Thursday, June 28, 2012

CSA Meals - Week 7

Our house and lot are surrounded by large trees, and we don't have a pet to scare pests away. Squirrels always wreak havoc on my potted plants, but this year I've been fighting them off by sprinkling cayenne pepper over the dirt to keep them from digging holes that ruin plants at all stages. I don't feel the least bit sorry.

Right now, arugula and basil are yielding the most out of everything I planted. The basil pot is elevated on a stand to maximize sunlight, and the arugula seems to like a little more shade. 

Only the arugula and basil came from our garden.
The cucumber and bell pepper are from the share, and
the banana pepper came from Maymont via Caitlin.

I thought my garden and potted plants were finally doing well, thanks to the spicy soil, and then Tex brought some of his homegrown chard over. 

This was taken on the final night of the 
NBA season, in case anyone was curious.

Leafy greens thrive in his beautiful, fenced-in back yard that is almost all garden. The chard, which we sauteed with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, was incredibly fresh. It was an excellent addition to our meal of grilled striped bass and pasta salad with mozzarella, grilled zucchini and squash, and capers.

Earlier in the week, I managed to utilize some of our plants (see first photo) in a makeshift bruschetta and salad. I mixed our lovely sungold cherry tomatoes, pieces of fresh mozzarella, and torn basil with a little olive oil to enjoy on top of thick slices of toasted Billy Bread rubbed with fresh garlic.

By the end of the weekend, the carrots and dense head of cabbage were still untouched in the bottom produce drawer, and I felt obligated to use them that night. I managed to use about a third of the cabbage, and cut the carrots into matchsticks.

Ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and Szechuan peppercorns (thanks, Evan!) went into the pan for flavor, and the resulting stir fry was light and satiating.

It may not have been completely local, but it was good enough to make me excited for dinner two nights in a row. I'm grateful to have the share, and friends with wonderful plants, to supplement the (sometimes literal) holes in our garden.

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