The CSA Chronicles: Deep Greens

About the author: Jolene Howard (left) is a Tribeca resident, Southern transplant, mother of a turnip-eating two year old, full-time marketer, and part-time author of citybaby :: a blog about baby food.

For the longest time I’ve wanted to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) summer share, in which members regularly receive a box of whichever vegetables are fresh—but the logistics have been too challenging or our summer schedule has been too frenetic. When I learned that Katchkie Farm would be setting up full-summer and half-summer shares at 92YTribeca each Wednesday from June 2 until October 20, I jumped at the chance to participate—and I even added a full fruit share. (Shares are still available.)

Since part of the fun of a CSA is figuring out what to do with what you get, I’ll be writing about how I’m preparing my every-other-week harvest for our family. As expected, our early summer bounty was comprised of quite a variety of fresh greens and root vegetables. We’re big fans of leafy dark greens, which is a good thing, because the share this week yielded bunches and bunches:

Turnips (with greens removed)

• Kale
• Turnips
• Chard
• Microgreens (choice of broccoli rabe, red mustard, mizuna or pink kale)
• Radishes
• Scallions
• Lettuce

I discovered a “blanched greens” salad at Birdbath, a branch of City Bakery in the West Village. That salad was composed of a singular green (kale) which I really liked, but since I had the turnip greens, I decided to add them as I figured an all-turnip-green salad would be too bitter. A salad composed of deep greens like this is a terrific source of bone-building vitamin K, vitamin C, beta carotene, and iron.

Greens are very hearty and will stand up for about two days if refrigerated in a sealed container. On Sunday morning, we made over-easy eggs and served the leftover salad as the side instead of home fries. The dish was very satisfying yet much lighter than dense oil-laden potatoes.

Deep Greens Salad
1 bunch kale
Greens from one bunch of turnips
3–4 radishes
2 scallions
1/2 C. hazelnuts
1/2 C. grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400. Toss hazelnuts in olive oil and salt. Toast hazelnuts for 7–10 minutes. Coarsely chop toasted nuts in a blender or coffee grinder.

2. Wash radishes and remove greens. Cut radishes in half and thinly slice. Reserve.

3. Wash and thinly slice scallions.

4. Remove greens from turnips. Wash and coarsely shred.

5. Wash and cut the stems from each leaf of kale. (It’s not necessary to cut out the stems, but I think it’s worth the effort.)

6. Roll 2–3 mixed leaves up like a sushi roll, and cut the roll into 1-inch pieces, then cut again on a diagonal.

7. Drop the washed, cut greens into boiling water, cover and steam for 3 minutes.

8. Remove from heat, transfer greens to a colander and drain excess water.

9. Place the colander into an ice-water bath to stop the cooking and cool the greens.

10. Drain the greens.

11. Toss all ingredients (except cheese) into a big bowl, add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

12. Add Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese to top of salad and serve.



  1. Jolene! This is such a great column! I am looking forward to reading the rest as the summer goes along…

    See you next week…

  2. Your article makes me want to eat green leafy salads with a side of eggs. You sound and look delicious.

  3. What Annika said! Your recipe sounds wonderful, and it will be so fun to hear about your veggie adventures! I’m so excited you’re doing this. See you at pick up :)

  4. Yum, yum, yum! Can’t wait to see what fabulous, tasty veggies you’ll be serving up all season long!

  5. Shouldn’t you get more than two days out of CSA greens? If mine spoil that quickly I’ll be throwing a lot of food away this summer.

  6. @Mike: Jolene is going to offer a suggestion for some of the produce—you’re on your own for the rest.

  7. This sounds great, and I’m also looking forward to seeing what you do with the veggies that come your way. (I’m not a member of a CSA, but there’s a farm market around the corner from my house on Saturdays, and I’d love to try some new veggies this summer.) Just one thing: I have a hard enough time getting my husband to eat veggies…. do your kids really eat this kind of stuff (or is this grown-up fare)?

  8. Jolene: I adore that salad from Birdbath Baker y- I live 2 blocks from the Birdbath in Soho and have wanted to make it at home…now I can! I’m so thrilled to be a part of the downtown CSA!

  9. Hi and thank you for all of your comments!

    @Beverly, yes, my daughter eats all kinds of vegetables! Some she will eat plain (root vegetables like beets, carrots, turnips) and sometimes I mix veggies into foods that she likes (i.e. quinoa, rice, eggs, tofu, even plain yogurt).

    @Mike, the cooked greens get a bit soggy after 2 days because they are dressed, but uncooked greens will last much longer. I haven’t touched the chard yet and we still have some lettuce in the fridge from lat Wednesday’s pck-up and both are still fresh.