When I first glimpsed what my fridge looks like with 8 pounds of vegetables stuffed into, I was, in a word, intimidated. My roommate and I had gone in on a half share of veggies together in an attempt to eat cleaner, but as I sorted through the leafy greens, gnarled carrots and seemingly never ending supply of mysterious produce, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d never find a use for all of it by the week’s end. A month or so into the season and I’m finally starting to get the hang of utilizing the beautiful crops from Hepworth Farm; here are a few of the tricks I’ve come to learn.
1. Do the prep work
Before your weekly delivery, make sure you stock up on supplementary products that will pair with pretty much any produce you receive, such as olive oil, fresh lemon juice, kosher salt, and black pepper. Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and barley are another staple component to create a hearty meal out of your veggies.
I’ve spent the last 25 years avoiding salad, so even I was surprised that having homemade salad dressing on hand made me crave a bowl of raw vegetables. I pair delicate vinaigrettes with more fragile greens, while saving heartier dressings for more sturdy lettuce varieties.
Do more with less by creating versatile recipes that can multitask. Pesto is one example: it’s a great way to use spinach and whatever herbs you have on hand, and tastes just as delicious slathered on chicken or pasta as it does on toast, topped with a fried egg.
Another versatile ingredient is butter. Compound butters are a useful way of utilizing an abundance of herbs- slather cilantro lime butter on cobs of sweet corn, served shrimp sautéed in garlic butter, or dip your fresh radishes in chive-studded, creamy deliciousness.
Consume multiple servings of vegetables by blending them into a delicious, vitamin rich and fiber filled smoothie. I like to add bananas for creaminess and berries for a sweet touch, but if you can go full throttle vegetable, more power to you. Bonus: frozen greens create a thicker, pleasantly icy texture and, when stockpiled, can last you well into the fall months.
4. Employ Your Freezer
Speaking of frozen produce, keep hydrated by freezing various herb and fruit combinations in your ice cube tray. Raspberries & mint and strawberries & basil are just a two pretty pairs to get you started. Once frozen, pop a few cubes into your water bottle for a flavor boost all day long. Alternately, blend fruit and herbs and freeze into popsicle molds for homemade treats throughout the summer (think blackberry tarragon, lemongrass cucumber, etc)