Out of the Box, Part Deux

November 22, 2013 § 1 Comment

While I was being all giddy about my first CSA (“farmer’s market”) box, I was not being a good blogger and photographing what I actually did with the contents. So, this post is more “tell” than “show.” I really wanted to go with simple uses of the produce in the box to enjoy the flavors, so you won’t find any fancy cookin’ this time around. Oh, and I promise more food porn going forward, but for now… read on…

Kale and Potatoes
I used the kale and potatoes to make Mark Bittman’s Kale and Potato soup (from How to Cook Everything). The recipe is a super-simple and low-fat take on Portuguese caldo verde. With Bittman’s recipe, you simmer the potato and kale in veggie broth — each vegetable in a separate pot with its own broth — then puree the potato and use it to thicken the kale-broth mixture. With no added fat in the recipe, I felt rather healthy eating this soup, but the recipe was a bit bland. I would make it again with a few modifications: more potato for a thicker soup and more spices… possibly a bit of olive oil added.¬† The potato and kale flavors came through well enough, but it needed something more to give me that can’t-stop-eating-it experience.

Red Romaine, Persimmons, Apples, Pears… and Those Radishes
When I mentioned the contents of this box to a friend of mine, he said “That just sounds like one big salad to me.” Nothin’ wrong with that — I love salads! For me, making a good salad is a lot like making good chocolates: choose fresh ingredients that taste delicious and that add a variety of flavors and textures. (What do I know about making chocolate? Lots! Check out my previous gig.)

The red romaine was the foundation for my salads, then I just mixed and matched ingredients I had on hand:

  • Radishes, potatoes, tuna
  • Persimmons, dried cherries, goat cheese, toasted pumkin seeds
  • Persimmons, pears, apples, cashews, and a sprinkling of shredded parmesan
  • Smoked salmon, pears, goat cheese

You get the idea (and yes, I had a lot of goat cheese on hand)! Needless to say, I didn’t get through all of those radishes before the second box arrived. Which leads me to… tah-da!

The second CSA box in all its glory…

CSA Box 2 contentsThe rundown:
(1) small bunch Nantes carrots
(1) small bunch herbs (sage, oregano, rosemary)
(1) fennel
(1) bunch broccol
(1) butternut squash
(6) Satsuma mandarins
(2) apples
(1) container cranberries

A colorful assortment as we head into Thanksgiving week! Already I’m thinking about roasted veggies with fresh rosemary, maybe even¬† butternut squash soup garnished with fried sage leaves. First up, I’ll definitely be making my favorite Cranberry-Orange scones. The apples, though, are already gone. My 17-year-old kitty, Dante, absolutely loves apples, so we shared them for breakfast. It’s a good morning when I can share a sweet, organic apple with my favorite boy.

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