Name That Veggie

Today was full of good news and bad news. Some of it personal and some of it not.

Good news: I got my first CSA delivery today! I signed up at the fair a few weeks ago. It was perfect timing because I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Local and organic – I’m super excited to support this farm.


For those that don’t know CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. You can see if there is a CSA program near you at Local From the website:

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from "their" farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

So, with a CSA you are delivered local, in season food – this means you don’t necessarily know what is coming in your box.

Bad news:  I have no clue what a lot of this stuff is! I am ashamed to call myself a foodie, food blogger or health nut. I am tragic.


Ah, I recognize this thing – Mr. Plum. I was so happy to see this familiar food I ate it immediately. Confession: If it’s organic, sometimes I don’t wash it. I’m not scared of bugs, only pesticides.


Grapes too! The fruit that keeps on giving.IMG_2124

But back to what I don’t know.

Why would they send me a palm tree? Are those even edible?IMG_2127 

Okay I think this is kale. Right?IMG_2131

I hate that I don’t know for sure.


Maybe I can use it as a fan?IMG_2143

And these? What are these?IMG_2137

Apparently, not long stemmed apples. IMG_2141

Anyways, let’s have some audience participation…

Name that veggie!

1. What is this and what the heck do I do with it?IMG_2127

2. What is this and what the heck do I do with it?IMG_2136

3. WTF?IMG_2123 IMG_2130

Off topic: I’ve had a nervous feeling all week, like something bad was going to happen and today I got some bad news. Boo. I’m not going to share, but I’m hoping this bad news is also good news in a way. You know?

Anyways, I’m not getting a sticker today, but I’m not worried about it. Today was about getting through it.

Question: Seriously, I need help on the questions above. No joke.


  1. Amanda says

    that ‘wtf’ veg is called fennel. cut the stalks off. take off the outer layer. wash any dirt and then slice the rest of the layers. mix in a bowl with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    the first one is a leek. u can use this instead on an onion as it has a sweeter flavour.

    as for the white bulbs. they are turnips. chop them up and either throw in a salad. or put them in the oven to bake.

    from Manada in Adelaide, South Australia

  2. says

    And the other one is chard. So yummy with lots of garlic. My hubby is a chef and a farm food nerd so we peruse local farmers markets like they’re shoe stores “ooh. Aaaahhh”
    Hope everything turns out for the best. Stay positive. Xo

  3. says

    1.That’s a Leek, all you do is slice it down the middle and rinse out any dirt, there are lots of layers for dirt to get caught in, then you cut off the root and the super green stuff at the top, its really tough. You can make a super soup out of it with potatoes
    2. is a Turnip, you know how bloggettes make fries out of everything but potatoes, hahah, well turnip fries turn out really good =)
    3. Fennel, slice it down the middle, cut out the woody core as well as the branches, slice it like an onion and roast it,

    now im hungry.

  4. erica says

    i get the same csa box from the same place! those tokyo turnips are DELICIOUS quartered and roasted. and i think i’m going to make a potato/leek/fennel soup, if that gives you any inspiration :)

  5. jess says

    leeks, swiss chard, turnips and fennel! obviously you don’t waste your life away watching food network like some of us 😉

  6. Wazzup says

    Fennel is awesome. Make a salad out of it (the white part) with some sliced apple and a mustard-apple-cider-vinager dressing.

    Leek is quite versatile … with ham (or not) and cheese out of the oven, or made into a great soup with some blue cheese. I’d use the white part for the first (more delicate), the green part for the second (more fibrous).

  7. ida says

    Sorry about the bad news. I’ve never joined a CSA for the exact reason that i don’t want a box of roots and leaves i can’t recognize. I prefer to go to the farmers market and buy what I know I like. But I guess a CSA is a fun way to discover new veggies.

  8. says

    I was about to answer your veggie questions, but I see that they’ve already been answered. But I confess, a lot of my knowledge comes because I’m involved in a CSA this year, too. Did not know about fennel prior to this year!

  9. says

    My favorite thing about the CSA I use is that it’s set up like a farmer’s market so I choose exactly what goes in the box. That said, I did pick up something this week that is either a turnip or a rutabaga. Are they the same thing? Does it matter?

  10. says

    I love my CSA but also play the “name that veggie” game week after week. Sadly, I only have 2 weeks left of mine. I can’t wait for next year!

  11. says

    Number 1 is a leek. I use them in soups. I think #2 might be beet leaves. Usually if I have greens I don’t know what to do with I chop them up saute them with garlic and olive oil and toss with pasta. I have no clue with #3 is, but I’m sure you could saute it with the greens and everything would be fine.

  12. says

    My guess is 1- leek, 2- white beets, 3- dill (?). Definitely looks like some kind of herb. The leafy stuff you thought was kale – I think that is swiss chard.

  13. Elizabeth says

    Hi Monica!

    Since everyone already ID-ed your veggies for you – I’ll just email you a few recipes. We had our first CSA share this summer & it was a delicious learning experience! :)

  14. says

    HAHA you are too funny! The first thing is a leek. Very commonly used in soups and stir fries. The second is probably some kind of beet. I’ve seen white beans before (kind of like white sweet potatoes). And I think the 3rd might be dill? Does it smell like dill?

  15. says

    you got fennel!! you can use the bulb but take off the outer shell and those whispy things on top. someone on the cooking channel put them on top of fish with lemon and fennel from the bulb and baked.

    as for the leeks (#1) I have no clue. i got some too and they wilted off to their death. word to the wise– swiss shard tastes really weird cooked down like spinach so I’m not sure what it’s meant for. the fan idea is probably best.

