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Serving Suggestions: 6/19/18

For new members, the early weeks of the CSA can be difficult and overwhelming with the amount of greens that are in each week’s share.  Don’t fear though, before you know it we’ll have onions, tomatoes and all the other goodies that we look forward to each Summer.  For now though, we have lots of greens to use up.  Bob takes steps each Tuesday to prep for salads the rest of the week:

Whenever we get greens from the CSA, I prep them right away.  I know if they go into the fridge as-is, I’m going to be far less likely to use them when I cook dinner subsequent nights.  It may not be the most ideal way of storing them for long periods but I’ve found that they last at least 3-5 days which is perfect for us.  Depending on the type of green, I will stem and/or chop the leaves before thoroughly washing them.  I fill my salad spinner with water and let the greens soak for two minutes (longer for spinach), using my hand to swirl them around before pulling the basket out and dumping the water.  I repeat two or three times until the water that is left behind is mostly clear.  I spin them dry and then bag with pieces of paper towel.

In addition to washing and bagging the greens, Bob goes a step further to make side salads even easier:

I also prep my salad toppings in advance so that when it’s dinner time a salad is only a minute away.  I cut up tomato and cucumber and store them in plastic containers and make a big batch of dressing in a mason jar that I can easily store and shake up.  Another tasty, and simple, addition is quick pickled red onion.  When I’m prepping all of the other ingredients, I will marinade some thinly sliced red onion in a mixture of salt and vinegar.  Go heavy on both because you’ll drain the mixture and give them a quick rinse after they sit for 10-15 minutes.  The quick pickling marinade tames their strong flavor a bit and adds a nice tart kick to your salads (and sandwiches).

That’s all for this week, check back again soon for more Serving Suggestions!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes. Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob. If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com. To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive. You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 6/12/18

It took us awhile, but Spring has finally sprung and the CSA has returned! The Serving Suggestions articles will return again for 2018 to help you find recipes and tips to utilize all of the beautiful produce we are getting from Farmer John. If you would like to submit your own content for Serving Suggestions please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com. To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive. If you’re stuck on how to use a particular ingredient, you can also try using the search bar at the top of the menu bar.

Today’s share will be heavy on herbs and lettuces. When Bob has herbs he needs to use, he turns to pesto:

Pesto can be so versatile and is a great use of leftover herbs and mild greens. My typical pesto is basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, red pepper flake and olive oil (here is a simple recipe from NYT Cooking but it’s so easy you can just eyeball it). The pine nuts are interchangeable with whatever you have in the pantry: sometimes I use almonds or walnuts, sometimes I just skip them if I don’t have anything similar on hand.  The basil is a mainstay for me but I often add parsley, cilantro or even baby spinach – essentially any greens in my fridge get thrown in. Aside from the obvious pasta+pesto uses, I often add some to mayo for a great sandwich spread or dollop some on top of vegetable soup.

We also received radishes in today’s share. A lot of past recipes we have shared called for either pickling or sauteing the radish but Bob was looking for something different:

When I need a quick dinner side dish, I often turn to a tomato and cucumber salad. I was looking for a radish salad recipe and came across this Summer Radish Salad recipe which is essentially what I do except substituting the tomato for radish. I’m looking forward to giving this one a try and using radishes in a different way than I have in the past.

CSA member Alyson Wasko was thinking about both pesto and radishes today when she picked up her share.  She posted this on the CSA Facebook page:

In an effort to waste as little as possible, I made a Radish-Top Herb Pesto:

  • Radish tops
  • Herbs (I picked oregano, but now I’m regretting not taking the garlic chives!)
  • Garlic
  • Nuts (I used walnuts, but I’m sure pistachios or pine nuts would also be great)
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil (drizzle into the food processor until it’s your preferred consistency)
  • Salt & pepper

If you find the pesto to be too spicy from the radish tops, you can mellow it out with some of the spinach or kale.

That’s all for this week, check back again soon for more Serving Suggestions!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes. Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob. If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com. To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive. You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 11/14/17

Welcome back CSA members!  Sadly, all good things must come to an end (unless you’re getting the stock up share!).  Like Bob, many of you are probably starting to drown under your root vegetables:

I needed a new soup recipe so I started googling.  I knew I wanted to use a lot of sweet potatoes since I had so many but since they were the white sweet potatoes I also thought of using carrot for color.  I found this recipe for Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup and it was great, a real crowd pleaser for my football watching crew.  The only modification I made was to add some ginger and garlic to the onions as they were cooking to add some more depth of flavor.  I drizzled the soup with maple sour cream (simply sour cream thinned with good maple syrup) and crumbled some crispy bacon on top.

