CSA Challenge: Box #5

11 Aug

 

We have a great box this week! We had a grill out last night, and I’ve already devoured my corn and baby bok choy. First, here’s what we had for repeats in the box:

Basil
Baby Bok Choy
Zucchini and Summer Squash
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
Green and Yellow Snap Beans

And these are the new treats:

Squash Blossoms
You can eat these raw or cooked, but they need to be eaten as quickly as possible (which shouldn’t be a problem–there are many delicious ways to prepare them). If you can’t eat them right away, store them in a pan of ice water in the fridge. That should buy you up to 2 days. You can add these raw to a salad, saute them up for a beautiful and exotic side or try one of our mouthwatering recipes we’ve found for you.

Sweet Corn
I think I’m safe in saying that we’ve all eaten sweet corn before, right? You may think it’s just a boring old grain, but it is actually a good source of antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins and protein. These ears of corn should also be eaten as soon as possible. Like I said, I grilled mine up the night I got them and it was delicious. Corn on the grill has such a great flavor. For maximum freshness, store your ears in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. If you can’t eat these in the next day, you can blanch and freeze for later use.

Bell Peppers
Raw peppers are one of my favorite crunchy snacks. And I love that they come in a variety of colors; they are great to use for veggie and dip platters for beautiful presentation but minimal preparation–just use a bunch of different colored ones. You can store your peppers on the counter if you plan on eating them soon, or in your fridge’s vegetable drawer for 7-10 days. You can even freeze them whole.

Cucumbers
These cucumbers are way cooler than the ones you can buy in the store! I love the different colors. And you don’t need to peel the skin off before you eat; the skin is rich in fiber and minerals, and you don’t want to throw that down the garbage disposal! The flesh of the cucumber is mostly water, but it is also a good source of vitamin C. Your cucumbers should keep several days in the fridge.

Tomato
Alas, you only get one tomato this week, but we’ve been promised more soon. So you’ll have to save all the tomato recipes we’re giving you this week for future tomatoes since you won’t be able to try them all. You can keep your tomato at room temperature up to a week. If you think it’s getting overripe, stick it in the refrigerator until you can eat it. But make sure you do eat it; tomatoes are full of good stuff. They have a large amount of the cancer preventing antioxidant lycopene as well as vitamins C and A, fiber, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K.

New Red Norland Potatoes
Quite a long name but very simple explanation. “New” means they were harvested before they reached their full size and “Norland” refers to their smooth, red skin. Again, you don’t have to peel these potatoes, not only will they add color and texture to you dishes, but they will also give you vitamins, minerals and fiber. Store these guys in a cool, dark, dry area (but preferably not the fridge).

Cabbage
Yay, cabbage means fish tacos! You can use the cabbage for the slaw to top your tacos with or even as a healthier replacement for a tortilla. Store your cabbage in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Before we get to the recipes, here are a few things we’ve found around the internet for you:

2 fish taco recipes for you: Our fish taco recipe and Martha’s fish taco recipe.

And a whopping 25 recipes for different baby bok choy soups. Soup is one of the best ways to enjoy your baby bok choy.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

20 squash blossoms with tiny squashlets attached
Approximately 1 cup fresh goat cheese, with or without herbs
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

  1. Preheat and oil the grill.
  2. Have ready a large bowl of ice water. Carefully open the petals of the squash, and, one at a time, dip them into the ice water. Place the washed blossom, stem side up, on a double layer of paper towel to drain. Do all of this carefully, as the petals are fragile.
  3. Cut the goat cheese into portions small enough to fill the blossoms generously. Place a portion of the cheese in each drained blossom, gently twisting the petals together to seal.
  4. When all the blossoms are filled, brush them lightly with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place the blossoms on the preheated grill and cook, using tongs to turn occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the squashlets are crisp-tender.
  6. Using tongs, transfer the blossoms to a serving plate. Drizzle with lemon juice and additional olive oil and serve warm.
Squash Blossom Omelet

3 eggs
4 squash blossoms
1 tblsp milk
A pinch of salt
A few shreds of cheddar cheese
A few sprigs of cilantro

