This week brought a variety of greens from the garden. Basil, cilantro, red swiss chard, lettuce, tatsoi, arugula and a few radishes and strawberries for color. So what do I do with all of these? I started with what I had in the fridge. Some tofu, carrots, and a pepper. There were some soba noodles and a little leftover coconut milk from a recipe I made last week. Thai curry! I seasoned the tofu with some red curry powder, sauteed the carrot, pepper, zucchini and scallions in a pan.

I then added some red curry, a little soy sauce and fish sauce, then stirred in the coconut milk. Tofu was seared, then added to the pan while I boiled the soba noodles. Just before tossing together, I added the tatsoi, cilantro and a squish of lime juice (yes that is a technical term).

With the swiss chard, I will be making creamy poblano, chard and potato tacos – ( with maybe a spiced shrimp skewer on the grill. Looking forward to this one. As for the radishes and strawberries – well, those will be enjoyed “au natural” as we are watching our waistlines and my hubby keeps saying “NO” to me making a strawberry rhubarb pie…….he’s right of course, but still.

Until next week – good eating and enjoy the local bounty! Happy Summer to all.


CSA delivery, week 3

June 11, 2011

Friday evening I picked up my CSA share and was delighted to see fresh strawberries. I had to taste one as soon as I got the car – delicious! Sweet, though really berry tasting (yes I know that sounds stupid, but I realized the store bought from CA berries tasted a little flat in comparison). Just full flavor, not overly sweet, and very juicy. Red all the way thru too – no mealy, whitish texture. Yes, I must do more with these little gems besides topping my cereal.
Also included in the mix was a beautiful head of lettuce, a small bunch of baby spinach, one sprig of basil (really?), and a bunch of spring onions. The spring onions were really unique with a purplish tinge and little onion smelling flowers on top. Let’s see…a strawberry salad with a poppy seed vinaigrette? A strawberry salsa for some fish? Strawberry rhubarb pie is calling, but after splurging on dessert last night, I need to rethink a skinny option for that one. Green onion pancakes? Lot’s of choices……

I decided to do a bulgur salad with the fresh spring onions. Bulgur, mint, parsley, red and spring onions and tomatoes mix with a blended green onion vinaigrette (olive oil, chile pepper, green onion and honey). Think tabbouleh with a kick – thanks Bobby Flay! This made a delicious side dish to a nice piece of grilled fish, served on a bed of that green, crisp lettuce we got too. I took some strawberries and mixed them with a rhubarb syrup I had made for cocktails last week, and baked a nice oat biscuit to go along. Healthy right? Well better than the ice cram pie we shared last night…c’mon. I WILL forgo the whipped cream (most likely in lieu of a glass of red wine).

The basil….what to do with this. I think I will fine chop and toss on the fish with a little EVOO for broiling. Baby spinach – you will have to wait until tomorrow…to be stuffed into a tomato, or an omelette. Or maybe in a nice light soup with mushrooms. I need to grocery shopping….again! Argh. Hate shopping in the rain. Anyway….can’t wait to see what next week brings. I heard rumor of beet greens. Yum. Eat local, support our local farmers, and if in doubt, ask me – I am always happy to share ideas for cooking!

So I have joined a CSA for veggies and a shared fish share thru I chose the 2 lbs of filets option every other week for the summer. Today I will pick up my Dabs from the F/V Sabrina Marie. My what? What the heck is a Dab? I know cod, flounder, halibut. I know Mahi Mahi, grouper, and Baramundi. But Dabs? Well a quick Google search tells me that a Dab is like a flounder. In fact it is part of the flounder family. It is a smaller, flat fish, typically found near UK. Hmmmm so where did the Sabrina Marie go fishing?

Any way, the nice people at Cape Ann supply a recipe to be tried for this fish. The fishermen like their Dabs simple. A little flour and pan fried. I decided, based on time and lack of red peppers, to do a simple flour/egg/flour coating and pan fry. I served my fish with a chickpea and apricot salad. May I just say this little known fish gives a huge punch of flavor – delicious! Tender, nice white fish flavor, not fishy, but not bland. Good texture and needed nothing extra to enjoy it. As we received 2 pounds, half went in the freezer for another time. In case you are still curious – the supplied recipe follows (and may be made with the other half of the fish). I am sure I will try this at a later date and will report back. Can’t wait to see what next delivery brings. Eat more fish, it’s good for you and just plain good!

Dabs with with a red pepper

1 7- to 8-ounce red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
4 5- to 6-ounce skinless thin fish fillets
2 tablespoons (or more) butter
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil

Using on/off turns, chop bell pepper in processor until juices form.
Transfer to small sieve set over bowl; let drain 10 minutes. Mix next
4 ingredients in small bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup bell pepper. Season
mayonnaise with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.
Cover and chill.
Mix flour and next 2 ingredients in pie dish. Whisk egg and milk in
another dish. Place breadcrumbs in third dish. Sprinkle fillets with
salt and pepper. Coat each side with flour, then egg mixture, then
breadcrumbs, covering completely.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large
skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add
fish to skillet. Sauté until just opaque in center and crust is golden
brown, adding more butter and oil as needed, about 4 minutes per side.
Serve fillets with red pepper mayonnaise.

CSA season has begun

June 5, 2011

My first season of being a CSA member has begun. Two weeks into the Sharon, MA farm season and I have so far had radishes, lettuce, baby spinach and more radishes. I also received a dill plant and a cilantro plant. I am excited to see what comes next and will be sharing my experiences, recipes and new tastes with you all. Needless to say I have had some wonderful salads, radishes as snacks, sliced on a sandwich and a spinach omelette (a very small bunch of spinach). There is rumor of strawberries, eggplant and arugula to come soon. Stay tuned!