CSA 2016 – Week 3

CSA Pickups: June 28 & 30

herbs

In your share this week:

  • Garlic scapes
  • Herbs
  • Summer Squash
  • Chard or Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Beets or Turnips
  • Mizuna

I recently discovered a lovely book titled Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein. It is full of wonderful ideas for all manner of produce, and I’m happy to share several of them with you this week. It’s a great opportunity to think beyond just lettuce and tomatoes and expand our experience of salad. I also like the various dressings that are introduced, that particularly challenge me beyond my usual oil and vinegar. Posts from past years include a variety of dressings as well, so go ahead and stretch your salad imagination this month!

Reminder: This blog’s archives go back several years and provide a wealth of information and recipes about most of the CSA ingredients you will be receiving. They are sorted by month, and are a great resource. Check them out!

beets

Beets, Oranges & Greens with Tapenade Vinaigrette
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

Cooked beet greens from 2 small bunches of beets
About 1/2 cup Tapenade Vinaigrette (see below) or Mint Vinaigrette (see above)
4 large or 8 small beets, cooked and sliced
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments, or cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
Toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Toss the greens with 1/4 cup dressing and arrange on 4 salad plates. Top each serving with alternating beets and oranges, and drizzle the remaining dressing on top. Garnish with almonds if using, and serve immediately.

Tapenade Vinaigrette
1 cup pitted black olives (Kalamata)
2 Tbsp salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tsp chopped anchovies
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp freshly grated lemon or orange zest
4-6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp mild white wine or Champagne vinegar

Combine the olives, capers, anchovies, garlic and zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Gradually add the olive oil; you can make this a very smooth puree or keep some texture, depending on your preference. Add pepper to taste. Put about 1/2 cup of the tapenade into a bowl, and thin it out by adding the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and vinegar. Again, the texture and thickness are dictated by your family’s preferences.

BEETS

Spinach Salad a la Greque
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

This salad should be made immediately before serving, but it is still worth sharing at your next gathering. The combination of flavors and textures is just wonderful.

1 small red onion, thinly sliced
About 1 1/2 cups Mint Vinaigrette (see below)
2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 15-oz can cannellini beans)
6 large or 12 small beets, cooked
1 lb cooked shrimp (optional)
6-8 large handfuls of baby spinach or assorted lettuces, well washed and dried (about 1/2 lb)
1/2 lb feta cheese, coarsely crumbled, for garnish
1 cup Kalamata olives, for garnish

Marinate the onions in 2-3 Tbsp of the mint vinaigrette for about 15 minutes to soften them and lessen their bite. Toss the beans in 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette to marinate for about 30 minutes. Cut large beets in half and then into 1/4-inch slices. (If beets are small, cut them into quarters or eighths.) Toss with a few Tbsp of the vinaigrette. If using shrimp, toss them with a bit of dressing as well. In a large salad bowl, combine the marinated onions, beets, and beans (and shrimp, if using) with the spinach and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat. Distribute the salad among individual salad plates and sprinkle with feta and olives. Serve immediately.

Mint Vinaigrette
The dressing is delicious as written, and the infusion adds an extra punch. That said, if you don’t want to bother with the infusion, you can just whisk together the other ingredients for a delicious vinaigrette. The author notes that the dressing goes very will spooned over cooked fish, and also makes an excellent spread for chicken or lamb sandwiches, when mixed with mayonnaise. Give it a try!

Infusion
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup tightly packed chopped fresh mint
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 cups mild and fruity olive oil

To make the infusion, combine the lemon juice and chopped mint in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain into a mixing bowl, pressing the leaves against the strainer to extract all of their liquid. There will be about 1/4 cup. Note that it will not be green because of the lemon juice. To make the dressing, whisk together with the remaining ingredients.

 
Green Beans, Beets & Fennel with Walnut Cream Dressing
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

1 lb slender green beans, ends trimmed
1 small bunch beets, cooked and sliced
2 small bulbs fennel
1 head lettuce
About 1 cup Walnut Cream Dressing (see below)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped, for garnish

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat and add salt. Drop in the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the beans and shock them by dropping them into the ice water. When the beans are cold, drain them again and pat dry, then place in a large bowl. Cut the bulbs of fennel in half and cut away the cores. Discard any tough or discolored outer leaves. Slice the fennel very thin and add to the bowl with the beans. Add the beets to the beans and fennel, and gently toss to combine. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a platter. Drizzle the beans, beets and fennel with dressing, and toss to coat evenly. Place the vegetables on top of the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve immediately.

Walnut Cream Dressing
1/2 cup toasted walnut oil
1/4 cup mild olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 
Spanish Orange & Fennel Salad with Mixed Citrus Dressing
Adapted from Mediterranean Fresh: A Compendium of One-Plate Salad Meals and Mix-and-Match Dressings by Joyce Goldstein.

4 Valencia or blood oranges
3 small bulbs fennel, trimmed, cored, and very thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup Mixed Citrus Dressing (see below)
6 large handfuls of assorted greens, like baby spinach, mizuna, whole mint leaves, watercress, etc.
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
4-6 slices prosciutto or Serrano ham, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips

Working with 1 orange at a time, cut a thin slice off the top and bottom to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright and remove the peel in wide strips, cutting downward and following the contour of the fruit. Make sure to remove all of the white pith. Holding the orange over a bowl, cut along both sides of each segment, releasing the segments from the membrane and allowing them to drop into the bowl. Using the knife tip or a toothpick, pry out any seeds. Once done, squeeze the membrane over the bowl to release extra juice, which can be added to the dressing at serving time. Place the fennel in a bowl, add a few tablespoons of the dressing, and toss to coat evenly. In another bowl, toss the greens with most of the remaining dressing. Divide the greens and fennel evenly among individual salad plates. Using a slotted spoon, remove the orange segments from their bowl and distribute evenly over the fennel. Top each serving with almonds (if using) and strips of prosciutto, and serve immediately.

