Summer 2017 Week Ten CSA and Meal Plan

We’re onto Stillman’s Farm’s summer 2017 week ten CSA and we’re starting to see a little fall poke through. We’ve got some beautiful arugula, green beans, carrots, corn, onions, green beans, broccoli, eggplant, tomatoes, beets, onions, apples, and peaches.

Storing your share

  • Arugula: wrap the roots in a paper towel and wrap all in a produce bag.
  • Corn: enjoy immediately 🙂 We call fresh corn snack corn and have that as our making-dinner snack. Keep refrigerated as sugars convert to starch (losing sweetness) quicker at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
  • Green beans: they came in the bag and I’m going to leave them in the bag until I’m ready, keeping an eye on them for any mushiness.
  • Eggplant: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  • Carrots: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers in a produce bag.
  • Beets: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  • Bell peppers: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  • Onions: while typically stored in a cool dark place, if not completely dry, store in the fridge.
  • Tomatoes: store on the counter stem side down.
  • Broccoli: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers in a produce bag.
  • Peaches: enjoy within a day or two, but if not, store in a produce bag in the fridge.
  • Apples: I like eating cold apples, so mine go right in the fridge. But you could leave them on the counter too if you’re going to eat within a few days.

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

A new week brings a new wedding celebration, so we only have a few days to use up this share. With so much arugula, I wanted to be sure to highlight it and came across a beautiful whipped ricotta salad recipe.We haven’t had pizza in a while and I won’t use all of the ricotta in the salad, so I thought a broccoli ricotta pizza might be good, especially because this week is unseasonably cool. I never managed to make my beet gazpacho last week and will use up the old beets in that. The new beets, unfortunately, will get rolled into next week. I had hoped to have a fantastic green bean and chicken stir fry to post last week, but I didn’t like how my sauce turned out, so we’ll give that another shot.  And at the end of the week, the carrots will go into chickpea sauté and can easily get bumped to next week if need be.

For fruit, the peaches will be baked and served homemade ice cream and the recipe, which will be posted tomorrow (so check back!). The apples will become as an after-work snack with honeyed peanut butter.

The green pepper got added to the ballpark sausage saute when I brought everything home on Wednesday, and, at some point, we used the eggplant in lazy eggplant parm, but now I’m not sure when that was…

  • Thursday: Giada De Laurentiis’ whipped ricotta salad with some cherry tomatoes picked up at the Boston Public Market
  • Friday: Out celebrating!
  • Saturday: Out celebrating!
  • Sunday: Green bean and chicken stir fry (still trying to perfect that one…)
  • Monday: Beet gazpacho with a cucumber picked up at the Boston Public Market and an avocado
  • Tuesday: Broccoli pizza with roasted garlic bechamel and ricotta with a little side salad of arugula if there’s some left
  • Wednesday: Yotam Ottolenghi’s chickpea sauté

Summer 2017 Week Nine CSA and Meal Plan

We’re onto Stillman’s Farm’s summer 2017 week nine CSA, a literal rainbow of produce. This week, I brought home soo many green beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, a pepper, an eggplant, a summer squash, and the first CSA apples of the year!

summer 2017 week nine CSA

Storing your share

  • Corn: enjoy immediately 🙂 We call fresh corn snack corn and have that as our making-dinner snack. Keep refrigerated as sugars convert to starch (losing sweetness) quicker at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
  • Summer squash: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers
  • Green beans: they came in the bag and I’m going to leave them in the bag until I’m ready, keeping an eye on them for any mushiness.
  • Cucumbers: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  • Eggplant: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  • Bell peppers: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  • Onions: while typically stored in a cool dark place, if not completely dry, store in the fridge
  • Tomatoes: store on the counter stem side down.
  • Apples: I like eating cold apples, so mine go right in the fridge. But you could leave them on the counter too if you’re going to eat within a few days.

