October CSA Ideas

I don’t have a recipe to post this week, but wanted to share some ideas for CSA cooking. My full Potter Hill Farm share this week included tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, husk cherries, shishitos, turnips, lettuce, chard, perpetual spinach, and mustard greens.

Got tomatoes? Red and green? The recipe booklet at the bottom of this post has an excellent tomato and chickpea curry with coconut milk (plus many other great ideas for tomatoes). Roasted tomato and eggplant soup is a dream, even if the color makes you think otherwise. I’ve been eyeing these fried green tomatoes, mostly because the sauce looks incredible (and every sauce needs a vehicle!). Charred green tomato salsa is also an excellent option.

Greens on your mind? I have big plans to make this spanakopita pie with my wealth of greens (I always use couscous, and it soaks up the extra liquid perfectly). Bok choy rice bowls are so easy and flavorful.

Root vegetables have your heart? This roasted carrot and farro salad is excellent as is, or with other root veg mixed in. Celeriac and apple slaw is refreshing and crunchy – a perfect side with roasted chicken or grilled pork chops.

What fall delicacies are you cooking?

Late Summer Hurrah Pizza

This pizza is a celebration of vegetables we associate with late summer, but are still coming in strong in early fall. It’s heavy with roasted eggplant and tomatoes, sauteed shishitos, kale, cheese, and finished with garlic oil. So…perfection?

My full share this week was green tomatoes, red tomatoes, kale, garlic, shishitos, mustard greens, celeriac, perpetual spinach, and watermelon radishes. I made burritos with sauteed perpetual spinach/radish tops, roasted sweet potatoes, beans, rice, and avocado. This risotto with beans, sausage, and bitter greens is a wonderful start of fall meal – hearty and warming but not heavy. I’ve been eyeing this bibimbap recipe for the weekend, which is a perfect way to use up any random veg you have. I also have a craving for Thai green curry, but I haven’t found a recipe I want to use yet (do you have one?!).

Late Summer Hurrah Pizza

As I’ve written before, this is my go-to pizza dough recipe, and I usually sub half of the white flour for wheat. It is a very wet pizza dough which I spread it on a Silpat on a baking sheet and cook it on the lowest oven rack. If this is your first time making pizza dough, I suggest this recipe for a slightly easier to work with dough. This makes 6 servings, which for me is a half sheet pan and a quarter sheet pan of pizza (or you could make 2 smaller pizzas instead of 1 large and 1 small).

  • 1 pizza dough, storebought or homemade (see note)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 pint fairy tale eggplant (or 1 regular eggplant), chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint shishito peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb low moisture whole milk mozzarella, shredded
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 handful basil leaves, chopped

Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the cherry tomatoes and eggplant on a baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the salt. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, and roast for another 10 until the eggplant is soft and the cherry tomatoes have shriveled a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the oven up as high as it will go (mine goes to 550F).

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high and saute the shishitos for 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Remove the peppers from the pan and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat for 1-2 minutes until the oil starts to shimmer, then pour over the minced garlic.

Spread your dough on two baking sheets (I like to use a Silpat underneath, or you could use parchment paper).

Build the pizzas with the eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers first, then the kale, followed by the cheese. Finish by drizzling with the garlic and olive oil (use it alllll up!).

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom is crispy and the cheese is browning and bubbly. Finish with basil and serve with red pepper flakes.

Stewed Chickpeas with Greens

Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark has soared to the top of my favorite cookbooks in recent years. The recipes are incredibly varied, assertively flavored, and chock full of vegetables. Aptly named, each recipe is dinner in its entirety, so I never have to think about what else I should make to fill out the meal. I really love any combination of beans and greens, but I was blown away by how this humble pot is transformed from beans and greens in a watery broth to a thick, rich stew with just a few blitzes of an immersion blender. Really good bread is a critical vehicle for the stew, and don’t skimp on the olive oil.

My full share this week was kale, perpetual spinach, mustard greens, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, shishitos, husk cherries, and acorn squash. I made 1.5x the recipe below and used all three bunches of greens. The tomatoes are going into this ridiculously good eggplant curry. Last week I made a “use-up-all-the-veg-in-the-fridge-meal” of roasted vegetable pasta inspired by this with greens, shishitos, mushrooms, and broccoli that was so great. This roasted squash salad is one of my favorites for fall – the sweet squash is perfectly balanced with bitter greens and acidic dressing.

Stewed Chickpeas with Greens

Serves 4

Adapted from Dinner by Melissa Clark

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 bunches greens, such as chard, kale, perpetual spinach, or mustard greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • A large pinch of chili flakes, plus extra for serving
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup stock or water
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Smoked paprika
  • Flakey salt
  • Pepper

Thinly slice 4 cloves of garlic. Halve the last clove and save for serving (I like to put it on the table so I don’t forget it.

Heat the half cup of olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot (all the greens need to fit in it uncooked). Add the sliced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it starts to brown at the edges. Add the cumin and chili flakes, stir, and cook for a minute more. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until it starts to brown at the edges.

Add the chickpeas, greens, and stock. Stir, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice. The greens should be totally wilted, but still a vibrant green.

Using an immersion blender, partially puree the mixture so it is more stew like, but still has intact beans and greens. Serve with toasted bread rubbed with garlic, smoked paprika, chili flakes, flakey salt, pepper, and olive oil for drizzling.

Thai-style Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables

This curry is my dream food. It has a wonderful, rich sauce made with coconut milk that’s heavily spiced with curry paste and aromatics, which is the perfect vehicle for your favorite vegetables. I used all the late summer stars: eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and bok choy. This is absolutely the time to use your favorite vegetables or whatever you have around. Green beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, other greens, carrots roasted squash, or sweet potatoes would all be excellent.