Mixed Citrus Dressing
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated zest of 2 oranges
2 Tbsp sherry or aged sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 2

CSA Pickups: June 21 & 23

A real treat this week: Garlic Scapes! Get 'em while they last!

A real treat this week: Garlic Scapes! Get ’em while they last!

In your share this week:

  • Fennel
  • Escarole
  • Beets/Turnips
  • Broccoli
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Lettuce
  • Bok Choy/Mizuna
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Herbs (maybe)

Sorry for the delay in this week’s posting… we’re still working out the kinks, but I think we’re all set now! How did it go in week 1? I got a wonderful and inspiring email from Cassandra & Frank of Bedford Hills, including this pic of their creativity with last week’s share:

CSA 2016 - week 1

Cassandra writes: “We used the basil to make pesto sauce. Our salad had arugula, beets, escarole, winter kale, blueberries, almonds, and goat cheese.” Way to go! This is a great example of how you can get creative with your CSA produce and transform your typical fare into something extraordinary. Weeknight pasta and salad becomes a celebration of the farm’s beautiful bounty.

Please keep those notes coming! Email quijotelangserv@gmail.com

Let’s talk about Fennel

fennel_2

Part of the apiaceae family (along with parsley, carrots, celery, hemlock and much more), fennel comes to us from the Mediterranean region and is hugely popular in Italy. Fennel is loaded with vitamin C (1 cup = about 17% of your RDA of vitamin C), dietary fiber, and many other nutrients, some of which are thought to help prevent cancer growth. In Ancient China, many medicinal uses were also discovered for the essential oils and tea made from fennel seeds.

I confess that despite my Italian heritage, fennel is one of those CSA items that used to give me great pause. All that frilly green stuff on top… eek! But did you know that every part of the fennel is edible, bulb, stalks and fronds? Fennel has a mild licorice flavor that complements a variety of dishes, particularly fish. I read a tip to lay a few stalks and fronds alongside the fish (no matter which method you are using to cook it), and it will be gently infused with the fennel flavor. When cooked, the flavor will mellow considerably, and the bulb will soften, which makes roasted fennel a great side dish for your protein of choice (see below for a recipe idea).

When you get the fennel home, chop off the stalks and fronds from about 1 inch above the bulb, and store the fennel in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper for 3-4 days. One way to prepare the bulb for use raw in salads and other dishes is to remove about half an inch from the root end, then stand it on that cut end and thinly slice, vertically. You can also use a mandolin, if you have one. The stalks can be used instead of celery in soups and stews or, if you are using the stalks raw, chop them finely because they can be tough and fibrous.

Use fronds as you would dill or parsley, as a garnish or to add a gentle anise flavor to salads and your other favorite dishes. Or, see below for a great and creative way to use all those tender, frilly greens!

Fennel Frond Pesto
Adapted from Diner’s Journal in The New York Times

1 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp pine nuts or slivered almonds
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the fennel fronds, garlic, nuts and salt in a food processor or blender and pulse until the mixture is chopped up. Add oil and process/blend until the mixture becomes paste-like. (You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.) Serve pesto at once, refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Roasted Fennel with Parmesan
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

4 Tbsp olive oil
4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 1

First CSA Pickups: June 14 & 16

rainbow chard_3

In your share this week:

  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Mizuna
  • Bok Choy
  • Fennel
  • Cress
  • Arugula

 

Welcome to the 2016 CSA at Hilltop Hanover Farm!

I’m very excited to be on this journey with you for a second year. Life at home continues to be busy for us; my four boys are bigger and hungrier than last year, which is pretty hard to believe. I’m still committed to improving our overall health through good nutrition, but like many families with good intentions, we sort of fell off the wagon in the winter months. That’s why I’m practically giddy about the start of this year’s CSA. Our family responds so positively to the awesome fresh produce from the farm. It seems to inspire all of us to be just a little more open to try new things, whether it’s experimenting with new recipes or preparations, or simply being willing to try a new taste. Who knows what we’ll discover this year?

The format for the CSA will be the same in 2016 as last year: pickups between 2:00pm & 7:00pm on Tuesday or Thursday, depending on which day you chose when you registered. Please remember to bring your own bags each week to carry all the beautiful bounty.

To begin the season, I again want to start off by sharing 2 important CSA basics to help us all deal with the wonderful and sometimes intimidating abundance of produce: Planning & Prepping.

Planning ahead is key. Each week, the farmers will provide a list of what they expect to be in your share that week. I will usually post the blog the weekend before your CSA pickup, so you will have an idea of what to expect. Then, plan ahead, beginning with the night of your pickup. For example, in the early weeks, we can expect plenty of leafy greens and root vegetables. Think ahead to your next pickup, when you know you will have the freshest greens you can get without growing them yourself. Then, look for ways to make the veg the star of the show.

Prep and store your vegetables right away. This may seem impossible or impractical for a busy weeknight, but trust me – this is one of the major ways you can make the most of your CSA share. As soon as you get home from the farm, wash and dry all leafy greens, and store them in the crisper in your fridge. I sit a large bowl of water in my sink and swish the greens in the water to loosen any remaining dirt or grit (kids love this part). Let the water settle a little then lift the greens out of the water, and dry them before storing.

Many of the glorious root vegetables like beets and radishes will come with the greens still attached – don’t waste them! Remove the greens from the roots before you store them, to prevent them from continuing to draw moisture from the vegetables. Prep those greens just like you would any other, and store them separately from the roots. For maximum nutritional benefit, plan to eat these yummy greens within a few days.

Recipes will follow soon. In the meantime, get yourself ready for this adventure by thinking about your storage space at home. When you come home from the farm that first day with all that veg, where will you put it? I for one will be using this time to clean out the drawers in my fridge, as well as the bottom shelf, so that those beautiful greens will have a space waiting. Looking ahead, ideally you’ll want to create a space for non-refrigerated items as well – preferably cool and dry – such as potatoes, onions, shallots, tomatoes, and much more. Personally, I’m excited that the CSA will again force me to finally clean off that one section of my counter that somehow always has stuff on it!

