Posts tagged CSA

Two Squash Recipes and a CSA Box

(Do feel free to scroll down to get to the recipes)  Yet again, our CSA farm has outdone itself, providing us with not the promised 7-8 types of produce, but a whopping 11 types!  If I hadn’t told the guy at the farm what size box we had this week, I would swear this was a large box.  Amazing!  In it:

  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 bunch very dark kale
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 carnival winter squash
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 3 tangerines
  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1 pouch of sugar snap peas
  • lots of little sunchoke roots (aka Jerusalem artichokes)

Now, this box made me apprehensive for a few reasons.  I am ambivalent about grapefruit, though still interested in trying the cakelets + broiled supremes from last week I haven’t tried yet, and looking for some way to use the additional ones.  Sunchokes are something completely foreign to me, so I am opting to do what I do with things that scare me as well as things I love – pickle them!

But finally, I was a little dismayed to see J’s and my arch nemesis, kale.  It is one of the few vegetables that we agreed will never cross our threshold because we just find it unbearably bitter and unredeemable.  However, because we received it, we’re going to try incorporating it into mashed potatoes, and making the apparently ubiquitous kale chips.  Also on the menu:

  1. Chicken Teriyaki with Bok Choy and Snap Peas
  2. Barbecue Chicken Salad with Kale Mashed Potatoes
  3. Burgers with Charred Vegetables with Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
  4. Cauliflower “Rice” and Black Beans
  5. Carnival Squash Pearl Barley Risotto

Also, this week is Passover, the Jewish festival celebrating spring (oh, yeah, and the Jews’ escape from slavery in Egypt).  I’m having my family over for dinner on Monday night to celebrate (even though it doesn’t officially start until Tuesday, so says my calendar) and I’m making:

  1. homemade matzoh bread (and, therefore, meal)
  2. homemade gefilte fish
  3. homemade matzoh ball soup (are you beginning to see a theme here?)
  4. roasted hard-boiled eggs
  5. charoset (more on this later)
  6. horseradish with beets
  7. roasted chicken
  8. roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions
  9. coconut macaroons
  10. chocolate sponge cake roll with orange frosting

Acorn Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza (12 slices)

Pizza crust recipe from “Fields of Greens,” by Annie Somerville; Pizza toppings adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 6 tbsp. warm water
  • 6 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (next time I would probably increase this amount)
  • about 1 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside in a warm place for a few minutes.  In a large bowl, combine milk, oil, and cornmeal.   Add yeast, then salt and flour, gradually, until dough is soft and becomes difficult to stir.  Turn out onto a floured board, and knead in additional flour as needed until no longer sticky.
  2. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: This makes 1 medium-thick 15″ crust or 2 thin 15″ crusts.  I found this dough to be extremely soft, almost bread-like.  I have read that whole-wheat flour has a lower gluten content, so next time I plan to add a tablespoon of wheat gluten to see if I can get a chewier result.

For the pizza:

  • pizza dough
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 c. spinach
  • red wine vinegar, for sprinkling


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Slice in approximately 1/2″ slices.  Toss with maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes, or until tender.  Peel squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Turn oven to broil.  Roll out pizza crust and transfer to baking sheet sprinkled lightly with cornmeal – I do this as I do with pie crusts: roll the dough around your rolling pin, then lift the pin, position over your baking sheet, and unroll, letting the dough fall lightly on the sheet.  Brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Arrange squash slices on pizza dough, then sprinkle cheeses on top.  Turn oven to 500 degrees, and bake pizza 8-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.  Remove from oven, pile spinach on top, and sprinkle over red wine vinegar, salt, and cracked pepper to taste.

Stuffed Squash (2 servings)


  • 1 medium squash
  • 1/2 lb. button mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/3 lb. Italian-style sausage
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 c. greens (spinach, chard, etc.), wilted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Lightly brush olive oil over cut side of squash, and place on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven while you prepare the stuffing.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a medium saute pan.  Mince the mushrooms and add to the pan.  Cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes, or until mushrooms have shrunk and are soft.  Add the sausage, and cook until cooked all the way through.  Add enough bread crumbs to bind the filling together.
  3. Remove squash from the oven.  Place stuffing in the cavity of each squash half and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

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Weeks Four and Five

  • 3 kiwis
  • 3 red potatoes
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 1 bunch turnips
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 head napa cabbage
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 jewel yams
  • 2 kiwis
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 bunch red leaf lettuce
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 white grapefruit

I still haven’t made the kiwi fruit granita, but now that I have almost ten of them, I think I should get moving!

Last week, I made Spicy Spaghetti with Fennel.  I did photo it, but as a brown-on-brown dish, it wasn’t terribly photogenic, although amazingly tasty.  Paired with lemonade made from those Meyer lemons, it was a pretty perfect dinner.  I’m just too lazy to post about it right now, and I’m already behind on my posts, so I’ll get to it some other time.  Same with the Corned Beef and Cabbage (boiled, then baked with mustard sauce) – except I, um, didn’t even photo that – too busy eating it.

