Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

CSA Cookoff Week 1: Spinach and Rhubarb Chutney Pizza & More

There’s almost nothing more exciting than the first week of a farm share. It’s right up there with the first sprout breaking through the soil or the first tomato appearing on the vine. And since I’m trying a new-to-me farm this year, the anticipation was intense. What would I get? How much? Given all the drum rolling, it was a little like Christmas morning when I opened my first box of the season to find bok choi and rhubarb. Score! But the jubilation was followed closely by panic. Such beautiful veggies! Such fresh, healthy food! Could I do it justice and put it to good use? In a word: Yep. No problem! Details below and more photos here.

1. Bok choi: This went on the grill, courtesy of a recipe from Martha. I added a squirt of sriracha for extra kick. Highly recommended! We ate this for dinner with grilled bluefish.

2. Kale: Also grilled. The results were a bit charred for my taste, so it’s back to the test kitchen for refinement. Less flame might be key.

3. Collard greens: Mixed into mac and cheese. Seriously yum.

4. Radishes: Went into a cold salad with lettuce (aka #5) and flaked bluefish left over from dinner #1.

5. Red leaf and red oak lettuce: Ditto #4.

6. Spinach: See #7.

7. Rhubarb: Together with the spinach, this went onto pizza . . .

We make pizza often, with all kinds of toppings: kale, avocado, you name it. Rhubarb, however, was new to us. Despite the brainstorm, we were a little skeptical until we Googled “rhubarb and spinach” and found lots of Indian-inspired dishes, from flatbreads to stews, pairing the two ingredients. In our house, flatbread just means “pizza,” so we proceeded with confidence.

We spread the rhubarb chutney (info below) onto the dough, followed by spinach (sautéed in olive oil with minced garlic) and mozz (which we had on hand; goat cheese would be divine). The effect was a little like butternut squash, except zestier and more fragrant, thanks to all the spices. The flavor combo was a new one for me, but I Couldn’t. Stop. Eating. If you’re not into pizza, the chutney and spinach could go over couscous. The chutney alone was a revelation, and it keeps in the fridge for up to six weeks.

I used this recipe as my guide for the chutney, minus the green chile and fresh ginger. For spices, I skipped blending and instead used ½ to 1 tsp each dried turmeric, curry, cumin, ginger, paprika, and garam masala, plus salt to taste (I’m not a fan of subtle). I used 1/3 cup sugar, but I let the chutney cook longer, until the rhubarb had mostly broken down. My dough recipe and other pizza-making tips are here. Happy farm sharing!

CSA Cookoff is HOMEGROWN’s ongoing series devoted to putting all that farm share bounty to good use. What did you get this week? And what did you make with it? Post a comment and share the farm share love!

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