  16. says

    Not only did this post make me giggle, it made me miss you even more!! I know I’ve seen some of those veggies in my grocery store before, but I would have had to go there to tell you what they were. lol

    I hope your news wasn’t anything terrible! Call or email if you need to chat! ♥

  17. Jen says

    Haha! I love this. 1: Leeks, 2: wtf? I like someone’s suggestion of white beets, 3: Fennel. I’m not a huge fan of fennel, but foodies apparently love it. A quick recipe search will probably be very useful.

    For the leeks, POTATO LEEK SOUP! That stuff is to die for and it can be made as healthy or decadent as you want. Mmm. Just be sure to look up how to clean the leeks too; those suckers get loads of dirt in them. Enjoy!

  18. Laurie says

    Monica, you’re so funny! I believe all the previous posters are right! The leeks are very good in soup, especially Potato Leek Soup! Yum!

  19. lizz says

    1-Leek: KILLER in potato soup. It grows in sandy soil though so make sure you cut it then wash it in a bowl of water. The sand settles to the bottom so you has yummy and not gritty leeks. Sort of a mild onion flavor.

    2- Chard (Rainbow I think): Cook it like any greens, usually needs to be braised to be tasty and not bitter. Defintely not a Green Monster candidate IMHO :-( But, it’s yummy with some quinoa or other grain to bulk it up and balsamic vinegar.

    3- Fennel: Eating Well has a good recipe for a pizza with this on top after it’s roasted…It’s kind of licorice-tasting but very mild. The white part is used most but the green is also edible. I wash these like I wash leeks because they’re usually pretty dirty.

    Hope this helps!

    • Lizz says

      Eek! 2 is a turnip I think- sorry. (The Chard is the leafy thing with red stems). Turnips can be okay as a substitute in mash potatoes (mixed with potato). They’re a good roasting veggie and yummy in Shephard’s Pie (vegetarian or meaty).

      PS- I totally ask the farmer when I’m confused and he looks at me like I’m nuts. Garlic scapes might be the oddest thing I’ve gotten.

  20. Susan says

    You know that FFTY posts what’s in the box on their website, right? And also they put a flyer in each box listing what’s in it….Course, it does make for a good interactive food blog posting. Sometimes I get a little lost on what they are sending, especially when they make substitutions and then I can’t even go look on the website. ANyway, what you’ve got are some delish soup ingredients! Leek, chard, turnips.

  21. says

    I was all excited to answer these and then Amanda beat us all to it! I don’t like fennel raw though, it’s very black licorice-y and reminds me of Jager! Blech.

    But leeks are really good in soups or stir-frys. The top of the fennel almost looks like dill so that’s what I would have said if you hadn’t shown the bottom photo.

  22. says

    Yeah fennel!!! I only discovered fennel in the last year or two — it’s not only great in salads, it makes a tasty substitution for celery in tuna salad too. Tuna, some mayo, chopped up olives, fennel… man, I wish I remember what magazine I got the recipe out of, it was yummers!

  23. says

    Use the leeks and make potato leek soup! Leeks are the bomb! Even roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pep and they’re slamming.

    I make chard all the time! Just saute it the same way you would spinach (maybe garlic, soy sauce) and that’s it! I dont’ know about eating them raw though, besides in a green monster.

  24. says

    Jack Bishop’s “Vegetables Every Day” was a lifesaver to me when I started getting my CSA. Simple descriptions of tons of different veggies and several recipes (hearty to light) for each. Plus he talks generally about cooking methods so you can learn what works without too many failed experiments.

  25. says

    Leeks are like a mild onion. Think of them as a really big, stirdy green onion. Cut it in half lengthwise, then chop in into halfmoons. Drop them all into a big bowl of water and swish them around (the dirt gets in between the layers – when you swish it falls to the bottom of the bowl). Saute them with EVOO and start adding other stuff – tomatoes…soup…whatever. Leaks make a good base. Ohhh and you number 3 Fennel…mmmmm…if you like a little licorish flavor, they are delish. I would watch a youtube video on cutting those babies up – lop off the top (the frilly part – you can use that for the herby part at the end). Cut up the bulb (chop out the core though) and saute with EVOO, garlic, S&P, zuccini, fresh tomatoes. Turn off the heat and add the fennel frawns (cut them up like dill)….if you have any extra fresh herbs – add those guys in too…trust me it is super yummy.

  26. says

    I LOVE to juice with fennel!!! I actually hate licorice candy, but when you add fennel into your juice it makes it taste like licorice, but in a good way :) Enjoy your CSA goodies!

  27. says

    Just wanted to add that leeks are a great addition to lots of things! So if you don’t feel like making soup, I saute them much in the way you might add onions to things. So, I add them to eggs (like the scrambles you’ve been enjoying lately), rice or quinoa dishes with lots of other veggies. Don’t feel the pressure to make a complicated dish with these veggies, try ’em out in ways that work for you and your own style of cooking!

  28. Carla in Sydney says

    For the turnips, peel them and cut them into thin “fries” size. Put them into a bowl with a bit of oil (whatever oil you are in to) and about 2-3 tablespoons peanut better or almond butter (or a mix of the two). Toss this all through with your hands. This is messy but works best with your hands. Put them onto a foil-lined tray and arrange them so they are all seperated out (not on top of each other). Put in the oven at 400 degrees farenheit for about 20 mins or until they turn a golden brown. They are delicious! I like to have them with some sour cream and sweet chilli sauce for dipping. You could add some sweet potato too for variety.

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  32. Crystal says

    I love this, I often feel the same way when I get
    vegetables I’ve never seen before, thanks for posting

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