Lastly, I want to encourage you to be active participants in this learning community. Please forward anything you’d like to share to quijotelangserv@gmail.com with “CSA blog” in the subject line. I welcome your tips, ideas, challenges, and of course, recipes! Please include your name and town in your message, and if you’re sending a recipe, cite the source and send a photo if possible. I will share what I can in the blog.

Once again, welcome!

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 19

Next CSA Pickups: October 20 & 22

broccoli3
 
In your share this week:

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Turnips
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Celery
  • Daikon radish
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Kale/Collards
  • Mustard Greens
  • Bok Choy/Mizuna

 
It certainly has been an exciting week weather-wise, especially on the farm. As you can imagine, with the prediction of frost, that later became a freeze, our dear farmers were forced to scramble to protect the produce and crops as best they could before the temperatures plummeted. Weather shifts like this are always a powerful reminder to me that the farm is a real, living environment, subject to all that Mother Nature can dish out. As CSA members, we play a vital role in supporting the farm, through whatever weather may come. And we are fortunate to have such dedicated and knowledgeable people living, working, and nurturing the farm!

Here at home, we have been stewing, braising, and generally seeking warmth in our food. I love bean soups that cook low and slow all day and fill the house with the most amazing aromas. Yesterday we had a really yummy lentil soup, flavors augmented with onions, shallots, celery and greens from the farm.

lentil soup

I love lentils, mostly because you don’t have to soak them first and they cook so quickly. My soup is so simple: just pick over and rinse the lentils, set to boil in about 8-10 cups of water. Let them boil for about 2-3 minutes, then turn down to a simmer. Meanwhile, start washing and chopping whatever vegetables you want to add. The basics of course are onions, carrots and celery, in the amounts you like. I generally add mushrooms, bay leaf, oregano, and plenty of olive oil, plus whatever else I may have on hand that strikes my fancy, and just let it simmer for hours. All the beautiful celery greens went into this last batch at our house, but you could add any greens and just let them cook into the soup. I check it every 45 minutes or so, to make sure it’s not sticking and that the water level is ok, and just let it go. I add the salt to taste just before serving. (My boys always tell me I don’t add enough salt, but that is easily remedied by placing the salt shaker on the table!)

——————-

I found this next recipe when I was looking for something to do with ground turkey and greens, and I absolutely loved it! Most of my boys liked it too, except for one who said, “I don’t want a Kenyan dish! I want a good dish!” (as if he’s some sort of expert on African cuisine…) This isn’t our usual flavor profile and most of us really enjoyed it. The recipe called for collard greens, but I used Yukina savoy and Tuscan kale from last week’s share. I also had to triple it to feed my army (except for the cinnamon), because I was using a 3 lb package of ground turkey. Below are the original measurements for 1 lb of meat.

kenyan braised greens with turkey

Kenyan Braised Greens & Ground Turkey
Recipe adapted from skinnytaste.com

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 bunch greens, stems removed and sliced into 1-inch strips (collards, kale, Yukina savoy, cabbage, or whatever you like or have on hand)
15 grape tomatoes, quartered (or chopped larger tomatoes, depending on what you have)
1 tsp lemon juice

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground meat and seasonings, and cook until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the greens and tomatoes, and sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir everything gently as it cooks, taking care not to mush the tomatoes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

 
Turkey Meatballs Over Greens
Recipe adapted from thekichn.com

I found this recipe the same day I got the Kenyan Braised Greens. Simple and delicious!

1 lb ground turkey, either 85% lean or 93% lean
1/4 cup grated onion, from 1/2 small to medium onion
1 large egg
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 whole cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
2 lbs greens, such as broccoli rabe, kale, mustard greens, washed, de-veined, and roughly chopped
Shaved Parmesan, to serve, optional

Combine the turkey, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. Begin heating a large pot of salted water for the cooking the greens while you shape and cook the meatballs. Roll the meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs and place on a tray or in a pan. You should have between 26 and 30 meatballs. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or sauté pan. Place the meatballs in the hot skillet and brown for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Use tongs to gently rotate the meatballs so they brown evenly. (If your pan isn’t large enough to brown all of the meatballs without them touching, cook them in batches and place them back on the cookie sheet once they’ve been browned. Then combine them back in the pan before simmering with the tomato sauce.) Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomato sauce, and cover the pan. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for another 10 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through. While the meatballs are simmering, boil the greens in the salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain. (You can also sauté or stir-fry the greens in a hot skillet with oil if preferred.) To serve, put greens on the plate and top with meatballs and sauce.

Author’s Notes
– To prevent the meatballs sticking to the pan, make sure it is hot before adding the meatballs, and brown thoroughly before trying to turn them. They should release easily once browned. Also, using 85% lean turkey (as opposed to completely lean) should help the meatballs release more cleanly.
– Storage: Store the meatballs in their sauce for up to 3 days in the fridge. Freeze cooked meatballs and sauce for up to 3 months.

napa cabbage 2

Chinese Noodle Soup with Cabbage
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman

8 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce or to taste (use less if you have a salted broth)
1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine or sherry
6-12 dried mushrooms, chopped if large
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 scallions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb Chinese egg noodles
1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (ideally, from making the broth)
4-6 cups chopped cabbage, bok choy, or other Chinese green, or a mix of cabbage and greens
1 carrot, julienned
Chinese chili paste with garlic (optional)

Combine the broth, soy sauce, rice wine, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, and scallions in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and sesame oil and cook until the noodles are just barely tender. Drain well and return the noodles to the pot to keep warm. Add the chicken, cabbage and carrots to the broth and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender. To serve, place a nest of noodles in each bowl. Ladle the broth, vegetables and chicken over the noodles and serve hot, passing the chili paste at the table for those who prefer some heat.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 17

Next CSA Pickups: October 6 & 8

hot peppers
 
In your share this week:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Daikon Radish
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Mustard Greens
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions/Leeks
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Bok Choy/Yukina Savoy

broccoli rabe broccoli4
 
Fall is certainly in full swing, with the cooler weather, dark mornings, and changing foliage. I continue to try to live into the season, exploring produce and fiddling around with recipes for heartier soups and other warming dishes. I’ve been reading up on cruciferous vegetables, or crucifers, which include arugula, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radishes, and turnips. What I didn’t know (and which now seems obvious) is that they get their name because all of these plants produce flowers with four petals, in the shape of a cross. Brilliant! These vegetables contain plenty of antioxidants and are rich in vitamins A & C, calcium, and folate. In a long-ranging investigation at Johns Hopkins, broccoli in particular was discovered to be a powerhouse of sulforaphane, a natural compound in crucifers that helps guard the body against a wide variety of chronic diseases. Check out this fascinating article for more info: More Reasons to Eat Those Veggies.

