Squashed

In last week’s CSA basket, I received a summer squash (Costata Romanesco ) the size of a newborn baby (photo doesn’t do it justice – easily 18″, but probably closer to 24″).

squash

Fig. 1, baby-sized squash

Being a single girl, I was at a loss to what I could possibly cook using a squash of that size for one person.  To start,  I made a soup,  similar to Greek avgolemono, but studded with the aforementioned squash, shredded and kale.

soup That used up probably less than an eighth.  The next day,  I made squash pancakes with fresh dill, using  this recipe from Epicurious (It also helped use up my bounty of CSA rainbow eggs).  Still, I hadn’t managed to put a dent in the squash. So, today,  I made a few jars of pickles reusing the pickling juice from the pickle okra I picked up at the food swap last month (I’m a pickle juice reuser).  Even after that,  I still have a nice knob of squash remaining.

fig. 3, "borrowed" pickle juice pickles

fig. 3, “borrowed” pickle juice pickles

CSA Wednesdays

IMG-20130724-00332My second CSA basket arrived today – and now I’m receiving fresh eggs (yay!).  For dinner, I sauteed kale* in olive oil, covered it with basil*-walnut pesto, topped with one of these lovely eggs*, sunny-side up, and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper. For dessert, I baked plums* in a ramekin topped with a phyllo crust.  Fresh and delicious.

* from the CSA

A-tisket, A-tasket

source: persnickety palate

source: persnickety palate

Today, I received my inaugural CSA basket from our local farmer Donna and spent my first hour at home this evening “breaking it down” for the remainder of the week – I’m trying for no waste/no spoilage.

What I got:
Asian Pears
Cucumber
Satsuma Plums
Zucchini
Purple Beans
Dragon Beans
Spring Mix
Valencia Oranges
Baby Spinach
Celery
Swiss Chard
Green Onions
Basil

What I did with it:
I made a huge salad for tomorrow’s lunch with a combination of baby spinach and spring mix and added cucumber, celery, green onions and some torn basil. To that, I added a few of my nectarines, fresh from my tree.

I tossed the purple beans with sesame oil, soy and a little green curry paste and oven- roasted them.  The dragon beans, which seemed big and tough to me, just needed about 10-12 minutes of steaming and a sprinkling of white truffle salt.  As I write this, I’m eating them chilled, dipped in white bean hummus – delish.

I sliced the Swiss chard in a chiffonade and sautéed it with some chopped green onions and garlic in a little olive oil and finished it with a sprinkling of salt.

My plans for the zucchini, which I’m hoping will keep for a few days, is a Greek inspired grain salad – perhaps farro,  with shredded zucchini, tomatoes, feta, oil cured black olives, green onions, fresh dill, mint and squeeze of lemon juice.

Slowly

I finally joined my local chapter of Slow Food USA today. They have principals principles I can stand behind…well, all except maybe #6 and #7…but I could, if I had to.

Slow Food Principals Principles (thanks Ross!)
Our everyday lives can be enriched by taking time to slow down and enjoy life with family and friends. Living the slow life with food as the focus is as rewarding as it is easy, and it can be done daily by each one of us.

1. Visit a local farmers’ market
2. Start a kitchen garden
3. Make pasta from scratch one night
4. Invite a friend over to share a meal
5. Squeeze your own lemonade from the fresh fruit
6. Create a new food memory for a child! Bake with your child or teach them to plant seeds for a meal.
7. Trace your food sources
8. Linger over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese
9. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area
10. Decide to eat lunch sitting down instead of standing up
11. Visit a farm in your area
12. Learn your local food history! Prepare an authentic regional dish or discover a food that is celebrated by your culture.