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

Left over from last week’s farmer’s market trip, I’ve still got some beets and beet greens. From the Clean Food Club’s Facebook page today, I’m using her gorgeous beet gazpacho as a jumping off point, but I’m thinking with some avocado and my favorite salted olive oil yogurt, while the beet greens can make their way into a penne a la vodka. We got a lot of green beans this week, and I want to do something different. Inspired by some blistered green beans I once had at Myers + Chang, I’m making a green bean and chicken stir fry with noodles. With only one eggplant and two tomatoes, I think I’ll pick up another eggplant or two and another tomato and make my lazy eggplant parm, which I’ll share afterwards. An easy post-wedding celebration dish will be a simple cucumber egg salad. And for the remaining squash and pepper, I’m imagining a riff on a ballpark sausage by cooking down some squash with the peppers and onions over a slab of toasty french bread. The apples will either be eaten for breakfast whole or in oatmeal as a Spiced Apple Compote or serve as an after work snack with honeyed peanut butter. Any remaining cucumbers will get a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

  • Thursday: Green bean and chicken stir fry
  • Friday: Penne a la vodka with beet greens (beet greens left over from last week’s farmer’s market trip)
  • Saturday: Out celebrating!
  • Sunday: Cucumber egg salad
  • Monday: Beet gazpacho (beets left over from last week’s farmer’s market trip)
  • Tuesday: Lazy eggplant parm
  • Wednesday: Ballpark sausage with sautéed peppers, summer squash, and onions

Happy cooking!

Summer 2017 Week Eight CSA and Meal Plan

Ever had a post-vacation “hangover” where you have trouble getting back into the swing of things? First world problem, I know, but I’m hoping to get back into it with back posting the two weeks that I missed and uploading a few new recipes.

This week, with my summer 2017 week eight CSA pickup from Stillman’s Farm, I was super excited with the variety of food that we got. I brought home cucumbers, yellow summer squash, green beans, corn, frisée, eggplant, onions, a green bell pepper, beets, tomatoes, blueberries, and peaches!

summer 2017 week eight CSA

Storing your share

  1. Frisée: I’m going to leave it in the bag it came in until I’m ready to use. Right before use, I’ll place in a bowl of cold salted water for at least 10 minutes. It will both help to refresh the greens and loosen any dirt or tiny bugs. Stillman’s Farm does not spray their greens at all, so you might find little gnats or aphids squished between the leaves.
  2. Corn: enjoy immediately 🙂 We call fresh corn snack corn and have that as our making-dinner snack. Keep refrigerated as sugars convert to starch (losing sweetness) quicker at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
  3. Summer squash: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  4. Green beans: they came in the bag and I’m going to leave them in the bag until I’m ready, keeping an eye on them for any mushiness.
  5. Cucumbers: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers
  6. Eggplant: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  7. Bell peppers: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers.
  8. Onions: while typically stored in a cool dark place, if not completely dry, store in the fridge
  9. Beets: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  10. Tomatoes: store on the counter stem side down.
  11. Blueberries: sort through and make sure there aren’t any mushy ones. Otherwise, store in the container in a produce bag or transfer to a small tupperware.
  12. Peaches: peaches will usually arrive to you ripe. If you’re not ready to eat them right away, leave them in the fridge so that they don’t over ripen.

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

Because of a vacation and subsequent weekend getaway, we’ve got a good amount of vegetables left over from last week. My mid-summer go-to for catching up on my CSA share is ratatouille – this should clear out everything left over from last week and make a dent in this week’s share as well. I’ll post that recipe this week. We also got a lot of green beans this week and plan on making a variation on this New York Times warm chickpea and green bean salad with aioli and a green bean and potato salad with burgers and hot dogs for one of the warmer nights this week. The frisée and beets will go into Bobby Flay’s warm lentil salad with beets and goat cheese. Some cucumbers and the tomatoes have already made their way into a Mediterranean inspired pasta salad. The rest of the cucumbers will either be snacks and or be turned into small batch of bread and butter pickles. The peaches will get roasted and served with some homemade vanilla ice cream while the blueberries will make its way into overnight steel cut oat meal along with a hint of brown sugar.

To supplement the share this week, I headed over to the Union Square Farmer’s Market to pick up some more beets and onions, carrots, potatoes, cantaloupe, apples, and some gorgeous cranberry beans.

Summer 2017 Week Five CSA and Meal Plan

Corn corn and more corn. We’re now onto the summer 2017 week five CSA and it’s definitely feels like summer now between the corn and varieties of summer squash.

This week, I brought home corn, green beans, lettuce, kale, summer squash and zucchinis, cucumbers, and raspberries.

