Sunday, July 27, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 8: Potatoes

Much to my delight, this week's CSA box contained red-skinned potatoes. I am a staunch believer that potatoes benefit from the freshness factor. Granted they have a long shelf-life, and I love them for that too. But a potato newly plucked from the earth is a different animal (or vegetable) than one that's languished in storage. So to celebrate the kick-off of potato season I sliced ours, drizzled them with oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper and some springs of our own-grown rosemary. Then I wrapped them in foil and cooked them on the grill. Delicious.

To accompany our taters I defrosted some Cape May scallops from the freezer. In the early weeks of the OLS challenge I came across some at our local Whole Foods. Knowing you can never have too much of a good thing, I bought extra for freezing. I browned some butter, added some sage from the garden then seared the scallops until they were caramel-colored on all sides. Also delicious. We served them with CSA beets, another favorite in this household.

And if that wasn't enough, in an effort make good use of some of our other CSA goodies, the Mister whipped up some gazpacho. Tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and green pepper pureed perfectly into soup. I enjoyed a bowl almost every day this week. Freshness personified. So crisp and cool and such a welcome antidote to the steamy weather. That's a dollop of Pennsylvania-made yogurt on top, sprinkled with our own chives.

Friday, July 25, 2008


My cone flowers are in full bloom, and they seem to have attracted the attention of a certain yellow butterfly.

At this time last year I was in the home stretch of my pregnancy. On the morning we were heading off to the hospital my neighbor came out to wish us well. Maybe because we seemed a little nervous, she also took the opportunity to mention that she saw a yellow butterfly in our garden just the day before. She said she thought it was a good sign.

Our daughter was born that evening. Our neighbor still calls her "little butterfly."

I'm so glad to finally make its acquaintance.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 7: Pesto

This week our box from the CSA held lots of basil, along with some garlic and a handful of plum tomatoes. I could think of nothing else but pesto. I stopped by our local farmer's market to supplement the basil– it's always worth it to make as much as possible. It freezes well and is a welcome mid-winter meal. I served it over angel hair pasta from our favorite Italian shop in Brooklyn. I found many other uses for it throughout the week as well. Non-local ingredients included olive oil, Romano cheese and nuts.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Red Hot?

So our poblanos are on their way. This one seemed to go from green to this lipstick-red color almost over night. My research has revealed that poblanos do indeed mature to red. This surprises me as my experience with poblanos (as in chiles rellenos) led me to believe I'd be getting a larger, dark green pepper. I'm finding images of both my smaller red version as well as the green version I know on the Web. Anyone care to shed some light on the issue?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 6: Pizza!

Taking inspiration from some of my fellow OLS participants, I decided to grill up some pizza this week. I became even more inclined after discovering a pint of frozen tomato sauce in my freezer. I thought I had already used up last year's bounty, but fortunately I had not. I sliced up some locally made mozzarella. Then topped it all with some CSA radicchio and basil. I love what radicchio brings to a pizza– both in terms of flavor and texture. Its sharp bitterness plays off of the sweetness of the tomato while its crisp crunchiness is a foil for the melted cheese. And it just looks so darn good piled up on top...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

One Local Summer, Week 5: Crab Cakes

I know Maryland likes to claim them, but Jersey has their version too. These crab cakes were available (previously frozen) at my local Whole Foods. I'm having quite the OLS seafood streak, and you'll hear no complaints here. It's been a delicious way to keep our eating close to home.

The photo hardly does it justice, I was rushing against failing light and hungry bellies to get it done. I replicated the basil/garlic scape pesto I had made the week before and served that over some ravioli from our local Italian shop. CSA swiss chard and lettuce completed what was a very green meal.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Potential, part 2

Awhile back I wrote about and documented some flowers in my garden that were on the brink of blooming. Today I wandered around the veggie patch with much the same intent.

Mmmm. Tomatoes. Hard to imagine how those delicate yellow blossoms will ultimately yield such weighty fruit. Even the branches seem hardly prepared for the burden they will bear...

These peppers are a first for me. I'd say so far so good. I almost want to pick them now, but I have to wait for the color to deepen and the fruit to fatten.

This is our second go-round for zucchini. Our first attempt was a resounding failure so as I look at these gorgeous blossoms I feel it's decision time. Do we cut our losses, harvest the blossoms and enjoy them stuffed with cheese and lightly fried? Or do we keep the faith and hold on just a little longer...