens
  • Mark Bittman’s ketchup chicken served over jasmine rice and topped with lemony sautéed mustard greens
  • Sautéed zucchini and summer squash with onion and chicken sausage, dinner rolls with garlic scape butter
  • Chicken with broccoli, olive oil and garlic over basil pasta; mixed green salad
  • Cucumber and jalapeno salad with Vietnamese dressing

Technique of the Week: Remove the Rubber Band

Here’s an odd little thing to know about vegetables that have been bound using rubber bands or twine: Before you stash those guys in the fridge, you should snip the binding off.

Even if you’re not in a CSA, this is a good tip to bear in mind, as many farmer’s markets and grocery stores bundle vegetables such as carrots, greens and radishes using rubber bands. The pressure from the rubber band will, in fairly short time, cause damage under the binding, and eventually lead to rotting. So, for longevity’s sake, get rid of those rubber bands ASAP.

Standout Meal of the Week: A Vietnamese Dressing That Works With Everything

Okay, you caught me: That steak pizzaiola I mentioned was definitely the standout meal of the week, and I promise I’ll share the recipe with you! But I’m saving it for the next go so that I can include a nice photo that will make your mouth water. The steak I made this week was a bit smaller than what I usually use, which meant that the thing was so smothered with sauce that, judging by a photo, you’d think it was just a delicious-looking pile of chunky tomato sauce.

Instead, I’m going to share a low-fat, low-calorie Vietnamese dressing based on the one in the New York Times recipe for Vietnamese steak that I featured in Week 2. I loved that dressing so much that I’ve tinkered with it, using it on a cucumber and jalapeno salad that I ate over rice. It was so good that I went back for seconds. And then I went back for thirds.


  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, grated using a microplane


Combine ingredients and use as a salad dressing or marinade for steak, chicken or fish.


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!

READ MORE: CSA Survival Guide, Week 2: Vietnamese Steak, Herb Butter and Cucumber Salad