Thursday, January 29, 2015

What's in the box, 1/29/15 edition

In today's blizzard-delayed box...
...butternut squash (the Boston Globe story was definitely predictive), a very large daikon radish (it's as big as the good-sized butternut squash), three small green cabbages (small, smaller, and smallest -- who knew that green cabbages could be cute?), pea tendrils, popcorn, lots of carrots (a good thing, as I was running low on carrots), hakurei turnips, and potatoes.

I definitely have a lot of popcorn on hand now, after four ears in last week's box and four in this week's box, plus some ears from last season as well. Is there anything to do with popcorn besides snacking? Popcorn soup? (Okay, that was meant as a joke, but apparently you can make unpopped popcorn into soup. There are also recipes that put popped popcorn on top of corn soup as a crouton and soups that are made from leftover popped popcorn. All odd. But the recipe for soup from unpopped popcorn uses 3 cups of kernels, which would be a good way to use up some of the backlog of popcorn that I have in my pantry. I will let you know if I try it.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow rings

I took these photos of the snow drifts against the windows in our house yesterday afternoon, as the bulk of the snow was winding down. I love the layers of the drifting snow, which seem like tree rings.
We're dug out now from the Blizzard of 2015, but still enjoying a snow day from school cancellations because many back roads were still not plowed. No box from the farm today; the pick up has been moved to tomorrow due to the storm.

Links: Soups, braising squash, tacos, and sopapillas

Snowy, cold weather is soup weather. Some recipes that I'd like to try:

Kabocha squash braised in dashi. I'm wondering if this would work for any type of squash (for example, the many butternut squash that I have in my pantry).

Vegan lentil walnut tacos. Husband is not a lentil fan, but perhaps they'd be well hidden in these tacos?

Sopapillas. I don't like frying, but these quick donuts sound good.

Finally, a timely post on Food52 on what to do with an overload of red cabbage. I have two heads of red cabbage in the fridge that I need to find recipes for.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow and salad

The Blizzard of 2015 continues. With all of the drifting, we don't have an exact measurement, but we clearly have over two feet of snow, and might even be two and a half feet. It's still snowing out there, which it will be doing for several more hours.

I tried the apple and watermelon radish with feta and walnut salad for lunch today. I used one large watermelon radish instead of two medium ones, but otherwise followed the recipe. The salad was good, although next time I will either cube the radish or grate it. The thin slices (cut in half because the radish was so large) tended to stick together too much.

Husband suggested photographing the salad with the snow behind it.
I had some trouble getting the color of the salad to be right given the bright white of the snow. Here's a photo of the salad with the color looking more like the salad actually looked. 
I'd definitely make this salad again, particularly given the large number of watermelon radishes currently in my fridge. It'd be good with some halved grapes mixed in as well, I think.

Links: A plethora of watermelon radishes

I have many bags of watermelon radishes in my fridge. Even with slices of them on my morning's bagels, I'm not making much of a dent. I've been doing some searching for recipes that use watermelon radishes. Here are the most interesting ones that I've found:
Watermelon radishes can also be pickled (e.g., with the Momofuku vinegar pickle recipe).

I also found many recipes for roasting watermelon radishes, but I did not enjoy the roasted radishes that I made last winter, so I'm going to stick to raw watermelon radishes.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What's in the box, 1/21/15 edition

In this week's box: watermelon radishes, butternut squash, beets, apples, purple top turnips, sweet potatoes, the tiniest leeks, red cabbage, and a bag of mesclun (but with lots of pea tendrils instead of a usual mesclun mix -- still, we're getting greens in January, which is great).

I was happy to see the beets, as we just finished the rest of the ones we had in the fridge this past week. I'm developing quite a backlog of butternut squash, watermelon radishes, and purple top turnips. Time to try out some new recipes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

What's in the box, 1/14/15 edition

In the box this week:
Butternut squash, rainbow carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi, hakurei turnips, leeks, pea tendrils, popcorn, and daikon radishes. No purple top turnips, although I still have last week's sitting in the fridge.

