CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 8



Next CSA Pickups: July 22 & 24


In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Celery


This beautiful vegetable has been prized for years and years as a digestif, meaning it can help alleviate stomach distress. The compound that gives fennel its licorice flavor has anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit your whole body. Fennel is also an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. If you’ve never tried fennel before, raw fennel is crunchy like celery but without the stringiness. It’s very clean tasting with a hint of licorice. Cooked fennel is way more mellow with a softer, sweeter flavor. Some ideas for fennel: thinly slice fennel bulb and add it to salads, munch on it raw as a crudité, roast it in the oven with olive oil and parmesan cheese for a unique side dish, or sauté it and then toss with pasta, crispy bacon, and Parmesan (check out this recipe). You can also use the fennel fronds as an herb or for garnish.



Kale & Quinoa Salad
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Blog


For the salad:
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (use 1/2 cup dry and cook according to package directions to yield this amount)
8 ounces kale, finely shredded or chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 ounces feta or ricotta salata, crumbled
Zest of 1/2 lemon

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

If the quinoa is hot spread on a plate to cool and then add to a large bowl. Then add the kale and remaining salad ingredients and toss. Whisk the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.


Pasta with Eggplant, Sausage, and Peppers
Inspired by a dish at the Union Square Café in NYC and a recipe in Redbook magazine


1/2 to 3/4 pound of pasta, any shape or variety
1 large eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 bell peppers (any color), diced into chunks (about same size as eggplant) or sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed if they’re in casing
1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Splash of white wine (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss eggplant and peppers on a large sheet pan coated with nonstick spray. Add a few tablespoons oil and some salt and pepper and toss again, spread out so vegetables are in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes, and roast for about 10 minutes longer until the vegetables are lightly browned in spots and tomatoes have burst. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water until al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. In a large saute pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and sausage over medium-high heat. Cook until sausage is lightly browned. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add roasted vegetables, pasta, and enough pasta water to coat and make a light sauce. Add cheese and serve. Makes about 4 servings.


Olive-Oil Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes with White Beans
Adapted from Bon Appétit

1 large fennel bulbs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
2 large fresh oregano sprigs
2  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed drained

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically. Cut the bulb into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, leaving some core attached to each wedge.

Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add fennel wedges in single layer; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Fold together gently.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in beans and bake 5 minutes longer to heat through. Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 2 to 3 servings.


Stuffed and Baked Pattypan Squash with Prosciutto & Parmesan
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh 


4 oz. prosciutto, very finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup coarse fresh or store-bought breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 medium pattypan squash, as shown in the photo above (about 5 oz. each)

Toss the prosciutto, cheese, breadcrumbs, olives, and olive oil in a large bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat your oven to 400. Cut the squash horizontally in half to make 2 disks, then cut a small slice on the underside so the squash disk sits flat. Scoop out some of the center. Arrange the squash on a lightly greased baking sheet cut side down. Roast 10 minutes. Turn over and spoon some of the filling into the center of each squash disk mounding it a bit. Continue roasting for 8 to 10 minutes until the filling is hot and the cheese has started to melt. Makes 4 servings


Celery Salad with Walnuts & Shaved Parmesan
Adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark


1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil
8 large celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced
2 ounces good Parmesan or Manchego, shaved

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper; whisk in the oil slowly. Combine the walnuts, celery and leaves, and cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Makes 4 servings. Serve by itself for a healthy lunch or with some crusty bread, sliced sausages, and/or hard-cooked eggs.

 Weekly CSA Blog Produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead 

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 7




Next CSA pickups: July 15 & 17


In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Zucchini/Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Garlic





Leeks, green onions, shallots, and chives, as well as purple, white, and yellow onions are all part of the allium  family.  These flavorful kitchen staples boast impressive health benefits: Adding more of them to your diet can help prevent certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, cataracts, and more. They’re also a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese. Aim to eat a 1/2 cup of alliums per day to reap the health rewards. Store onions in a cool, dark place with good ventilation and away from potatoes, which will make both spoil faster. Scallions, leeks, and the like can be stored in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel.





Zucchini Logs Stewed in Olive Oil with Onions & Chard
Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison


3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for finishing

1 onion, sliced a scant 1/2-inch thick
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
1 1/2 pounds zucchini or summer squash, cut into logs about 2 inches long (larger zucchini you can halve lengthwise first)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 chard or kale leaves, stems removed and leaves chopped
1/2 cup water or stock
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Choose a wide pan with a tight-fitting lid. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and half of the oregano. Cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, stir to coat with the oil and season with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Layer the chard over the squash and season with more salt. Add the water, cover the pan, and lower the heat. Cook gently until the zucchini is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and gently stir the chard into the squash (be careful not to smash the zucchini) and add the tomatoes, if using. Re-cover and cook for another few minutes. Season with more salt and pepper and accompany with lemon wedges. You can also serve this over pasta, rice, or quinoa or alongside crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.


Eggplant Gratin
Adapted from Ina Garten

Olive oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce (homemade, or your favorite jarred brand)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place eggplant on a baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake about 15 to 18 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside. Then crank oven up to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, half-and-half or milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Butter a large baking or gratin dish, and place a layer of eggplant slices on the bottom, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon marinara sauce on top. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, ricotta mixture, and remaining Parmesan on top. Bake gratin for 10 minutes, then lower oven to 375 degrees and bake for another 20 to  25 minutes, until the custard sets and the top is browned. Makes 4 servings.