Summer CSA 2017 week 5

Storing your share

  1. Lettuce greens: if starting with a head of lettuce, pull the leaves off individually and place in a bowl of cold salted water for a few minutes. It will both help to refresh the greens and loosen any dirt or tiny bugs. Stillman’s Farm does not spray their greens at all, so you might find little gnats or aphids squished between the leaves. Then spin dry, tear into bite sized pieces, and store in a large ziploc bag or tupperware container.
  2. Corn: enjoy immediately 🙂 We call fresh corn snack corn and have that as our making-dinner snack. Keep refrigerated as sugars convert to starch (losing sweetness) quicker at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
  3. Kale: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  4. Zucchini and summer squash: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  5. Green beans: they came in the bag and I’m going to leave them in the bag until I’m ready, keeping an eye on them for any mushiness.
  6. Cucumbers: store in one of the refrigerator produce drawers
  7. Raspberries: eat within a day or so. If you want to split them over two days, be sure to sort through and eat the slightly soft ones on day one, leaving the firmer ones for day two.

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

Due to some plans, we only have a few nights to eat this week’s share so we’re going for recipes that will use a lot at once. The corn and raspberries are long gone, so those don’t even factor in to this week. The kale, I am going to cook and freeze for use later (bring salted water to a boil, simmer de-veined leaves for seven minutes with lid on, drain and squeeze out as much water as possible, then fluff and put in freezer bag to freeze). So that just leaves the lettuce, green beans, summer squashes, and cucumbers.

I love shakshuka, an Israeli dish of stewed tomatoes with chilis and spices and poached eggs and thought that if I swapped out most of the tomatoes with zucchini and summer squash, I could use up a lot of those. These summer squashes (by that I mean any of the softer, non-hard skinned winter squash) cook down really beautifully, so they are perfect for this kind of dish or in similarly slower cooked summer recipes like ratatouille. We’re also going to make a Mediterranean inspired salad with the green beans and lettuce with some Stillman Quality Meats chicken legs currently marinating in lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and oregano (yet another Stillman’s item – I pick up some herbs for my backyard every spring). Cucumbers will be incorporated in cucumber and egg salad sandwiches. And that does it!

As always, check back for new recipes!

Summer 2017 Week Four CSA and Meal Plan

The summer 2017 week four CSA pickup brings us corn! I have heard that we are the first in the state to get corn. The first corn is something to which I always look forward.

For this week, we got some of the aforementioned corn, beautiful radishes, green beans, lettuce, kale, peppery arugula, summer squash, and raspberries.

Storing your share

  1. Lettuce greens: if starting with a head of lettuce, pull the leaves off individually and place in a bowl of cold salted water for a few minutes. It will both help to refresh the greens and loosen any dirt or tiny bugs. Stillman’s Farm does not spray their greens at all, so you might find little gnats or aphids squished between the leaves. Then spin dry, tear into bite sized pieces, and store in a large ziploc bag or tupperware container.
  2. Arugula: I usually wrap the roots in a paper towel and wrap all in a produce bag.
  3. Corn: enjoy immediately 🙂 We call fresh corn snack corn and have that as our making-dinner snack. Keep refrigerated as sugars convert to starch (losing sweetness) quicker at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
  4. Kale: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  5. Zucchini and summer squash: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  6. Green beans: they came in the bag and I’m going to leave them in the bag until I’m ready, keeping an eye on them for any mushiness.
  7. Raspberries: eat within a day or so. If you want to split them over two days, be sure to sort through and eat the slightly soft ones on day one, leaving the firmer ones for day two.

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

We’re not perfect and had a bit of a messy week. On Thursday, we had falafel made with beet greens. Still working on that recipe, but hopefully, I will be happy enough with it at some point to post. Last night, we had gnocchi with buttery sautéed squash. Tonight we made tacos with spiced black beans and a corn, radish, and feta salsa. Tomorrow, we’re going to make kale linguini and enjoy that with some red sauce and turkey meatballs. For a quick meal on Monday when we have other plans, we’ll make burgers from Stillman Quality Meats ground beef with a potato and green bean salad, which we’ll make tomorrow. Tuesday will be my apple, onion, and arugula pizza for which I’ll caramelize the onions tomorrow night to save some time. And finally, back to pickup day. We actually ate through our share pretty quick this week, so I am hoping we get beets or Swiss chard (or I’ll just buy some with my Stillman’s bucks) to whip up my Swiss chard penne a la vodka.

As always, check back for new recipes!

