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CSA Week #6: Currants!

August 1, 2010

Oh, what pretty little gems. I wanted both the white and red currants, and had a difficult time choosing. Week #6 was: red currants, blueberries, swiss chard, beets, patty pan squash, zucchini, tomatoes, white onions, raw milk swiss and multigrain bread.

And here’s what it looks like:

Giambotta

I think every Italian family makes their own version of giambotta. It’s versatile, quick and good for you. It’s a great way to clean out your fridge, too! I have served this with rice, couscous and bulgur wheat. I like it best with ciabatta though (best way to sop up all the lovely sauce). Add pretty much any combination of vegetables you like here. You can make a winter version with more root vegetables, or a spring version with peas and asparagus. You really can’t go wrong.

1/2 onion, diced

1 zucchini, cut into half moons

mushrooms, sliced (I just used what I had, but use any amount)

1 patty pan squash, diced

1 ear of corn with kernels sliced off

~ 20 fingerling potatoes, halved

basil

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 cup or so of crushed tomatoes

2 bay leaves

salt, pepper

Sautee onion, zucchini, patty pan squash, mushrooms and potatoes in a little olive oil over medium heat until veggies begin to soften. Add 1/2 cup of broth, add bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, and adjust seasoning as needed. Continue to cook over low heat until the potatoes are done. You can leave basil whole, or cut into ribbons and add when cooking is complete. Residual heat will cook it down. Top with pecorino romano (our choice!) or parmesan. Mangia!

Cumin-scented Carrots with Feta

My husband advocated for this dish, which was featured in our CSA newsletter. The modifications I made was much less oil and dry cumin instead of seeds. This was absolutely outstanding. Carrots and cumin just want to be together. It’s that simple. Also, it’s pretty much gonna be my go-to dish when I find myself with loads of carrots hanging around. Recipe right here!

Tabouleh

Tabouleh is just good, fresh eating! I think it’s all the parsley and lemon. I made a tzatziki to go along with this. I didn’t like the photo, so it’s not included! However it’s a tasty combo of plain greek yogurt, dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper and grated cucumber. I like topping the tabouleh with it.

1 cup cooked couscous (we like the whole wheat kind)

1 large tomato, diced

1 scallion, minced

1 head of parsley, chopped

juice and zest of 1 lemon

salt, pepper, olive oil

Cook couscous according to directions. Fluff with fork and add to a bowl. Add in tomato, onion, parsley, lemon juice and zest, bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. It doesn’t need more than that! If you feel like you need more protein, you can add in chick peas, or even top with grilled chicken.

Swiss Chard Quiche

Yeah, so I do love quiche. It’s fast and good for you, if you make it lighter than the traditional “heavy cream and buttery crust version”. I know that tastes really yummy, but if it’s a dish I’ll be eating for lunch a few days in a row…I like to keep my calorie count in check.

1 head of swiss chard, cooked down

1/2 small white onion, minced

5 mushrooms, sliced

4 eggs

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup lowfat milk

feta, goat or gouda cheese, for topping (you won’t need much)

salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the onion and chard over medium/low heat until the chard is fully wilted. In a bowl, beat three eggs with salt and pepper. Add egg whites and milk. Add veggies to the egg mixture. Pour egg mixture into a non-stick pan or one you’ve sprayed with non-stick spray. Top quiche with mushrooms and cheese.  Bake until it doesn’t look wet or jiggly in the center. I will usually err on the side of overcooking, as I really hate wet quiche. I serve over lettuce. Makes 4 generous servings.

Salad with Blue Cheese

I don’t even think this should warrant a recipe, but in the interest of keeping honest with what I’ve made with CSA goodies, I’m putting it in here. I really REALLY adore blue cheese. That’s basically my only note on this. Oh, one other thing. Get your hands on some really fabulous baslamic vinegar. At the Salumeria Italiana in Boston’s North End, they sell a basalmic called Rubio Aceto Balsamico di Modena. It’s got the consistency of syrup. It’s $34 for the 8.5oz bottle they sell and it’s worth every single penny. They’ll let you sample it (and really, you’ll want more than a plastic spoonful of it) before you buy. It’s so high quality that you’ll need very little of it in making a salad dressing. So it’ll last a long time. It’s the very definition of luxury, I tell you.

arugula

tomatoes

cucumber

edamame, shelled

scallion

avocado

crumbled blue cheese (you need such a small amount for big taste payoff)

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine your salad fixings and top with a little blue cheese. I dress my salad right in the bowl. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic right onto salad. Add black pepper and salt (as always, I like coarse ground pepper and sea salt). Plate up and eat up!

Lemon Currant Muffins

Parchment paper in lieu of muffin liners makes for pretty photos, no? I cut them into about 5″ squares, and placed in the palm of my hand, before adding muffin batter (I filled with a 1/4 cup measurement). With the parchment paper filled, it’s easier to wrangle it into the muffin tin.

My recipe was loosely based on this from Almost Bourdain, but with some obvious changes.

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup very soft butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla

a pint of red currants, washed and coated in flour so they don’t sink in the batter

Preheat your oven to 350. Beat butter and eggs for three minutes. Add sugar and beat for another minute more. Add milk until fully incorporated. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients, then add a little bit at a time to the wet mixture, until fully incorporated. Using a big spoon, slowly stir in your currants, as to not break them too much. Fill a cake pan or muffin tins with the batter. Cook about 12-15 mins or until done. I hope you like them!

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