Monday, August 30, 2010

Eggplant Hot Pockets

Every culture has them - calzones, turnovers, etc. I use store-bought puff pastry dough to make mine and have made so many savory variations. It almost cheating as it's so easy to make an indulgent meal with no dough-making. To start take:

2 medium eggplants
4 hungarian hot wax peppers
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 sheet puff pastry dough (I use Pillsbury found in the frozen case next to the pies)

Poke the eggplants and roast for 40 min until it collapses. While it's baking cut the peppers in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and bake for 10 minutes alongside eggplant. Begin poking eggplant around 30 minutes into baking to see if it's gotten soft yet. If it's leaking juices it's ready. Let eggplant cool for 10 minutes, cut in half and scrape out all the tender goodies. Roughly chop peppers and the eggplant, too, if necessary.

Meanwhile, shell 1 1/2 cups of pistachios secretly eating all but 1/2 cup (cook's privilege!) and place in bowl large enough to contain all the ingredients for mixing. In same bowl, crumble feta. When veggies are ready, combine and stir into nuts and cheese.

Lightly dust your work surface and roll out pastry dough very thin. Use bowl and trace line and cut out a circle. Working with one circle at a time, fill with as much ingredient as you feel comfortable with. I use about 1/2 cup per turnover but you might have smaller circles. Gently nudge filling to one side and cover with other side of dough. Pinch overlapped ends with a fork and transfer to a cookie sheet to bake. Repeat for remaining dough. Bake for 15 minutes or until dough is lightly brown.

This one does take practice to get a feel for handling the dough but the effort is well worth it.

Bitter Melons!

Some CSA shareholders received bitter melons in their shares today from Shady Pine Farm! The staff here at the Co-op thought that we should provide you with a little more information about this beautiful (though perhaps strange-looking) fruit:

Native to humid, tropical climates, bitter melons are widely grown in India, Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and the Caribbean for medicinal and culinary purposes. As a medicinal, bitter melon is said to be tonic, stomachic, and carminative and is used as an herbal remedy for rheumatism, gout, and diseases of the liver and spleen. To remove the bitterness, scoop out the seeds and boil the gourd in salt water. Bitter melons are great for curries and stir-fries—try out the recipes below and let us know what you think! Or send in your own recipes to the CSA email or in the comments section below.

The following recipe is from Indonesian Food and Cookery by Sri Owen:

Pelecing Peria
Serves 4

3 to 4 bitter melons
6 red hot chilies
3 candlenuts (can be substituted with raw peanuts, macadamia nuts, etc.)
2 cloves garlic
1 piece terasi (shrimp paste, available at Thai shops)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
juice of 1 lime

Cut the gourds lengthwise in half, take out the seeds, and then slice like cucumbers. Put the slices into a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave for at least 30 minutes. Wash under cold running water before boiling for 3 minutes with a little salt. Pound the chilies, nuts, garlic, and terasi in a mortar until smooth. Heat the oil in a pan and fry for about 1 minute. Add the gourd and stir-fry for 2 minutes; season with salt and lime juice. Serve hot or cold.

A few more bitter melon recipes:

Check out these links for more ideas:

Bitter Melon Pork Stir-Fry from Serious Eats:

Bitter Melon Shrimp Stir-Fry from Home Chinese Recipes:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jalapeno Sauce

I wonder what people are doing with the bounty of jalapenos from this week. I wanted to do something with them before they wilt or go bad. I've decided that the best thing is to preserve them by making a pepper sauce. This blender sauce recipe is so simple and takes 10 minutes. I can't really claim to "make it up" on my own since it's pretty obvious. The best thing is that you get the freshness of fresh peppers and the bite of vinegar without the thickeners and preservatives.

6-8 jalapenos
1 lg yellow onion
2-3 cups white vinegar to top
Salt to taste

Prep jalapenos by cutting the stems off, slicing down the center and wiping out the seeds. Cut the ends off a yellow onion and remove the paper. Roughly chop the peppers and the onion.

Take equal proportions from the chopped jalapenos and onions and add to the blender. Top with enough white vinegar to near the level of the ingredients. (The vinegar is only a carrier and having less vinegar keeps the finished sauce thicker.) After adding about 2 teaspoons of salt, blend until everything was reasonably uniform. Pour into a jar and continue to the rest of the ingredients.

