Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A peek inside the CSA box

Now that our CSA shares are featuring oodles of veggies and not so many greens, I'm starting to go a little nuts, but in a GOOD way. Opening the box every week (well, every two weeks in our case) is like opening a big surprise package, and I find myself oohing and aahing over each item and fantasizing about what I'll make with it!

Yes, it's true. I'm a food nerd.

Here's a little peek inside this week's box, and the fantasy recipes I've been concocting:

Early Girl Tomatoes - oodles of 'em! We usually just eat these sliced on sandwiches or wedged in salads, but I have a secret desire to roast them a la my fabulous foodie pal, Kim. Maybe I'll set a few aside for salads/sandwiches and roast the rest!

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes - I KNOW what I'm doing with these -- they are going in a big bowl with the red cherry, red pear, yellow pear, chocolate cherry and snow white cherry tomatoes that I've picked this week from my garden and my dad's. Then I'll shred in some basil (see below), maybe sprinkle on some very thinly sliced red onions (ditto) and dress them very simply with some good EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Voila, tomato salad!

Onions - several little bulbs of white, red and yellow onions. We've been loving the red ones on focaccia lately and they're great in salads and sandwiches as well. The yellow and white ones I'll use in everything. I go through a LOT of onions when I cook, y'all!

Sweet Basil - we got big hunks of this in our box and I am SO EXCITED, because my own basil is doing horribly this year. We'll eat this in EVERYTHING -- salads, casseroles, in sandwiches in place of lettuce, you name it!

Zucchini - two HUGE ones and two medium-sized ones. I'm using some to make these chocolate cupcakes (can't WAIT to try them!) and will probably grill the rest or fry them up in a skillet with bacon and onions.

Pattypan Squash - OMG, we got two of these and they are as big as pumpkins! I really like the pattypan squash casserole I made last night, but I'm wondering how these would be if I peeled them, chunked them up, then stuck them in the oven with some orange juice & zest, honey and cinnamon? I know that works with acorn and butternut squash, but what about pattypan? I don't know. It sounds good, but it could be gross.

Okra - quite a few pods of this! I love okra just breaded and fried, but I'll bet money DH wants me to make gumbo with it. And I just might! He's been really hungry for it lately and I haven't made it in forever. Ooo -- possible Father's Day dinner idea? Here's hoping he doesn't read this beforehand and ruin the surprise!

Cucumbers - two skinny ones and two big fat ones. The skinny ones will go into our almost-nightly salads, but I'm going to make a marinated cucumber salad with the big fat ones. It's a dish DH and I love from a local Hungarian/Romanian restaurant and I finally found a recipe for it in an old Hungarian cooking pamphlet at the antique store. I'll share the recipe when I make it!

Peppers - both sweet banana peppers, which I love sliced in salads, and green bell peppers, which I'll throw into side dishes or grill with fajitas.

Red Potatoes - we use a lot of these! I can make my chuffed potatoes with them, or my favorite summer salad (which also features tomatoes and basil), or potato-onion packets on the grill. Yum!

Ichiban Eggplant - we received several of these teensy, adorable eggplants and this is where I started getting a little weird. I want to roast some garlic and mix it, along with some shredded basil, into some ricotta cheese (obviously it would be seasoned with salt and pepper and whatnot as well). Then I want to grill the eggplant the way I do zucchini and wrap the grilled strips around spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture. And then just pork them down like chips. Is that nuts? Would it work? I'm going to have to try it!

We also got some lovely zinnias, but I have no plans to eat them. Hee!


mmg said...

actually, that sounds suprisingly delicious. who knew?

my only thing is that i've never seen eggplant quite crispy, and since it soaks up so much moisture i can't imagine dunking it.

but it sounds good!

Alisha said...

LUCKY!!! We don't have the CSA thing around here and it will be a couple of weeks until the outside goodies are ready....thank GOD I planted tomato plants!

Ooooh and I want to share an idea with you and the old family tradition is to fry out potatoes(quarted and sliced to about 1/2 in thick) in like a TB of olive oil along with zucchini cut in half and sliced and onion and yellow die for...get it nice and crispylike browned in a cast iron skillet(i'm sure a regular one would work too)....ok now i'm off to make this