CSA week #4, photo by Donna

OK, things are starting to roll a little faster here.  Delighted this week to see peas in our CSA haul!  Still a helluva lot of lettuce (which, truth be told, my belly needs a little a more of).  We were a little disappointed in week three, when some of the lettuces had rotty ends, suggesting they’d been picked many days before.  Be critical and tell your CSA farmers if you’re not happy with the product.  Remember that just because they’re local farmers, doesn’t mean they’re perfect.  As with any craft, there is a range of quality of finished product, depending on how it’s grown and, critically, how it’s handled after it’s picked.  (A friend asked me recently what CSA stands for, so it bears repeating: community supported agriculture.) Usually the farmers are happy to try to do better; it’s already really hard work as it is, they certainly don’t want that hard work to go to waste any more than you do.

How I’ve used the abundance beyond salad:

Past two weeks have seen chard, which I’ve sauteed with onion and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper and finished with a hit of red wine vinegar at the end. Would love to hear how others cook chard.

Kohlrabi.  I absolutely love this raw and since there haven’t been many, I cut them into batons and eat them with salt.  Try them radish-style with butter and coarse salt.

Roasted beets for a tried and true beet-goat-cheese-walnut salad (I fried the walnuts in canola and used this oil for the vinaigrette).

For your radishes, instead of eating raw, try sauteing them lightly in butter an serving on risotto.  Cooked, they’re excellent, especially the super peppery ones.

Cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes!  No problem with these!

Spring Potatoes with Tarragon and Chives

I love this technique for new potatoes.  It takes advantage of the fresh herbs that are now in full bloom and can be made up to an hour before serving (gently reheat, serve warm, not piping hot). I believe it’s important to cook potatoes gently, so poach rather than boil (unless you’ve got hungry kids giving you the evil eye, in which case, boil away).

1 pound beautiful potatoes (any variety of thin-skinned potato)

2 ounce butter or to taste

plenty of salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh, lightly chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon minced chives

olive oil to taste (optional)

Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low; water can be at an infrequent bubble (just avoid rolling boil that knocks them around), 20-30 minutes.

When they’re tender (pierce with a knife, take one out and cut it and taste it if you’re unsure), strain them, allow them to cool till you can handle them and peel them (again, if you’re in a hurry, you don’t have to peel, they’re just better if you do). Cut them as desired.

Melt the butter in the same pan you cooked the potatoes in, add the salt and pepper, swirl, add the potatoes, stir gently to coat with butter, add the tarragon and chives, and stir to distribute the herbs.  Taste.  Add a tablespoon of very flavorful olive oil if desired, more salt if needed.  Cover until ready to serve.  Gently reheat if you want.


65 Wonderful responses to “CSA Week 4
(recipe: Spring Potatoes with Tarragon and Chives)”

  • Danit

    Re: chard- have been getting a lot of greens in my box (beet greens, dandelions greens, amaranth). My favorite dish so far has been calzones with wilted beet greens, a little drained cottage cheese, asiago, parmesan, blue cheese, chopped roasted red peppers and (I think this was key) chopped sauteed prosciutto.

  • Tony H

    I haven’t received any chard in my CSA box yet, but I have been thinking about how I’m going to use various greens throughout the summer. I love them sauteed in garlic & chile flakes as well as stewed down. However, I know I’m going to get sick of that preparation each week.

    I like the calzone idea a lot. In fact, i had been thinking they would be good on a savory tart of some kind. I’d cook them first then put them on a tart or pizza with some combo of cheese, caramelized onions, olives, raisins, etc.

    I also had been considering making creamed greens in the style of creamed spinach. And, of course, as with all of these vegetables, there will probably come a point in which they end up in soup.

  • Georgia Pellegrini

    I love kohlrabi as well. When I was cooking at Gramercy they used to annoy me to no end because they were a bit of a pain to prep in large quantities but they are very refreshing, and have a great texture. I used to cut them into “coins” and serve them in a vegetable salad with farro.

  • ulikabbq

    I like to slice the Kohlrabi and coat with EVOO a little S&P and then throw it on the grill. Cook in on low so it will have time to get tender.