To make it a faster meal you can skip the longer cooking vegetables that may need to be pre-cooked like the eggplant, and instead just use tender vegetables that can be cooked in the coconut milk. The one vegetable I will insist on is cherry tomatoes (or some kind of tomato), which add a bright acidity and umami to the sauce. I turn to this recipe again and again because its so easy to throw together, especially because the tofu just needs to be drained and cubed (no marinating or roasting/pan frying!). Sub soy sauce for the fish sauce to make it vegan.

My full share this week was mustard greens, kohlrabi, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, shishitos, bok choy, acorn squash, and apples. Since I had a two big bunches of bok choy, one when into this curry and the other I sauteed with shishitos, then served under dumplings (mine were frozen, but if you’re feeling ambitious try these) with soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, and chili oil. The kohlrabi may go into a big all-in-one salad, or I could lean into fall with these roasted root vegetable bowls. This heirloom apple salad and this roasted squash are both speaking to me for later in the week.

Thai-style Red Curry with Tofu and Vegetables

Serves 4 as is, or 6 with rice

  • 1 package tofu (14 or 16 ounces)
  • 1 large or 2-3 small eggplant (~12 ounces), chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 2 large heads bok choy (~12 ounces), chopped, greens and stems kept separate
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro stems, minced
  • 1 serrano pepper, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 14-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime (~2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup sacred basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 350F. On a baking sheet toss the eggplant with the vegetable oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until completely soft and brown at the edges.

Drain the tofu and pat dry.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil, and when it is shimmering add the ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro stems, and serrano. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are tender and just beginning to brown at the edges. Add the red curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it is slightly darkened and starting to stick to the pan. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer covered. Cook for 5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to soften.

Add the tofu, bok choy stems, and eggplant. Stir to combine, cover, and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, so the bok choy stems soften and the eggplant/tofu soak in some sauce. Stir in the bok choy leaves, holy basil leaves, and chopped cilantro. Eat as is or serve with rice.

Warm Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Sausage

When Will asked what we were having for dinner the night that I made this, I told him “salad.” Then later on, as I was actually making dinner he drifted in, lured by the smell of Short Creek Sausage cooking.

“I thought we were having salad for dinner?!”

“It is salad…with sausage.”

😍

Apparently I had misled him, but he was not mad about it. I love this kind of meal: one that straddles the seasons with summer vegetables but prepared in a heartier (and hotter) manner. It still feels light and just the right amount of cozy.

My full share this week was cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, shishitos, dill, green beans, perpetual spinach, and chard. I sauteed the chard put it inside quesadillas with black beans and cheese, then topped them with a fresh tomato salsa, yogurt, cilantro chutney, and tamarind sauce inspired by these Indian-ish Nachoes (NYT link). I may need to do a reprise of these creamed shishitos, which were seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made. Especially since Paul’s shishitos are on the spicier side, they were just delightfully balanced with the cream. The perpetual spinach will be sauteed with garlic and ginger as an easy side with storebought dumplings, topped with chili oil, Chinkiang vinegar, and soy sauce.

Warm Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Sausage

  • 1 lb green beans (different colors are great!), trimmed
  • 1 lb sausage (I used smoked tomato and herb sausage from Short Creek)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium tomato (~8 oz), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped herbs (I used dill, parsley, and 1 scallion)
  • 4 slices of good, crusty bread, chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

Cut the sausage in half, then chop into large chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. As it cooks continue to break it up further. When the sausage is fully cooked and starting to brown add the cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, and garlic. Stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes are warmed through and starting to break down and give off their juices.

In one more pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When it shimmers, add the chopped bread, stirring so it is coated in oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every minute, until the bread is browned on all sides.

Finish the salad by tossing the cooked beans with the sausage and tomatoes. Serve warm or room-temp with croutons on top.

All-in Kale Salad

This is my absolute favorite kind of salad. It’s a riot of textures, colors, and flavors. Every bite has a little bit of everything and it is an excellent use of whatever vegetables you have around. This version has kale, spicy salad mix, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, parsley, sunflower seeds, leftover chicken (from this), feta, and a Dijon dressing to tie it all together.

My full share this week is cherry tomatoes, giant tomatoes, shishitos, bok choy, kale, parsley, and spicy salad mix. I felt like I have not been eatin enough tomatoes, so I took one giant one, chopped it up, sprinkled it with fancy salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, and inhaled the bowl as a snack. I ate the bok choy alongside this braised tofu, which didn’t have enough sauce for me (but anything can be fixed with some chili oil). I’m planning to use the rest of my tomatoes underneath some grilled steak with creamed shishitos. If you snagged some eggplant, I highly recommend these vegan tortas.

All-in Kale Salad

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt
  • A few grinds of pepper

Salad

  • 1 bunch kale, chopped (~4 cups)
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch spicy salad mix (or lettuce, or arugula), chopped (~2 cups)
  • 2 carrots, grated on the largest holes of a box grater (~1 cup)
  • 4 ounces crumbed full-fat feta
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken (or 1 cup chickpeas/white beans)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds (pepitas would also work)

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

In a large bowl add the kale and half the dressing. Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale, so it turns from dull to shiny and significantly reduced in volume. When you’re ready to eat, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss to combine. Serve with the remaining dressing.

Tomato salad with cucumers, feta, and savory

With all the beautiful produce pouring out of farm stands this time of year, its really less about cooking and more about just letting great produce be its best self. A sprinkle of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and maybe a quick blister are all it takes to have a great meal or side. One of my favorite assemblages of vegetables is the exceedingly easy tomato salad. Chopped tomatoes make for a meaty base, their juices combine with olive oil and vinegar to make a perfectly acidic dressing, cucumbers and onion provide cool crunchy contrast, and savory adds the perfect herbal note. I gussied this one up ever so slightly with some feta cheese, but you can leave it out for a vegan stunner salad.

