Tuesday, June 08, 2010

CSA Meals - Week 3

Although I don't think I've been very creative with my CSA goods so far this year, Davy and I are still consuming more of them than we have in the past.  My goal for the upcoming weeks is to incorporate the veggies into our meals even more so that they're part of the main dish instead of just a side or snack.

My parents had a wonderful cookout for Memorial Day weekend, and Davy and I benefited from the leftovers.  We were sent back to Richmond with smoked sweet potatoes, brisket, pulled pork, and cous cous salad.  On Tuesday we picked up a half pint of Buz and Ned's cole slaw, along with a bottle of their barbecue sauce, and feasted on all of the leftovers.  I put together a salad with cucumber, tomato, and small block of feta that had been neglected in the bottom drawer of the fridge for awhile.

The next day I sliced the rest of the cucumber that we used in the salad, which was crunchier and fresher tasting than any supermarket cucumber, and paired it with a small chunk of cheese for my mid-morning snack.  We indulged in takeout from 8 1/2 that night, and I sauteed the chard with garlic to accompany a red pizza and prosciutto, mozzarella, and arugula hero.

I had the remaining chard for my afternoon snack on Thursday, and we went to a friend's house for grilled burgers later in the evening.  Davy and I provided squash and onions to throw on the grill, and tossed them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  The natural sweetness and the smokiness from the grill made the vegetables the highlight of our dinner.

The annual Greek Festival was going on over the weekend, and since Davy and I moved into our house, we're now close enough to walk to Grove and Malvern for it.  I made a simple, refreshing salad when I got home from work so I would have something in my stomach before I stuffed my face with chicken souvlaki (and drank too much wine).   

We had the privilege of attending a beautiful wedding on Saturday in Gloucester, VA, and because we were worn out when we returned the next day, we decided to order a Mary Angela's Pizza.  I wanted to try to finish some of the vegetables, so I roasted the purple-top turnips and put them in a salad with cucumber and tomato.  

Neither of us are sick of dressing our lettuce with balsamic vinegar and olive oil yet, but I did feel like trying to make a ginger dressing to add some variety to our salad routine.  I referenced two recipes for ginger vinaigrette, but we were missing a fair number of ingredients and I wasn't in the mood to drive to Kroger, so I made up my own version.  I grated ginger and combined it with sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and vegetable oil to make a decent dressing.  It still needs some work, but it was nice to have a different flavor with the salad greens.  I also set aside some of the lettuce, cucumber, and turnips for a snack on Monday or Tuesday, and there's plenty of the ginger dressing to give them an extra boost.

When our CSA partners picked up the share last week, it was warm enough that some of the greens were looking a little wilted.  Adam from the farm recommended putting some of them in water, so I'd cut the stems off of our broccoli raab and kept it that way all week in the fridge.  It worked so well that I tried it with the Asian stir fry greens on Monday, and they perked up after several days in the produce drawer.  

I've been thinking about replicating a pasta dish from Edo's Squid since we've had so much broccoli raab, and I finally got the chance on Monday. With Davy's help, I made tomato sauce, blanched the greens, and crumbled and browned some hot Italian turkey sausage.  Next, I boiled a half a pound of orrechiette in the same water that we used for the broccoli raab, and when the pasta was ready, I combined about 1/3 of a cup of ricotta with about 1/2 cup of the cooking water in a large bowl.  The sausage, greens, and noodles went into the bowl on top of the cheese mixture, and then I started adding spoonfuls of tomato sauce to attain the appropriate balance.  Obviously our dinner wasn't exactly like the restaurant serves, but it was delicious and healthier (or so I'd like to believe).  

The only item left is the stir fry greens, which are still satisfactory, and I'm hoping to combine them with new vegetables from Week 4 in a shrimp stir fry.

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