Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CSA 2011: Week 11

These are last week's flowers.  :)

So I made the zucchini pickles, zucchini gratin, and turkey couscous meatloaf as planned.  Naturally, I had to buy corn from the market for the Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto, which we just can't get enough of.  We also made the Chopped Miso Salad (pictured below) down the shore, which is now a family favorite that has deviated pretty substantially from the original recipe.  (The dressing has stayed the same.)

A few weeks ago, I made refrigerator garlic dill pickles, which I have just gotten to try today, and they are all I ever wanted in a pickle.  I think I like them better than the Shop Rite brand kosher dill spears that you get in the refrigerator section.  I'm going to make some more of these the next time I see pickling cucumbers.  I figure they'll keep for a while in the fridge being so acidic.

Today, when I got home from collecting all of this week's produce, which I'll get to in a minute, I made this eggplant couscous dish with last week's two eggplants.  This was entirely an effort to make room for the new stuff, but oh how I love the savory combination of cumin and cinnamon.  It's also in the Red Lentil and Chard Soup I made with last week's chard, which I'll post about very soon.  I also made another batch of my friend's cucumber salad, but I didn't have any onions, so I have to throw a few in later.

Let's sum it up.  From the CSA, I've used zucchini, white salad onions, cabbage, scallions, eggplant, cilantro, Swiss chard.  From the market, I've used red salad onions, corn, carrots, sage.  From various people's gardens, I've used basil and cucumbers.  In addition to this, I froze some of the big bunch of sage, a bit of grated zucchini, some ice cubes of basil puree (basil, oil, garlic, salt), a basil/garlic compound butter, two of the meatloaves, and some of the lentil/chard soup.  I'm stocking up pretty well here.

Now, after all that, what about this week?  Before I even got to the CSA, I had Swiss chard, parsley, a ton of cucumbers, and a garbage bag of basil.  I mean, an actual garbage bag, FULL of basil.  I'm still working on turning it into a usable form, though I have a few things keeping me from it right now.  So before I even went to the farm I had all of this stuff in my house.

When I got to the farm, it was official: summer is really here.  This was a big produce week.  First, I checked out the PYO board.

I didn't bother with the okra.  I definitely want to try it, but this week I had enough to worry about already.  I grabbed a handful of mint and a handful of lemon balm for an iced tea experiment that I want to try.  I filled a pint of raspberries pretty easily.  And since it was hot, and I was alone, I didn't take even one of the 100 (yes, one hundred) flower stems we were entitled to.

In the farm stand there was a surprising amount of stuff.  It took me a while to do this by myself, and since I had nowhere to be, I took my sweet time.  This is always a good idea, because fresh batches of veg will be put out while you're wandering around.  I was able to wait for the good stuff - lacinato kale, big yellow summer squash, turning-red peppers.

Kale vs. collards = easy choice (kale, in case you didn't get that) and I kept both bunches for the delicious raw kale salad.

I didn't take any eggplant.  The ones in the box were squishy and tiny.  I waited and waited and waited even after I was finished with everything else for her to put out new ones, but she didn't.  I decided I had enough produce and just left without them.

I took 3 of the 4 peppers we were entitled to because that's how many in the bin looked like they had a chance at turning red.  Green ones are gross.  My mom snagged one of these.

Ugh... basil.  I took the two bunches despite the garbage bag waiting for me at home.  Fortunately, my mom took these from me.

I had taken my zucchini early on in the trip, but I went back and swapped a few when she brought out some nice big yellow ones.  I ended up with 7 green and 3 yellow.  I think my mom took 2 green and 1 yellow.

When my mom came over to pick up some of the produce, she kept eating these delicious cherry tomatoes whenever I wasn't looking.  When she shared one with me, I understood why.  So good!  She took some and I still have enough for some delicious bruschetta, or maybe some oven-roasted ones.

The beets, without tops, went straight home with my mom.

I was happy to see potatoes again since they are versatile and last a bit longer.  I still have some of last week's so mom took most of these.

I took one bunch each of dill and cilantro, not realizing that my mom would snag all the cilantro!  Hopefully I'll be able to put the dill to good use... I have a few ideas.

The slicing tomatoes aren't quite ready yet, but they are going to be soooo good.  I can't wait for fresh tomato/basil/mozzarella plates.  Mom took a few of these as well.

I almost forgot about the Swiss chard.  I love the rainbow colors, but since I just got a whole bunch from Nonna, I let my mom take this to give to my grandma.

So that's what I'll be up to this week.  Making pesto, for sure, plus hopefully some other interesting things.  I'll be happy if I get to try some new recipes.  Tomorrow is the farmers' market, so I'll have to start making lists and figuring out what I need to do to efficiently use this produce this week and minimize the waste.

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