If you haven’t had savory before, it is a delightful herb with a woodsy flavor akin to rosemary, but the leaves are much more tender so it lends itself nicely to salads as well as cooked applications. If you are craving fall foods you could tuck some savory in with a roasted chicken and on roasted potatoes/root vegetables. If you are still embracing summer vegetables but aren’t afraid of turning on the oven, this pizza with cherry tomatoes and eggplant spans the seasons. This cherry tomato and sausage bake is one of my absolute favorite recipes, with an exceedingly high flavor return with minimal effort (don’t forget great bread for serving!). Savory would sub nicely for the herbs called for.

My full share this week was tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, kale, basil, dill, parsley, spicy salad mix, and beets. I was still working through a giant zucchini from last week, so I used that and some herbs to make zucchini fritters (NYT link) along with some Short Creek maple breakfast sausage and eggs for an excellent breakfast-for-dinner situation. Green beans are going into this truly epic roast chicken salad, but another great option is the marinated green beans that I love so much my mom made them for my wedding.

Tomato salad with cucumers, feta, and savory

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 medium cucumber (about 10 oz)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced savory
  • 4 ounces full-fat feta cheese

In a large bowl combine the lemon juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Thinly slice the onion, and add to the bowl, tossing to coat it in the dressing. Let the onion sit while you chop the tomato and cucumber (peeled if the skin is tough) into 1″ chunks, half the cherry tomatoes, and mince the savory. Add all to the bowl with the onions and toss to combine. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving. Cube the feta into 1/2″ chunks and toss in salad. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.

Blistered Shishitos with Aioli

I had never heard of Shishito peppers until a couple years ago, and then all of a sudden they seemed to be on every trendy restaurant menu. I became quickly obsessed with them, but was not interested in paying $10 for a tiny plate of them. Thankfully Paul started growing them, and his are easily the most flavorful ones I’ve ever had. While I know you can do more with them, I’ve honestly never gotten past giving them a quick blister in a pan and serving them with a simple aioli. They are the perfect, simple summer appetizer or side.

My full share this week was cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, Shishito peppers, lettuce, zucchini, scallions, and tokyo bekana. The tomatoes and lettuce went into BLTs. I made a pizza with a lot of random fridge bits, not too far from this one. Since I already bought bacon, I may make some zucchini carbonara. Scallions went into my absolute favorite eggplant dish, fish-fragrant eggplant.

Blistered Shishitos with Aioli

Serves 4 as an appetizer

  • 1/2 lb shishito peppers (this was 2 pints for me)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat mayo
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt for serving

Wash and dry the peppers.

In a small bowl add a pinch of kosher salt, the grated garlic, mayo and lemon juice. Stir or whisk to combine.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Drizzle in some oil, then add the peppers and toss. Let the peppers cook for 1-2 minutes, until their skin starts to blacken and blister. Toss so they continue to blacken and blister on the other side for another 1-2 minutes. When each pepper has charred spots on multiple sides, remove from the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve with aioli.

Summer Salad with Tapenade

We’ve officially entered my favorite month of the year. And I do mean entered, because my favorite month is not August, but mid-August through mid-September. In my mind the best produce isn’t limited to calendar months, but this last third of summer. While we’re still enjoying cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans, tomatoes start to come in hot, as well as eggplant, peppers. Sweet corn kernels burst off the cob, melons are ripe, berries are still in full swing. Greens love the relief from the hot weather, and then we start to see some fall veg come in. There really aren’t enough meals in the day to eat all the goodness.

This salad is a bounty in a bowl. Take whatever veg you have and toss it with a bold tapenade for an easy dinner. The mix of cooked and raw vegetables makes for an interesting salad, and it’s vegan if you leave out the anchovy. Add in some additional protein like beans, hard-boiled eggs, or cooked meats if you want to bulk it up.

My full share this week was potatoes, husk cherries, tomatoes, scallions, fresh onions, hole-y arugula, carrots, holy basil, zucchini, shishito peppers, melon, and a few tiny eggplant. For lunch one day I made egg salad sandwiches with arugula and tomato. Half a giant zucchini, a tomato, and some onions went into a savory galette inspired by this one and this one, served with blistered shishitos on the side. My remaining zucchini and scallions are going alongside this Yakitori-style salmon (NYTimes link). Holy basil is going into Pad Kra Pao. I highly recommend embracing the slightly lower temps to turn on your oven for roasted eggplant and cherry tomato pizza or Athena bowls.

Summer Salad with Tapenade

Serves 4

Adapted from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark

  • 1 medium eggplant (or about 6 fairytale)
  • 1 medium zucchini (or half a large one)
  • 1 lb new potatoes
  • ½ lb green beans
  • 1 bunch of arugula (about 4 oz), chopped
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more fore drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup chopped parsley (a large handful)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 anchovy
  • Juice of ½ a lemon, plus extra wedges for serving
  • 1 anchovy filet
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Chop the eggplant and zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through, until completely soft and browned at the edges. Let cool.

While the eggplant and zucchini are roasting, place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water (we’re going to cook the beans with the potatoes in the came pot, so make sure it is big enough for both). My potatoes were quite varied sizes, so if that’t the case cut the larger ones in half or quarters so they match. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce all the way through. In the last minute of cooking put the green beans in the pot. Drain both and let cool.

Chop the tomatoes and halve the cherry tomatoes. Combine them in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, start the motor and drop the garlic clove in from the top. When you can’t hear it bouncing around anymore stop the machine and wipe down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add in the olives, capers, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice from 1/2 a lemon, and anchovy fillet. Pulse a couple times, then scrape down the sides. Pulse again until the olives are uniformly chopped but not pureed.

