Archive for July, 2010

CSA Share for 2010 Week Seven

I was very happy to see carrots in our share this week!  Farm-fresh carrots taste so sweet and juicy, and so much better than store-bought carrots.  Also new are the Tropea onions, which are amazingly sweet when sauteed in olive oil or butter.  Here’s my complete Week Seven share list:

  • basil
  • carrots
  • corn
  • cucumbers
  • eggplant
  • kale
  • swiss chard
  • Tropea onions
  • zucchini
  • herbs

I went to tastespotting.com to find some easy ideas for what to do with the eggplant, and found a couple good ones which I’ll try this week.  Does anyone have any great eggplant recipes?

I’ve been using roasted zucchini in everything lately:  mixed in with scrambled eggs, on top of pizza, and in sandwiches.  But I think I will try baking with them today, using Paige’s recipe in this week’s newsletter for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins.  I also want to try the other recipe in the newsletter for Curried Chickpeas and Kale, which uses three of the veggies in this week’s share plus my leftover garlic scapes, so I better go and get busy!

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CSA Share, Week Six, Day Six

We just got back from a long camping weekend in Vermont.  Before we left, I had preserved all my greens, and made and froze some basil pesto.  For our camping trip, I brought along cucumber spears, zucchini to roast over the fire, and a big container of shredded cabbage/sunflower seeds/raisins, along with a jar of Balsamic Vinegar Dressing.  This is a great camping salad, because I combine the cabbage and dressing right before serving, which helps it to stay fresh.  I do love getting cabbage in our share, since it lasts so long in the fridge and I just keep cutting off big sections of it.

I tried the idea in last week’s newsletter of soaking radish slices in vinegar (I happened to use brown rice vinegar) before putting the slices on my buttered bread.  Amazing!  It did turn them very mild and tasty, tasty, tasty.  I also took a quick look at tastespotting.com, which was recommended by a couple members in last week’s newsletter.  The photos are amazing!  Thanks for the tip; I’ll certainly be visiting this site.

I tried to schedule a recipe post to be published this weekend while we were away, but apparently I didn’t do it right.  So, my Refrigerator Dill Pickles recipe is now posted and ready for you to use on those cukes.  Our first batch was ready when we got home.  Yum!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

My family absolutely loves these pickles.  Easy to prepare, you just put the jar in the refrigerator and wait 10 days before eating (remember to label the jar with the date of preparation, so you know when it will be ready).  They will stay fresh for up to one month.  When the cukes start coming in, I’ve got a steady supply of these in my fridge.  I’ve used this recipe for years now, and found it on epicurious.com from Bon Appetit, August 1993.  The original recipe is titled Spicy Dill Pickles, but since I’m a spice-wimp, I do not add the dried crushed red pepper.  I’ve also adapted the recipe to fill just one mason jar.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  • one cucumber (or 6 pickling cucumbers), cut into spears
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 scant cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp pickling spice (sometimes I don’t add this, and sometimes I do, using tumeric, cumin, mustard seed, etc)
  • fresh or dried dill, or dill seeds to taste

Combine all ingredients except cucumbers and dill in the mason jar.  Stir and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add cucumbers and dill to jar.  Cover jars with lids and close tightly.  Refrigerate at least 10 days.   Pickles will stay fresh for up to 1 month.  Keep refrigerated.

CSA Share for 2010 Week Six

We got our first bunch of basil this week….hurray!  Collard greens is another new addition this week.  Here’s what else was in my share:

  • beets
  • zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • kale
  • collards
  • basil
  • pick your own herbs

I actually got to all my freezing and prepping tonight.  Whew, what a workout!  I blanched and froze all the greens (beet greens, kale, and collards).  I made up a batch of basil pesto as well.  THIS is the kind of pesto my family is waiting for!  The recipe is the same as my previous post for arugula pesto, but of course just replace the arugula bunch with a basil bunch.  I also got some extra zucchini from our farm’s Extras basket, so I just chopped them up into chunks and froze them.  They will go into the food processor mid-winter and then into a vegetable soup.   How is everyone keeping up with all the veggies?

CSA Share, Week Five, Day Six

Time to get ready for tomorrow’s pickup by making as much room in my veggie drawer as possible.  The remaining greens went into my smoothie this afternoon, and I boiled up the beets,  some of which I just had plain, and then tried Anne’s idea in the newsletter of pickling the rest in sugar and vinegar (I did half vinegar, half water).  Can’t wait to try those!  After boiling your beets, does anyone use the beet water for anything?  It seems a shame to pour that bright red water down the drain.

Tonight I used up the rest of my zucchini by making oven-baked zucchini again (see my previous post) with our pasta dinner.  I tossed my pasta with my leftover arugula pesto (my family still needs to get used to this bold-tasting pesto; they’re fans of basil pesto), and used up some of my remaining garlic scapes in their pasta sauce.  So, I’ve still got a half head of cabbage in my veggie drawer, along with more garlic scapes and half a cucumber, which leaves plenty of room for tomorrow’s veggies.  Oh, and there’s still some radishes in there, so time for some more bread and butter with radishes.

CSA Share, Week Five, Day Five

Over the weekend, I used up some of the zucchini in a batch of muffins.  I have a great master muffin recipe from The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn; it’s a basic recipe that allows you to add up to one and a half cups of whatever excess you have on hand, such as blueberries, nuts, bananas, or…..zucchini.  I’ll be posting the recipe soon.  Also this weekend, and as planned, I turned my half bunch of kale into kale salad.  Tonight for dinner, I sauteed some of the arugula and added that to our Mexican dish, acting upon a member’s recent comment that it goes very well with Mexican spices.  I agree!

Kale Salad

I love this recipe because I can make it in the morning, and then just leave it out and snack on it all day.  It’s another “no heating up the kitchen,” quick summertime recipe.

Photo of Kale Salad

Kale Salad

  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • one bunch of kale (about a half pound or so), torn or sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp nuts
  • 2 Tbsp cranberries or raisins
  • parmesan cheese

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, honey, oil and salt in a large bowl.  Add kale, nuts, and cranberries/raisins.  Toss to coat (I find using my hands is the easiest way to thoroughly combine everything).  Let marinade for 20 minutes at room temperature, tossing occasionally.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe (maybe in our CSA newsletter from years past?), but the original called for “white” balsamic vinegar, and also to soak the cranberries/raisins in 5 Tbsp of vinegar overnight, then drain.  I’ve never done this, but if anyone tries it this way, let me know how it turns out.