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[personal profile] amazon_syren
Hi, folks.

I don't have a CSA. I'm looking at getting a CSA, and tyring to sort out which farm (a) delivers to a place that is grocery-carrying walking distance from my house and (b) will give us mostly veggies that we already eat. The latter part isn't a huge issue, but it's still a Thing (thense this community, I realize).

My question is: What do I do with lettuce (and arugula, and cut-and-come-again greens, and so on). I mean, the obvious is SALAD... except my wife actively dislikes lettuce and spending a month getting mostly veggies that my wife won't want to eat multiple times per week seems like a recipe for a lot of rotten greens, no matter how much I like the stuff.

In the case of just about anything else, I could either blanch-and-freeze the extra or preserve it as pickles, salsa, or something along those lines. But lettuces and other super-delicate greens don't preserve very well, so I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for creative ways to use tender/delicate greens quickly and in ways that don't scream "filler".


daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
I may have posted before about the virtue of dry roasting vegetables at high temperature. Preheat the oven to ~425F, toss a single layer of bite-sized cauliflower/broccoli/brussels sprouts/carrots/potatoes/beets/whatever with a little oil, salt and pepper to taste, maybe add some rosemary or something, and bake, stirring the pan occasionally. Timing varies, obviously; cauliflower doesn't take as long as beets. To be honest, though, I just do 10-15 minutes at a time and take them out when the edges are crispy and the fork goes in easy.

Anyway. The point of this post is to say that I have never before done this with bacon drippings, and this was really stupid. OMG, that's awesome. Reduce the salt when you do it, obviously. I don't know why I didn't think of this before, since I've done it with duck fat, but there you go. Bacon fat is a little easier to obtain.

If you have a jar of bacon grease that lives in the fridge, I highly recommend trying this.
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
AKA Daedala-needs-to-clean-out-her-fridge stew.

This is an amalgam of several Cook's Illustrated recipes. Some of the measures are pretty approximate. It turned out really well when I made it like this; more recently, I tried with beef and chicken stock, and added parsnips and rutabaga. That version wasn't as successful (though it's edible, and got better after a night in the fridge). The biggest problem was the parsnips, I think -- they added a strong, sweetish flavor that overpowered everything else. I also browned too much beef at once, so it didn't really brown properly. I don't think the rutabaga was a problem, though. I'll be sticking with this as my ur-stew recipe unless I have a few more failures -- the version described below is amazing.

Lamb stew meat (2 lbs)
4 T olive oil (or other preferred oil)
1/2 c red wine vinegar (I think? I just poured it in)
3 onions, chopped
1/4 c flour (optional)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 T tomato paste
1 t thyme
1 t sea salt
4 c lamb stock (I had it; other stock or water would probably work fine)
lamb bones you were saving for stock (optional)
8 oz turnip, chopped
8 oz carrot, chopped
if you didn't use flour, some kind of thickener
1/4 c chopped parsley

1. Sea salt and pepper lamb stew meat. Brown in a single layer in a dutch oven with 2 T olive oil (probably 2-3batches), then remove to plate. If you brown it all at once, too much moisture comes out and the meat steams instead of browning, oops. If you do that, reserve the liquid with the meat.

2. Deglaze with the red wine vinegar and stir up the browned bits. Add 3 chopped onions and sautee in 2 T olive oil until soft, ~ 10 min. Add more olive oil as needed. If using flour as a thickener, add 1/4 c here and stir to coat.

3. Add chopped garlic, sliced mushrooms, tomato paste, thyme, and salt. Stir and sautee until mushrooms are wilted. The mushrooms and tomato paste are supposed to add the umami flavor, for richness and depth.

4. Add 4 c lamb stock and the browned lamb. Bring to a boil, then cover and put in a 300F oven to bake.

5. After an hour, add chopped turnip and carrot (don't stir them in). Bake another hour. Check; if it's still too liquid, uncover and bake another half hour.

