We have been enjoying the contents of this week’s box for a few days but I now have time to post about the contents. As Chicago inches towards fall the transition is really reflected in our CSA boxes each week. I think this box is […]
It definitely feels like we have transitioned to fall here in Chicago. The weather has been hovering around 65 degrees and it is getting dark earlier and earlier. It’s almost like the seasons decided summer was over on August 31 on the dot.
The sun setting earlier is going to present new blog challenges for me as I run out of daylight for taking pictures. The poor lighting is already impacting my pictures so I might need to try a new set-up.
This week’s CSA box is a perfect reflection of summer transitioning to fall- tomatoes and corn from summer and apples, squash, and potatoes of fall. This week’s box included…
I had never heard of these before this week’s box! They are long and flat and kind of silly looking. The Internet says they are Italian and can be used in just about any recipe you would normally use green beans for. However, their size means they can hold up to longer cooking so are often braised. I haven’t decided how I will use mine yet but I’ll let you know!
Peppers are so versatile and can be found in almost every cuisine. Last time we got bell peppers I made this More Veggie Kung Pao Chicken. This time I might make stuffed peppers or pasta. I have been making rifts off of this Linguine with Red Bell Peppers and Kalamata Olives for years as a go to on weeknights.
We received another very full quart of cherry tomatoes this week. Throughout this CSA process I have learned that Will does not like tomatoes very much. I was kind of dismissing it earlier in the summer under the assumption that if they were cooked he would like them, but he has started complaining more. So I need to find a way to use these tomatoes that will please the man who usually will eat anything but is sick of tomatoes.
Corn corn corn. Tonight I attempted to make some Mexican street corn. It was pretty good but all of the cheese fell off so I have to work on that one more. With previous batches of corn we have made pizza, pasta, and even corn cakes already. I think it might be time for me to try chowder.
I love broccoli and it is one of my go-to’s on weeknights. I think the challenge this week will be to make something blog-worthy with it!
More eggplant. I have a confession, for all of my eggplant skepticism earlier this summer, I actually went out and purchased eggplant for the first time last week in order to make a summer vegetable lasagna, recipe forthcoming. However, I admit that I am running out of eggplant ideas. Help!
The CSA email said we would be getting summer squash but I received this one instead, which is fine with me. I cooked delicata squash for the first time last winter and really enjoyed it. It is surprisingly sweet and caramelizes amazingly when roasted.
I am always surprised how expensive leeks are at the grocery store so I am excited to see them in our box. The leeks will be great with the tomatoes or potatoes, or really anything! If all else fails, Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook has an amazing Potato-Leek Gratin with Buttery Bread Crumbs (and no cream!).
Pears! I never imagined we would be getting pears in our CSA. These ones are hard as rock so hopefully they ripen so we can do something with them soon.
Honey Crisp Apples
This is our third week of apples and they have all been delicious. Will really likes having apples with his lunch so we haven’t been cooking with them much, just eating them fresh! They have been very crisp and delicious; much better than the recent batch we bought at the store.
The Internet says that kennebecs are a good all purpose potato. I think they would be great in the aforementioned gratin or really anything using boiling potatoes. When I was doing research I came across this funny article about how they are being used for French fries all over Seattle. Real deep-frying kind of scares me though, so we’ll see!
How would you use romano beans and leeks? Let me know in the comments!
It is CSA time! Every other Tuesday we get a box of vegetables from our local farm. Yesterday we picked up our fourth box of the season and first box of the blog. This one was heavy. You’ll see why in a minute.
This week’s box included:
(All of the weights are estimates. I really need a kitchen scale for this box!)
4 small eggplants
I have a confession: I never cook with eggplants. Ever. Eggplants are one of those things that I just don’t gravitate towards. I’ll eat them if they are hidden under tomatoes and other things but chose to cook with them? Not so much. So this weekend, we are conquering eggplant. I think this is the ‘brave’ part of ‘the brave radish.’
2 lbs Yukon potatoes
6 ears of corn
The hard part of the corn is there is much of it. We are two people. We can’t just eat corn on the cob every night. I think we’ll put some on pizza.
I made a black bean and corn salsa for a picnic. I usually just throw things in the bowl until the ratios look right but this Paula Deen recipe is pretty close to what I did. I used the juice of two limes, no vinegar, and add half a jalapeño.
5 large beets, easily 4-5 lbs total
Beets are hard. We got some in the last box and I made the most delicious roasted beet dip from Jerusalem cookbook by Ottolenghi & Tamimi last time. But roasting beets for an hour in an apartment without central air in Chicago in the summer is it’s own kind of painful. I need an alternative. Or a cold front!
One idea I have is beet chips. I love store bought beet chips so why not make them myself?
I have found lots of beet slaw and beet salad recipes but then what do you pair those with? I’m not much for the TV dinner style chicken plus two sides meal. Any ideas for a main dish that uses beets??
They are so small! And a few even still have their blossoms on. I think these are screaming to top a pizza.
1-2 lbs of Pristine apples
These apples are very small and green. I googlged them and they sound tart. I think they’ll be great for baking or cooking. Will has been looking for a fruit compote for his morning yogurt so maybe we’ll use them for this. But also, I love baked apple desserts…
I love green beans, these will be easy!
quart of cherry tomatoes
4 green peppers
We used some of these in a soba noodle stir-fry the first night.
2 large white onions
small head of cauliflower
This isn’t enough cauliflower for Smitten Kitchen’s cauliflower quesadillas but I might have to buy more just to make them. These quesadillas are one of my favorite things right now.
HUGE Napa cabbage
Like larger than my head big. Easily 3 lbs? More? I have no idea what to do with all of this cabbage, especially not of the napa variety. We put some in a soba noodle stir -fry the first night but that only used four leaves. I think there will be more stir-fry in our future. And Asian fish tacos. Do I dare try to make kimchi? I’m not sure I even like kimchi but Will does.
We made a rift on the Spicy Stir Fried Cabbage recipe from the NY Times, link below, with onions, a zucchini from the fridge, two of the green peppers, cabbage, chicken, and soba noodles our first night. It was pretty good! We basically just did a regular stir fry and used the sauce from NY Times.
Here are some links to recipes using the CSA ingredients that inspire me:
Spicy Zucchini Frittata from Tracy Shutterbean
Beet dip with Middle Eastern flavors from Ottolenghi
Italian Style Eggplant Parmesan from Serious Eats
Spicy Stir Fried Cabbage from NY Times
Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas from Smitten Kitchen
Let me know what you would do with all of these veggies in the comments! Especially beets and cabbage….