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Posts Tagged ‘CSA farm box’

Farm Box Recipe of the Week: Cabbage & White Bean Soup

In Food, Recipes on November 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

I’m going to try to post my favorite recipe each week that uses ingredients from our CSA farm box. Several of my friends and I have a friendly competition going on who can best use the ingredients in our weekly haul. Sometimes, like this week when one is faced with a head of cabbage, things get challenging. In the past I’ve deployed the cabbage in kimchi and roasted tomatillo slaw

But this week, my friend Katie—another CSA junkie—shared this great Basque recipe for Cabbage and White Bean Soup from Gourmet, circa 2004. It is pure smoky, bacon-y goodness. I spent a total of $6.16 on ham hocks at Huntington Meats in the Original Farmers Market, and I had everything else on hand, including a bag of Rancho Gordo Yellow Indian Woman Beans. My husband was kind of bummed out when he heard we were having soup for dinner, until he laid eyes on the ham hocks. Ladies, let me tell you, there’s nothing like a ham hock to spark a little excitement on a Tuesday night…

Cabbage & White Bean Soup

1 cup dried white beans such as Great Northern, navy, or cannellini (7 oz), picked over and rinsed

1 whole clove

1 medium onion, peeled and left whole

2 1/2 lb smoked ham hocks

3 qt water

6 fresh parsley sprigs

1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf

1 fresh thyme sprig

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (3 to 4 medium)

1 lb cabbage, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (6 cups)

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

Thickly sliced bread, grilled (optional)

Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches at room temperature at least 8 hours. Drain in a colander.

Stick clove into onion. Bring ham hocks and 3 quarts water to a boil in a wide 6- to 7-quart heavy pot, skimming off any froth, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Add beans, onion, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are almost tender, 40 to 50 minutes.

When beans are almost done, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add potatoes and cabbage to beans, then simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are very tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove ham hocks. When ham hocks are cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones, then cut meat into bite-size pieces. Stir into soup with salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaf and onion. Serve with grilled bread.

Pasta with Swiss Chard & Bacon

In Food, Recipes on October 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

If you haven’t already checked out Los Angeles Magazine‘s Farmers Market issue, get thee to the newsstands immediately! I have a short item in there about my weekly CSA bag on page 143! While the headline is a bit provocative (“Why I Skip the Market”—I don’t. I go religiously every week), the piece mentions my very favorite part of participating in a CSA, which is a friendly neighborhood challenge I have with a few friends to use everything in the bag each week. This week we were handed an exorbitant amount of Swiss chard.

I remembered a super comforting recipe we ran in Bon Appétit several years ago for Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta. You sauté some bacon, then sauté onions in bacon fat (do I have your attention yet?) and add Swiss chard until it wilts, then sprinkle with parm and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Toss in fresh fettuccine or linguine. That simple, that delicious. And bye-bye, chard, for this week anyway. For recipe, click HERE.

Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino

In Drink, Food, Recipes on August 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Each Wednesday I pick up a bag of fresh produce from my local CSA, and each Wednesday I am faced with the challenge of what to do with another bunch of kale. The dilemma has recently escalated thanks to the Pressed Juicery cleanse I embarked upon two months ago—the only lasting results of which have been that the very mention of kale renders me completely hostile and irritable, much like the cleanse itself.

And yet the kale keeps coming. Today my friend Christine offered me a lifeline and shared her husband Andrew’s recipe for a raw kale salad with lemon juice, salt and grated pecorino. I remembered seeing a similar version in the New York Times from Melissa Clark, which I ended up using (minus the bread crumbs). And you know what? I’m ADDICTED! The flavors are so fresh and tangy, and the cheese adds just a hint of nuttiness. It was spectacular alongside grilled corn from our farm bag and a beautiful piece of Alaskan salmon my sister brought over this evening:

Melissa’s recipe calls for Tuscan kale, but I used curly kale and julienned the raw kale into tiny slivers, as my main objection to other raw kale salads you find at, say, Whole Foods with larger pieces of kale is the lock jaw that comes from chewing the stuff. I hope you enjoy Melissa’s recipe as much as I did! And of course, keep the kale ideas coming!

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino (slightly adapted)

This recipe also appears in Melissa Clark’s excellent cookbook, In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)

1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)

1/2 garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound garlic into a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer garlic mixture to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Oh, and don’t forget to “garnish” with a gorgeous glass of 2009 Ponzi Rosato Pinot Noir ($15)…

Foodinista’s Night Off

In Food on April 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm

On Friday night, my sister and my husband conspired to cook dinner. Claire picked up a few fillets of black cod at Santa Monica Seafood, and made a Nobu-style Saikyo Miso that the fish marinated in before being baked in the oven. Meanwhile, Mr. Foodinista stir-fried bok choy from our weekly CSA farm box along with loads of garlic, soy sauce, peanut and sesame oils. Can you believe this???