  • Ben

    My mother sometimes uses chard in place of spinach in sigumchi guk, which is a korean (spinach) soup with miso. It’s the most comforting dish to me, and she automatically makes it for me every time I visit. Perhaps I’ll try to replicate and report back …

  • Dennis

    I’ve tend to do chard from our CSA share pretty much the same way, although the results tends to find their way into the middle of an omelet since we get fresh eggs in the early shares.

    We’ve tend to get a lot of peas and pea tendrils in our early shares. The peas themselves are easy (this was the latest batch: http://www.flickr.com/photos/djwtwo/4729346730/) but the pea tendrils I have a hard time being creative with.

  • amber

    Fritatta! Using Chard that has been sauteed with o.o. and garlic or even just steamed, grated pecorino (or not), salt and pepper. However, veg must be strained pretty well cuz watery eggs are gross.

    Soup!! I sometimes use as a substitute for Black Kale if I am in the US and can’t find it for soups like Ribollita, Caciucco di Ceci or Minestone. I’ve even tried to recreate one of my favorites, white bean and black kale soup using chard, but since Kale is kind of an important ingredient I don’t think I can call it that. (Ribollita is a Tuscan soup made with day old bread and veggies for those that don’t know and Caciucco di Ceci is a soup made with Ceci, Chard, anchovies, garlic, a bit of onion, a bit of tomato if you like it, served over toasted crusty garlicky bread.) Mmm, I’m hungry now!

  • Tags

    Count your blessings you just had rotty ended lettuce. My garden was pretty well worked over by 70 MPH winds last Thursday and I lost over half of my tomatoes. Plus squirrels take one bite of the remaining ones and move on to the next tomato.

    The weeds still seem to be thriving, though.

  • Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

    I cook my chard Catalan-style, with olive oil, garlic, chicken stock or water, pine nuts, raisins, salt, and pepper. Toast your pine nuts and set aside. Sautee the garlic in the olive oil, add the chard and a splash of chicken stock, and cover for a few minutes, until chard is softened. Remove lid, add your pine nuts and raisins, season to taste, and serve.

  • Nicholas L. Hall

    Please tell me you use the chard stems in some way. I see a lot of people just throw them away, but if you peel them just a bit and then big pot blanch them (finish cooking in preferred method), they can add nice texture, vibrant color, and a pleasantly earthy flavor and aroma. Kind of like dirt, but in a good way.

      • Nicholas L. Hall

        Sounds like some unfinished business. . . find a use for your chard stems! I expect a mini post, or at least a tweet, on what you do with them!

      • Carol Blymire

        I make pickled chard stems, which are great instead of celery to poke around in a bloody mary, or to eat out of the jar as a snack. Or, I’ll blanch or saute them and include them in whatever dish I’m making with the leaves. They add a nice texture and crunch.

    • Sam

      Chard stem gratin is quite good also… or chop small and use in vegetable soup

      • Mike

        Chard stems? Pickle ’em! Blanch before brining if they’re large, straight into the brine if they’re small and tender. I use an apple cider and white wine vinegar based brine. The same one I use for garlic scapes.

  • Hema

    I love to substitute chard for any recipe calling for spinach, because the chard is more toothsome and retains texture better than spinach. Try chard + chick peas in a creamy indian curry!

  • Jenna

    Chard season in Texas is long over, but when we had it we used a lot of it in breakfast scrabbles. Brown up a little breakfast sausage, add in a little onion, add in chard leaves (stems too if chopped fine and you like a little crunch), stir in 2-3 eggs. Shred in a handful of cheese.

  • Paul

    Quick comment … chard is in the very same family as beets and spinach so you can use chard in many of the same ways as you use those leaves. It does have a more pronounced “dirt” taste as one commenter reported so it helps to add something else with a strong flavor to counteract it … sweet (raisins), salty (anchovies) or sour (vinegar).

  • Camille

    I admit I’ve never considered cooking radishes before. I love Chard sautéed with garlic and red pepper flakes, I serve it over polenta with scoops of burrata or fresh goat cheese. It also makes a fantastic quiche with a little ham.

