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Recipes for CSA Weel 17

It’s finally Ratatouille week. I look forward to this all year. Sweet peppers, the tail end of the summer squash, eggplants, onions and tomatoes. You’ll need a little garlic and handful of basil if you have it. It’s fun to have beets back and turnips and the beets and escarole make for a lovely, robust salad—a harbinger of shares to come. Happy Cooking!

Tomato Bread (Pa ambTomaquet)
Moussaka
Ratatouille
Beet Notes
Beet and Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese
Wilted Escarole
Choka—Roasted Eggplant and Tomato (from Trinidad)
Baked Eggplant Rounds with Tomato and Mozzarella
Turnip, Sweet Pepper and Chickpea Salad
Turnip Notes

Tomato Bread (Pa ambTomaquet)

tomato bread close up

The Spanish (and Basque) and Italian and probably many other cultures have versions of this. I have been eating it for breakfast though I realize that might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But it’s a wonderful snack or appetizer or a part of an informal dinner as well.

However many slices good, crusty bread to want to use
However many tomatoes you want to use – you need about half a medium tomato for one large slice of good, crusty bread.
Whole clove(s) of peeled garlic
Good sea salt
The best olive oil you have

Toast or grill the bread. Rub with garlic (little or lot or not at all, in fact). Cut the tomatoes in half on the equator and then rub the cut side of the tomato onto the toasted bread pressing as much juice and flesh into the bread as you can. You’ll be left holding the skin and a little pulp. Salt generously and drizzle with oil. The bread may fall part a bit and will get quite soggy—just as it should! Eat immediately, then make another!

Ratatouille

In my cook-with-what-you-have version or ratatouille, quantities are easily adapted and the ratios are not critical so scale up or down as needed. It is important to cook some of the vegetables separately so that you don’t crowd the pans and steam them rather than sautéing them. You want the browning and sweetness that comes with direct contact with the hot skillet.

ratatouille

This was a particularly squash heavy ratatouille, early in the season. Yours will look at little more red and purple and not so green! And it ideally is a bit softer than this photo conveys. You really want the vegetables to break down a bit.

It is a rich, stew-like dish in which the vegetables all break down a bit. It is not beautiful but it is good! Serve with some good crusty bread, another salad, fish or a frittata or some such. It’s even better the next day and delicious at room temperature as well.

Serves 4-6

4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 large eggplant, diced (no need to peel)
1 onion, cut into large dice
2-3 medium summer squash, sliced or diced
2 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
Olive oil
Handful of torn basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt
Good olive oil for serving

Heat some olive oil in two large skillets over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers to one pan and the zucchini to the other. Sprinkle all with a bit of salt. Cook both on high heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently and then turn down to medium high and continue sautéing until softened and browning just a bit. When the zucchini is just about tender remove it from the pan and reserve. Add a bit more oil and add the eggplant and a bit more salt. You can keep the peppers and onions sautéing on medium while the eggplant cooks. When the eggplant is tender and browning, add half of it to the pepper and onion pan and divide the zucchini between the pans–or if you have space put it all in one pan now. Now add the tomato to both (or just the one pan) and bring to a lively simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors and soften the tomatoes. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm (but not hot) or at room temperature with a drizzle of good olive oil.

Moussaka

This recipe was handed down from a long passed family friend who used to make it in Greece with her Greek friends. My mother who made this when I was growing up, sometimes dipped the slices of eggplant in beaten egg before frying and sometimes didn’t. Both versions are delicious, the egg version a little heartier and crisper.

Serves 4-5

2 globe eggplants (medium to large is best), sliced into1/2-inch rounds or slices lengthwise
2 eggs, beaten (optional) and seasoned with a bit of salt
Oil for pan frying eggplant
Generous ½ cup pureed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons tomato paste (can omit if you don’t have on hand)
1 batch béchamel (recipe below)
½ lb ground lamb or beef or a combination
½ an onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoon dried and crumbled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.

If you’re using the egg, dip the eggplant slices in the beaten egg and shake off any excess. Fry the eggplant slices in a hot skillet in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until golden on both sides and tender. Set aside.

In another skillet (or the same one you used for the eggplant) sauté the ground meat for a few minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add the tomato paste (if using), pureed tomatoes and herbs and cook for 20 minutes or so until reduced a bit. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the béchamel, below.

Cover the bottom of a 8 x 13” baking dish with eggplant slices and then layer meat and eggplant with last layer being eggplant. Pour the bechamel sauce over the eggplant and meat mixture and cover with grated Parmesan and bake until golden brown and bubbling—about 30 minutes.