I usually have about 3 cups of jalapeno sauce when I'm done. I use this sauce as a finishing on stir fries or as a condiment at the table. This separates a bit so it's good to shake before using. I've kept mine for 4-5 weeks as I'm finishing it and have never had any problem with it.

Tip: Wash hands thoroughly and vigorously including under fingernails after handling hot peppers. You'll want to wash your cutting surfaces and knife as well.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bok choy stir fry

Carolyn, who picks up her share at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, created a versatile stir fry built around bok choy. She posted it to another web site and wanted to share with LFFC CSA members, too.

Crash Hot Potatoes and Blue Cheese Red Potato Tart

If you're like me, you ran out of ideas of things to do with all the potatoes we were getting pretty darn quick, and you still have some to use.. Two of my FAVORITE resources to turn to for new recipe ideas are The Pioneer Woman (I also like the Tasty Kitchen section of the site) and Smitten Kitchen. These are two of my roommate and I's favorites.

Crash Hot Potatoes
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

12 (ish) small round potatoes
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
herbs for seasoning

Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender.
While you're waiting for the potatoes, drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet. This is what's going to keep your potatoes from sticking, so you want a nice thin layer spread out over the pan, not so much oil that your potatoes are swimming in it.
When your potatoes are done in the water, spread them evenly on the baking sheet. Take your potato masher and smush them down, just until it breaks and starts to flatten. Turn your masher 90 degrees and smash again. Repeat for all potatoes. The idea is to get nice little cohesive smashed potatoes that almost look like cookies on the sheet, but mine never turn out that way. Mine end up falling apart when I smash them, every time, without fail. So, I just bunch all the smashed potatoes together in the middle of the sheet and bake them like that. Works out just as tasty.
Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the tops of your smashed potatoes (use the good stuff), sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, and season with whatever herbs you have on hand. Most recently I used the lovely rosemary from the delivery. Chop it up fine and sprinkle over the top.
Pop it in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. The potatoes will get a little crispy, but still be nice and soft inside. I love them with a dollop of sour cream, but I love just about anything with a dollop of sour cream. These will still be quite tasty without it.

Blue Cheese and Red Potato Tart
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Deb at Smitten Kitchen lists a savory tart shell recipe that sounds delicious, but I use store bought pie crust and a 9" pie plate, and it still turns out yummy. All depends on how adventurous you want to be.

1 9" pie crust
1 lb small red potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1/4" slices
1 c heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 lb crumbled blue cheese (I'm partial to gorgonzola)
1 T finely chopped herbs (my favorite we've tried so far is dill)
sea salt

In a medium sauce pan, lay your potato slices and cover with water. Add another 1-2" of water. Leave uncovered and simmer about 10 minutes, or until tender.
While potatoes are cooking, place your crust in your pan of choice and fit and trim to pan.
Drain potatoes, and if they don't seem dry, pat them dry with towels. Arrange potatoes, overlapping slightly, in circles around the pan. Think of a bullseye - that's the arrangement you should be going for. Once your potatoes are all in the crust, sprinkle your crumbled blue cheese evenly over the top.
Whisk the cream and the egg yolk together and pour over the top. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt and your chopped herbs of choice over the whole shebang.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. This can be served warm or cold - I like it cold the next day for lunch!
Note - This will not set like a custard! While warm, it will still be quite jiggly (for lack of a better word). Don't overbake it!

Spicy Sardine and Kale Pasta

Sardines were a food fear of mine leftover from childhood. Canned whole fish just did not sound appetizing to me. Two nights ago I faced that fear and was pleasantly surprised. Who knew sardines were so cheap and delicious? And I can now say that something is "packed like a can of sardines" and actually know what that looks like!

1 can of boneless, skinless sardines packed in oil
1 can of organic chopped tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of dinosaur kale (de-veined and chopped)
1 lb of whole wheat spaghetti
2 tbsp. capers
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely or pressed (less if you don't LOVE garlic like I do)
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more if you like spicy!)
2 tsp. white wine or red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. of fresh chopped basil
finely grated parmigiano reggiano for the top

1) Heat oil from sardines in a large sautee pan on medium/high heat.
2) Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in the oil until garlic just starts to brown.
3) Add cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes.
4) Add chopped canned tomatoes and cook until heated through
5) Add vinegar, chopped kale, dried basil, black pepper and capers and cook until kale is wilted.
6) Add sardines, broken up into pieces.
7) Set on low heat to simmer while you cook your pasta- stirring occasionally.
8) Cook pasta according to instructions, and when it is al dente, drain it and add to the sauce.
9) Toss pasta in the sauce with fresh chopped basil until well combined.
10) Serve piping hot with a dusting of parmigiano reggiano.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pepper Jack, Chicken, and Peach Quesadillas

If you are running out of ideas for what to do with your peaches this is a good way to incorporate them into a meal. I used a jalapeno pepper I got in my share last week instead of buying cheese with jalapenos in it. I also used chicken breasts and saute them with an onion (from my share) in place of the rotisserie chicken (may increase total cooking time).

Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 quesadilla and 2 tablespoons sauce)


  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled firm ripe peaches
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cooking spray


1. Combine honey and lime juice in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir sour cream into honey mixture; cover and chill until ready to serve.

2. Place tortillas flat on a work surface. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cheese over half of each tortilla; top each tortilla with 1/4 cup chicken, 1/4 cup peaches, and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Fold tortillas in half.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in the pan, and top quesadillas with a cast-iron or other heavy skillet. Cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until tortillas are crisp and lightly browned (leave cast-iron skillet on quesadillas as they cook). Remove quesadillas from pan; set aside, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges. Serve with sauce.

Nutritional Information

15.8g (sat 7.4g,mono 5.8g,poly 1.4g)
Kathryn Conrad, Cooking Light, AUGUST 2010

Salade Lyonnaise

I'm excited that we're getting dandelion greens in our shares here at the Co-op today because I've been waiting to try out this recipe! It comes highly recommended by a regular customer at the LFFC farmstand at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

The following is adapted from a recipe that appeared in the New York Times on June 18th of this year:

Salade Lyonnaise
Serves 2

1 bunch dandelion greens
olive oil
1/4 pound bacon
1 shallot or 1/2 red onion, diced
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add bacon when hot. Cook until crisp. Add shallot or red onion add cook for another minute. Add vinegar and mustard and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn off heat.

2. Meanwhile, bring about an inch of salted water to a boil in a separate pan, then lower heat. Break eggs into a shallow bowl and slip them into bubbling water. Cook for three to five minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on a paper towel.

3. Gently reheat dressing and pour over dandelion greens (they will wilt a bit), toss and season with salt and pepper. Top each plate with an egg and serve immediately.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Couple Good Recipes

Hi there! My name is Abby, and I'm a LFFC CSA member in Philadelphia. This is my first year participating in any kind of CSA, and I've loved the experience so far! Following are a couple of my favorite recipes I've used so far.

Fresh Corn Salsa

This is salsa in a very loose sense. I'm allergic to peppers and chilis, so I can't eat most prepackaged store-bought salsas. I used this as a filler in some taco wraps I made last week, and it was a smashing success. The fresh corn and tomatoes really make a difference.

1 ear fresh corn, shucked and cleaned
1 16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (feel free to use the equivalent in dried beans that you've soaked and cooked - I threw this together last minute so I didn't have time for the prep)
2 medium tomatoes, about 1/2" dice (You can dice larger or smaller, but I was trying to keep the size of the tomatoes relative to the corn and beans)
1 medium red or white onion, diced (I prefer red)
Juice of one lime
optional: 1 jalapeño or green pepper, diced small
optional: handful of fresh cilantro

Wrap the ear of corn pretty tight in plastic wrap, and microwave for four minutes. While that's cooking and then cooling, chop the rest of your veggies, tossing everything in a medium bowl as you go. When the corn has cooled enough that you can touch it without burning yourself, cut the kernels off the cob. I find it easiest with a medium sized paring knife; stand the cob on the larger end, and cut down from the top so the kernels fall onto your cutting board. I've seen another interesting way posted on various cooking blogs: using an angel food cake pan or bundt pan, right side up, stand the ear of corn in the center, using the tall center of the pan, and then as you cut away the kernels they fall into the bowl of the pan.

Once you have your corn and everything in the bowl, squeeze the lime juice over top, and toss to mix. This is great in tacos, or cook up some chicken or ground beef, spoon this over top and top with cheese and sour cream.

Tomato Sauce
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

The original recipe calls for canned peeled whole tomatoes, but I used fresh ones from the share and peeled them myself.

