Sunday, June 21, 2009

CSA Week 1: Greens and Reds.

Picking up my first CSA box on Wednesday was everything I hoped it would be. Much to my relief, my name was on the list (I've had a paranoid vision ever since I signed up in March of arriving for my pick-up only to be told they had never heard of me). Bags and boxes full of local produce and products covered a corner of Sweet Clover Market. I felt badly for customers in the store who were not participating in the CSA, because they clearly would be missing out on a quality haul. When I arrived home, I took a good look at my ingredients for the next week. I made my first dish that night:

Roasted Beets and Sautéed Greens, adapted from a Coastal Living recipe. I was specifically looking for a recipe to use both the beets and beet greens. While I love beets, I've never cooked beet greens before and didn't want them languishing around the fridge for too long. If not used right away, they had a high probability of becoming neglected beet green mush in my produce drawer.

I started by drizzling each beet with olive oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper and roasting wrapped in foil at 375° for 45 minutes. My beets were fairly small, so larger beets would likely cook 1- to 1-1/2 hours. After roasting, I cooled slightly and rubbed the skin off. Next, I sautéed garlic in a little olive oil, added chopped beet greens, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cooked until the greens wilted. Finally, I tossed the beets and greens with a light balsamic vinaigrette and topped with toasted pine nuts and goat cheese. The final product was an explosion of earthy, rich flavors.

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans
On Saturday night I was looking for a way to use my bunch of swiss chard, which I have never cooked before and was slightly scared of. However, I followed the advice posted on Twitter by one of my fellow Cooking Away My CSA members (@mmmfiber) and made an EatingWell recipe: Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans. I knew right away this would be a good choice, because it is absolutely loaded with fiber. Having followed Weight Watchers formally and informally for 8 years now, I am always happy with high fiber dishes. This was not just a healthy dish, though. It was also incredibly flavorful and earned an A+ from my husband and me (both my kids ran screaming, but rest assured they will see chard on their plates again in the future).

Raspberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping
On the day I picked up my box, I wanted to make a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping that was included in my CSA newsletter (adapted from Bon Appétit). Since my box this week had strawberries, rhubarb and cornmeal, I was stocked and ready. However, due to selfish beets hogging the oven, I didn't get to it that first day. By the very next day, the strawberries were completely gone (my kids might not like swiss chard, but they l-o-v-e strawberries). Tonight, though, I adapted the recipe to make a Raspberry Rhubarb Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuit Topping. The cornmeal gives the topping an unexpected (and welcome) nuttiness. The raspberries did the trick in this recipe, but I would certainly give the strawberries a try next time. ** One Note: When using raspberries, I would recommend leaving out the ground cloves. Doesn't work quite as well as it does with strawberries.** It's hard for other fruits to compete with strawberries when it comes to pairing with rhubarb. This treat, though, was a New England summer on a dessert plate, especially appropriate considering the rising mercury this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I hope I get some chard soon I can try that gnocchi recipe ... It all looks wonderful, though!


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