Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CSA 2011: Week 20

What a busy cooking week... I've used up so much produce but of course it's still hard to keep up.  I used the leaves from the celeriac to make homemade celery salt.  We topped our tacos with lettuce and heirloom tomatoes, big ones and a few cherry tomatoes as well.  Shrimp in Tomatillo and Herb Sauce made a repeat appearance from last year, using tomatillos, tarragon, and mint, plus basil from my little herb garden.  I bought corn from the market to make one of our favorites, Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto, one last time this season, and once again was glad to have my basil plant.  Over the weekend I spent a day with my family, and we snacked on guacamole, taking the opportunity to use up a small tomato and a jalapeno pepper, while we made a spicy vegetarian chili to use up eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and serrano peppers.  It was exciting to crack open a jar of our very own canned tomatoes - they may have lost some liquid but they were so flavorful.  I made an on-the-fly black bean soup, using a yellow pepper, garlic, tomato, and serrano pepper, plus an onion I picked up at the market.  We enjoyed a double batch of Mushroom Bourguignon, using mushrooms, an onion, and a carrot from the market and flavored with garlic and thyme from the farm.  Today I fire-roasted some of our older plum tomatoes under the broiler and canned them - I was pretty disappointed to have done all that work (and boiled the water in the canner for hours! boy was it hot in that kitchen!) for one lousy pint, but I bet it'll be tasty when I crack it open!

This week was a typical late-summer week with glimpses of fall starting to show up.  The pumpkins and winter squash have not fared well this year and we didn't see any this week.

This week we picked green beans, edamame, sauce tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, hot peppers, lemongrass, thyme, oregano, sage, and parsley.  We skipped the eggplants since they were so difficult to find last week.  I told a nice old Asian man how to use tomatillos.  I also found where the poblano pepper plant is hiding, so I've scoped out those and the serranos and jalapenos for some more useful picks.  This is prime time for hot peppers.  They're something I'd like to try to grow myself for next year - I can never pick enough jalapenos to pickle them, which I would really like to try.

Celeriac and beets were in a choice group today.  I still have the two celeriac from last week, so mom picked beets.  I sent her a recipe a few weeks ago for how to cook the beet greens, but these looked pretty dismal, so I guess she's lucked out this time - less work for her!

It's nice to have lettuce back.  After probably well over a hundred heads, we've figured out which we like.  This week all were red, but I spotted the less curly, lighter colored red leaves that are less bitter and we chose those.

I still have no place in my belly for green peppers, so I snagged a few that look like they might turn red or some other color... wish me luck!

I got 4 fairly average type eggplants.  I have not been able to keep up this summer.  I've got some older ones that need to be roasted for the Moroccan couscous salad.

Guilty as charged - I didn't use last week's arugula.  But I just saw a picture in a magazine of a beautiful piece of fish with some kind of yogurty sauce on top of a bed of bright green arugula and I want it! So hopefully this week I'll get a chance to make it happen.

 Garlic is always welcome in my household!  It doesn't last longer than 3 or 4 weeks - I've been taking the 2 heads almost every week, and I've only got 4 or 5 of them.

Never disappointed to see cilantro.  This bunch is going into the chile verde base I made and froze a few weeks ago - I'll defrost it in the fridge to blend the cilantro in and then put it back into the bag.

Happy to see some regular tomatoes!  So sick of heirlooms...

Hoping these will encourage me to eat some salad this week.  I've never been a big salad eater, but with all the lettuce we're bound to be getting over the next few weeks, I need to make a fancy dressing and focus on eating some salad.  I got this great blood orange olive oil at the tiny fall farmers market in downtown Ocean City a few weeks ago and I'd love to see how it works in a dressing for the lettuce and arugula.

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