CSA 2008, Week Thirteen.

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over, especially since our CSA box has been steadily growing, all but inundating the fridge with its contents.  In fact, I emptied the CSA produce out of the fridge just to see the difference its removal made, and Keith said, “It looks like there’s no food in here.”

This week’s box consisted of the following:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garden Peach tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Hot pepper
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Onions
  • “Regular” tomatoes
  • Spicy salad mix
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Watermelon (which was out of the box, if you want to get into specifics.)

I needed to put together a super-fast dinner for Keith and me; it had to get on to the table in fifteen minutes or less.  I had just read an article on CookThink about boiling garlic for pasta; since I had several heads, I decided I would use them all.  Though the CookThink piece indicates the use of unpeeled cloves, I threw in my cloves unpeeled, along with some gemelli.  While the pasta boiled, I halved each of the tiny Sungolds; after I strained the gemelli, I picked out the cloves, which I then mashed into two tablespoons of melted butter.  I tossed everything together — pasta, raw Sungolds, garlic-butter — and added some Parmesan.  Had I any fresh herbs (sage, maybe, or even thyme) I would have given them a rough chop and added them to the mix.  As it was, everything came together nicely for a quick, light dinner, and I’m pleased to say that it took precisely fifteen minutes.  Not bad at all.

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CSA 2008, Week Ten.

Keith and I came back from our Maine trip very late Tuesday evening, but before we could go home, we first had to detour over to North Cambridge and pick up our CSA box. Even though I knew I wasn’t going to be cooking straightaway — my priorities were unloading the car, washing up and getting in bed — I wanted to have all of my produce lined up and ready to go for dinner the following evening. Our box was absolutely stuffed with the following:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Salad greens (a mix of spicy and regular salad greens)

Like I always do, I made sure to put the lettuce, cabbage and salad greens to use first, but this time around I felt like trying to incorporate more into the salad than my usual suspects. I’ve recently become intrigued with Cookthink‘s recipe search tool, so I decided I’d punch in some of my other vegetables to see what came up. The results are below; though Cookthink’s recipe suggests eating the beets and fennel on their own, I tossed everything with my combination of salad mix, cabbage and lettuce, along with some soft goat cheese crumbles and was extremely pleased with the results. If I were to make it again (something I am sure that I will do) I’ll most likely throw the fennel and beets with a mild green like mâche or even baby spinach, but considering that I was trying to make do exclusively with what I received from The Food Project, I think it was still a success.

Fennel and Roasted Beet Salad, from Cookthink
Makes two to four portions.

4 medium beets
2 medium bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375˚ and put a baking sheet on the middle rack to warm. Trim all but an inch or so of the beets’ stems. Put the beets on the baking sheet and roast until a knife easily pierces them all the way through, thirty to forty-five minutes (depending on their size). Remove them to a plate to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to scrape off the skins. Cut the peeled beets into thin slices.
  2. Slice the fennel and combine the beets and fennel in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables a little at a time until the salad is coated but not drenched. Add more salt and pepper to taste.