Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cookin' Fool: Veggie challenge , Week One.

Gentle reader: Tool Shed Thursdays will return after the CSA season.This section will discuss the meals we've had from our weekly veg share.

Missus RR and RR have a half CSA (community supported agriculture)share of vegetables withFrog Bottom Farm. We get a weekly allotment of vegetables, depending on what is in season, from May to October. A colleague started a share last year, and kindly let us pick it up when she and her husband were out of town. We are trying it this year. Everybody wins with the deal.

Last weekend was the first week of it. Saturday found us in brain frying heat, picking up our share. Two kinds of squash (zucchini and zephyr), beets (with edible greens), rainbow chard, lettuce, baby turnips and most intriguingly, garlic scapes. I had not heard of scapes before.The challenge was on: for RR, exuberant tyro cook, not to waste any of these beauties. RR hates waste, particularly with food.

Here is what RR made with the CSA share.
Saturday: Blistering hot, so made a salad utilizing the lettuce, and added grilled salmon with maple syrup and mustard glaze. Grade B amber with its depth of flavor is best for cooking, save the good stuff for other uses. Thank you, Charlotte, for bringing the Vermont maple syrup to us from the fatherland.
Sunday: Not a CSA veg dinner; I used the black olive pasta we bought at the booth of Bombolini pasta.A couple days before, I made a grilled plum tomato, goat cheese, black olive and basil side dish. There was some left, so I buzzed it in the food processor and made a sauce from it. The dish was well received.
Monday: I used a recipe from Lydia Bastianich for the dish: zucchini with anchovies and capers. Sounds iffy, but it worked.Young zucchini can be bland, and needs jazzing up. I used both the zucchini and the zephyr squash. As to the protein: Martin's had a two-fer-one deal on pork tenderloins, so I used Michael Chiarello's seared tenderloin with cocoa spice rub. Came out swell.
Tuesday: The Missus had a work meeting, and I had a geek meeting, so dinner was not a CSA meal.
Wednesday: Used the garlic scapes in a frittata with spinach from a recipe found here. I tasted a piece of scape and saw why the recipe has one sauteing it for five minutes before adding the egg mixture:tough and bitter. The cooking softens both those aspects. I diced the chard stems and leaves,cooked up a handful of onion, threw in a diced red pepper and chard stems, then after five minutes or so threw in the leaves. When they were tender I added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, stirred and served it. A meatless dish: the Missus remarked on carnivore RR doing without meat.

That's ok.Tomorrow I am planning on using the free range pork sausage we bought at yet another booth. RR will puree the baby turnips, and serve the greens on the side to accompany the pork.

Then there are the beets. I'm thinking a beet risotto to accompany the pork tenderloin we have left. Other suggestions or recommendations? Saturday, it's once more unto the breech omysistersandbrothers, and I see scallions in our future. I'm thinking Chinese scallion pancakes,accompanying Ruth Young's sizzling salt and pepper shrimp, which, lacking a wok, RR has made before on the grill in his beloved cast iron skillet. Looking forward to it.


The Crow said...

Where did you say you live? I will wash up if you cook.

I finished breakfast just a little bit ago, but my stomach is growling at the thought of any one of those meals you've prepared.

This borders on food porn, you know.

Relucent Reader said...

HAHAHAHA, thank you, Crow, good to hear from you.

I never really cooked until after my first heart attack. That summer, I was flat on my back, watching the boob tube and landed on the Food Network. This was back when they had cooks and chefs instructing the audience, rather than judging competions. I said well, I'm here now , I'll give it a try. Used to pay attention(never enough) when my mother made dinner etc, I have several of her recipes, a good way to remember her. Haven't tried her baked beans, relatives used to ask for 'em.
Regards, hope all is well with you.

The Crow said...

Reads like you've made up for lost time!