Monday, July 30, 2012

Recipe Reviewed: Cod with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Basil

Sunday DinnerCod with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Basil, Roasted Potatoes
Farm Share Food – Eggplant, Basil, Potatoes
This was interesting to prepare.  You use only the broiler to cook the eggplant and cod.  The tomatoes melt in your mouth.  I also loved how the fragrance that came off the dish when you sprinkle the garlic chips and basil on at the end. 
I served it with some left over roasted potatoes and called it elegant fish and chips.  My husband asked if it was in honor of the Olympics, I hadn’t thought of that but sure!
My one word of caution would be to not let the cod cook too long.  I cooked it for the recommended 5 minutes and it was slightly dry.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

CSA Nicoise Salad

I wanted to try a recipe for Nicoise salad, but didn’t quite have the right ingredients.  So I poked around the web a little bit and discovered that these are the basic ingredients that make up a traditional Nicoise salad: Tuna, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Potatoes, Hard Boiled Eggs, Anchovies, Olives.  Greens and a Garlic Vinaigrette seem to be an optional addition.

I don’t like olives, so I eliminated them and yes, I eliminated the anchovies too.

I had no Tomatoes in the house.  Not quite yet time for them in the CSA, and I hate buying them if they are almost in season.  I want to eat what is coming from the CSA.  My other concern was getting the Chard into dinner last night and didn’t want it raw.  So I decided to braise the Chard in a tomato sauce I had on hand.

So here is the CSA Nicoise Salad I came up with...

Friday Menu – CSA Nicoise Salad
Farm Share Food – Chard, Green Beans, Potatoes

CSA Nicoise Salad
inspired by Tuna Salad Nicoise


2T lemon juice
2 T white wine vinegar
½ t sugar
Salt & Pepper
¼ t garlic powder
4 T extra virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients except olive oil together.  Whisk in olive oil.  Set vinaigrette aside.

1 qt small potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tuna steaks
2 t Herbs de Provence
1 Hard Boiled egg
1 cup green beans, blanched
1 ½ cups braised chard (or other green)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.    Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper in a roasting pan.  Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.

Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet.  Pat dry tuna steak and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and Herbs de Provence.  When oil is hot sear tuna steak for 1 ½ minutes per side.  When done place on plate.

To plate add 1 Hard Boiled Egg (halved), a handful of green beans, and a serving of braised greens.  Serve with vinaigrette for dipping or dressing the salad.

NOTE: if you had small tomatoes – grape or cherry – you could add that to your potatoes after 15 minutes of roasting and roast with the potatoes for the last 10-15 minutes.  If you had a green that is yummy raw, like arugula, that could be your green.  Canned tuna would make this even quicker to put together.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spicy Rice Salad

Wednesday Menu – Spicy Rice Salad, Corn on the Cob
Farm Share Food – Basil, Carrot, Corn, Green Beans, Onions, Summer Squash
The corn was our first of the season, so there was nothing to do but boil it a little and gobble it up!

I was going to make this Cilantro Rice and Beans dish to go with our corn, but it turned into this new Spicy Rice Salad instead.  This would be a great side dish for when you have a little bit of a couple of veggies left – adaptable too for the veggies you have around.
Spicy Rice Salad
1 ½ cups cooked rice
3 T olive oil, divided
½ cup onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper, minced and a little sauce
1 small summer squash, grated
1 small carrot, grated
1 cup green beans, blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 T Basil, chopped
1 T lime juice
Either make rice or use leftovers, set aside.
Heat 2 T of olive oil in a small skillet.  Add onions and garlic and cook until onions soften.  Add chipotle, and cook until mixture begins to brown.  Add summer squash and carrots.  Cook until mixture is warmed through.
Stir vegetable mixture into rice adding remaining 1 T of olive oil if the mixture is dry.  Stir in green beans, basil, and lime juice.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Week Seven of the CSA

I got a heart shaped potato in my CSA this week, Fun!
We got...

Carrots, Chard, Corn, Cucumber, Eggplant, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Onions, Potatoes, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil

Fruit: Nectarines

My plans...

Carrots and Onions – This Indian Chicken Wrap might make for a great pool side dinner.

