Weeks Eleven CSA Challenge – Phone-A-Friend

The vegetables in this week’s CSA seemed fit for a chef…so I called one. Todd Singleton is a great good friend from our early days and an awesome chef these days. I figured if anyone could suggest a meal plan, it would be he.

CSA contents: Bibb lettuce, Cubanelle peppers, onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, kale, flat beans, Armenian cucumbers, Chanterelle mushrooms, and red cabbage

The following is the meal suggestion Todd shared:

-A fresh salad of Bibb lettuce with the tomatoes, some cucumber and onion.

-Pickle the remaining cucumbers in a quick brine with some onion.

-With your protein, sautéed Chantrelles and coconut creamed kale.

-Next protein with a braised red cabbage with fennel

-How about a “hummus” with the flat beans?

-A roasted Cubanelle and onion chutney to keep in the fridge and use with lots of things – grilled meats, bagels, cream cheese dips…

The instinctive yummy pairings Todd made were fascinating. I was inspired by the blending of food science and taste that he used to determine a meal. I mean, that kind of expertise is really to be desired.

When I see ingredients, I look them up to see how they will work together. But the knowledge and creativity involved in both deciding great food pairings and that are nutritious and balanced, is formidable. This is something I want to learn.

Sure it will take time and likely many mistakes, but I do believe this is the next long-term goal of my cooking. Thank you, Todd for the motivation, and thank you for the coconut cream kale and Cubanelle pepper and onion chutney…lovely surprises and great new tastes to me.


Todd Singleton – Food Services Technician at Southern Tier Brewing Company

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