Tag Archives: summer CSA recipes

Cucumber Mint Sorbet

Do you remember your first ice cream cone?

Here’s how it went, maybe, if you were one year old at the time: chubby fist, gleeful grin, strawberry ice cream everywhere, little fingers clutching the stump of a soggy cone as a rueful grown-up finally wrestled it away.  That was my youngest daughter today. Continue reading

Blue Cheese and Crackers with Candied Cherry Preserves

This is the story of two recipes that didn’t turn out at all the way I planned.

I was going to make you pink strawberry waffles today.  My baby–my first baby–turned six and, not to be outdone by her sister’s chocolate waffle birthday coup, requested strawberry waffles for breakfast.  Pink, please.They were delicious.  I used my regular yeast-raised batter (which works beautifully for both waffles and pancakes), adding a few generous spoonfuls of strawberry preserves in place of the sugar.  And then, in a stroke of genius suggested by a reader-friend, I tinted the batter as pink as can be with a sprinkle of that beet powder I thought I’d never use again.  Of course, the baked waffles were mostly waffle-colored, which was a bit of a disappointment to us all (mostly me).  Continue reading

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

It’s the time of year when peaches are piled so high on the counter that we hardly make a dent in them as we eat one after another, on the back porch or leaning over the sink, juice running down our wrists.  The baby reaches for them: “apple! Apple!”  (All fruit is “apple” in her lexicon.)  We get peaches in our CSA box every week, and buy more, and then our neighbors came over with a heaping bowl, sharing the bounty of a box they brought home from some warmer, peach-growing place.

Time to make a crisp. Continue reading

Pan-Fried Peppers

I like a vegetable as much as the next girl, but I am the first to admit that they can sometimes be time-consuming to prepare.  (I’m looking at you, fava beans.*)  As a consolation for the minutes I lose shelling fresh beans or dicing winter squash or washing mountains of greens, though, there are the times when I can cook a vegetable whole (like that cauliflower!) with little or no preparation at all.  This is one of those times.  Pan, oil, whole peppers, salt, and they’re ready for the table.  My mother in law regularly makes these peppers to great acclaim, and I follow her method Continue reading

Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Basil

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It took us 11 hours to get out of the house today.  Does that happen to families that don’t have little children running around everywhere?  I can’t remember.  I don’t think so.There was playing to do in the back yard, the baby wanted to be rocked while she slept, and the bigger kids took long naps in the late afternoon.  Meanwhile, we picked through our blueberries (tiny snails were hiding in their blossom ends) and got a pot of blueberry jam simmering.  The children tasted it many, many times.  It doesn’t sound busy, does it?  Today, it was all-consuming.  We got to the park with all our bikes and scooters in the evening, just in time to ride the lakefront loop and have a picnic dinner on our girls’ favorite hidden beach at sunset.

We had a very good saladContinue reading

Cucumber Salad with Fresh Mozzarella and Tomatoes

My girls, or at least the two who are old enough to have opinions on the matter, have two favorite restaurants in Seattle.  One of them I don’t like at all.  The other is Tutta Bella, an excellent Neapolitan-style pizzeria.  Their pizzas are very good, but there’s an even-better salad that I order every single time I go.

To be clear, I also always eat pizza, but my loyalties are divided there: sometimes I have the roasted vegetables, sometimes a margarita pizza crowned with a tangle of arugula.  But I do not vary my salad order ever.  Because the salad is so good.  Mmm. Continue reading

Israeli Couscous with Zucchini, Sungold Tomatoes, and Basil Oil

Although I couldn’t grow a beefsteak tomato in a hundred years in my Seattle backyard, the smallest varieties grow reasonably well in a warm year (read: not this year).  So I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and love cherry tomatoes of every color.  The reds are reliable, the yellow pears add variety, the purpley-blacks are tangy and sweet.  But the loveliest of them all, for both flavor and looks, is the orange-bright Sungold tomato.  Use them here if you have them.  Grow them next year if you don’t.This is my kind of pasta dish because it’s equal parts vegetables and pasta.  Continue reading

Fava and Ricotta Bruschetta

I know I said that I find the task of preparing fava beans to be overly fussy, but I’ve found a way that makes it easy.  Graciously agree to let a girlfriend come over on a Saturday to make lunch together, and hope that she arrives with a bright little bowl of favas that have already been shucked, boiled, and individually peeled.  (Thanks, girlfriend!)  If she goes on to introduce you to a gorgeous recipe like this one, that’s just icing on the cake.

This is the second fava recipe I’ve posted on this site and both of them are for bruschetta.  (The other bruschetta topping is a rich fava and arugula pesto.)  Is this a coincidence?  I think not.  Continue reading

Carrot Top Soup

You read that right: it’s soup weather in Seattle again. And you read the other part right, too: this soup is made from carrot tops.  Don’t worry, Harold McGee says they’re probably safe to eat.

The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors and it’s my favorite kind of soup recipe.  The star of the show here is a single bunch of young carrots, from top to root tip.  Pick a perfect bunch next time you’re at the farmers market (a rainbow bunch is always attractive, but these delicate orange carrots came from our Nash’s CSA).

Show those carrots off by making such a simple soup that the carrot flavor gets to shine.  The frilly, spring-green carrot leaves highlight the vegetal notes that underlie the carrots’ sweetness.  A handful of herbs, a few spoonfuls of rice for body, and the soup makes the water you add into its own rich broth. Continue reading Carrot Top Soup (click for recipe)

Sauteed Greens with Garlic

Although it’s only been a few weeks, I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for staying on top of both of our CSAs.  A CSA is a great motivator to cook vegetables because the more the veggies pile up, the less room I have for my extensive condiment collection and the really good stuff, like chocolate sauce and enough feta cheese to last me until fall.  (What?  It’s pickled.)

At this time of year, our veggie box is full of leaves, and this recipe is my go-to solution for cooking them down to a manageable size for storage or immediate consumption.  These silky greens are great alone or as a component of another dish (try whole wheat pasta with these greens and basil pesto).

This treatment works well for softer greens, including tender kale, and would also work for briefly simmered collards or tough kale.  I made one batch with rainbow chard this week, pictured below, and a separate batch using beet greens, arugula, and radish tops.  Whatever greens you use, start with a lot; one bunch of greens looks awfully puny after a few minutes in the pan. Continue reading Sauteed Greens with Garlic (click for recipe)