CSA Challenge: Box #4

28 Jul

Here’s what was fresh in the box this week!

Basil

Baby Bok Choy
These cute little things are relatives to cabbage. They are more tender and mild than grown-up bok choy. Their mild sweetness is easily overwhelmed by other flavors, so use simple cooking techniques to prepare them. I’ve heard that grilling them is delicious. Store the babies is a plastic bag in the fridge; they should last up to 3 days.

Chocolate Mint

Rainbow Swiss Chard
These beautiful greens have a dazzling presentation with a lighter flavor than regular swiss chard. Use them raw, steamed or stir fried. They are a good stand in for spinach. Wrap them in plastic and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Zucchini and Summer Squash
I’m sure most of you have eaten zucchini and summer squash before and that many of you have prepared it. Usually you serve it cooked; it can be steamed, boiled, grilled, stiffed and baked, BBQ-ed, fried or incorporated into other dishes (casseroles, stir fries, frittatas). The possibilities are endless, so you shouldn’t have trouble using these up. You can also eat them raw — slice or shred them onto salads or sandwiches. They have a mild flavor, making them an excellent “hiding” vegetable. Finely shred or puree and incorporate them into cakes or muffins for picky eaters. They are prone to chill damage, so try not to store them over 3 days.

Green and Yellow Snap Beans
Another pretty common (but delicious) vegetable. These beans and great for snacking on raw, but you can also boil, steam or stir fry them for a quick side dish. When cooking, use as little water as possible and don’t overcook or you will lose valuable nutrients. Store these up to 5 days in a plastic bag in the crisper. If you can eat them up quick enough, you can freeze them. First blanch them in boiling water fo 4 minutes, then cool them in a bath of ice water, drain and pack them up in freezer bags.

Sorrel

Monarda/Bee Balm
This unusual herb has a somewhat bitter flavor long with a spearmint/peppermint taste mixed with oregano. You can brew it into a tea, add it to fruit salad, use it for spritzers or substitute it for mint. It also goes very well with pork.

Fresh Garlic

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
If you aren’t a big spice person, you can remove the ribs and seeds before eating for less hot factor. You could whip up some salsa with these, add a kick to salad and sandwiches with pepper slices or dice them up and throw some into an omelet. Store these in a bag in the frige for up to 5 days.

RECIPES:

Zucchini Chickpea Feta Fritters

1 cup zucchini, coarsely grated

1 egg

1/2 red onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons chickpea flour

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

freshly ground pepper

olive oil

  1. Whisk the egg lightly. Stir in flour, onion, feta cheese, salt and pepper. Add grated zucchini. Let stand for a few minutes.
  2. Lightly grease a non-stick pan with olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Drop about 1 heaped tablespoon of the batter into the pan. Flatten slightly and cook for about two minutes. Turn over and cook until cooked through. Transfer fritter to a plate and cover with silver foil to keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining batter. Serve immediately.

Wheat Berry Salad with Zucchini and Mozzarella

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 lb zucchini/summer squash, halved lengthwise

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and black pepper

2 cups cooked wheat berries

3 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips

6 radishes, sliced thinly

1 head butter lettuce, chopped

6 garlic scapes, diced (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)

1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 cup cubed mozzarella

  1. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove from the pan.
  2. Turn on the broiler. The heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the fire. Brush the zucchini with the 1 tbsp oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil, turning as needed, until lightly charred on both sides and beginning to soften, 5 minutes or more. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini into chunks or slices.
  1. Toss together the zucchini, wheat berries, roasted red peppers, radishes, lettuce, and dill in a large salad bowl. Add the vinegar and remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Toss with mozzarella.

Garlic Green Beans

8oz green beans, trimmed and cut in halves

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes

2 tablespoons black olives, pitted and sliced

salt to taste

  1. Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them and let stand while preparing the rest of the dish.
  2. In a large pan (that can be covered with a lid), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for a minute while stirring constantly. Make sure the garlic does not get burned. Add the green beans to the garlic oil and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Season lightly with salt.
  3. Add 4 tablespoons of water, put on the lid, and increase heat to medium high. Let cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Take off the heat.
  4. Drain the tomatoes. Cut into slices or chop. Add them along with the olives to the green beans. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve immediately.

