Our second year of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares started last week with Isabella Farm in Louisville. I signed up for it last February when we were house hunting and hoped it wouldn’t be too far away from wherever we eventually settled. I also assumed that it would be no big deal to get to my weekly pickups with an infant. Fortunately things worked out and we/I loved it so much I signed up again this year. So every Thursday from mid-June through October I go to a farm stand 10 minutes away and pick up a big bag of produce. The first few weeks we get mostly greens and herbs, followed later in the summer by eggplant, peppers, okra, squash, melon and much more all grown right there at the farm. I like the challenge of using new vegetables or using old vegetables in new ways, and I really enjoy that it forces us to branch out and eat a greater variety of foods. We get stuck in ruts eating broccoli, zucchini, and green beans week after week in the winter. Last summer we tried grilled fava beans, mizuna (one of many greens we get), and lots of new recipes. This past week we made garlic scape chimicurri with fresh garlic scapes and oregano we were given in our share. A great start to our second season. This is all to say that you may start seeing some odd greens and other veggies popping up in my recipes this summer. Substitute or try something new, whatever floats your boat, but bear with me as I make my way through our veggies each week and try to be creative with kale, mustard greens and chard as they appear in our menu nearly weekly for much of the summer. Meal Plan & Grocery List
- I got a new Maple cookbook for my birthday. Since I am from VT and we are born loving maple syrup, it was a perfect fit. This is the first recipe we’ve tried and it did not disappoint. It is not overly maply, just a good easy dinner.
- I forgot to make brown rice so we used whole wheat couscous instead, but I still think rice would be better. And if you do make it, make extras to use later in the week with the Vegetarian Taco Salad.
- I would double the sauce since I loved the flavor and find leftovers to be better the next day when there is more sauce.
- Otherwise I followed the directions and it was great!
- I diced and steamed my potatoes in the microwave first and then followed the cooking instructions.
- We fried a couple of eggs to eat on top since our skillet was overflowing, otherwise we would have made little nests to plop the eggs in, covered it and let them cook.
- The addition of cheese is always welcome.
Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce, Grilled Asparagus and Whole Wheat Couscous
- We didn’t have enough rhubarb so I did half rhubarb, half frozen peaches, which worked very well. I thought the sauce tasted a little too much like ketchup so I would cut the ketchup in half and do 2 Tbsp instead. My father in law has a shirt that says “I put Ketchup on my Ketchup” so if you are in that camp too, ignore and forgive my comment.
- Grill the asparagus with oil, salt and pepper in foil for about 5-7 minutes on each side.
- Oh, and don’t forget the BBQ sauce. Things were going so smoothly with dinner (ha!) that we forgot the BBQ sauce until halfway through. Good times.
Thursday: Vegetarian Taco Salad
- Using the extra rice from Monday, this can be a pretty easy meal.
- I added diced zucchini to the skillet with the onion and some chopped red cabbage as garnish for more color.
- Avocado and sour cream are also good garnishes of course.
- This is the perfect combo of salty and sweet. It may sound odd but it is delicious!
- I cook a full pound of pasta and adapt quantities accordingly. I only ever use one, 3-oz pack of pancetta, but the rest I multiply by 4.
- I’ve never actually found ricotta salata and have always used either feta or a hard cheese like parmigiano-reggiano.