Monday morning, our farm email arrived with an apology for neglecting to include corn the week before (we hadn’t noticed). As a result, this week’s box came with extra corn for everybody on top of all of the vegetables we were originally getting. I found myself suspecting that the other CSA members who had written in complaining about their lack of corn had much larger refrigerators than we did. In addition to the corn, we received green beans, cucumbers, kohlrabi, tomatoes, broccoli, apples, melons, onions, blueberries, kale, eggplant, peppers, and cabbage. I struggled to lift the box and carry it more than three feet, which didn’t bode well for our ability to eat all of it.
The week also came with the additional challenge that Andrew was starting a show—and while it was a short run, he still would be essentially gone six days a week. The meal parameters were pretty strict: it needed to be quick, easy to transport and reheat, and preferably not require turning on the oven since it was still 95 degrees out. I was excited by the challenge and was determined to send Andrew off with perfectly packaged CSA vegetable meals that would sustain him through six hours of daily Broadway show playing. Instead, I cooked a random assortment of dishes that only kind of constituted a meal, and Andrew ate dinner out.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Andrew was mostly in rehearsal, so he was home for dinner and to help with the cooking. We celebrated the arrival of eggplants and tomatoes in the same box by making one of our seasonal favorites—grilled ratatouille. Unfortunately, we both thought the cucumbers were zucchini, and didn’t realize our error until we grabbed them from the fridge. So we were a little short on the complete ingredients from our recipe from the 1997 Joy of Cooking. Still, it’s hard to go wrong with grilled vegetables.
We sliced the eggplants into discs and tossed them with olive oil and salt and pepper. The bell peppers and tomatoes went straight on the grill. We halved the last of the spring onions (from many weeks before) and a couple of red onions. We grilled everything until beautifully colored, peeled the peppers of their charred skins, then chopped everything up. (The original recipe also calls on you to grill a couple of zucchini and a pair of fennel bulbs.) Andrew made a dressing for it with sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar (the only two types of vinegar I hadn’t used up making pickles), and olive oil. We ate it with grilled toast.
CSA ingredients used: eggplant, tomatoes, spring onions, red onions, bell peppers
Other ingredients used: sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, olive oil
Cucumber Salad with Mint and Sumac
Having reminded ourselves that we had cucumbers in the box, not zucchini, we found this incredibly refreshing cucumber salad from the New York Times. We ate it for lunch alongside some bagels and lox.
This is one of those recipes that in the past we would have looked at and decided it wasn’t worth the effort to track down sumac. However, we bought a big container of a few months ago and have taken immense satisfaction in the fact that we can cook recipes that call for it without having to go to extra effort. On the other hand, this recipe also called for feta, which we didn’t have and didn’t feel like going out for.
Peel 2 cucumbers and cut them into little chunks, then season them with salt and pepper. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 TB lemon juice, 2 TB of olive oil, and 1 TB of sumac. Sprinkle with chopped mint and red pepper flakes.
CSA ingredients used: cucumbers
Other ingredients used: mint, sumac, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil.
Greens and Garlic Frittata to Go
I picked this recipe out early in the week, attracted by the fact that the recipe had “to go” in the title. I thought I had come up with something that Andrew could actually take with him to the theater, but he didn’t end up eating any of it because I didn’t actually get around to cooking it until he had already left for the last show of the week.
- Beat 4 eggs, 1 TB milk, and and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Add 3/4 cups of blanched greens (in our case kale), 1 clove of garlic, and 1 TB parmesan.
- Heat up some oil in a pan, and once the pan is hot pour in the mixture. After a few minutes, the egg will start to harden against the pan and then you can cover it and cook for 7 minutes. To flip it, you slide the frittata out onto the lid of the saucepan and then use the handle to flip it over into the pot. It cooks for another minute, and then it’s more or less ready.
This made a pretty little frittata, but I over-salted the mixture so it wasn’t great. I ate about half of it, and forgot about the rest of it in the refrigerator.
CSA ingredients used: 1/2 of the kale
Other ingredients used: eggs, garlic, milk, parmesan.
Next: Andrew’s gets a cold and is surprisingly happy about it.