    You might want to have a look at my second blog, Seasonal Market Menus (http://seasonalmarketmenus.wordpress.com), where I present my CSA each week (I’m lucky enough to have one that goes year-round) and my ideas for cooking with it.

    • ruhlman

      where ARE you, your blog doesn’t say, and it’s kind of important given your subject matter. Your location should be prominent for first time visitors!

  • Food Advokat

    I love Paul Wolfert’s chickpea and swiss chard recipe which you can find through this link. http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/tun_sahel.html
    Being Greek I love my beets and usually boil the beet greens and the beets until tender (the beets will take longer), slice the beets and place them on the beet greens and dress them in an olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dressing. Usually one clove of garlic will do the trick, but it really is to taste and of course the longer it sits, the better it is! Traditionally this beet salad is served with a piece of fried codfish.


  • marcella

    When the fog rolls in the chard goes into soups with beans and sausage. I love it in creamed spinach particularly with a nice poached egg on top. In quiche or frittata. Also cooked and mixed into a grain salad – quinoa, barley, bulgar, etc. Add other chopped veggies raw or cooked and a vinaigrette. Another favorite it to saute it with soy, sesame oil and mushrooms and toss with cooked pasta.

  • luanda

    Found this in a newspaper many years ago. I don’t know if I should serve it as a veg or a dessert. Fry up a couple of strips of bacon. Set aside. Saute 2 Bosc pears (cut into wedges) in bacon fat. Add a 1TBSP honey and 1 tsp. cider vinegar. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of pinot noir. Cook until wine is reduced. Add 6 cups of chopped greens (chard,escarole, romaine). Cook until slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crumbled blue cheese and crumbled bacon. I’m not a fan of cooked greens, but this stuff is great.

  • Mantonat

    I saw collard greens prepared Brazilian-style on TV recently and wonder if it would work with chard or if the chard has too much water content. The collard greens were chiffonaded as finely as possible, then thrown into hot oil for a very short amount of time. The result is a crispy nest of fine collards that can be seasoned with a little salt and pepper.

  • George Canty

    I can get my kids (7, 3, and 3 years old) to eat chard (and they’re the biggest reason we signed up with a CSA) if it’s chopped coarsely, sauteed slowly in butter and a single finely chopped clove of garlic, and then cooked to a sauce with light cream, freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of sugar. Sometimes we’ll do the saute with chopped turkey bacon as well. Then we add it to a textured pasta, like rotini. For adult portions we’ll up the seasoning. Whenever I mention broccoli or asparagus to my kids they usually treat it as empty, almost absurd threat, so getting them to eat chard at all is a huge victory.

  • Stephen Bolech

    Chard is probably my favorite green. I almost always cook it using the method in Colicchio’s The Craft of Cooking. Separate the leaves from the stem (which is then cut into about 2″ long pieces); big pot blanch the leaves for just as long as it takes the water to return to a boil, put them in an ice bath. Then put in the stems and blanch them for about 3 minutes and put it in the ice bath. Then finish in a saute pan with garlic and olive oil. The stems become so sweet and delicious, and you can definitely taste their kinship with beets.

  • Carol

    I love the Sweet and Sour Wilted Spinach recipe my Aunt taught me. It might work with other greens.

    about 9 oz. spinach
    2-3 slices bacon
    1/4 C. water
    1/4 C. cider vinegar
    1/4 C. sugar
    1 egg beaten

    Fry bacon in skillet; drain, crumble and set aside. Remove excess bacon fat from skillet (I must admit I don’t understand that part – there is no EXCESS bacon fat). Carefully add water, vinegar and sugar to fat in skillet. Add beaten egg and cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved and dressing is heated through. Pour over spinach in bowl, add crumbled bacon and toss.

  • Michael Lobban

    An idea for swiss chard that I love making is called Farsous.

    – 1 bunch of finely chopped swiss chard, stems removed
    – a good handful of parsley, chopped finely
    – 6-8 dried prunes steeped in black tea to rehydrate, chopped finely and mixed with greens.
    – bind the mixture with a couple of eggs and a bit of flour.
    – form into pancakes and fry each side in a little oil til golden brown.

