Posts tagged ‘CSA’

Baked Delicata Squash Steak Fries

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A couple weeks ago we got some delicata squash from our CSA share. Neither of us had ever heard of it before, so they went straight into our basement refrigerator to wait for us to figure out what to do with them. Last Friday I decided it was time to try. I did an online search for recipes and stumbled across this recipe that bakes slivers of squash so they come out like steak fries (but better!).

I adapted the recipe a little by using olive oil instead of non-stick spray, since non-stick spray scares me. The results was better than I could have imagined. They are addictive. So much so that they were gone before I got to take a photo. We made them again last night and I managed to snap a couple to share with you.

Below is my adaptation of the recipe.

Baked Delicata Squash Steak Fries

Ingredients

1 Delicata Squash
Olive oil
Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds with a spoon. Cut into long steak fry strips leaving the skin intact. They are surprisingly hard to cut through, so be careful.

Toss the squash strips with a little olive oil (just to coat lightly) and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for about 30 minutes turning once half way through.

Original recipe: http://greenlitebites.com/2007/11/15/delicata-steak-fries/

October 18, 2009 at 8:13 am 3 comments

Baked kale chips

I have been wanting to try to make these ever since a friend mentioned how yummy they were. They seemed very intriguing to me.

Last night we finally got around to trying to make a batch with the flat leaf kale we got from our farm this week. And I have to say, they are delicious, and just plain fun.

We found a few recipes online and then came up with our own below. There are no amounts since you can use however much kale you want to eat and just coat with the oil and salt accordingly. Very easy. Enjoy!

Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients

Flat leaf kale (cleaned and dried)
Garlic salt
Olive oil

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove stalks from kale. Cut leaves into approximately 1 – 1.5 inch shapes (bite/chip size). Toss kale in a bowl with a little olive oil to coat lightly. Add a little garlic salt and toss again to coat. Lay out in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for about 4 minutes. Watch them closely as they go from done to burnt very quickly.

Remove from baking sheet an enjoy!

October 18, 2009 at 7:22 am Leave a comment

CSA Share – Weeks 10-13

Weeks 10-12, a selection from: Carrots, Ailsa Onions, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Fresh Garlic, Fresh Shallots (yum!), Kale, Collard, Swiss Chard, Corn, Varieties of eggplant, Green and purple peppers, Beets, Melon, Lettuce
PYO: Perennial herbs and flowers, Parsley, Varieties of basil, Dill, Cilantro, Hot peppers, String beans, Husk cherries, Tomatillos

Week 13, a selection from: Kale, Collards, Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, a few tomatoes, okra, carrots, green peppers, lettuce
PYO: Herbs (including dill, cilantro, basil, thyme, mint), Husk cherries, Tomatillos, Hot peppers, Raspberries, String beans

It was our turn to pick up this week and my sister was kind enough to come with Sofie and I to help. I was really glad to have the help. There was a lot to pick this week. And Sofie made it extra challenging since she wanted to eat everything we picked. Her love of raspberries, combined with her love of eating anything right off the plant meant I could hardly pick them fast enough for her to eat, let alone for us to take home. Thank goodness my sister was there to double our picking ability. I think Sofie ate basically our entire portion, so most of what we took home when to the 2 families we split our 2 shares with. The same thing happened with husk cherries. It seems Sofie would eat as many as I’d let her. I had to cut her off when she was eating so many we were at risk of going over our portion, we only had a total of a pint between our 2 shares. As demanding as she was for the fruit, it was super cute to see how much she loved it all.

Let’s see, what else is there to share about our produce? I’m a few weeks behind in my CSA posts. The last month or so has been extremely busy and have kept me away from the computer (not necessarily a bad thing).

Both my husband and I have roasted potatoes before and been pleased. But the last few weeks our roasted potatoes have been out of this world. I’m not sure if it is the quality/freshness of potatoes we’re getting or our new method. But they rock. I’ll post the very simple recipe once I find another few minutes to write. I also have a really yummy Jamie Oliver chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, oregano recipe to post…so good. So look out for those!