Summer 2017 Week Three CSA Share and Meal Plan

This week was our summer 2017 week three CSA pickup from Stillman’s Farm. You can tell summer is here when more variety starts to creep in to the box. This week, we got kale, Swiss card, zucchini and summer squash, green beans, lettuce, mixed baby greens, and blueberries! With the help Stillman’s Bucks, I also got two super early season ears of corn (yummm), garlic scapes, and strawberries.

summer 2017 week three CSA share

It took me a full 24 hours to come up with a meal plan this week because we’re still swimming in last week’s box after Fourth of July travel. Vegetables I still need to use from last week include beets, beet greens, lettuce, and mixed baby greens. Proper planning and storage, however, means they’re all still good to eat. We processed all the kale by stripping it from the stems, boiling seven minutes, squeezing out as much water as possible, and freezing for later.

Storing your share

  1. Lettuce greens (heads and mixed spring greens): if starting with a head of lettuce, pull the leaves off individually and place in a bowl of cold salted water for a few minutes. It will both help to refresh the greens and loosen any dirt or tiny bugs. Stillman’s Farm does not spray their greens at all, so you might find little gnats or aphids squished between the leaves. Then spin dry, tear into bite sized pieces, and store in a large ziploc bag or tupperware container.
  2. Beets: separate the beets from the greens and wrap each in a produce bag.
  3. Kale and Swiss chard: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  4. Zucchini and summer squash: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  5. Green beans: they came in the bag and I’m going to leave them in the bag until I’m ready, keeping an eye on them for any mushiness.
  6. Blueberries: sort through and make sure there aren’t any mushy ones. Otherwise, store in the container in a produce bag or transfer to a small tupperware.

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

Tonight we ate a beet, salmon, and farro salad with citrus vinaigrette, orange wedges, and avocado. Good, though not totally pulled together, so I’ll planning to re-make and refine. I am also going to make the Swiss chard pizza, so I can post that recipe this week. Another recipe I’ve worked on and will post this week is summer squash crepes with a lemon goat cheese sauce. For a quick dinner, carrot top pesto from a bunch of carrots I picked up from Drumlin farm last week over pasta and turkey meatballs from Stillman Quality Meats. I am hoping to find fresh pita at the farmer’s market to pull together a falafel with beet greens. For the pickup night meal,finishing off the lettuce and green beans in a Niçoise salad with some fresh fish from Red’s Best at the Boston Public Market.

As always, check back for new recipes!

Summer 2017 Week Two CSA Share and Meal Plan

This week, ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, we had our summer 2017 week two CSA pickup from Stillman’s Farm. I’m unsure of our meal plan as we’re taking this opportunity to travel, but I can make some suggestions.

This week we got a bunch of beets, mixed baby greens, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, and strawberries.

summer 2017 week two CSA share

Storing your share

  1. Lettuce greens (heads and mixed spring greens): if starting with a head of lettuce, pull the leaves off individually and place in a bowl of cold salted water for a few minutes. It will both help to refresh the greens and loosen any dirt or tiny bugs. Stillman’s Farm does not spray their greens at all, so you might find little gnats or aphids squished between the leaves. Then spin dry, tear into bite sized pieces, and store in a large ziploc bag or tupperware container.
  2. Beets: separate the beets from the greens and wrap each in a produce bag.
  3. Kale and Swiss chard: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  4. Strawberries: Eat right away. Fresh, local strawberries are not as durable as store bought, imported strawberries (and they are better for it!).

What to cook

Check out my post on meal planning for how I approach using up my share each week.

Early season CSA means salad. I’ll post my Strawberry and Mozzarella salad later this week, but it’s a light, delicious, refreshing early summer salad, perfect for a weeknight meal. For another salad, Bobby Flay’s Warm Lentil Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese is hearty and substantial – just be sure to add a roll or some sort of side carb. Use the Swiss chard later this week on a pizza with caramelized onions and a combination of mozzarella and ricotta. And if you, too, have BBQs and travel plans for the holiday weekend, I’d recommend cooking and freezing the kale for later. To do so, bring water to a boil and strip the greens from the stalks. Simmer for seven minutes, drain, and cool down under cold water. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can before fluffing back up and freezing in a freezer bag.

Update from last week

As an update from last week, I did make both pea and goat cheese ravioli and strawberry toaster pastries, like I intended (yay, me!), but neither are good enough to post yet. I went too heavy on the lemon in the pea ravioli, which overtook the pea flavor . With the toaster pastry, I made a quick, single jar strawberry jam, but the basil flavor didn’t come through enough. Both still needs some work. This recipe development stuff, it’s a process, made all the more challenging by getting a new CSA box each week. Ideally, when developing a recipe, you want to make it a few times to work out the kinks, but that opportunity may not come with the next box. So bear with me!

