Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week 4 of 2010

What remains from last week…basil, broccoli, parsley, scallions, and summer squash.

We got…

Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cucumber, Head Lettuce, Kale, Scallions, Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash, Zucchini
Fruit – Cherries

My plans…

A Beets and Beet Greens Salad

You can substitute ground fenugreek with ground mustard.

Summer Squash and Zucchini
Pasta Salad with Shrimp
The recipe is in the current issue of Everyday Food. I find Martha Stewart magazines don’t publish their recipes on the web until the next issue is out.

Cucumber, Head Lettuce, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherries (well almost)
These are already gone.
Tuesday Menu: leftover Chicken Tikka Masala, Salad, Sugar Snap Peas, Cherries
Farm Share Produce: see above – just one of those weeks where lots of things looked good and got eaten up right after they came in the door

The herbs are getting ahead of me, especially since they are also growing outside. I’ll probably freeze a bunch of those, the broccoli, and the kale.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Braised Kashmiri Greens

Dinner last night was a birthday celebration for our friend from Kashmir. Lots of fun and yummy food!

Monday Menu: Chicken Tikka Masala, Rice with toasted lentils and mustard seeds, Braised Kashmiri Greens, Naan
Farm Share Produce: Kale, Turnips Greens, Braising Mix

I still had that Kale and had been meaning to make Braised Tuscan Kale, but never got that far. I still also had the tops of the turnips and my braising mix to use, so the following recipe was a great dish to add to last night’s dinner. I used these two recipes to make the greens for last night.

Braised Kashmiri Greens

6 cups of greens (kale, turnips greens, braising mix)
Olive oil, 1 – 2 turns of the pan
1/8 t asafetida
1 t cumin
½ medium onion, diced
2 t fresh ginger, minced
1 dried red chile, broken in half
Broth or water, ¼ - ½ cup
Salt and pepper

Discard any tough stems from the greens. Roughly chop any large leaves.

For tougher greens (kale, collards) boil a pot of water and cook for 3 – 5 minutes. Remove greens and reserve.

Heat oil in a skillet. Add asafetida, cumin, onion, ginger, and chile. Cook on medium high heat until onions start to turn translucent. Add tougher greens and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Add tender greens (turnip greens, radish greens, chard, braising mix) and simmer an additional 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: asafetida is available in Asian grocery stores. This website
Suggests substituting ¼ t asafetida for ¼ t garlic powder + ¼ t onion powder

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pan Seared Arrowhead Cabbage

Friday Menu: Lemon Cilantro Shrimp over Pasta, Pan Seared Arrowhead Cabbage
Farm Share Produce: Arrowhead Cabbage, Cilantro

Pan Seared Arrowhead Cabbage
Inspired by this idea in Food Network Magazine

I had read that arrowhead cabbage is very tender. I thought this bok choy idea would work well with it. Simple and tasty, I really enjoyed it.

½ head arrowhead cabbage, chop in half again
2 T peanut oil
Salt, crushed red pepper to taste
1 t minced fresh ginger
2 t green garlic or 2 cloves garlic minced

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add salt, crushed red pepper, ginger and garlic. Cook until garlic starts to brown. Add cabbage and partially cover with lid. Allow to steam on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Uncover, allow to cook an additional 1 – 2 minutes to add color to cabbage. Turn cabbage to brown on the other side, another 1-2 minutes.

The Lemon Cilantro Shrimp was just a little too bitter. It is now time to admit one of my cooking aversions. I don’t buy a whole lot of fresh lemons. I don’t enjoy juicing them, too many seeds. I love lemon zest, but hate when I have a lemon zested in the fridge and forget to juice it or juice a lemon but don’t need zest right then and feel as though I let something go to waste. I know, just get OVER IT! Recently I came upon dried lemon zest that you rehydrate, I thought now this is the ingredient for me. Too bitter! Doesn’t work. I learned this last night, but I wasn’t about to zest 6 lemons. This is what the recipe calls for and so I thought it the perfect time to try my dehydrated lemon zest. This is the recipe I worked from, just not a success at our house.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard

I was supposed to go to a pot luck last night and started making this dish early in the day. Then the pot luck got cancelled and dinner became the swiss chard dish and whatever else was in the fridge.