    Pretty sure this is an adaptation of an old recipe that was meant to incorporate leftover meats and veggies, but this is how the french lady taught me to make it. Real simple, and so good. The sweet prunes go well with the earthy tasting greens. You can do the greens in the food processor as well.

  • Tom

    Kohlrabi was a mystery to me. I sliced a few pieces and ate them raw, but I decided to cut in to batons and then give them a quick pickle in red wine vinegar, a bit of sugar, coarse salt, and pepper. then drained and used in a baby spinach salad with some cold beet root (both also from my local CSA)

    I was pleasantly surprised

  • john p


    1/2 onion
    3 cloves garlic
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tsp fresh thyme
    cannellini beans 1 can
    1 c. chicken stock
    chard csa preferred
    Saute onions, garlic till soft add paste cook for 3/4 minutes add chard
    thyme and stock cook 15 min add beans cook 5 min serve w/locatelli andhot pepper flakes

  • Carol Peterman

    Besides sautéing, I chop it and add it to all kinds of soups. I tried grilling whole leaves inspired by a great grilled romaine salad, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a little tough and chewy.

  • Michelle

    I used chard and potatoes from my local farmers market in a potato soup: olive oil, onions, garlic, potatoes, chicken broth, a bit of smoky bacon; then added some crumbled, cooked Italian sausage, kale and a bit of cream at the end. Served the soup with a green salad and some garlic bread — my kid just home from college was happy, happy.

  • Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective

    I’ve made radishes that way before…absolutely divine!

    The Kohlrabi is the tricky one to me. I’ve tried using the bulb and the stalks in several ways with one real success. Everyone ate them, but I wasn’t blown away. I definitely could use some kohlrabi inspiration!

    My latest garden delight was a radish, beet and radicchio salad with crumbled queso fresco. I could have eaten the whole bowl myself!

  • witloof

    chard: blanch, shock, chop, squeeze, then toss in a pan with shallots, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, S and P which have been cooked until fragrant. stir together, add a blob of creme fraiche and a squeeze of lemon juice. also works great with kale and spinach.

  • lisadelrio

    My favorite way to cook chard this spring was in chard tacos with caramelized onions and queso fresco. I had them at Hugo’s in Houston and was inspired to make them myself. I used a Rick Bayless recipe as a starting point. Oh, they are so delicious! We’ll definitely be planting chard again in the fall.

  • Anna

    I make chard by parboiling it in salted water (leaves and stems, ends trimmed off). I drain the chard so that it is just moistened. Then I mix it with a little bread crumbs, a little pecorino romano cheese, pepper and olive oil. Put it in a shallow baking pan (if you want it crispier) or in a 2 qt. casserole (if you want it more squishy). Sprinkle with pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. I am sorry I don’t have precise measurements, but I learned from watching my mom and she doesn’t measure anything!

  • romona

    Hello All,

    I am looking for a no fail cocoa truffle recipe with pourable ganache.

    Your help would be appreciated.

  • pat anderson

    My sister and I were talking yesterday, and she’s wilting the chard and using it instead of cabbage for cabbage rolls — so I guess they’re chard rolls now. She didn’t use the stems: she’ll be cooking those up separately one night as the veggie with dinner.
    My mother used to just rip it up and use it raw in place of lettuce in salads. It works!

  • carri

    oh man, the amount of kohlrabi from our local growers last summer was astounding. If I had a dollar for every farmer who walked up to me and asked if I could use any kohlrabi I’d be a rich woman! I never knew to eat them raw, or pickled. I’m forever grateful for that information. Our csa boxes can be a mixed bag also, but they have alot more traveling to do. I can’t imagine that a grower in your area wouldn’t deliver top notch product with so few miles to cover.

  • rockandroller

    I love hearing about this stuff. We were *this* close to joining a CSA this year but still have some concerns – we don’t have time to go get it from a farmer, and we can’t receive deliveries where we live unless we’re home (apt complex) so we’d probably end up having to sit at home and wait on a scheduled delivery day, which isn’t always convenient. But my equally big concern is that I’d really want things that weren’t in the CSA box and end up spending a lot on produce in addition to the CSA box. It’s hard to resign yourself to only eating whatever you’re getting, and, not knowing what you’re getting, it’s hard to plan meals. We do plan meals and cook on the weekends for the week ahead whenever possible so I’m not sure if a CSA would work for us, but your insight and posts about using whatever you’re given are interesting.