  1. Heat a pan on medium heat. Beat 3 eggs with 1 tblsp of milk and a pinch of salt. The milk is purely optional, but I think it makes eggs fluffier. Pour into pan and toss in a few sprigs of cilantro. Lay the squash blossoms on top. I like to put the petals facing outward so they’ll look prettier when folded in half. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. Cover the pan with a lid so the eggs can cook.
  2. Then carefully fold the omelet in half. Enjoy.
Grilled Corn Salad
2 corn cobs, grilled
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1 large avocado, chopped
Juice of 1 lime, about 1 – 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 teaspoon cumin, or more to taste

  1. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit and discard. Cut each half in half lengthwise. Peel back the skin and discard.
  2. Cut avocado into 3/4 inch cubes. Add to a small bowl and squeeze half of a lime over top. This will help prevent the avocado from browning and sticking together while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  3. Stand the corn up on end and cut the kernels off using a knife. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. Wash the grape tomatoes, slice in half lengthwise. Add to the corn.
  5. Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems. Reserve the leaves and chop finely. In a small bowl, combine the other half of the lime juice, salt and pepper, cumin, and chopped cilantro.
  6. Stir the cilantro lime mixture into the corn and tomatoes. Then, gently stir in the avocado. Serve chilled.
Corn Boats
4 ears corn with husks
1 T olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 T chopped cilantro or parsley
  1. Remove tough outer leaves of husks and discard. Pull remaining husks back over the stem end, remove silk and cut corn cob off, leaving husks and stem end attached. Reserve 2-3 husks for later use.
  2. Cut corn off cobs.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or heat grill to medium high heat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and sweet potato; cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in corn, chili powder, salt and hot pepper sauce. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cilantro; remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
  4. Spoon about 1 cup vegetable mixture into each husk. Using a strip of the reserved husk or kitchen twine, tie the husks to enclose the filling. Trim excess husk 1/2 to 3/4 inch from ties. Place boats on a cookie sheet and bake until heated through and husks are beginning to brown, about 12-15 minutes. If grilling, place on grill over direct heat and turn 1/4 turn every few minutes to prevent burning. Remove when all sides are lightly browned.
Basil Vinaigrette
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender.
Tomato Basil and White Bean Salad
2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
⅔ cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
  1. Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.  Heat oil in a skillet over low. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss.
  3. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.  Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.
Baby Bok Choy with Cashews
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions, including green ends
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1 pound baby bok choy, rinsed, larger leaves separated from base, base trimmed but still present, holding the smaller leaves together
1/2 tsp. dark sesame oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped, roasted, salted cashews

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger, stir together and cook for 1 minute.  Then add bok choy. Sprinkle with sesame oil and a small pinch of salt. Cover, and let the baby bok choy cook down for approximately 3 minutes. (Like spinach, when cooked, the bok choy will wilt a bit.)
  2. Remove cover. Lower heat to low. Stir and let cook for a minute or two longer, until the bok choy is just cooked.
  3. Gently mix in cashews.  Serve warm.
Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms
1 tablespoon oil
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stemmed and sliced)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 vegetable broth (or chicken stock)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional, to taste)
3 large baby bok choy (the thick end of the stem removed, rinsed and steamed)
2 green onions (sliced)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the broth and deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the soy sauce and chili sauce and simmer to reduce the sauce to the thickness that you desire.
  6. Add the sesame oil and remove from heat.
  7. Pour the mushroom sauce over the bok choy and garnish with the green onions.
Lemony Summer Squash Salad with Dill

2-3 small or one large summer squash or zucchini, thinly sliced
1 carrot shaved
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved
Juice from one lemon
Olive oil
Salt
A heaping handful of fresh dill, finely chopped
A couple of handfuls fresh arugula
1/4 pound cappellini pasta, cooked and cooled to room temperature
A handful tiny purple potatoes, cooked and cooled to room temperature
1 shallot, thinly sliced and lightly caramelized
Pepper to taste
Pecorino Romano, shaved