The Garbanzo Beans with Swiss Chard makes a perfect pot luck or party dish because you can roast the beans up to a day in advance and the swiss chard can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance. The whole thing just needs to come together and be warmed through right before the party starts.

Thursday Menu: Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard, Salad
Farm Share Produce: Swiss Chard, Salad Mix, Head Lettuce, Scallions

Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard

NOTE: I like to serve it in a party setting with Naan or Pita. I had only one bunch of swiss chard and easily halfed the recipe.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake and another Stir Fry

Dinner was okay last night. I adapted the recipe to use up items in the fridge and it turned out to just be okay. BUT dessert with our strawberries from the farm was loved by everyone.

My friend made this Strawberry Shortcake after we had gone picking a couple of weeks ago. Her husband said it was the best he’d ever had. I wasn’t so sure it was going to work out as I was preparing the shortcakes. I was remembering I am NOT a baker! They turned out okay, but not fluffy and they did not rise enough to allow me to split them like in the directions. My husband said he agreed they were the best, but asked if maybe my friend could make them and we would compare. The kids just thought the whole thing was fabulous!

Wednesday Menu: Stir-Fry with Turnips, Sugar Snap Peas and Chicken, Strawberry Shortcake
Farm Share Produce: Sugar Snap Peas, Turnips, Strawberries

Here is the link – I would try it again and definitely use scallops or shrimp. I think their sweetness would be balance the dish and be good. I used leftover grilled chicken and it dulled dish. I did add turnips and I think that would work with the original recipe. They need more cooking time, about 10 minutes total. Add the snap peas after 7 minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake
I’m writing it just like it’s in the cookbook, and the baker’s out there will have the best Strawberry Shortcake EVER!
From Baking Illustrated from the editor’s of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

8 cups strawberries (about 2 ½ pounds), hulled
6 T sugar

2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
5 T sugar
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
8 T (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup plus 1 T half and half or whole milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

2 cup Whipped Cream

For the Fruit: Place 3 cups of the hulled strawberries in a large bowl and crush. Slice the remaining 5 cups berries and stir into the crushed berries along with the sugar. Set the fruit aside to macerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
For the Shortcakes: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the over to 425 degrees. In a food processor, pulse the flour, 3 T of sugar, the baking powder, and salt to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 one second pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Mix the beaten egg with the half and half in a measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture. Combine with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn the mixture onto a floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.
Use your fingertips to pat the dough into a 9x6 rectangle about ¾ inch thick, being careful not to overwork the dough. Flour a 2 ¾ inch biscuit cutter and cut out 6 rounds (You can use the scraps to cut out 1 or 2 more rounds). Place the rounds 1 inch apart on a small baking sheet, brush the tops with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 T sugar. (Dough rounds can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)
Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, 12 – 14 minutes. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the cakes until warm, about 10 minutes.
Assembly: When the shortcakes have cooled slightly, split them in half. Place each cake bottom on a serving plate. Spoon a portion of the fruit and then a dollop of the whipped cream over each cake bottom. Cap with the cake top and serve.

Guesstimate Week 4

Week 4 Guess

Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Head Lettuce, Peas, Salad Mix, Scallions, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley

Fruit Share Guess


Please send me your favorite ideas and recipes for these items in the comments or e-mail me at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week 3 of 2010

What remains from last week….kale and turnips.

We got…

Arrowhead Cabbage, Braising Mix, Broccoli, Head Lettuce, Salad Mix, Scallions, Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley.
Fruit arrived this week! We got Strawberries.

My plans…

Arrowhead Cabbage
I had not seen this variety before. The chat on the web says it is very tender and buttery. I plan to treat a little like bok choi – sauté it in peanut oil with a little garlic, salt and pepper.

Braising Mix
Either this or - the mustard greens part

Sugar Snap Peas and Turnips
Make a version of this Stir-Fry

Swiss Chard


Strawberry Shortcake

Storage Info for this week’s produce
Remember this boring post I did about zones in the refrigerator
Here is where Cook’s Illustrated JUL/AUG 08 suggests storing…

Berries and Peas – the front of the fridge
Broccoli, Cabbage, Herbs, Leafy Greens, Scallions, Summer Squash, Zucchini - crisper

Lemon Parsley Grilled Chicken

Like I said the Tuesday menu is usually grilled chicken and salad during CSA time. I tried to incorporate herbs into last night's version.

