Archive for July, 2012

CSA Share for 2012 Week Seven

Even if I know how to prepare my veggies, sometimes I just need a little inspiration.  Reading cookbooks usually does that for me, and this week I found a beautiful new cookbook at the library:  The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila.  I especially like Alana’s writeups before each recipe which make each one special.  I’ll be sure to try her Hummus and her Nut Butter recipes, but I’ll wait till winter to make her Lentil Soup.

In our share this week:

  • garlic
  • basil
  • lettuce
  • swiss chard
  • cabbage
  • Chinese cabbage
  • cucumbers
  • potatoes

Basil and Garlic:  My family looooooves basil pesto, so the big bunch of basil was a welcome sight.  I thought I had my pesto recipe down-pat, and had been using walnuts instead of pine nuts for years (see my Arugula Pesto recipe post, and simply replace the called-for arugula with basil).  But then my husband was talking to a friend recently who recommended trying pecans as a pine nut replacement instead of walnuts; they’re still half the price of pine nuts but give the pesto a smoother taste than walnuts.  If you’d like to try it, here’s an actual Basil Pecan Pesto recipe.

Cucumbers and Cherry Tomatoes:  Now that the cherry tomatoes are really kicking in, try simply cutting them in half and mixing with diced-up cucumbers, then tossing with olive oil, balsamic, feta cheese, and a little fresh-ground pepper.  This is even better if left to sit for a bit.

Chinese Cabbage:  This is perfect for one of my favorite recipes:  Ellie Krieger’s Chop Suey.   As I mentioned in my previous post from a few weeks ago, I like to replace the called-for wonton skins with chow mein noodles.

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CSA Share for 2012 Week Six

Just a quick post this week since we are away.   I missed my veggies, but my neighbor picked up my share which I’m sure she enjoyed.   I did get to read our newsletter over at our farm’s website and saw that there are purple Viking potatoes this week, so I’ll direct you over to an article in the New York Times by Mark Bittman for further reading on these beautiful potatoes.

Reminder:  If you pay for your share in two payments, the second payment is due by August 1.

CSA Share for 2012 Week Five

I was thinking yesterday that it sure seems easy for me to wander up our farm’s path and load up my veggie bags, but I do try and remember that our farmers combine their experience, expertise, good judgement, and a lot of hard work to produce our absolutely outstanding produce.  THANK YOU, guys!!  In our share this week:

  • lettuce
  • swiss chard
  • mizuna
  • red cabbage
  • summer squash/zucchini
  • cucumbers
  • golden beets
  • broccoli

Since there were extras of summer squash, it’s time to share with you my favorite way to enjoy zucchini:  Zucchini Brownies.  I posted over a year ago on these, in which I link to an old farm newsletter from 2007.   Also in the post is a link linking to another post which links to an old newsletter containing a member’s recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (it takes some clicking around, but it’ll be worth it!).  🙂

If you don’t feel you can get to your cabbage right away, try freezing it using these tips and see what you think.  Speaking of freezing things, I posted last year on freezing cucumbers and when I took them out months later, they were DELICIOUS.  And, if you have tons of garlic scapes still in your veggie drawer like I do, just mince them up, throw ’em in a bag, and freeze.

(Image courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

CSA Share for 2012 Week Four

Even though I’ve been a member for 14 years now, I still learn something new every year.  Collards are my new “discovery.”   I’ve always shyed away from them, but last week’s collards went into a dish that was just delicious (more on this below). In our share this week:

  • choice of greens (I chose kale and collards)
  • choice of cabbage or cauliflower (I chose cauliflower)
  • beets
  • summer squash
  • potatoes
If you would like a nice and mild intro to collards, just saute a bunch of diced garlic scapes along with the collards, then added some white kidney (cannellini) beans and pepper.  Boy, is that a perfect combination.  Wrap in all in a whole-wheat wrap, and it will make a great lunch.  I’ve found a Kale with Sausage and White Beans recipe online which is similar to what I made (minus the sausage, onions, and broth).
Another easy greens recipe is one I came across in The Cleaner Plate Club, a new cookbook I found at the library.  This cookbook focuses on getting kids to eat healthily, but is a good reference for anyone who is trying to get more veggies in their life.  I cooked this up when spinach was in our share a few weeks ago, but you can use any of our greens in place of the spinach.    I’ve found the recipe online here; it is very simple and cooks up in no time at all.
Tonight I will use the cauliflower and potatoes in a simple curry dish over rice.  Here’s an easy Potato and Cauliflower Curry that you can try (be sure to read the Comments under this recipe, as they give some good tips and variations).  Because we’re in the thick of summer, try cubing the potatoes and cauliflower quite small so they cook faster, allowing you less stove-time.  Also, make a big batch so there will be leftovers that you can eat cold in a wrap the next day.
I was very glad to see beets again this week, since I burned my whole batch last week while cooking them!   I was so craving My Sister’s Beet Salad, but I get another chance this week.  Hurray!