6. Stir in vegetables, then let stand 5 min. Spoon off any fat that surfaces.

8. If you weren't using flour, sprinkle in the thickener you prefer, stir, and let stand for a little bit. Add 1/4 c chopped parsley and stir.
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
*dusts off community*

I've been a terrible mod -- mea culpa. I wasn't cooking interesting vegetables for quite a while! Now I am, though, and I will post more. Hopefully this will encourager les autres.

This recipe is based on Cook's Illustrated's "Braised Winter Greens with Bacon and Onions." The results were fantastic; I'm not sure how well it will keep, but I'm sure it will be at least edible reheated. :) It seems like a good thing to know for when I next have kale that is maybe no longer fresh enough for kale chips, but still edible.

6 slices of bacon (I used 8, then scooped out 1/4 of the bacon bits to save in the fridge for later use)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
crushed red pepper to taste (recipe said 1/8 t, but I'm sure I used more)
1 lb of cleaned kale, stems removed (I bought it like this; the original recipe said 2 lbs of bunched kale or collards)
1 c. chicken stock
1 c. water
1 T cider vinegar, plus more to taste

Cut the bacon into bacon bits and cook over medium-low heat in a big (6 qt minimum) Dutch oven until crisp. Scoop them out and pour off some of the bacon fat, so you have about 2T fat left. Save the bacon fat!

Add the onion and shallot and cook until soft and translucent. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add about half the greens (that's all that will likely fit!) and stir until they've wilted some. Add the stock and water and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add the rest of the greens (I needed to add-and-stir a few times to get them all to fit). Cover and cook on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (if using collards, add another 10 minutes).

Check to make sure the greens are fully-cooked and tender; if not, cook more until they are. Remove the lid and raise the temperature to cook until the liquid is mostly gone and the greens are sizzling a little, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the cider vinegar, bacon bits, and 1 T reserved bacon fat.
phi: (Default)
[personal profile] phi
Hi! I've been lurking all summer, and thought I'd share todays cooking efforts with you.

It's been a stressful hectic summer, and I've given away more CSA veg than I've actually eaten this year. This week, though, I decided that dammit, I was going to eat all my vegetables.

All of these recipes are vegan except the one that obviously isn't, and all are gluten-free. I was inspired by Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home by the Moosewood Collective, and Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romano, but all of the following recipes involved doctoring or improvising with what I had on hand.

Tomato-greens soup:

I started with the tomato garlic soup recipe on p42 of Moosewood Cooks at Home, but doctored it with onion and saffron, and skipped the cheese.

Roughly dice three or four medium onions and sautee over medium-low heat until onions are nicely browned and caramelized (about twenty minutes). A minute or so before onions are done, add a teaspoon red chili powder and stir to coat. Let chili powder toast for a minute before removing from heat.

Meanwhile, thinly slice about half a head of garlic, and toast on the stove in olive oil until the garlic looks barely brown and smells toasty.

Simmer the garlic and onions in a pot of vegetable broth (I cheated and used Better than Boullion because I didn't have homemade stock on hand) until the flavors blend, about 8 minutes.

Add chopped fresh tomatoes to taste. I had about two pounds to use up, so that's how much I put in. Add a generous pinch of saffron, and let simmer another 5 minutes or so.

A minute or two before serving, turn the heat back on, and add two handfuls of coarsely chopped swiss chard (or kale or spinach or whatever).

I've made a variant on this with garbanzo beans and sauteed zucchini in place of the greens, and another variant with cooked barley and brown rice added near the end, and it is just as good.

Garnish with lemon slices and cilantro.

Sweet and Sour Greens

Roughly chop an onion and sautee until golden.

Add a small head of sliced cabbage, and saute until cabbage is limp.

While cabbage is cooking, mix 3T balsamic or red wine vinegar with a tablespoon (or more, to taste) brown sugar, a dash of soy sauce, and pepper (I used a white/black/pink mix) to taste.