For Bechamel

4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
Generous 2 cups of whole milk (2% can work in a pinch)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bay leaf (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
A little grated nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
Pinch of ground cloves

Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over med/low heat. When melted, whisk in flour. Continue cooking the roux for 2 -3 min, whisking frequently. Meanwhile heat milk until it’s scalding. Whisk hot milk into roux and add several pinches of salt, grind in some pepper, add chili flakes (or omit if you’d like), add mustard and a bay leaf and a grating or two of nutmeg. Stir well and cook over med/low heat for about 10 minutes until thickened and bubbling.

Eggplant Tomato Stacks
–adapted from Martha Stewart Living

12 eggplant rounds (each 1/4 inch thick and at least 3 inches in diameter; about 2 medium eggplants)
Sea salt
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
4-5 tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and torn into small pieces
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus shavings for serving

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Season eggplant with salt. Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, so as to not crowd the skillet, fry eggplant rounds, turning once, until soft and pale golden, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Add a bit of oil as needed.

Heat another 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook for just a few seconds. Add tomatoes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes break down and are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in oregano and basil.

Place 6 slices of eggplant on a sheetpan. Top each slice with 1 tablespoon sauce and a few pieces of mozzarella, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Parmesan. Repeat layering twice.

Bake until heated through and cheese is bubbling, about 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with oregano and Parmesan shavings.

Beet Notes

When I get a bunch of beets I roast or boil them all at once. Then I have the perfect treat at the ready to add to salads, sandwiches, make it into spread, etc. If you’re going to bake them, scrub and trim but don’t peel them an put them in an oven proof dish with a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover with foil and place in a 374-400 degree oven. If my beets are big I halve them before baking to cut down on cooking time. Start checking after 35-40 minutes. They may take a bit longer still.

To boil, scrub and trim and put in a saucepan covered with cold water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cook, covered for about 20-35 minutes.

Peel when cool enough to handle. Cooked/roasted beets keep in the fridge for about 5-6 days.

Beet and Escarole Salad with Blue Cheese

Pears or apples would be wonderful in this salad too. The sweetness is a nice balance to the assertiveness of the greens.

1 head escarole (or other type–see headnote), well washed and trimmed of any tough, outer leaves, and roughly torn
2-3 boiled or roasted beets, peeled and diced
1/3 cup walnuts (toasted at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes and then cooled)
3-4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Whisk together the salt, pepper, oil and vinegar. Dress the greens with the vinaigrette and toss thoroughly. Add the nuts and cheese and gently toss again. Finally add the beets and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Wilted Escarole

–adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters

Escarole, crunchy and slightly bitter (in a pleasing way when dressed or cooked) can be cooked or grilled since it’s more substantial than other lettuces.

This is a very simple technique that just begs for a fried or poached egg or maybe some fish or a lovely bowl of beans and good olive oil as an accompaniment.

Wash and trim the escarole. Cut the leaves into wide strips. Saute in olive oil, covered, until wilted and bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add a splash of vinegar, and serve.

Choka—Roasted Eggplant and Tomato (from Trinidad)

–adapted from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

This dish can be considered a side dish or a salsa and is excellent along grain or bean dishes or with pita bread.

1 medium-large eggplant (about 1 lb)
3 medium tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced (divided)
½ a small-medium onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon (or to taste) sea salt
Plenty of freshly ground pepper
1 small jalapeno (maybe you  have on leftover from last week), minced
2 tablespoons good olive oil
½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Spread the tomatoes and eggplant (all whole) on a sheet pan (baking sheet with sides) and roast for 25 minutes. At this point remove the tomatoes and set aside to cool in a bowl. Keep baking the eggplant for another 20-30 minutes until, turning it often, until is has collapsed and is quite soft.

Discard any liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl the tomatoes were cooling in. Peel the tomatoes and remove cores if they are prominent and roughly chop.

Once the eggplant is soft, peel it and chop coarsely as well and mix with the tomatoes. Add the garlic, onion, salt, pepper and hot pepper and mix well.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet and then add the cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds. They will begin popping. Add the garlic and cook another few seconds. Remove from the heat and add the oil, garlic and cumin seeds to the choka and stir well. Enjoy warm, at room temperature or chilled.