While you’re pondering that and dreaming up wonderful ways to get more sulforaphane in your diet, check out these recipes, using this week’s produce!
 
Daikon Radish with Chicken Korean Style
Recipe adapted from Food.com

1 medium Daikon radish
2 boneless chicken legs with thigh (may substitute chicken breast but taste might be less rich)
1⁄2 tsp chili flakes
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp sesame oil

Cooking sauce

2 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp sugar
1⁄4 tsp mirin
pepper

Peel Daikon and cut into 1/2 inch half moons. Cut chicken into 1/2- 1 inch pieces. Heat oil. Add Daikon and chicken and sauté over high heat. Stir in crushed garlic and chili flakes/pepper. Add all ingredients for the cooking sauce. Cook over medium heat, constantly skimming. When the sauce has nearly evaporated, sprinkle sesame oil. Remove from heat and serve.

The author notes: Great with rice. Even better the day after!

 
peppers
 
Pasta Ribbons with Peppers
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman.

1 onion, quartered
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced prosciutto
6 red, green, yellow, or purple bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb fresh fettuccine, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Combine the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and sauté until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers, cover and cook for 10 minutes, until the peppers are soft. Stir in the basil and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the bell pepper sauce. Toss and add the reserved cooking liquid as needed to make the pasta moist. Sprinkle with grated cheese, and serve.

 
Roasted Leek Tart
Recipe adapted from The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook by Andrea Chesman

6 leeks, white parts only, trimmed and cut into ½-inch wide slices
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (about 8 ounces)
1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup grated Gruyere

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a large sheet pan or shallow roasting pan with oil. In a large bowl, combine the sliced leeks and oil, and toss to coat. Spread the leeks in a single layer on the prepared pan. Roast for 15-20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time for even cooking, until the leeks are tender and lightly browned; remove from the oven and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to an 8½-inch square, about ¼ inch thick (for most brands, this just means unroll the frozen pastry). Cut and remove a ½-inch square from each corner of the pastry. Fold a ½-inch edge of pastry over toward the center of the pastry, to form a lovely raised border. Transfer the pastry to an ungreased cookie sheet. Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork (at about ½-inch intervals). Brush the egg over the bottom of the crust, then brush the mustard over the egg. Sprinkle the cheese in the pastry shell, and spoon the roasted leeks over the cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

 
yukima

Yukina Savoy Greens and Mushrooms
Recipe adapted from A Savoury Life

3 bunches of Greens (feel free to mix and match your favorites)
1 lb of mixed baby bellas and oyster mushrooms (or use your favorites here as well)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp butter, split, plus a little piece extra to finish
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
smidge of sea salt

Sauté the mushrooms in half the butter with a little sea salt. Use the salt sparingly, as the soy and tamari are very salty. Add the garlic and cook until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cook the greens in the remaining butter in batches so it wilts evenly. Put the veggies in a bowl. Add the liquid ingredients to the pan with a bit more butter and sizzle for a moment then add to the greens.

The author notes: Serve as a side dish, an appetizer or as a base for your favorite protein whether it’s tofu, tempeh, chicken or whatever! You could also top it with some creamy goat cheese for a nice twist.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 16

Next CSA Pickups: September 29 & October 1

20150924_152027
 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Turnips
  • Beans/Peas
  • Scallions
  • Mustard
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Daikon Radish
  • Herbs
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Shallots
  • +

 
Stacy Hendrie FitStop
 
At last week’s Thursday CSA pickup, I had the great pleasure of seeing Stacy Hendrie, owner of FitStop Delivers, who was serving up some scrumptious samples from her menu at the farm. Even though I’ve had them all before, I delighted in savoring each flavor anew. I’m happy to take this opportunity to tell you more about my friend, and all of the great work she is doing. Stacy is committed to providing delicious, healthful meals to busy people, delivered right to your door! Her food combinations are always satisfying, often surprising, and have inspired me to be more adventurous in my own cooking. See below for a great recipe for spaghetti squash from Stacy, and check out her website at fitstopdelivers.com.

In addition, Stacy is hosting the next Healthy U event on Tuesday, September 29 from 6-9pm. This FREE event will be held at the Somers Community Center in Shenorock. The event will feature an awesome group of local businesses who focus on natural methods to improve your health and wellness. It’s a great opportunity to learn what is available locally to help you be the Healthiest U. There will be many hands-on opportunities and demonstrations, many great raffle prizes, and plenty of food to sample. Check it out on Facebook and then plan to attend on Tuesday!

Stacy and her colleagues, Daryl Moss and Lucy Diana, are the Synergy3, three amazing women who have dedicated their lives to “help people live the healthiest life possible in the most natural way.” I personally have done their 2-week cleanse 3 times, and each time has been an amazing and rewarding experience. It’s all real food, and I was never hungry – just the opposite, in fact. I mention this today, because the Synergy3 are getting ready for their Fall Cleanse, which begins Monday, October 5th. I can tell you that I was completely skeptical before I did my first cleanse in April 2014. I think I just didn’t like the sound of the word “cleanse”. I assumed it was just some other fad where you have to buy a bunch of expensive products and get by on half a grapefruit a day, while trying to convince yourself you’re not hungry. I could not have been more mistaken! Through the Synergy3 cleanse, I learned so much about how the body works and responds to different foods, and how I could greatly improve my life and health by simply being more aware and mindful about what I was putting in my body. I lost weight, identified a couple of food sensitivities I didn’t realize I had, and just felt fabulous and energized. It is all real food you can buy at any supermarket, and *bonus* you don’t have to cook a separate meal for your family. It is a commitment, but well worth it. And if I can do it, anyone can.