  1. Toss squash, carrot and fennel in a bowl with lemon, olive oil, dill and salt. Let sit and marinate for about 20 minutes.
  2. Toss the arugula and pasta in a large bowl.
  3. Serve topped with potatoes, shallots, shaved pecorino, a turn or two of freshly cracked black pepper.
Thai Style Zucchini Pasta
1 large unpeeled zucchini, ends chopped off
1 large unpeeled carrot, ends chopped off
1 red pepper, seeds and core removed
1 mango, peeled
  1. Wash the zucchini, carrot and pepper, and peel the mango. Use a julienne peeler (or a zucchini spiralizer, if you own such a thing) to grate up the veggies as best as you can. I found it worked best on the zucchini and the carrot, and I used a regular box grater to to do the pepper and the mango.
  2. Mix everything together in a large bowl.

dressing:
tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp of lime juice
dash of hot sauce
chopped garlic (half a clove or so)
chopped ginger (small bit, or a pinch of dried)
A splash of water (1-2 tsp) to thin it out a bit, if necessary

  1. Toss your dressing in with your veggies and serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a few crushed peanuts.
Peach and Hot Pepper Salsa
2 peaches
1 nectarine
1 hot wax pepper
1 cucumber
salt to taste
  1. Dice all ingredients and mix in a bowl. Season with salt.
Green Pepper Relish
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno
1 clove garlic
4 green onions
6 stems flat leaf parsley
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Stem and seed the green pepper and the jalapeño. Roughly chop pepper, chile, and garlic. Put in a food processor and pulse until minced.
  2. Trim and roughly chop the green onions. Add them to the processor.
  3. Take leaves from cilantro and parsley and put them in the processor. Pulse until onion and herbs are roughly worked into the relish.
  4. Stir in olive oil and add salt to taste.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 cup low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make it veg.)
1 bell pepper, halved and seeded
2 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cannellini beans
1 small shallot, minced
1 tomato, diced
salt
pepper
Aprox. 2 tbsp grated cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Split the peppers in half and clean them out; place them in the baking dish. Roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa and reduce heat and cook until the broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally. During the last minute or two of cooking, add green onion, shallot and garlic to the quinoa.
  3. In a medium bowl add tomatoes, beans and cooked quinoa. Mix together gently.
  4. Stuff quinoa mixture into par-roasted peppers. Top with grated cheese and bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Serve hot.
Cucumber Jicama Pineapple Salad
half of a large jicama, peeled and diced into cubes
(about 1 lb. jicama cubes)
half of a large fresh pineapple, peeled and diced into cubes (about 1 lb. pineapple cubes)
3 small Persian Cucumbers or garden cucumbers, cut into half-moon slices
Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground Ancho chile (or any mild chile powder)
1-2 tsp. Sriracha Sauce (start with 1 tsp. and taste for hotness)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T grapeseed oil
  1. Peel jicama and dice enough to make 1 lb. of jicama cubes.  (I like to cut it into thick slices and peel the edges with a vegetable peeler.)  Cut away the outside of the pineapple, then cut enough to make 1 lb. pineapple cubes.   Wash cucumbers, peel if needed, and then cut cucumbers into half-moon slices.
  2. Combine the diced jicama, diced pineapple, and cucumber slices in a bowl.  Stir together the lime juice ground Ancho chile, Sriracha Sauce, and salt and then whisk in the oil.  Stir dressing into salad ingredients and serve right away. (if serving later, store salad and dressing separately)
Greek Cucumber Bites
4 ounces cream cheese or soft goat cheese
1/2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, sliced slightly on the diagonal
1/2 cup prepared hummus
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with a rubber spatula until smooth and well-combined.
  2. Assemble the appetizers: Scoop a heaping teaspoonful of the cream cheese mixture onto a slice of cucumber and spread to the edges. Spoon a heaping teaspoonful of hummus on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle with tomato, olives, feta and green onion. Repeat with remaining cucumber slices and toppings. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and serve within a few hours.
Tomato and Nectarine Caprese
2 very ripe nectarines
3 large, ripe tomatoes
about 12 oz. of fresh mozzarella (just get a big ball of it), frozen for 10 minutes before slicing (the freezing is optional, it just makes it easier to slice)
several handfuls of basil leaves
fine sea salt and pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. good balsamic vinegar

  1. Halve the nectarines and remove their pits, then slice them into approximately 1/4 inch slices.
  2. Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella into slices of a similar size to the nectarines.
  3. Layer the tomato, nectarine, mozzarella slices and basil leaves, either on individual plates or on one serving platter.
  4. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Then, drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the top.

