Tuesday, July 5, 2011

CSA Report - Pickups 3/2

I am LOVING my CSAs this season!!!!! I am totally inspired by what I bring home and these past 2 pickups didn't disappoint...from Newton I got Swiss chard, lettuce, basil, oregano, fresh garlic, green onions, snap peas, radishes and turnips.....from Stillman's I got strawberries (last of the season) :( , fennel, zucchini, curly green kale, Forono beets, Rainbow chard, snap peas and lettuce....I also picked up the first tomatoes of the season (Green Zebras and some beautiful cherry tomatoes)....
So....what was cooking with all of this yummy produce??? I used the cherry tomatoes and chard with quinoa and avocado and a basic vinaigrette to make a satisfying lunch.
I was going to add the golden beets from last week's pickup, and so I grated them up, and stuck them in the fridge. When I went back to use them, they had oxidized and turned a yucky black color :( They tasted fine, but were really hard to look at and so I didn't use them....
When I first grated them, they were a vibrant, golden yellow color...so it's not unlike the oxidation of an apple turning brown. If I had grated them and put them in water w.a bit of acid, like lemon juice, they probably would have stayed yellow. (Note to self!!! :))
I roasted off the Forono beets (long, oval, dark red beets), fennel and turnips and used them to top off salad w.the various lettuces that I got.
Before roasting:
After roasting:

A note about turnips and radishes, when you roast them, they mellow out and caramelize a bit, becoming much sweeter and less sharp.
The beet greens, rainbow chard and green curly kale were cooked with Vaquero beans from Rancho Gordo, an amazing store/farm/bean preservation project out of Napa that specializes in heirloom beans. Vaquero beans are a variety of bean that are speckled, black and white and look like the coloring of cows, thus vaquero (which means cowboy or cattle driver in Spanish). When cooked, they keep their pattern, but turn an almost purple color and get very creamy. I cooked them in my pressure cooker with the greens, garlic and lemon.....very hearty. I cooked some burgers with ground beef from the meat portion of Stillman's CSA as well to have with the beans and greens.
The fresh garlic from NCF is outstanding, mellow and sweet. I used it along with the basil to make another batch of pesto.
Look at how white and beautiful the cloves are:
I used the pesto w.pasta but also made some Caprese crostini as an app over the weekend.
Caprese is a classic Italian salad which consists of fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil....
I used the remaining garlic as a part of a marinade for pork cutlets from Stillman's, along with lemon juice, green onions, cumin, coriander and extra virgin olive oil. I grilled the cutlets off and used them for pork tacos.
To go with the pork tacos, I grilled the green onions; I first tasted grilled onions about 6 years ago in San Francisco at a little hole in the wall Mexican food joint. They were delectable! The same theory applies to the green onions as the radishes/turnips, that when you add heat, the onion caramelizes and gets sweet.
The remaining radishes and turnips, along with some zucchini, red cabbage, cilantro, and lime juice became a slaw to top the tacos with.

For the July 4th holiday, I used up the lettuces, cherry tomatoes and Green Zebras to make a salad to bring to a BBQ.
Because I was feeling patriotic and had some beautiful strawberries left, I made some vegan shortcakes to go w.some vegan non-dairy topping and mixed berries. For the shortcakes I used Earth Balance shortening and Earth Balance vegan butter sticks as well as almond milk; they were delicious.
Because I knew I wasn't going to use the oregano that I got from the Newton farm, I actually stuck it in the dehydrator and dehydrated it. It is so fragrant! I'll use it when tomatoes are in full swing to make sauce :)
After ~12 hours in the dehydrator:
Lastly, I used the fronds from the fennel, along with the remaining Swiss chard and zucchini (as well as pear, apple, carrot, celery, cucumber and lemon) to make some awesome green juice :)

Have a good week and eat your veggies!!! :)

4 comments:

the food yenta said...

what kind of dehydrator do you have? looks like something i should be looking in to.

She who cooks... said...

I have an Excalibur, 5 tray, w/temp control and timer...I think Excalibur is the gold standard of dehydrators.
They make a 9 tray unit that I wish I had bought. I use it all the time. It's a great thing to have :)

She who cooks... said...

I blog a lot about using the dehydrator on my other blog, Rawk Out...look under my profile to find url :)

the food yenta said...

thanks!