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Fresh Picks: What to Cook Now

This is an ongoing series that spotlights the freshest ingredients—and what to do with them. 

Between hail storms and heat, your garden may look a little rough. We know: Our veggie boxes look weather-beaten, too, which is why we’re excited to see more and more local, fresh produce in stores and farmers’ markets. We’re doubly stoked that we had the foresight to sign up this winter for a vegetable and flower CSA from Pastures of Plenty. Our first bag was loaded with greens, mushrooms, sugar snap peas (we had to eat a few immediately), and radishes. As CSA veterans know, though, cooking through the week’s bounty is a challenge, which is why food editor Amanda M. Faison and digital editor Natasha Gardner are splitting a share. Throughout the summer, they will update this slideshow with recipes and tips on how they use the freshest Colorado ingredients in their own kitchens. Bonus: Check out the “Fresh Picks” Pinterest board and last year’s series for even more recipe ideas.

Week 15: Lettuces, cabbage, poblano peppers, acorn squash, fennel, and apples (Amanda’s picks)

1. Not a lot of cooking…

Week 14: Red frill mustard greens, Lettuces, fennel, tatsoi, kale, leeks, and pears (Natasha’s picks)

1. Apple, Pear, Walnut, and Mustard Greens Salad

2. Fresh Pasta with Lemon-cream Sauce, Kale, and Roasted Pork Tenderloin

3. Roasted Corn Soup with Chiles

4. Fried Egg with Mustard Greens and Toast

5. Tomatoes and Mozzarella with Tatsoi

Week 13: Lettuces, pepper, onions, cabbage, and honey (Natasha’s picks)

1. Roasted Chiles

2. Roasted Poblanos Stuffed with Corn, Chile, and Italian Sausage Risotto

3. Chile Turkey Burgers with Salad and Pita

4. Cabbage, Leek, and Potato Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts

Week 12: Lettuces, fennel, kale, cauliflower, sweet onions, and summer savory (Amanda’s picks)

1. Green Smoothies

2. Roasted Pork with Fennel

Week 11: Lettuces, summer squash, cabbage, collard greens, red onions, kale, garlic, and tomatoes (Natasha’s picks)

1. Friday Night Chicken Dinner

2. Frozen Kale and Collard Greens

Week Ten: Lettuces, summer squash, kale, onions, fennel, dill, basil, and peaches (Amanda’s picks)

1. Grilled Summer Squash and Onions with Shishitos, Corn, and Feta

2. Peaches and Cream Pie

3. Bibimbap

3. Chickpea, Fennel, and Lemon Salad

Week Nine: Lettuces, summer squash, broccoli, collard greens, Japanese turnips, cabbage, summery savory, and peaches (Natasha’s picks)

1. Canned Peach Butter

2. Green Cabbage, Radish, and Cucumber Slaw with Dill

3. Zucchini Banana Bread

4. Broccoli Egg Scramble

5. Grilled Jerk Ribs

Week Eight: lettuces, kale, beets, summer squash, onion, and corn (Amanda’s picks)

1. Garden Tomato, Olive, Camembert, and Dill Salad

2. Roasted Beet, Mozzarella, Garden Tomato Salad

WEEK Seven: Lettuces, kale, broccoli, summer squash, garlic, basil, fava beans, and cherries (Natasha’s picks)

1. Fava Beans with a Bacon, Mint, and Dill Vinaigrette

2. Chile Prawns with Shredded Kale and Lime-Ginger Dressing or “The Most Awesome Tailgate Ever”

3. Basil Pesto with Naan

4. Poblanos Stuffed with Zucchini and Summer Squash

WEEK SIX: Baby lettuces, kale, rainbow chard, golden beets, baby carrots, and mint (Amanda’s picks)

1. Plum, Mint, Kale, Beet Greens, and Lemon Juice

2. Pork Patty Pockets with Kale

3. Carrot Top Salsa

4. Green Minestrone

WEEK Five: Beet Greens, baby lettuces, japanese turnips, kales, beans, garlic, and dill (Amanda’s picks)

1. Salad with Baby Lettuces, Pork, Feta, and Plums

2. Flatbread with Marinated Green Beans and Turnips

3. Pickled Turnip Stems

WEEK Four: Beets and Greens, rainbow chard, baby lettuces, apricots, and cherries (Natasha’s picks)

1. Marinated Beet Salad

2. Beet Greens with Risotto

3. Frozen Breakfast Burritos with Mixed Greens

WEEK THREE: Beets and Greens, Japanese turnips, rainbow chard, English peas, and cherries (Natasha’s picks)

1. Beet Greens with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Lemon Juice

2. Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pea Puree and Japanese Turnips

3. Lentil Soup with Bacon and Swiss Chard

WEEK TWO: Lettuces, Japanese turnips, rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, and summer savory (Amanda’s picks)

1. Grilled Peaches, Cabrales Crostini, and PX Sherry Reduction with Lettuce

2. Tea-Poached Salmon with Soba, Radishes, Peas, and Broccoli

  • Used: Radishes and sugar snap peas
  • How: My husband is a runner and when race day approaches, I know I’ll be on tap to make his favorite power-up meal. This tea-poached salmon and soba dish is easy and flavorful, and it provides a good balance of protein and carbs (which translates to sustained energy on the race course). The recipe calls for roasted broccoli, but I often toss in other vegetables for additional crunch. In this case, I added Pasture of Plenty’s sugar snap peas and a few thinly sliced radishes.

3. Radishes on Buttered Bread

  • Used: Radishes
  • How: A few weeks ago, I professed my love for the classic combination of radishes and butter. So when the CSA delivered a small bunch of the root vegetable, I knew just what to do with it. I cut a round of levain bread, spread the pieces with butter, and arranged sliced radishes on top. The kicker: a sprinkling of Maldon salt, chives, and fresh lemon zest. Paired with a glass of wine, the combo makes an ideal summer appetizer.

4. Quinoa with Sautéed Japanese Turnips and Rainbow Chard

  • Used: Japanese Turnips and rainbow chard
  • How: Not totally sure what to do with the turnips, I turned to Google and found this recipe. The turnip greens were beginning to go by so I composted those and used rainbow chard instead. The resulting meal was healthy, earthy, and just right for a quick weeknight dinner.

WEEK ONE: Radishes, sugar snap peas, rainbow chard, mushrooms, and mixed greens (Natasha’s picks)

1. Spicy Salmon Noodle Bowl

2. Beer Can Chicken with Roasted Radishes, Sugar Snap Peas, and Greens

3. Mushroom Crostini with Creme Fraiche

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