Tag Archives: CSA

Freshness in a Bowl

Our friend Farmer Steven shared some farm-fresh produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and jalapeños, from the CSA box last week with The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Elle T. (also known around these parts as the ‘Goddess of Good Eats’).  Elle T immediately knew how she was going to put it to good use – Gazpacho! 

Gazpacho, a cold soup of Spanish origin, offers a simple, flavorful way to make the most of the season’s produce.  Armed with a cookbook called ‘Californian Markets’ that she found in the stacks of vintage and treasured cookbooks on sale in our Kitchen Shop, she made several of her own tweaks to the recipe and came up with a delicious, tasty soup.

Gazpacho
Try her version of Gazpacho at home:

Gazpacho

  • 2 lbs large, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed
  • splash of hot sauce
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Put tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water. After 2-3 minutes, slip off the skins and cut tomatoes in half. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, garlic, jalapeños and hot sauce into a blender or food processor on high speed until the mixture is smooth, adding the olive oil and red wine vinegar while blending. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Garnish with croutons and/or additional chopped cucumber and pepper.  Serves 4-6.

Enjoy!

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Pattypan, Pattypan, Bake Your Squash…

Farmer Steven’s CSA boxes from Just Natural Farms include Pattypan Squash this week. These distinctive summer squash are known for their round and shallow shape with scalloped edges. Also known as Sunburst Squash, it doesn’t have a strong flavor and tends to take on the flavor of the food with which it is prepared. They come in yellow, green and white varieties.

Pattypan Squash

So, how should you cook your pattypan?  Here’s a recipe we like…

Stuffed Pattypan Squash with Bacon

  • 6 pattypan squash, stems removed
  • 6 slices bacon
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 1½ cups bread crumbs, soft
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put 1-inch of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Slice off top stem from squash. Scoop out the centers of the squash and set aside. Reserve squash shells for later use.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside. Using the same skillet, sauté the onions in bacon drippings. Chop the reserved squash pieces and sauté with onions for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the bread crumbs; then stir in crumbled bacon and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff each pattypan squash shell to heaping with the squash mixture and place in glass baking dish. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes or until heated through. Makes 6 stuffed squash.
 

Corn and Tomato Bruschetta

There were beautiful big tomatoes in Farmer Steven’s CSA boxes this past week (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture) from Just Natural Farms.  Here’s a great way to use tomato. It’s a delicious bruschetta that will make a colorful appetizer for your happy hour this week… Enjoy!

tomatoes

Corn and Tomato Bruschetta

  • 1 large ear yellow corn, husked
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, halved through root end
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 5 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small loaf country bread

Prepare barbecue grill for medium heat.

Using a pastry brush, brush corn and onion with part of the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Place corn, onion halves, and tomatoes on grill and cook until corn is golden brown, onion is just tender, and tomato skins are blistered and loose, turning often, about 12 minutes for tomatoes and 15 minutes for corn and onion.  Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet and cool.

Scrape kernels from fresh corn. Cut tomatoes in half and remove as many seeds as possible.  Dice tomatoes and onions into ½-inch cubes and combine all vegetables together.

Using a pastry brush, brush bread with remaining oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until crisp. Remove from grill.  Using a sharp knife, cut bread into ½-inch slices and arrange in a single layer on a large serving platter.  Top each slice with vegetable mixture, equally dividing.  Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.

Farmer Steven market stand

 

Green Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin

Farmer Steven with Just Natural Farms has green tomatoes in the CSA boxes (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture) this week!  What shall we do with them?  Hmmm… here’s one of our favorite recipes that uses green tomato. It’s from the recipe files of Culinary Center of Kansas City Chef/Instructor Sandy DiGiovanni.  Serve up this colorful, unique dish to friends and family, and ENJOY!

green tomatoGreen Tomato and Vidalia Onion Gratin

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound bacon or pancetta
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 4 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Render bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet and stir into the bread crumbs. Add the onion rounds to the skillet in batches and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes per side, without breaking the round slices apart, until there is some golden color.

To assemble the gratin, overlap the green tomato slices in one row in a 9- x 11-inch baking dish.  Next, make a row slightly overlapping of the partially cooked onion rounds, being careful to keep the slices intact. Repeat steps until all tomatoes and onions are used. Season tomatoes and onions lightly with salt and heavily with pepper.

