Saturday, June 29, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Roasted Kale Salad

Okay...the actual name of this recipe is Grilled Chicken with Roasted Kale but the true star is the Roasted Kale Salad.  As I started to prepare dinner I wasn’t too sure about it.  You roast baby potatoes and the kale.  Then make a salad of greens, tomatoes, parmesan, lemon juice and olive oil.  Then you toss the potatoes and kale into the fresh salad.  It was delicious!  The roasted kale gives a regular side salad a deep Umami flavor.  I didn’t follow the chicken directions for this recipe (boring); I just made my own chicken thighs. 

Friday Menu – Roasted Chicken Thighs, Roasted Kale Salad
Farm Share Food – Kale, Garlic Scapes, Salad Mix
Grilled Chicken with Roasted Kale
I’m often perplexed about what to do with Kale when we get it so early in the season.  I think of Kale as an ingredient in heavy soups for the fall.  This salad is the perfect  way to use Kale for a refreshing summer salad.

Readers Suggest – Charred Mexican Zucchini

Farm Share Food – Zucchini

A Reader sent me this recipe saying it was fabulous.  They substituted feta they had on hand for the Queso and used a light mayonnaise.
Charred Mexican Zucchini

Recipe Reviewed: Creamy Garlic Sauce with Broccoli

I liked the results of this recipe.  There was some frustrations getting to these end results.  We had one head of broccoli from the CSA this week and the original recipe would work better for the recommended 2 pounds of broccoli.  The florets from our one head weighed ½ pound, so I quartered the recipe.  There were also some major typos in the original recipe that took some time to sort out in the chaos of making dinner and trying to adjust the recipe for the smaller amount of broccoli.
Thursday Night Menu – Pesto Burgers, Fries, Creamy Garlic Sauce with Broccoli
Farm Share Food – Basil, Garlic Scapes, Broccoli

Follow the link for the original recipe for
Creamy GarlicSauce with Broccoli
I rewrote the recipe to better reflect our CSA share.  I adjusted the amount for one head of broccoli and hope I’ve eased the confusion of the typos.
Printable Version
½ cup of milk, plus more if needed
2 garlic scapes, sliced thin, divided
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
½ pound of broccoli florets
crushed red pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan bring the milk, ½ of the garlic scape slices, bay leaf and salt (to taste) to boil over medium heat.  Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.  Discard the bay leaf.  Strain out the garlic scape slices.  Reserve the milk and garlic scapes separately.
When starting with a whole head of broccoli, trim into long florets.  Heat 1 T of EVOO in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook the remaining half of the garlic scapes until lightly browned.  Add the broccoli, scapes cooked with the milk, sprinkling of crushed red pepper, and salt to taste.  Add a layer of water and cover.  Allow to steam for about 5 minutes.  Remove cover and allow broccoli to sear but still remaining bright green (allow the moisture to evaporate).  Add the garlic milk.  If there is not enough to coat, add a little more milk.  Serve.

NOTE: I only called it a Pesto Burger because I used the pesto I had from my basil as a condiment.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Readers Suggest – Wilted Tatsoi with Bacon, Blue & Strawberry Balsamic

Farm Share Food – Tatsoi
I got an email from a reader suggesting this recipe.  The reader commented that it was amazing and a great use of the Tatsoi we keep getting.
Printable Version
Wilted Tatsoi with Bacon, Blue & Strawberry Balsamic
5 strips of bacon cut into pieces
Cleaned tatsoi
Some chunks of good blue cheese (Berkshire Blue from the Cheese Traveler is my fav)
Couple of handfuls of cleaned, sliced halved strawberries
Balsamic vinegar

Fry the bacon and set aside.  Wilt the tatsoi for a few minutes in the bacon grease. Toss the Bacon, wilted tatsoi and blue cheese on a plate. In the same pan, add the strawberries and a few tablespoons (more or less if desired) of balsamic vinegar. Cook for a few minutes until the balsamic is reduced.  Top the dishes w/the balsamic strawberries.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Readers Suggest – Roasted Kohlrabi

Roasted Kohlrabi
I made this for dinner last night.  I found it took longer than the recommended 20 minutes to get a nice caramelization on the Kohlrabi.  It looks like a fry, but then you get the nice tang of the Kohlrabi.