Tuesday Menu: Lemon Parsley Grilled Chicken, Salad
Farm Share Produce: Head Lettuce, Parsley, Salad Mix

Lemon Parsley Grilled Chicken
from a backyard conversation about using up the herbs

Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups loosely packed parsley

Combine ingredients with immersion blender, food processor, or blender.

Chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs.

Combine 2/3 of the marinade with chicken meat. Allow to marinade up to 2 hours. Grill.

To serve with the salad I combine the 1/3 remaining marinade with 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil to make a dressing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cilantro Rice and Beans

As I chat with folks about their CSA and how they are doing getting through all the vegetables each week, lots of people say, “I do okay, except for getting through the herbs.” So I’m going to try and focus on getting through the herbs this week.

I feel like I haven’t cooked in days. We went to a big party on Saturday and Sunday we were bumming around for Father’s Day and wound up eating out. While I have a recipe to share from last night’s dinner (using herbs I might add), it was this crazy who wants to eat what as my oldest and I raced out the door at 5:30. So I guess you could say this is a quick and easy Meatless Monday dinner.

Meatless Monday Menu: Cilantro Rice and Beans
Farm Share Produce: Cilantro
Other Local Produce: Green Garlic

Cilantro Rice and Beans

1 ½ cup frozen brown rice (defrosted) or other cooked rice

1-2 t olive oil
½ small onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic or stem of green garlic, minced
1 small chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1-2 t adobo sauce
2 T cilantro, chopped finely
1 T lime juice

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onion, garlic, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cilantro, and lime juice. Cook until onions are translucent on medium high heat for about 4-6 minutes. Add defrosted rice and warm through.

1 can black beans (14.5 oz), reserve 2 T of liquid and then rinse and drain beans
2 T lime juice
1 t cumin
1 t hot sauce

To a saucepan add reserve bean liquid, lime juice, cumin, hot sauce, and rinsed black beans. Warm through on medium heat.

Serve beans over cilantro rice with extras such as, avocado slices, chopped cilantro, sour cream or salsa.

NOTE: Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce come in a small can, but you never need the whole thing. I put them in a sandwich bag and lay them flat in the freezer. Once frozen I just break off as many peppers as I want and the appropriate amount of sauce usually comes with them.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Basil Dressing

My husband refers to CSA season as green paste season. I had out the immersion blender and was ready to blend basil, garlic scapes, oil, and vinegar to make this dressing and he walks in and says, “Oh Great! You are making a green paste!” He declared this particular green paste good and had two servings of salad.

Friday Menu: Dahl Pizza, Southwestern Pizza, Salad with Basil Dressing
Farm Share Produce: Basil, Broccoli, Garlic Scapes, Head Lettuce, Salad Mix
Leftovers Used: Cilantro Pesto, Dahl with Spinach (see below for links)

Basil Dressing
From Main Dishes with Herbs by Dawn J Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil
1 clove garlic (I used 1 medium garlic scape)
¼ cup wine vinegar
½ extra virgin olive oil
2 T grated parmesan cheese
Ground pepper to taste

Puree all ingredients until smooth

Last night was a classic example of how pizza is a great partner with CSA leftovers.

Dahl Pizza
I took the Dahl with Spinach and used it as the sauce. I chopped up the broccoli and sprinkled it on top. I put on dollops of Greek yogurt and sprinkled crushed red pepper on top. The yogurt baked into a nice consistency. I do this again.

Southwestern Pizza
I put a light layer of olive oil on the crust and sprinkled on the fajita seasoning from the quesadillas. Then I spread on the cilantro pesto. The cheese was the leftover Monterey Jack from the quesadillas.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Indian Cabbage

I guess part of the fun of having a food blog is so you can tell crazy stories about your experiences. I followed the recipe for the cabbage pretty closely last night, so I allowed the oil to heat up until it was smoking, let it cool 10 seconds, and added the mustard seeds as instructed. Can you say FIREWORKS???!!! Those things were going off like rockets. Too funny and super glad my kids weren’t in the kitchen to get splattered by flying hot oil and rocketing mustard seeds. In the end, a delicious dish with the recipe modified below for temperature and cooking times so you too don’t have a fireworks display, or follow the original recipe to celebrate the 4th. Have fun!

