CSA Love (!) and Creamy, Indian-spiced Spring Vegetables

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Sorrel (Sandwiches) & a Cooking Class

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Carrot, Oat, & Nutmeg Muffin

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There's Nothing Like Spring!

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Spoiled Rotten

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Spaghetti Nettle Pie

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Radicchio & Mizuna Risotto

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Oh Yes!

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Deviled Eggs with Sidewalk Greens

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Less Shopping, More Chopping!

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CSA Love (!) and Creamy, Indian-spiced Spring Vegetables

Indian spiced creamy peas turnips cabbage

Want to enjoy the freshest produce? Get a CSA.

Want to become a better cook? Get a CSA.

Want to keep your $$ in your community? Get a CSA.

Want to expand your/your children’s/family’s palate? Get a CSA.

Want to save money? Get a CSA. (Because when you already have all that produce you will likely not go out to eat because you want/need to eat the food you’ve already paid for and because if you stock your pantry well and get those weekly veggies you will spend less because you’ll run to the store less. Buy a case or two of lovely white or rose and spend summer evenings on your porch with your veggies and your wine! . . . want to find me? That’s where I’ll be!)

Want to feel connected to your community? Get a CSA.

Want to really be in tune with the seasons? Get a CSA.

Worried you’ll miss the farmers’ market? You can still go and buy fruit and whatever else you’re craving! But get a CSA too!

CSA is not for everyone. If you travel lots during the summer it’s not your best bet. If you hate to cook, don’t get one either:)!

I love my CSA for the above reasons. If you’ve been thinking of giving it a try, now’s the perfect time. I work with many CSA farms including these below. If I haven’t covered your region look here or here.

Sauvie Island Organics (Customized recipes) (OR)

47th Ave Farm (Semi-customized posts) (OR)

Love Farm Organics (OR)

Minto Island Growers (OR)

Full Plate Farm (fall/winter CSA; OR & SW WA)

Mud Creek Farm (NY)

The Good Earth (SD)

Hill Family Farm (TN)

Joy Haven Farm,(AL)

And in someone else’s words:

“I just wanted to let you know that I cooked up a batch of your Sweet Hot and Sour Eggplant the other day and it is absolutely fantastic.  I didn’t have any fresh peppers, so I just chopped up a bunch of Ayers Creek dried cayennes and cooked them down with it.  It’s an easy recipe to throw together, requiring no trips to the store (always nice) and very delicious.  I served it alongside some sesame and scallion udon noodles I got the idea for from whatsername on the NYTimes.  Melissa Clark. Anyway, they played well together.  Thanks for yet another recipe that makes me seem like a better cook than I actually am!” Giana, Portland, OR

Creamy, Spiced Peas, Turnips and Cabbage
–Inspired by Quick & Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

The complex flavors in this dish belie the speed with which it comes together. It is a good template as many different vegetables can be used and you can add meats or seafood as you like. I use whatever combination of vegetables I have on hand. You could use asparagus, snap peas and spinach or potatoes and green beans  or winter squash and cauliflower. . . You can also just use a single vegetable.

I sometimes serve it with barely hard cooked eggs to turn this into a meal, with rice.

Serves 4

For the sauce:

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste or 2-3 roasted (frozen) tomatoes, finely chopped
Scant 1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon  lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons oil
Generous 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Generous 1/2 teaspoon brown or yellow mustard seeds
1 small bunch Salad Turnips or 1 large regular turnip, diced (no need to peel if you’re using salad turnips). By all means use the tender stems and leaves of salad turnips, chopped, if you have them, as well
1/4 small cabbage, cored and chopped fairly finely
2 cups fresh, shelled peas or 1 10-oz bag frozen peas or trimmed and chopped snap peas
Rice for serving

I sometimes serve it with barely hard cooked eggs to turn this into a meal, with rice.

In a small bowl stir together the cumin, garam masala, salt, red pepper flakes, tomato (paste) and 2 tablespoons water. Whisk in the cream, lemon juice and cilantro and set aside.

Heat the oil in  large saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and wait until they start popping, 10-20 seconds typically. Add the turnips and cabbage and couple pinches of salt. Stir well and cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the peas and cook for a few more minutes until tender and heated through. Stir the sauce into the vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened a little. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon and/or salt and hot pepper to taste.

Serve hot over rice. I like to serve it with just barely hard-cooked eggs–eggs covered in cold water, brought to a boil, then removed from heat and left sitting, covered in their hot cooking water for 7 minutes, then drained and peeled.

 

 

Sorrel (Sandwiches) & a Cooking Class

sorrel egg sandwich

Constraints really are the mother of creativity. In this case the constraints were: 1) what’s available, any given morning, in my pantry and puny garden in early spring, and 2) what my 9-year-old might/will eat in his school lunch. He loves mortadella sandwiches and I had indulged by buying this classic Italian lunch meat a few times but a few weeks ago I was out of it.

He’s always been one to prefer herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil) as the green in his sandwich but I didn’t have any of those either. I did have sorrel! It’s a perennial and does well with no care or attention and starts leafing out this time of year. It’s tender, nice and tart and really a perfect sandwich green. With no mortadella, a hard cooked egg stood in, all dressed with plenty of salt, pepper and olive oil. Add a thin layer of sharp cheddar and the new favorite sandwich was born. I always have eggs, they don’t go bad (as mortadella can do rather quickly). Cooking with what I had turned into a winner and I’ve taken to eating these sandwiches too though I add quickly pickled onions to mine (just thinly sliced and marinated in red wine vinegar for at least 10 minutes 0r up to many weeks–I keep a jar of them on hand).

Sorrel in garden

The slugs love the sorrel as do leaf miners but it grows so quickly we all seem to get enough!

And speaking of cooking-with-what-you-have, I’ve just posted a cooking class on said subject: How to Set Yourself up for Success: Tricks, Favorite Dishes & Pantry Stocking for Everyday Cooking. Register here if this sounds useful/fun.

 

Carrot, Oat, & Nutmeg Muffin

These muffins are not particularly springy, but they are particularly good! Lots of nutmeg, freshly grated if possible, make these chewy-but-airy little treats sing. And grate those carrots on the small holes of the box grater and you’ll end up with an elegant texture for this otherwise rustic muffin. My son endorsed […] Read more »

Spoiled Rotten

me that is, not the vegetables. I am spoiled by my CSA. Spoiled by deliciousness, convenience (yes!) and by something bigger, harder to define. Everywhere we look we’re told to slow down, unplug, spend time with our family, be mindful, and of course eat more fresh vegetables and cook from scratch. […] Read more »

Spaghetti Nettle Pie

Spaghetti pies are everywhere, it seems. . . as are nettles here in the soggy Pacific Northwest at the moment. It’s a spectacular combination. Two of my favorite bloggers waxed poetic about this dish recently; Smitten Kitchen and David Lebovitz. I added lots of nettles, used less cheese, not because I […] Read more »

Oh Yes!

I recently discovered Communal Table. The first post I received has been resonating with me on many levels–it was a welcome note to 2016 and talked about mindfulness and playfulness and food, of course, and included this inimitable line: “I don’t need someone else’s piousness moving in and making way too […] Read more »

Less Shopping, More Chopping!

2 radishes, 1/2 a fennel bulb, 2 small carrots, some cilantro, plus plenty of lime juice, salt, a little oil. This finely chopped garnish enabled us to have leftover black beans and rice (from the freezer–I always make more than I need in the moment) for dinner. Simple, fresh, filling […] Read more »