Our farm: Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA

September 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Weeks 8 and 9

Week 8: Carrots, Beets, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, White New Potatoes, Fresh Garlic, Sweet Corn, Green Tomatoes, Swiss Chard
PYO:  Perennial herbs and flowers, parsley, varieties of basil, dill, cilantro, hot peppers, green beans

Week 9: Carrots, Ailsa Craig Onions, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Red Gold New Potatoes, Fresh Garlic, Sweet Corn, Fairy Tale eggplant, Green and Purple Peppers, Baby Fennel
PYO:  Perennial herbs and flowers, parsley, varieties of basil, dill, cilantro, hot peppers

This week my step-daughter (Julia) was visiting and my husband had the day off from work so we had a great time going to the farm together. Julia was amazed with the amount of vegetables we got to take home and had a great time in the fields doing PYO, tasting tomatoes and beans right off the plants and cutting a nice bouquet of flowers. We ended the evening with a cookout at our house with the 2 other families we split our shares with when we grill zucchini and squash we had just picked up. It was a great afternoon/evening.

Last night we had friends over and served our favorite Vegetable Slaw with the cilantro, chives and hot pepper we picked at the farm on Tuesday. It was our best batch yet. Well, I should say Jeromy’s since he has made it every time, perfecting it a little with each batch. He used a little less cilantro and red onion and only a quarter cup of oil. For cabbage it was 70% purple cabbage, 30% napa cabbage. We also had jicama this time which was really really great it in. I highly recommend you try it.

While we’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything we’ve gotten from the farm there were 2 that really stood out. The 4 pints of green beans I picked last week that we sautéed with olive oil and garlic, so simple yet so so delicious. And the maple syrup we finally cracked open to pour over some blueberry pancakes. Our farm partners with other local producers to bring its shareholders even more local goodness, one of those items is maple syrup from Wilman Gadwah, a small-scale producer in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. It is truly great maple syrup! I’ve made a note to buy some extra toward the end of the season to carry us through the winter – yes it is that good. I’m not sure where you can get it other than the farm, if I find out I’ll post.

Our farm: Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA

August 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 7

This week we got: Beets, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Onions, Red Potatoes, Zucchini, Summer Squash (including patty pans)

PYO: Yellow Beans, Herbs (Basil, Dill, parsley, thyme, cilantro…)

 

Last week was rainy and Tuesday was no exception. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do any PYO due to the rain and generally wet conditions at the farm. To be sure I asked at the distribution tent, and they said I was more than welcome to still do PYO. By then it was only drizzling and since we share our 2 shares with 2 other families I wanted to try my best to get everything for the week right then for everyone. Plus, I figured a little time in the rain could be a good experience for Sofie. So, on we went into the fields. We started by picking some basil and parsley, which was a piece of cake, even in the rain. We moved onto dill and it started to rain a little harder, Sofie was beginning to lose her patience. But we still had beans to pick so we trudged on. I had to carry her across the field, which left mud all over my pants from her shoes. By the end Sofie had fallen on her bum a few times and we both had mud in way too many places and were very ready to go home, but still it was a fun experience and fed into my desire to feel a connection to the farm and where our food comes from.

Our farm: Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA

July 27, 2009 at 8:22 am Leave a comment

CSA Share – Weeks 4, 5 and 6

As you can see, I’m a bit behind on my CSA posts! It has been a very busy couple weeks with lots of appointments and preparations for our vacation, and then of course, we were away for a week on a lovely Cape Cod vacation (more to come on things to do and where to eat and shop in Provincetown, Cape Cod in an upcoming post).

I finally have a few moments to write as this week draws to an end. So let’s get caught up on the CSA…

Week 4: Lettuce, Arugula, Scallions, Kale, Broccoli Raab, Spinach, Carrots, Beets
PYO: Fava Beans, Herbs including basil and parsley, snap peas, snow peas, flowers

Week 5: We were on vacation so our friends split our portion

Week 6: Lettuce, Cucumbers, Fennel, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Green Cabbage
PYO: Fava Beans and Herbs including dill and basil

Both my husband and I are totally in love with fresh fava beans. In fact, having fava beans (and brussels sprouts) was one of my criteria when researching CSA options.  If you have never had them, you must try them, either at home or at a restaurant. I was introduced to them at Taberno de Haro, a tapas restaurant near Fenway Park. There they serve them sautéed with Spanish ham, and I could seriously live off of that dish! I was more than overjoyed when I saw we were getting them with our share a few weeks ago. We cooked ours that night (right after I had picked them off the plants…talk about fresh!). For great instructions on how to cook the beans, check this entry on honest-food.net. We prepared them as per the guidance in that article. Jeromy then threw them directly into his salad as is, while I sautéed some bacon lardons, drained the bacon fat and then added the fava beans for a minute to meld with the bacon. Delicious. We still have ours from this weeks share. Our CSA newsletter included a link to a grilled fava bean recipe on 101 Cookbooks.com, which we are going to try tonight (along with the fennel).