Crumble the bacon over the vegetables; sprinkle the grated cheddar over the top, followed by the bread crumbs. Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. If the top is getting too brown, loosely cover with foil. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

How To Use Your Onion Bulb

We had a few phone calls to The Culinary Center of Kansas City after Farmer Steven brought bulb onions in the CSA boxes from Just Natural Farms.  “What do we do with them?!”, some subscribers asked.  Steven reports that while the bulbs are a bit sweeter than a normal green onion, you can use them just like you do green onions in a recipe. 

And here’s another tip: Many people just use the white or reddish bulb end of the onion, but you’re missing out on a lot of great food if you don’t chop up and use the greens also!

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Here’s a recipe we like that calls for green onions – try out your bulbs here!

Traditional Curry Soup with Sweet Potato

BROTH

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
  • 2 kaffir leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Thai yellow curry paste (or red curry paste)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
  • 2 (13.5 to 14 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk, divided
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken stock (or vegetable stock or water)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 3 red Thai bird chiles, thinly sliced with seeds, for garnish (or 2 red jalapeño chiles)
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish

For the broth, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Add the kaffir leaves and ginger and cook for 1 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in curry paste, curry powder, and chili paste. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk (scooped from thick liquid at top of can). Stir for 2 minutes or until thick and fragrant. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, and sugar; bring broth to boil. Keep warm.  (The broth can be made 1 day ahead; refrigerate until cold, then cover and keep chilled.)

Bring water to a boil. Add sweet potato cubes; stir to heat, about 1 minute. Using strainer, remove sweet potato from pot and rinse under cold water to cool. Place in small bowl. (The sweet potatoes can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

To complete/assemble, bring broth to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and stir to heat through, about 1 minute. Divide rice among bowls and add soup. Top with green onions, cilantro, Thai chilies, and a wedge of lime, for garnish.  Serve.  Makes 10 servings.

 

To Us, New Red Potatoes = Nicoise

Farmer Steven with Just Natural Farms has new red potatoes in his CSA boxes (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture) this week.  Because the collective of Just Natural farms are south of the metro area, they tend to have just enough warmer weather that their crops are ripe before many of the KC-area farms. Steven was excited to offer up local new red potatoes before they’re readily available in the area.

Here’s a recipe we think of when we get those first new potatoes of the season… Chopped Nicoise Salad. It’s an elegant-looking salad that makes a colorful spotlight piece for a summer luncheon. In our photo, we added boiled, sliced eggs to the salad, but be creative in using what you have available.

Chopped Nicoise SaladChopped Nicoise Salad

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper taste

DRESSING

  • 4 small red potatoes, washed (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/3 pound green beans, fresh, washed, trimmed
  • 2 ounces light tuna, packed in water, drained
  • ½ cup Greek olives, pitted, chopped (or Spanish)
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

For the dressing, in a small bowl add oil, juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until combined.  Set aside.

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket add water and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add potatoes.  Cover and steam for 15 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a fork.   Add beans and steam both for 6 minutes more.  Transfer the potatoes and beans to a serving dish and place in refrigerator to cool (or plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool more quickly).

In another large bowl, add tuna, olives, red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.  Add cooled potatoes and beans and toss mixture to combine.  Pour prepared dressing over salad and toss to combine.  Serve immediately.  Makes 4 servings.

 

 

 

Looking For A New Broccoli Recipe?

Do you ever feel like you just get in a rut? Especially with cooking vegetables? Once we find a way we’re comfortable with preparing a vegetable, it’s easy to slip into a pattern and not venture out to try others.  This is your week to push the bounds on how you serve broccoli!   Steam-schmeam… try out this deliciously tasty recipe instead when you bring home broccoli from the market this week.  Farmer Steven has broccoli in the CSA boxes from Just Natural Farms this week.

BroccoliToasted Bread with Drowned Broccoli
(Vrocculi Affogat)

  • 3 to 4 pounds broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 1 red chile pepper, cut in half (or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper)
  • 2 to 3 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or red wine)
  • 8 (1-inch) slices day-old Italian peasant bread, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for garnish

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the florets and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Mix in garlic, olives, 6 tablespoons parsley, chile pepper, anchovy, and wine. Simmer until tender. Add bread and cook until bread absorbs wine. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan cheese over top, for garnish. Serve very hot.