Summer 2017 Week One CSA Share and Meal Plan

There’s nothing quite as exciting as the first CSA pickup of the summer season. That may sound like an overstatement, but I truly look forward to the first pickup all spring. There’s something different and better about getting handed a box of produce rather than having to go shop for yourself. So to kick off the season, here we have our summer 2017 week one CSA share and meal plan!

This week we got a bunch of beets, mixed baby greens, shell peas, kale, lettuce, and strawberries. The season usually starts off a little slow and greens heavy, but I view it as easing into the process.summer 2017 week one CSA

Storing your share

  1. Lettuce greens (heads and mixed spring greens): if starting with a head of lettuce, pull the leaves off individually and place in a bowl of cold salted water for a few minutes. It will both help to refresh the greens and loosen any dirt or tiny bugs. Stillman’s Farm does not spray their greens at all, so you might find little gnats or aphids squished between the leaves. Then spin dry, tear into bite sized pieces, and store in a large ziploc bag or tupperware container.
  2. Beets: separate the beets from the greens and wrap each in a produce bag.
  3. Kale: put in a produce bag to store until you’re ready to use.
  4. Strawberries and peas: I think you should just eat them both right away, but if, for some reason, you don’t want to eat them at their freshest and most delicious, leave them in the produce bags until you’re ready to eat.

What to cook

I’m going to post tomorrow night about meal planning, so check back if you’re interested in my process.

Based on what’s in the box this week, it’s pretty obvious that salad needs to be on the menu. I’m thinking a big steak salad with the beets and a lighter, simpler salad with some strawberries and burrata. If either turn out yummy, expect to see them on the blog later this week. With the rest I plan to make Lemony Kale pesto over pasta, Yotam Ottolenghi’s chickpea sauté with beet greens instead of Swiss chard, and pea and goat cheese ravioli if I’m feeling motivated (or, you know, I might just eat the peas straight). If I’m feeling really really motivated, I’ve seen homemade breakfast pastries all over Pinterest recently and I have this dream of a strawberry basil jam filled toaster pastry with a balsamic glazed frosting. But we’ll see if that happens…

Winter CSA share – February pickup

February makes that last pickup of my Still Life Farm winter CSA. Somehow, we’re still getting fresh greens! And homemade jam – yessss! This pickup weighed a whopping 27 pounds which brings us to over 110 pounds of fruits and vegetables over the course of this season.

CSA pickup February 2017

We’ve got potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, beets, radishes (three kinds!), carrots, kohlrabi, red cabbage, butternut squash, winter sweet squash, purple kalettes, bok choy, apple, popcorn, dried hot peppers, and raspberry jam (not pictured).

I’ve already got some ideas about where all this will end up (well, mainly in my belly), so follow along with me to enjoy these veggies in style.

A note going forward: As I mentioned, this share marks the last pick-up of winter. With my summer share not starting up until June, that leaves a whole four months without a CSA. I’m going to use these next months to cook some more from the farmer’s market (there’s still plenty of good produce there, so check it out) and to hopefully work on some recipes for summer, so keep checking back. There should still be new content going on over here.

Winter CSA share – January pickup

January brings pickup number four of my Still Life Farm winter CSA and 8 inches of snow. We’re really getting into winter here in New England, but somehow, we still got fresh greens! There have been years where this has not been possible, so to see greens in January is fantastic. This was all part of 23 ½ pounds of fruits and vegetables!

Winter CSA January 2017
So what did we get this time? We got a head of garlic, three onions, a bunch of kale, a bunch of bok choy, a butternut squash, an acorn squash, a pile of Brussels sprouts, a few purple diakon radishes, sweet potatoes, white and red-skinned potatoes, two purple topped turnips, a rutabaga, two handfuls of carrots, a pile of apples, a head of napa cabbage, some sprouted kale (I’m told its a kale and Brussels sprouts hybrid), a bundle of dried Thai peppers, and a beautiful purple cob of dried corn for popcorn.

For this box, I’m thinking a stir-fry or two, some pizzas, a rutabaga gratin (what?!), and some soup-like-dishes.

Follow along as I work my way through this share. Bear with me though – I am still very new to this whole blogging thing, and recipe development (and actually writing down what I do) when you have a full time job is harder than I thought!