Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CSA Meals - Weeks 9 and 10

I'm officially in holycowit'smid-Julywhereisthesummergoing? mode. The last couple of weeks went by in a whirlwind of celebration, relaxation, and travel.

Our house guests were in Richmond through the 4th of July, which meant that the annual party benefited from Lyndsey's extreme chopping talent. She used some of her salvaged cabbage and carrots, and our CSA red onion, to compile a simple, pretty coleslaw. If you don't believe me, the proof is in the photo below; it looks like bagged slaw mix sliced by machine, but it was all done by a skilled hand.

In the meantime, I put together a haphazard pasta salad with roasted summer squash, mozzarella, and several basil leaves (pictured). The rest of the basil was made into pesto the following week.

I believe my contribution was eaten, but it wasn't very noteworthy compared to the slaw and several of the other dishes gracing Tex's air-conditioned kitchen.

We recovered from the holiday in Seabrook, SC, and our first dinner there was a group effort that incorporated components of our share from Week 9. Davy and I steamed the yellow and green beans, and made flank steak with chimichurri sauce, which was decent. Keith and Carrie's dish, however, outshone ours, and the cucumber and cherry tomatoes we brought added a lot to the roasted shrimp and orzo salad. At the end of the meal, we added the remaining steak and beans to the salad to keep it going for lunch the following day.

In an attempt to clean out our fridge a little before the next round of CSA produce, I repeated a Splendid Table recipe from the spring (Spring Vegetables and White Beans Scented with Fresh Bay). Instead of spinach, I used dandelion greens - courtesy of Lyndsey and Travis, chicken stock instead of vegetable broth, and added some freshly made pesto. The "stew," as Lyne Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift call it, was light and garlicky, and had an earthy flavor from the greens and carrots.

By some miracle, I managed to make caramel for turtle brownies the same night. The bubbling corn syrup and sugar were mesmerizing, and made a delicious sweet topping for the fudgy brownies. 

Davy and I whittled away at our cherry tomato and mesclun salad mix supply with a few green salads throughout the week, adding different ingredients depending on what we had and what was appealing at the time. 

I was visiting family in Harrisburg over the weekend, and we brought a big cucumber and tomato salad over to my grandma's for dinner on Sunday night. There were sungolds, slicing tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers from my share, and different types of herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers from my parents' CSA and garden. My mom and I worked on the salad together, and dressed it with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, and sugar.

Despite the fact that it feels like summer is already slipping away, I know that there are many more meals and memories to be made over the next couple of months.

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