Turnip Notes

The sweet crunchy Hakurei turnips are wonderful as a snack. pack wedges or slices of them in kids or grown up lunches. Spread rounds of raw turnips with a pesto made of their greens, basil and other typical pesto ingredients. Include the diced turnips in stir-fries, fried rice, salads (see below), etc. Use the greens in soups, stir fries, simply sautéed, combined with the turnips themselves, also sautéed and finished with a splash of sherry or red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar. Stir the wilted greens into scrambled eggs. . ..

Turnip, Sweet Pepper and Chickpea Salad

This flash-pickling side/salsa comes together in minutes. So far I’ve mostly eaten it straight with a spoon, but I image it would be nice tossed with still-warm, lightly dressed new potatoes. Or maybe white fish, chicken or shrimp. Or perhaps to lend balance to pulled pork, or another rich, stewed meat. (Note: I ate this, a day old, tossed with some Israeli couscous, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a touch of leftover avocado and it was fantastic.)

Juice of 1/2 a small lime
1 ½ tablespoon rice vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons chili oil (or peanut oil and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes)
2 tablespoons diced red onion
3 turnips, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks or small dice
1-2 sweet peppers, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
3/4 cup cooked (or canned and rinsed) chickpeas
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Add the lime juice and the rice vinegar to a small bowl, giving them a quick whisk to combine. Add the honey, and then the oil. Whisk briskly until the oil and the vinegar come together. Add the onion to the dressing right away to give it a chance to mellow a bit.

In a bowl, toss together the dressing, the onion, peppers, turnips and the chickpeas. Give it a taste. It will likely need more salt. You can eat this right away, while all the vegetables are still crisp, or you can let it sit for a bit and they will soften the flavors will meld a bit more which is also lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

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Recipes for CSA Week 16

Lots of recipes this week for this late summer bounty. It’s going to be another hot week. And if you have children who like to help in the kitchen there are plenty of hands-on activites, from making kabobs to topping pizza and chopping or grating vegetables. Happy Cooking!

Corn and Summer Squash Fritters
Chickpea, Tomato, Egg and Wheat Berry Salad
Onion, Squash and Beef Kabobs (with Jalapeno Yogurt Sauce)
Pizza with Tomatoes and Red Onion
Green Salad with Corn and Cumin Lime Dressing
Fresh Salsa (Pico de Gallo)
Bean and Salsa Salad
Cilantro Jalapeno Yogurt Sauce
Carrot and Harissa Salad
Tacos/Quesadillas with Corn and Squash

Corn and Summer Squash Fritters

This is quite similar to the plain summer squash pancake but the addition of corn, cumin and some herbs gives it a different and slightly heftier character.

2 medium zucchini or any summer squash
2 ears of corn
3 tablespoons finely diced onions
2 eggs
1/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup flour
Salt and Pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons oregano, parsley or basil, chopped (optional)
Olive oil for frying

Grate the zucchini/squash on the large holes of a grater onto a clean kitchen towel.  Sprinkle with some salt and let it rest while you gather and prep the remaining ingredients.

Wrap the zucchini in the towel and wring as much liquid out of it as possible, discarding the liquid.

Cook the ears of corn in boiling water for just a minute or two. Cut the kernels off the cob. If you do this in a large bowl the kernels will be pretty much contained and not fly all over the kitchen.

In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the water and flour and then add the drained zucchini, onion, corn, cumin and freshly ground pepper. Add herbs if you’re using any. Mix well and taste and adjust seasoning.

Add a scant tablespoon of oil to a large skillet.  Place the pan over medium-high heat.  Spoon about 2 tablespoons (about a ¼ cup) of batter into the pan. Depending on the size of your pan you should be able to fry about 3-5 at once.  Flatten them a bit with the back of a spatula and cook until the fritters are golden brown on each side, 4 to 6 minutes.

Serve with a simple fresh salsa or tomato sauce or some Greek yogurt or just plain.

Chickpea, Tomato, Egg and Wheat Berry Salad

chickpea tomato wheatberry salad w: egg

This is a meal-in-one and can be adapted and scaled as you see fit. Use barley or frikeh or any other grain you have.

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup cooked wheat berries or barley or frikeh
2 hardboiled eggs, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons basil or parsley or a combination, chopped
A bit of onion diced or sliced
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 tablespoons good olive oil

Combine the mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. In a large bowl gently toss the salad ingredients with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Onion, Squash and Beef Kabobs (with Jalapeno Yogurt Sauce)

This is a simple a lovely combination. If you don’t have a grill you can also broil these, with our without skewering the veggies, turning often to ensure somewhat even cooking.