Thursday Menu: Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, Indian Cabbage, Sugar Snap Peas
Farm Share Produce: Cabbage, Sugar Snap Peas

Indian Cabbage
Adapted from

1 T vegetable oil
Pinch asafetida *
1 t yellow mustard seeds
2 small dried red chiles, whole
1 t red lentils
1 T cashews or peanuts
5-8 curry leaves
½ head cabbage, finely shredded
Kosher salt

In a large wok or skillet heat oil until shimmering. Add the asafetida and mustard seeds. Cook on medium low for approx. 30 seconds or until seeds start to GENTLY pop. Add chiles, lentils, and nuts, cook until lentils start to color. Add curry leaves, shredded cabbage and salt to taste. Stir-fry until the cabbage just starts to wilt and gets a bright green color. Serve.

NOTE: Asafetida is available at Indian or Asian markets. The original recipe also calls for nigella seeds and mustard oil. Those would also be available at these markets. We have an Asian market close by that is great fun to visit. The kids love the live fish, turtles, and frogs. We love the great selection of spices, rice, and teas. Worth a visit!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guesstimate Week 3

Week 3 Guess

Braising Mix, Broccoli, Cabbage, Chard, Head Lettuce, Peas, Salad Mix, Scallions, Squash or Zucchini, Turnips, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley

The fruit share is coming a week early. Fruit Share guess is Strawberries.

Please send me your favorite ideas or recipes for these items in the comments or e-mail me at . We've had two reader recommended recipes this week.

Broccoli Rabe, Swiss Chard, and Turkey Sausage

We wound up eating with another family last night. Since it wasn’t in the original plan for the week the menu was made up by making sure there was enough food, what needed used from the CSA, and what was on hand in the pantry.

Wednesday Menu: Pasta with Greens, Sausage, Raisins and Pine Nuts, Dahl with Spinach, and Rice
Farm Share Produce: Broccoli Rabe, Spinach, Swiss Chard,
Other Local Produce: Green Garlic

Pasta with Greens, Sausage, Raisins, and Pine Nuts (Reader Recommended)
Combination of

NOTES: I had Swiss Chard left over from the previous week’s delivery, so that needed to get used. We were feeding two families, so I thought I’d throw in the Broccoli Rabe too. These recipes were similar and so I figured all the greens would work together. I followed the directions for the Martha Stewart recipe. The Martha Stewart version was also recommended by a reader, thanks for the great recipe.

Dahl with Spinach
This remains a favorite! I didn’t have any plans for the spinach and we needed more food to get everyone fed. It worked

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home from CSA pick-up

During CSA season I make the same thing almost every Tuesday night. Tuesday is pick-up day for the CSA in the late afternoon. This causes dinner preparation time to get interrupted and crazy. We get salad fixings almost every week, so Tuesday tends to be grilled chicken, salad, and some crunchy, crusty bread. This menu works great because you can’t wait to get your hands on some of those veggies and you throw them in the salad, the chicken can be made ahead of time, and dinner is done quickly while the kitchen remains in chaos as you wash, spin, and store all that veggie goodness for the week.

Tuesday Menu: Grilled Chicken, Salad, and Crusty Bread
Farm Share Produce: snips of Basil and Parsley, a little of the Head Lettuce, and a little of the Salad Mix

I read a tip in a magazine recently about salad and fresh herbs. They suggested chopping up a small bit and throwing them in your summer garden salads. I thought it was a great suggestion because I always have herbs in the fridge from the CSA and they are growing in the garden too. I put it to good use in last night’s salad.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Week 2 of 2010

Week 2 has as much good stuff as last week.

We got...
...Basil, Broccoli, Broccoli Rabe, Cabbage, Cilantro, Garlic Scapes, Head Lettuce, Kale, Parsley, Salad Mix, Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas, Turnips

My plans...

Broccoli Rabe
I'm going to try another of those sausage, pasta, greens recipes. I loaded up on the turkey and chicken sausage this weekend at the grocery store.


Kale Tuscan Kale

Sugar Snap Peas
they'll just go right on the table tomorrow night for dinner. My husband's favorite way to eat them. Really, isn't that everyone's favorite way to eat them?