    • carri

      many csa’s are a pickup at a nearby central location. my bakery is a pickup spot for one of oue local csa’s. also, mine (full circle farms out of carnation, washington) let’s you go online and sub in things you like. very flexible. no reason not to try, you can always stop if it doesn’t work for you.

  • Ann-Marie

    Love chard! Slice the stems and saute with bacon. Add a little sugar and cider vinegar and wilt the shredded leaves in the hot bacon dressing. Yum!

  • Scott

    Kohlrabi- shred it( along with some carrots and radish). Use it in place of papaya in Thai green papaya salad.

    Chard – Slice and saute in olive oil along with shallot and an anchovy fillet (Courtesy of the 2 Fat Ladies)

  • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    I receive a box of organic produce every two weeks and like you, maybe have found it a bit heavy on the leafy greens…two this week I’ve never seen before but also a HUGE bunch of radishes. Thanks for the tip; truth is, I have never ever considered cooking radishes. That willl change today,

  • DianeF

    Where ARE you getting your CSA from?? I’m getting one from a local farmer in Cleveland, but he doesn’t have potatoes, yet, and the beets are just babies! I’m envying that bounty!

  • Stacy

    I used chard, stems removed (tastes like dirt to me), sliced thinly in ribbons, tossed with a lemony vinaigrette and grated pecorino cheese. Let stand and wilt about an hour before serving.

    Or chopped and sauteed with scallions, ginger, and garlic and added to eggrolls with tofu, carrots, and cilantro. I’m intrigued by this recipe from Vegetarian Times using chard leaves as spring roll wrappers, too.

  • Jason Sandeman

    I have a use for pea tendrils that you might not have thought of: The Chinese call them Tao Mao, and if you saute them in a little oil, then finish them with crab paste, they are absolutely delicious.

    I like to split my radishes almost right through, then braise them with a touch of light chicken stock. If you leave part of the top on, they look like a baby turnip. Absolutely delicious as well.

    I love to braise the entire chard stems, and sometimes cut it with a little bit of orange juice for a sweeter touch.

  • DebbieQ

    I took one look at those beets and thought beet salad. Of course, no one in this household but me would eat that. Philistines!

  • Jan

    Beautiful photo of your beautiful bounty! Thanks Donna.
    I used to cook at a health food store and was required to cook greens every day (chard or kale, usually). I am a yankee but was cooking in the south, so they were most popular cooked down (an hour or more) in cider and cider vinegar, a variation on the sweet and sour others have mentioned. Of course garlic, pig and /or pepper flakes all play nicely in there too.
    Is that kohlrabi purple all the way through?

  • Debbie

    Just a comment about the amount of lettuce and the “rotty ends”. I am a CSA farmer, and my goal is to get lettuce in every box, every week this year. I think they should have at least “one” head of lettuce every week. Also, concerning what you think might be old lettuce: the bottom of some kinds of lettuce turns brown as soon as you cut it. Those are varieities you will never find in the grocery store. It might not have been old. The farmer could have trimmed it, maybe they just didn’t have time. I have been enjoying your blog for a long time, keep it up!

  • Peggy

    I’m proud to say we just joined a CSA here in Louisville and our first pick up is July 7th so can’t wait! I love chard and just recently did a chard stuffed trout that was excellent! Just mixed the chard with some minced shallot, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and stuffed the trout! Simple and delicious!

  • bloviatrix

    For chard, I frequently blanch the stems, and the saute them and the leaves with olive oil, with lots of garlic, salt & pepper. Towards the end, I add some minced preserved meyer lemon and sometimes some toasted pine nuts and currants. It’s great on its own, or used to stuff a whole brook trout.

  • Nita-Nee

    Chard is what prompted my CSA blog. In addition to the ideas above, I recommend spanakopita or mixing your chard into any leftover potatoes for a riff on Bubble and Squeak or Colcannon.


  1.  Internet Tasting Session – 4th of July Weekend