The below jalapeno yogurt cilantro sauce is a lovely accompaniment to the sweet, smoky vegetables.

1-2 Red Cabernet onions, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch squares/chunks, more or less
2 summer squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
Cubed beef (however much you want- ½ lb is probably about right for 4 people)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Finely chopped parsley and oregano or other herbs of your choice
Juice of one lime

In a small bowl mix the olive oil with the herbs, lime juice and plenty of salt and pepper. Taste the marinade. It should be bright and salty.

Toss the vegetables and meat in the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes, if you can. Thread the vegetables onto skewers and grill, turning occasionally, until beginning to char and the vegetables are tender but not soft.

Serve with jalapeno yogurt cilantro sauce and good, crusty bread or a bean or grain salad.

Pizza with Tomatoes and Red Onion

You can either make a super quick sauce with your tomatoes or just slice them and use them raw on this pizza. I generally like sauce but I occasionally like the combination of fresh tomatoes, red onion rings, a little oregano or basil and feta or mozzarella for a pizza too.

If you have read made pizza dough (Grand Central, Hot Lips, New Seasons, Pastaworks, etc. ) this takes no time to make. You could add thinly slice rounds of summer squash as well.

1 ball pizza dough (14oz more or less)
2 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly into rounds on the equator
½ an onion, thinly sliced into rounds
1 tablespoon chopped basil or combination of basil and oregano
Olive oil
Salt
Cheese of choice (feta, mozzarella, Parmesan. . . )

Baking on a baking sheet:

Stretch out your pizza dough into a large round. If you don’t have a pizza stone on which you can bake the pizza directly, place the dough on a large cookie sheet, arrange the tomatoes evenly, top with onions, generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt, herbs and cheese and bake at 425 degrees until browning in spots and cooked through.

Baking directly on a pizza stone:

If you have a stone preheat your oven to 500 (probably the highest your oven will go) with your pizza stone in it. Let it heat up for 20-30 minutes if you have the time.  Remove the top wrack in the oven to give yourself more room to maneuver later. 

And if you don’t have a pizza peel (the long-handled wooden tool with which you slide the pizza onto the hot stone) then flour the back (or front if it’s flat with no rims) cookie sheet and spread your stretched out pizza dough on the floured sheet.

You can dust the back of the cookie sheet with a mix of cornmeal and flour which will help the pizza slide off onto the stone. Then top it evenly with tomatoes, onions, generous drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt cheese and herbs. Now with your oven and stone hot, and pizza on a well-floured cookie sheet, open the oven.  Place the far end of the cookie sheet towards the back of the pizza stone at a 25 degree angle (or thereabouts) and then with a quick jerk of the wrist pull the cookie sheet back and let the pizza slide onto the hot stone in the oven. It should come off very easily at this point. And be very sure not to have any topping pieces or even drips of oil or sauce come between the baking sheet and the bottom of the pizza. The slightest bit of this will make the pizza stick.

Bake until the edges are dark brown and the topping is bubbling and add the basil just before it’s done.

Pizza Dough

–adapted from Jim Lahey

Pizza dough freezes beautifully. So if you’re only going to use half of it or want to make a double batch and save some for future use, just lightly oil a 1 qt freezer bag and put ½ a recipe worth of pizza dough in. Thaw it thoroughly and bring it to room temperature before using. Then handle exactly the same as fresh dough.

In Jim Lahey’s original recipe he has you bake the pizzas on a sheet pan. I do that sometimes, especially for his potato pizza because there’s so much topping, but usually I bake them right on a pizza stone which makes them wonderfully crisp. If you’re using a pizza stone you don’t need any oil and just place the stretched out piece of dough onto a well-floured pizza peel (or the back of a cookie shit if you don’t have a peel) and after you’ve added the toppings you slide it right onto the hot stone.

I have tried this recipe with half whole wheat flour and half white. It turns out fine but is a bit of a different animal—not as crisp a bit nuttier and chewier—as you might expect.

500 grams bread flour (3 3/4 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (10 grams)
3/4 teaspoons table salt (5 grams)
3/4 teaspoon sugar, plus a pinch (about 3 grams)
1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups room temperature water
extra-virgin olive oil for pans

In a medium bowl, stir together the bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until blended, at least 30 seconds. The dough should be able to contain all of the flour, if it seems dry or if there is excess flour at the bottom of the bowl, add water a tablespoon at a time.

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume, about 2-3 hours.

Punch down the dough and cut in half to make two balls.