Week Three of 2013

We got...
Broccoli, Broccoli Rabe, Cabbage, Garlic Scapes,  Red Russian Kale, Salad Mix, Salanova Head Lettuce, Scallions, Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash, Tatsoi, Zucchini, Cilantro, Parsley
My ideas....
Broccoli and Garlic Scapes – This Creamy GarlicSauce with Broccoli sounds good.
Broccoli Rabe – I’ll freeze this as a favorite Broccoli Rabe Pasta Starter found in this link.
Red Russian Kale, Garlic Scapes, Salad Mix  - This one recipe is a whole meal, Grilled Chicken with Roasted Kale.
Sugar Snap Peas – My kids are in charge of planning one meal a week over the summer.  These have been tagged for the vegetable plate the night my son plans for hamburgers and fries.
Tatsoi – Planning another Bok Choy recipe to enjoy this green, Baby Bok Choy with Cashews.
ZucchiniSalmon and Zucchini in Parchment looks like a good summer meal for these hot days.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Potstickers with Radish Salad

Great Party Food!

Potstickers with Radish Salad
Farm Share Food – Tatsoi, Garlic Scapes, Radish, Cilantro
Other Local Food – Ground Beef
We were hanging out with extended family this weekend and I put these out when it was time for appetizers.  Huge hit!  Kids and adults loved them.
I stuck this recipe in my index of ideas for the blog as a Bok Choy recipe.  I’ve learned Tatsoi has a flavor similar to Bok Choy, so I substituted.  My sister in law had local beef from her CSA and so we substituted the ground beef for the ground pork.  We used Garlic Scapes for the Garlic.
I prepared the ground beef mixture and rolled the potstickers early in the day.  It took a little time to assemble, but the simple roll with the wonton wrapper was easy to do.  I fried them up right before it was time to serve them.

The Radish Salad provided a bit of bite to go along with the salty potstickers.  People loved the Radish Salad on its own.  My sister in law might even make it for lunch one day this week.

Recipe Reviewed: Celery and Parsley Salad (Arugula Base)

Great side salad!
This salad uses arugula for the base.
Thursday Menu – Pizza, Celery and Parsley Salad
Farm Share Food – Arugula and Parsley
This salad lends itself to preparing ahead of time.  Helpful for me because I knew we would want to eat right after returning from the pool.  I combined the celery, parsley and celery leaves in one bowl that went in the fridge.  I combined the dressing ingredients.  When I returned home I tossed them together and the salad was ready to go.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Linguine with Rabes and Parsley Pesto

Wednesday Menu – Linguine with Rabes and Parsley Pesto, Salad
Farm Share Food – Broccoli Rabe, Garlic Scapes, Parsley, Head Lettuce, Scallions

Linguine with Rabes and Parsley Pesto
This dish was interesting to build.  You will boil the broccoli rabe and then set it aside.  This helps with decreasing some of the bitterness of the greens.  Then you use the same pan to cook the onion, chile, and garlic.  Then make the pesto.  I tasted it when I was finished – WHOA!  Salty and was too acidic.  Once the onion mixture is tender you add the pesto, a cup of the pasta’s cooking liquid, and the broccoli rabe.  This separates the broccoli rabe evenly and gives you a nice sauce.  The bitterness of the greens and the acidity of the pesto combine and come together to make a delicious dish.  Add the pasta, stir and enjoy!
I made two substitutions: two garlic scapes for four garlic cloves and jalapeno for a red chile.
Forgot to take a pictures – here is the picture from the recipe’s website.

