Friday, June 24, 2016

CSA Farm Share Chopped Salad

CSA Farm Share Chopped Salad

This salad is filled with a variety of colors, flavors, and textures. A mixture of raw and cooked vegetables with grains, proteins, and herbs, this hearty vegetarian salad can be eaten as a main dish or used as a side salad.

a plate of CSA farm share chopped salad with kale, purple cauliflower, kohlrabi, Hakurei turnips, bulgur, eggs and feta

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Today I want to talk about maximizing time.

Do you bring reading material, knitting, or your laptop with you when you know you'll be sitting and waiting somewhere? I do--either my Kindle at the doctor's office, or my knitting in the car, or my laptop while waiting for my daughter's sewing class. I like to be prepared when I know I'll be stuck somewhere for a while.

It's amazing how much focused effort I can accomplish toward a task when I am free of the distractions of laundry, the dogs wanting out (and in and out and in and out and in), or the lure of social media.

This recipe came about precisely because I was stuck without preplanned waiting materials. We'd dropped the car off for routine maintenance first thing in the morning and decided to swing by the dealership eight hours later, en route home from an errand.

The car wasn't ready.

a close up shot of CSA farm share chopped salad

Since our errand was to buy a new dishwasher (yippee!) I chose to stay and wait for the car while my spouse and kid got started with spontaneous kitchen renovations. With a couple of hours to kill at the dealership, I looked past the solitaire app on my phone for more distractions.

I found a distraction in the form of a local restaurant review magazine. You know the type--mostly ads for restaurants and remodeling companies with the occasional article thrown in. The kind of magazine that comes--unasked for and unwanted--in the mail each month. One of those items that gets promptly recycled.

This time, however, I was a captive audience who wanted to avoid staring mindlessly at some daytime talk show. I read the entire magazine. I was surprised and delighted to find an article/recipe from a local chef.

In the article, the chef discussed how she hates lettuce, and how she and her partner eat an ever-changing side dish of chopped raw and cooked vegetables, with an assortment of additions and seasonings. It sounded like something I could do with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share--a concept recipe that would get a wide assortment of vegetables out of the crisper and onto the dinner plate. I grabbed one of the many complimentary copies and brought it home for reference. A few weeks later, when I brought home this farm share box--and still had some vegetables leftover from the previous week--I thought it was a good time to give it a try.

When I refer to "concept recipe" I'm not talking about a 'tried-and-true, consistent results each and every time' type of dish. It's more of a guideline, really for a technique to use items from the farm share in a way that my family will enjoy. I got the phrase from my friend Alanna, and I have used it in my Fast CSA Greens and Pasta dish and also my Taco Turnip Tamale Pie to name a few.

This is also not my first hearty salad recipe, though it's my first vegetarian offering. I've got a Chicken & Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous Salad and Grilled Steak and Vegetable Wild Rice Salad that both turn an assortment of vegetables, typical contents of a farm share box, into a meal. My spouse has really cut back on his consumption of meat, though, so we are eating a lot more Meat Optional meals around here.

a square image showing a plate of CSA farm share chopped salad with side dishes

I like to eat this salad with a scoop of hummus alongside. I stir it in--or spread the hummus across the bottom of the plate before serving the salad on top, similar to my favorite Layered Summer Appetizers. It's very filling as is--you may feel like you're constantly chewing and chewing at times--and is also good alongside chicken salad or a burger. Swap in the vegetables you've got handy--chopped celery or bell peppers, whole Sun gold tomatoes, cooked diced summer squash or new potatoes all sound good. Maybe some fruit? A different cheese or dressing?

Note: this salad makes a large volume and keeps for a few days in the fridge.

a bowl with the ingredients used to make CSA farm share chopped salad

CSA Farm Share Chopped Salad


  • ½ cup bulgur wheat (raw), prepared according to package directions
  • 3 to 4 carrots, simmered until just tender then sliced into coins
  • 3 to 4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons vinaigrette, divided
  • 3 to 4 cups chopped kale (in small bite size pieces)
  • 1 to 1½ cups peeled & diced kohlrabi
  • 1 to 1½ cups sliced turnips
  • 1 to 1½ cups chopped cauliflower
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup finely chopped herbs (I used parsley, mint, and a couple garlic scapes)
  • salt & pepper


  1. Cook that which needs to be cooked--the bulgur, carrots, and eggs. These ingredients can be made ahead and refrigerated.
  2. Mix up the vinaigrette of your choice.
  3. Chop what needs to be chopped (pretty much everything else).
  4. In a large bowl, combine kale and 1 tablespoon or so of vinaigrette. Massage with your hands so that the leaves are coated. Set aside to soften while you gather the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Add the bulgur, vegetables, eggs, cheese, and herbs to the bowl and toss gently.  Pour the remaining vinaigrette over top and toss to combine.
  6. Taste a spoonful--add ½ teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper and taste again to see if you need more. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

closeup of a plate of  farm share chopped salad with hummus, black raspberries, and chicken salad

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  1. The addition of bulgur wheat is really interesting in here. I like it. I'd give it a go, except we have none on hand and I really need to work my way through the beans, the lentils, the jasmine rice, the couscous before I go adding to my pantry. You understand.

  2. Hey very interesting blog!