For those of you doing the stock up share, here are some ideas from previous CSA posts for a few of the items you’ll be receiving:

Garlic:  Bob has been saving heads of garlic to give this recipe a try.  He’s have never made it but loves all things Alton Brown so it will certainly be fantastic.  40 Cloves and a Chicken.

Potatoes: Shana loves this method of cooking potatoes which is perfect for families who have children who like to get involved.  Let them smash away!

Onions: One of Bob’s favorite soups to make is french onion so that’s a no-brainer (and really easy if you use your slow cooker).  But what if you have more onions than the soup recipe calls for?  Cook them all, reserve some before adding the broth, google “caramelized onion fritatta” and go crazy.  There are so many recipes out there that you can find inspiration to use up some other CSA veggies.

Cabbage: Did you go apple picking last weekend?  Or maybe you have some from your fruit share?  Give this a try, it’s beautiful and would make a great side dish to go along with a Wrong Direction pork tenderloin.

Butternut Squash: Shana picked up Bon Apetit’s Thanksgiving issue and it features a ton of mouthwatering squash recipes.  If you don’t subscribe to the magazine, you can get them online here.

Parsnips: I typically roast my parsnips like carrots and potatoes (and often combine the three) but I am second guessing that boring choice after finding these two recipes:  Spiced Honey Parsnip Bread and Parsnip Gratin with Tumeric and Cumin.

That’s it for 2017, see you all in the Spring!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 10/31/17

Welcome back to Serving Suggestions readers!  Sorry these posts have been fewer and further between lately but Bob has two good recipes to share this week for those of you who might have some veggies piling up.

Due to the timing of going away last week, I have a bunch of stuff leftover from last week before adding the incoming share.  So, I knew I had to find some recipes that would load up on veggies.  The first I found is a Slow Cooker Chickpea Stew which I will modify slightly to use onion, garlic, potatoes, cauliflower, peppers, carrots, turnip and beans all from the CSA.  While I was away I found an awesome spice shop and bought some whole ras el hanout which I plan on toasting and grinding to replace the curry called for in the recipe.  I also knew I wanted to use my acorn squash in some sort of “stuffed” recipe.  I found a simple one that I could doctor up using whatever is leftover after my chickpea stew.  There are a number of ways to make cauliflower rice but it really depends on what kitchen gadgets you have; if you have a Vitamix or food processor start there, if not you can do it with a box grater and some patience.

CSA member Joy Garden loves zucchini, almost as much as she loves salad turnips (the reason she joins the CSA!)  This is her go-to meal that she swears she could eat every day.  Shana is not a zucchini lover but made this and she admits it was pretty delicious!

  • Slice zucchini into thin slices and roast until tender.
  • Boil your favorite pasta while the zucchini is in the oven.
  • Remove the zucchini from the oven and drain your pasta.
  • Layer the zucchini in a dish, alternating with the pasta, adding plenty of basil and parmesan.  Optionally, you can add sauteed onions and garlic.

Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 10/3/17

Hi folks!  We had a gorgeous share today – again with more beautiful red peppers.  Shana put those peppers to use right away:

I  saved mine and roasted them today. I know this is not the most exciting, unique thing to do with peppers but they were absolutely sweet and delicious! I use them on toasted bread for a quick bite, on homemade pizza, salads or with tahini for a snack!

Looking for other uses for roasted peppers?  Check out this page with 20 ways to use roasted peppers – most don’t even need a recipe!  Bob made a shortcut shepherd’s pie tonight using CSA potatoes:

On Sunday’s I like to use my slow cooker while I watch football and this week made a simple beef stew.  I saved the leftovers and tonight used the leftover stew, a pound of ground pork from Griggstown Farm and CSA potatoes/chives to make a weeknight shepherd’s pie.  It was so good.  Possibly the best weeknight meal I’ve had in awhile.  It’s always fun to use leftovers in creative ways!  If you want to make a shepherd’s pie from scratch, use Alton Brown’s recipe, and also use up your CSA onion/garlic/carrot/chive.