Baked Egg in Tomato Cups

2 large tomatoes (variety of your choice)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup white cheddar, shredded**You will probably have extra cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh basil, shredded

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice off the tops of each tomato, and using a sharp knife, gently cut around the inside perimeter of each tomato and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Place the tomatoes in an oven-proof baking dish, with the tops.  ***I sort of wedged my tomatoes up against the sides so that they would stay upright and the eggs would stay centered.
  4. Depending on the size of your tomatoes, place about 1-2 tablespoons of the white cheddar in the bottom of each, making a little well with your fingers so that the eggs will lay flat.
  5. Break an egg into each tomato, trying as best as you can to keep all the whites inside the tomato.
  6. Bake the eggs for 10 minutes.  **They will just begin to set during this time.
  7. After ten minutes, remove the eggs from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for another 7-10 minutes, until the eggs are set to your desired consistency.
  9. Remove the eggs from the oven and let sit for about 2 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and garnish with the fresh basil.

Herbed Potato Salad

1 1/2 lb new potatoes
2 TB olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
3-4 TB fresh minced chives (or other fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil)
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces (depending on their size, some potatoes might need to be cut in half or quartered and some potatoes might not need to be cut at all).  Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water; heat over medium to medium high heat until the water boils, then turn the heat down to medium-low and cook the potatoes until just fork-tender (about 5-7 minutes).  Drain the potatoes and let them cool slightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss the potatoes with the vinaigrette and chives, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Can be served warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Creamy Potato Salad

1 1/2 Lbs New Potatoes, scrubbed
1 Large Ripe Avocado
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt, or to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Mixed Chopped Herbs, Try dill&chives, cilantro&scapes or parsley&tarragon – or mix and match them all together.

  1. Steam the potatoes until they are just fork tender but al dente.
  2. Cool until the potatoes can be handled, then quarter.
  3. Peel and dice the avocado and combine with the potatoes and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in the herbs, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Toss well to coat everything and to break down some of the softened avocado.
Chicken Cabbage and Peach Salad
60 ml lime juice
2-3 teaspoons ginger, very finely chopped
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4- teaspoons sesame seed oil
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 spring onions, chopped
1 small cabbage, shredded
4 carrots, grated or cut into julienne
2 peaches, thinly sliced
350g skinless grilled or rotisserie chicken meat, shredded

  1. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, ginger, sesame seeds, oil and soy sauce until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. In a larger bowl toss cabbage, carrots, spring onions, peaches and chicken together with the lime-ginger dressing. Allow to infuse for about 15-20 minutes.
Spicy Cabbage Salad
5-6 cups finely chopped cabbage (about 1/2 large head of cabbage)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup celery, sliced (or if the celery is large, I would cut in half before slicing)
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves (optional, but good)
6 radishes, stem and root cut off and cut into half-moon slices (optional, but good)
1/4 cup sliced green onions (dark green part)
Dressing:
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
3 T grapeseed oil

  1. Chop cabbage, tomatoes, and celery leaves, and slice celery, radishes, and green onions.  Toss all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.  (If making ahead use a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the apple cider vinegar, fresh lime juice, salt, and hot sauce to taste.  (I would start with a smaller amount of hot sauce, because you can always add more.)   Whisk in the oil, one tablespoon at a time.  Taste to see if you want to add more hot sauce.
  3. Toss salad with desired amount of dressing.  (You may not need all the dressing if you omit some of the optional ingredients.)  Salad can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours, and is even surprising good when it’s been refrigerated overnight.
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One Response to “CSA Challenge: Box #5”

  1. kriss August 12, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    The Greek cucumber bits are awesome! and so are you guys. MMm and potato salad with avocado! Heaven!

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