Tomatillo Salsa

The contents of my CSA box were delicately curated to allow me the fortune of making really delicious tomatillo salsa. It was simple enough: roast tomatillos and serrano chiles in the oven, blend with lime/salt/cilantro, and voila! I made it one night and by the next afternoon, I couldn’t wait to get home from work simply because I wanted to snack on some more chips and salsa.

On a related note, I didn’t know that tomatillos were more closely related to the gooseberry than a tomato. This probably explains their tartness. I also found out that tomatillos are high in pectin, which might make them well-suited for a jam…. definitely something I want to try in the future.

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Week 11: Summer Vegetable Succotash

I’ve been slacking on taking photos, but, fortunately, spending more time soaking in the summer weather. This week, I combined a bunch of the vegetables from week 10 and week 11 into a succotash (pattypan squash, dragon beans, corn, bell pepper, and cranberry beans). The recipe is vaguely based on this one from Martha Stewart.

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Week 9: Cucumber Salad with Grilled Corn and Eggplant

I have completely lost track of time and neglected to post some of the photos I’ve taken… also forgetting to take photos. There’s definitely a memory card floating somewhere around my apartment…

Anywho, summer veggies are in full swing which means we are grilling much more frequently and eating lots of salads. I’ve found the best way to grill corn is simply to soak the cobs for 30 minutes and wrap in tin foil along with butter and spices. Any other method we have tested has failed miserably. You’d think I could just google search this, but I guess I prefer to earn my knowledge.

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Week 8: Haricot Vert with Herbed Potatoes and Cajun-spice Roasted Corn

Summer is officially here AKA I received my first ears of sweet corn. I was lazy and burnt the first batch (pre-soak longer and it would probably be fine). In any case, the cajun seasoning made what was left taste really good. 

Tonight, I’m dining on herbed potatoes and velour green beans, which were actually purple before I par-boiled them. Such simple phenomena are magical to me.

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Italian Stuffed Cabbage

Sometimes, I  get something in the CSA that gives me a perfect excuse to go all out. This week, I made stuffed italian cabbage using the savoy cabbage that came in this week’s box. I worked from the Smitten Kitchen version, though many versions have come before. It was delightful, delicious, decadent… everything I hoped it would be.

… not to mention getting drunk on wine while I cooked. Those are always the best nights :)

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Cucumber Salad and Carrot-green Pesto

You betcha, I used a Rachel Ray recipe. Otherwise, the carrot pesto was good, but best fresh. It started to look a little grey and dry once it cooled down.

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Week 7: Raspberry Jam and Dill-Pickled Green Beans

3 techniques I hope to use to deal with excess CSA veggies:

  • Freeze (properly, of course)
  • Worm bin (vermiculture composting)
  • Home canning

On that note, today marks my first forays into home canning. I was able to can 5 small jars of raspberry jam and 3 larger jars of dill-pickled green beans. I should note that failure is a natural step in the journey toward learning. Today’s experience was no exception. Mostly, I learned…

  • It would be really nice to have a dishwasher
  • I need to use a smaller pot for sterilizing lids. Otherwise, fishing them out is like playing one of those carnival games where I’m destined to lose.
  • Raspberry jam has natural pectin… don’t worry, it will thicken once it cools
  • I can never shove enough green beans into a jar
  • I need to remember that I work 9-5; weekends are probably ideal for this sort of project

My boyfriend and I quickly roasted some carrot, potato, and fennel for dinner. That was probably the more successful part of the evening… Otherwise, I am looking forward to eating gooseberries this week. I thought they were only a fictional fruit from willy wonka’s chocolate factory.

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Fava Bean Crostini and Baked Summer Squash

As a good friend noted, this was his "fava-rite" recipe of the evening although the baked summer squash was just as delightful. I particularly enjoyed the experience of shelling and prepping the fava beans; the pods feel as if they were lined with velvet.

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Napa Cabbage Cole Slaw

The head of cabbage from my CSA box took up a good amount of space in the fridge. I told my roommate that the cabbage was roughly the size of a small baby, to which he noted that like any good person, I should, of course, store that baby in the fridge.

To clear some room, I decided to use the napa cabbage in a coleslaw. Using this Martha stewart recipe, I was able to use some of the white satin carrots from my CSA box. Additionally, I spruced it up with some finely chopped broccoli (again, from the box). Mint went surprisingly well in the salad too (leftover from pie). The result is a delicious, sesame-toasted and fleshy-colored slaw : \ It’s not pretty on the eyes but it’s good to the palate. It also goes great on leftover beet burgers.

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Sugar Beet and Black Bean Veggie Burger

I can get behind a really good beet burger, which is why I chose this recipe. Of course, I am a lazy reader and a lazy cook so when I actually sat down with the directions, I was all, “schwat?!”. I  even made some of the ingredients ahead of time so I could hit the ground running, but I neglected to read as far ahead as the 2 hour fridge waiting period. 

In an internet age that promises all of the most mind blowing videos/photos/recipes/experiences, I was a bit skeptical of this recipe. While I did grumble through some of the experience of making this burger, I have to say it turned out really good. In my CSA this week, I received sugar beets, which look almost identical to daikon radishes except for the distinct scent you get when you scrub them before cooking. Just a note, this lends a much sweeter note to the recipe; sugar beets are not as earthy as other varieties of beets, and are actually commercially produced for sugar production. 

I’d say go for this recipe if you have the patience to plan ahead (roast beets and cook the rice nights before) or plan this for a nice lazy sunday.

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