Tag Archives: CSA recipes

Melon Basil Smoothie

mbsThe melon was clearly very ripe on Friday when we brought it home in our CSA box. And it seemed with each hour that passed, the aroma of ripe melon filled the house more and more. Sadly, melon is another one of those things which few in my home enjoy.

I came home from a lovely long walk this morning and the aroma had taken a slight turn to desperation. “Please,” it pleaded. “Won’t you just give me a try?”

Since I had taken an award winning walk (at least according to my activity monitor), my hunger was exceeded only by my thirst and sweatiness. Perfect morning for a smoothie! And I was even in a generous enough mood for giving melon a try.

Melon Basil Smoothie
1 cup ripe melon
1 6 oz. container of yogurt
6 or 7 ice cubes
2 basil leaves

  1. Place the ingredients in your blender in the order listed.
  2. Start on low, and blend until smooth.

Two basil leaves was the perfect amount for me. They didn’t take over the smoothie leaving me feeling like I was drinking a big glass of pesto. And would you look at that beautiful light green? Doesn’t it just scream refreshing!

This recipe is a perfect example of how NOT having an editorial calendar, or any sort of blog plan works well for me. Many of the things I make are very spur of the moment ideas that come to me in classic “if you give a pig a pancake” fashion. For example, the smoothie today evolved somewhat like this…

(Comes in the door after record breaking walk) Wow! That melon is starting to smell kind of bad. I’m hot. And hungry. I’m hot and hungry. What should I eat? Jeez that melon doesn’t smell very good. Should I make a smoothie? YES! I’ll make a smoothie with the melon! (Cutting melon by the sink, while looking out at the pathetic garden bed). The basil looks really good! I wonder how my smoothie would taste with basil in it? I think I’ll put a little in!

You get the idea.

I hope you enjoy your Labor Day and that the weather where you are is just as delightful as it is right now in Central Maryland.


CSA Flatbread

CSAFI’m still dealing with lots of tomatoes in my CSA box. I’ve had A LOT of tomatoes. I’ve been snacking on cherry tomatoes at work. I’ve pickled them. I’ve chopped up tomatoes and cucumber. As those of you who get CSA boxes know, after a couple weeks of getting the same veggies over and over, it’s kind of hard to eat them. Your neighbors and coworkers see you coming. They love and hate you at the same time. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on me to eat these tomatoes. I must prove to my family that my CSA enrollment was not a waste! I am seeing tomatoes in my dreams.

Nothing terribly exciting about this preparation. I don’t even think I can call it a recipe. But it sure was tasty, and pretty!

CSA Flatbread
Flatbread of choice – I used Brooklyn Bred brand
Two tomatoes, sliced

  1. Spread pesto on your flatbread.
  2. Top with slices of tomato.
  3. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
  4. Bake according to the flatbread instructions.

I was lucky to get a lovely yellow tomato as well as several red ones. So I got to alternate the tomato slices on my flatbread. I thought it was lovely, though the well used silicon pan liner does detract from the loveliness.

Tomorrow is CSA day. I am supposed to get emails with the list of offerings but I haven’t for several weeks. I think that’s okay. At this point, if I saw “tomato” in print, I might cry.


Quick Pickled Tomatoes

qptWe’ve been getting a lot of cherry tomatoes in our CSA box. I’ve encouraged my kids to try them again to see if they’ve developed a taste for fresh tomatoes yet. No go. College Boy made a valiant effort, taking one of the largest ones, biting it in half, grimacing, and gagging a little . He choked it down though. He’s a trooper!

Since a college friend commented about adding tomatoes to my cucumber salad, I’ve had a bit of a craving for pickled tomatoes. But I lack the time, skill, or really the desire to start a full fledged canning operation in my very small kitchen. I came across this recipe for Quick-Pickled Cherry Tomatoes on Bon Appetit. My Faithful Assistant and I made them last night during our epic storm. We didn’t have some of the ingredients so I modified the recipe a bit.

Quick Pickled Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp celery salt

  1. Boil the vinegar, water and salts.
  2. Pierce the tomatoes and toss in a bowl with the crushed garlic.
  3. Allow the vinegar mixture to cool and then pour over the tomatoes.
  4. Let sit at room temperature and covered over night.

Because these are only fake canned, they don’t have a strong pickled flavor. You taste the vinegar and garlic, and you still taste a lot of tomato, too.