To learn more and to register, check out their website at www.thesynergy3.com/registration.

 
Spaghetti Squash with Arugula and Pistachios
Recipe adapted from Stacy Hendrie of FitStop Delivers.

1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, shelled
1 small shallot
3 tablespoons lemon or EVOO
spaghetti squash
2 cups arugula
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out all the seeds and seed membrane. Bake the squash cut side down until it pierces easily with a fork, 30-45 minutes (depending on size). Meanwhile, roast the pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet for 8 minutes, then cool completely. Chop the pistachios and the shallot in a food processor, then place in your serving bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil or lemon, and the juice from the spaghetti squash to the pistachio mixture. Toss squash, arugula and nuts. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

spaghetti squash
 
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
Recipe adapted from Tastes Lovely

You know by now that I’m all about morphing favorite and familiar recipes and tastes to expose my family to more veg, and this is an awesome way to do it! The author also uses a great technique to minimize moisture in the spaghetti squash – she roasts it cut side UP. Give it a try and see how it changes the results.

1 2.5-3 pound spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-1/2 cups marinara sauce
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped spinach or other greens (if using frozen, thaw completely and squeeze out all moisture)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out all the seeds and seed membrane. Put the spaghetti squash cut side up in a 9×13 baking dish. Roast uncovered for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
While the spaghetti squash is cooling, make the sausage marinara sauce. Heat a medium size skillet over medium high heat, and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add the sausage to the pan and break it up with a spoon; cook for about 5 minutes. Add the onion to the sausage, and cook another 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the marinara sauce, and reduce the heat to low. Next, in a small bowl, make the spinach ricotta mixture by combining the ricotta cheese and spinach. Stir to combine, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the spaghetti squash are cool enough to touch, scrape the noodles out with a fork, and transfer the noodles to a medium size mixing bowl.
Turn the oven up to 425 degrees.
To make the lasagna in the squash, layer the empty squash shell as follows: tomato sauce, 1/4 of the spaghetti squash noodles, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 of the spaghetti squash noodles, tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese. Repeat with the second squash half. Bake them uncovered in the same baking dish for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
 
broccoli rabe
 
Broccoli Rabe with Spaghettini
Recipe adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash.

1 lb broccoli rabe, hard stems removed
1 large sweet pepper (optional)
1/2 lb spaghettini
1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
6 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups water or chicken stock
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese

Chop broccoli rabe into 2-3 inch pieces; set aside. If using, thinly slice the pepper. Break the spaghettini into 2-3 inch pieces. In a large sauté pan, cook the garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add pepper, cook slightly, and stir in broccoli rabe, spaghettini, and water or stock. Cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 10 minutes, adding additional water if necessary. When broccoli rabe is tender, and spaghettini cooked, remove the cover, reduce and pan liquids, and stir in the butter. Season to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese.

To really make the most of your CSA produce, why not swap spaghetti squash for the spaghettini? Just roast the squash as noted in the other recipes, then add it to the pan once the broccoli rabe is just about tender.
 

 
Roasted Daikon Radish, Carrots & Peppers
Recipe adapted from Sarah’s Cucina Bella.

We have our first daikon radish this week, and while they’re great pickled or in salads, roasting takes the flavor to a whole new level. Give it a try, with other wonderful seasonal veggies.

1 bunch daikon radishes (3 daikons), scrubbed and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the daikon, carrots, red peppers, shallot and olive oil on a nonstick baking sheet. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice until tender. Drizzle the veggies with balsamic vinegar and return to the oven. Roast for an additional 5 minutes. Toss well and then transfer to a serving bowl.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 15

Next CSA Pickups: September 22 & 24
 

carrots

In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Turnips
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Mustard Greens
  • Scallions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Carrots/Beets
  • Arugula

 
It’s always hard for me to say good-bye to the summer, but the weather these past few weeks has been just divine. It’s perfect sleeping weather – windows open, blankets on. The morning air is crisp and energizing, the afternoon sun is warm, the breeze is uplifting… aaaahhh. And the harvest is just as plentiful and delicious as ever! If you’re looking for ideas for preserving the wonderful late-summer produce, check out this article: Freeze It, Dry It, Eat It Later

I realized I was getting quite a collection of scallions, so I started to look for some different ideas. I hope you’ll find these as tempting as I did!

scallionsstill2

Linguine with Creamy Scallion Pesto
Recipe adapted from Poor Girl Eats Well

Give this a try; the scallions really add a different dimension to the pasta.

1 8 oz. package linguine
2 bunches scallions, rinsed & coarsely chopped (about 15-20 stalks)
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 c olive oil
3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Extra olive oil for drizzling

In a food processor (or hand blender cup), combine the chopped scallions, almonds, garlic, olive oil, cheese, lemon juice and seasonings, and purée until almost smooth. Check for seasoning and adjust according to taste. Meanwhile, cook the linguine according to package instructions. Drain & drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking. Gently fold about 1 cup of pesto into the linguine and stir until well-coated. Top with additional parmesan cheese, to taste.

 
Scallion Goat Cheese Muffins
Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Over the years, I have found that almost anything I make in muffin tins is devoured by my kids. This is no exception!

1 cup whole milk
4 oz soft mild goat cheese
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 bunch scallions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter 12 muffin cups. In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbsp milk and the goat cheese, until combined. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Melt the butter and in another small bowl, whisk it together with the remaining milk and egg. Finely chop enough scallions to measure 1 cup. Stir butter mixture and scallions into flour mixture, until just combined. Divide half of the batter evenly among muffin cups and top each with about 2 Tbsp of the goat cheese filling. Divide the remaining batter over the filling. Bake the muffins in the middle of the oven until golden brown, and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
 
beets_5
 
Beet Soup
Recipe adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups

Here’s a lovely soup from Brother Victor-Antoine; he swears by the delicious flavor combination of beets and onions.