Spinach and Turnips
I'll take any ideas you've got. E-mail me
I'll take any of your favorite recipes for any of the CSA produce we are getting.

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas

This recipe was suggested by a reader. She said much like pizza, quesadillas are great for CSA veggies because you can add almost anything to them. The seasonings in these were delicious and I will make them again with some other combination of protein and veggies.

Meatless Monday Menu: Mom out to the PTO Picnic with Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas to share. Additional quesadillas left at home along with leftover salad for the rest of the family.
Farm Share Produce: Garlic Scapes, Spinach

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas
Adapted from

1 T olive oil, plus more for brushing on tortillas
¼ t red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves garlic crushed or garlic scapes chopped
½ t fajita seasoning (see below to make your own)
8 oz. mushroom sliced
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
6 whole grain tortillas

Heat the olive oil on medium high heat in a skillet. Add red pepper flakes, garlic, and fajita seasoning. Cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add mushrooms. Cook 3-4 minutes until tender. Add spinach and cook until it wilts. Take mushroom and spinach mixture off the heat.

Brush the tortillas with olive oil. Place on grill or grill pan flat. Add mushroom and spinach mixture to half of the tortilla. Add a handful of the cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and grill until grill marks appear.

Homemade Fajita Seasoning
From my aunt who loves to cook!

2 tablespoons Cumin
1 tablespoon Chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon each
garlic powder
onion powder
dry mustard
black pepper

Monday, June 14, 2010

3 Vegetable Sides – Grilled Lita, Broccoli Rabe with Caramelized Onions, Salad

I was taught to plan a dinner by making sure there is a protein, vegetables, and a starch. I still follow that basic rule. I tried to come up with a starch last night, but there were too many fun vegetable recipes to try, especially after I found the Lita at the market yesterday.

The Lita was great. The farmer had said it was less moist than zucchini or summer squash. It was therefore perfect for the grill. It held its shape and got great grill lines. It had a mild flavor on its own. I made a quick little sauce to go with it.

Sunday Menu: Cilantro Pesto Salmon, Grilled Lita with Peanut Sauce, Broccoli Rabe with Caramelized Onions, Salad
Farm Share Produce: Broccoli Rabe, Cilantro, Garlic Scapes, Head Lettuce, Parsley, Salad Mix
Other Local Produce: Lita (farmer's market)

Grilled Lita with Peanut Sauce
Based on an easy side dish in Food Network Magazine June 2010, Eggplant with Peanut Sauce

1 Lita
1 T peanut butter
1 t chopped garlic or garlic scapes
1 t lemon juice
1 T olive oil for sauce, olive oil to brush on sliced Lita
1 t chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper

Slice Lita in ½ inch slices. Brush with olive oil and place on grill, 3-5 minutes per side. Combine the rest of the ingredients and brush on Lita when it comes off the grill.

Broccoli Rabe with Caramelized Onions

Cilantro Pesto Salmon

2 salmon fillets
2 T Cilantro Pesto (leftover from the other day)

Spread pesto on salmon fillets and grill for approximately 10 minutes on the George Foreman Grill. When the fillet comes easily away from the grill.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm only going to buy...

I left for the market this morning and I was only going to stock up on muesli and get some eggs and green garlic. But then I found these treasurures.

The zucchini looking item is called a Lita. I had never heard of it, so had to buy it. The farmer described it as drier than a regular squash and great for the grill. I'll let you know.

My kids LOVE to shell peas. I love to freeze shelled peas to have on hand for recipes and a quick veggie side dish for the kids. They adore frozen peas and eat them for dinner at least twice a week.

The peas are in the freezer now on this tray. I like to freeze them like this and then put them in a bag. I find they don't clump this way.

Don't forget the great site with tips on freezing vegetables. It's in my list of links too!

Bok Choi and Chicken Stir-Fry

Stir-Fry…another great method to put those CSA veggies to use. I have a couple different stir-fry methods I’ll share over the next couple of weeks. This one is a straight forward recipe I found years ago. The others are like a Chinese menu where you pick some ingredients from column A and some from B and put it all together to create endless combinations.