When cabbage is nearly done, add chopped chard and sweet & sour sauce. Stir until greens are coated, cover, and let cook for another few minutes.

Eggplant Slices

Remove stems from Japanese eggplants. Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Lightly oil a panini press with olive oil or cooking spray, and pre-heat. Cook eggplant on press 3-4 minutes or until browned.

Whisk two parts olive oil with one part balsamic vinegar and seasonings to taste (I used mixed ground peppercorns, parsley, and oregano). Marinate eggplant slices in dressing.

These are tasty on their own as a snack or side, or on a sandwich.

Tomato Fish Stew

Cut fish into large chunks -- I used scrod from the local fishmonger -- and toss in a dutch oven or other oven-safe pot with roughly chopped tomatoes -- I used a pound -- and lemon slices -- I used two lemons. Add two tablespoons grated or chopped fresh ginger, and a pinch of saffron. Toss, cover, and bake at 350F until fish is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. Five minutes before it is done, add two big handfuls of chopped swiss chard, toss, and return to oven.
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
I realize I've been a terrible mod for this community. Most of it is that I don't get CSA vegetables anymore -- I'm now seeing someone who is a supertaster, and considers many CSA veggies inedible. It's very sad!

But it does mean that I am not playing Iron Chef with the CSA box any more, so I'm not posting, which generates more responses and posts, and so on etc.

If somoeone wants to be a more active moderator, please let me know!
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
[personal profile] rosefox
Summer vegetable soup )

This recipe works for pretty much any vegetables you have to hand. Just divide them into three categories depending on how tough they are and how crunchy you like your veg: cook a lot, cook some, cook little. Cook a lot is sautéed either in the pot or separately, cook some goes in with the broth, cook little gets tossed in right at the end.

It turns out that pretty much all green and yellow vegetables taste good together. Who knew?
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
[personal profile] rosefox
Which means that around here it's Mexican cooking season. We're not doing the CSA this year--the sheer quantity of produce was overwhelming--but our farmer's market is full of tomatoes, tomatillos, and a wide variety of peppers, so I expect the local CSAs are too.

Self-carving chicken with Mexican spices )


Best salsa verde ever )


Grilled peppers and onions )


Briefly warm some tortillas. Wrap up chicken, peppers, and onions with salsa, chopped fresh tomato, and optional cheese and/or sour cream. Nom with much nomming.

We also simmered some sweet corn on the cob (also from the farmer's market) for five minutes and OMG. It was so sweet it had an almost melon-like undertaste. With the salsa it was pure heaven.


Jun. 16th, 2010 10:06 pm
minxy: Two characters in lab coats posing heroically, with the words "Full Frontal Nerdity" (Full Frontal Nerdity by winterfish)
[personal profile] minxy
In the last two weeks, my CSA has begun in earnest, but we're still unusually heavy on the lettuce, mostly due to a freak heat wave that messed with the sequential planting.

I've loved it. I adore salads.

This evening, though, I was faced with making a meal out of just the remains of my four heads of lettuce, celery and garlic skates etc, because I'm going out of town and trying to use up fresh ingredients, not buy more.

So, in the past week, I've had these three magnificent salads:

The bacon and egg, or Cobb salad. This is maybe my most traditional cold salad this week.

I mix in your standard bacon (usually still warm) and hard-boiled eggs (preprepared, so they're shellable) with chopped whatever else is on hand. This salad stands up to the spicier, more bitter greens well, and can also well support avocado. I make this as a chopped salad, and eat great heaps of it, it's so delicious. The egg and avocado add plenty of creamy texture to the salad, I think, so I keep the dressing simple with oil and vinegar.

The roasted root vegetables warm salad.

This week I also got in my CSA share: beets, kohlrabi, turnips and radishes. I'm not the hugest fan of bitter radishes raw, but I love them roasted. I love all these vegetables roasted, so as I was washing and drying everything else from my box, I roasted all these root veggies, and that evening served them over delicious greens with a simple olive oil and salt dressing.

