elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: CSA

IMG_6081Are you tired of sautéing or steaming your green beans? Well, the temperature finally dropped below 80 degrees, so now is a great time to make some soup.

This is a protein-packed vegan soup with a mild flavor and very few ingredients.

Thank you to Chocolate & Zucchini for this wonderful recipe, which I adapted only a little bit based on what I had in my fridge this morning!

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onions, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed

12 baby carrots,  sliced

About a pound of green beans, rinsed and trimmed

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup vegetable broth

3 cups water

1.5 cups sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onions and carrots, and cook over medium heat, stirring every now and then, until softened and very lightly golden. Add the garlic and stir for minute. Add the green beans to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  2. Pour in the broth and water, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. In the meantime, pour the sliced almonds in a dry skillet. Set over medium-high heat and toast for about two minutes, stirring constantly and watching closely, until golden and fragrant. Set aside in a bowl to prevent overtoasting.
  3. When the vegetables are soft, add the  almonds to the pot and stir well. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Use a high powered or immersion blender to mix all ingredients until velvety smooth. Taste, adjust the seasoning, reheat over gentle heat if necessary, and serve.

I love roasted butternut squash soup. This one stands out because of the other flavors involved: apples, hint of chili, rosemary, coriander, and of course cream. It’s also fairly easy because pretty much everything just roasts together for the same amount of time. 

I altered this recipe from NPR, (which originally was a Jamie Oliver recipe)  just a little bit. They suggested putting the pumpkin seeds in the oven alongside the vegetables for 10-15 minutes, but that resulted in black, smelly pumpkin seeds. Instead, I just toasted them on a skillet for a few minutes, stirring a few times to make sure they got evenly browned. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 firm, sweet apples, such as Braeburn, Pink Lady or Jazz, peeled, cored and quartered–I used Honeycrisp from the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 fresh hot red chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, separated
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (the shelled kernels, sometimes called pepitas)
  • 3 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup light cream–I used a combination of half and half and heavy cream, and you can probably get away with less cream if you want to keep it light.
  • Pumpkin seed oil, for garnish(I did not use this)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread the squash, apples, onion, chili and garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, coriander and rosemary. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and toss until well coated. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until all the vegetables are cooked through and golden.
  3. Heat a skillet to medium-low, and toast pumpkin seeds, tossing occasionally, until evenly browned–about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the vegetables from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from the peel. If you have an immersion blender, scrape the vegetables into a large pot. Deglaze the baking sheet with 1/4 cup boiling water, scraping at the burned-on bits to capture them. Add the water to the pot. Add the stock to the pot and puree, using the immersion blender.
  5. If you are using a countertop blender, deglaze the pan as above and pour into the blender. Add roughly 1/3 of the vegetables from the baking sheet and puree. Transfer puree to a large pot. Continue this process with the rest of the vegetables, using the stock.
  6. Once the vegetables are pureed in the pot, add the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer until the soup is warmed through and reaches your preferred consistency.
  7. To serve, divide into bowls. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil (or not). Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.

 

 


Dwight Shrute would be so proud, I just know it. I am really taking advantage of all the beets this season.This recipe comes from Food and Wine’s September, 2012 issue. It has the winning combination of beets and goat cheese, and a spicy kick as well.
Also, I had a lovely experience getting ingredients (za’atar, yogurt, hazelnuts, tomato paste, goat cheese) at Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue this morning. The helpful grocer teaching me about za’atar explained that it can also be used as part of a salad dressing. I will have to try that. I’ve only been to Sahadi’s on very crowded weekends before, and it was a joy to be able to peruse without feeling like I was in someone else’s way. Oh, summer! 

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium beets (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed (I used 4 very large beets)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red chile, seeded and minced (I used dried chile flakes instead)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted skinned hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Warm bread, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the beets in a small roasting pan and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour, until tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Peel the beets, cut into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, chile and yogurt and pulse until blended. Add the olive oil, maple syrup and za’atar and puree. Season with salt. Scrape into a wide, shallow bowl. Scatter the hazelnuts, goat cheese and scallions on top and serve with bread.

