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Cooking from the Farmer's Market (or CSA) 2013

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I am going to start this thread in honor of breadcrumbs, who started last year's similar thread, one that many of we 'hounds enjoyed participating in. So, what sort of inspiration are you finding at the market in in your CSA basket? What sorts of unusual offerings or familiar comforts are sending you to your kitchen (indoor and outdoor!) in search of creating culinary goodness?

I'll start--I made some loubia (or loob'ya, however one transliterates it. It's a Middle Eastern dish (stemming from Syria/Lebanon, if I'm not mistaken). Green beans are cooked with onion, garlic, and tomatoes for a long time--an hour or more. This dish is kind of saucy but not soupy. I think it tastes even better the next day. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

I also grilled some rabbit legs from the market, which I marinated in an olive oil mixture flavored with my own rosemary. I never grilled rabbit before this summer, having always braised it.

I've also canned some beets and jams, but I discuss those on the various canning threads.

How about you?

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  1. I posted this recipe another thread a few days ago.

    http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

    I used a large zucchini from my CSA, seeded and cut into half moons. I cut the sugar back a little bin and added a couple of tablespoons of salt. They turned out delicious, after less than a week in the fridge.

    http://www.getoffyourtushandcook.com/...

    This was a delicious way to use spaghetti squash (our seasons are a little different here in AZ). It reheats well for breakfast at work, as well.

    Two things I have that I'm having trouble using:
    Acorn squash and June apples.

    The apples are small, yellow and soft/grainy. There not so good eaten out of hand. I have baked apples for dessert a couple of time with walnut/brown sugar topping and topped with vanilla ice cream. They do seem to bake well, but I'd like a summer time recipe for them.

    I struggle every year with Acorn squash. I don't like the brown sugar, butter, bake version. I'd prefer a savory recipe for these guys.

    7 Replies
    1. re: pagesinthesun

      Both of those recipes look scrumptious, pages!

      WRT apples--I'm in the Midwest (IN) and I find summer apples to be good for, frankly, not much--maybe applesauce, if you spice it up a bit.

      WRT acorn squash--what about an ice cream? Maybe roast the squash and use it as pumpkin in an ice cream recipe. Not savory, but something other than the "baked with sweets" recipe. I don't usually cook with acorn squash--I prefer others, like kabocha or butternut--but you could probably make a soup or roast them with an interesting oil (say, walnut) and some herbs, salt, and pepper. I can relate, because I really don't like the sweet baked squash dishes myself. I much prefer squashes to be savory (though I did make squash butter ice cream that was truly incredible!)

      1. re: nofunlatte

        Summer apples make great apple butter or chutney.

      2. re: pagesinthesun

        I got a round thing the size of an acorn squash but smooth, no ridges. I learned it was a ball zucchini (who knew? Probably everyone but me!). Anyway, I cut it in half, removed seeds, microwaved until getting tender, then filled with sautéed turkey meat, onions, quinoa, pinenuts, etc., and baked for a bit until lightly browned.

        You could probably do the same with an acorn, only microwave longer since the flesh is firmer.

        1. re: pagesinthesun

          One of my husband's most requested dinners in the fall is my acorn squash stuffed with wild rice and sausage. Basically you cook up some wild rice, brown the sausage (I use spicy Italian turkey sausage), add whatever seasonings suit your fancy. I mix everything up with a binding of an egg, add in some shredded parm, sometimes adding maple syrup, sometimes not. I partially cook the squash in the microwave, cut it in half, scrape out the seeds, and then add the stuffing. Bake in a 350 degree oven until it's done. Very versatile recipe.

          1. re: pagesinthesun

            Thank you all for your acorn squash ideas! I actually have enough acorn squash to try an ice cream and stuffed with sausage stuffing.

            1. re: pagesinthesun

              What about mixing the apples with some berries and making crisp?

              I've also seen apple pie ice cream- apple cinnamon ice cream with pieces of pie crust.

              1. re: cheesecake17

                I ended up with lots of summer berries in my fridge (family has been busy and not eating at home much this summer). I ended up doing exactly that....strawberry, blueberry, cherry, apple crisp. Served with ice cream. I thought the combo sounded unusual, but it worked.

                Going to pick up my CSA bag today, we'll see what today brings!

            2. I've picked some radishes so far with garlic in white vinegar as per the most prominent recipe on teh internets. they've got a lot of bite and I really like them though my husband didn't like them one bit. There was lots of brine so I threw in a cucumber sliced up. (Going to go try that now...delish! if very very vinegary).

              Last week we used half of our CSA broccoli, carrots and spinach in a pulled pork pot pie, which we liked so much we made it again a few days later using leftover pork pibil and the rest of the veggies.

