Thursday, July 12, 2012

CSA Share Week 5

Sometimes I wonder how dinner ever makes it to the table at our house.  In the middle of making risotto, which requires near constant stirring, I had two crying children that needed comfort/mediation.  Thankfully, my husband, Allen arrived as if on schedule so that I didn't need to decide whether to ruin a wonderful risotto or let them cry it out!  

I can't believe that Week 5 is already complete and I have yet to mention From Asparagus to Zucchini. This has been my constant companion, although less so in our third year, as I am more familiar with the vegetables. It really does give great detail on how to clean and keep vegetables (one of my favorite tips is cutting off root vegetable greens as soon as possible - I preserve the greens, but it keeps the vegetable from becoming mushy). We've gotten vegetables that I was not at all familiar with and From Asparagus to Zucchini was a lifesaver. The following link lists where to find this essential book:

I do love the recipes in From Asparagus to Zucchini and have tried some in years past, but I tend to change them to fit our needs. I like to use what we typically have on hand and try to only go to the store once a week. That is why Google is my best friend when meal planning - I can type in what ingredients I would like to use and something wonderful usually pops up!

We managed to clean out the vegetable supply incredibly well this week.  Our favorite of the week is the Bacon Zucchini Pasta.  I've heard that bacon is cheating, but it is really just a wonderful dish.  There are a lot of leftovers, so hopefully we can keep up with the Week 6 share that we just picked up.  We still have some spring onions, garlic and garlic scapes hanging on...

We are so grateful to those at Scotch Hill Farm who are working overtime trying to get water to our food in this now severe drought we are suffering in southern Wisconsin.  We appreciate every vegetable we receive and truly understand the care that goes into it thanks to the wonderful people at Scotch Hill.

Week 5 Bounty:
Photos courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI

Snow peas
Leaf lettuce mix
Spring onions

Meal #1: radishes, broccoli, garlic scapes, spring onions
Both the risotto and lamb nuggets were delicious, the radishes were a superior addition to the risotto.  But next time I will dip the radishes in the egg first, maybe even skip the flour.  Typically when I bread something I dip in egg or buttermilk first and then breading.  Doing the flour first made it very difficult to work with.  I had one child who adored the lamb nuggets (my meat-eater) and one who adored the pan-fried radishes (my veggie-lover).  So we took that as a win.

Spring Risotto with Pan-Fried Radishes
2 cups diced broccoli (including leaves)
2 cups chicken broth plus 1 cup water
2.5 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Bunch of spring onions, diced
1 cup arborio rice
2 inches chopped garlic scapes
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.5 teaspoons parmesan cheese
Olive oil as needed to cook broccoli and radishes
In a saucepan, heat the broth and water until warm, but not hot . In a skillet, add a bit of olive oil and broccoli on medium low heat and cover.Be sure to remove from heat once cooked - it only takes about 5 minutes if finely diced, but you can let it cook while you start the risotto. Next, in large skillet or dutch oven, over medium heat, melt 2.5 tablespoons of butter or olive oil. Once melted, add spring onions and garlic scapes and cook until softened. Now add arborio rice and cook until rice is translucent. Then add the warm broth to the rice, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Keep adding broth mixture 1/2 a cup at a time until rice is al dente. You may not use all your broth mixture. Once you reach desired consistency, stir in broccoli, salt and pepper and then Parmesan cheese. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour and radishes and shake or toss until they're coated. In a separate bowl, beat egg and pour flour-coated slices into the egg and make sure they're coated well. In the bowl, add 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Transfer flour and egg coated radish slices into the bread crumb mixture and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add your coated radish slices and fry until just brown, flipping to get all sides. Serve the risotto with several radish slices as your topping. *Recipe adapted from

Lamb Nuggets
1 lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp fresh thyme

1 egg
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Coarsely ground salt and fresh cracked
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
½ cup sunflower seeds (or walnuts, almonds, etc) finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil a jelly roll pan and set aside. In a bowl, gently mix the lamb, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper making sure to not overwork as the meat can then become very dense. Roll the meat into even-sized balls, cover with breadcrumbs a seeds/nuts. Bake for 10 minutes, then broil at 400 degrees for 5 additional minutes.  *Recipe adapted from 

Meal #2: snow peas(including leftover from last week), garlic
We shared this dish at a friend's gathering and the comments were very favorable.  We will make it again.

Lemon Butter Snow Peas
1/2 pound fresh snow peas
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
In a microwave-safe dish, combine the snow peas, water and garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Combine the butter, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Drizzle over peas; toss to coat. *Recipe by Taste of Home Test Kitchen at

Meal #3: zucchini
This dish is based on something we ate at our favorite restaurant in Venice and it is always a favorite at our house.  

Bacon Zucchini Pasta
1 pound pasta (we like whole wheat tagliolini with this dish)
4 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 pounds zucchini, (about 2 large), diced
1/2 to 1 cup reserved pasta water
3/4 cup very loosely packed, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside. In a large saute pan, add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Add the zucchini and cook until it starts to soften. Place the cooked pasta over low heat. Add the reserved pasta water, cooked bacon, zucchini and the grated cheese. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

Meal #4: cucumbers, spring onions, lettuce mix
The kids adore cous cous and I can hide the veggies in there without them knowing.  They will always devour it!  The cucumber moons are quite good, too, although I don't think the kids were fond of the dill.

Cucumber moons
2 large cucumbers, or 3 medium
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp minced spring onions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds with a spoon. Slice in half-moons, about 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick. Heat butter in large heavy skillet over medium flame. Be careful not to let the butter brown, but it does need to be good and hot. Add the cucumbers and shallots and cook, tossing often, until the cucumbers begin to get tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in dill, plus salt and pepper to taste. Continue to toss and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately. *Recipe from

Cous Cous 
Cooked whole wheat cous cous to directions and added 6 cubes of pureed roasted root vegetables from the 2011 harvest.  Added fresh ginger, turmeric and cumin.  

Pan-fried fillets that had maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste.

Lettuce Mix 
We had simple salads to round out the meal.

Meal #5: pole beans
Sliced Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes (evenly-sized)
1 teaspoon salt
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
2 -3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs or 2 -3 teaspoons dried herbs, of your choice 
(ie parsley, chives, thyme, sage)  
Preheat over 425°F. Peel potatoes, if the skin is too tough, otherwise just scrub and rinse them.
Cut potatoes into thin slices, but NOT all the way through. (Place a handle of a spoon or table knife along-side the potato to prevent the knife from slicing all the way.) Put potatoes in a baking dish; slightly fan out the slices. Mix olive oil, salt and herbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly over potatoes. Bake (425°F) for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Check to be sure it is cooked through, cook time depends on size of potatoes.

Pan-seared Pole Beans
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add pole beans, and stir to coat.  Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  When they are nearly done, add your favorite seasoning.  We love one we found in Italy, Sale Roma or Sale Rom.  It is supposed to be for potatoes and poultry, but we love it on everything.  We just haven't found it in Wisconsin yet, but heard that Penzey's may create something by request.

We paired these with leftover pasta and meat from a previous meal.

Meal #6: radish greens, other leftover lettuce/greens, oregano
Pureed cubes
Steam and puree any leftover greens (adding water as needed), then I freeze them into ice cube trays for easier storage and future use.

No comments:

Post a Comment