Friday, October 7, 2011

CSA Round up

I have to say that this season has been one of my favorite CSA seasons. The combo of the small share from Stillman's and the every other week share from Newton Community Farm has worked out wonderfully; I managed the amount of produce very well, and I'm proud to say that I wasted very little.
Both farms have had their hard times with the weather this season, but both have produced amazing produce none the less....the past few weeks have given me crazy good broccoli, eggplant, potatoes, cauliflower, peppers (hot and sweet), greens (kale), celery, carrots, onions, apples, pears, plums, Concord grapes, and mixed herbs....gone are the pounds of tomatoes and ears of corn, but they were great while they lasted :)...enter in the beautiful winter squashes and I know fall is here.
It's a sad time of year for me because I know that soon, my weekly stock ups of local produce will come to a stop, and I'll have to shuffle back to (corporate) Whole Foods and surrender most of my (hard) earned dollars...sigh......oh well, but I digress....

What have I been making?

Sauce! With all the loverly tomatoes, I decided to make some sauce. I bolstered the protein by adding in some tofu as well. It created a creamy sauce, that was flavored with 2 things, garlic and basil.

I made some pasta and dressed with with the sauce, some hemp seeds, nutritional yeast and some green chard....mmmm...that's late summer in a bowl right there.....

With some of the sweet and hot peppers, onions and garlic, I did a quick plantain and Vaquero bean stew in my pressure cooker.
I've posted about Vaquero beans before, from Rancho Gordo, an amazing store out of Napa that is dedicated to saving heirloom bean as well as other cool ingredients like chile peppers and ancient grains from South America.
A big handful of cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice finished off the dish.

From our own garden, we've harvested a bunch of butternut squash, kabocha and pumpkin. I used a couple of the butternuts to make a hearty Lentil, Butternut and Kale soup; I also included a sweet potato in the was filling and delicious...

About once a week, I've been making 2 big sheet pans of roasted veggies. The possibilities are endless with roasted veggies...I've been using eggplants, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, summer squash, winter squash, red peppers, onions, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, get the idea.....for added protein, I like to add in chickpeas as well. All you do is chop the veggies into similar size dice, mix with some olive oil, S+P and fresh (or dried) herb of choice...roast at 425 degrees until caramelized....That's it...I eat the roasted veggies straight up, or as a topping for a grain or pasta. Here's some Brussels sprouts (yes, they grow on a stalk) that I used along with cauliflower, romanesco, chickpeas and shallots to roast...And have you heard of romanesco? It's a cross between broccoli and cauliflower and visually it's a beautiful veggie, looking like a mathematical fractile.

Here's a tray with sweet potato, broccoli, summer squash, eggplant, red onion and thyme.

From the fruit portion of my CSA from the Newton Community Farm, I've been getting the sweetest Concord grapes which I have been juicing...check out how purple the juice is...bursting with anthocyanins!!
From Stillman's farm, I bought a chunk of some wild Hen of the Woods mushroom, and sauteed it with shallots and thyme.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this was a great CSA season and I'm sad to see it end...

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