Another great way to prepare for your CSA is by starting some of the food prep early! Make-ahead dressings, sauces, and stocks can provide you with a small library of flavorful options to assist you in making meal planning easy and your taste buds happy!
Our Go-To Dressings & Sauces
Your first several boxes will be heavy on delicious tender greens so we're sharing three of our favorite go-to dressings. Between these you've pretty much got all of your salad and grain bowl needs covered!
Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper finely ground
1 large garlic clove minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Tangy Mustard Dressing
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/3 cup (4 tbsp) rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil or other neutral tasting oil
1 1/2 tbsp honey
For each dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a small mason jar, put the lid on, and shake with everything you've got! Each recipe makes about a cup of dressing and will keep for a good long time in the fridge (though the oil may separate over time).
We also suggest that you add these two make-ahead sauces to your repertoire! They all pack a ton of flavor and are perfect for transforming a variety of veggies into exciting meals.
Andrea Bemis’s Tahini Cream Sauce: Drizzle this tart and garlicky sauce on roasted veggies, stir it into pureed soups, or mix it with greek yogurt and a little extra olive oil to make a salad dressing or dip.
Heidi Swanson’s Instant Pot Indian-Spiced Simmer Sauce : Use this sauce as a base for Korma or Chana Masala, a dipping sauce for roasted veggies, sandwich spread, or as an Indian-inspired pizza sauce!
Whether you are interested in a strong base for a soup or a flavorful cooking liquid for grains and legumes, simple stocks are another easy make-ahead with a big pay-off. Below are our three favorites but you can make stock from just about any vegetable or meat scraps that you have on hand. Just remember that simple flavors will grant you greater flexibility.
Basic Chicken Stock: Combine the equivalent of 1-2 chicken carcasses with half an onion, one crushed clove of garlic, a tsp of peppercorns, and 8-10 Cups of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for three hours or longer, skimming as needed.
Simple Vegetable Stock: Combine 1-2 onions, 2-3 carrots, 3-4 celery stalks, a handful of aromatic herbs, a clove of crushed garlic, a tsp of peppercorns, and 1 bay leaf and cover with enough water that you can stir the ingredients easily. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour.
Mushroom Broth: Combine 1lb of trimmed button mushrooms with a few dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms in about 6 Cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 1 hour, then strain.
Cooking Grains & Beans In Bulk
At the end of a long day, waiting for dried beans or grains to cook can sometimes feel like a bit too much work, so we recommend prepping your favorites ahead of time in large batches and then freezing them. Below are a couple links to guides on how to cook and keep these delicious foods on hand!
How To Cook Dried Beans And Freeze Them For Later
How To Freeze And Thaw Rice, Quinoa, And Other Grains