Green Salad with Corn and Cumin Lime Dressing

salad with creamy miso dressing, seeds, etc

6 cups lettuce, washed, dried and torn or chopped
1 medium tomato, diced or ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons thinly sliced or diced onion
1-2 sweet red peppers, seeded, quartered or halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (optional)
Kernels from one two ears corn (briefly cooked)
½ cup roughly chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, dill, mint or chives (in any combination)
1/3 cup toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Sea Salt

Put all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Mix the dressing in a small bowl and pour over salad or just add dressing ingredients to the vegetables. Toss, taste and adjust seasoning with more lime juice, oil or salt or pepper. Serve immediately.

Fresh Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

pico de gallo prep

pico de gallo

You have all the ingredients for the sweetest, freshest and most savory salsa in your share this week.

1 – 11/2 lbs tomatoes (4 medium more or less), washed, cored and finely chopped or diced
½ – 1 jalapeno, finely minced (de-seed the pepper if you’re unsure of your comfort with the heat level—my guess is that you can leave the seeds in, for at least part of it)
2 tablespoons, finely chopped onion
¼ cup cilantro, well washed and dried and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced and then mashed with some coarse salt and the side of a chef’s knife into a paste (or just mince)
Sea salt

Mix everything together well and adjust seasoning with salt. Serve with chips or with fish tacos or any kind of tacos or with quesadillas or as a side for grilled fish or vegetables or pretty much anything.

Bean and Salsa Salad

This is so delicious, hearty and fresh. I could eat it daily. You could add shredded cooked chicken to this for more heft too.

3 cups cooked and cooled black beans (or pinto or cranberry or pretty much any kind of bean)
1 ½ cups (or more) of the fresh salsa above
More chopped cilantro
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup of crumbled feta (optional)

Mix everything well and taste and adjust seasoning with salt and/or lime juice/zest. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Cilantro Jalapeno Yogurt Sauce

I’ve given you this idea before but minus the jalapeno. Adding some of the pepper gives it even more depth and of course heat.

Toss ½ a bunch or so of cilantro into a food processor (or chopping finally) with a 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt (or plain, whole milk yogurt), a minced jalapeno (with or without seeds and membranes depending on how much heat you like) some minced garlic, some lemon zest, salt, pepper and a little olive oil. This is delicious on any grains or fish or with steamed or roasted veggies. It would be delicious over roasted or boiled potatoes. You could put it in fish tacos or pita sandwiches, etc.

Carrot and Harissa Salad

–adapted from smittenkitchen.com

This salad is addictive. And if you don’t have harissa in your pantry it will likely be a worthwhile addition. It’s a wonderful addition to dressing and rubs and soups, etc. You can also use cilantro instead of the mint and parsley below or any combination of the three.

4-5 medium carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and grated on the large holes of a box grater
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (I used seeds but ground them first)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or about half as much, ground (I used the seed but ground them first, again)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
¾ – 1 teaspoon harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
2 ounces feta, crumbled 

In a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots and mix. Add the herbs and mix. Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.

Tacos/Quesadillas with Corn and Squash

I made this on the fly for dinner last week and it was devoured. Alas it was devoured so quickly that I forgot to take pictures. Hardly a recipe but a good idea for this time of year. . .scale up or down as you see fit, and adapt away with herbs and/or spices.

Oil
¼ onion, cut into small dice
Kernels from 2-3 ears corn
1 medium summer squash, cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
½ jalapeno, minced (seeds and all) or more
Salt and pepper
Chopped cilantro
Corn tortillas (or whatever you have)
Grated cheese or sour cream or Greek yogurt
Salsa/hot sauce (optional)

Saute onion, jalapeno and squash in a bit of oil for about 5 minutes until softening. Add corn and garlic and good for another 5 minutes. Add a little water or oil if too dry. Salt and pepper to taste

Now you have several options. You can warm up your tortillas and then spread with a little sour cream or Greek yogurt and top with the corn sauté and then top with a little grated cheese and cilantro, or you can omit the cream/yogurt and make quesadillas, filled with the corn mixture.

Either way dress up with salsa and cilantro or enjoy as is.

 

 

 

 

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CSA News: Week 15 – September 2 to September 4

This Week’s Share

Crop

Family Share

Half Share

Corn, Luscious 8 ears 4 ears
Carrots 2 pounds 1 pound
Eggplant, Italian Bell 2 each 1 each
Kale, Red Russian
2 bunches 1 bunch
Leeks 4 each 2 each
Potatoes, Sangre  3 pounds 1 1/2 pounds
Summer Squash 2 pounds 1 pound
Tomatoes, Slicing 2 pounds 1 pound

Share Notes

  • Corn, Luscious: This week’s corn is a variety called Luscious, and we sure think its’ big beautiful bi-color ears live up to the name.