I loved them. I’m sure no one else in the house will eat them but that’s fine. In the heat of summer, it’s nice to have something salty with lunch and these are a lot better than chips.



CSA Skillet

CSASWe’ve been doing well with our CSA boxes, eating pretty much everything every week. We do have a lot of cabbage to use, but about half of it is in the freezer. I will use that in the fall for soup.

Our go to way of using all of the ingredients is to throw everything in the cast iron pan (with or without meat), saute, add some rice, quinoa, beans, or lentils, and enjoy!

Here is a rough recipe for the skillet in the photo.

CSA Skillet
1 lb sausage or other meat of your choice
Olive oil
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 half onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cups grain of choice, cooked

  1. Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the sausage and cook thoroughly.
  3. Add the cabbage and cook until it’s a little limp, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, black beans and cooked grains and heat until nice and warm.

The burning question you are all wondering is, did they eat it? YES!!! YES THEY DID EAT IT!!!! Of course, my kids are not tiny anymore and have grown to love their veggies. Or have become resigned to eating them. They will never tell.

We’ve made a couple other versions of this:

Shrimp CSA Skillet
Saute shrimp in olive oil and a little butter and add cabbage, and a grain.

Vegan CSA Skillet
Spinach, shredded zuchinni, onion, garlic, basil, and brown rice.

What I love about these dishers, besides the ease of preparation, is that everyone loves them, and everyone can make them. Yes, you heard me correctly. Even the College Boy has been making his own variation of this. So, to summarize, lots of veggies, fast and easy to make, loved by all. This is a kitchen hat trick!


Spinach and Garlic Scape Hummus

sgshI FINALLY found a way to get in on the whole CSA (community supported agriculture) craze! I have wanted to do one for a while but never liked the requirement that you had to pay several hundred dollars up front, no refunds if you aren’t satisfied. So when my local Whole Foods posted that they had a program that would provide me with fresh, local produce for $20 a week, cancel at any time, I was in.

I got my first box this weekend. There were things I know I will easily use like onions, celery, kale, and cabbage. And there were two things I had never had before. Kohlrabi and garlic scapes.

I had heard of both. The kohlrabi was easy. I brushed with olive oil, sprinkled it with sea salt, and put it in the oven on the same pan as the chicken. Super easy. It tasted a little like a radish or a turnip. It had a little bit of a bite and lots of crunch. If I get it again, I will shred it and make kohlrabi fritters.

I know I had come across some recipe that called for garlic scapes but as it was not saved or pinned, or bookmarked or printed, I was at a total loss for what it was. And as you may know, time is not on your side when you have a big box of fresh produce. I needed to innovate.

Thanks to my good friend, Google, I came up with some good ideas. I was torn between the Garlic Snape Pesto, and the Garlic Snape Hummus. I went for the hummus. And because I love my food green, I threw some spinach in for good measure.

Spinach and Garlic Scape Hummus
5 garlic scapes
1 cup fresh clean spinach leaves
1 can garbanzo beans
olive oil
sea salt

  1. Chop about two to three inches of the tender part the green stalk.
  2. Combine everything but the olive oil in a high power blender or a food processor and blend until combined.
  3.  Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and blend until smooth. You may need to add a bit of cold water, but no more that a spoonful or two.

I am not 100% sure if I was supposed to use the green part or the bulb. I went with the stalk of this bunch. I still have some left and I will use the bulb on those, as well as the stalk.

My hummus was delicious. It had a very slight garlicky flavor but mostly tasted very green. The flavor reminded me a bit of the smell of a garden in the morning. You can sort of smell the vegetables mixed with the soil and the dew. I tend to put a little too much garlic in my hummus so it was nice to have the very faint taste of garlic instead of the heavy garlic that I often taste for hours after I eat. No comments from the others yet. My Faithful Assistant is recovering from a sleepover while trying to look busy. He’s afraid to utter those dreaded words, “I’m bored”. He know’s he will be elbow deep in a toilet bowl if he does. College boy is not a big hummus fan, and The Spouse has a slight aversion to foods he’s never heard of. I may have this batch all to myself.

My CSA goes until September. I expect to stick it out and share a lot, both recipes for the things I’ve made using my bounty, and the over abundance of food! Do you belong to a CSA? What’s the best thing you’ve gotten? What do you dread seeing? Let me know!