We’re entering our fourth month of the CSA season, and a few of the things I really like are starting to show up: lettuce and tomatoes mostly, with occasional broccoli. The other things I’m getting have stayed constant throughout: some kind of huge greens, either collards or mustard; kale; parsley (a huge bunch); bok choy (it’s finally done), and celery. It’s not that I don’t like those things (except for mustard greens), but it’s an awful lot of leafy green stuff for someone who’s not absolutely wild about leafy green stuff. To be honest, some of it has ended up in the compost bin. I’ve felt bad about that (although I am going to have great compost). But now I know I’m not alone.
There was an article on Slate the other day called The Locavore’s Dilemma: What to do with the kale, turnips and parsley that overwhelm your CSA bin. Here’s a quote from the beginning of the article:
“Ordinarily, I would never eat turnips. I managed to go 30 years without buying one. But now every winter I’m faced with a two-month supply, not to mention the kale, collards, and flat-leaf Italian parsley that sit in my refrigerator, slowly wilting, filling me with guilt every time I reach past them for the milk.”
Yes! That’s exactly how I feel. I haven’t had turnips yet, but they’re coming. I feel guilty for not eating every bite of
every bunch of greens I get. The author asked a friend what he did with his mustard greens, and he said, “I take them home, put them in my refrigerator, and wait until they rot.” That’s exactly what I’ve done. I cooked up some of the collards once and they were good, but I haven’t been able to face the mustard greens. Even Ralph wouldn’t eat them – and this is the dog that tried to eat a dead lizard the other day. My compost bin is full of mustard greens.
The article goes on to suggest what can be done with several of the problem greens, and I’ll try some of them. And, at the end of the article, there’s a quote from cookbook author Mark Bittman: “A little bacon can go a long way.” That’s how I managed to cook the collards – with a little (actually, a lot) of bacon.
I’ve found some other recipes for using greens, and I’m going to try them. Next year, I’m going to be much more prepared for the vegetables I get.
But – the Slate article had no suggestions about what to do with mustard greens.