Fennel, Celery, and Apple Slaw
Adapted from Bon Appetit

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
2 small (or 1 large) fennel bulbs, very thinly slice crosswise, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 firm, crisp apple (such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Gala), julienned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, sliced fennel, chopped fronds, and apple; toss to coat. Season liberally, or to taste, with salt and pepper. The slaw will keep–and stay remarkably crunchy–in the fridge for up to one day.


Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan
Adapted from AllRecipes.com and submitted by CSA member Terry Mason


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and chopped and leaves chopped and kept separate
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Thenstir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt and fresh pepper.


Asian-Style Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark


1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 pound cucumbers, trimmed
2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint or basil or a combo of the two
Flaky sea salt, to taste

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise; cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half-moons. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime juice. Toss the cucumbers with the dressing and the almonds. Sprinkle with herby and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Hilltop Hanover Farm CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead


Next CSA Pickups: July 8 & 10



In your share this week:

  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Bok Choy




Easy Pickles
Recipe adapted from Old-School Comfort Food by Alex Guarnaschelli


⅓ cup Maldon sea salt or flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 ½ cups water
¾ to 1 pound small Kirby cucumbers(about 4 or 5 small), throughly washed and dried
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Few sprigs of  dill
2 cloves peeled garlic, smashed (optional)
A pinch or two or red pepper flakes or 1 chile pepper (sliced in half lengthwise) (optional)

Make brine: In medium saucepan, mix salt, vinegar and water and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. To make pickles: Arrange cukes upright in a jar big enough to hold 3 cups of liquid (like a mason jar, but any container with fitted lid will do). The cukes should be tightly packed and come within ½ inch of top of container. Add fennel seeds, dill sprigs, and garlic and pepper flakes or chile (if using). Fill the container with brine and top and tap on flat surface to remove air bubbles. Top off with additional liquid if neede. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day. The pickles will last for up to a few weeks in the fridge.


Bread & Butter Pickles
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman

If you like a sweet pickle, try these bread and butter pickles!

1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Diamond Kosher Salt (if using Morton’s, use a little bit less as it’s saltier than Diamond)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

In a small bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion, and salt. Mix well. Cover the mixture with ice cubes and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. In a pot, bring the sugar, vinegar, and spices to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions throughly (discard any ice that hasn’t melted). Add to the vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. You can store the pickles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. They’ll be ready for eating after just a few hours!


Zucchini & Ricotta Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

1 medium to large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Several slivered basil leaves

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water

To make the dough, whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits over butter over and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, and water. Add to the flour-butter mixture and with your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat into a ball (do not overwork dough). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Alternately,  you can make the dough in the food processor or use store-bought puff pastry or flaky pie dough.
To make filling, spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let drain for about 30 minutes. Gently blot the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, mix garlic and olive oil together. In a separate bowl, mix all the cheeses with 1 teaspoon of garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the galette, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (you can line with parchment if you want). (If using store-bought pastry, prick dough with tines of fork first). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom leaving a 2-inch border. Layer the zucchini on top. Drizzle with remaining garlic oil mixture. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edges to make it fit neatly. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Bake the galette until lightly browned and puffed, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil. Let sit for 5 minutes and then slide onto a serving plate. Serve hot, warm, or at room temp. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Grilled Zucchini with Feta and Olives
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh from the publishers of Fine Cooking

4 small to medium green or yellow zucchini (about 1 pound total)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 teaspoons basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
3 ounces pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
3 ounces feta, crumbled

Cut a small slice off both long sides of a zucchini to create two flat spots to allow the zucchini to sit flat. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the seeds leaving a pocket down the length. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, also heat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush the flat side of the squash with olive oil and place down on the hot pan. Cook until nicely browned and softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Season the squash lightly with salt and pepper and spread with a thin layer of pesto. Lay the sliced olives down the length of the cavity and dot with the cheese. Roast in the oven until the squash is tender and the cheese starts to lightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.


Cucumber Lime Cooler
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh from the publishers of Fine Cooking

1 large cucumber, chilled, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, chilled
3 tablespoons honey or stevia
6 large fresh mint leaves
10 ice cubes
2 lime wedges, for garnish

Put the cucumber in a food processor or blender with the lime juice,  honey, and mint. Add the iced cubes and process until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Pour into chilled glasses and garnish with lime wedges. Serves 2.

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 5

Next CSA Pickups: July 1 & 3



In your share this week:

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Turnips
  • Dill
  • Scallions
  • Bok Choy
  • Mizuna
  • Sugar Snap & Snow Peas (U-PICK)




Spotlight on: Cucumbers


This crisp veggie–which is actually botanically a fruit–is more than 90 percent water! Even though they’re mostly water, cucumbers do contain vitamin C as well as caffein acid, both of which can help reduce swelling and soothe skin irritations. That’s why they’re such a great, natural remedy for tired, puffy eyes! And don’t peel the skins from your cukes: The dark green outer layer is a good source of  fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Keep your cucumbers refrigerated and use them within a few days; they lose moisture and a crunchy texture quickly.