              Oh, and my favorite CSA thing was Garlic Scape Pesto, made with almonds, that I used to crust salmon on the (indoor) grill. And that was so good that I used it to crust scallops for the same preparation. The pesto crust gets deep brown, almost burnt but not and crunchy and garlicky and delicious.

              Thyme became thyme simple syrup, which my husband made into yummy bourbon cocktails with lemon and soda. He's also made rosemary simple syrup for blood orange and rosemary sunrises.

              We're getting sorrel this week and I'm excited because I just saw a recipe for sorrel sherbert in Food & Wine which looks yummy. The ice cream maker bowl is now in the freezer!

              http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/le...

              2 Replies
              1. re: kazhound

                Sorrel Sherbet? That sounds really interesting--you'll have to report back.

                1. re: nofunlatte

                  sorry to come back so late! The sorrel sherbert was good but not mindblowing. It was mostly lemon-y, which made it seem not so special and the color didn't wind up being that green either.

              2. Our CSA Recipe of the Week was a really lovely Quinoa and Cucumber/Yogurt cold soup. It was quite tasty. Here is the recipe they gave us. I think I may want to buy the Cookbook too...

                Cucumber Soup with Yogurt & Quinoa
                from Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy
                (serves 4-6)

                1 cup red quinoa, cooked
                salt
                4 tsp. olive oil
                freshly ground pepper
                1 lb cucumbers
                3 cups yogurt
                big handful of fresh herbs such as mint, marjoram, lovage, parsley, dill, basil or sorrel
                1 avocado, halved and pitted
                1 cup buttermilk
                grated zest and juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
                chives, to finish

                Cook the quinoa and cool.
                Coarsely chop cucumbers.
                Put the cucumbers with the yogurt, herbs, 1/2 tsp salt, and avocado in a blender.
                Puree until green, smooth and flecked. If the soup seems thick, add the buttermilk as needed to reach a good consistency.
                Stir in the rest of the oil, the citrus zest and juice, then taste for salt and season with pepper and chill will.

                Ladle the soup in bowls. Divide the quinoa among them, scatter chives on top and drizzle with olive oil.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mwk

                  I got Vegetable Literacy not too long ago--I will have to try this!

                2. I received a huge head of cabbage in last week's CSA which I didn't use yet because I was traveling. Apparently I will receive another head later this week...YIKES! I usually make coleslaw, stirfries, "unstuffed cabbage" aka lazy man's stuffed cabbage, etc. but there are just 2 of us in the house. I may have to research long term storage (freezing or sauerkraut?).

                  I am in southern New England so our seasons are probably slower than some. Great recipes I've made so far: a mock potato salad using kohlrabi (inspired by a recipe I saw on Chow.com) and my seasonal favorite, Mark Bittman's beet roesti. This week will be our first of the season tomatoes and zucchini so I now feel like it is officially summer.

                  I can't wait to see what you all are cooking!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mels

                    If you've got time, stuff the cabbage and freeze it. I've made meat/rice stuffed cabbage and vegetarian stuffed cabbage (with lentils, apricots, sautéed onions)

                    1. re: mels

                      A head of cabbage will easily last a month or 2 in the fridge.

                      1. re: mels

                        I recommend freezer slaw packed in 2-serving sizes-- so easy to use with any meal.

                      2. I am back from visiting family in PA Dutch country, where I went to the Lancaster Central Market with my sister. The two of us decided to cook from our purchased wares of locally grown goods. Sweet corn with seasoned butter, sauteed zucchini with shallots, thyme, and parmesan, chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes (not from the market) and basil (from sis's garden). Finished the meal with a peach cobbler made with fresh Lancaster County peaches. So much fun to cook with her, plus we invited a friend I hadn't seen in years!

                        From my actual local IN market, I've made loob'ya several times (greens beans slow cooked with onion and tomatoes)--this is one of my favorite ways to cook (and eat!) green beans. And the beans this year are especially good! I'm planning to pick up some more tomorrow for pickling.

                        1. I received a fair amount of cucumber this week for this family of 2 to handle. I made a cucumber and avocado soup, which is absolutely delicious:
                          http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/cre...

                          Tonight I think I am going to saute some chopped cukes in a little EVOO and add a handful of fresh parsley at the end as a side dish. I also have a bag of roma beans...not sure what I will do with those just yet.

                          1. Last Saturday I got a huge load from the CSA, including lots of potatoes, tomatoes, and melons. I have no problem using all of those up quickly. Lots of steamed and fried potatoes with dinner, simple tomato salads, and chunks of melon at every meal.

                            The onslaught of cucumbers has died down at last.