Sunday, July 21, 2013

Adventures in CSA 2013: Week 6 Recipes

Week 6

Week 6, how you flew! Last Saturday, we received the following in our allotted CSA share:

Week 6 Vegetables and Fruit (and eggs)
Arugula (I think we got lettuce, too, though it's not listed on the CSA website)
Green cabbage
Fresh onions (note from farm: sweet white onions, with tops that you can use as green onions)
Summer squash
Black raspberries

This was an especially big share, and it took us the entire week to get through it. In fact, we still had a few items left this morning, but I think it's all been cooked up as of lunch today.

Week 6

Big Salad - I think this one was loosely modeled on a cobb salad, with arugula, lettuce, corn, avocado, bacon, and a blue cheese dressing. Another winning salad with CSA greens! Next time, let's grill the corn.

Week 6

Week 6

Creamy Coleslaw - Though we live on opposite coasts, through the magic of the Internet, my friend Angela and I both spotted this recipe on Serious Eats on the same day. She sent the link to me shortly after I'd texted it to Dan suggesting it for some of the cabbage in the refrigerator. You might remember from my Week 5 wrap-up that we still had that week's cabbage hanging around, too. Being faced with twice the cabbage tested the resolve of my coleslaw boycott, and reading the long article describing how to make this cabbage both (a) convinced me we should give it a shot, and (b) told me we wouldn't be following the instructions precisely. All respect to the Serious Eats blogger, but that's too much work for coleslaw if you're (I'm) not really sure you (I) even like coleslaw.

All that said, Dan's less precise approximation of this recipe turned out great! It actually was what I consider the perfect blend of tangy, creamy, and chewy. We ate it as a condiment on some sausage-and-English-muffin sandwiches the next night, and I still liked it as leftovers in my lunchbox a couple of days later. 

p.s. I accidentally took a 15-second video of this coleslaw. It's over on the Snack Jail Tumblr.


Fwd: Fwd:

Warm Salad of Grilled Swordfish, Summer Squash, and Feta - Standout of the week! Best of 2013! Here's another Cooking Light recipe that translated beautifully to our amateur hour dinner. I have been, historically, a bit intimidated by the process of cooking fish (yeah, I know it's silly), but Dan and I are both working to improve our seafood-searing skills. So when I saw this featured in what I think is the current issue of the magazine, I added it to my recipe file for consideration. I'm so glad it made the cut.

Speaking of cuts, the wild-caught swordfish steaks I bought were way too thick to cook through in the time allotted, so we had to cut them up midway through the process. 

Otherwise, this dish was really easy to put together, the flavors were intensely pleasing, and it was also easy to disassemble into component parts our toddler was willing to eat (pasta, fish, feta).

Week 6

Black Raspberry Ice Cream - That video looks a little NSFW at first, right? Dan and Sebastian did the work, but I had the good idea. I think this one may have been inspired by another Cooking Light article, but the recipe was in the pamphlet that came with our ice cream maker. Yum.

Week 6

Braised Cabbage - I can't possibly imagine eating two heads of cabbage in one week, if they were both made into coleslaw, so I needed an alternative for our second head of cabbage. I was thinking it should be less labor-intensive than stuffed cabbage rolls, and braising occurred to me, so I Googled off in that direction. That led me to this recipe, which seemed well-received by commenters on the page. I liked that it included some Dijon mustard (I like Maille) along with the brown sugar. I used 3 CSA onions in the recipe, along with a head and a quarter of cabbage (one quarter left over from the slaw).

The end result made me pretty happy. The apple cider vinegar left it sauerkraut-esque, which is a compliment, if you ask me.  It was also smoky and bacon-flavored, creamy with onion, and had a good sauce beneath it for crusty bread-sopping.

Week 6

Week 6

Gazpacho - Mark Bittman's gazpacho recipe is very simple. Here's a version of his formula online. This is a great summer dish not just because it's served chilled, or because the tomatoes are seasonal, but also because you don't have to turn on the stove or oven to prepare it. Dan combined Bittman's recommendations with those of the gorgeous Spanish cookbook 1080 Recipes. Basil and cilantro, garlic and green onions all play important roles. Gazpacho is sort of "our dish," as Dan and I made 5 gallons of it the night before our wedding -- just over 12 years ago -- to serve at the reception. Romantic, right?!
Week 6

Regular Basil and Chicken Salad - Cooking Light strikes again, but this time it was just the inspiration. I think Dan glanced at the recipe, then struck out on his own. This was supposed to be made with Thai basil, but we didn't have Thai basil. The regular basil was pretty strong, so Dan added a small head of lettuce (maybe left over from Week 5? Or a bonus we weren't aware of in Week 6?). I'm not sure what his chicken marinade was, but I do believe it included lime and fish sauce. I don't think I really want to eat a lot of raw basil salads without other greens in there, but I appreciated the change.

Week 6

Cherry, Watermelon, and Limeaid Popsicles - This is too simple to need a recipe. It was fun licking through the frozen limeaid and watermelon juice to get to the CSA cherry prizes inside. I managed to do a semi-fancy, slanty thing with one of them, by tipping the ice-pop maker up and resting one end on a wooden cutting board so that it sat on a diagonal, then letting the limeaid harden a while before pouring in the watermelon juice.

Week 6

Week 6

Pickled Cucumbers - Some dill just barely hanging on from Week 5 made it into this jar, along with the cucumbers from Week 6. Our friend August shared the recipe we used:
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
cardamon seeds
dried hot pepper

Stuff jar.
Boil vinegar and sugar.
Pour boiling shit into jar.
Perfect in a few hours when it cools.
Go for it! These were pretty sour (and we skipped the hot pepper), but everybody loved them.  They're good on a sandwich (really improving a slightly dull one) or on their own.

Week 7

Summer Squash, Carrot, and Blueberry Muffins - These were made on Saturday afternoon, after we picked up Week Seven's share, so I included some Week 7 carrots in the mix. The squash was past its prime, but still shredded well in the food processor. I threw CSA blueberries in on a whim, adding them as I finished stirring the dry ingredients into the wet.

Here's the recipe (we subbed yellow squash for green, and doubled everything; no nuts). Lighter than carrot cake, they're moist like a good zucchini bread, and the blueberries pop pleasantly in the mouth. They may not be technically "healthy," but I am happy to pretend eating them is somewhat virtuous.

While we were making them, Sebastian told me he wasn't going to like them, but he was wrong.

And there we are! We ate the rest of the blackberries and cherries as they came, and I don't think we have any stragglers left in the refrigerator. It's on to Week Seven for me. What did you make with your CSA vegetables this week? Any recipes you'd recommend?

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