Dilled Potato Salad with Pickled Cucumbers
Adapted from Bon Appétit

A perfect potato salad for the 4th of July.


6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
3 or 4 medium-size cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold or small yellow potatoes, unpeeled
Additional coarse kosher salt
1 cup very thinly sliced white onion
8 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Small radishes with green tops, for garnish (optional)

Stir vinegar and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small bowl until salt dissolves. Place cucumbers and 1/2 cup dill in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add vinegar mixture; seal bag. Turn several times to coat. Refrigerate cucumbers overnight, turning bag occasionally. Pour cucumber mixture into large sieve set over bowl. Drain at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Discard brine.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes then peel and quarter lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in large bowl and sprinkle generously with coarse salt and pepper. Add drained cucumbers, onions, sliced radishes, and remaining 3 tablespoons dill; toss to blend. Let stand 1 hour. Stir mayonnaise into salad. Season generously with salt and pepper, if desired. Mound salad in bowl; garnish with whole radishes. Serve cold or at room temperature.



Pasta Salad with Fried Zucchini, Basil, and Mozzarella
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman and Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi


Salt and black pepper
2/3 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil like canola or sunflower
3 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup peas or edamame or fava beans, fresh or frozen
2 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
9 ounces pasta, penne or fusilli are good choices for this salad
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons capers, drained
7 ounces fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, in  a medium to large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Fry zucchini in batches, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. If they’re not browning, crank up the heat until they do. Drain zucchini on several layers of paper towels and sprinkle with a bit of salt Transfer to a bowl and pour vinegar on the top. Set aside.

Combine half of the basil and all of the parsley and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and then season with salt and pepper.

In the hot water, cook peas or edamame for 2 to 3 minutes, until just done but not mushy. Drain and run under cool water and set aside. Leave pot boiling and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer the pasta back to the empty pot and add the zucchini and any juices, basil-parsley oil, peas or edamame, lemon zest, capers, and mozzarella. Stir together gently and add more salt and pepper to taste. Right before you serve it, add the remaining basil. Serve at room temperature or cold; the salad will keep for at least 1 day in the fridge. Serves 4 as a main course; more as a side.


Leafy Greens Cornbread
Recipe and photo courtesy of Maria Reina, of Bella Cucina Maria and the Seasonal Chef for the Small Bites blog
Leafy Market Greens Cornbread
 This is a great way to use up leafy greens and greens from the tops of vegetables. Consider mixing things up like mizuna, kale, rainbow chard, turnips tops and radish tops.

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
2-3 young leeks, about 1 cup, white and pale green parts sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
4-5 cups chopped mixed greens, feel free to mix them up!
1 cup coarse grind corn meal, I used: Wild Hive Farm corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup milk, whole or 2% (not skim)
2 eggs, I used: Wright’s Farm eggs
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sliced scallions, green part

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In an 8″ cast iron skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add the greens and another good pinch of salt and pepper. Using tongs toss the greens and let them cook over medium low heat. While they are cooking melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and place in a mixing bowl. Set aside to cool. Once the greens are nice and wilted, and slightly soft, about 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pan cool slightly. Add the dry ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and the parsley to a separate mixing bowl and combine well with a whisk. To the cooled butter add the milk and whisk in the eggs. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and with a spatula combine. Pour the batter over the cooked greens in the pan and with a fork gently pull the greens up into the batter. The batter will fall though the wilted greens, and will look pretty with it speckled throughout. Top with the feta and scallions. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, until the cornbread is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes and serve.


Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Pancetta & Pecorino
Adapted from Ina Garten and the Union Square Café in New York City

Sugar snap peas are only around for a short while; this is my absolute favorite way to enjoy them!

Kosher salt
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed (the easiest way is to snap the top off and pull down gently to remove the strings)
1/4 pound pancetta, sliced, or bacon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup minced red onion
5 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 1 tablespoon salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and have a sieve or colander ready in the sink. Put the snap peas in the boiling water for only 15-20 seconds, drain, and put immediately into ice water. Cool completely, and drain throughly (so you don’t have a watery dressing). Cut each snap pea in half lengthwise and put in a large bowl. 2. Meanwhile, place the pancetta and 1 tablespoon water in a medium sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the pancetta is browned and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain oil and cool. 3. To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Pour enough vinaigrette over the snap peas to coat and moisten (you may not need to use all the dressing). Add the red onion, crumbled pancetta, Pecorino, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Toss well, season to taste, and serve. Serves 4 to 5 as a side.


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.


CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 4

Next CSA Pickups: June 24 & 26



In your share this week:

  • Cabbage
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Turnips




Zucchini is a type of summer squash and probably the most recognized variety. Other kinds of summer squash  include crookneck and straight neck yellow varieties as well as pattypan squashes, small roundish squashes which can be green or yellow or a combo. All summer squash are a great source of antioxidants including the cartenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. They’ll also provide you with manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A. But be sure not to peel off the antioxidant-rich skin when cooking with summer squash as that’s where many of the disease-fighting nutrients reside. Steaming summer squash–rather than boiling–also helps to retain these vitamins. Summer squash is very fragile and should be stored unwashed in the refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag or airtight container for about four days to a week. I’m looking forward to trying this new recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog for pasta salad with zucchini.  Check out some other uses for zucchini and summer squash in the recipe collection below.