It’s canning time! Order Bulk Tomatoes from SIO

After several seasons of requests, we finally got our tomato growing act together to offer our CSA membership the opportunity to buy tomatoes in bulk for putting up.We will be offering 20lb flats of our slicing tomatoes for pick-up at the farm only, and will be setting up orders for pick-up this coming weekend (Sept. 5-7) and the following weekend (Sept. 12-14). The New Girl variety that we grow is great for slow roasting and freezing, or canning up as crushed tomatoes. They are are great for making big batches of salsa and tomato sauce.

  • $35 for 20lb flat of Red Slicing Tomatoes

To pick-up your order this weekend at the farm please order by 12pm (noon) Thursday 9/4. All orders will be available for pick-up at the farm 12pm (Noon) Friday 9/5 through 5pm Sunday 9/7. To place an order email the farm at csa@sauvieislandorganics.com with your name, number of 20lb flats you’d like, and the weekend you want them available for pick-up at the farm (either this weekend 9/5-9/7, or next weekend 9/12-9/14). You will receive an email confirming your order and directions for how to pick-up from the farm. Please invite your non-CSA member friends, neighbors, and co-workers to take advantage of this opportunity and get in on some of the SIO bounty as well.

 

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Recipes for CSA Week 15

The bounty is breathtaking at the moment. The corn more delicious every week and the tomatoes in full swing. I happen to call for Parmesan in more than half the recipes below so pick some up (or another favorite aged, grating cheese, such as Asiago Stella at Pastaworks) this week. And if you don’t use all your corn in the pesto, grill it in its husks until blackened and then enjoy with butter and salt. And the baked kale with tomatoes and potatoes is the first fall-like dish this year so if there is a cooler day this week, make it! Happy cooking.

Roasting Tomatoes (for Freezing)
Leek and Tomato Bread Gratin
Summer Squash and Tomatoes
Kale and Carrot Slaw with Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Potatoes and Kale Baked with Tomatoes and Bacon
Pasta with Sweet Corn Pesto
Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant or Summer Squash Baba Ganoush

Roasting Tomatoes (for Freezing)

If you’ve purchased extra tomatoes or have a bumper crop in your yard here’s one of my favorite preserving methods. I process about 30-40 lbs of tomatoes in this fashion each year. I use this method for slicers, heirlooms, sauce tomatoes and even cherry tomatoes (which turn out like candy and are much quicker). The heirlooms take longer since they have more moisture but they are delicious. It is a very low stress way of preserving lots of tomatoes if you have the freezer space. Small quantities are easy to make too. There’s no peeling, canning, or chopping. And the results are so tasty. I do small batches in late summer/fall to keep up with my garden.

Cut tomatoes in half (on the “equator”) and place them cut-side up on a sheet pan. Pack as many as you can onto a cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Roast at 400 degrees about 2-4 hours until they are about half their original size, are still moist but a bit caramelized around the edges. It will depend on the size/kind of tomato how long this takes.

Now if you’re going to use them right away you can chop them or they may just fall apart and then you can use them as a sauce for pasta or rice or most anything. Add fresh basil and a little fresh, minced garlic to offset the sweetness if you’d like. A dash of balsamic vinegar is good too.

If you are going to freeze them, let them cool on the sheet pans and then put the pans in the freezer. When tomatoes are firm remove, pick them off the tray and pack them in freezer bags or containers. Use as needed all winter long, chopped up in sandwiches (grilled cheese is wonderful with them), quesadillas, soups, sauces, finely chopped in a salad dressing, as a soup base, etc.

roasted tomatoes to freeze

Leek and Tomato Bread Gratin
inspired by smittenkitchen.com

You can vary the quantities and ratios here with no problem. More tomatoes will make it a little moister and might take a little longer to cook and more bread will make it denser and more crisp. I used less cheese than the original(s) listed and loved it. You can vary the herbs and increase the quantity if you’d like.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 leeks, washed, sliced in half lengthwise and crosswise into ½-inch half rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups cubed, stale bread (not sandwich bread–something with a bit more texture and body), crusts included
2 1/2 – 3 lbs tomatoes, diced
2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt (yes, you’ll want quite a bit)
1/3 cups of basil, thinly sliced (or combination of basil and fresh oregano)
1/2 cup (or more) grated Parmesan or other hard cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish or other similar dish.