Blanched Green Beans with Mustard

1 pound green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Handful of parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Add the green beans and cook 4-5 minutes until just tender.
  3. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  4. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, and parsley.
  5. Drizzle vinaigrette over the green beans and toss to coat.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Baby Bok Choy and Egg Pizza

1 12-inch pizza pizza dough

1 small bunch baby bok choy

2 tablespoons olive oil or sesame oil, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

big pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

3 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

2 green scallions, thinly sliced

about 1 tablespoon lightly toasted sesame seeds, optional

cornmeal for dusting

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and place pizza stone (if using) on it. Preheat oven to 500˚F about 30 minutes before you’re ready to bake the pizza.
  2. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the bok choy with a pinch of salt, reserving a few leaves for later if you like. Stir continuously until it just begins to collapse, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, stir in garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.
  3. Stretch and roll out your pizza dough into a 12-inch circle. Generously sprinkle your pizza stone with cornmeal and place the dough on top. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan, then the bok choy. Crack 3 eggs on top, I tried to contain the eggs sightly by making little openings between the bok choy. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the crust is golden, the cheese has melted, and the egg yolks are cooked. Top with sliced scallions and sesame seeds. Cool briefly and slice. Best eaten warm from the oven.

Baby Bok Choy with Hot Sesame Oil and Lime

4-5 heads baby bok choy

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon hot sesame oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

¼ teaspoon ume plum vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds

1 teaspoon toasted ivory sesame seeds

  1. Keep smaller bok choy heads whole and slice larger ones in half the long way. Wash well and trim off dried root ends. Place steaming rack in pot over 2 inches water, bring to boil, add bok choy and steam 3 minutes or until just bright green (time will vary according to size of bok choy). Remove from heat and place bok choy on platter or individual plates.
  2. In small bowl, whisk together grapeseed oil, lime juice, hot sesame oil, toasted sesame oil and ume plum vinegar. Pour over bok choy, top with sesame seeds and serve.

Cucumber Sorrel Smoothie

2 medium-large organic cucumbers, chopped

a splash of all-natural buttermilk or milk of your choice

a few tablespoons of plain Greek yogurt

4-5 sorrel leaves

1-2 teaspoons of honey or pure maple syrup

pinch of sea salt

  1. Place chopped cucumbers in blender and add buttermilk to get the blender going.
  2. Add yogurt, sorrel, honey, and salt and blend until smooth.
  3. Chill before serving, if desired. Garnish with edible flowers (I used borage) if you have them.

White Peach & Sorrel Salad Recipe

2 cups of loosely packed, washed sorrel leaves.

1 1/2 cups ripe white peaches. Cleaned, sliced

4 T honey

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Assemble torn up sorrel leaves and sliced peaches in bowl.
  2. Whisk together honey, grapeseed oil, balsamic vinegar and vanilla in bowl.
  3. Dress with salad with vinaigrette.

Swiss Chard & a Poached Egg on Toast

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large bunch of swiss chard

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large onion, diced

1/8 to 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

salt and pepper, to taste

4 large slices of country bread, grilled or toasted

4 poached eggs

  1. To clean swiss chard, cut down both sides of stem to remove it. Plunge leaves in a large bowl of water and mix with hands. Let sit for a few minutes, letting dirt fall to bottom. Remove chard, drain water and repeat a few times. Dry chard either with a salad spinner or on towels. Once dry, cut chard into large (1/2-inch wide) ribbons.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds. Add chard and nutmeg and cook until chard is soft, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside, or leave on low heat until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, arrange 1/4 of chard mixture onto each piece of bread. Top with a poached egg and season with a little salt and pepper if desired.

Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans

1 head Swiss Chard

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. chili flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 X 400g cans of cannellini beans, OR

3 cups soaked and previously cooked dried beans

1/2 cup stock or water (reserved from cooking the beans, if possible)

sea salt and black pepper

  1. Trim the very bottoms of the swiss chard stems and discard. Cut the stems into 1 1/2″-sections, and roughly chop the leaves. Rinse well and set aside, keeping the stems and leaves separate.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When hot, add the chards stems and sautée for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic and chili flakes and cook for another minute.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the beans and chard leaves. Pour in the water or stock, add a good pinch of salt, and cover. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. (This can easily be adapted to your liking: if you want it soupier, add more water. If you like it drier, remove the lid and let the moisture cook off.)
  4. When the leaves are cooked and the stems are tender, remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Spiced Peaches with Ham and Basil

3 peaches, each cut into 8 wedges

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon Sherry vinegar

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 pound thinly sliced serrrano ham

24 small basil leaves

  1. Toss together peaches, sugar, vinegar, and cumin and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Cut ham slices in half lengthwise, then wrap each piece around a wedge of peach. Top with a basil leaf and secure with a wooden or metal pick.