Crushed Beet Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine


Here’s a new take on the beet salad: You cook the beets twice for more depth of flavor.

1 pound small to medium beets, scrubbed

Olive oil, for cooking and for vinaigrette
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Place beets on 1 large sheet of foil. Drizzle beets with 1/2 tablespoon oil; season with kosher salt and pepper and wrap up foil around beets. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 40-50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then, using a paper towel, rub skins from beets (they should slip off easily). Crush beets with the bottom of a small bowl (it’s alright if they fall apart). Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; set vinaigrette aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beets, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette, add mint and 2 dill, and toss to coat. Serve beets and dollops of yogurt drizzled with more oil, topped with more herbs, and seasoned with pepper and sea salt.


Polenta Squares with Kale & Bacon
Adapted from Whole Grain Mornings


These squares are great for breakfast–top with a fried egg, or as a dinner side. 

Butter, for greasing
5 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 3/4 cup water
1 cup milk
3/4 cup polenta or coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small or 1/2 large bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Butter an 8-inch square pan; set aside. Over medium-hight heat, bring water and milk to a boil. Add polenta and salt, store to combine and decrease heat to low. Simmer uncovered until the polenta is thick and creamy, 25-30 minutes, stirring often. Taste and add seasoning. Add kale and bacon to polenta and stir until the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Scoop polenta into prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Slice polenta into 6 large rectangles or 9 smaller squares. In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, warm olive oil. Panfry polenta squares until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Finish with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.


Swiss Chard and Leek Tart
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pie plate
2-3 large leeks (white and light green parts only), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, spinach or a combo of greens; ribs removed
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, half and half, or whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Roll out pastry on floured work surface to approximately a 12-inch square. Lightly grease the pie plate with butter. Transfer and lightly press pastry into to a 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch, fold under and crimp edges. Lightly prick pastry with a fork. Cover; chill. 2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet, over medium-low heat. Add leeks. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard, sauté until wilted about 2 minutes (if using kale, you may need a few more minutes). Remove from heat; cool.3. Position rack in bottom third of oven (this is a very important step for getting a browned bottom crust); preheat to 425 degrees F. 4. Whisk cream and all remaining ingredients in large bowl. Fold in the cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until filling is puffed up and set in the center, about 15-17 minutes longer (if using half and half or whole milk you’ll probably need to bake it a few minutes longer for the filling to set). Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 6-8.


Stuffed Zucchini
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

2 slices country style white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup  milk
5-6 medium to large zucchini or summer squash, trimmed, halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the filling:
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/3 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio, or chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 heavy baking sheets with vegetable oil cooking spray.In a small bowl, combine the bread and milk. Set aside to allow the bread to absorb the milk, about 15 minutes.
For the zucchini: Using a melon baller, remove the flesh from the zucchini, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Reserve the flesh. Place the zucchini, hollowed-out sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Season with the salt and pepper.
For the filling: Place the zucchini flesh in a food processor. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, shallot, oregano, salt and pepper. Blend until all the vegetables are finely chopped. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the blended vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, turkey, egg, 1 cup Parmesan, the bread mixture, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until well combined. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out zucchini. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top of the filling. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the tops are golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve.


Spaghetti with Fried Zucchini, Parmesan & Basil
Adapted from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow


12 ounces spaghetti
Coarse salt
3 zucchini and/or summer squash, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup pasta water, to think
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until just al dente. Meanwhile, toss the zucchini with the flour. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan over high heat and add as much zucchini as will fit in a single later. Cook, flipping ocassionally, until well-browned and crispy, about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Meanwhile, whisk the cheese with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large mixing bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup pasta water and whisk until you get a creamy consistency. Drain the spaghetti and add to the bowl with the Parmesan mixture. Toss, season with salt and pepper, and fold in 2/3rds of the zucchini and all of the basil. To serve, portion pasta into 4 bowls and evenly distribute the rest of the zucchini on top. Add more cheese, if you want.


Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Cabbage and Feta Slaw
Adapted from Bon Appétit

cabbagestill  blackbeantacos

1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Mexican or regular oregano
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups shredded  cabbage
2 scallions, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 to 6 yellow or white corn tortillas
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Hot sauce, for serving

Place beans and spices (you can vary the spices to your liking) in small bowl; partially mash beans with a fork or spoon. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add cabbage, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lime juice or salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside.

Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer or do it in batches if your pan isn’t large enough. Spoon a few tablespoons of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Carefully fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, a few minutes per side. Transfer to platter. (I sometimes stick the tacos in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to get the tortillas really crispy).  Fill tacos with feta and slaw. Serve with hot sauce if desired. Serves 2 to 3. The recipe can be easily doubled.


Weekly CSA blog prodded by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

2014 CSA BLOG – WEEK 3

Next CSA Pickups: June 17 & 19, 2014




In your share this week: 

  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Chard
  • Scallions
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce

*Please note that this is an anticipated list from the farmers, but may change due to availability/field conditions the day of harvest.



Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Kale–like cauliflower, collards, and broccoli–is a descendant of wild cabbage, which originated in Asia Minor and was brought to Europe  in 600 B.C. This cruciferous veggie is one of the healthiest veggies around–brimming with vitamins A, C, and K. At the farm, you’ll find curly green kale as well as red Russian kale, which is one of the more tender and mild varieties. Check out some delicious ways to use it below.



Kale & White Bean Salad
Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach


1 (15-oz) can rinsed and drained canned white beans (cannellini or Great Northerns)
1 small bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped or shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add kale and sauté until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add beans, red onion, cheese, remaining olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chill. Makes 3 to 4 side-dish servings.


Pasta with Greens & Garbanzo Beans
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


The great thing about this pasta is you can use pretty much any greens you have including beet greens or turnip greens–don’t let them go to waste!

1 pound orecchiette or other short-cut pasta (I used fiore pasta above)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
12 ounces Swiss chard, beet greens, or kale,  or a combo, stemmed and chopped (I used beet greens–and they were fantastic in this!)
12 ounces spinach leaves or other greens, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or left whole
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest (don’t skip this–it really makes the dish!)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add greens in batches and cook until wilted. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and the lemon zest. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Makes 6 serving–you can easily halve this recipe if you want to serve fewer.


Swiss Chard Rolls with Brown Rice, Lentils, and Ricotta Cheese
Adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis


Butter or olive oil, for greasing

6  to 8 large Swiss chard leaves,
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped arugula, mizuna or spinach
1/2 cup room-temperature ricotta or soft goat cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils or 1 (15 oz.) can, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for extra seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for extra seasoning
3  cups homemade marinara sauce or 1 (26-oz) jar of your favorite jarred marinara or tomato basil sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter cut into pieces

1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a 8×8 glass baking dish; set aside. 2. Remove the thick stem from the center of each chard leaf. Cut each chard leaf in half lengthwise. (I recommend doing a few extra chard leaves because some will break or tear.) Trim any ragged ends from the leaves so each leaf is about 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. (Don’t worry if it’s not this size, I had some smaller ones and they worked just fine. The rolls were just smaller.) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves and cook for 10 seconds. Gently remove leaves and run under cold water. Drain on paper towels and set aside. 3. For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice, arugula, lentils, softened goat cheese or ricotta, mint, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Taste; season with additional salt and pepper to taste if needed. 4. Spoon about 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of prepared baking dish. 5. Place about 1/3 cup of brown rice filling onto the end of each chard roll and roll up like a jellyroll. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce on top, sprinkle with Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil or dot with butter. Bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Chopped Broccoli & Chickpea Salad
Adapted from Whole Living magazine


2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1/2 of a 15-oz. can)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive  oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam or boil broccoli until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Place in an ice bath or run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain water thoroughly. Once cool, chop and combine with chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and pine nuts. In a bowl, combine garlic, mustard, and lemon zest and juice. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Makes 2 to 3 servings. You can refrigerate the salad in an airtight container for up to two days.


Farro Salad with Roasted Beets & Feta
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit


6 to 8 medium-sized beets, tops trimmed
Vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled or quick-cooking farro or wheat berries (the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s is super fast)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
2 cups thinly-sliced radicchio or kale, or chopped spinach, arugula, or mizuna
1/2 up finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange beets in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Drizzle with vegetable oil, cover with foil, and roast beets until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool, trim beets, and peel. Cut into wedges and set aside.

Cook faro in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes for semi-pearled farro or about 10-12 minutes for quick-cooking. If you use wheatberries, they will need longer–about 35 to 40 minutes until just tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl, Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and garlic into hot farro. Cool to room temperature.

Add beets, radicchio or other greens, onion, and parsley to farro, and toss to incorporate evenly. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad. Add feta and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or cold.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Weekly CSA Newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 2

Next CSA Pickups: June 10 & 12, 2014



In your share this week:

  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli Rabe

**Please note that this is an anticipated list and may change based on the field and vegetable conditions the day of the harvest.


Salad Days

LETTUCESTILLWEEK1  saladcilantrolimedressing

A delicious salad starts with properly cleaning, drying, and storing your lettuce:

Wash: As soon as you get home, fill a bowl with cold water. Break up greens and add them to the water. You can also use the bowl of a salad spinner. Swish the leaves around gently to remove dirt, then lift the green out of the water and drain. Repeat with fresh water until there’s no grit at the bottom of the bowl. I usually need to do this process two or three times.
Dry: Spin the leaves in a salad spinner until dry, or roll gently in a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels. Thoroughly remove all moisture because damp greens go bad fast, and the dressing adheres better to dry leaves. Transfer greens to a zip-top bag lined with dry paper towels. Or, loosely roll the greens in a clean kitchen towel before bagging.
Store: Loosely seal the bag so the greens get some air. If you have room in your fridge, you can also store greens in your salad spinner. Lettuce lasts for about five to seven days if you dry and store it properly.
Source: Everyday Food 

Don’t have a salad spinner? Try this “human salad spinner” tip from Mother Earth News: After cleaning lettuce, wrap it in a large, clean dish towel. Close the towel up and gently twist. Then step outside and swing the bundle of lettuce in circles as fast as you can like you’re winding up to pitch a softball. Most of the moisture will be gone when you open the cloth. Salad dressings will coat lettuce leaves more evenly when they’re dry.