Sauté the leeks in 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter. Remove from the pan when softened. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil and toast bread cubes in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the bread is toasty.

Add the leeks back in as well as the diced tomatoes, salt and garlic to the skillet with the bread and stir well to incorporate evenly. Cook for about five minutes, stirring often. Take off the heat, stir in the herbs and pour contents into baking dish. Top evenly with Parmesan and bake until bubbly and crisp on top, about 35 minutes.

Summer Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Lemon

summer squash, tomatoes and basil

This is a favorite summer squash dish. The addition of the lemon juice is critical. And a fried or poached egg makes this a complete meal for me, one I could eat daily all summer long.

3 medium squash, well washed and cut into thick batons, homemade French-fry sized
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 medium to large tomatoes, roughly chopped
Generous handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
Salt and pepper
½ a lemon

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onion and squash and cook, pretty much undisturbed for 6-8 minutes over medium to medium-high heat until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes, the basil, salt and pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Stir and then partially cover and let simmer for 10 -12 minutes until the squash is very tender. Adjust seasoning and serve with good crusty bread to soak up the juices.

Kale and Carrot Slaw with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

impromptu kale, carrot, lime slaw

I was to bring coleslaw to a dinner party yet had no time to go to the store for cabbage. I discovered plenty of kale (and sorrel) in my own garden and made this slaw instead. It’s a keeper and is, as are most things, easily adaptable to what you happen to have/like. You can also change the ratio of vegetables to suit your needs.

Serves 4-6

1 small to medium bunch kale, tough stems removed (I leave the ribs in), washed, dried and very thinly sliced
2 cups sorrel (optional), washed, dried and thinly sliced
3 small to medium carrots, scrubbed well and grated on large holes of box grater
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced or 1 small shallot or small piece of onion of any kind, thinly sliced
1 sweet red or green pepper, washed and seeded and thinly sliced (optional–if you still have some leftover from last week this is a good use for it)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped (parsley and/or mint would be good too)

Dressing:

1 large clove garlic, minced and then mashed with a bit of coarse salt on the cutting board with the side of a chefs knife to create a coarse paste (skip this step if you’re in a hurry)
Juice of 1 lime or 1 1/2 tablespoons white, cider or red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 a small jalapeño, minced (deseeded if you want less heat) or a bit of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup or more good olive oil
1/3 – 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (about 10 minutes at 350 degrees)

Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Toss dressing with salad and mix well to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning.

This salad holds up well and you can dress it an hour or more before serving. I tend to add the toasted seeds right before serving to preserve their crunch but adding them earlier is fine too.

Potatoes and Kale Baked with Tomatoes and Bacon

kale potato tomato bacon gratin

This is inspired by a recipe from Roots (by Diane Morgan) but is substantially different. It’s definitely a favorite dish in our household. It takes a while to bake but otherwise it’s very quick to pull together.

This makes quite a bit but it makes a great main dish and is excellent the next day so it’s seems worth making the whole amount but by all means reduce the quantities if you like.

Serves 4-6

About 5 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bit-sized chunks
1 bunch kale, well washed and stems trimmed if they seem tough and then all of it chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices bacon, diced
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 ½  – 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
½ cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the cream. Toss everything together well and transfer to a 8 x 13 or other large-ish baking dish. Pour the cream over everything. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir everything well—this is important to get the kale mixed in well and re-coated with liquid since it may still be a bit chewy. Return to oven, covered and bake another 20 – 30 minutes. If there is quite a bit of liquid in the pan you can remove the foil and bake uncovered to reduce it a bit.

When everything is tender remove from the oven and add the pepper and taste for salt. Serve immediately.

Pasta with Corn Pesto and Basil
–adapted from Bon Appetit

This dish is ridiculously good. It’s sort of height-of-summer comfort food, in a very good way. To make this vegetarian, instead of the bacon you can sauté the corn in butter or olive oil and add 1 teaspoon of pimenton (smoked Spanish Paprika) and then add a few squeezes of lime juice at the very end.