6 tomatoes, peeled*
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

Add tomatoes, butter and onion to a heavy bottomed pot over medium/medium high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium low, or enough to keep it at a slow simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally and crushing tomatoes against the side of the pan. Remove from heat, discard onion, and add salt to taste.

While you are certainly welcome to add herbs or seasonings to this, with the fresh tomatoes, I found that extra seasoning wasn't necessary. This made probably three to four cups of sauce (I didn't measure after I finished). I used some right away, and have some frozen to use later.

*easiest way to peel tomatoes! Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil. While waiting on the water, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl nearby. When the water is boiling, score an X with a paring knife in the bottom of each tomato, and drop into boiling water for about 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, and drop immediately into the ice bath to halt the cooking process. After another 30 seconds or so, remove from the ice bath. The skin should peel away easily.

I didn't seed the tomatoes for the sauce, but you certainly could. After peeling, cut them in half, and squeeze gently over a bowl (or the garbage disposal) to remove seeds. scrape a little with your finger if need be.

Stuffed Pepper Recipes from Organic Willow Acres

I was so pleased this morning to find two recipes on my desk from Organic Willow Acres! Naomi and John Fisher are Co-op member farmers that grew the beautiful stuffing peppers in the CSA shares this week. Here are their suggestions:

Stuffed Peppers
Stuff with cream cheese or sharp cheddar cheese. Wrap bacon around the pepper and stack in casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pickled Stuffed Peppers:
Take out the core from peppers and fill with seasoned cole slaw. Pack in jars and add brine (1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, and 3 cups sugar). Cold pack for 5 minutes. (To make seasoned cole slaw just add salt to taste.) Good luck!

Borage Lasagna

Borage growing at Lancaster Farmacy.

Borage was included in last week's Community Supported Medicine (CSM) shares, and this week some of you may find it in your CSA shares! Below is an excerpt from last week's CSM newsletter, written by Eli at Lancaster Farmacy, containing information about this fascinating plant, as well as some helpful cooking tips and a recipe:

Borage Borago Officinalis
Borage is a bushy green plant that has whimsical flowers that blossom when it is mature. All parts of this plant are used except for the roots in medicine as well as cooking. It is valued in changing one's mood and energy and has been claimed to be used for spiritual reasons. An old Latin verse goes: Ego Borago, gaudia semper ago. ("I, Borage, bring always courage.")

You can eat your Borage fresh or cooked like spinach (see recipe below). It has a hairy texture, which is avoided by mincing it into to small pieces to add to your salad. It excludes a fresh cucumber-like flavor. The flowers of Borage are savored for their sweet flavor and beautiful vibrant color. They are added to salads, or candied as a cake garnish. They are also fun to freeze in ice cube trays and added to lambic ales or lemonade teas. When using Borage flowers in a salad, be sure to add them on top at the last minute to avoid wilting and discoloration.

Borage Lasagna:
2 jars spaghetti sauce
9 ounces fresh Borage
1/2 lb carrots
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and basil, mixed
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 block of tofu (firmness doesn't matter, but preferably soft) or meat
8 ounces of vegan or regular cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
12 lasagna noodles
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
olive oil

1. Cook your lasagna according to the package directions.
2. Chop your carrots until they are completely broken up and diced (no chunks!!).
3. In a skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic, parsley, and basil for about one minute.
4. Add carrots and vegetable broth and simmer uncovered for about five to seven minutes.
5. Add tofu or meat and/or cheese, according to your preference. If using vegan cheese, add lemon juice and stir well. This is your "cheese." Stir over medium heat until it starts to become melty.
6. Add nutmeg and nutritional yeast. Stir and simmer for a few more minutes.
7. Remove from heat and set aside, but KEEP WARM.
8. Put the Borage in a food processor and chop it until it is a very fine consistency.
9. In an 11x17 inch baking pan, lay a layer of sauce down over the bottom (very thin). Spread cheese as the next layer, then Borage. Spread sauce over Borage. Repeat again until you have finished your layers, make sure that the sauce is your final layer.
10. Cover with foil. Leave room on the top for a bit of rising.
11. Bake a 375 degrees F. for 40 minutes to one hour.
12. Uncover an bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
13. Let cool and firm on top of your stove. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto

Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a LFFC CSA member from Philadelphia. I love to cook and try new recipes whenever I get a chance. This recipe I made when we received corn a couple weeks ago and I fell in love. I didn't know much else to do with corn except eat it on the cob. I found it fairly simple and delicious! My husband loved it too. I used whole wheat penne instead of fettuccine. I'm planning to make it again this week.