Dressed for Success
Once you’ve prepped your lettuce and your favorite salad toppings, you’re ready for the dressing. Fresh greens deserve a fresh dressing–make a big batch so you’ll have it ready to use for salads all week. Here are a few of my go-to dressings:

Shallot Vinaigrette: Finely chop 1 shallot and whisk with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit 20 minutes to mellow the shallot flavor and then whisk in 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette: Whisk together 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 minced garlic clove. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Makes 1/4 cup. Recipe from Everyday Food.

Classic French Vinaigrette: Finely grate one garlic clove and whisk with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.

Simplest Asian Dressing: Finely grate 1 small garlic clove and whisk with 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce and 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of olive oil and then 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. This dressing is great on mizuna! Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette: Whisk together 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. (This dressing is best used right away rather than storing in the fridge as the cilantro will turn brown). Recipe adapted from Gourmet.




Grilled Swiss Chard Bundles with Ricotta and Sundried Tomato Filling
Adapted from Martha Stewart


2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes, drained and blotted if in oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 large bunch Swiss chard
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling and brushing
1 small onion or shallot, finely chopped
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, prepare an ice bath and set aside and line a large plate or baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels ad set aside. Choose the 6 largest Swiss chard leaves. Add one leaf at a time to the boiling water, and blanch for 10 seconds. Place each leaf in ice bath to cool. Transfer to prepared plate or baking sheet to drain. Roughly chop remaining chard leaves (there should be about 2 cups). Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chopped chard and sundried tomatoes. Cook until chard is wilted about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Then add pine nuts, ricotta, and more salt and pepper to the mixture. Stir to combine.

Place a blanched leaf facedown on the work surface. Cut out the thickest 1/3 the length of the leaf. Place about 1/3 cup of cheese mixture slightly off center toward the bottom of the leaf. Fold bottom of leaf over mixture. Fold in sides. Fold leaf over to completely enclose contents. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil. Grill packers until lightly charred and heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 3.


Creamy Soba Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables
Adapted from Giada’s Feel-Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis


8 ounces dried buckwheat soba noodles
3 tablespoons creamy almond butter
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 (1-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons wasabi paste or a couple of dashes of your favorite hot sauce
2 cups shredded kale or spinach leaves, tough stems removed
1 red or yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup radishes or hakurei turnips, thinly sliced or julienned
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons sesame seeds

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Rinse well with cold water, drain, and put in a serving bowl.
For dressing: Combine all the dressing ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender and blend until smooth. For salad: Pour the dressing over the noodles. Add all the vegetables and almonds. Toss until all of the ingredients are coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve, or keep in the fridge to allow the flavors to blend. Makes 4 servings.


Grilled Sweet and Tangy Bok Choy
Adapted from Food Network Magazine


1 pound bok choy, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Preheat a grill to medium heat. Place the bok choy on a microwave-safe bowl or large plate and microwave, covered 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and toss with bok choy. Grill until charred, 1 to 2 minutes per side, brushing with any extra sauce.


 Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 1

FIRST CSA PICKUPS: June 3 & 5, 2014


Stunning "bright lights" chard.IMG_1274radishesfarm IMG_1277

In your share this week: 

  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli Rabe



  • Welcome to Hilltop Hanover Farm’s CSA blog! This is my fourth year writing the blog for the farm. My hope is that you’ll  bookmark this page and come to it each week to get an update from head farmer Brett Alcaro about  what vegetables will likely be in your share for the week and check out some new and inspiring ways to use the bounty you’ll be receiving. I’m a magazine writer/editor and food lover, and I enjoy searching for and trying out recipes that make the best use of the CSA share.  I’ll be sharing these recipes with you. You’ll also find interesting facts, storage tips, and other information about the veggies you’ll get at the farm. If you have any recipes or tips you’d like to share here with other CSA members, please send them to me at nicoledmead@yahoo.com. Please put “CSA Blog” in the subject line, include the full recipe or tip (as well as the source of where it came from–i.e. a magazine, book, etc), a photo (if you have one) as well as your full name and what town you’re from. I hope to include many recipes and tips from you in the upcoming weeks so that we can all share our vegetable knowledge. Enjoy your share this week!  –Nicole DeCoursy Mead, CSA Blog Writer & Editor.
  • Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday night for our first CSA meet and greet! CSA members were treated to an insider farm tour by farm director Lucille Munz, and then enjoyed a variety of delicious dishes made by members. Here are some highlights from the evening:



  • Whether it’s your first year with a CSA share or you’ve done it before, check out this recent NYT article here for tips and ideas on how to better incorporate vegetables into your meals for the whole family. And here are some tips that I included in last year’s blog for how to best deal with an abundance of vegetables.:

1. Read this blog and others. Farmer Brett gives me a list with his best guess of what’s going to be in next week’s share. I usually post this the weekend before you pick up your CSA. Once you know what you’re likely to get, plan a tentative menu for the upcoming week around the fresh produce. I include some wonderful recipes here, but check out your favorite cookbooks or other foodie websites. One book I’m loving right now is Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. It’s a beautiful book organized by plant family, and she includes tons of interesting recipes for what you’ll be getting in your share. Plus interesting history, nutrition, and tips too. Chez Panisse: Vegetables by Alice Waters is another great book organized by veggie. And read blogs for new ideas. My go-to’s are Smitten KitchenDinner: A Love Story (the author joined a CSA at Stone Barns here in Westchester and gives lots of great ideas of what to do with produce),  Sprouted Kitchen, and Serving the Seasons, my own blog about cooking with seasonal vegetables.

