Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We love soup

We love soup in our house and it is a great way to use up the abundance of greeens we have been getting. Check out this recipe from fellow CSA member Meg. We will definitly try this one. Thanks for sharing. K

Portuguese Green Soup (from Gourmet w/ modifications and comments)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch collard greens, center stems cut away, leaves thinly sliced
1 pound fully cooked spicy sausage (such as linguiça, andouille, or hot links), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
5 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 3/4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft and golden , about 5 minutes. Add collard greens and sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add sausage and sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer 2 cups soup (without sausage) to processor. Blend until smooth; return to pot of soup and bring to simmer. Mix in crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper.

Meg's modifications: I used TJs chicken and jalapeno sausages. I used 1/2 the EVOO and next time won't use any, just Fat Free Chicken Broth. I used my braun and pureed in the pot, probably too much. I think next time I will sieve out the potatoes and some broth and puree that. I didn't need any salt and pepper - it was well spiced.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sorrel? Sorrel!

One of the cool things about the CSA is the wide variety of vegetables you get each week - ones you've never tried before or in some cases, even heard of.  Last year, we received sorrel and after some recipe investigating online, we found this delicious and easy recipe for chilled sorrel soup on and made it several times last summer.  Sorrel is very good for you - a rich source of iron and potassium and contains vitamins A and C.  In last week's delivery, there was a bag of sorrel so we dug out the recipe and made it for dinner tonight.   Super easy and perfect for a hot night.  

4 tbs unsalted butter (tonight I used a little olive oil instead)
1 med onion chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. sorrel leaves, stems removed
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbs chopped parsley + extra for garnish
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
plain yogurt garnish

Heat butter in saucepan.  Add onions and saute until soft, 10 min.  Add garlic, 2 min.  Add sorrel and celery and cook 5 min. or until sorrel is wilted.  Add stock, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Simmer 20 min.

Blend, adjust seasonings - then chill.  Serve with yogurt garnish.   

Drinking Locally

Two weeks ago, I noticed that Toigo Orchards (Shippensburg, Pennsylvania) was selling bloody mary mix at their booth at the Del Ray farmer's market - Birth of Pain - so I bought a bottle (it was 6 bucks at the market, or 2 for 10.) I wish I had bought 2 (or more) because when I went back specifically to buy more this past saturday, they didn't have any with them. They make it with heirloom tomatoes, other fresh vegetables and spicy scotch bonnet peppers. The website says it is out of stock, so we are hoping that once tomato season fully hits its stride, they will be cranking out more of this delicous mixer so we can stock up. It was especially good when we garnished it with "Dilly Beans" from another booth at the farmer's market (I can't remember the name of the farm but they sold pickled string beans and other jarred products as well as free-range eggs, cheese, etc. - I'll get the name this coming saturday.)

So if you like spicy and tasty bloody mary mix, keep an eye out for Toigo Orchards' Birth of Pain.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Greens, Greens, Greens

So we picked up the vegetables today and are now completely inundated with lettuce and greens. We found this delicious recipe in a cookbook titled "Mediterranean Grains and Greens" by Paula Wolfert that calls for a lot of greens, plus it is very easy to make. Tonight we used chard - two bags (one from last week and this week's) - super tasty!


-3 quarts mixed greens: book suggests mixing it up between mustard greens, spinach, chard, arugula, but would probably work with just about anything
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-5 ounces lean ground lamb (Mt. Vernon Farms sells)
-1/2 tomato paste
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons medium- or long-grain rice

Trim all the greens and discard any yellowed leaves. Wash the greens well, then place in a deep pot with 1/2 cup lightly salted water. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water (if necessary, add water to make 1 cup). Allow the greens to cool, then squeeze out excess moisture. Roughly chop the greens to make about 3 cups.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet, add the onion, and saute until soft over moderate heat, about 2 minutes. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a fork, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes (we drained the fat). Add the tomato paste, pepper, allspice, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the chopped greens, reserved cooking liquid, and the rice. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until all the rice is fully cooked. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

The recipe ends there, but we add toasted pine nuts for that little something extra and we also added four more tablespoons of rice (and extra liquid) because we like to eat in our house.

week one follow up

This week has been so crazy busy. We did a pretty good job almost finishing off all the vegetables from our robust share ourselves. We still have one head of lettuce, chard, tons of garlic scape and some chives, oregano and basil. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to take pictures of what we were cooking. This blog thing is new to me and I hope to do better in the future.

Here is how the week went down.

Wednesday: we picked up the veggies and J made Portuguese Kale soup while I was at Yoga. I came home to the best meal. I had made homemade beef broth with soup bones that I got from Mount Vernon Farm the weekend before. J used this and some andouille sausage from “Let’s Meat on the Avenue.” We will probably make this again this week and I will try to take pictures and post the recipe.

Thursday: we made a huge salad with roasted beets that I had leftover from the farmers market and honey goat cheese from Cheestique. Check out the recipe we used from the food network. We made it without the avocado and used mixed baby greens instead of arugula.

Friday: we went out to Los Tios with friends.

Saturday: we made a huge stirfry with baby bok choy and cabbage from the CSA and asparagus and broccoli from the farmers market.

Sunday: whenever we get endive, chicory, escarole or frisee we like to make pasta with sausage. Basically, you cook ½ to 1 lb. hot sausage without the casing until cooked through and put aside, then sauté a chopped onion. In the meantime you should be cooking up some pasta. Once the onion is cooked add chopped escarole or one of the other above mentioned greens to the onions to wilt. Put the sausage back in the pan, add the cooked pasta and mix in some pecorino or parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday: we made a greek salad and grilled up some chicken. I used a bunch of the fresh oregano and chives in the dressing and marinade.

Tuesday: we should have finished up what was left in the fridge. But, the thunderstorms and a long day at work called for some take out. Some vegetable noodle soup from our favorite Vietnamese place, Nam Viet in Clarendon, hit the spot.

The basil I got last week is still fresh and sitting in a small glass of water. I still have a ton of the garlic curls. I plan on using both to make some pesto and freeze it. I found an interesting recipe for oregano pesto that I would like to try. But, if I don’t have time to make it, I will hang the oregano up to dry. I am already feeling like the robust share we ordered is a little more than we can chew. But, we are going to do our best. Please share your CSA and farmers market adventures.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Week One

Our first year as CSA members we got a mini share of vegetables. Then we graduated to the regular share. Now for the first time we are trying the robust share. Keep in mind there are only two of us, though our dog wishes she could help.

Yesterday I picked up our first bag which contained the following: a huge pile of garlic scapes, two onions, two heads of lettuce and bag of salad mix, one bunch of swiss chard, kale, endive, a few small mei qing choy, a tiny cabbage head, chives, basil, oregano and a surprise quart of strawberries.

Off the top of my head I can think of a few things to make this week:

Roasted beet salad with honey goat cheese and walnuts
Portuguese kale soup
Sausage, endive pasta
garlic scape pesto
Stir fry with mei quing choy
strawberries with yogurt, honey and granola

We'll see how it goes. I will post recipes as we go and try to figure out a way to freeze or preserve the excess.

Anyone have any good ideas on how to use a huge amount of fresh oregano? My only idea is to dry it.