Pasta with Fresh Corn Pesto (adapted from the August 2010 issue of Bon Appétit)

  • 4 bacon slices, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 6 large ears)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • 3/4 cup coarsely torn fresh basil leaves, divided

Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, stirring often. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add corn, garlic, 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt, red pepper flakes, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until corn is just tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups corn kernels to small bowl and reserve. Scrape remaining corn mixture into processor. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan and pine nuts. With machine running, add olive oil through feed tube and blend until pesto is almost smooth. Set pesto aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Add corn pesto, reserved corn kernels, and 1/2 cup basil leaves. Toss pasta mixture over medium heat until warmed through, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency, 2 to 3 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and reserved bacon. Serve pasta, passing additional grated Parmesan alongside.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Salty Spicy Kale Pasta Recipe

This recipe is so delicious and satisfying- I've made it many times. It comes from 101 Cookbooks, a blog written by Heidi Swanson, a vegetarian and natural foods blogger based in San Francisco. It combines whole wheat pasta and kale, with a sauce made from olive oil, lemon zest, freshly chopped garlic, toasted pine nuts, spicy harissa and oil cured olives. I've made it with quinoa pasta as well and it is just as good. Harissa can be a bit difficult to find, but any middle eastern grocery should have it.

It should be noted that this also tastes fantastic cold the next day. Enjoy!

Hello and an easy okra recipe!

Hi, my name is Alexandra and I am a LFFC member in Philadelphia. My favorite thing about getting a weekly farm share delivery is the challenge of coming up with recipes to use up all of the wonderful produce. I've also been introduced to many new vegetables through my membership, some of which have become my new favorites. One veggie I love in particular is okra. I love it in Southern stews and gumbos, and Indian curries but my new favorite okra recipe takes very little prep work and cooking time.

Okra "French Fries"

Wash Okra pods

Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a bit of garlic powder- all things to taste

Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, until browned and crisp

Dip in ketchup- or as I like to do- dip in ketchup spiked with Sriratcha sauce!

You will be amazed at how much these remind you of french fries!

Friday, August 20, 2010

From the in-box - Idea for tomatillos

Hi Kathan,

Here is a link to a tomatillo recipe I found. Chile Verde- I'm making it today.

As for recipes for the upcoming share- I just read that ground cherries are good dipped in chocolate?! I would have never thought of that.

Take care,

Jo Ann

(Thanks, Jo Ann, for sending this along. - ddd)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Okra recipes and edible memories

An okra tasting menu. I've thought it might be fun to showcase a particular ingredient in a meal with friends and okra might be a good place to try as I bet not too many are familiar enough with it. I didn't get enough in my share this week to make all three dishes but it would be fun to if you're an okra fan. If you're lucky you traded with someone or somehow have enough to try all of these. Jerry, a CSA member from Wyomissing, sends along these recipes and reminiscence of cooking with the family. Thanks for sharing, Jerry. - ddd

My Mom loved okra, and my five siblings and I did too.

My favorite way is to broil the whole pods. I roll the pods in a bit
of olive oil, season with salt & pepper and put in one layer in the
broiling pan. With broiler on high, broil the pods about four or five
inches from the flame, for six or seven minutes. Then turn pods over
and do the same to the other side. Don't over cook, a hint of
browning on each side is all you need. Spritz with lemon or lime
juice, adjust seasoning and dig in. The stem makes a great handle to
eat by hand. I also sprinkle with a fresh herb like oregano or basil
when they are on hand.

My Mom's favorite method was to dip the pods in buttermilk, shake off
the excess, roll in corn meal seasoned with salt and pepper, then fry
in a skillet with about 1/4" peanut oil on medium high heat. Don't
crowd the pods, cook till nice and brown on both sides. Yummy!! No
buttermilk on hand? Beat an egg or two, thin with plain milk, dip the
pods, shake off excess and follow the steps above.

Okra is great in stir fries, and when cooked with canned chillies and
diced tomatoes, makes a fine side dish.

My recipe:

1/2 Lb Okra, sliced into 1/2 rounds
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (I think Hunt's is best)
1 small onion chopped
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Swanson low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 small can Ortega or Old El Paso chopped green chillies

Put all ingredients EXCEPT tomatoes in a sauce pan and cook over
medium heat until the okra is tender and no longer slippery. Add
tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Spoon into bowls and add a bit of
fresh ground black pepper and chopped cilantro. I like mine hot, so I
add chopped jalapeños or crushed red pepper. 4 servings.