Carrots, Summer Squash, and Zucchini – My friend and I love this recipe for Spaghetti and Asparagus.  She recently adapted it for Carrots, Summer Squash, and Zucchini.  She has a cool peeler that Julienne cuts her veggies, I think I’ll just shred mine.  I’ll have to put that peeler on my kitchen tool wish list.

Chard – I’ve made this Dal with many different greens, this week I’m making it with the Chard.

Eggplant, Basil – This Cod with Eggplant, Tomatoes, andBasil looks yummy!

Green Beans – I made the Balsamic Green Bean part of this recipe with frozen CSA Green Beans over the winter.  Can’t wait to try it with fresh.

Green Peppers and Onions – Fajitas!  Check out the link for a great FajitaSeasoning Mix.

Potatoes – a lovely Tuna Salad Nicoise for a hot summer day.

Vacation and the CSA!

We were on vacation for Week Six of the CSA!  The week before, I was able to put almost everything from that share in the freezer.

We had gotten...

Carrots, Chard, Cucumber, Green Beans, Head Lettuce, Salad Mix, Scallions, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil, Parsley
Carrots and Green Beans went in the freezer with the helpful advice of this website that tells you how to freeze all sorts of garden vegetables.
I did make the Chard salad I planned on, and it was great!
Cucumbers and Lettuce got eaten or shared.
Scallions and Spring Onions I diced and put in the freezer. 
Summer Squash got blanched, pureed, and frozen in ice cube trays.  You can put it in soups or hide it in meatloaf.
The Zucchini got shredded and frozen.  Good for Zucchini bread later.
Basil and Parsley got frozen.
Upon our return home...
There was a little bit of cucumber left that was still delicious (yeah CSA!) and that and the frozen onions provided us CSA ingredients for these Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps.

I hope these tips help you plan for while you are away or give you ideas on how to store items from the CSA.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recipe Reviewed: Scallion Sesame Rice

Thursday Menu – Salmon, Scallion Sesame Rice, Chard Salad Farm Share Food – Chard, Scallions

Scallion Sesame Rice
What a fun way to use scallions in a side dish!  Watch the sesame seeds while you are toasting them, they can burn quickly.
I didn’t have sushi rice.  I used jasmine rice and it was just fine.

Recipe Reviewed: Chard Salad

Thursday Menu – Salmon, Scallion Sesame Rice, Chard Salad
Farm Share Food – Chard, Scallions

Chard Salad
I really enjoyed this salad.  I used the dressing to coat the Salmon before cooking it, just like the original recipe does with the pork chop.  I didn’t have the time or energy to look for hazelnuts and work with them, as they are a new ingredient for me.  I used walnuts instead.
My one note of warning is that Chard raw is the slightest bit tough, so this makes for a salad that needs a little extra chewing.   It was not detrimental to my dinner experience.

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Farm Share Food – Cucumbers, Cilantro, Onions  
Spicy Cucumber Salad
adapted from the recipe in “From Asparagus to Zucchini” which is originally from Twinhawks/Clearview Family Farms
Printable Version
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and sliced into half moons
1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
1 T cilantro, roughly chopped
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T sesame oil
½ t salt
1 t soy sauce
1 T sugar
2 t hot sauce
Toss together the cucumber, onion, and cilantro.  Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, soy sauce, sugar, and hot sauce.  Toss the dressing with the cucumber mixture. 
NOTE: the printable version mentions a whole chile.  The above version uses hot sauce.  Either works!

Week Five of 2012

We got...  
Carrots, Chard, Cucumber, Green Beans, Head Lettuce, Salad Mix, Scallions, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil, Parsley

My ideas...

Carrots – Here is a basic recipe for Perfectly CookedCarrots.  You could add any spices that would complement the rest of your menu.

Chard – Braising these greens will make for a great poolside dinner.  This dish can be eaten at any temperature. 

Cucumber – Food Network’s blog started Summerfest this week.  Here are a bunch of great Cucumber recipes.

Green Beans – With all this heat, cold salads are welcome dishes.  This Green Bean and ShallotSalad looks good.

Summer Squash and Zucchini – You can shred and freeze them or boil for 2 minutes, puree and freeze.  With frozen puree I’ve been making these muffins for my kids.  If I make them mini muffin size, they gobble them down.