Build salads with a base of arugula, topped with potatoes, roasted eggplant and zucchini, green beans, a few scoops of tomatoes, and a dollop of tapenade. Finish with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Potato, Tomato, and Leek Frittata

I’m not quite sure how I’ve spent this many years blogging and not posted a frittata recipe. Frittatas are my dinner when I don’t have a real plan, my lazy Sunday breakfast, and my special brunch dish. I guess there hasn’t been a recipe yet because I rarely make the same one twice. They are such a perfect repository for random vegetables, leftover meat or beans, whatever bits of cheese I have around, and even cooked pasta.

My basic rule is that I want the majority of the filling to be pre-cooked. Some raw vegetables are ok, but only raw vegetables makes it too likely that some will end up undercooked, or there will be too much water in your frittata. Since this has potatoes in it my husband was lobbying HARD for me to call this a TORtilla (my name is Tori, in case we’re just meeting). Sorry, Will.

My full share this week was holy basil, kale, young leeks, scallions, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes. I used the holy basil to make this ginger limeade – such a delight on hot days. Zucchini, scallions, and some basil from last week went into this fried zucchini pasta (I didn’t have parsley so that’s why I used scallions) alongside with sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (could there BE a more summery meal??). I’ve been sticking shredded carrots everywhere: in slaws, on top of salads, and in sandwiches. What are you cooking?

Potato, Tomato, and Leek Frittata

Serves 4

  • 1 lb new potatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh leeks, or 2 regular large leeks (about 3 cups once sliced)
  • 1 large tomatoes (mine was 9 oz)
  • 2.5 oz salami or cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced scallions or chives

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Halve and thinly slice the leeks. Put them in a salad spinner or a large bowl and cover with water. Swish around and then let sit for 5 minutes so all the dirt falls to the bottom. Using the strainer or with your hands, pick up the leeks without removing the water, so the dirt stays at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat a 12″ cast iron pan over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the leeks. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add in the salami or bacon, cook for a couple minutes more, and then remove from the pan and turn off the heat.

While the leeks are cooking thinly slice the potatoes 1/4 inch thick and cover with cold water in a pot. Add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Once boiling cook for 5 minutes, until the potatoes soften but are not breaking apart. Drain.

In a bowl beat the eggs with the milk and add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Slice the tomato into 1/4″ thick slices.

Turn the heat under the pan back up to medium high. Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan, and tilt so it coats the bottom evenly. Add a single layer of the cooked potatoes, and 1/2 the leek/salami mixture. Add another layer of potatoes, and the rest of the leek salami mixture. If you have any more potatoes put one more layer, then finish with the tomato slices. Pour the egg mixture evenly around the pan. Cook on the stovetop for 5 minutes, then place in the over. Cook for 10-15 more minutes, until the egg is completely set on top. Finish with scallions or chives and serve.

(If you want to be really extra, serve with a quick aioli: whisk 1/4 cup full fat mayo, 1 small grated garlic, and a pinch of salt.)

Lo mein-style noodles with greens

The alternative title for this post was “Personal Preferences Noodles.” My favorite grocery store in Worcester is the aptly described Asian Supermarket, is one of two in a very small chain of grocery stores, similar to H MART. As with any grocery store that imports a lot of food, sometimes the English translations are questionable and downright hilarious.

The instructions on my favorite noodles, which I used for this recipe, are as follows:

  1. Use the right amount of water to boil, and the surface into the boil water then use chopsticks for 5-7 minutes.
  2. To pick up the noodles, remove the water and you can add to personal preferences sauce, then you can eat the noodles.

Followed by the instructions are the “Features:”

  1. This product is made using a traditional method.
  2. The noodle is springy and unique taste.
  3. Boils the cooking liquor not to be muddy.

What is the “right” amount of water? What am I doing with my chopsticks?? Does Moses come to help remove the boiling water from the pot??? The only thing I follow is adding “personal preferences sauce,” which in this case is a very simple combination of sesame oil, soy sauce, and Shaoxing wine, plus lots of chili oil at the end.

This is what I always wish would appear when I order takeout lo mein – noodles with just a ton of greens. If you wanted to up the amount of greens the noodles could definitely handle it – a few weeks ago I put literally all of the greens from my week’s CSA into a version of this dish.

My full share this week was zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, lettuce, broccoli, rainbow tatsoi, basil, parsley, and scallions. I used the lettuce, cukes, tomatoes, grated carrots (from a previous week) and some scallions in a riff on buffalo cauliflower salad. This smashed cucumber salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy summer and get out and lingering frustrations. Summer squash and herbs are perfect for this gratin with salsa verde.

Lo mein-style noodles with greens

Serves 4

Adapted from Serious Eats

  • 12 ounces chopped greens, such as tatsoi, bok choy, kale, or chard (about 2 large bunches)
  • 24 ounces of sliced cabbage (about 1/2 a small one)
  • 12 ounces Chinese wheat noodles (spaghetti will do in a pinch)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (plus more if needed)
  • 1 14-ounce container firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for drizzling on the noodles
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry cooking sherry)
  • 2 ounces chopped scallions (from 3 giant CSA ones) – about 1 heaping cup
  • 1 tablespoon spoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • For serving: chopped basil, additional soy sauce, and chili oil

Combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, shaoxing wine.

Bring a large pot filled halfway with water to a boil. Boil the noodles according to the package directions (…or not!!!) until cooked. Drain, drizzle with sesame oil, and toss to coat.

In a large wok or pan heat 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat until it starts to smoke. Add in a big handful of the cabbage, and toss for 2-3 minutes, until wilted and starting to char, but not soft all the way through. Remove cabbage from the wok into a bowl, add another tablespoon of oil, and repeat with another large handful of cabbage. Do this with all the cabbage and greens.

Finally, cook the tofu in the same way – splitting into batches and allowing it to brown slightly. Add into the bowl with the greens.