2. Divide and conquer what you can. As soon as I get home from picking up the CSA, I wash, dry, and store many of the greens so they’re ready to go for salads and meals. For root vegetables, you should take the tops off and store them separately. You may also want to roast the beets right away while you’re cleaning the other produce. Some vegetables like zucchini and eggplant, for example, are best not washed–just store them as is in your crisper drawer. Tomatoes should always be left at room temperature or they’ll become mealy and tasteless. It takes a little bit of time to do all of this, but it’ll save you a lot of time during the week when you’re trying to get dinner on the table.

3. Save it!  For those vegetables that you don’t get around to using, think about blanching and freezing them for later. Or make them into a pesto or sauce, both of which can also be stored in the freezer. Or use already-wilted greens in scrambled eggs, quiches, or to top pizza. You can also give some produce to friends and family.




Hakurei turnips (aka Japanese salad turnips)

Hakurei turnips (aka Japanese salad turnips)

The flavor of this Japanese turnip is crispy, sweet, and fruity when eaten raw, which is why it’s often referred to as a salad turnip. It’s great thinly-sliced and added to salads or slaws, but you can also gently sauté it for a warm side dish. Turnips are another great “twofer” vegetable, meaning you can eat the greens too–try them raw in salads or gently sautéed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Check out this recipe that makes great use of both the root and greens. Turnip roots are rich in vitamin C, and the greens are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and K. Remember to store both the greens and roots separately, and use the greens within a day or two as they lose nutrients very quickly.





White Bean, Radish, & Turnip Salad
Adapted from Bon Appétit


You can serve this healthy and filling side dish alongside grilled chicken or other meats. Or you can turn it into a vegetarian main by omitting the anchovy and topping the salad with wedges of hard-boiled egg.

2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 1/2 cups fresh flat-parsley leaves, divided
1/4 cup (or more) of white wine or champagne vinegar
Kosher salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
1 bunch radishes and/or hakurei “salad” turnips, leafy tops and stems trimmed, and bulbs cut into thin wedges or chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced or 2 tablespoons minced red onion or shallot
3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup black olives such as kalamata or niçoise, pitted and quartered

Blend anchovies, oil, capers, and 1 cup of parsley in a blender or food processor until a coarse purée forms. Transfer to a large bowl, mix in 1/4 cup vinegar, season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar if you want. Add radishes, turnips, scallions, beans, olives, and remaining parsley. Toss to combine. Cover and chill if not eating right away. Serve. Makes about 4 to 6 servings.


Egg & Kale Wraps
Adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food by Giada De Laurentiis



5 large kale leaves, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 large shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
1/4 cup store-bought plain hummus

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, shallot, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the kale and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Toss until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat.

Fill a wide saucepan with enough water to measure 2-inches deep. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat. Break each egg into a separate tea cup. Turn off the heat under the saucepan and slide each egg from cup into a different section of the pain. Let the eggs stand until the whites are set and the yolks are still very soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, using tongs, toast each tortilla over high heat until almost charred in spots about 15 seconds per side. Spread 1 tablespoon of hummus on each tortilla, leaving a 1-inch border. Divide the kale mixture over the hummus. Using a slotted spoon, lift each egg from the water, wiping any excess liquid from the bottom of the spoon with paper towels. Put the eggs on top of the kale. Slit the yolks and press on the eggs a bit so the yolk begins to run. Fold up the bottom of each tortilla and then fold in the sides, leave the wraps open at the top. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.


Gwyneth Paltrow’s Power Chopped Salad with Creamy Parsley Dressing
Adapted  from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen


For salad:
1 head lettuce, chopped
2 handfuls arugula or farm spinach, roughly chopped
1 (14-oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, diced or 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 radishes, sliced and/or 2 cooked beets, peeled and diced
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
For dressing:
1 cup Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise or Vegenaise
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until completely smooth. Place lettuce and arugula or spinach in a large bowl and combine with 1/4 cup of dressing so that the leaves have a light coating. Divide mixture among four plates or on a large platter. Top the greens with chickpeas, tomatoes, radishes/beets, and eggs. Drizzle with more dressing and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. The dressing will keep for up to a week in the fridge. I make a batch of the dressing and prepare the salad for one each day.


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead



Next CSA Pickups: Week of October 6, 2013

Last week of this CSA! (Unless you’re doing the Fall one…)


In your share this week:

(Note: This is last week’s list; waiting for updated list from the farmers

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash & Pumpkins
  • Turnips
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions



Don’t be scared to try this homely vegetable–it’s very easy to cook with and tastes great. Celeriac (or celery root) is just as its name claims: It’s the root of the celery plant. It has a mild celery flavor, but is somewhat starchy and similar to the texture of a potato, though you can eat it raw or cooked. It’s wonderful cooked and mixed in with mashed potatoes and apples, or grated raw and tossed with salad greens or slaws. Celeriac is a wonderful source of calcium, iron, and vitamin C. To trim celery root: Use a sharp paring knife and take off about a quarter inch of the surface to get past the divots of dirt. Check out some classic and some new ways to prepare it in the recipe collection below.