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 9/26/17

Welcome back readers!  This week’s share featured some beautiful potatoes that Shana put to use right away:

I have been thinking about this recipe – good for this weird weather – a cool salad, so refreshing, but hearty for those of us who have been actively running around with the start of school and other busy fall activities. It highlights the beautiful purple potatoes, uses arugula, red onion, and apples which are in season now!  Enjoy!

Bob subscribes to a half share and was off this week, but he plans ahead week to week to stretch the CSA goodness:

I knew I would need a quick dinner one night this week so when I was making a stir-fry last week I decided to dice a bell pepper and half an onion for later use.  My plan was to make a western omelet using the CSA veggies and pair it with some of Griggstown Farm’s breakfast sausage.  I cannot recommend their sausage enough – it was so good.  Miles better than anything you can buy in the supermarket.  Paired with a few slices of toast and some of my homemade hot sauce, which was made from homegrown peppers and CSA onion and garlic, it was an easy and quick meal that had some CSA flair even in an off-week!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 9/19/17

Welcome back readers!  Sadly, tomato season has passed us by but hopefully you’re excited for all the great produce in today’s share.

A few weeks back, Shana shared a recipe for a ratatouille.  Bob was inspired and used a recipe he had just seen on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen for their Walkaway Ratatouille:

I was given a Le Creuset as a gift a few months ago and have been trying to find every excuse to use it.  I found this recipe as the perfect way to keep using it during the Summer.  The portions received in today’s CSA pickup are perfect – two eggplants, two squash, a few peppers and plenty of onion.  If you have a big enough pot, don’t by shy and make a double or 1.5 batch – the pot will be super full when you put it in the oven but it’ll cook down.  I have served it a number of ways from fresh, leftover and even frozen: mixed with leftover rice, served over pasta as a chunky sauce or served plain with bread and an over-easy egg.  No matter how you serve it, it’s great.  I have made it with both fresh tomatoes and canned and honestly I would rather use the canned and save any good late tomatoes for another use.  The original recipe is behind the America’s Test Kitchen paywall but a free version is available here.

Do you have hot pepper plants in your backyard or on your porch?  Or maybe you load up on the hot peppers from the extras box and aren’t sure what to do with them all?  Bob has been finding himself in the same spot throughout the Summer:

The answer to my pepper overabundance is obviously hot sauce!  I have so many random bottles in the fridge and thought why not just make my own?  Here’s a simple and ingredient-light recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Shana’s daughter had a special request this week:

My daughter requested that we get the purple cabbage this week so I had to oblige!  So I tossed it with the arugula, red peppers and salad turnips and made a quick salad as a side to my BLT.  Bacon courtesy of Wrong Direction, lettuce from this weeks romaine share and tomatoes form my garden. It was delicious and easy!

Below are a few awesome recipes from one of my favorite food blogs that incorporate many of the CSA ingredients (jalapeños, cabbage, red peppers, onions, cilantro). Enjoy!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 8/29/17

Welcome back readers!  Sorry Serving Suggestions had a brief hiatus this Summer but we are back with some great recipes for you today.

Shana has been pairing her Wrong Direction Farm orders with her CSA veggies:

I’ve been having a lot of fun cooking ground pork (or sausage) from Wrong Direction Farm with onions, cabbage and peppers from our share for a comforting meal that makes great leftovers. The cabbage cooks down a lot, is low- calorie and adds a nice crunch to the meal to oppose the soft ground pork. I even toss in tomatoes sometimes for more acid.

For hotter days (not to be found this summer!) I love a crunchy cabbage salad, but sometimes feel unsatisfied with a typical vinegar dressing. This recipe uses a yummy Thai peanut dressing that nicely compliments the cabbage!

Need a new salad recipe?  Try this one for a Mexican Green Salad with Jalapeno Cilantro Dressing.

Speaking of jalapenos, Bob has been making use of some from the CSA “extras” box as well as a prolific pepper plant on his front porch.  The number of peppers was a bit overwhelming so he decided to try something new:

I have purchased jars of pepper jelly in the past and found it to be a versatile condiment.  It’s good with some cream cheese and crackers as an easy appetizer (and was a hit at a recent family party).  Or for an easy one pot meal, brown some boneless cubed chicken breast, add in some sliced bell pepper near the end, add in a hefty tablespoon of pepper jelly and a heavy squeeze of dijon, stir to combine and let heat through, serve over leftover rice or with a salad.  The recipes I found for pepper jelly varied widely but this one seemed to be the easiest.

