Week 10: July 3, 2013

In this week’s box:

1/2 dozen eggs

1 1/2 pints of raspberries

3 lb bags new potatoes

3 lbs of green beans

14 ears of corn

2 bunches of basil

1 bag of tomatoes

Emily’s notes:

With July 4 this week, many of you may be heading to pot luck suppers or cooking for crowds. Your green beans, corn and basil would go nicely in this recipe for Green Bean Salad with Corn and Olives, which would be great at a pot luck.

This box also supplies you nicely for this recipe for herb buttered potatoes with corn. I think you could sub in your basil for the thyme and parsley used in this recipe and it would be more summery.

Earlier this year, we made pancakes out of our turnips and potatoes. I think you could do the same with potatoes and corn and it would turn out nicely. I don’t use a recipe for this, but here’s the method: Grate however many potatoes you want to use. Slice the kernels off of the ears of corn you want to use. Mix these together, then add about 1/4 cup flour (or less) per two cups of vegetables, along with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne or any other desired seasonings to taste. Add about one beaten egg for every 1/4 cup flour. If the batter seems too wet, add more flour. If it seems too dry, add another egg. You want a consistency that feels like slightly runny raw hamburger patties (doesn’t that sound yummy…) when you form it into pancakes (which I recommend doing with your hands). Drop the cakes into about 1/8 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a wide skillet (hard to beat cast iron here). Cook until golden brown on each side. I would sprinkle the finished cakes with finely chopped basil and serve with sour cream. These are filling, so you don’t necessarily need meat with them.

Basil is a summer addiction of mine, and I feel sad when I see it go limp after it’s been sitting around too long. So I think I’ll be whipping up a batch of pesto as soon as I can after bringing this batch home. It’s been ages since I used a recipe for this, but this recipe from Ina Garten offers a pretty good guide (There is no need to be exact here with the quantities. I usually like to add the juice of one lemon to my pestos, and I never use pine nuts–too expensive. Walnuts or almonds are just fine.).

And finally, this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans seems to be made for this week’s CSA box. I have had really good luck with the recipes I’ve tried from this blogger, so it’s high on my list.

Happy Fourth!

Week 7: June 12, 2013

In this week’s box:

1/2 dozen eggs

2 pints sugar snap peas

2 quarts strawberries

1 bulb fennel

2 bunches Swiss chard

2 bunches of spring onions

1 bunch of dill

1 bunch of basil

3 pounds of string beans

1.5 pounds of red potatoes

1.5 pounds of white potatoes

1/2 pint of raspberries

1 head of Chinese cabbage

Emily’s notes:

Have you ever cooked fish in parchment, or en papillote, as the French say? This week’s box contains a lot of ingredients that would be well-suited to this easy and healthful cooking method.

Here is an easy step-by-step tutorial with pictures from Cooking Light on how to prep and fold the parchment packets, and below is a rough recipe for how to make the most of this week’s box in such a dish.

Fish and vegetables en papillote

4 salmon fillets (or other fish of choice)

Any combination of the following, depending on your preference:

3/4 pounds green beans, rinsed and trimmed

1/2 pound small red potatoes, sliced about 1/8 inch thick

1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced

10 fresh basil leaves and/or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

one lemon, sliced

4 teaspoons capers, rinsed and drained

salt and pepper to taste

4 teaspoons olive oil

drizzle of white wine (optional)

To ensure your vegetables cook all the way, you might want to blanch them first (fennel and potatoes 2 minutes, green beans one minute) in boiling water, then shock them in ice water to stop the cooking. While they’re in their ice bath, arrange each fish fillet on one of your prepared parchment “heart” halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (If using potatoes, you might want to put the potatoes down first as a bed.)

Next, layer fennel, green beans, then capers, herbs and a lemon slice or two for each packet. Drizzle each package with olive oil and white wine, if using, before sealing.

Place packets on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Maybe saute some Swiss chard with a chopped spring onion to eat as a side dish.

When I see potatoes and dill, I immediately think of this potato salad recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. I’ve made it too many times to count, it’s always a winner. Even though I think red onions add a great heat to this salad, you could definitely use the spring onions in this week’s box instead.

Speaking of Ina, she also wrote this recipe for Potato-Fennel gratin that would also be good with this week’s box. I am confident you could get away with using just one fennel bulb here, and the spring onions you’re getting this week instead of a yellow onion, as the recipe calls for (I usually use my spring onions in the same manner I would use mature onions, so it’s one less thing I have to buy during CSA season.).

If you’re looking for a new way to use Swiss chard, give this recipe for Swiss Chard Spanakopita a go. I did something similar with beet greens last year. It worked well as a freeze-ahead meal, also.

With Chinese cabbage, a recipe that has always been a hit in our house is this one for a salad that includes ramen noodles and a cider vinegar dressing. This is excellent for pot lucks.

It’s a real treat to have strawberries and raspberries in the same box. Celebrate by buying some premium vanilla ice cream and spooning on the fruit!