So you picked up your first CSA share, or tried something new from the farmers’ market, or grew it yourself for the first time. Now, how do you eat it?

By reader request, here are a few recipes I return to time and time again. Even if you think you don’t like kale, try the first one!



Saute one red onion, thinly sliced, in olive oil. Sprinkle with several additions of salt, stirring to incorporate. Add some minced garlic after about 5 minutes and turn heat down to very low. Cover and let caramelize, stirring occasionally.

Return heat to medium and add to the onions one bunch’s worth of lacinato kale, stems stripped out and leaves coarsely chopped or torn.

Cook until kale starts to wilt and reduce in size. Stir in 1/2 C of raisins, cook a little more.

Drizzle with maple syrup (Grade B is great). Taste for desired sweetness/saltiness.

Serve topped with toasted pine nuts.

Makes 2-3 servings. Great eaten cold for leftovers, too.

(Published in Serving the Skagit Harvest: A Community Cookbook. Thanks to friend, colleague and contributor Kristi Hein of Pictures & Words.)


I had a resolution for 2012 to bake all of my family’s bread. Relying primarily on this recipe, I estimate I produced 90% of the bread we ate that year, which I’ll count as a success. (We still purchased bagels from a local baker and the occasional loaf from Pane d’Amore down the street.)

Click here for the King Arthur Flour recipe I’m sold on. Thanks to friend and fellow baker Luke C. for suggesting it.

NOTE 1:  I use up to 1/3 whole wheat flour, and add a tablespoon of wheat gluten powder.

NOTE 2:  I prefer a softer crust for sandwich use, but if you want a true crusty loaf, use the steaming method the recipe suggests. Just don’t use a glass pan! (Mine broke when I poured in the boiling water.) Go for a metal one.



When summer fruit is in season, better freeze or preserve what you can, and eat the rest quick! I buy at least 20 pounds of organic sweet cherries from Eastern Washington every year, as part of a cooperative order where one person drives a truck over to collect the boxes.

Every cherry season, I make this decadent yet very easy cherry baked pudding, which has such a cheerful name I just like to say it out loud. It is wonderful with fresh cherries, but thawed frozen cherries work just as well (drain off the juice first). The most time-consuming part of the recipe is pitting the cherries. Try it with other summer fruit!

Click here for the official Julia Child cherry clafouti recipe. (She was also a Smithie!)

NOTE:  Duck eggs (like the ones my neighbor gives me) are beautiful in baked egg dishes like this one. If there are no neighboring ducks, seek out local pastured chicken eggs.



There’s a salty sweetness to this dish that kids usually love, you can use whatever veggies are in season, and every time I take it to a potluck, I am asked for the recipe!

Boil 16 oz. soba noodles for 5-6 minutes until just tender. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

Mix the sauce ingredients in your serving bowl and then stir in the noodles to coat:
1/4 C Chinese black or plum vinegar (I use Ume Plum vinegar) – or substitute balsamic vinegar
1/3 C soy sauce
1 T dark toasted sesame oil (this is a wonderful condiment worth keeping on hand; store it in the fridge for freshness)
1-2 T sugar
1 T minced fresh ginger
A couple of garlic cloves, minced

1/2 C sesame seeds, toasted (I buy them raw and toast till nutty brown on a tray in my toaster oven)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Seasonal veggies in bite-sized pieces, sauteed or steamed or raw (e.g., broccoli florets, asparagus, green beans, bell peppers, mushrooms, kernel corn or baby corn)

(Adapted from Didi Emmons’ recipe in Vegetarian Planet, one of my long-time favorite cookbooks. It lived in the kitchen I shared as a Student Conservation Association volunteer at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and I found my own copy in a Berkeley used bookstore in 1999.)