Basil and Parsley – I love having this Salsa Verde around for just about anything – eggs, meat marinade, or mix with salad dressing, and so on.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Recipe Reviewed: Persian Rice Stuffed Zucchini

Thursday MenuPersian Rice Stuffed Zucchini Farm Share Food – Zucchini, Cilantro
This recipe was a delightful aromatic preparation – the Zucchini roasting in the oven, and the cumin, cardamom, cinnamon smells from the rice while it cooked kept me happy while I moved around the kitchen.
I also loved it because each bite was so interesting.  Fruity bursts from the apricot, crunch from the pistachio, warmth from the zucchini and cheese.  Flavor explosions in every bite!
A few notes – The Zucchini from the farm is on the bigger side, like 15 oz. each when I weighed them.  The recipe calls for 6 oz. Zucchini, 6 of them.  I made only 2 Zucchini. 
We don’t particularly like dill, so I substituted in some of that great Cilantro we got in the CSA.  Also not big goat cheese fans, so the fresh mozzarella that needed used in the fridge got substituted for that.   These flavors worked well and the cheese did it’s job of holding together the rice mixture inside the Zucchini boats.
I had too much rice mixture for my 4 Zucchini boats.  It made for a nice side dish.

Chai Zucchini Bread

I was attracted to the original recipe because I enjoy a good Chai Tea and was sure those flavors would work great in a quick bread.  The original recipe is for Chai Banana Bread, but with the beautiful Zucchini coming from the farm I changed it up a bit – Success!

Chai Zucchini Bread
adapted from Chai Banana Bread

Printable Version

1 ½ cups shredded Zucchini
1/3 cup plain yogurt
5 T butter, melted
2 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 ¼ cup AP flour
¾ t baking soda
½ t salt
½ t ground cardamom
¼ t ground cinnamon
¼ t ground ginger
¼ ground allspice
1 t vanilla extract
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine Zucchini, yogurt, butter, and eggs in a mixer on medium speed.  Add the sugar and beat until just blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to wet ingredients, just until blended.

Combine the spices into a mixture.  Add the mixture and vanilla to the batter, and stir in.  Pour into a bread pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake for 65 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes, then remove to a rack for complete cooling.

NOTE: The original recipe does contain instructions to include a glaze.  Watch the amounts for spices and vanilla – they will vary if you include the glaze.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Readers Suggest: Chard and Zucchini

Aquacotta – a soup that will put to use the Chard, Onion, Parsley, and Basil from this week’s share.  You poach an egg in the soup right before serving – fascinating!
Zucchini Spice Bread Ice Cream – talk about fascinating!  I love funky ice cream flavors.

Week Four of 2012

We got...  
Chard, Cucumbers, Kale, Onions, Salad Mix, Scallions, Snow Peas, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley
Fruit: Peaches
My plans...
Chard – This recipe is Grilled Pork Chops with Chard Salad, I think I’ll make just the salad.
Cucumbers and Onions – I think it’s time for some traditional Cucumber Salad.
Kale – I think I’ll take this Kale Sesame Salad to a potluck.
Scallions – I can’t wait to try this Sesame Rice withScallions.
Snow Peas – I was fresh out of ideas, but here is a list from All Recipes of their favorite Snow Peas recipes.  Let me know if you have some good ones.
Summer Squash – These Spicy Squash Pickles look yummy.  I also might freeze squash cubes for soups and muffins – blanch, puree, and freeze in ice cube trays.
Zucchini – I also can’t wait to have this Persian StuffedZucchini.
Herbs – they are getting a little ahead of me, think I’ll work on freezing some.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cucumber Vichyssoise

It’s been hot!  We got four cucumbers in our CSA share!  The perfect idea was this cool cucumber soup.  Thanks to a reader for the suggestion and sending the recipe.

2-3 Cucumbers, cut lengthwise, seeded, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper
½ cup of flour
3 cups broth
½ cup cream, sour cream or half and half ( I used half and half)
Garnish (cilantro, chives or scallions)
Melt butter and sauté cucumber and onion slowly with salt and pepper until soft, but not brown.  Add flour and create a roux.  Add broth and cook until thickened.  Allow to cool slightly.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup.  Refrigerate overnight.  Add cream before serving.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with cilantro, chives, or scallions.