It is no secret that I’m a giant fan of preserving, freezing, pre-made freezer meals, drying, etc. When the food comes in waves, I love to set some aside to enjoy later. In our share last week was a head of romaine, a head of green leaf, and a bag of arugula, which might seem like a lot of greens to some people. (No, sorry, I have no way of preserving lettuce. If YOU do….. please pass that along!) What I do like to do when we have such waves of leafy greens or delicate & highly perishable veg is to use them as a base, and add preserved goodies to it. Who doesn’t love a perfect marriage of fresh & frozen?
So, in this case, we had a delicious feast of what I’ll call “Taproot Tacos”. I used frozen ground pork, frozen corn, and frozen tomatoes, basil, and cilantro for salsa, and to that I added greens, tortillas, and cheese (or whatever other toppings you love.) This is a great way to utilize those delicate offerings, as is pasta! We do a ton of pasta during the summer because it’s fast, easy, and delicious! Depending on what is in our share, it might be a basic olive oil sauce with sauteed beet greens, chard, or arugula, or maybe grape tomatoes, fresh beans, peas, zucchini, or herbs.
Of course, a giant salad is also a great idea for using bulk amounts of tender veg. Or juicing. Or a stir fry. Or lettuce wraps….. So many options! My point is, while we wait for these fresh offerings all winter, sometimes the speed and volume that they come on at can seem a bit daunting. Think of them as the foundation of your meal, and build around it with whatever else you have on hand, either fresh, frozen, or canned.
During this incredible season of bounty, here are some of the things that I will always make sure to get extra of in order to save some for the winter, because who doesn’t love a bright green garlic scape pesto or strawberry dessert on a cold January night?
garlic- roasted then frozen
garlic scapes- blended with a bit of oil then frozen
tomatoes- frozen or canned
zucchini- grated then frozen
all berries- frozen or canned/ jams & jellies or compote
herbs- frozen in oil, dried, or mixed into butter and frozen (tarragon butter is amazing)
Peas & beans- blanched and frozen or pressure canned
Ok- I have to stop writing this list because it’s making me really hungry. I don’t know what is in our share this week, but, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be setting a little bit aside for another day.
Happy local eating! See you next week.