Why I didn't do a lot of cooking at home last week:
On the left hand side of the photo above, taken at sunset, you can see a Clearpath Robotics' Kingfisher robot. I was invited to participate in a robot testing session at McGill's Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados, where I saw many robot systems over the three days I was there.
Rainbow carrots in the box; real rainbow on the beach.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sounds like there's more butternut squash coming my way...

The Boston Globe had a story on CSAs last week. In it, Farmer Chris mentioned that the farm has 20,000 pounds of butternut squash ready for an institution like a college or hospital. As I read the article, I found myself thinking that there's more squash in my future....

Salad bar: Beets, panzanella, and pomegranates

Some of the salads I made over the past couple of weeks:

A beet and clementine salad, with feta and walnuts, dressed with peach balsamic and olive oil.

I left out a half baguette by mistake, so turned the stale bread into panzanella. I roasted some escarole to chop into the salad. Not traditional, but I thought it worked well. Dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

I made "Oregon salad", but substituted pomegranate seeds for the hazelnuts. The colors were quite intense before the salad was dressed.

Finally, a composed salad of spinach (from the winter market at Russell's), yellow beets, blood orange, goat's milk feta, and pepitas. I dressed the salad with peach balsamic, olive oil, and a grind of fresh black pepper.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What's in the box, 1/7/15 edition

First box of the new year: carrots, watermelon radishes, butternut squash, green cabbage, potatoes, leeks, purple top turnips, and pea tendrils.

I'm wondering if the pea tendrils could be made into soup. I'd have to blend it very well to make all of the stems disappear, most likely. Perhaps I'll give it a try.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Links: Soups, salads, and quesadillas

Joy the Baker's citrus and greens salad. I'd probably modify the recipe to remove the celery and possibly change the parsley to mint (although I'm not sure about mint and avocado together). But it looks like a good idea to combine many types of citrus with some salad ingredients.

Food52's persimmon, radish and watercress salad, continuing the fruit and greens thought.

Beets and citrus, although we don't have very many beets left in the fridge. We don't tend to get too many storage beets from the farm in the winter, but perhaps this winter will be different. More beets, please!

Two butternut squash soup recipes, because I still have 4 large butternut squash in my pantry:

I'm going to try the one with miso and coconut milk first.

Mushroom, kale and goal cheese quesadillas from Joy the Baker. This reminds me of the mushroom, goat cheese, and caramelized onion quesadillas from Whole Foods, of which I am quite fond.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Parsnip puree with hazelnuts

I asked the husband to peel me some parsnips the other night. He made art: a parsnip forest.
I used the parsnips to make a puree with chopped hazelnuts. Boil the parsnips, chopped into evenly sized pieces, until soft. If you don't have really big chunks, it'll probably take 10-15 minutes. During this time, roast some hazelnuts on the stove top and then chop them (after they cool a bit).
Drain and puree the parsnips with some milk, butter, salt and pepper. Then stir in the chopped hazelnuts.
I found that the hazelnuts added some good flavor and texture to the puree. Husband suggests that a finer chop of the hazelnuts might have been better.

We also made some leeks to accompany our dinner, using this recipe for leeks cooked in butter and brown sugar.
 We served the parsnip puree and leeks with scallops (for me) and trout (for the husband).

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy new year! We rang in the new year with chocolate mousse with olive oil and salt, something I've made a few times for special occasions. It's really easy to make.
The recipe calls for at least 70% chocolate. I used two bars of 85% and one half bar of 90% to get to 9 ounces of chocolate. It turned out very dense and a bit bitter. Go for 70% if you'd like it a bit sweeter. I think I'll go back to 70% the next time I make it.)
I chopped the chocolate in the food processor, as suggested in the recipe.
I then heated one cup of whipping cream and poured it over the chocolate in a metal bowl.
After 2-3 minutes, gently stir the melting chocolate and cream together.
Move it to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit on the counter for at least 4 hours.

Serve with a good olive oil and good salt. If you want less, cut the recipe in half. At this amount, it makes enough for 6-8 servings.

If you have leftovers, it can be refrigerated, but will need to be brought back to room temperature before serving it again.