April 9, 2009

Blessings from the CSA

Wow -- here we are, 4 pick-ups of the CSA delivery, and I'm feeling qualified to write about how the CSA affects our life.


Anyways, assuming you are willing to put up with my overly know-it-all ways, here are some observations:

1. The CSA, as an idea, hit critical mass in our social circle. Without discussing it with several of our friends beforehand, we have found that many of them have signed up. What is that?

2. Experimentation is the key. And a forgiving set of mouths to feed.

3. Enjoy the few successful recipes we've concocted, below.

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

How can you argue with roasted beets and goat cheese? You can't, can you?


To make this majestic masterpiece, do the following:

-juice 1 lemon, mix with 2 T honey, 2 T olive oil, and spices of your choosing
-clean, trim and roast beets for 1.5 hours in a 400 F oven. (In hindsight, wrapping the beets in aluminum foil would have prevented stains on the dishes and decreased the cooking time). Note: once they are done being cooked, they have to be peeled. This results in stained hands, fingernails, and, if you are lame and clumsy like me, clothes.
-wash and cut romaine lettuce into bite size pieces
-cut a small onion in salad sized pieces for garnish
-cut 1/2 C of feta into small crumbly pieces
-save 1/4 C of spiced nuts
-arrange romaine, feta, onions, spiced nuts in individual bowls for serving
-remove beets from oven, cut into small pieces, allow to cool briefly, and then place on top of salads
-cover with dressing and serve.


Homemade pretzels are worth the effort

I've never seen this done before, but G did it. I am salivating at the memory and grumpy that I can't have one now. That, my friends, is why you go to long-lost-friends' homes for the weekend, and stay there. Pretzels!!! (FWIW: The boiling of the dough in water with baking soda is wacky, but damn were they good.)


Bacon-Orach Risotto Rocks

Orach, a reddish/purplish green spinach relative, works quite well in risotto, but, more importantly, while it tastes delicious, unlike many other leafy vegetables that would play its taste roll in this production, it contributes a lovely red-purple dye to the risotto:


-1 yellow onion, minced
-1 lb. Orach, cleaned, stems removed
-1 C Vialone Nano rice (not required, but we had it, and it does make the texture absolutely perfect)
-chicken stock/broth
-3 strips bacon, sliced into 1 cm strips
-1 meyer lemon, sliced and juiced
-1/4 cup smoked gouda, chopped

1. Sautée bacon on medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add onions, stir.
3. Add rice, stir until rice is see-through.
4. Add 1 C broth, cook 'til primarily evaporated.
5. Add 1 more C broth, the Orach, cook until evaporated.
6. Add lemon juice & gouda. Cook on medium until perfect consistency. If necessary add water and continue to cook.

Enjoy (the pretty colors and the flavors) with salt and black pepper to taste!

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