Before the CSA I had never had Swiss Chard, but it is now one of my favorites. The multitude of colors is just amazing, adding another dimension to my enjoyment of the healthy veggie. We keep it simple. I match stick the stems, slice the leaves in half vertically and then into inch strips horizontally. Then sauté in some olive oil and garlic. We cook up some short pasta and toss it into the pan just before serving. Top with grated parmesan and you are in for a treat.

Well, I have a few other topics to write about (including a great wine recommendation that goes very well with the swiss chard preparation I described above!) so that is all for now on our CSA. More next week…

For reference here are the links in this post:

July 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 3

This week included: lots of garlic scapes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, red swiss chard, scallions, kohlrabi, a new asian green

PYO: snap peas, parsley, thyme, chives

Jeromy picked up our share from our friend’s house on his way home for work. It was a late night so we ordered in sushi instead of cooking. But are planning big dinner salads for tonight, swiss chard with pasta tomorrow night and probably grilling scapes and scallions over the weekend. It was such a nice surprise to see scapes again, for the 3rd week in a row. I also think I’ll cook the spinach up with some pasta too. We passed on more cabbage since we still have a lot of the vegetable slaw that we made on Sunday left. If you haven’t seen the recipe I suggest you check it out, it was a very yummy and refreshing slaw (it was my previous post).

Next week it’s our turn to go to the farm again for the pickup and I’m really looking forward it! Our farm partners with other local groups and so has other goodies for sale at pickup, I plan to get some more honey and probably some cheese and maple syrup. My friend, Jen, said the garlic goat cheese was really good. I just hope we get some better weather, this stretch of gloomy, raining days is really starting to get to me.

June 24, 2009 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 2

It was our friend Jen’s turn to pick up this week. Jeromy swung by her house on his way home from work to pickup our portion.

Our goodies this week: bok choy, garlic scapes, a couple varieties of lettuce, beets, arugala, napa cabbage. PYO: snap peas, snow peas, parsley, chives, thyme

When you are splitting 2 shares across 3 families sometimes it is easiest just to take one of something instead of splitting it. For instance, this week we didn’t take any swiss chard but we took a few more beets.

I didn’t have time to take any photos before we started digging in to get everything clean and get dinner on the table. We had giant salads with lettuce, arugula, a little cabbage, some shaved beet and a white balsamic vinegar dressing with the fresh thyme that my husband made. Delicious!! I have never had raw beet before, it was surprisingly sweet.

Tonight we’re grilling. For sides we’re grilling the beets using a recipe from our CSA farm’s site (if it is good I’ll post it) and the garlic scapes. We had garlic scapes for the first time last week and grilled them based on a suggestion from a friend and they were amazing! I am so happy we have them again. From what I have read they are only around for a couple weeks a year. Thursday we’re planning a pork and bok choy stir-fry and Sunday we’re going to attempt to make fish tacos and a nice slaw (with our napa cabbage) for Father’s Day. I’m starting to salivate just thinking about it all!

June 17, 2009 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

CSA Distribution Pickup tips

We pick up our weekly distribution at the farm, so instead of having a box ready to go, we actually select our produce from a series of bins, almost like at a grocery store. There is a board that tells us what we can take (e.g. the first week we could choose 8 out of the 10 items available) and then each bin is labeled with how much of each we should take (e.g. 1 lb of spinach, two heads of lettuce). Each week there will also be some crops that we can pick ourselves. These tips are for that type of pick up and picking your own crops (PYO).

 –          There is a lot

  • Bring a lot of bags, always better to have a couple extra sitting in the car than not enough
  • The quantity and size of the produce will change each week (and year). Our first pick up included a number of large items such as collard greens, green leaf lettuce, swiss chard. I filled (overfilled) 3 reusable grocery bags to the brim before PYO and I expect the amounts to increase over the weeks

–          The veggies will probably be wet

  • The farm gives everything a rinse so items are a bit wet. The day I picked up it had also been raining, so that may have added even more moisture but everything was pretty wet. My bags had soaked through by the time I got home and had to be hung outside to dry.
  • I’d recommend putting a towel down in the car to soak up any water that leaks out on the ride home – just in case. We have plastic mat and it had a few small pools of water.  