 

This is a basic tabbouleh recipe that does not require a lot of ingredients. If you are looking for more of a meal, check out my tabbouleh with chicken and tahini recipe here. This week, we got a lot of parsley from the CSA, and tabbouleh is my favorite way to use it all up. Thanks to Simply Recipes for the original recipe. I revised the amounts when I made it myself. Feel free to increase the herbs and decrease the bulgur or the other way around, depending on the ratio you prefer. (I like more herbs when eating it with pita, more bulgur when eating it as a stand-alone salad). Do you have another favorite recipe that highlights parsley? Send it along!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 5-6 Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used about a cup of mixed tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes–but I left the seeds in the little guys)
  • 2 scallions, chopped, including the greens
  • 1 1/2-2 cups parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the bulgur in a medium sized bowl. Bring water and the teaspoon of salt to a boil, pour it over the bulgur. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, bulgur and mix well. Add in all the other ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Taste the tabbouleh, and add more salt, olive oil or more lemon juice to taste. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Will keep chilled for several days.

 


Here is Part 1 of my 2 preserving projects from this rainy day. This recipe is another great one from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s book: Put ’em Up!

I also made an addicting jalapeño jelly this afternoon, and I will post that one next. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beets
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the beets individually in foil and arrange on a single layer on baking sheets. Roast until tender when pierced with a  knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Use a wad of paper towels to a paring knife to take the skins off. Cut the beets in half and then into 1/4-inch slices.
  2. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, and then remove from the heat.
  3. Pack the beets into 3 clean, hot pint pars, arranging them snugly but with enough room for the brine to circulate. Divide the cumin seed and cloves among the jars. Pour the hot brine over the beets to cover by 1/2 inch. Leave 1/2 inch headspace between the top of the liquid and the lid.
  4. Cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

If you want to can the beets, process for 30 minutes. They should be good for up to one year.

 

 


I was wondering what to do with all my radishes, beyond slicing and sprinkling them over greens. This recipe used up the rest of ours from our share, and the radishes and pickle relish add some great flavor to the potatoes. This is one of several recipes that I made from Food and Wine’s most recent Grilling issue (although there is no grilling involved for this recipe, I’ll be posting the grilled kale recipe soon). I like that it is a make-ahead dish, so it is absolutely no work on the day you serve it. It stays good for two days after you make it. 

At this point, I have several recipes on this blog that feature the radish. You can just click on “radish” in the right column, and find other recipes that use this vegetable. Have you done anything exciting with your radishes? Let me know…I’d love to know and share more ways to use these, as I think more are arriving from the farm this week!

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, halved but not peeled
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (I actually used smoked hot paprika because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 red radishes, 1/3-inch dice
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
  • 1/2 medium red onion, cut into1/3-inch dice

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water, add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Shake the pot over moderately high heat for about 10 seconds to dry the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, blend the mayonnaise with the relish, vinegar, mustard powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, radishes, celery and onion. Gently fold in the potatoes and season with salt (I did not add any more salt at this point, I would wait until you serve it to decide if more salt is needed). Refrigerate the potato salad for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold or lightly chilled.

Hooray for the CSA!

This sweet and spicy combination is also a combination of two CSAs.  (For my original post about the CSA, click here).For the past few years, I’ve been a member of Dumbo/Vinegar Hill’s CSA. I loved so many things about it: Sang Lee’s incredible organic vegetables, the serene location in Phoenix House’s courtyard, and the neighborhood friends I made while volunteering at weekly pick-ups. I also loved the convenience factor; the pick-up location was just a short and cobblestony walk along the river from my apartment. 

Within the last year, I moved a few neighborhoods away, so I knew I would have to switch. I did a little research to find CSAs near my new place (ok fine, so I just read a sign posted outside Stinky). I was intrigued by Local Roots’ slightly different model for CSAs: For example, instead of joining for June-November, the season is broken up into Summer and Fall. There are other differences as well. I also liked the idea of picking up at 61 Local, the locavore-friendly (where I once spotted a dog sipping her weekly Guinness, and was assured that she prefers stouts and only has one per week) bar/restaurant just off Smith Street. Their vegetables come from Rogowski Farm, located in Orange County, NY. We also signed up for a meat share, which will come from Arcadian Pastures. Some friends in the neighborhood also got their fruit share, and I hope to get a sampling of that as well 🙂

And so, although I felt a little bit like I was cheating on Sang Lee, I went ahead to pick up my first share of the season. The vegetables have been delicious so far. The spicy greens are, in fact, very spicy. This strawberry dressing is an interesting contrast. The dressing recipe is from Sang Lee’s recipe blog, so I think of this salad/dressing as a CSA merger. 

I used the spicy greens mix from the CSA share, and topped it with some goat cheese. I actually halved this dressing recipe and it was plenty for the week. Since I went a little overboard on strawberries from the farmer’s market a few weeks back, I had fun with canning and freezing a few quarts.