The stir-fried salad.

Tonight, I made a completely different salad. I sauteed celery root and garlic skate in olive oil, added sesame and caraway seeds to toast, and then the celery leaves and the remains of the last head of lettuce in my spinner. I tossed it all together in the pan until just wilted, and squeezed the juice of one lemon over it. This delicious, bright mixture I served over a salty polenta, and it was excellent. I will likely make that again for my vegan cousins when they arrive, but likely I shall omit the chicken broth in the polenta (and the parmesean I mixed in there too.)

That was a brilliant use for lettuce getting a little tired (the mahogany lettuces seem to show their brown faster, it seems to me,) and a nice switch up for putting some grains on your salad, to the other way around.

How do you like your flavorful greens this year? Or, if you prefer: what makes a salad a salad?
telesilla: 1950s woman in kitchen (cooking)
[personal profile] telesilla
So there was a cabbage in the box this week. I've got a recipe for cabbage and beans that we really liked, but I don't have any beans. However, I do have lentils and so I went looking for a cabbage and lentil recipe and found this recipe. I messed with it some, adding bacon for flavor (which can totally be left out if you want to make this vegetarian) and a can of diced tomatoes because I liked the tomatoes in my cabbage and beans recipe. I took the chili out because a) we don't like chilies and b) I don't have any. I also didn't have a bay leaf, which is sad. *puts on list*

The result is very tasty. Cooking the cabbage in advance like this deals with the bitterness and the bacon adds a really nice smokey flavor. I can tell that it's going to be even better tomorrow. Even though it's late May here in the Sacramento Valley, it's been very cool and so this is perfect food for the weather.

cabbage and lentil recipe through here )

Quick and Easy Pickled Beets

A while back I made cucumber sunomono. I was thinking about it as I looked at the beets in yesterday's box. I used to love pickled beets as a kid and I thought, why not try making beet sunomono?

beet recipe through here )


May. 20th, 2010 11:05 am
azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I impulse-bought some mint, and now I'm not entirely sure what to do with it. It's very nice-looking and minty-smelling.

I've always wanted to try a mint julep. Perhaps now is the time?

Kale Chips

May. 5th, 2010 02:25 am
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
Every CSA seems to have an overabundance of that one vegetable I'm not sure what to do with. One year it was beets, one year radishes, one year kale...

This is what to do with extra kale. Or all of it, and maybe buy some more. They're like potato chips, in that the entire bowl vanishes before you realize what happened:

Preheat oven to 400. (BTW, do you have an oven thermometer? They are awesome.)

Stem and tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. The bunches I get come to about 5 cups, loosely packed.

Add 1 T olive oil, 1 t vinegar, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 t pepper (salt and pepper to taste, obviously). Toss thoroughly. It seems to help to massage the oil in with my hands, though maybe it's just that I like to play with my food.

Spread kale in a single layer in a jelly roll pan (I line them with parchment but am not sure it's necessary).

Bake for about 12 minutes, stirring halfway. They should be mostly dry and crisp; the edges may look a little burned.

Enjoy! I have no idea if these keep because it's never been an issue.

Note: the grocery store was out of kale once, so I tried some kind of mustard green, and it didn't work at all.
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (pic#453445)
[personal profile] sapote
Wilted Swiss Chard with Garlic and Ricotta Salata Cheese
from Pasta e Verdura by Jack Bishop, with my variations.

So this is supposed to be a pasta recipe, but I wound up putting it on rice instead. I am claiming that this is to demonstrate how versatile a basic recipe for a sauce can be, and not because I was too lazy to go to the store *g*

Attempt at food photography and recipe/notes under cut )

As noted above, I would salt to taste towards the end of cooking instead - I'm not a big fan of salty salty greens - but I would recommend this as a good basic, versatile technique to make swiss chard into a sauce for pasta, rice, bread, what-have-you. We ate this with a side salad of our CSA lettuce for bonus CSA-box-emptying points.