Recipe Reviewed: Spiced Chicken Thighs with Garlicky Rice

Tuesday Menu – Spiced Chicken Thighs, Garlicky Rice, Salad
Farm Share Food – Garlic Scapes, Parsley, Scallions, Salad Mix
My husband’s enjoyment of this meal saved this blog post.  I burned the chicken, I didn’t like the rice, and I made a not so great salad dressing.  After dinner I remarked that this recipe was a bust for the blog.  My husband was shocked  - he loved dinner (okay, not the salad dressing).  I asked him to describe what he liked, especially the rice.  He loved the crunch of the garlic scapes in the rice and he thought it had great flavor.  I didn’t enjoy it because I found it dry, which I think could easily be fixed by decreasing the cooking time.
So I guess it’s worth is the link for SpicedChicken Thighs with Garlicky Rice

Keeping up with the CSA Weeks One and Two of 2013

I used to split my CSA share.  Since having a whole share I try to find something each week to store for winter.  I spent some time yesterday freezing items from Weeks One and Two.
Two Bunches of Kale (one from each week)
I made a double batch of Sausage and Kale Soup.
Radish and Turnip Greens (Tops)
I made a batch of Braised Greens to freeze in individual servings for my lunches.  Defrost these and put them over pasta, my favorite lunch.
I froze some of each CSA herb: Basil, Cilantro, and Parsley using a method for Freezing Herbs I shared on the blog about a year ago. 
Zucchini and Summer Squash
I shredded and froze these.  They defrost nicely to be added to soups and quick breads.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Week Two of 2013

We got...
Arrowhead Cabbage, Arugula, Broccoli Rabe, Garlic Scapes, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish, Salad Mix, Salanova Head Lettuce, Scallions, Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash,  Tatsoi, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley


My ideas....
Arugula – I’m going to serve this Celery and Parsley Salad (which uses arugula as the base) with Pizza this week.  It says right into the description that it goes well with Pesto Pizza.
Broccoli Rabe – This Linguine with Rabes and Parsley Pesto look delicious.
Kale – The Kale is going into the freezer in this favorite soup, Sausage and KaleSoup.
Kohlrabi – I’ve been waiting a whole year to make this Sweet, Creamy Kohlrabi Slaw again.
Radish and Tatsoi – Feeling Adventurous?  Try making your own potstickers.  This recipe calls for bok choy.  Tatsoi has a similar flavor and would be a great substitute in this recipe for Potstickers withRadish Salad.
Sugar Snap Peas – The peas are almost gone already.  They went to school as snack today and got gobbled up as the share was being put away.
Zucchini – This Grilled Curry Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, and Arugula Salad looks like it would
make a great summer main dish.
How much of last week’s share did you get through?
I still had my bunch of Kale, 1 Scallion, 2 Garlic Scapes, and some Basil and Cilantro.
Items of Interest this Week...
Garlic Scapes
Our CSA Newsletter shares the following about Garlic Scapes...
These are the green curly Q stems. They grow out ofthe top of hardneck garlic varieties. You can chop the whole thing up and use just like garlic. It has amilder taste than a garlic bulb.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette

Monday Menu - Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette, Salad
Farm Share Food – Summer Squash, Zucchini, Garlic Scapes, Basil, Head Lettuce, Scallions
Some recipes I post are great for weeknight meals, and some recipes are winners.  This galette is a WINNER!
Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette

I took several shortcuts to make this recipe an easy Meatless Monday dinner.  I used a store bought crust, the recipe calls for a homemade crust.  The recipe has you toss the Zucchini and Squash with garlic and olive oil.  In a separate bowl the recipe mixes the cheeses, egg, and spices.  They then have you arrange the Zucchini and Squash slices neatly.  I just mixed these two mixtures together and piled it in the middle of the pie crust.  Worked great!
I used the two garlic scapes in place of the minced garlic cloves.
Enjoy this winner of a dish!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Roasted Broccoli

Sunday Menu – BBQ Chicken, Roasted Broccoli, Roasted Cabbage Wedges
Farm Share Food – Broccoli, Napa Cabbage, Garlic Scapes

If you need an easy method for BBQ Chicken try Paula Deen’s Easy After Work BBQ Chicken.  If you want to make it even easier, use your favorite bottled BBQ sauce.  My husband grew up in Cincinnati, so we always have a bottle of Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce on the shelf.
I found a recipe in my piles for Roasted CabbageWedges.  It is almost the same as a recipe already on the blog.  Last night I brushed mine with olive oil and butter and then seasoned them with salt and pepper.  They took about 35 minutes to roast.  They were a hit.
I was drawn to this recipe because it’s called The Best Broccoli of Your Life.  The link will have several variations.  Basically I tossed the cut up broccoli with garlic scapes, olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  And it was better than any roasted broccoli I’ve ever made before. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi

Easy.  Good hot or cold.  Refreshing flavors.  This is a great summer dish because I can make it quickly at any point in the day.  If we wind up eating at the pool it would be easy to transport.  If we eat at home it can be made quickly or warmed up when we are ready.  The flavors were light and crisp, perfect for warm weather.
Friday Menu – Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi, Salad
Farm Share Food – Tatsoi, Garlic Scapes, Cilantro, Salad Mix, Arugula, Scallions
Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi
The recipe called for sage, again I checked “The Flavor Bible” to see if one of our CSA herbs would work just as well.  Tatsoi wasn’t listed, but I knew from the farm that it is similar to Bok Choy.  Cilantro was the substitution of choice.  I think using cilantro contributed to the refreshing flavor.  Sage would give this dish a richer flavor. 
I added chopped up garlic Scapes to the butter when I seasoned it with salt and pepper.  You can’t go wrong with garlic and greens.
Thank you to the “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Readers Suggest - Week One, Part 2

Farm Share Food – Summer Squash
A Reader suggests Squash and Onions with Brown Sugar.
Our reader says this recipe was simple and so good.  Her family wanted more!  She suggests making sure the squash and onions brown while caramelizing – she thinks that’s why the dish was so successful.

Sautéed Radishes and Turnips with Herbs

The Sautéed Radishes and Turnips were a nice side dish.  The flavors were subtle and a nice compliment to the shocking flavors of arugula and spicy chickpeas.  We’ve had these Chickpea and Arugula sandwiches before and I looked forward to sharing them on the blog. 
Thursday Menu – Fried Chickpea and Arugula Sandwiches, Sautéed Radishes and Turnips with Herbs
Farm Share Food – Arugula, Garlic Scapes, Radishes, Turnips, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley
I have reviewed the Fried Chickpea and Arugula Sandwiches in a separate post.  Or click below for a quick link to the recipe.
I tweaked the Radish and Turnip recipe to put the items in our CSA share to use.  I had never used basil, cilantro, and parsley all in one dish.  I tasted the raw herbs together before trying them in this dish.  They worked together.
Sautéed Radishes and Turnips with Herbs
2 T Olive Oil
salt, to taste
1 bunch radishes, quartered
1 bunch turnips, quartered
2 t fresh basil
2 t fresh cilantro
2 t fresh parsley
1 garlic scape
2 t lemon juice
Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add radishes and turnips, season with salt.  Sautee, turning occasionally until tender and starting to brown, 10-12 minutes.  Add chopped herbs, then lemon juice.

Recipe Reviewed: Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches

Farm Share Food - Cilantro, Garlic Scapes, Arugula
These summer sandwiches are surprisingly filling.  I like fried chickpeas, they have a great crunch.  The arugula is lightly dressed.  That part of the recipe alone would make a nice salad side. 
I made a couple of substitutions based on our preferences and so I could put our CSA share to use.  The recipe calls for mint in the tzatziki dressing.  We don’t like mint and we had plenty of fresh herbs from the CSA.  I referenced “The Flavor Bible” by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg to find out which of our CSA herbs went well with Arugula.  Turns out they all do, so I substituted the mint with cilantro.  “The Flavor Bible” is an index of ingredients and other foods that compliment them.  It is one of my favorite reference books.  I also substituted pita with naan.  I have yet to find a pita I enjoy where we live.  I’ll have to bring some home next time I visit my family.  We very much enjoy Trader Joe’s Naan and keep it in the freezer.  We find Trader Joe’s Naan to be a great option when you can’t get authentic naan.
My kids are not adventurous eaters.  My husband and I have trouble not being adventurous eaters.  The compromise at the dinner table is what I call “piece meals” for my kids.  To “piece meal” this dish I gave the kids fried chickpeas (before they were spiced), naan, tomato slices, and yogurt.  They didn’t like the chickpeas, but they did try them.  This works for me because I get to try new dishes, and they get a good dinner eating the “pieces”.
Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches with LimeTzatziki