Serves 4, generously

3 slices bacon, diced
3-4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 4-5 large ears)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or aged Asiago or Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup almonds, pine nuts, walnuts or hazelnuts
1/3 cup good olive oil
3/4 lb penne or fettucine or tagliatelle
Reserved pasta cooking water (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup torn basil leaves, divided

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Pour off all but 1-2 tablespoon bacon fat (and reserve for frying potatoes or some such). To the skillet with the bacon fat add corn, garlic, about 1 teaspoon sea salt, red pepper flakes and some black pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernel mixture to a bowl and reserve. Process almonds until finely ground, add cheese, process again, then scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. With machine running, add olive oil and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, bacon (if using) and 1/2 cup basil leaves. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer pasta to a serving dish. Sprinkle with remaining basil leaves and serve immediately.

Eggplant Parmesan

Classic and lovely and not as complicated or time consuming as it might seem.

I rarley salt and drain eggplant anymore. It’s an extra step that I don’t find necessary with perfectly fresh eggplant. You can either bake the eggplant or pan-fry it in a bit of oil. I really like both versions and when I’m in a hurry I tend to fry and it is just a bit more delicious this way.

Serves 4

2 medium to large large globe eggplants, sliced into ¼ – 1/3 –inch slices lengthwise or into rounds
Olive oil
Salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups simple tomato sauce (just a little onion and diced tomatoes and olive oil and salt is all you need—cook down until saucy.) Add a little minced garlic and chopped basil.
1 cup (or more) grated Parmesan 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F if you’re going to bake the eggplant.

Arrange the slices on two baking sheets (they may not all fit and you’ll need to do them in batches). Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake, turning once until tender and starting to brown, about 20-25 minutes total. Turn oven down to 375.

If you’re going to fry them, heat some olive oil in the largest skillet you have and fry in batches, salting each batch, until tender and nicely browned.

Spread just a little tomato sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 13” baking dish (or something similar), cover with a layer of eggplant and spread a thin layer of sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat until you’ve used up all your ingredients, ending with either eggplant and cheese or sauce and cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or so until everything is bubbling and the cheese is browning on top. You can run it under the broiler for a few minutes if you want more color.

Eggplant or Summer Squash Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush is the smoky eggplant puree that I find terribly addictive. You can also use the same technique and seasonings with zucchini or other summer squash or a combination of eggplant and squash. If you by chance have smoked salt in your pantry use it in this dish.

Serves 6 + (keeps well)

2 medium-sized eggplants or 3 medium to large summer squash
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup of mint or cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F

Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.) If you are using squash you can skip this step too.

Place the eggplants and/or summer squash on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and find no resistance. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.

Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. No need to do this for squash if that’s what you’re using. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.

Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Serve drizzled with good olive oil, perhaps some herbs and with crackers, sliced baguette, or toasted pita chips for dipping.

This can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.

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CSA News: Week 14- August 26 to August 28

This Week’s Share…Share Photo Coming Soon

Crop

Family Share

Half Share

Corn, Sugar Pearl 8 ears 4 ears
Cucumbers 2 each 1 each
Eggplant 4 each 2 each
Fennel (with tops)
2 bulbs 1 bulb
Leeks 4 each 2 each
Peppers, Green Bell 4 each 2 each
Summer Squash on rotation on rotation
Tomatoes, Slicing 4 pounds 2 pounds

Share Notes

  • Corn: Enjoy this week’s large ears  of Sugar Pearl, a white kernel variety that is terrifically sweet and fruity.
  • Cucumbers: Sliced, diced, or whole, it’s the last week for enjoying this fresh summer crop.

It’s canning time! Order Bulk Tomatoes from SIO

After several seasons of requests, we finally got our tomato growing act together to offer our CSA membership the opportunity to buy tomatoes in bulk for putting up.We will be offering 20lb flats of our slicing tomatoes for pick-up at the farm only, and will be setting up orders for pick-up this coming weekend (Aug. 29-31) and the following weekend (Sept. 5-7). The New Girl variety that we grow is great for slow roasting and freezing, or canning up as crushed tomatoes. They are are great for making big batches of salsa and tomato sauce.

  • $35 for 20lb flat of Red Slicing Tomatoes

To pick-up your order this weekend at the farm please order by 12pm (noon) Thursday 8/28. All orders will be available for pick-up at the farm 12pm (Noon) Friday 8/29 through 5pm Sunday 8/31. To place an order email the farm at csa@sauvieislandorganics.com with your name, number of 20lb flats you’d like, and the weekend you want them available for pick-up at the farm (either this weekend 8/29-8/31, or next weekend 9/5-9/7). You will receive an email confirming your order and directions for how to pick-up from the farm. Please invite your non-CSA member friends, neighbors, and co-workers to take advantage of this opportunity and get in on some of the SIO bounty as well.

 

 

 

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