Saturday, January 31, 2009

CSA week nine start-up

Clearly, when I called last week a light share I didn't know what I was talking about as the freeze left us with even less to work with this time around.

I ought to use the corn today as it loses sweetness quickly. If I've got enough shrimp left I think I might make a shrimp and corn chowder.

The green beans are a bit too much for one side dish, but not enough to be the main component of a dish. I haven't come across many recipes that use green beans as one of several major ingredients. That's kind of an odd thing about green beans, isn't it?

The bok choy, on the other hand, is precisely the right size for a side dish and I have a recipe for restaurant-style Chinese greens in oyster sauce. I'd often order that as a secondary dish when ordering a meat-intensive main dish at the more authentic sort of Chinese restaurant. The mysteriously generic "Chinese greens" was my preferred version, but it's good with bok choy too.

The big bunches of parsley and cilantro make me think of North Africa as that's the only cuisine I know of that uses large amounts of both. There's a braised chicken and chickpeas that will use maybe a quarter of each bunch. Parsley salads aren't too tough to come by. I did a little searching just now and found that you can find cilantro-intensive recipes if you search for "dhania" or "dhanya" which is the Hindi and/or Punjabi term for it. I'll have to sort through what I found for a bit before I know what I'm going to cook.

Also in my North African cookbook was a charred red pepper salad that looked pretty good. Or, since it's so big, I might stuff it instead.

The extras bin was full of black sapotes when I got to my pick-up spot kind of late so I think a lot of people have given up on them. I took one so I'll be sure to have a full cup of pulp to work with when they're ripe. Given my success with the oat bars I think my next attempt might be a black sapote congo bar or maybe substituting them into a fig cookie recipe. I've got to deal with my nearly-ripe canistels first, though.

That leaves the tomato, which I'm sure will find a place, and the strawberries which have been so good fresh that I'm happier eating them by themselves or with a little cream than processing them at all.

After picking up my share I headed over to the Coral Gables Farmers Market and did a little shopping before it was time for the Slow Food Stone Crab Picnic. At the Rare Fruit Council booth I picked up a pummelo and a dragonfruit cutting. Pummelos are sweeter than grapefruit, but there is, I'm told, a fair bit of variation so I won't know what I'll be doing with mine until I get it open. The dragon fruit cutting, though, I've already planted. They're supposed to grow pretty quickly so I should know fairly soon if mine is going to do well.

I also bought some onions, potatoes and peppers. The peppers are nothing unusual, but I like how they looked with the pummelo and dragon fruit so I put them in the photo.

That's kind of long and it's getting well into the afternoon so I'll talk about the picnic in a separate post later.


drlindak said...

Hi - We've been CSA member for years, and this is the first time I've seen your amazing blog. Will pass the link on to all of my member friends. I made your black saptote bars and they are delicious - who knew? Thanks so much!

I am excited to make one of my mom's favorite dishes with the parsley and green beans this week - perfect amounts of both for 6 small servings (coincidentally, exactly how many we need...)

Linguine with Frenched Green Beans and Parsley Pesto -

8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into very thin strips.

2 cups gently packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves

10 large fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

pinch or more of cayenne

1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano plus more to pass

8 ounces italian linguini

boil the beans until tender and set aside in a colander

process the parsley, basil, oil, salt and pepper until chunky. stir in the romano and pour into a warmed bowl

cook the pasta in salted water and reserve about 1 cup of water. Pour the rest of the water and pasta into the colander with the beans, which will warm them. Toss pasta, beans and sauce in a large serving bowl, adding the reserved pasta water by spoonfuls to loosen the pesto.

serve right away with extra romano and crusty bread.

PS Canistel made up into a fair bread using a banana bread recipe and substituting canistel. Very yellow and dense, but my family ate it up with no complaints.

billjac said...

I'm glad you liked the sapote bars and to have you as a reader. I'll try to be interesting.

Your recipe's for pasta asciutta, right? I've been mulling over a similar recipe I found here but hesitating because of the inclusion of potatoes making it really starchy. I like the sound of your version much better.

Russell Hews Everett said...

Aw no fair, you got a ripe tomato! :) Looks like it'll be fried green tomato for me...

billjac said...

Not really; I pointed the less green side up and then boosted the colors a little in the computer. It's going to be at least a week until my tomato is usable.

Karen said...

For green beans, there's always Salad Nicoise, but you will encounter potatoes in that recipe as well (who said they are unhealthy?).

I find Deborah Madison's cookbooks are a good resource for these boxes. She included "Basil (but could be parsley, or store-bought) Fettuccine with Green Beans, Walnuts and Crème Fraîche" in the Greens Cook Book, and 3 green bean recipes in the Vegetarian Suppers book, one of which is "Sweet and Sour Tofu or Tempeh (or could be chicken) with Summer Vegetables and Black Rice" - the vegetables are green beans, tomato, jalapeno, sweet onion, and yellow (but could be red or even green) pepper. I don’t know if these recipes are on the Internet, but the books are at the library.

I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with her recipes, except sometimes the amount of time they can take. I’ll be trying the Sweet and Sour stir-fry one day this week and will let you know if it's worthwhile. Beans keep pretty well in the fridge, for several weeks even.

Melissa said...

I too am viewing your blog for the first time, even though I have seen it listed in CSA newsletters for some time. I like all the photos; you really spend time on this, thanks!
I have been a CSA member for 3 (?) years, and I also plant my own garden and grow some fruit trees. I try to keep my cooking simple, just for lack of time, but interesting. I like CSA because we use a lot of veggies, and I get things that I don't grow or are new to me.
It's great to get some new ideas here, and you are a great cook!
Finally, new ways to use callaloo!
(I had started leaving it in the extras box, so sick of it.)

Thanks for the honest opinions on Slow Food (I too am a member), CSA, and local food events. You are obviously beholden to no one, which enhances your credibility.