In this week's share: broccoli rabe, zucchini, grapefruits, salad mix, lettuce, apples, sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, and parsnips. To try a dinner for one of braised broccoli rabe on toasted slices of rustic bread, click here.
Last week, my CSA companion, Maggie, decamped for a work trip to New Orleans, leaving me both jealous and without a dinner companion. I decided to comfort myself with apples: I would have to eat alone, but I could have our entire 10-pound box of vegetables to myself.
One of my favorite things about eating alone is that there is no one around to judge what I choose to call a meal. When I invite people to dinner, I usually construct something coherent that satisfies the traditional protein + starch + vegetable equation with a little additional razzle-dazzle, like homemade ice cream or lobster bisque. It's a fun game once in a while, but if I had to cook this way every day I know I would quickly devolve into a harried, resentful person.
I can see why my father, who did most of the day-to-day cooking in my family when I was growing up, had a pretty set menu. We ate lots of black beans and rice with broccoli on the side, and pasta and tomato sauce with broccoli on the side, and veggie burgers with roasted potatoes and broccoli on the side. Once a week or so, dinner would be a "mélange," pronounced with a questionable French accent and presented with a sort of jazz-hands gesture for emphasis. This routine meant, "For dinner, you will be eating whatever vegetables I have found in the fridge or the freezer, cooked in olive oil. Do not complain."