–          Managing with a young child

  • I had my daughter in the Ergo on my front and it was a bit of a challenge to select and then put the veggies in the bag, and it got harder as the 3 bags filled. She was a good sport for most of it, even though I kept hitting her with wet leaves. I did eventually have to put her down when I got our lettuce as I just couldn’t manage to get the 4 giant heads of lettuce in the over full bags with her on me. I put her down and everything was much easier. Actually, I also put all the bags down to get the lettuce, everything was that full.
  • If your child can stand/walk I recommend you have them walk with you instead of having them in a carrier, it will be a lot easier.
  • If your child can’t stand yet you might want to bring a stroller or at least use a carrier with your child on your back.

–          PYO tips

  • Bring another bag for PYO – bring a solid bag (i.e. not one made of netting) since you will probably be putting small loose items in it.
  • I used scissors and pint containers from the PYO stand. When I was done I emptied the snap peas into my bag and returned the pint containers and scissors to the stand. If you are able, bringing your own scissors and pint containers would mean you wouldn’t have to go back to the stand to return them (not the returning to it was that big of a deal).
  • PYO can take a while, especially if you have more than one item to pick. You may want to consider breaking it up, in particular if you have a young child with you, since they will get antsy.
  • Luckily, my daughter was pretty good in the fields. I have her a snap pea to munch on and she was content with that and playing with the flowers. Pretty soon though I know she’ll want to eat even more while we’re out there (can’t blame her!) and will probably want to run around more.

–          Attire

  • If you are doing PYO, definitely wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty, in particular if you will be picking up your child. It  might have been a little worse because Sofie’s feet were wet from the grass, but I had lovely shoe marks on my pants from picking her up to move around the farm. But still it wasn’t that bad and you should get a little dirty when on a farm
  • I had Sofie in crocs with socks on (since it was a little chilly), I figured I could just throw the socks in the wash and rinse off the crocs if they got yucky. I’ll probably get a pair of rain boots or something for her to wear to the farm too.

June 17, 2009 at 8:18 am 2 comments

CSA Heaven (Community Supported Agriculture)

 

LettuceI am in CSA heaven. It is true, there is no other way to describe it. This our first year as CSA shareholders (Waltham Fields Community Farm) and last week was the beginning of our weekly CSA distributions. The whole experience from going to the orientation to going to the farm for our first pickup, to devouring the amazing greens over the week has won me over. And now, in a few short hours, our kitchen will once again be filled with fresh and lush vegetables from our farm.

Typically a CSA share feeds a family of 2 veggie loving adults and 2 children. We opted to split 2 shares among 3 families for our first year. It requires some coordination but it means we don’t have to go to the farm every week since we rotate pickups and we get to see our friends a little more regularly and share tips and recipes, which is a nice by product feeding into the very communal nature of CSAs.

I took my daughter to pick up the 2 shares last Tuesday. It had been raining and was a little chilly for June but none of that hampered the experience. I took home some lessons to make the next trip a little easier and will share those with you in my next post. If you are part of or planning to be part of something similar they may prove useful.

My first impression was that I felt like I was stealing! There was so much! And many items were large, like the heads of lettuce and collard greens. My bags were very quickly filled to the brim. All of the vegetables were out in bins for shareholders to make their selection. We got to pick 8 out of the 10 items available. I had my daughter in an Ergo carrier on my front so my hands would be free to gather up our produce. She was quite patient and tolerant. She only whined a little the many times I wacked her in the head with wet leaves. By the time I got to the lettuce I had to put her and the bags down, I was carrying too much and my bags were too full. After unloading I was able to fit the lettuce into the bags. We then walked to the car before returning to buy some honey (I had left my wallet in the car) and to go over to pick our snap peas and herbs.

Picking snap peas with Sofie was fun. At the tender age of 16 months she was great in the field. She munched on a very small snap pea and inspected the flowers while I picked our 2 pints. When we were over picking herbs she loved playing with a chive blossom. I am so thrilled she gets to share in this wonderful experience with us. The farm is extremely tolerant and welcoming of children. In fact, they have a number of children’s activities, which Sofie will get to enjoy when she is a little older. They also seem to genuinely care deeply about their work and will make the time to answer any question you might have. It simply feels good to be at the farm and to be supporting it. (Though we are the ones making out based on last weeks distribution.)

Here is what we got in our 1st distribution: spinach, garlic scapes, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy, green leaf lettuce, radishes, tatsoi. PYO: snap peas, thyme, mint, chives

Today will only be our 2nd distribution so I cannot say yet if I will end up being tired of kale or collard greens but so far I have found the entire opportunity amazing. It is such a pure and happy thing. I love it.

June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment


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