2 quarts water
1 bouillon cube
4 beets, peeled and diced
2 onions, finely sliced
3 celery stalks, finely sliced
6 tsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
mixed herbs (dill and scallion tops)
croutons (optional)

Pour the water into a soup pot and add the bouillon cube, beets, onions, celery, oil, and sugar. Begin to cook slowly. After 30 minutes, add the salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook slowly for another 10 minutes. Let the soup stand for 15 minutes, then blend the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Reheat the soup for 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the mixed herbs and ladle the soup into individual bowls. If using, add a few croutons in the middle of each serving as garnish.

 
Festive Beet Salad
I don’t remember where I got this recipe originally, as it is not noted in my files. But my thanks to the original author, as I’ve had it for years, and it’s ideal for a nice salad using early fall’s freshest produce.

2 cups washed, peeled and finely grated red beets
3 cups washed and chopped parsley
1 cup washed, peeled and finely grated carrots
2 cups washed, peeled and grated apples
About 1/3 cup of your favorite Italian dressing, homemade or prepared
About 4 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon and orange juice (to prevent apples from browning)

Put the first three ingredients in a large bowl in the order listed. Cover and place in the fridge to chill. Put the apples in another bowl, mix in lemon and orange juice, then cover and place in the fridge to chill. Just before serving, add dressing and toss gently to mix. Fold in the apples and transfer to a nice serving bowl, ideally one that will showcase the colorful salad.

Notes:
The salad is best when freshly prepared; the flavors keep beautifully, but the longer it sits, the more the entire salad will take on the color of the beets.
Change it up by dicing the vegetables and apples instead of shredding, for the size/texture you prefer.
The original author’s notes suggest adding celery, pears, nuts, and/or mint for variety.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 14

Next CSA Pickups: September 15 & 17
 

cayenne_peppers
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Squash/Tomatoes
  • Carrots/Beets
  • Scallions
  • Arugula
  • Kale/Collards
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Mustard Greens
  • Broccoli Rabe

 

This week we have our first member of the winter squash family, spaghetti squash. As I mentioned earlier in the season when we started to see summer squash, the main contrast between these two sub-categories stems from when they are harvested. Summer squash are picked while still relatively immature, the skin, flesh and seeds are all edible, and they can be eaten raw; they should be stored in the fridge and eaten with a couple of days. In contrast, winter squash ripen later in the season, they’re picked when more mature, so they have hard outer rinds, and need to be cooked. Winter squash should be stored on your counter, not refrigerated. They will keep for weeks, and if kept at around 50 degrees, they can keep for months!

The most popular way to prepare spaghetti squash is to pretend it is actually spaghetti, and smother it with tomato sauce and cheese. This is delicious, easy and fabulous, and you should most definitely give it a try. Simply split it in two and remove the seeds, roast the halves cut side down till fork-tender, scrape out the flesh with a fork, and it will look just like spaghetti. After you try it this way, give this a whirl:

spaghettisquashtacos

Spaghetti Squash Tacos
Recipe adapted from Lemons and Basil

The author recommends using the squash instead of shredded pork or chicken, but I wouldn’t get away with that with my carnivores. We generally create a taco bar so everyone can choose what they like (but the squash is non-negotiable)!

1 lb marinated chicken thighs or breasts, chopped or shredded, whichever you prefer
1 medium spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ Tbsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp sea salt
Sixteen 6-inch tortillas
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup tomatoes, finely diced
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 cup finely diced onion (red, white, or yellow)
crumbled or shredded cheese of your choice
cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, chopped, if desired
favorite salsa

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray pan with cooking spray. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and roast the halves face down on baking pan for 35-40 minutes or until flesh is soft. Once the squash is cooked, remove and allow to cool 5 minutes, then scrape the flesh with a fork to loosen and separate the strands. Place the strands of flesh in a medium bowl and discard skins. In a separate bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt, whisk in lemon juice and pour over squash strands. Gently toss to mix seasonings throughout, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and warm tortillas one at a time until slightly blistered on each side, about 30-45 seconds per side. (Alternatively, heat the tortillas in the microwave, with damp paper towels on top and on the bottom of the stack.) To assemble the tacos, transfer warmed tortillas to platter and add a spoonful of black beans, a scoop of seasoned squash, scoop of chicken, dollop of Greek yogurt, tomatoes and avocados. Top off with some diced onion, cheese, a sprinkle of cilantro, if desired, and your favorite salsa.

mustard_greens_4

Indian-Style Mustard Greens
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

1 1/4 pounds mustard greens, stemmed, or broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
1/2 pound cleaned spinach
2 tablespoons cornmeal
6 garlic cloves, chopped
4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 red onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the mustard greens and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds. Drain the greens, transfer to a food processor and puree. Sprinkle the cornmeal over the greens and pulse briefly to combine. Transfer the pureed greens to a bowl. Add the garlic, jalapeños and ginger to the food processor and finely chop. Add the onions and finely chop. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic-onion mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the pureed greens and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally; add about 1/4 cup of water if the greens look dry. Season with salt and serve.
 
tomatoes for roasting
Roasted Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Saveur

This a simple and delicious preparation for your tomatoes.

