Another vividly-hued box of produce arrived on my doorstep last week. Not quite on my doorstep – it’s a 15-minute drive to pick up my box in Ringwood but it’s always worth the effort.
Just take a look at what was in store…..
I took that picture for Edible Manhattan magazine whose Instagram feed I hosted last week. Edible is the place to find out about local eats; if you haven’t been reading the magazine, you can learn more about it here.
In this week’s box, Bialas Farms provided:
- Spaghetti Squash
- Kirby Cucumbers
- Red Peppers
- Curly Kale
- Russet Bakers
- Green Beans
You know what comes first in these CSA posts….
It wouldn’t be a proper CSA post without kicking things off with some sort of salad. I just love eating a whole bunch of vegetables, piled on a plate and garnished with some torn pieces of fresh mozzarella.
In this dish we ate a mix of heirloom tomatoes, sliced Kirby cukes, corn (FYI I’m still using that microwave technique that I talked about it previous weeks), and blanched green beans. The softer herbs from my herb garden have sadly turned into spindly stick figures of their former selves and although I love rosemary for baking and roasting, I don’t love the woody herbs for salad-making. Maybe I’ll challenge myself next week to find some way to incorporate them into salads because I do love herbs on a salad like this; I missed them. But it was delicious nonetheless.
I had another salad later in the week which was kind of revolutionary in its simplicity. I usually stick to Italian, Greek and Middle-Eastern influences when I’m making my salads, but here I went with Spanish flavors. I sliced a large yellow heirloom and piled a big ball of torn burrata in the middle. Yes, I know it’s an Italian cheese, but stick with me for a moment.
I dusted the whole thing with smoked paprika, and scattered some smoked Maldon salt over the top. I drizzled the salad with a good Spanish olive oil and some aged Sherry vinegar. It was just enough of a flavor tweak to make my usual tomato + burrata cheese feel fresh and new. I’m already thinking of future iterations – fried bits of chorizo? Roasted smoked paprika chickpeas? Marcona almonds? A punchy aged Manchego? (and for the record, that’s ManchEGO, not ManchENGO, a common mistake that I made until a kindhearted soul corrected me a few years ago.)
Things got a little weird with this number, which is your standard tomato panzanella (bread salad) topped with some quick-pickled zucchini, peppers and corn.
Play with your salads. It’s safe, healthy, inexpensive, creative – what more can you ask of your vegetables right?
Another way to play: soups.
I know that half of the Internet is out there talking about the joy of Fall – the sweaters, the leaves, the Honeycrisp apples. Let me join this big lovefest by proclaiming that I, too, am smitten with the season. Let me tell you a little more about what I’ve been making in the soup department.
Faced with an abundance of heirloom tomatoes and feeling like I can’t stare another sliced raw tomato in the eye, I cooked them into submission and made this: Heirloom tomato bisque with Saint Andre waffled grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.
It was every ounce as decadent as it sounds, and I highly recommend that you give this combination a try. The Saint Andre oozes out of the sandwiches as they grill in the iron and you’re left with a sweet/tart/earthy soup with the best darn soldiers in the business.