Pizza with Beet Greens and Pancetta

In Food, Recipes on March 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

We’ve been loving our CSA farm bag each week, and I’m loving the challenge of using everything in there right down to the greens. In fact, that’s the only part of the beet my husband will eat. And so I’m always on the search for new ways to deploy these flavorful greens.

Last week my sister and I were planning a tip of the cap to my mother’s Buffalo, NY, roots—an evening of pizza and Buffalo wings. Of course there’s no beating Bocce Club Pizza, but I didn’t have time to have one shipped cross-country (they deliver NATIONWIDE – best news ever). So, I thought parsimoniously, why not sauté up those beet greens with a little olive oil and garlic to throw on a pie?

My husband has mastered the art of pizza on the grill, so why I sautéed he grilled a round of Whole Foods pizza dough over medium high for two minutes on one side, then flipped and grilled for another 30 seconds or so. (There is also some technique involving the rotisserie burner that he’s being cagey about sharing—but do experiment, I promise it’s worth it!) Then he brings the dough inside and we put toppings on the less done side. For this version, I used spinach pesto for sauce topped with the sautéed beet greens, some grated leftover Appenzeller cheese from our Valentine’s Day fondue, and a few slices of pancetta. When Mr. Foodinista puts the pizza back on he uses indirect (or low) heat. Cook with the toppings until cheese is bubbling, another 5-10 minutes depending on heat of grill. My husband says it’s his favorite homemade pizza to date. So no, it’s no Bocce, but here’s what homemade pizza, blue cheese dressing and home-cooked wings can look like in LA.

Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A., Recipes on February 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). For $25/week, each Wednesday I pick up a huge bag of produce from local farmers at the nearby Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

I can’t tell you how much I dig this—I totally look forward to Wednesdays now. And have been having so much fun challenging myself to use everything in my haul each week. It kind of forces your hand as a cook. Like this week, when we discovered a gorgeous chartreuse sci-fi head of romanesco. Sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Romanesco Cauliflower, it’s a form of cauliflower with a slightly nutty flavor. And it’s beautiful beyond belief.

The conical florets remind me of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. I mean, if Gaultier were going to design a vegetable, surely it would be le romanesco, non?

I’d like to think that Jean-Paul would approve of this romanesco pasta creation, which I’d like to humbly say was something of an inspiration. And I realized as I was serving it that—added bonus—it’s vegan, unless of course you liberally sprinkle it with shaved Pecorino Romano as we did.

Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers

1 head of romanesco

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons red chili flakes

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped capers

1 lb bucatini, cooked to desired doneness

Salt and pepper, to taste

Break off romanesco florets and soak in ice water for about 10 minutes, to preserve color.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. In a separate skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté minced garlic, red pepper flakes, mint and capers for 30 seconds to a minute.

Remove from heat. When water is boiling, drain romanesco from ice bath and add to boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until al dente. (Don’t overcook—you want a little texture from the florets.) Drain and toss in skillet with garlic and mint mixture.

Mix with pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

The Kimchi Chronicles: Part One

In Food on January 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

One of my favorite ethnic foodstuffs is kimchi—a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables, frequently with napa cabbage and loaded with ginger, garlic and chili powder. I’ve always wanted to try making my own but had never gotten past the idea phase until a rogue head of cabbage in my CSA farm box this week forced my hand. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to go shopping at HK Market in Koreatown on Western x 1st. Which is where I found salted shrimp. I have enough here for about a hundred batches of kimchi, but I’m thinking about deploying them in scallion pancakes or some kind of stew. This is between us, of course, so please don’t breathe a word to Mr. Foodinista. I’ve hidden the jar at the back of the fridge.

While at HK, I also grabbed a ton of ginger and garlic, as well as a huge thing of kochukaru (Korean chile powder) and some usukuchi, which is a lighter-colored soy sauce. From there, I followed David Chang’s recipe for Momofuku Kimchi.

The recipe calls for julienned carrots and I thought why not give the never-been-used julienne blade a go on the mandoline? At which point I lost my mind trying to figure out how to work the damn thing. While fluent in straight blade and crinkle cut, apparently I flunked julienne. What am I missing? Defeated, I resorted to julienning the old-fashioned way, with a knife. (Peeling potatoes and julienning rank as my two least favorite things to do in the kitchen, btw.) Can someone tell me, do I have this blade on there wrong? I mean, I think the blade is on there right but do I need to have the straight blade on there, too?

But I’m over it, I promise. Because—mandoline rage notwithstanding—the kimchi came together so much more easily than I imagined. It has to refrigerate at least 24 hours (this after 24 hours of the sliced cabbage first sitting doused with salt and sugar) so tomorrow night we are planning kimchi quesadillas. The kimchi reaches its prime in two weeks—on the very day I return from South Africa—so quite a homecoming it will be. Stay tuned!