Friday, June 15, 2012

CSA Inspired Food

The CSA is definitely helping me come up with some new ideas for things to make for dinner. The last couple weeks, I've been waiting until Tuesday to see what we get in our veggie pile before looking up recipes and deciding what to make for the week. Of course, then we all got sick and not only did nothing sound good but not much managed to get "cooked." So I'm trying to get back on course with making some good food this week.

Last week the CSA bounty was as follows:
  • Basil
  • Lettuce, both red and green
  • Beets, greens attached
  • Carrots, greens attached
  • Green onions
  • Garlic scapes - I've never seen these before, but the CSA folks said that they are the things that grow out of the ground from the garlic. They cut them off so that the plant will focus on growing the bulb itself, but you can eat and cook with the scapes like you can the bulb. Pretty cool.
And this is what I decided to do with some of it:
  • Pesto using the CSA basil, garlic scapes, and  some basil from our garden. The pesto would be for pasta one night and on a pizza one night.  Both would be served with salads to use up some of that lettuce.
  • Carrot top and quinoa soup
  • Asian chicken lettuce wraps, using the CSA lettuce, garlic scapes, green onions, and beet greens.
  • Roasted beets for salads
In and out of us all being sick, I managed to only make the pesto last week and have it on some pasta, but I am working on the the rest of it this week/weekend. Luckily all of the produce seems to be still hanging in there.


I hate this but I took no pictures of the pesto in progress or even the finished dish, but it turned out pretty well. I started with this recipe from Ina Garten, but of course I had to alter it a bit to use some of the things I already had to save a couple bucks. I used the garlic scapes instead of the garlic, which I think actually are a bit milder than the garlic bulbs, but they still provided really good flavor. I also used (I know, this part is weird) pecans instead of walnuts, because I had them already. I just knew I wouldn't use the rest of that bag of walnuts, so I just decided to try it.

Next time, I will add the oil a batch at a time, tasting in between, because I think mine is a bit too oil laden. I know, that's what pesto is, but I think the basil to oil ratio isn't as good as the stuff I have bought in the store.

As for the pasta dish, I kept it very simple. I chopped up a can of artichokes and a half jar of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil (dang, those things are pricey - anyone know of a good place to get these on the cheap?), threw those in a pan with the cooked pasta and a few spoons of pesto.  And maybe it was that I was in the mood for some comfort food, but wow, it was so good.

Here is a picture of it after it's been in my fridge for a week, before the rest of it heads to the freezer:

So hopefully I will have some more fun stuff to show you soon.  Assuming we all stay healthy.

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