Tuesday, June 28, 2011

yummy summer food

I think I've mentioned (once or twice....every other minute) that we joined a CSA, Embarras Valley Farm. We have been getting fresh produce, once a week, for about 5 weeks. We split the share with our awesome friends, Steph and Jake, and even split in half, it is still a ton of yummy veggies. Aside from it being grown locally and sustainably, the other big benefit is that we, as a family, have been trying all sorts of new things. Some have been hits, others misses. Either way, we are trying things we never would have tried before! Here are a few of our culinary adventures over the last week or so.

One veggie that was new for all of us was Swiss chard. (Doesn't it look so pretty in the pictures?) I decided to use the chard to make a creamy Swiss chard pasta. I thought it looked really lovely, with the oranges and reds of the chard. However, it was not a huge success with my taste testers. The chard had a really fresh, outdoorsy taste, which is my nice way of saying that it kind of tasted like grass clippings. It wasn't terrible, though, and since there are tons of leftovers in my freezer for another day, it is something we will try again. At least once.

Another new to us veggie is the radish. I was under the impression that I didn't like radishes, and that they were super spicy. I think I just didn't know a good way to prepare them. I used our radishes to make an amazing radish tart. I added some chopped tomato, green pepper, and green onion, and just used the whole egg instead of just the yolks. It increased the baking time a bit, and tasted so, so good. I will definitely make this again if we get more radishes. (I also used the greens to make a modified version of radish green soup. I froze it to save for soup-weather.)

I also made this easy and delicious kale salad (kale, carrots shredded in my food chopper, one chopped apple, a handful of craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette.)

Pretty cucumber mint "fancy" water

Taco pizza with dough from my awesome yard sale bread maker, (thanks Bethany!)and lettuce and cilantro from the farm (hopefully, between the farm and my planter garden, I will be able to use fresh salsa next time I make it!)

Also in the past week, thanks to abundant amount of fruit from our backyard mulberry and cherry trees, Domingo for picking said fruit and my Ball Canning House Party, I canned mulberry and cherry jam! (The boys loved mashing the berries!) It was pretty easy and tastes really great! It also looks so pretty!
I had enough cherries to also make a crockpot cherry buckle. Easy and tasty. (I, obviously, used cherries instead of blueberries, and I added more sugar, as my tree is a sour cherry tree.)

It has been fun trying new things! I can't wait to see what this week's share has in store for us!

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