Caprese Sticks

12 small bamboo skewers

24 grape tomatoes

36 fresh mozzarella pearls

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)

Fresh basil leaves

Salt and Pepper

Balsamic vinegar and olive oil (optional)

  1. Alternate grape tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves on small bamboo skewers.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, if desired.

Lemon Mint Ice Cubes

1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves (~ 1.1 oz)

2 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 cups water

  1. In a blender or food processor combine mint, lemon juice, and a small amount of the water until mint is finely chopped.
  2. Add mixture to the remaining water, mix well, pour in ice cube trays, and freeze.
  3. Once frozen, store ice cubes in zip top plastic bag in freezer until ready to use.

Cucumber Watermelon Salad with Honey and Mint

2 cups watermelon, cubed

1 ½ cups cucumber, peeled and cubed

2 green onions, greens and partial whites sliced

1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp honey

1/8 tsp sea salt

Pinch of black pepper

  1. In a bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumber, green onions and mint.
  2. Add the olive oil and honey. Stir to combine. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper.
  3. You can eat it right away or refrigerate it for up to a couple days. As it sits more juice will form from the melon and cucumber. Serves 3 to 4.

Farmer’s Market Pasta

1 cup peas

2 cups dry pasta

1/4 cup reserved pasta water

1/2 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

3 cloves garlic

1/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly grated

1 teaspoon olive oil

fresh torn basil

4 thinly sliced pieces of fresh mozzarella

  1. Cook peas and drain. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and toss with peas and butter.
  3. While peas and pasta are cooking, combine ricotta, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheeses and basil.
  4. Add cheese mixture to pasta and add reserved pasta water. Stir until smooth. Divide into ramekins and top each with a slice of mozzarella. Broil (400 degrees or higher) for about 5 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Garlicky Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Feta, Mint, and Lemon

2 cans (15 oz. can) chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

2 T olive oil (recipe called for 3 T which I thought was too much)

2 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced (I would not use garlic from a jar for this recipe)

1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

3/4 – 1 cup crumbled Feta (recipe called for 1 cup; I thought 3/4 cup was plenty)

1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped fresh mint (recipe called for 1/2 cup but I used 3/4 cup)

lemon wedges to squeeze over finished dish (optional, but good)

  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Dump chickpeas into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. Let chickpeas drain at least 5 minutes. (You can pat them dry with paper towels if they still seem wet after that.)
  2. Mix together the olive oil, finely minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Spray a large rectangular baking dish with nonstick spray (11 X 7 or slightly larger). Put drained chickpeas into baking dish, add olive oil mixture and stir until the chickpeas are well coated with oil, then put in the oven and roast 15-18 minutes.
  3. While chickpeas are roasting, wash mint, spin dry or dry with paper towels, and finely chop with large chef’s knife. Crumble Feta. Start to check chickpeas after 15 minutes, and as soon as they are hot and barely beginning to crisp on top remove from oven.
  4. Spoon chickpeas into a serving dish. (Use a slotted spoon if there is any unabsorbed oil in the bottom of the baking dish, so the extra oil will be left behind.) Let chickpeas cool 5 minutes, then stir in crumbled Feta and chopped mint. Season with more salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired. Serve warm, with lemon wedges to squeeze over the finished dish if desired.

Summer Punch

1/2-2/3 cup agave nectar

1 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup bee balm leaves

1/2 cup raspberries

2 cups cranberry juice

1/2 cup mint leaves

47 ounce pineapple juice

3 liters ginger ale

  1. In a saucepan, combine agave and lemon juice over low heat. Add the bee balm and raspberries. Bring to a simmer, stir to break up raspberries.
  2. Strain leaves and berries out of the liquid. Add cranberry juice and mint, stirring well.
  3. Chill up to 24 hours. When ready to serve pour into a punch bowl and add pineapple juice, ice and ginger ale.
Bee Balm Iced Tea
1/2 cup bee balm flowers and leaves
8 cups boiling water
  1. Pour boiling water over bee balm. Cover and steep until cool, about an hour.
  2. Stain and discard flowers. Sweeten if desired. Chill until ready to use and serve over ice.
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One Response to “CSA Challenge: Box #4”

  1. kriss July 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Super video! I love all the nutritional info and storage info you put up. And the RECIPES rock! Very excited about the sorrel smoothie – now we need some ripe cukes!

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