Eating Out of the Box, UBD Edition

This season’s first CSA Box came last week, ushering in a new series of Chopped-like challenges. (Imagine my best Ted Allen impersonation here) “You must create an appetizer using BEET GREENS, PURSLANE, and a HALF-MOLDY pint of BLUEBERRIES!”

I always feel a bit of apprehension when I open the box (I still have burning memories of the chili pepper situation of 2013…suffice it to say that I severely underestimated the Scoville scores of those chilis), but this week’s box was pure joy: the vegetable powers that be lobbed me a box full of softballs, slow and steady, right down the middle. Something even a depth-perception-challenged clumsy oaf (like this one) could get a piece of. Thank you, VPTB!

box contentsThe haul included salad greens, swiss chard, parsley, garlic scapes, radishes, kohlrabi, fennel, and a beautiful box of strawberries.

And here’s what I made:

chard rolls

Swiss chard rolls, stuffed with chicken thigh confit, and garnished with crispy chicken skin. Some parsley and garlic scape chimichurri on the side.


Gorditas (slightly over-fried), stuffed with tasso and flank steak, grilled onions, avocado, crema, pickled chard stems, and more chimichurri.

jam in progress

Rhubarb-strawberry jam, using the last of the rhubarb from our backyard.


Butter-braised radishes with garlic scapes and thyme.


Fennel, kohlrabi and green apple slaw.

Most of this stuff falls into the wide swath of my cooking that I call Ugly but Delicious. It doesn’t help my UBD offerings that I have yet to learn how to photograph properly or even approach Instagram. The knife skills are a bit rustic and the plating isn’t winning me any points from Geoffrey, Alex, or Aarón (please roll your Rs when you say this), but we ate with gusto anyway.

The next box arrives in two weeks!


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3 Responses to Eating Out of the Box, UBD Edition

  1. I hate to admit I don’t know what garlic scape is. Are you going to put recipes for those of us who are cooking challenged? If so, I’d love to link the eating out of the box part to our community garden website. I think your pictures are great. Makes me want to make the braised radishes, especially.

  2. Peter Nilsen says:

    Love the matchstick cutting techniques, and the photography is pretty damn good! I will make that slaw!

  3. Bri says:

    How have I not seen this before… Yum double yum…. i love playing chopped in my own kitchen;)! hope all is well

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