Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cooking with CSA: A few successes to share

Recipe planning is key to making the CSA experience a success, I'm convinced. I am finally getting the hang of planning meals around the veggies, rather than figuring out what vegetable can go as a side dish.

Our family experimented with several new recipes this week. Here are some of our cooking successes I'd like to share:

Spring vegetable pasta

loosely adapted from a Basil Zucchini recipe from the Memphis Herb Society's 1995 book, Today's Herbal Kitchen.

2 c. sliced zucchini
2 T. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil
1 c. cherry tomatoes
3/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 lb. button mushrooms
1 lb. pasta

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain, reserving water.

Sautee garlic and zucchini until tender. Add tomatoes, basil, mushrooms and oregano. Cook 5 min. or until tender. Add a few ladles of pasta water and drained pasta.

Serve with parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.

Rating: Adults: 5 Kid: 4 (enthusiastically eaten, but reminded mom that "Tomatoes make me sad.")

Spring asparagus and new potato salad

from Andrea Chesman's 1998 book, The Vegetarian Grill

6 T. olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lb. new potatoes, halved
1 lb. asparagus
12-16 c. salad greens

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss potatoes and asparagus to coat. Grill potatoes, turning every 10 minutes or so, about 30 min. Grill asparagus until limp, about 8 min. (Be sure to reserve marinade.)

Arrange salad greens on plates. Top with grilled asparagus and potatoes. Drizzle remaining marinade on top. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Rating: Adults: 5 Kid: 5 (assuming kid liked it; no noise was made at all during dinner!) A definite repeater.


Yes, Paula Deen does fajitas, too. We found this recipe on the Food Network Web site. Aside of the prep work to chop, it is easy work and the spices are awesome.

Rating: Adults: 5 (Once I picked out the green peppers) Kid: 3 (loved the chicken, not keen on the veggies).

Radish supreme

Radish supreme is a radish and shallot-based dish from our CSA program. *

Rating: Adults: 4 Kid: 3

Baby zucchini

Wash and chop zucchini. Put in saucepan with water about 1/2 to 1" deep. Cook medium-high until tender. Drain and cool. Place zucchini in blender; blend until smooth. Serve or freeze within 1 day.

Rating: 5 (couldn't get enough of it!)

Barbeque chicken pizza
Pizza is a fabulous activity for little chefs. This homemade invention was the result of a desperate need to clean out the fridge--and thankfully worked.

refrigerated pizza crust
2 c. leftover rotisserie chicken
2 green onions, minced
2 garlic scapes, minced
1/4-1/2 c. barbeque sauce (we use Jack Stack)
8 oz. mozzerrella

Assemble pizza. Bake according to directions on pizza crust package.

Rating: Adults: 5 Kid: 5 (There were no leftovers!)

[ Edited January 28, 2009 to remove the name of the Indianapolis-based CSA which we participated following disparaging remarks by their representatives. Removed link to the radish supreme recipe, which is hosted on their blog, on Jan. 30, 2009 following multiple communications from this business. Apparently radish recipes are threatening to them! :-) If you would like the recipe for Radish Supreme, please e-mail me at goinggreenmama at gmail. ]

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