6 medium tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly crushed
5 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 425°. Place tomatoes, garlic, and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake, brushing tomatoes occasionally with the oil, until tomatoes soften and their skins split, about 25 minutes. Transfer tomatoes, along with juices, to a serving dish and serve warm with crusty bread.
 
caponataphoto
Eggplant Caponata
Recipe adapted from Prevention

Caponata is a very popular Italian dish, and almost all of the ingredients are in your share this week!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1½ cups zucchini, chopped
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
12 oz chopped tomatoes (about 1½ cups)
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, and thyme. Sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and vinegar, and cook 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 12

Next CSA Pickups: September 1 & 3
 
HEIRLOOMTOMATOES2ND

In your share this week:

  • Arugula
  • Turnips/Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Kale/Collards
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Shallots

 
What have you been doing with your lovely tomatoes? I have to admit, we haven’t been cooking them yet; instead we’re just enjoying them in their most natural state. I picked up some tomato “seconds” to make a quick sauce: Simply chop up the tomatoes into a bowl large enough to hold them, trimming off any rough or undesirable spots. Meanwhile, put on a big pot of water for pasta, and while you’re waiting for that to boil, heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, add some chopped or minced garlic and sauté just until fragrant, but not brown. Add the tomatoes, a spoonful at a time, allowing them to break down little by little. By now the water for your pasta should be boiling, so put in the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Keep checking the sauce, adding the tomatoes little by little until they are all in the pot. Stir gently, add some salt to taste, and simmer covered over medium-low heat until the pasta is ready. Just before you drain the pasta, add some chopped fresh basil to the sauce. Drain the pasta, season with the sauce, and enjoy. Delicious!

 
kale_collards

While I am a little sad that summer is winding down, I have to admit that I am excited for the return of fall produce. Soon we’ll start seeing more greens and root vegetables in our shares. Speaking of greens, I discovered something very yummy by accident. A few weeks ago, I had forgotten about the collards and kale that I had picked up in our share. This is what happens when my kids help me put away groceries and produce… half the time I don’t remember what’s there! Anyway, I had to cook them quickly. I normally cook collards with a little bit of bacon or other meat to flavor the broth for my carnivores, but this time I didn’t have anything on hand. So, I had my son help me strip the leaves off the stems of both the collards and kale. We washed them well, and then roughly chopped them all together. As usual, I started the cooking with my trusty olive oil and garlic. Once the garlic was fragrant I added the chopped greens to sauté for a few minutes, then added a couple of cups of chicken broth (bouillon and water this time) so I could simmer and soften the greens a while (maybe 15-20 minutes). Well, the greens were delicious over pasta, and the broth was too! I ended up using the broth as the cooking liquid for some rice the next day, which packed an extra nutritious punch when served with the leftover greens. Give it a try in the coming weeks. I think you may be surprised at how flavorful it is. Here’s a similar and more erudite-sounding preparation from the folks at Food & Wine:

 
Braised Greens with Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large jalapeño, seeded and sliced
2 lbs sturdy greens, such as chard, mustard greens, kale or young collards—stems and inner ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup water
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the greens, season with salt and pepper and toss to wilt. Stir in the tomatoes, water and vinegar, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and the tomatoes are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

 
Bacon, Potato & Swiss Chard Gratin
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

This is a delicious dish with chard (my favorite), but any of the other greens will do. Use what your family likes best.

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lb Swiss chard (or spinach, kale, young collards, or beet or radish tops)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs baking potatoes (about 2), peeled and cut into approximately 1/8-inch slices
1/4 lb Gruyère, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 lb sliced Canadian bacon or other bacon
2/3 cup chicken broth or stock, homemade or canned

Heat the oven to 425°. Remove the large stems* of the Swiss chard, and cut the leaves crosswise into approximately 1-inch ribbons. In a medium frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderately low heat. Add the Swiss chard and cook until starting to wilt, about 1 minute. Stir in the garlic and 1/8 teaspoon each salt (if using) and pepper. Cook until no liquid remains in the pan, about 2 minutes. Butter an 8-by-8-inch baking pan or similarly sized gratin dish. Layer one third of the potatoes in the dish and top with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper, a third of the cheese, and half the Canadian bacon. Spread the Swiss chard in a single layer. Top with half the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread half the remaining cheese and the remaining Canadian bacon over the potatoes. Add the remaining potatoes to the dish, sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and top with the remaining cheese and 1 tablespoon butter. Pour the chicken broth over all. Cover the gratin with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes longer. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before cutting.

*Notes:
I use the stems in recipes like this. Simply chop the stems very fine, and saute them ahead of the greens (they will take a few more minutes to soften). Once the stems are soft, continue on with the recipe by adding the Swiss chard to the pan as noted above.
Also, I personally do not think the added salt is necessary in this recipe, but I left in the instructions FYI.

 
TOMATOESBARNSTILLSHOT

Costa Brava Egg-and-Tuna-Filled Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Salads by Victor Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette.

Having lived in Spain for a couple of years myself, I am a big fan of Spanish cuisine. Tomatoes, tuna and eggs are a very common—and delicious—combination.

One 6-oz can tuna, drained
1 small celery heart, thinly sliced
1 medium-size cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 medium-size red onion, finely chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
10 pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
A few sprigs of fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
8 medium-size ripe tomatoes
1 head leafy lettuce of your choice, separated into leaves

Put the tuna in a deep bowl and flake it with a fork. Add the celery, cucumber, onion, eggs and olives, and mix well. Add the mayonnaise and dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to blend all the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until ready to serve. About 1 hour before you are ready to serve, core the tomatoes and cut them into perfect halves. Scoop out their insides, taking care not to puncture the skins. Reserve the insides for sauce on another day. Turn the tomatoes upside down to drain out all of the remaining liquid. Fill the tomato cavities with the egg and tuna mixture, heaping it a bit high. Place 3 lettuce leaves in the form of a shamrock on each of 8 salad plates. Place 2 tomato halves in the center of each. Serve immediately.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2015 – Week 11

Next CSA Pickups: August 25 & 27
 

Hakurei turnips (aka Japanese salad turnips)

Hakurei turnips (aka Japanese salad turnips)


In your share this week:

  • Kale/Collards/Chard
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Herbs
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Squash
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes

 

Have you tried the beautiful Hakurei turnips yet? I was very surprised by their sweet, mild flavor when I had them for the first time. We primarily ate them in salads at first, but have since learned how wonderful they are cooked, either with or without the greens. Hakurei turnips, or Japanese salad turnips, are part of the Brassica family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, and other turnips. They are full of wonderful nutrients: the roots are high in vitamin C and rich in dietary fiber, and the beautiful greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, fiber, calcium and iron, among many others. As with other root vegetables, you should remove the greens ASAP, and store them separate from the roots in your crisper. The leaves stay fresh only a couple of days, while the roots can last weeks if properly stored in the fridge. See below for a great frittata recipe, using both the turnips and the greens.
 
