CSA season is FINALLY here! We are super, super lucky to live across the road from a community garden, where each week the East Williamsburg CSA runs their weekly pick-up. The farmer drops the shares off on the morning of the pick-up, where they come directly from the farm in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. The vegetables are always amazing and fresh, and the eggs are just the BEST THING EVER. I totally forgot how much I missed always having fresh, organic free-range eggs in the fridge. The fruit shares will start soon too, which I also can't wait for. (Prepare yourself for ALL of the pie!) The fun part is that you never quite know what is going to be in the pick-up each week - you pay at the beginning of the season, and then each week you pick-up whatever the farmer has allocated for you. It's always so inspiring coming up with new ideas and ways to use the vegetables, and such a great way to meet new people.
This year I am hoping to publish a recipe each week using the CSA share, to help inspire ways to use your share, or seasonal produce that may be at the market etc! I kind of wing it each week depending on what I feel like making, but if you have any particular requests, please let me know! Hopefully we end up with an epic recipe archive that we can come back to next year too!
Because it is early in the season, the share is always pretty leaf-heavy, so a salad made a lot of sense! I went with a simple Kale caesar, with some Mizuna and radish to add some extra pepperiness, sliced parmesan, and home-made croutons, which I made from some day-old sourdough, butter, and some green garlic. The Salad was then finished off with a super simple caesar dressing made with chives and green garlic, and a few hard-boiled eggs for extra protein and flavour. All combined, it made an amazing one-bowl meal, perfect for a light lunch or dinner, or as a side to accompany a main meal.
A few wee notes:
This is super versatile - This isn't really a recipe as such, more just a base that you can work off. Throw whatever you have in the fridge at the bowl, most of the time it turns out amazingly!
I used Chives for the dressing, and green garlic, but if you don't have either of those on hand, you can sub the green garlic for 1 clove of minced garlic, and leave the chives out to make a regular caesar dressing.
If you like anchovy in your dressing, a teaspoon of anchovy paste can also be added
The Croutons can also be kept plain, or you can make them whatever flavour you like by adding herbs and spices.
I use an immersion blender to make my dressing, which means that there is no need to slowly incorporate the oil. If you do not have one of these, pulse all the ingredients except for the oil together in a blender, then slowly add the oil with the motor running until it emulsifies.
Kale Caesar Salad with green garlic croutons and chive caesar dressing
- Serves 4-6, depending on serving size -
Green Garlic croutons
2 cups day-old bread (I used sourdough), cut into rough cubes
3 Tbsp melted butter
pinch of salt
1 stem green garlic, very finely chopped
Chive Caesar dressing
2 Tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 stem green garlic, finely chopped, or 1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup neutral flavoured oil such as canola
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium bunch of Kale, stems removed and roughly torn
1 small bunch Mizuna (a handful of arugula, or any other lettuce would work perfectly here too!)
2-3 small radishes, sliced very finely with a knife or microplane
Small handful of fresh parmesan, sliced with a vegetable peeler into ribbons
3-4 hardboiled eggs (I boiled mine for 9 minutes, set in an ice bath, then peeled)
- PROCESS -
Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Mix together the butter, green garlic and salt, and toss with the croutons until evenly coated. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 20 mins, tossing often, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a jar with a mouth large enough to fit the end of an immersion blender, combine all ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds or so until the dressing emulsifies. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
In a large bowl, place the Kale and mizuna. Drizzle over some of the dressing, and toss lightly to combine. Top with the parmesan ribbons, radishes, croutons and hard boiled eggs. Serve with remaining dressing.