After all the greens and tofu have been cooked, return the pan to the heat. If no residual oil remains, add a tiny bit. Add in the sliced scallions and cook for 1 minute to char, then add in the noodles and toss to reheat. Add the sesame oil/soy sauce/shaoxing wine mixture, garlic, white pepper, and all of the greens back to the pan and toss to coat and combine.

Finish with basil. Serve with additional soy sauce and chili oil.

Grilled Zucchini Bowls with Chickpeas and Pesto

Now is not the time for turning on the oven or storage vegetables, but I was craving my winter root veg bowls so an update to the cooking method and vegetables was in order. I love this concept though – a ton of vegetables, chickpeas for heft and texture, plus a vibrant green sauce to tie everything together. This version has the “it” vegetable of July, summer squash, and any variety works – zucchini, yellow summer squash, pattypan squash. Grilling summer squash is my favorite summer preparation, but you can pan fry or roast.

This meal is easily scale-able – in my house one can of chickpeas is two servings, so you can easily halve or up it. The pesto should make enough for 6+ servings, and you can serve it on toast with eggs, over tomatoes and burrata, or on pizza.

My full share this week was two heads of lettuce, summer squash, rainbow carrots, fresh onions, cabbage, young leeks, kale, broccoli leaves, and purple basil. I used rainbow carrots, some of the cabbage, and the purple basil in a slaw I served atop rice noodles and some grilled BBQ tofu for a summer cold noodle situation. I used grilled extra squash while I was making these bowls to use in my favorite enchiladas (forgive the low-light photo – they are great!!) that I also stuck some chopped kale and onion tops into. Salad options for alllll that lettuce include: BBQ chicken peach, tzatziki with marinated lentils, chipotle ranch. I’m thinking about cooking the broccoli leaves and tougher, outer cabbage leaves a la collards for this dish, or in collards with peanut butter (don’t knock it til you try it). Hot, humid days call for cool beverages like these herbal citrus refreshers.

Grilled Zucchini Bowls with Chickpeas and Pesto

Serves 4

  • 2 large summer squash (mine were 40 oz total)
  • 2 cups packed soft herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro, dill and scallions (I used 1/4 cup of each of the above except basil)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more if needed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • 3 fresh onions (or 1 large onion), thinly sliced

Heat up a grill on high. Thickly slice the summer squashes, and coat with olive oil (3-4 tablespoons), salt, and pepper. Grill for 10-15 minutes, until they are thoroughly charred an soft all the way through (the flesh turns from an opaque white to more translucent). Let the squash cool, and then chop into 1/2″ pieces.

Thinly slice the onions. Heat up a large, deep skillet on medium high and pour in 1/2 cup olive oil. Add in the onions, and cook for 7-10 minutes, until they start to brown at the edges. While the onions are cooking, drain and rinse the chickpeas. After the onions are browned add the chickpeas, plus a few pinches of salt and grinds of pepper. Cook 10-15 minutes, until the chickpeas are visibly darkened and have a nice, crispy outside.

Turn on a food processor with the S blade in and drop the garlic cloves through the opening at the top. When the garlic cloves stop bouncing around they are fully minced. Turn the food processor off and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper, herbs, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Turn the food processor on to puree everything, then drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil so a smooth sauce forms (more if needed). Alternatively, very finely mince the garlic, herbs, and pine nuts (or mash in a mortal and pestle), then stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Build the bowls by dividing up the summer squash and chickpeas into 4 bowls then topping with a big spoonful of pesto. Serve with more pesto and olive oil for drizzling.

(Crumbled feta like I use in the winter version of this dish would be delicious on top.)

Chipotle Ranch Salads

My full Potter Hill share this week is two heads of lettuce, perpetual spinach, chard, kale, fresh onions, scallions, carrots, parsley, dill, and summer squash (what a bounty!!!). Since making 6 servings of the salad below only used up 1 giant head of lettuce, more salad is still in my future!! I’m planning to make chicken caesar wraps with this dressing, but this barbecue chicken salad with peaches is another excellent option. On Monday I went the classic easy dinner route, and make quesadillas with some sauteed chard, leftover grilled zucchini, and leftover grilled chicken and steak. I used the kale, perpetual spinach, and onion tops to make beans and greens, a perennial favorite (funnily enough I joked in that post about no one being able to leave the house without a salad that week…a familiar feeling). You can never go wrong with onion dip, but know that making your own will change you forever.

Now that we’re in the heart of zucchini season, here are a bunch of favorites: zucchini carbonara, zucchini herb salad, zucchini and corn enchiladas, summer quinoa salad, and pasta with zucchini, feta, and fried lemon (NYT). Whenever in doubt, cut long thick slices, coat them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw them on the grill with whatever else you are grilling. Finish with some lemon juice and a shower of herbs, or maybe even some pesto.

Chipotle Ranch Salads

Serves 6

This kind of salad works with whatever you’ve got. Leftover cooked meats and vegetables, or any other raw veg are great toppings. Mix it up!!

Dressing

  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or mayo (I used 2 tablespoons of each)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon liquid from chipotles en adobo
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Salad

  • 1 head of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 summer squash, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (1/4 of a large head)
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese (not pictured, because I forgot in this photo)
  • 1 small fresh onion, diced (pickled would be even better)
  • 2 cups crumbed tortilla chips

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Ideally you will do this before you prep the rest of the salad ingredients so it has time to mingle (at least 30 min). Refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste after it has time to rest and adjust the seasoning (but remember that you want the flavor to be strong because it will be diluted by the salad).

On a large platter (or on separate plates) build your salads with lettuce, cabbage, summer squash, beans, cotija, onions, and tortilla chips. Serve with dressing.

Pasta with Sausage, Zucchini, Kale, and Garlic Scapes

I think I can safely say this is my favorite pasta. A fun pasta shape, sausage countered with bitter greens, slight heat from the red pepper flakes, and loads of garlic is just my idea of heaven. I make versions of this fairly regularly, with the pasta and sausage staying consistent, but switching up the green veg, maybe adding sauteed onions, and always garlic. This is essentially just an adapted version of the classic Italian dish orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. If you don’t eat meat, I would add another tablespoon of olive oil to start and add in a couple 15-oz cans of creamy cannellini beans when you’re done cooking the veg.

My full share this week was lettuce, garlic scapes, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, radishes, parsley, and cilantro. I will admit I didn’t use up my basil from last week, but since it came with the roots I just stuck the bunch in a jar of water on the counter and it was still looking great at the time I made this pasta. Here is a great guide to washing and storing fresh produce to make your share last as long as possible. I do the same thing and plan my meals based on what needs to be used up first – always lettuce early in the week and sturdy veg bringing up the rear.

On Monday I made a Spanish tortilla and served it with a simple side salad of lettuce and radishes using the same dressing as last week. Another night I adapted a kofta recipe (Turkish meatballs) by adding shredded zucchini, and served them with bulgar, grilled carrots, garlic yogurt sauce, and cilantro. The kofta were almost a grilling disaster as they were too delicate to be flipped, but I managed to salvage them and dinner was still delicious. If you’ve never grilled carrots, these early ones are perfect for the grill – just scrub them well, halve them, give them a toss in olive oil and cook until charred, finishing with something creamy like yogurt or feta, and herbs. Tomorrow I’m planning on grilling some chicken thighs and zucchini for tacos, topped with radishes, onion, shredded cabbage, and cilantro. I made a chocolate zucchini bread this week, and I’m already eyeing this cake for my next giant zuke.

What are you cooking?

Pasta with Sausage, Zucchini, Kale, and Garlic Scapes

Serves 6-8

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more if needed
  • 1 lb Italian sausages (either sweet or spicy)
  • 1 large zucchini (mine was 25 oz)
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes (mine had 6)
  • 3 cloves garlic (or the white bottom section of fresh garlic)
  • 1 small bunch basil (about ½ cup chopped)
  • A large handful parsley leaves (about ½ cup chopped)
  • 1 lb short pasta (I used girelle)
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like!)
  • Fresh grated parm for serving

Chop the sausage into bite sized pieces if using links. Heat a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat (keep in mind the entire pasta dish will be finished in this pot so err on the large side). Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to heat up, then add the sausage. Cook until it is cooked through and browned.

While the sausage is browning, chop the zucchini into 1/2″ cubes. Remove the stems from the kale and roughly chop. Mince the garlic and chop the garlic scapes into 1/2 inch pieces (just do your best – they are hard to tame).

Using a slotted spoon remove the sausage from the pan and add 1 tablespoon more olive oil. Add in the zucchini, plus a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is soft and browned (about 10 minutes).

Put on a large pot half filled with water and a large pinch of salt to boil (not filling the pot with water means the water that is leftover is much more concentrated with pasta starch – essential for good sauce building). Cook the pasta until al dente. I find the cooking times on pasta vary wildly, so I set a timer for 5 minutes to start, taste it then, and then add time as needed.

Add in the garlic scapes, garlic and red pepper flakes to the zucchini pot and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes (the garlic should become fragrant), then add the kale in and toss to wilt. Add the sausage back to the pot.

When the pasta is done, use a slotted spoon to put it directly into the pot with the other ingredients. Add a half a ladle-full of pasta water to the pot, and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Roughly chop the herbs. Finish the pasta with the herbs, and serve with grated parm, and more red pepper flakes.

Big Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

During the winter, I’m a Sunday meal planner. I spend the morning flipping through cookbooks and scrolling through recipes I saved on Instagram to plan out meals for the week (usually leaving Thursday open to use up random odds and ends), followed by a big grocery shopping trip.

CSA eating shakes that up a bit as I don’t pick up my share until Monday (I’m ahead of you all for recipe writing purposes), which leaves a night that I arrive home with a bounty of fresh produce and just a drive back to Worcester to make a dinner plan. It being a Monday and all, dinner shouldn’t be too taxing. Since I can almost always count on lettuce, and I like to use up the most delicate veg first, the BIG salad often comes into play.

Big Salads in my house are dinner salads, with a base of lettuce or mixed greens, topped with crunchy veg, herbs, some kind of protein (usually beans or fish, sometimes leftover chopped meat) and finished with a zippy dressing.

You can make a big salad out of anything! Just follow these rules:

  • Have a mix of textures (below we have crunch lettuce and turnips, creamy beans, and meaty tuna)
  • Season well (always chopped herbs, salt, and pepper)
  • Make you dressing zippy (it should be a little too tart/sour/strong when you taste it straight, because all the other ingredients dilute it)

My full share this week was 2 heads of lettuce, salad turnips, chard, dill, basil, garlic scapes, kale, fresh onions, and carrots. If you’re not making the salad below, you could try this version with lentils and tzatziki. Early season root veg like radishes, turnips, and carrots are excellent in these turmeric noodles which barely require any cooking. I used up literally all the greens in my share by subbing them for the cabbage in this lo mein, along with the onion tops and garlic scapes (warning: if you make this you will be forever disappointed by take out lo mein). I’m very intrigued by the idea of potatoes on the grill which I want to try this weekend and finish with some fragrant dill.

Big Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing

Serves 3 as a main, or 6 as a side

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 small lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 head lettuce, washed and chopped
  • 3 salad turnips, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can tuna (or chopped chicken, or omit)
  • ¼ cup chopped kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup chopped dill

In a jar or bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Shake/whisk to combine.

Build your salad by layering lettuce, turnips, beans, tuna, olives, and dill. Finish with a grind of pepper, sprinkle of salt and your dressing.