Saturday Menu: Bok Choi and Chicken Stir-Fry, steamed Brown Rice
Farm Share Produce: Bok Choi, Garlic Scapes, Parsley
Other Local Produce: Basil (from the garden)

Bok Choi and Chicken Stir-Fry
Adapted from

1 T olive oil
2 cups pre-cooked chicken (leftovers work great)
1 T corn starch
½ head of bok choi, roughly chopped
½ cup bell peppers, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup frozen peas (got sugar snap or snow peas from your CSA? USE those!)
½ cup scallions, chopped
½ cup broth (vegetable, mushroom, chicken, etc.)
3 t garlic scapes, chopped
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2 T sherry
2 T soy sauce
½ cup cashews, halved
Basil and parsley, roughly chopped

Heat olive oil in a wok or deep skillet. Cube the cooked chicken and toss with the corn starch to coat. Add more corn starch if needed. Reheat chicken in the skillet, allowing a nice crust to form. 5-8 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove chicken and reserve.

Add a touch more oil if necessary to the wok or skillet. Add bok choi, peppers, mushrooms, peas, and scallions. Saute 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove and reserve with chicken.

Add the broth, garlic, ginger, sherry, soy sauce, and cashews to the wok or skillet. Cook 2 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken slightly. Return chicken and vegetables and heat through, 1 minute. Sprinkle with basil and parsley and stir through once. Serve with rice.

NOTE: You can use any meat or vegetables you have on hand. I already used the snow peas from the CSA in the pasta primavera, but those would have been great here. Any fresh herbs would also be good. Cilantro would have been great, but mine was all in the pesto. BUT, I forgot how tasty the parsley was from the farm. It was really good.

Steamed Brown Rice
I found this great method for steaming brown rice. You make a bunch and the recipe includes freezing directions. I freeze them in dinner portions. They defrost quickly and it’s a great way to have brown rice on hand.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Strawberry Sauces and Cilantro Pesto

That’s a weird title, but then at the end of a busy day dinner is often a weird combo.

Thursday Menu: Grilled Chicken with a Spicy Strawberry Sauce, Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette, and leftover Angel Hair Pasta with Cilantro Pesto
Farm Share Produce: Cilantro, Garlic Scapes, Salad Mix
Strawberry Sauce (berries picked locally and turned into this sauce)

Cilantro Pesto
I have seen so many variations for cilantro pesto. I liked this one because of the heat provided by the chile. It freezes well because there is no cheese.
PESTO TIP: freeze pesto without the nuts and cheese and add those when you defrost it

2 cups packed cilantro, large stems removed
½ cup blanched almonds
¼ cup roughly chopped onion
1 rehydrated in hot water dried chile
¼ cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a suitable container and combine with immersion blender.

No immersion blender????? Ask for one for your next birthday or gift giving occasion!!! They are the best. You could also combine in a blender of food processor.

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Strawberry Sauce
Based on

4-6 boneless chicken thighs
2 T lime juice
2 T coarse-grain mustard
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 t garlic scapes, finely chopped or 2 cloves garlic
1 T Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of allspice and crushed red pepper

Coat chicken with lime juice, mustard and olive oil. Allow to marinade for up to one hour.
Grill chicken approx. 5 minutes per side. (I cheat and use the Foreman Grill, ALL the time).
In a sauce pan heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add Worcestershire, allspice, red pepper, and strawberry sauce (see link above). Simmer until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Keep warm and serve grilled chicken with sauce.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

3 T red wine vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
3 T strawberry sauce (see link above)
1 t pure maple syrup
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together. Keep extra in the refrigerator.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pasta Primavera and Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wednesday Menu: Pasta Primavera and Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Farm Share Produce: Basil (our garden), Garlic Scapes, Radishes, Salad Mix, Snow Peas, Turnips, Zucchini

I planned this as dinner last night because I thought it would be a good way to use this week’s veggies. As I was eating I decided it’s a great basic CSA meal that will be new every time you make it. The sauce was basic and quiet in the background. Each bite highlighted the vegetables it contained.
Instead of a regular recipe, I’m going to write the recipe in basics and make suggestions for possible vegetables for this dish.

