Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sauteed Zucchini and Yellow Squash With Mint

I figure it is finally time I contribute something instead of just thankfully reading all of Leslie's excellent food-blogging. We have so much zucchini! So I went in search of zucchini recipes and found this one in the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook. I sort of put it together telephone game/ gossip style: I read the directions before I went to trader joes, and then came home and winged it! What I ate tonight was more INSPIRED BY than an exact replica: I sliced the garlic instead of mincing, my zucchini was cut in a crazy way, and my onions caramelized a little bit. but it was still good! The mint and lemon are really fresh against the warmer taste of the onion/garlic.

serves 4 to 6

Don't crowd the vegetables in the pan; they will steam rather than brown. If your skillet is not large enough, cook them in two batches.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 medium (about 12 ounces) zucchini, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 medium (about 12 ounces) yellow squash, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, cut into 1/4" thick strips

1. Heat 11/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook until translucent but crunchy, about 2 minutes.

2. Raise heat to medium high. Add the remaining 11/2 tablespoons of olive oil, the zucchini, yellow squash and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle the mint on top, and serve hot.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

CSA week 10

During week nine I forfeited the entire share to my mom as I was in lovely Vancouver, BC. So for week ten, I got the entire share. I wish I'd remembered to take a photo - it was a shocking and somewhat threatening bounty. I've been cooking in a panicked frenzy all week but I've finally managed to make all of it except one jalapeno that got lost underneath the beet greens, into dishes. Admittedly many of them have been mediocre, but even those are important learning experiences and all of them were perfectly edible.

My original inventory consisted of 1 giant freaking head of cabbage, 3 peaches, 8 or so new potatoes, 2 pasilla peppers, 1 banana pepper, 2 jalapenos, 1 cuke, 5 summer squash, basil, 5 or so tomatoes, 5 ears of corn, 5 beets, and a giant head of lettuce.

Do you kind of see what I mean by threatening?

My first big cooking day I used the beets and 1/4 of the Giant Head of Cabbage to make borscht and the other 1/4 GHoC, half the potatoes and one jalapeno to make a spicy cabbage soup. Both were pretty good and I ended up pureeing both of them. I can't seem to stop myself from putting a perfectly good soup in the blender. Maybe I miss baby food or something. But I also thought they might freeze better that way, and some of this food was going to have to be frozen.


So now the borscht looks like a strawberry daiquiri and the spicy cabbage looks exactly like baby food - yay!


Next up: Caprese salad for me which was to DIE for. I am speechless over how good those fresh tomatoes were. And fresh mozzerella was on sale at the store - hooray!


And a salad for Dag that is sort of Caprese but with cucumbers added and all cut up into chunks like a greek salad we had in Vancouver that he really loved.


Then yesterday I made a spicy corn chowder using all the corn and the peppers. I substituted 2% evaporated milk for the heavy cream and it worked just fine - I think I like that trick. The recipe called for just the yellow banana peppers but I threw in the pasillas because what the heck else was I going to do with them so it came out very green and yeah, a lot like baby food. It tastes fine though, I swear. It also went to the freezer.


Today I made zucchini fritters, which were OK but I'm not really willing to cook with enough oil to make them come out all crispy like they're supposed to. So they were kind of floppy but stil tasted good.

Then the 3rd 4th of Giant Head of Cabbage became stir fried with garlic and white balsamic vinegar with toasted walnuts.


The final 4th of GHoC became a low-fat non-mayo slaw which I'm hoping my mom will like. She has an emotional attachment to traditional coleslaw but wants a healthier alternative. This tastes a lot like it to me. If it passes her taste test, I'll come back and post the recipe.


THEN I made a beet green barley risotto using ideas from my new favorite cookbook and an entry from a vegetable blog I have been following. It came out pretty good and I like the pretty red and green colors.


Then, last but not least, almost in tears by this point (kidding), I used another recipe from Super Natural Cooking to use up the potatoes. It is a really cool technique of cutting the potatoes almost all the way through in slits and putting spicy oiled salted garlic into each slit and baking. UMMMM!


Holy moly, I'm really looking forward to my lunches this week!

I am also looking forward to having someone to share the next box with!

CSA Week 7


I received my half of week seven's CSA box two days before departing the country for a week's long vacation. So my goal was to use all the vegetables I could in a giant batch of vegetarian enchiladas - half for the freezer and half for my sister to eat while she took care of the cats.

Check out these gorgeous carrots!


Here are the enchiladas!


I really did just saute all of the veggies together and layer them with a can each of black beans and corn over and under corn tortillas (much faster and easier than rolling them up!) with some red sauce, which I believe I made from scratch although I can't rightly remember how I did that now, cheese and olives. They came out really good! I can tell because they were all gone when I got home!

That melon you see in the first photo was unbelievable. If it were any juicier, it would have been, well, juice. That went right into my smoothies and half into the freezer for future smoothies.