Crossposted to [personal profile] sapotelunch
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)
[personal profile] sapote
We got hit with unexpected hot weather and my lovely farmer decided to start the CSA early instead of missing the greens, so I got my first box of greens n' things last night! I have posted a narrative-style recipe for roasted potatoes and kale at my cooking dwidth. I am going to try to start taking better photos and posting proper recipes; would it be better to crosspost or post a link?
sara: S (Default)
[personal profile] sara
I have two big gorgeous bunches of bok choi -- thoughts?


Oct. 3rd, 2009 08:40 pm
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)
[personal profile] loligo
My CSA has been giving us a big handful of mixed chili peppers each week, and since I'm cooking kid-friendly food most nights, we haven't been using them up. So I decided to try making salsa. I've made raw pico de gallo style salsa frequently, but never cooked salsa.

I picked a recipe suitable for canning (scroll down to "Chili Salsa"), but by the time I chopped up what had seemed like a mountain of chiles, I realize that it only came to a little over two cups of chopped peppers, or a third of the recipe. I was wary of the 2-to-1 tomato-to-chile ratio, so I increased it to 3-to-1, and I also added a couple tablespoons of chopped cilantro, but other than that, I followed the recipe. And since it only made 2 1/2 pints, I didn't bother processing the jars, I just put them in the fridge.

It is DELICIOUS salsa. There were four or five different types of chiles in my mix (not including the habaneros, which I am reserving for a separate use), and all the different subtleties of flavor meld into a complex, spicy deliciousness. I just want to sit there and eat it with a spoon.
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
...Has finally figured out how to let everyone create tags. If you're a member, feel free. I may run through occasionally and normalize 'em. (Why is this not in community settings? Sigh.)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
[personal profile] rosefox
Yesterday our farmshare included hot peppers and basil. "Thai green curry!" I exclaimed, and today after work I headed to Chinatown to get kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and Thai fish sauce. (We already had a jar of pickled galangal in the fridge, of course. Doesn't everyone?) The lovely thing about curry is that you can put anything in it, so we threw in bok choy and turnips and potatoes from last week's farmshare, a purple pepper and green beans from this week's, and more store-bought potatoes and red bell pepper and broccoli and zucchini and chicken from the market.

There are two parts to making Thai green curry.

Step one: curry paste )

Step two: curry! )

The only mistake we made was using both a red bell pepper and the red hot peppers from the farmshare. Before we tucked in, we carefully went through our bowls and pulled out the pieces of hot pepper so we wouldn't eat them by mistake!

You can vary the spice levels to taste, of course. We ended up using six serrano chiles for the paste and four of the red peppers in the double batch of curry, and there was a bit of heat but not a lot.

I think we'll be getting a lot of mileage out of this recipe as the fall harvest comes in.
sapote: The TARDIS sits near a tree in sunlight (Default)
[personal profile] sapote
For someone who considers herself an herbivore I have a credulity-straining list of vegetable dislikes. I don't like okra, I don't like eggplant, I don't like hardy greens, and I don't like raw bell peppers. I know! Raw bell peppers! Agriculture's perfect summer snack! For some reason, I only like them cooked. Really, really well cooked.

So last night, faced with a sack of four-day-old bell peppers from my CSA, I decided I needed a recipe where I just sauteed the heck out of those suckers. Basically. And bell pepper cheesybeans turned out to actually be food! )

I was really pleased with how the white beans combined with relatively little cheese to make a very creamy, cheesy dish - I ate it on chips, but this would have been good with potatoes or in a burrito for sure.


Aug. 23rd, 2009 05:34 pm
sara: S (tomato)
[personal profile] sara
I have three Japanese eggplants this week.

I don't really like eggplant.

My default would be to chop them and make them part of a red sauce for pasta, but I'd be happy to entertain other ideas.


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