My kids could not believe that I had written anything about tomatoes and not included our most favorite summertime pasta dish, pasta alla cecca. This is absolutely our go-to preparation when tomatoes and basil are fresh. We actually eat it all year long, but nothing beats seasonal ingredients. As with most traditional recipes, every household has its own take on this dish—in fact, even the different members of my family of origin make it differently!—but it’s practically impossible to mess up, and should be adjusted to your family’s preferences and tastes. I give you the basics here, and hope that you will make it your own.
 
TOMATOESBARNSTILLSHOT basil
 
Pasta alla cecca (loosely translated “blind woman’s pasta”, pronounced “CHECK-ah”)
I usually make this with at least 2 pounds of pasta, but it is very easily adapted for the number of servings you desire. These amounts are approximate:
2 lbs pasta of your choice (any shape is wonderful, from spaghetti to orzo; shells are our favorite)
1 lb mozzarella (but you can easily use 1 lb of cheese for each 1 lb of pasta)
2-3 large tomatoes or 4-6 medium tomatoes
a large bunch of fresh basil
salt to taste
2-3 cloves garlic (optional)
olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. When you put the water to boil on the stove, begin to prepare the other ingredients. Chop the mozzarella and tomatoes into similar-size pieces, about 1/2 inch cubes, and place in a large serving bowl. Chop basil and add to the bowl. Lightly season with salt, and drizzle with good quality olive oil (this is not the place to skimp on the olive oil). Toss to combine. When the pasta is al dente, drain and pour directly from the strainer into the serving bowl, on top of the cheese and tomatoes. Toss very well to combine and distribute all of the ingredients. Add more olive oil if needed. If desired, sauté some minced garlic in olive oil and add to the bowl just after the pasta is added, again tossing well to combine.

 
Grilled Mediterranean Chicken Vegetable Kabobs
Recipe adapted from bettycrocker.com

A friend shared this recipe with me; apparently, it’s all over Pinterest, but I’ve traced the origins back to Betty Crocker. It’s simple, healthful, and delicious, and makes great use of our fresh produce!

Rosemary-Lemon Marinade
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 (or more) cloves garlic, finely chopped

Chicken and Vegetables
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (we use boneless thighs)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 oz)

In a shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag, mix all marinade ingredients. Add chicken, stirring to coat with marinade. Cover dish or seal bag; refrigerate, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes but no longer than 6 hours.
Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Remove chicken from marinade; reserve marinade. Thread chicken, bell pepper, zucchini and onion alternately on each of four 15-inch metal skewers, leaving about 1/4-inch space between each piece. Brush vegetables with marinade. Cover and grill kabobs over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning and brushing frequently with marinade, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Discard any remaining marinade. Sprinkle feta cheese over kabobs.

Alternatively, you can prepare the kabobs first, and set the completed skewers on a long, shallow platter. Pour some of the marinade over the kabobs, cover and refrigerate, and rotate the skewers a couple of times to distribute the marinade. Then grill and continue to brush with marinade, as noted in the above preparation.

 
Potage Crécy
Recipe adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Victor-Antoine D’Avila Latourrette.

Even though we don’t have carrots in this week’s share, I had to post this recipe from our pal Brother Victor-Antoine, who writes, “According to an old tradition dating back to the 14th century, loyal Britons should eat carrot soup or “potage de Crécy” on the anniversary (August 26, 1346) of the battle of Crécy, a legendary victory of the English over the French in the Hundred Years’ War.”

10 carrots
1 potato
1 onion
8 cups water (or vegetable stock)
1 cube vegetable bouillon (if stock is not used)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Slice the carrots, potato, and onion, and place into a large soup pot. Add the water, bouillon, tomato paste, butter, and sugar. Stir well and cook slowly, covered, over low heat for about an hour. When the soup is done, pour it through a strainer, gently rubbing the vegetables through it. (Or blend in a blender.) Reheat the soup. Add salt, pepper, and heavy cream (if using), and stir thoroughly. Serve the soup immediately, garnishing the top with parsley.

 
Kale and Turnip Frittata
Recipe adapted from Early Morning Farm CSA

2 large turnips shredded
1/2 bunch of greens like kale, mustard greens, or arugula sliced into shreds
8 fresh local eggs
1/4 cup whole milk, cream, or 1/2 & 1/2
1/2 cup (large handful) shredded white cheddar or other mild cheese
2 minced cloves garlic
1/2 minced onion
2-3 Tbsp butter

Prepare the turnips: Preheat the oven to 425. Start by shredding two turnips with a box grater or food processor with a shredding blade. These turnips have a lot of moisture so the first step is cooking them down. I started with 2 tablespoons of butter. (you could use less) Melt the butter over medium heat. Add half a minced onion, the shredded turnips, about a 1/2 tsp sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix evenly then use a spatula to flatten, cook for two minutes, turn over, and flatten again. Repeat this 2-3 times until there is a lot of water surrounding the turnips. Carefully pour the water off. Flatten the mixture one last time and cook until it starts to brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Prepare the greens: Wash leaves thoroughly. Remove stems, roll into a tight bundle, and slice finely into shreds. In the same pan the turnips were in add a dash of olive oil or butter and briefly sauté the garlic over medium heat, then add the kale. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover 3-5 minutes until the kale starts to break down. Remove from pan.

While the kale is cooking: Beat the 8 eggs with the 1/4 cup of milk. Add a sprinkle of salt + pepper (this flavors the whole dish and table-side salting should not be necessary).

Cook the frittata: Add a smidge more butter to the pan (about 1/2 tablespoon), melt over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook, stirring briefly, until beginning to set, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Spoon the turnip mixture evenly over the eggs. Top with kale, then the cheese. Bake at 425 degrees until egg is set, about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, cut into wedges and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer