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.

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.

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!

Charred Green Tomato Salsa

IMG_7015 (3)My final (weh!) Potter Hill CSA share this week was leeks, yokatta na, lettuce, parlsey, delicata squash, sweet potatoes, green tomatoes, red tomatoes, and pea tendrils. The lettuce went into a simple salad alongside Spanish tortilla (made with potatoes leftover from last week). I used the yokatta na (instead of chard) and tomatoes in this delightful crispy lamb with chickpeas and garlic yogurt (I LOVE a good garlic yogurt). Some potatoes and leeks are going into this sheet pan chicken with harissa, but you could always go the classic vichyssoise route. At this point in the season the pea tendrils are a little tougher, so I prefer to cook them before eating. They would be great as one of the greens in rice bowls, or sauteed and added into a frittata. When it comes to winter squash I prefer recipes that have an element that contrasts the sweetness, and the peppery arugula and bitter radicchio in this salad make my heart sing. 

It seems silly to give meal ideas to consume salsa with…but this is a substantial amount of salsa. We ate some of our salsa with chips and on of my absolute favorite meals (which happens to be very festive!): burrito bowls. I made the recipe exactly as shown, with the addition of pickled onions. Tortilla casserole, enchiladas, and breakfast burritos are all meals where I can see this salsa making more appearances. 

Even though the CSA is ending, you can still buy produce weekly from Paul by putting an order in over the weekend and picking up on Monday. Thanks for cooking through the season with me!

Charred Green Tomato Salsa

Makes 1 quart.

I didn’t have any fresh jalapeño when I was making this salsa, but if I did I would have cut it in half and charred it along with the rest of the vegetables (you could remove the seeds for less heat). The fresh jalapeño would replace the pickled, but I would still use some of the brine if I had it. If you don’t have any pickled jalapeno brine, you can sub white vinegar or up the lime juice to 3 tablespoons. Please note this is not a recipe intended for canning (but here is one if you’re looking).

  • 2 lbs green tomatoes
  • 1/2 lb white onion (this was 2 small onions for me)
  • 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeño
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro and stems
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño brine (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (mine was from 1 lime)

Preheat your broiler on high, and move your oven rack to the setting closest to the broiler.

Quarter the tomatoes (or cut into eights if extremely large). Quarter the onions through the root and remove the skin. Put the tomatoes, onions, and garlic on a baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes check on the vegetables and move them around so they char evenly. Keep broiling and checking in 5 minutes increments until they are all nicely charred but not fully black. You may need to remove the garlic, as it will char much faster than the tomatoes and onions.

While the vegetables are charring, put the pickled jalapeño, cilantro, salt, jalapeño brine, and lime juice in a food processor and pulse to chop (but don’t puree).

When the vegetables are charred let them cool slightly. Peel the garlic, and cut the root ends off of the onions. Put the garlic, onions, and green tomatoes in the food processor and pulse until chunky. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, lime juice, pickled jalapeno, or brine as needed. Make sure to taste before the salsa is at your desired texture, because you will continue to process it as you add more ingredients. Once the seasoning is to your liking, puree to your desired smoothness and get out the chips.

Roasted Carrot and Farro Salad

IMG_20191009_121848637 (3)I was flipping through cookbooks for inspiration this week and landed on a recipe in my perennial favorite cookbook, Dinner, for a farro salad with crispy leeks and chickpeas. It sounded delicious, but also made me think of Smitten Kitchen’s Honey and Harissa Farro Salad. For my ultimate fall salad I decided to combine the two for a hearty, one bowl meal that has sweet carrots, robust harissa, salty feta, tangy lemon, and crispy leeks, united with the heft of chewy farro and chickpeas. It can easily be made vegan by omitting the feta and swapping maple syrup for the honey, and is excellent at room temp for lunch on the go.

My full share this week was cucumbers, tomatoes, yokatta-na, leeks, carrots, onions, potatoes, lettuce, basil, and parsley. The cucumbers went into sushi bowls (I just make a quick pan roasted salmon with soy sauce instead of the packets). The yokatta-na is going into a quick noodle dish with tofu and soy sauce. Any mix of roasted an raw vegetables are great toppings for tofu bowls. My absolute favorite leek and potato soup is a great fall meal if all this rain doesn’t have you in the mood for salad. If you’re looking for a grain-free option for dinner, these root vegetable bowls are filling and so bright tasting you’ll forget the days are getting shorter.

Roasted Carrot and Farro Salad

Adapted from Dinner and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Serves 4 as a main, or 8 as a side.

  • 3 small leeks (about 6 ounces/1 1/2 cups sliced)
  • 1/2 lb carrots (3-4 depending on the size)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15.5 ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons harissa
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 ounces full-fat feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced dill

Preheat oven to 425F. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and then into 1/4″ slices, then wash and dry. Quarter carrots lengthwise and chop into 1/2″ pieces. On separate sheet pants, toss the carrots and leeks each with 1 1/2 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt (the last 1/4 teaspoon salt will go in the dressing). Spread the carrots out on the sheet pan, while keeping the leeks close together in the middle of the pan so they brown but don’t burn. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring the pans halfway through. The leeks should get charred, but not completely burned. If the leeks are starting to burn clump them closer together.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Put in the farro, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30-35 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk the harissa, honey, extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the drained farro, chickpeas, feta, leeks, carrots, feta, dill, and parsley. Stir to combine, taste, and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.

Bok Choy Rice Bowls

IMG_20190925_121921318 (3)When I picked up my share this week Paul handed me two huge, beautiful bunches of bok choy. They are one of my favorite greens to cook with, and are really two vegetables in one. The leaves are tender and vegetal, and the stems have a great, slightly watery crunch (but aren’t nearly as fibrous as chard or kale stems). I often stagger the cooking of the stems and greens as I’ve done in these bowls so the greens don’t overcook. Besides in stir fries, bok choy is great in soup, or can be roasted to up the crispy factor.

These bowls are my perfect weeknight meal. They come together in the time it takes to cook rice, are packed with vegetables, have a flavorful sauce, and are easily adapted at the table to each diner’s personal preference. (Not everyone likes as much chili crisp as my husband…) I love a good tofu bowl, but sometimes draining, marinating, and roasting is just not what I have energy for.

My full Potter Hill share this week was lettuce, bok choy, eggplant, onions, kale, cherry tomatoes, savory, and apples. I used the lettuce and apples in a big salad with cucumbers and lentils with a green dressing very similar to this one. I just snacked on the cherry tomatoes, but they would be great in couscous salad, a big salad with ranch dressing, or pizza. The eggplant is destined for moussaka, but you could go for vegan teriyaki eggplant (double the sauce) or not-at-all-vegan eggplant and roast beef sandwiches. Kale and apples make for a great autumnal salad. Kale is also one of my favorite greens to pair with eggs (exhibits A, B, and C). I just bought some vinegar powder that I’m very excited to experiment with, and I’m going to dust some roasted potato wedges with savory.

Bok Choy Rice Bowls

Serves 4

Adapted from Dinner by Melissa Clark

Notes: The photo above differs slightly from the recipe below. It was dark by the time I finished cooking dinner, so I waited until lunch to take photos. I forgot to bring the kimchi and sauce to work 😥 so those are absent, and I made a 6 minute egg instead of a fried one. What is written below is how I will be remaking the recipe.

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1¾ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
  • 1 large bunch bok choy (mine was 14 ounces)
  • 4 eggs

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For Serving:

  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • Sesame seeds
  • Furikake (optional)
  • Chili crisp or your favorite spicy condiment (optional)

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a small pot with a lid. Add the rice, stir, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 40 minutes.

Put all sauce ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

Cut off the base of the bok choy if it is a single plant. Separate the stems from the greens. Chop the greens and wash. Wash the stems and cut them into ½” inch pieces (slice the stems in half lengthwise first if they are more than 1″ thick).

Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add 1½ teaspoons oil, and when hot add the Bok choy stems. Cook for 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the greens and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes until wilted. Place in a bowl and wipe out the pan. Heat and add the remaining oil. Fry the eggs to your desired doneness (I recommend over-easy).

Serve bowls with rice, greens, eggs, sauce, kimchi, scallion, sesame seeds, furikake, and chili crisp.

 

 

Gazpacho

IMG_7001 (3)I found it hard to believe that this recipe wasn’t already posted here. I’ve been making this gazpacho for over 10 years, and it remains my favorite. It has classic ingredients, and with a food processor comes together in about 15 minutes. By design it is a chunky gazpacho, but you can adjust the texture by pureeing some and stirring it back into the bowl (or puree individual portions, if like me, some at your dinner table like a completely smooth gazpacho while others do not. I’ve struggled to get excited about a lot of summer soups, but this one is so refreshing and easy I really don’t think I need any others.

What a bounty! My full Potter Hill CSA share this week was lettuce, radishes, yokatta na, chard, peppers, onions, eggplant, savory, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and large tomatoes. Some of the tomatoes and lettuce went into BLTs, the perfect September sandwich. Cherry tomatoes and onions went into these olive oil fried lentils from Dining In that have a Thai spin to them which were slightly weird, but really good. The eggplant and some greens went into this braised eggplant with minced pork. I’ve been eyeing this cottage cheese salad which uses radishes, tomatoes, and cukes, so that might be on the docket this weekend. Alongside this gazpacho, we had tofu shawarma, which might be the sandwich I’ve made most often in 2019.

Don’t forget all my Potter Hill recipes are tagged at the bottom (including the ones from last year!), so there is always inspiration at the ready for cooking.

Gazpacho

Adapted from Ina Garten

Serves 6

  • 1 large cucumber (~1 lb), halved and seeds removed
  • 2 peppers (~1/2 lb), halved and seeds removed
  • 2 large tomatoes (~1 1/2 lbs), cores removed
  • 1 small red onion (~1/4 lb)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and root removed
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon koshers salt
  • A few good grinds of black pepper
  • Hot sauce

Chop the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, and red onion into 1″ chunks (but keep them separate).

Start running a food processor with an S blade and drop in the 3 garlic cloves. When they stop bouncing around, scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula, then add in the cucumber. Pulse until the cucumber is chopped, but not pureed (it’s ok if there are some larger chunks lingering – texture!). Removed the cucumber and put it in a large bowl, then one at a time process the peppers, tomatoes, and red onion, adding each into the bowl when done.

Add the white vinegar, olive oil, tomato juice, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if you please) to the bowl and stir to combine. If you like a smoother texture, return some (or all) of the gazpacho to the food processor, puree, and stir back in to achieve your desired texture.

Roasted Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, and Garlic Pizza with Olives and Savory

img_20190829_120039935_hdr-2.jpg

I feel the same way every year, but this is really just the best time to eat. Perfect tomatoes, beautiful eggplant, vibrant lettuce and greens, sweet corn, tender berries, juicy melon, tart stone fruit and so many other bountiful vegetables are at their peak. My kitchen has been a very happy place this week as I try to cook as much as possible.

As it is apparent from this recipe, eggplant and tomatoes are my absolute favorites. I have a big list of recipes that I have to make for it to truly feel like summer, and eggplant pizza is always on there. I’ve made many iterations (two great versions are in that link), but I especially love this one with the sauce replaced with juicy, tangy, and sweet cherry tomatoes plus the briny contrast of olives.

My Potter Hill share this week was eggplant, beets, savory, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, and coriander. I used one of the eggplant and some onions in a noodle dish with coconut broth from Dinner (my perennial favorite). There was no cilantro left at the grocery store when I went shopping, so I just subbed the coriander from the share in (it was going into a spice paste) and it worked great. I made lamb meatballs with the last onion and paired them with a yogurt dill sauce and a cucumber and tomato salad (from, you guessed it, Dinner). If you’ve craving cooler weather you could use the beets and any leftover carrots from last week in roasted root vegetable bowls. Lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers could all go into this Greek-inspired salad I made last summer.

Roasted Eggplant, Cherry Tomato, and Garlic Pizza with Olives and Savory

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. I often use pizza making as a chance to use up any random cheese I have in the fridge, so feel free to try others than I listed here.

Serves 4

  • 1 pizza dough, storebought or homemade (see note)
  • 10 ounces eggplant (1 small), chopped
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic (do not remove the paper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces kalamata olives, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons minced savory
  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic cloves on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and bake 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).

While the tomatoes, etc. are roasting spread your dough on a baking sheet (I like to use a Silpat, or you could use parchment paper).

Peel the garlic cloves and chop. Build your pizza starting with the roasted cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and garlic, then the olives and savory, topped with the mozzarella and goat cheese.

Place your pizza in the oven on the bottom rack and cook for 10 minutes. The top should have nicely charred bits and the bottom should be crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a cutting board. (If you are using a Silpat you will need to peel it off before cutting. I just tuck one end under and pull it to the other side. It helps to have someone else hold the pizza put.) Cut and serve with red pepper flakes.

Athena Bowls

IMG_6979 (3)When I came home with my CSA share I laid the mountain of vegetables out on my kitchen table and started pulling out cookbooks. I was paralyzed with dinner indecision, but after much perusing I saw a recipe in Plenty  for “mixed grill” with parsley oil, that was essentially grilled eggplant and zucchini with a parsley sauce. I loved the idea but knew that I didn’t have quite enough vegetables for dinner and lunch leftovers. That recipe reminded me of my favorite root vegetable bowls with parsley sauce, which combine starchy vegetables and chickpeas to make a bright meal. Plus there was feta in those bowls, which paired with eggplant screams “Greek!”

This all led to the happy invention of what could be called Greek burrito bowls, but that sounded weird, and since there was no exact Greek dish I was turning into a bowl, it needed a whole new name. And thus we have Athena Bowls! Greek inspired, summery, filling, and vegetarian (easily vegan). Perfect for August, when the humidity breaks enough that turning on the oven is a thinkable act.

My full Potter Hill share this week was eggplant, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, shishitos, broccoli leaves, fresh onions, cucumbers, lettuce, thai basil and scallions. I’ve been eating the tomatoes and cucumbers in the morning over yogurt with Alison Roman’s savory granola from Dining In and it is heaven. The scallions went into a slaw for fish tacos, and the lettuce is went into BLTs tonight (first of the summer!!) with some charred shishitos and aioli alongside. If you need basil ideas I posted a bunch last week.

Athena Bowls

Inspired by The Mediterrenean Dish

Roasted Vegetables

  • ¾ lb eggplant, chopped into 3/4″ pieces
  • ½ lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz onion (1 small onion), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Lemon Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 oz onion (1 small onion), diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups of water, plus water for soaking
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Parsley Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup parsley leaves and soft stems
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For serving

  • 6 ounces full fat feta, crumbled
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (from one 15.5 ounce can, rinsed and drained)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and onion on a baking sheet with the olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss. Roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the eggplant is completely soft with some charred bits.

While the oven is preheating cover the rice in water and let soak for at least 15 minutes, then drain. In a small saucepan heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes (the onion should star to become translucent). Add in the rice and stir to coat. Add the 1 1/2 cups of water, cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit for 10.

Turn on a food processor with an S blade and drop in the garlic cloves. Let them process until you can no longer hear them bouncing around, then turn it off and scrape down the sides. Add the parsley and salt and process until minced. Turn on the food processor and stream in the olive oil and lemon juice until it is a uniform sauce. Alternatively, mince the garlic and parsley, then stir in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

To serve prepare bowls with rice, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, feta, and parsley sauce.

 

 

Two Herbal Citrus Summer Refreshers

IMG_6963 (3)When I picked up my share this week Paul (friend and farmer at Potter Hill) handed me two bunches each of lemon basil and holy basil and said “Here is your challenge for the week!” Apparently a lot of his customers aren’t sure what to do with these wonderfully fragrant herbs, so challenge accepted! My go-to preparation takes advantage of each of their unique flavors to make quick, but impressive summer refreshers: lemonade and limeade. These aren’t sugar packed, pucker-inducing ades, but truly refreshing summer beverages. They are easily adapted with different herbs, like mint and lemon verbena, or even heartier herbs like thyme and rosemary (for those I would scale back to ¼ cup). For a drink more like a soda use seltzer in place of the water, or turn them into cocktails by adding some gin or vodka. 

My entire share this week was the basils, lettuce mix, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, bok choy, fresh onions, and a bunch of carrots. The cherry tomatoes and bok choy went into a tofu curry from Melissa Clark’s Dinner (a very similar recipe is here). I used the zucchini and peppers in this wonderful, summery pasta with fried lemons (lemon basil would be great here too). The remaining peppers and onions were sauteed and served atop cheddar grits with some Short Creek poblano and cheddar sausage. The carrots are about to go into an Indian stir fry with coconut from Vegetarian India to be paired with dal.

Still looking for basil ideas? Summer rolls are one of my favorite hot weather meals, especially when paired with peanut sauce. Holy basil is an essential ingredient in classic Thai chicken stir fry Pad Kra Pao. Or give your pesto a twist by using lemon basil. And don’t forget to serve a refresher alongside!

Lemon Basil Lemonade

Serves 4

Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison.

  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup lemon basil (regular basil can be substituted)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups water

In the bottom of a pitcher muddle the lemon zest, sugar, and lemon basil until the basil is very fragrant, but the leaves are still intact. Add the lemon juice and water and stir to combine (make sure all the sugar isn’t sitting on the bottom). Chill for at least 30 minutes, and strain to serve.

Holy Basil Ginger Limeade

Serves 4

Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison.

  • zest from 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup holy basil (regular basil or Thai basil can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger (peel before grating)
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 4 cups water

In the bottom of a pitcher muddle the lime zest, sugar, holy basil, and grated ginger until the basil is very fragrant, but the leaves are still intact. Add the lime juice and water and stir to combine (make sure all the sugar isn’t sitting on the bottom). Chill for at least 30 minutes, and strain to serve.

Charred Onion Dip

IMG_6957 (4)Discovering that onion dip is something you can easily make yourself is life changing. Alton Brown was the first to show me this possibility, and while his recipe is good, it is not fast. When my mom discovered this recipe in Bon Appetit, everything changed. We started requesting it at every family dinner, and she even made enough for 85 people to serve at our wedding. It has all the creamy richness you want to slather on a chip, but tastes fresher than your usual onion dip because the onions are cooked hot and fast instead of low and slow, so they retain some of their bite. I would tell you to double this recipe, but know that people will eat as much of this dip as you put in front of them.

My share this week was leeks, cauliflower, lettuce, basil, cilantro, fresh onions, zucchini, and eggplant. The lettuce went into a giant salad I served with these buffalo veggie burgers and bleu cheese dressing. Eggplant and leftover bok choy from last week went into noodles with sesame sauce and chili oil. If you have any cucumbers, this smashed cucumber salad is both fun to make and delicious. The basil and zucchini went into this easy pesto bean dish.

Charred Onion Dip

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Serves 4-6

I adapted this recipe to take advantage of the fresh onions with their greens attached in my CSA share. If you don’t have fresh onions, you could use a shallot and scallions as the original recipe calls for. I don’t have a grill so I haven’t tried this yet, but I imagine you could halve the leek and onion bulb, and grill them along with the onions greens, then slice everything, instead of the slice first then broil method outlined below.

  • 1 fresh bulb onion, quartered and thinly sliced (3 ounces/¾ cup)
  • 1 ounce (1 cup) thinly sliced fresh onions greens (reserve a few for garnish)
  • 2 small leeks, dark greens removed, halved and thinly sliced (2.5 ounces/1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • ½ cup full-fat mayonnaise
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (this was ½ a small lemon for me)
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Potato chips for serving

Heat your broiler to high. On a baking sheet toss the onion, onion greens, and leeks with the olive oil and season with a hefty pinch of salt. Broil for 5-10 minutes total, checking after 5 minutes and monitoring closely. You want significant char on the onions, but not to turn the whole pan completely black. When the onions are done, remove from the oven and let cool.

While the onions are charring combine the garlic, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, buttermilk, and pepper in a bowl. Add the cooled onions and stir to combine. Garnish with the reserved onion greens and serve with potato chips (Cape Cod Kettle Chips are my favorite).