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crazy Chicken Marinade and Salad

Tuesday afternoon is CSA pick up time!  This is the fifth year we’ve had a CSA share.  In all that time during CSA season we usually have grilled chicken with a great, big salad on Tuesday night for dinner.  As I’m putting away the CSA share I reserve small amounts of anything that might add to a salad.  It gives us a chance to taste everything that just came through the door that looks so fresh and smells so good.
Tuesday Menu – Crazy Marinated Chicken, Salad, Garlic Bread
Farm Share Food – Radishes, Salad Mix, Salanova Head Lettuce, Scallion, Cilantro
I wanted to start sharing some of the Marinades I use for Grilled Chicken and Salad Tuesdays.
Crazy Chicken Marinade
This marinade needs about 1.5 hours on the chicken.  It has a southwestern flare, but not too spicy.  Yesterday was a first try and I’ll use it again.  It was also a kid success because my youngest gobbled down his share without any ketchup.

Readers Suggest - Week One, Part 1

Cilantro, Garlic Scapes, ScallionsCilantro Lime Marinated Flank Steak

Garlic Scapes are a great substitute for garlic in recipes while they are in season.
TatsoiBacon Scallopwith Sautéed Tatsoi
The reader plans to swap out Shrimp for Scallops.  This could also be a good guide for sautéed Tatsoi if you only want to use that part of the recipe.

Week One of 2013

We got...
Arugula, Broccoli, Garlic Scapes, Kale, Napa Cabbage, Radishes, Salad Mix, Salanova Head Lettuce, Scallions, Summer Squash, Tatsoi, Turnip, Zucchini, Basil, Cilantro, Parsley
My ideas....
Arugla – We’ll be having these Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches.  We’ve had them before and loved them.  Can’t wait to enjoy them with CSA fresh Arugula.
Broccoli – here is a salad that uses the stalk of the broccoli, Broccoli Carpaccio withBroccoli Stalk Salad.
Cabbage, Kale, Radish, Cilantro – I’m hoping to enjoy this Spicy Soy Kale Salad at a potluck soon.
Radishes – Friday night we are having Smoky BBQ Sandwiches.  They are meatball sandwiches with a quick pickled radish.  They call for ground pork, but I’ll try it with ground turkey.
Summer Squash and Zucchini – This Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette will make a nice vegetarian dinner main course.
Tatsoi – The night I need an easy pasta dish we’ll have this Browned Butter Pasta withTatsoi.
Items of Interest this Week:
Our CSA newsletter shares the following about Tatsoi...
Tatsoi is an Asian brassica green (in the broccoli family). It has a dark green round
leaf with a white stem. It can be eaten raw in salads or tossed in a stir-fry in the last
few minutes to quickly steam. It has a flavor similar to bok choi.
Salanova Head Lettuce
This cutest head of lettuce ever!
Salanova is a new breed of lettuce that is trying to mimic the spring mix.  Spring mix usually has tender leaves, because they are literally babies.  Salanova was developed to offer a mature head that is tender but with a longer shelf life.  I found a great article all about the development Salanova Head Lettuce.

Welcome to the 2013 CSA Season

The CSA index is full of recipe ideas, the camera is ready to photograph veggies and completed dishes, essential CSA tools are ready (salad spinner, ice cube trays, pick up bags), and my family is ready to try new foods!
Weekly I will post what we got in the CSA shares and several ideas for how to enjoy those items.  If we get something unusual or a new variety I will share information on that item.  I will also include any relevant notes on topics like immediate storage, long term preservation, menu planning, and useful techniques.
I would like to run “Readers Suggest” posts as often as possible.  If you found a great recipe or idea please send me a link in the comments or email me at
As each week progresses I will share with you what recipes were a success, suggestions I have to improve on recipes I’ve tried, and how I’m keeping up with my CSA (freezing, making stock – whatever it takes). 
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Enjoy the season!