On the menu this week:

  • Artichoke and Leek Pizza
  • Saag Aloo (Indian-style greens and potatoes: I’ll use a mixture of collards, mustard greens, and spinach)
  • Orange Scones
  • Kiwi and Coconut Muffins
  • Scalloped Potatoes with Fennel, Chicken Parmesan, sauteed garlicky chard
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole with Leeks and Fresh Dill
  • Acorn Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza with Spinach
  • Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and some vegetable to be determined…
  • Grapefruit Yogurt Cakelets with Broiled Grapefruit Supremes

…and, oh yes, I will be eating all of this on a pretty restricted diet.  We’re talking 1200-1500 calories per day, and so far this diet hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world, but I manage to eat pretty well most days anyway.

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Late Again!

I know, I know, I’m just behind on everything!  Well, not everything.  I’m up to date on my homework, and J and I have cleaned the house top to bottom today.  Still, I’m behind on my weekly cooking, since we spent so many evenings out of the house last week.  I’ve still got a lovely beet risotto in my sights for tomorrow, lemon ginger chicken with sweet potato latkes tonight, and cajun chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes and a tangerine/jicama salad for Thursday.

Still, this means I have an incredible box of produce this week that I have to find places for!

This week we got:

  • 2 bunches baby lettuce – I think baby romaine and green/red leaf
  • 1 bunch red beets
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 leek
  • 1 delicata squash
  • 1 onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 artichokes
  • 3 kiwifruit
  • 3 Meyer lemons (!)

Now, this is eleven – ELEVEN – different types of produce, 3 more than we’re supposed to be getting, and man, I am far from complaining.  I’m especially excited to see artichokes, which I am a little afraid of, and Meyer lemons, which must be used for something very special.

Meyer lemons are more expensive that regular lemons, in large part because their zest is so much more floral than a regular lemon.  Next time you see Meyer lemons in a grocery store, compare them to a regular lemon.  The texture of the skin is smoother, the color of the skin is more orange, and the scent is definitely stronger.

This week:

  1. I invited my family to dinner on Tuesday, so instead of changing my meal plan, I can now make bi-colored beet risotto, using my bunches of both golden and red baby beets.
  2. The green onions will probably be incorporated into the mashed potatoes as well as on whatever other dish amuses me.
  3. Artichoke and Leek pizza, lemony and garlicky and awesome
  4. I’ll probably stuff the delicata squash with a mixture of chard greens and spicy sausage.
  5. Kiwifruit granita?  Yes, I think so.

And now, what to do with those Meyer lemons… what to do, what to do, what to do… I’m thinking:

  • Meyer Lemon Goat Cheesecake with
  • Meyer Lemon Curd

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Veggie Box: Week Two

So, I was just a little less excited about getting my veggie box, mostly because everything that was in my box last week (except for the chard) we get on a pretty regular basis, and I was hoping to get some more unusual items.  Still, I drove on down to the farm to see what was waiting for me, and was definitely pleased!

Yes, the lighting is weird in this photo.

In this week’s box:

  • 1 bunch green leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • 1 bunch some other small-leaved, tender lettuce – I’m guessing romaine
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch rapini (a.k.a broccoli rabe)
  • 1 bunch orange carrots
  • 1 bunch small golden beets
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 Braeburn apples
  • 2 “mandarin tangerines,” according to the list – not sure which they are – I think mandarin oranges

Of course I ended up not eating the green leaf lettuce last week (oops) so now I have two bunches and the baby romaine to make into salads, so I’d better get munching.  I also have an awesome looking menu to get the best out of this produce:

  1. Beet Risotto with Chard
  2. Cajun Chicken/Whitefish, Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, Tangerine & Jicama Salad
  3. Parsley Pesto Pasta with Crispy Garlic Rapini
  4. Pot Roast
  5. Tangerine Upside-Down Cake
  6. Apple Slices with Homemade Caramel

I also notice that I’ve been ah, a bit tardy and behind schedule – recipe for curried quinoa coming soon, if I can remember to photo it before eating the leftovers…

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My First CSA Box!

I was pretty excited driving out to the local farm, just a mile from my house.  There were about a dozen orange chickens walked around in the area in front of the yellow building where we are supposed to pick up our boxes.

In this week’s box:

  • 1 bunch green leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 green pears
  • 4 lemons

The green leaf lettuce is going into salads for my lunch.  The menu for the rest of the week includes:

  1. Italian Wedding Soup (chard)
  2. Maple Muffins with Carrots, Pineapple, and Raisins
  3. Arroz con Pollo (onion)
  4. Carbonnade [Beef and Beer Stew] (onion)
  5. Roasted Pears with Vanilla (pears)
  6. Lemon Ginger Chicken/Catfish (sweet potatoes, lemons)

I haven’t decided exactly which side dish to make out of the sweet potatoes yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure out something later in the week.

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