(I didn’t have any feta when I made this, but it would be excellent on top.)

CSA Meal Ideas

I’m enjoying the woods in NH so I am skipping my CSA this week, but I wanted to pass along some ideas anyways. Last week the share had arugula, kale, rainbow tatsoi, purple kohlrabi, bok choi, salad turnips, and French breakfast radishes, so this week will probably have similar offerings (this photo is from a June CSA share last year, so it doesn’t match exactly – arugula, radishes, kale, yokatta na, lettuce, and perpetual spinach).

Arugula is my favorite sandwich green, and it also makes an excellent light salad. Just toss it with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and use it to balance something really rich, like a slice of quiche or pizza (in fact, I would put the salad right on top of the pizza). It also basically disappears if you stir it into pasta, either by itself or as a pesto.

This could easily be an all kale all the time blog, but I’ll try to keep it brief. Kale, potatoes, and eggs topped with hot sauce is my dream breakfast, but I’ll also take a great kale salad any day. Kale also makes a great pesto, but I would sub the roasted cauliflower for a grilled vegetable.

Let’s talk about greens. I use most of them interchangeably, so don’t feel like an Asian green can’t be cooked in an Italian dish (or vice versa!). The greens that top your radishes and turnips should also be eaten, and they last best if removed from their taproot right when you get home. Chicken meatballs filled with greens are great for green lovers and haters alike (though right now I’m feeling more of a yogurt sauce with those than the tahini sauce). Basic rice bowls always hit the spot and are a flash to throw together.

Radishes and turnips are perfect as is sliced on top of salads with a simple vinaigrette, or you could gussy your salad up and make fattoush. They are also perfect wherever you are looking for a nice, fresh crunch, like thinly sliced to top some tacos or a grilled piece of fish.

What have you made with your first CSA veg?

Spicy Salad Wraps

Hi! For those of you that are new here – my name is Tori. Every week I write a recipe to accompany Potter Hill Farm’s CSA, as well as give you tons of other ideas of what to cook to get the most good eating out of your share. By day I work as a Development Manager for a local non-profit, and by night I spend my time cooking with a heavy emphasis on vegetables. I use herbs liberally and my house motto is “Always More Garlic.” I tag all of the recipes with #potterhill so you can find this year’s as well as past year’s recipes. The search function in this WordPress theme is a little hidden, but it does exist! Just open up any one post (like the first one from the CSA last year) and scroll to the very bottom to find the search bar.

My share this week was salad turnips, kale, lettuce, arugula, spicy salad mix, 2 bunches of fresh onions, carrots, cilantro, and chives. First thing you should do when you get home is remove the greens from the turnips. The turnips are the food for the greens, so the greens will essentially suck the life out of the turnips if they stay attached.

The Red Lentil Coconut Stew I made last year would be excellent this week, just use a mix of greens and herbs and sub salad turnips for the radishes. I used the lettuce in a classic salad with shredded carrots (far superior than chopped carrots for salads). This Spicy Pork & Turnip Soup looks like the ramen I’ve been dreaming of eating out the last few months. If stew/soup sounds crazy to you right now, make a sandwich! Arugula is my absolute favorite green for sandwiches, because you can cram so much in for a nice crunch. (The wraps below are also a great choice!!)

In my house we call these “Health Wraps,” which is much more endearing than it sounds. They are really whatever we make when we need an easy, healthy weeknight meal. The main components are always wraps and hummus, and the vegetables always vary. A little lemon juice and olive oil wakes up the greens, but pesto would also be very welcome here. I went the lazier route and just added a bunch of chopped herbs.

Spicy Salad Wraps

Serves 2 – easily scales

  • 2 10″ wraps or tortillas
  • 2/3 cup hummus (a big swipe for each wrap)
  • 5 cups chopped spicy salad mix
  • 1 cup chopped herbs such as cilantro, chives, parsley, onion greens
  • 3 salad turnips, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pickles or kimchi, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Toss the chopped salad mix with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Taste a leaf – it should be tart and salty now, because it will be balanced out by the other ingredients. Build your wraps by putting a big swipe of hummus on each wrap, then topping each with half of the salad mix, herbs, turnips, and pickles. Roll up and enjoy!

Cooking Through Corona

wp-1587516956177.jpgIn this very bizarre time when it is essentially my job to stay at home and interact with others as little as possible, I am so glad that cooking is my main hobby. Besides literally powering my household, it gives me a concrete thing to do every day that doesn’t involve a screen. Meals can be as creative and complicated, or utilitarian as I’m in the mood for cooking (which I’m not always, so then there’s always an opportunity to eat Five Guys sitting in the backseat of my own car in a parking lot – a real quarantine happening). I’m also extremely grateful that I am quarantined in my own apartment, with all of my beloved implements and pantry items.

After doing this for a month now there are some definitely patterns emerging and things I’ve realized:

Cooking what I know brings me comfort. That’s not to say I haven’t been trying new recipes, but I have been relying a lot on old favorites I know I’ll have the pantry ingredients for. When I’m trying new recipes its from cookbooks I’ve used before from cuisines I’m familiar with, so I’m not trying to source a lot of new spices.

Ordering food online is a small joy. In the past I’ve been reluctant to order food online, so if I haven’t been able to find something in a store I’ve just gone without. With “online” becoming the most accessible version of most things now, that barrier doesn’t exist in my head anymore, so it has been fun to order a specialty products I’ve been eyeing (like yuzu kosho, dried chilis, heirloom dried beans, and fancy-ass pasta).