Classic Rémoulade
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

The authors suggest pairing this salad with chicken, pork, or baked ham. You can also eat it as a sandwich filling!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijo mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 pounds celeriac, peeled and shredded (a food processor makes this task really easy, but you can also use a box grater–just try cutting it in half first for easier handling)
Handful of flat-leaf parsley (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper, then stir to combine. Add the celeriac and parsley (if using) and toss to combine. 


Celery Root & Apple Purée
Adapted from Ina Garten

 1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup large-diced fennel bulb, tops and core removed
1 pound celery root, peeled and (3/4-inch) diced
4 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and (3/4-inch) diced
1 large or 2 small Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and (3/4-inch) diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good apple cider
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a shallow pot or large saute pan. Add the fennel, celery root, potatoes, apples, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. 2. Add the cider and tightly cover the pot. Simmer over low heat (I pull the pot halfway off the heat) for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft. If the vegetables begin to burn or they seem dry, add another few tablespoons of apple cider or some water. 3. When the vegetables are cooked, add the cream and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the mixture to a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade and process. (You can also use a food processor but the texture will be smoother than with the food mill.) Taste for salt and pepper and return to the pot to keep warm. Serve warm. Makes 2 to 3 servings.


Baked Stuffed Eggplant
Adapted from Michael Chiarello


 4 small to medium eggplants 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 pound ground beef or turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, chopped
1 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Boil the scooped-out center part until very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add to the pan, break up into pieces, and saute until all of its liquid is evaporated and the meat begins to brown slightly. Drain, removing the extra, unnecessary fat. Let cool briefly. In another medium saute pan over medium heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions, peppers, and garlic together. In a bowl mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, cooked beef, herbs, 1 cup of the cheese, bread crumbs, and the egg. Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly among the 2 halves.

Top with chopped tomatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool briefly and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Broccoli Soup
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow

broccoli soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly diced
1 1/3 pounds broccoli, cut into small florets (you can use some of tender stalks as well)
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup arugula or mizuna (or other spicy greens)
1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or sharp cheddar

Heat the olive oil in a  large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes. Add the stock, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for about 8 minutes until the broccoli is just tender (you don’t want to overcook it or the soup will be bitter). Carefully pour the soup into a blender and puree with arugula or mizuna. Pour the soup back in the pot, stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with extra cheese and a drizzle of your best olive oil. 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog – Week 19



Next CSA Pickups: Week of September 29, 2013

In your share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash & Pumpkins
  • Turnips
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions


Spotlight on: Broccoli

Broccoli  is in the cabbage family of vegetables and is a result of breeding cole crops in the northern Mediterranean in 6th Century BC. Since the Roman Empire, this vegetable has been widely used by the Italians and was introduced to the U.S by Italian immigrants, though it wasn’t very well known here until the 1920s. Broccoli is extremely nutritious, and everyone can benefit by adding more of it to their diet: It boasts vitamin C, fiber, and lutein, as well as several anti-cancer compounds. It also helps the body in the detoxification process and has anti-inflammatory benefits, which some research shows may lessen the affects of allergens in the body. Try it boiled, steamed, or roasted–just don’t overcook it. This broccoli pesto recipe is a great way to get broccoli-haters to try and like the vegetable!




Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
Adapted from Ina Garten


1 head broccoli
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Few fresh basil leaves, julienned or chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with a drizzle of olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot. Serves 2 to 3.


Roasted Winter Squash with Jalapeño-Lime Butter
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

jalapeno lime squash

2 small winter squashes (such as acorn, carnival, or delicata), halved lengthwise and seeded
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeño
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of crush red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Lightly coat the cut sides of the squash with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Put the squash cut-side down on the pan and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic, jalapeños, lime zest and juice, honey, red pepper flakes (if using) and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Check the seasonings and add more salt or other ingredients to suit your taste. Transfer the squashes cut-side up to a serving platter and smear each half with some of the butter. Serve. Makes 4 servings.


Sausage, Spinach & White Bean Gratin
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion



2/3 cup panko or regular dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 scant tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 scant teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans white beans, such as cannellini
2 to 3 cups chopped fresh spinach, chard, kale, or other greens

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, combine the panko and butter, season with salt, and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat and then add sausages and cook until browned, stirring often, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a medium bowl, leaving the oil in the pan, and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onions and garlic, stirring often, for about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and thyme and stir for 30 seconds, then add the wine and simmer, scraping up any browed bits from pan, until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, then add beans and sausage. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until some of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. The mixture should be wet but not too liquify. Transfer to a 3-quart baking or gratin dish, top with panko mixture, and bake until the top is golden, about 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.


Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy
Adapted from Martha Stewart



1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
4 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola or grapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
4 cups sliced bok choy (from 1 large head)
1 small red chile or jalapeño
Cooked white or brown rice, for serving

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 3 tablespoons water. Slice chicken into thin strips. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch. In a large wok or skillet, heat oil, garlic, and ginger over medium-high until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken in a single layer, pressing against pan to sear. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bok choy and chile and cook, stirring, until bok choy slightly wilts, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce mixture and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.