Basic Pasta Primavera
Based on

½ pound angel hair pasta, spaghetti or fettuccini
Vegetables for blanching, approx. a handful of each, 2-3 varieties
Vegetables for sauté, approx. a handful of each, 1-2 varieties
3 minced garlic cloves
3 Roma tomatoes, or ½ pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
¼ cup chicken broth
½ cup half and half
½ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
½ parmesan cheese
8 basil leaves, cut into strips

In a large pot boil water and salt heavily. Have an ice bath on hand. Add vegetables for blanching in the order of toughness (broccoli and asparagus would go first, peas would go last). Boil each vegetable for approx. one minute and then add the next. Remove all the vegetables at the end and plunge into ice bath. Cool, drain, and set aside.
Save the water to boil the pasta. Starting with fresh water for pasta can also be done.

Melt butter and heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and vegetable for sauté, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes and continue sauté for another 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add cream and blanched vegetables, stir to combine. Add crushed red pepper if using. Turn the heat down so mixture is simmering. Add parmesan cheese and combine. The sauce should be thick, but add more broth, cream or water to achieve desired thickness.

Boil the pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is done transfer it to the sauté pan and add basil, salt and pepper for taste.

For last night’s dinner I blanched snow peas. Other vegetables for blanching: Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Green Beans.

Last night I sautéd the radishes and turnips I had roasted earlier in the day and the zucchini. Other vegetables for sauté: Beets (if roasted first), Carrots, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Summer Squash.

Roasted Radishes and Turnips -

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
From Around – I read it at my friends on some scrap of paper and I’m not sure I remember the quantities right

3 T balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Combine ingredients.
You can play around with this forever. I often add the main spices that are in the rest of the meal and so on.


Roasting radishes is a wonderful cooking method for them. This is especially true if you don’t like them because of that bite a raw radish has. Roasting them also allows them to be used in numerous ways beyond a salad.
This is a picture of the radishes and turnips I roasted from this week’s share. The following recipe is for radishes, but I just did the radishes and turnips together.

Roasted Radishes
From “Fresh Every Day” by Sara Foster

1 bunch radishes, cleaned and stems removed leaving ½ inch of stem
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T olive oil
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place radishes on a baking sheet. Toss with butter, oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the thyme. Roast 10 – 15 minutes until the radishes are tender but still slightly crunchy.

These can be a side dish, tossed into a salad, or I put them in Pasta Primavera last night (see post).

In addition here is a link from the new Cooking Channel about radishes.

Guesstimate Week 2

On Thursdays I will post the farmer’s guesstimate for next week’s share. Please share your favorite ideas and recipes for these veggies in the comments or e-mail me at

I plan my menu over the weekend. I’d love to incorporate your suggestions. I’ll let you know what I plan. It is always fun on Tuesday (pick up day) to see what we actually get and rearrange the plan as need be.

Week 2 Guess

Basil, Bok Choi or Totsoi, Braising Mix, Cilantro, Garlic scapes, Head Lettuce, Parsley, Salad Mix, Scallions, Sugar Snap or Snow peas, Summer Squash or Zucchini, Swiss Chard or Kale, Turnips

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Maintaining Freshness and Storing CSA produce

Most of this info is based on a great article on Produce Freshness in “Cook’s Illustrated” from July/August 2008.

As a general rule I wash most of the produce when I get home from pick up. Anything with green leaves, I wash, and spin. I’ll spin other things too, like yesterday I sent the snow peas for a spin to get all the water off. I love my Oxo Salad Spinner. I then put almost everything in a storage bag with a paper towel. This system has worked well for me. This same method was suggested in the article, especially for keeping greens crisp.

And then there are times when you just don’t get to use everything from the share that week or you keep getting the same item and you’d like to save it for later. A friend shared this site years ago and it has been wonderful.
The main things that get frozen from my CSA are herbs I’ve turned into pesto, which pretty much got me through the winter. The other big one was greens we got in the fall, collards and kale. I would cook them down, freeze them, and use them whenever a recipe called for frozen spinach throughout the winter.

So…I’ve wanted to write the following information for a couple weeks, but it just seems so BORING. I’m about to tell you about climate zones in the refrigerator. BUT as the produce rolls in I think the info might be handy to refer back to throughout the season. So feel free to skip this, and catch it when it pertains to a particular veggie when I link back.

