The Week 7 box came with more carrots, more cauliflower, more cabbage, more onions, green beans, lettuce, more beets, and the first of the summer corn. We also got a pint of black currants. It should go without saying that at this point we were really, really behind.
I want to take a moment to indulge my neuroses surrounding CSA success. In my mind, there are multiple markers of success, including using up all of the vegetables that you have before the next box comes, using up all of the vegetables before they rot, and spending as little money as possible on groceries to supplement the CSA. Other people might be interested in cooking healthy food that tastes great, but frankly those people are probably not very organized.
At this point in the summer, using up all of the vegetables before the next box comes is basically impossible unless you have are in the habit of eating 8 onions a week. Similarly, rotting is less of an issue since fewer vegetables are immediately perishable. However, what becomes a huge issue is how to fit everything in your refrigerator. Given that, my priority changed from using up the things that were going to go bad quickly to using up the vegetables that took up the most space.
Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Tacos
First came the corn. This recipe was one of the few that came completely from our imagination. We mixed together raw corn, cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks, queso fresco, and cilantro with a lime vinaigrette and put them on flour tortillas.
CSA vegetables used: corn
Other ingredients used: avocados, cherry tomatoes, queso fresco, flour tortillas, cilantro.
Burgers and Corn
While I was at a gig, Andrew cooked up a few burgers and had the rest of the corn barely cooked and unadorned, or as he put it, “America on a plate.” The burger patties were left over from a few months ago. Andrew had ground the meat at home, portioned out the burgers and froze the leftovers. He likes them “smashed” style.
He ate the burgers with a few shavings of vidalia onions and our newly brined pickles. The corn was cooked in its husks in the microwave for a few minutes, a perfectly easy way of cooking corn when your only cooking a few at a time.
CSA vegetables used: corn, vidalia onions, and pickles
Other ingredients used: buns, burgers, American cheese
Grilled Chicken and Summer Squash
Neither Andrew nor I are a huge fan of summer squash, but in the last few weeks we’ve discovered that we love it when it’s grilled. Andrew grilled a chicken and all of the summer squash one evening and made a nice little summer squash salad by cutting them into little chunks and slathering them with olive oil, lemon juice, capers, basil, and salt and pepper.
CSA vegetables used: summer squash, red onion
Other ingredients used: a chicken
Real Salad Nicoise
Well, almost. We bought kalamata olives at the last second instead of nicoise. This one is from Serious Eats.
- Make a vinaigrette. Take 1 shallot, 1 garlic clove, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, 4 anchovie fillets (rinsed), 3 TB white wine vinegar, and 1 TB water and whisk them together in a bowl. Add 3/4 cup of olive oil (I have never been convinced that adding the olive oil separately actually does anything).
- Potatoes: Cook some potatoes in 2 inches of water. Add 1/2 cup of onion, a few sprigs of thyme, and 4 cloves of garlic. Simmer for 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- Green Beans: Cook some green beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes, and then dump them in an ice bath.
- Eggs: Cook some eggs in an inch of boiling water for 9 minutes, and then throw them in an ice bath.
- At this point, you’ve actually managed to use every pot and bowl you own, despite this being an extremely simple recipe.
- Assemble the salad: potatoes, cherry tomatoes sliced in half, green beans, tuna fish, olives, and capers. We didn’t use lettuce greens because we didn’t have any, but we did throw in some radishes.
Despite the fact that anchovies have traditionally been a divisive topic in our household, we became obsessed with this salty, tangy dressing and proceeding to make it on salads for the next several weeks.
CSA vegetables used: some potatoes, some green beans, some radishes
Other ingredients used: olives, cherry tomatoes, eggs, tuna fish
CSA vegetables used: pickling cucumbers
Other ingredients used: dill, garlic, salt, water, dill seed, coriander
Black Currant Scones
After searching high and low for interesting uses for the black currants, we ultimately decided to do the most obvious thing and make scones. This recipe came from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book. It calls for about 12 different kinds of flour, but tracking them down is worth it – we’ve loved everything we’ve cooked from this book, and this recipe is no exception.
- Whisk together 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cut 1/2 stick of butter into little chunks until it looks sort of like breadcrumbs and add it to the bowl.
- Add the black currants (the recipe called for 1/3 cup, we probably used a full cup at least) and 1/2 cup of oat flour. Stir it together with a fork, but don’t beat it too much.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together an egg, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Add it to the dry ingredients.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it a bit. Then divide it in half and form it into two rounds. Take each round and divide it into 6 little wedges.
- Brush the tops of each scone with milk and then sprinkle with course sugar. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 min.
The scones weren’t too sweet and the fresh currants and an almost bitter tartness that was surprisingly delicious. It was a pretty cool day when we made them, so we got all English and had them in the afternoon with clotted cream and tea.
CSA vegetables used: black currants
Other ingredients used: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, butter, oats, egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, milk, more sugar.
Next: I go on vacation and Andrew guest posts.