Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pick-up Week 2

Still no beets yet!! The suspense is killing me.

This week's haul:

garlic scapes - 0.4 lbs
lettuce - 2 small
broccoli raab - 0.5 lbs
fava beans - 3/4 lbs
greens - 1 lb
mint - 2 oz
cucumbers - 0.65 lbs (10.4 oz)
squash - 0.9 lbs

More garlic scapes!! I'm starting to really like these little guys. Someone on the Harvest Astoria twitter feed mentioned that they are going to put theirs on pizza. I think that's a great idea! Greg and I are going up to Lake George for the 4th of July weekend and we always make pizza on the grill. I'll have to remember to bring a few with me.

Also, mint! I'm definitely making my blueberry and mint lemonade this weekend! Here's my recipe, feel free to adjust it to your tastes.

Blueberry Mint Lemonade

Juice of 12 juicy lemons
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
4 cups water

Muddle the blueberries, mint and sugar in a small/medium pitcher. Add the lemon juice and water and stir. Now comes the most important part: Add the lemonade to a glass with crushed ice and a shot (or two) of bourbon, vodka or champagne.

Taste as you go and experiment with the ratios until you get your perfect summer lemonade. Substitute the brown sugar for honey, agave nectar, splenda...whatever floats your boat. Do you have strawberries or mango? Throw those in too! There are no rules, it's just lemonade.

I may also have some fava beans and a nice, no, ok i wont' do that.

BBQ Chicken

I never thought it would be so hard to eat vegetables.

Ok, the eating is not really the hard part, it is the figuring out what to do with/cooking the vegetables before they start to wilt that is the hard part. Since all of these vegetables are grown on a small organic farm with no help from pesticides or chemicals, they have a normal plant life cycle. There is no finding a perfectly ripe tomato in the back of your fridge that was probably pumped with Carbon Dioxide and coated in wax and beetle poison (is that a thing? I don't know, probably) here. So, we have to eat anything leafy pretty fast, and preserve anything that I don't think we're going to eat right away.

Tip of the day!: soak wilted lettuce and greens in an ice bath for a few minutes and they magically perk up!

A few days ago I wanted to have a massive salad and decided that BBQ Chicken (with my homemade BBQ sauce, yes, it is entirely my own recipe of ingredients I found in my fridge and spice rack) was the thing to have with it. I was right. It was an awesome dinner. I think that meals of giant salads and a meat "side dish" are going to be a trend this summer.

The CSA vegetables in the salad are lettuce, sliced purple and red radishes, garlic scapes, spring onions cured in olive oil and lemon juice and then i added carrots and grape tomatoes from the grocery store. With all the harsh radishy/garlicy/oniony flavors going on i went with a sweet dressing of honey, lemon juice, olive oil, and S&P.

I did end up making the garlic scape pesto, and let me tell you DO NOT put too much of it on your pasta! It isn't as strong as garlic, but it will stay with you all day. I little bit goes a long way, and I think next time I will maybe do 50/50 garlic scape and basil for a more traditional, yet spiced up sauce.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our First Pickup

Wednesday June 22nd was our first pick up for our CSA share. Here is a list of what was available:

lettuce - 1
greens - 1 lb (mixed Kale and Beet Greens(I think)
radishes - 5 (mixed colors)
garlic - 2
garlic scapes - 8
spring onions - 4
beets - 3
6 oz container of lemon yogurt
1/2 lb of butter
1 dozen eggs

That is what was available, but for some reason, and I swear it isn't because I really hate beets, but I somehow missed them. I don't know how it happened. Maybe I was distracted by the garlic scapes, which I have never seen before. Maybe I was too excited to pick out my delicious flavor of yogurt. Whatever it was, I didn't get them. We did get Beet Greens though, so this blog title is still accurate! I also somehow missed the garlic, which is tragic because I freakin love garlic. Ah well, lesson learned.

So far I have sauteed the greens with a little olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. I think they taste incredible, Greg thinks they taste like greens. On Wednesday we had the lemon yogurt with blueberries for dessert. Yogurt for dessert might sound a little strange, but since this is probably the best yogurt I have ever had in my life it was perfect.

Tonight I plan on making some sort of salad with the head of lettuce and some of the radishes and spring onion and maybe a couple fried eggs on top. I'm going to quick pickle the onions in lemon juice and then I'll probably pickle the rest of the radishes for a snack later.

As for the garlic scapes, I found this recipe by Kim O'Donnel in The Washington Post for Garlic Scape Pesto! I'll of course switch out the walnuts for almonds most likely, but I'm really looking forward to bringing GS pesto pasta salad for lunch tomorrow.

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup garlic scapes (about 8 or 9 scapes), top flowery part removed, cut into ¼-inch slices
1/3 cup walnuts
¾ cup olive oil
¼-1/2 cup grated parmigiano
½ teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Place scapes and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until well combined and somewhat smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil and process until integrated. With a rubber spatula, scoop pesto out of bowl and into a mixing bowl. Add parmigiano to taste; add salt and pepper. Makes about 6 ounces of pesto. Keeps for up to one week in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

For ½ pound short pasta such as penne, add about 2 tablespoons of pesto to cooked pasta and stir until pasta is well coated.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our First CSA

Mainly because I thought it would be fun to try new things, Greg and I joined the Harvest Astoria CSA this summer. This Blog is going to be a record of the food we get and the meals that come from it. Our first pick-up is today. Can't wait to see what we get!