Hello, and it’s another fabulous week brought to me by my Viva Farms produce box. This week saw the end of the last box and breaking into the new box:
Once again, I am absolutely delighted with the contents of the box, and doubly excited that there were more strawberries as I’ve discovered the best summer recipe for strawberries: Chilled Strawberry-Rhubarb Soup.
Don’t let the word ‘soup’ turn you off. My dad said it was great, “just, don’t call it soup.” But whatever you want to call it, it was sweet, flavorful, has a creamy texture and is the perfect picnic or summer starter or even great drizzled over shortbread or ice cream. Give this a try at your Fourth of July barbeque this year!
I can’t even begin to describe how fabulous this recipe is. I didn’t have mint on hand so I improvised and sprinkled a sparing amount of lavender blossoms on top instead. I’ll have to make it again with mint next time just to see how it tastes! (Don’t skip the pepper! Trust me.)
That wasn’t just the only use for the strawberries, of course. That pint had enough to also enjoy them fresh and, in one case, sliced over oatmeal.
Of course I made an assortment of salads to take advantage of that lovely lettuce, and it stayed crisp and fresh for the whole week, didn’t even try to go wilty on the outer edges like store-bought will. This one was lettuce with chunks of almond cheese and sprinkled with basil before it got dressing.
While I was washing up the last of the spinach go in one of my salads, Tucker wanted to get involved and decided to lend a helping hand – er, paw – with the produce.
Another great thing to do with lettuce is top sandwiches. Fried egg and a few leaves of lettuce on home-made beer bread. I love beer bread, it has the faint taste of whatever your favorite brew is and it doesn’t need to rise before it goes in the oven, I can have a fresh batch of bread on my table an hour after I get home!
Roasted veggies are a great favorite of mine, a tasty way to use any number of veggies up before they go off in the fridge. This batch was made with potato, carrot, VF turnips, VF asparagus, jalapeno, leek, garlic, olive oil, pepper, basil.
Today I started a batch of soup. Softing soup is another great way to keep from wasting veggies, it’s made by taking everything in the fridge that’s starting to go soft but hasn’t actually gone bad yet and whatever else you have on hand you want that sounds good.
Today I added potatoes which were growing eyes and starting to look at me funny; carrots, celery and broccoli that was all sorts of soft and unappetizing; some tomatoes and jalapeno I got for salsa that never quite made it there; half an onion starting to turn; and garlic that was sprouting in the jar. I added some of Viva Farms’ turnips and the last bit of asparagus that hadn’t been eaten yet, 1 1/2 cups of lentils, and some vegetable broth cubes.
I usually leave it a broth based soup but today I decided to go experimental and added two cans of coconut milk to give it a bite, then added cumin, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, nutmeg, and coriander to make a nice spicy curry.
After I started it cooking, I dug in this week’s CSA box and got out VF’s tat soi. Had never heard of it before, but it reminded me of bok choi, a nice hearty green and I decided that would go well in the soup. I’ll add that in about an hour before the cooking is done and let it settle in. This will make for a great dinner with some of my beer bread!
I’m not a big fan of recipes for daily use, I tend to go with a more random and spontaneous flair, but once in a while a recipe does come in handy. Below are the recipes and not-recipes that I used this week.
Whatever veggies you like, hearty enough to be roasted, a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with herbs and just a touch of salt.
Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375F until the potatoes are done, about an hour depending on how thick you sliced them.
3 cups (13.5 weight oz) whole wheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 oz beer
Optional: whatever else sounds good to you. I add 1 tbsp flax seeds and 1 tbsp caraway seeds. You can also sprinkle the top with oats or drizzle with honey for a sweet touch.
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly, then slowly poor in the beer. Mix until fully blended and pour into a greased bread pan or muffin tin. Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes for bread, 25 for muffins, depending on your oven.
Tip: It’s better to measure the flour out by weight, it’s more accurate than by volume which can change depending on how densely it’s packed. It can make the bread too dry.
Everything in the fridge that’s starting to go soft but hasn’t actually gone bad yet and whatever else you have on hand you want to add until it fills about 1/3 of your slow cooker. Add 1/2 cup of dry lentils, rice, or 1 can of beans, rinsed. Add two cubes of broth stock and whatever other herbs and spices you like, then fill up with water and cook on low for 8 hours. Enjoy.