I used to grocery shop way too much. I love meal planning. I love grocery shopping. In normal times I would do both weekly – flipping through cookbooks, bookmarking recipes from Instagram, or getting recommendations from my mom to build a meal plan and making a huge list to fill it. I might do this without fully regarding what was in my fridge, or leaving open nights to improvise with what I have. I’d even suggested we should get a smaller fridge so I would be forced to pare down. I was also in the habit of putting things in the freezer but rarely using things from the freezer, causing for 80% of it to be full of mysteries and only the front 20% items actually getting used in a reasonable time (mostly stock, bread, and tomato paste). Now without other options I’ve actually used a ton of stuff from the freezer (The too-salty ramen broth I made! 3/4 of a pork butt! That random bread!) so I can easily find things AND fit new things in (WHO AM I?). The fridge is a similar situation, with there always being food but never to the point where I am wasting food because we just have too much.

There are many food experiences I am eager to have again: a leisurely shopping trip that includes a stop at the cheese counter, impulse purchases, and maybe a wine tasting, a cookbook club dinner party, eating in an environment that is not my own apartments. But maybe there are also some changes to my buying, cooking, and eating that will stick.

Photo at top is a Caesar salad with my favorite dressing, spicy chicken thighs seasoned with chili powder, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika, and croutons made from leftover foccacia.

Truly Great Vegetarian Sandwiches

vegetarian sandwichToday I went to an event for work that included a catered lunch. It was a classic sandwich spread: turkey with lettuce and tomato on a sub roll, ham and cheese on swirled rye, a vegetable wrap, salad, chips, and cookies. I took a half of each the turkey and the vegetable wrap. The turkey sandwich was an assemblage of things that were in function a sandwich, but the individual ingredients were indistinguishable and mostly devoid of flavor.

I had higher hopes for the wrap, which turned out to be a swipe of hummus, a piece of lettuce, and then just a mass of shredded carrots studded with sliced black olives and red onion (far more olives than onions…so many olives). While I can say there was at least texture from the carrots, it struck me as exactly the vegetarian sandwich that a person who has never in their life eaten a vegetarian sandwich would make: Just put a bunch of vegetables in it! And hummus for protein! Vegetarians love hummus!!!

This is not 1998, and we have so many more interesting an innovative meatless sandwiches to entertain our taste buds. Here are a few of my favorites:

This beet and sweet potato sandwich with feta (pictured at top) has raw vegetables that are pickled, cooked vegetables, herbs, and salty feta which make for a riot of flavors and textures (that post also has tons of tips for building vegetarian sandwiches).

If we’re going to talk about the recipe I’ve made the most times in the past two years, it just might be this tofu shawarma. Taking tofu, squeezing it dry, and then crumbling, spicing, and roasting it was a revelation to me. The small irregular pieces leave a ton of surface area for crisping. The warmly spiced tofu with a creamy, garlicky yogurt sauce in warm pita with crisp vegetables is the dream I wish for every time I fall asleep.  I often add in some other spices like turmeric or cumin, and serve it with whatever fresh and pickled vegetables I have around.

It is impossible to go wrong with burritos, and these burritos with black bean spread are a flash to put together (which I just use canned beans for).

I’m not actually against hummus wraps. Sure they are not the most interesting, but they do serve a great need of vegan, healthy, easily transported food (as you can see). But I like a mix of raw/cooked/and pickled vegetables, and another sauce for some punch (like pesto!). Sprouts make a great addition too.

If you’re not into hummus or just looking for something different, make these wraps with turmeric tahini sauce which have a great variety of ingredients, plus a zippy sauce to pull it all together.

Do you have a favorite vegetarian sandwich? Or another terrible vegetarian sandwich experience to share? Do tell!

 

Thanksgiving Menu 2019

img_20181121_143224258.jpgThis year’s Thanksgiving menu brought to you by a photo of my turkey last year, on the floor, which was the moment I realized I hadn’t, in fact, removed the backbone from the turkey to properly spatchcock it. I was struggling to truly flatten it, so I moved it to floor for maximum leverage. But no, I had accidentally done it backwards and removed the breast bone. I called my mom, we laughed about it, and I moved on as it seemed likely that by the time it was carved and on the table that no one would have any idea we were eating a backwards spatchcocked turkey. (I was right – all was fine.)

There is no shortage of Thanksgiving menu inspiration on the internet right now. What I feel most of them are lacking is the lead in question: are you hosting, or bringing one dish? The answer to this question will drastically impact what you cook. When I am hosting, and therefore doing the majority of the cooking myself, I select easy recipes with simple ingredient lists with cooking that can be spaced out, and are a mix between oven and stove top cooking. If I am bringing just one or a few dishes to someone else’s hosted celebration, I consider significantly more elaborate dishes.

So, as you read through the many menus and recipes posted, be sure to consider them with the eye of a specific cook. If you are hosting and cooking, then skip the green bean casserole with homemade mushroom sauce, but if you are only responsible for one dish then have at it!

I started keeping a Google sheet with a new tab for my Thanksgiving menu each year, so I no longer have to search for the random notebook I wrote my 2014 menu in. So far this year I’ve been especially inspired by Alison Roman’s Thanksgiving (worth watching the 40 minute video, but be warned, that if you do this before bed you may dream about hanging out with her). Other than that I’m relying on classics from Thanksgiving and some old favorites.

  • Turkey: Dry Brined, maybe spatchcocked if it fits in the fridge better that way (new recipe this year)
  • Stuffing (really Dressing, but I don’t like that word): Buttered Stuffing with Celery and Leeks (new recipe this year)
  • Gravy: giblet gravy (from Thanksgiving)
  • Potatoes: mashed with other root vegetables (Jamie Oliver)
  • Green Vegetable: bacon Brussels sprouts (from Thanksgiving)
  • Orange Vegetable: roasted carrots and parsnips (just winging it!)
  • Cranberry: homemade sauce as well as canned to please everybody
  • Dessert: pumpkin pie (made by my MIL)

What’s on your menu?

Previous menus and Thanksgiving posts can be found here.