Thursday, May 16, 2013

CSA Time is a'comin'

We'll start picking up our weekly shareholder basket from the Colvins soon, so I'm getting my ducks in a row, as it were. (The season is off to a late start this year thanks to the rain and cold weather we've had so much of.) I mentioned my favorite veggie-heavy cookbooks recently. Today, I'm going to share my favorite kitchen supplies for when the harvest kicks in (this applies to you gardeners, CSA shareholders, or just those who like to shop seasonally!).

OXO Salad Spinner: I use this baby multiple times/week. I spin greens, lettuce, herbs--it's a must for the large quantities of leafy material that will start traveling through the kitchen.

Food processor: I use a giant food processor, but you don't need anything special as long as it chops, minces, and shreds. (I use mine for pie crust, bread dough, pureeing soups, etc. You don't need one this big if you're mostly doing veggie prep.) A food processor makes pesto, hummus, shredded cabbage, and finely chopped onions happen in seconds.

Tupperware Fridgesmart Containers: These really do extend the shelf life of produce. I tend to use them most for items like radishes, summer squash, bell and hot peppers, greens like arugula, cucumbers, and whatever else fits after those are taken care of. They've redesigned the containers so they now nest together when not in use in the fridge (duh!! That's my one complaint about my older set because they take up lots of space when not in the fridge...). A Rubbermaid type container or some equivalent will also do in a pinch.

Knives and a cutting board: might sound obvious, but farm fresh produce will demand more prep from you than a bag of stir-fry ready veggies. Make sure you have a couple of good knives (including a good serrated one for those tomatoes!).

1 gallon ziploc bags: these are my favorite lettuce-storing containers with a few modifications. I'll do a how-to post on washing/storing lettuce once I have a nice head from the Colvins for pictures.

Miscellaneous freezer bags and ice cube trays: I often freeze things like pesto in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I pop the cubes out and store in a ziploc bag in the freezer. You can store nearly anything in freezer bags: tomato soup/sauce/salsa, shredded zucchini, sliced bell peppers, blanched okra or green beans, etc.

What are YOUR favorite produce-related kitchen supplies?

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