Since it’s a cool and rainy Summer night, you might also want to try a soup, here’s a suggestion from Bob:

Whenever I get leeks in my CSA share, I like to cut, clean and freeze them right away.  I slice them in half, keeping the root end on so it’s easier to handle, and cut them into inch wide semi-circles.  Then, I rinse and soak them repeatedly, at least three different changes of the soaking water, and then dry in my salad spinner.  I bag the cut leeks and put in the freezer so I have a quick base for my favorite Potato and Leek Soup. Bonus points if you use CSA potatoes too!

If you’re looking for an interesting way to use your corn, Shana has two ideas:

I’ve been making salad with raw corn since I first started doing CSA’s many years ago. Fresh, organic corn is sweet and has a delicate texture and adds something special to salads. I tossed it this week with kale, tomatoes, peppers and carrots.

I also did a “grill pie” with the corn which came out beautifully. I love using a bechamel garlic sauce on a pizza- it’s different and lighter in flavor so the csa veggies get to shine. Grilled dough has a certain crispness that I don’t find with oven cooked pizza. This weeks’ pie included grilled eggplant, peppers, corn, Wrong Direction’s fuet, and mushrooms- it was yummy!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 8/8/17

Another great mid-Summer share this week with tomatoes and peppers taking center stage.  Shana decided to use some of her peppers on a grilled pizza:

If you haven’t tried it yet, grilling a pizza is the closest I think to real brick oven taste and texture and it takes literally a few minutes to cook (so be careful and on top of it when grilling!!). I used our peppers, onions, garlic and herbs for this pie, but eggplant on pizza is also absolutely delicious (I know it sounds weird but trust me- cook it first- grilled or roasted). Enjoy!

Bob was going away on vacation shortly after the CSA pickup so he decided to do some Tuesday prep work that would pay off after vacation when nobody wants to go grocery shopping:

The tomatoes and lettuce were easy to use up before vacation but I knew the peppers, zucchini and beans would be tough.  Luckily the potatoes, garlic, beets and cabbage would keep just fine until we were home.  I chopped the peppers and zucchini into bite-size pieces and froze them; same with the beans, I snipped off the ends and cut in half.  I plan on using the frozen veggies, some broth from the pantry, tomato paste and leftover pasta to make a quick soup the night after we come home from vacation.  There’s nothing worse than that first day back home when nothing is in the fridge and you don’t want to go grocery shopping – hopefully this solves that problem!


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.

Serving Suggestions: 8/1/17

The tomatoes are here, the tomatoes are here!  Shana decided to use some of hers for a ratatouille:

I’m sure many of you will agree that there’s not much better than the beginning of CSA tomato season! And this week’s tomatoes were delicious. Whenever I get eggplant, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, and onions, I just have to make ratatouille. There are many different ways to make ratatouille and I think they’re all pretty good but nothing comes close to Julia Child’s ratatouille recipe. Like everything else, she instructs you to have patience and take time to sauté each ingredient separately. Her recipe excels in the way that they stew together at the end so that instead of individual vegetables they all come together into a pot of deliciousness.  Happy cooking!

Bob, whose half share did not have a pick up this week, wasn’t lucky enough to take part in the tomatoes but still put some leftover beets from last week to good use:

I wanted to try something new with beets.  Whenever I am looking for something different, I check the NY Times Cooking section first.  They always seem to have some interesting takes on ingredients and their recipe search feature is very functional (I love being able to filter by cuisine type).  I decided to try this recipe for a Garlicky Beet Spread with Yogurt, Dill and Horseradish.  I modified the recipe by peeling and cutting the beets before roasting to make them easier to handle.  I was able to make it on Sunday when I had time to roast and cool the beets and hold it until midweek to serve aside latkes.  After a few days in the fridge I felt it needed a hit of some extra horseradish, a splash of vinegar and a sprinkle of salt.  It was very earthy and unlike anything I’ve really had before.  A little goes along way so plan to use it with a few meals during the week or you’ll end up wasting some of the leftovers.

 


Serving Suggestions is a recurring article that will be posted weekly during the CSA season featuring photos, tips and recipes.  Content is provided by Jessica, Shana and Bob.  If you would like to submit your own photos or recipes, please email Bob at robertfcowper@gmail.com.  To read through previous Serving Suggestions articles, click here for an archive.  You can also use the handy search feature at the top of the right hand menu bar to search for the name of a particular ingredient you need help using.