By the way…Do you know that to freeze strawberries you just chop off the tops, lay them on a baking sheet in a single layer with none touching overnight? Then, put in a freezer bag and they will stay good for up to 6 months)

I just let a cup of the frozen guys thaw for an hour or so before starting the recipe. 

Strawberry Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled, and cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey (I used honey)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons or more good vinegar — wine, sherry, rice, balsamic–preferred for this recipe (I used balsamic)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 pieces of mint, finely diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Dice your strawberries and add the sugar and lemon juice to a small bowl. Muddle them together until somewhat liquid. In a blender, add all other ingredients(imersion blender/food processor work too).
  2. Then add the strawberry mixture and blend for a few minutes to immulsify everything and make the strawberries smooth.

This is a beautiful special occasion salad, and our special occasion was that it was Wednesday. I think there is a certain irony to a salad that includes “fried” and “candied” in the title, and I couldn’t resist it. I used beets and Boston lettuce from this week’s CSA share. Thanks to sophistimom for the great recipe, which I adapted a only a little bit.

Ingredients:

For the beets:

  • 2 beets, scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the candied walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

For the fried goat cheese:

  •  4 ounces goat cheese
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • Oil for frying

Greens and Dressing:

  • 1 head Boston Bibb lettuce (0r any other greens)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 Directions:

Prepare the beets:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Top with a piece of parchment paper. Place beets on parchment paper, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap paper and aluminum foil around the beets and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until beets are tender. Let cool completely. Then, cut into 1/4 inch slices and divide each slice into fourths. Meanwhile, lower the oven to 325 and get going with the walnuts:

Prepare the Candied Walnuts:

  1. Mix together the walnuts and maple syrup until evenly coated. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Make a single layer with the walnuts, and heat for 20-25 minutes, flipping once during cooking.
  2. Allow to cool, and then roughly chop the walnuts.

Prepare the Fried Goat Cheese: (NOTE: You will want the cheese to be warm, so you can compile the whole salad, and save the second step below for last.)

  1. Mix cheese with lemon zest, parmesan, thyme, and salt and pepper until well blended. Roll cheese mixture into quarter-sized patties. Freeze for about 20 minutes. Roll in egg, and coat with Panko.
  2. Heat oil in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan on medium heat. When you put the cheese in the saucepan it should start bubbling immediately. Flip them after 10-15 seconds, and cook on the other side for 10-15 seconds. The cheese should be golden brown.

Prepare the greens and vinaigrette:

 

  1. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with the greens.

Compile the Salad:

  1. Layer the greens and vinaigrette, followed by the beets, walnuts and then goat cheese. Enjoy!

 


You know how it’s time to get out of the water when your fingers turn into prunes? Well, I loved red wine vinegar so much as kid that the only sure way I knew to stop consuming it was when my lips would turn white. Back in the no-fat nineties I used to order oil and vinegar dressing, “hold the oil.” I just could not get enough of the stuff. 

By the way, If you are interested in learning about more fads from the 1990’s  click here. Be prepared that the information is from the perspective of people who were most likely not born until this century.

I still enjoy red wine vinegar as much as the next gal, and I am so thankful for the mainstream popularity of salt and vinegar potato chips (Clearly, I am not as opposed to fat as I was back in the day). However, through the years I have branched out with my dressing choices. 

Which brings me to this incredible lemon dressing. It is another winner from Didi Emmon’s Entertaining for  Veggie Planet. This dressing is great on a bowl of greens, or you can pretty much put it on top of anything, like tofu or chicken. You can make the whole batch and keep it in the fridge for a week. If you are serving it with greens, be sure to have a good loaf of bread ready…You’ll need something to sop up the extra  dressing that gets left in the bowl, and it is not polite to use your finger.

Ingredients:

Finely grated rind and juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey (you can use sugar if you want)

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup canola oil or olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

******

In a food processor (if you have s mini one that would work), combine lemon rind and juice, mustard, honey and garlic and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube. Season with salt and pepper.

*****

THE CSA

These days I am making most of my salads from the vegetables that come from Sang Lee’s CSA. The salad pictured above is made with Red Boston Lettuce, cucumbers, and snap beans. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Members of a CSA pay in advance for all their produce for the season, and get weekly shipments of fresh food from a local farmer. Our CSA also has cheese and fruit shares; others have meat, eggs, flowers, and more. Its all about what the community wants. Last night was my volunteer shift for the season. There is not much better than spending a beautiful summer evening in a courtyard greeting your neighbors, and ogling fruits and vegetables. If you are interested in learning more about this particular CSA, click here. If you are interested in learning more about CSAs in general, check out Just Food’s site.