Refrigerator Climate Zones
Cold Zone – this zone is located in back, top middle. This is the coldest area and temps can dip below 34 degrees (ever pull out items with ice crystals).
Moderate Zone – this zone is located in the front, middle to bottom. Temps here can go above 37 degrees. Fruits and veggie that need refrigeration but that can be ruined by chill should go here.
Humid Zone – Crispers provide a humid environment that keep produce with a high water content from shriveling and rotting. Too much humidity can also hasten spoilage. To regulate adjust the vents. General rule, more cold air that is let in, the less humidity.

The remainder of the article talks about particular fruits or vegetables. So I’ll just note where each item should be stored as it shows up in my share.

Week 1 of 2010- the bounty!!!!

Everyone was excited about how bountiful the first week share was this year. We had a warm May and are now reaping the benefits. I always try to remember when I'm suffering from the heat that I'm going to love it when it means a good CSA share.

Anyway we got...

bok choi, broccoli rabe, cilantro, garlic scapes, head lettuce, parsley, radishes, salad mix, snow peas, spinach, swiss chard, turnips, and zucchini.

My plans...

Salads (and I’ll post that strawberry dressing I mentioned earlier)

Pasta Primavera based on the following recipe. I’m going to make changes based on what was in the share this week.

Stir Fry with the bok choi and whatever is still around. I have some stir fry tips I’ve been saving up. They too are great partners, like a CSA and pizza ( ).

Broccoli Rabe
but I hope more comes soon because I have recipes saved up for broccoli rabe and sausage AND many folks are saying how much they love that combination.

Garlic Scapes
I’m going to use them just like garlic this week because I am low. This green garlic idea ( ) has been working great and I think I’ll do the same with the scapes. Hope we get more next week because lots of people have mentioned garlic scape pesto, so I can’t wait to try that.

Swiss Chard
This one was recommended by a reader and I can’t wait to try it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First Day of CSA pick up

Here is what I'll be picking up today...

Snow Peas
Salad Mix
Head Lettuce
Broccoli Rabe
Bokchoi or Tat Soi
Zucchini or Squash
Garlic Scapes

Any favorite recipes or great ideas for these items? Put them in the comments or e-mail me at

Happy CSA Season!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Strawberry-Basil Salad

I had to have something on the dinner table with strawberries after picking yesterday so we tried this salad. My favorite part was getting a bite of strawberry and basil together, really good.

Strawberry-Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp Dijon mustard
Salad greens for two
¾ cup sliced strawberries
Handful of sliced scallions
4-5 basil leaves, thinly sliced

In a salad bowl combine oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard with a whisk. Add salad greens, strawberries, scallions, and basil. Toss and Serve.

NOTE: the link serves six, so I made it for just two. I also added Dijon to the dressing.

Strawberry Sauce

We went strawberry picking today. The kids and I love to go berry picking. Today we brought home 5 quarts of strawberries. This is a tray of the strawberries ready to be frozen.

I like to lay the berries out on a tray, freeze them, and then put them in a freezer bag for storage. I find that if they go straight to the bag they just freeze in one big blob and you can’t just get out a few. I use the same method for blueberries, corn, peas, meatballs, cookie dough to be baked later and so on.

Today I’m going to make a batch of Strawberry Sauce. I make it every year. It is useful for so many things. The original recipe suggests pouring it warmed up over waffles, freeze it in paper cups with popsicle sticks, layer with fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola, spoon over ice cream or blend in a milkshake or smoothie.

Strawberry Sauce

NOTES: Another great way to use an immersion blender! I don’t strain the sauce. I just love the seeds on berries (strawberries, raspberries etc.) and never get rid of them.

This week I will use this sauce to make a salad dressing and a spicy sauce for simple grilled chicken, so check back soon. OH…and my CSA’s first pick is Tuesday, so it should be a good week all around.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pea Salad

We saw this recipe at the beginning of spring. I've been looking for peas at the market ever since. This past weekend I found the most wonderful sugar snap peas and the snow peas were also good, but not quite so amazing. Anyway...we finally got to make our pea salad!

I didn't have pea shoots, so those are missing. I traded the fresh tarragon in the recipe for fresh thyme. I wanted all the herbs to come from our garden and I didn't have tarragon.

It was worth the wait and I recommend this salad.