Hope this gives you some ideas!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Poem and a recipe

A poem that I read ages ago and been thinking of lately due to the recent bumper crop of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and colors:

Ode to Tomatoes
By Francisco X. Alarcón

they make

in salads



of the kitchen

to imagine

first asking
their blessings!

I've been making tomato sauces, tomato-based soups (check out the gazpacho posted earlier) and even stewed some cherry tomatoes for use as a topping for green beans. My latest favorite, though, were the tomato chips from this week.

Last Wednesday I arrived late to my pick up site and lucked out as there were a LOT of red bursting tomatoes. They clearly were nearly past peak so needed to be used immediately. I took three big ones home and sliced them sort of thin (1/4 inch or maybe less) and spread them on two sheet pans and stuck them in a 350 oven. They stayed there for about 30 min then I took them out, seasoned with very light salt and oil them and did my best to flip them.

Keeping an eye on them every 15 min I cooked them maybe another hour altogether. By then they'd gotten to the consistency of sun-dried tomatoes. I cracked the oven door and left them in the oven overnight to dry a bit more. I could have added them to pasta or some other dish but snacked on them all in one sitting. What a treat.

What are you making with your tomatoes? Send us a recipe to post here or make a short comment below.

Eggplant Caviar

This recipe is courtesy of It was the perfect recipe for the enormous Italian eggplant I received in my share last week, and a big hit with my friends and family!

Eggplant Caviar
1 large or two small eggplants
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried)
3-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven on broiler setting.
2. Wash eggplant and pierce skin several times with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and broil on center rack of oven for 10 minutes. Turn and broil an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly.
3. Split the eggplant in half and with a spoon, scoop pulp into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse briefly, just until smooth. Add onion, olive oil, dill, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pulse only until mixed. You don't want to puree or further chop these ingredients, just blend them.
4. That's it! Serve warm or chilled on a hearty, crusty bread.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Zucchini Ribbons with Lemon and Almonds

Sylvia, a site host in Mount Airy, sends in this delicious-sounding recipe. Enjoy!

2-3 zucchini
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 T olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
sea salt, to taste
shaved parmesan cheese

1. Peel zucchini and then use a vegetable peeler to cut zucchini into ribbons. Put ribbons in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
3. Add dressing to zucchini and toss to coat. Adjust seasonings if needed.
4. Lightly toast almonds until golden brown. Sprinkle over zucchini.
5. Add shaved parmesan cheese, toss and serve.


I've joined as an editor of the LFFC CSA recipe blog and thought I'd post a quick intro to say Hi and encourage readers to participate.

Getting weekly fresh food has been a revolution in my diet. I really love to cook - eating is seriously sometimes an afterthought. Growing up for a dozen years in Asia means that I'm probably most comfortable with the Asian techniques and spices but I'm probably more pan-vegetarian now than any region. I like to learn and keep trying to hone my technique. I don't cook for a living but do fantasize about a second career supporting myself and my family cooking for small restaurant or with interesting catering gigs. Having new fresh vegetables and fruits have kept the summer fun for me. I live in Washington, DC with my dear wife and our 2 year old adventurous eater daughter.

Keep your recipes coming to Kathan please and we'll be posting them up as quickly as we can. If you have any stories behind the recipes it would be fun to hear. Are any of these inspired by dishes you've had as a child? While traveling?

Looking forward to sharing recipes and stories with you this summer.

Summer Heirloom Tomato & Corn Salad

This recipe is from our site host, Jenn, at the Fresh Thymes Café in Wilmington, DE.

4 ripe heirloom tomatoes
ears fresh corn cut off the cob
1 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro, basil, or mixture
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Fresh Squeezed lime juice
Celtic Sea Salt & Pepper for seasoning

Combine all ingredients in bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight or 4 hours. Serves 4-6. Enjoy the goodness!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Caramelized Fennel and Onion

A CSA member from Rutledge, PA highly recommends this recipe from a February 2010 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled "A Winning Dinner Party."

Caramelized Fennel and Onion
2 fennel bulbs
1 to 3 tablespoons of butter
1 medium onion, sliced in thin rings
1 tablespoon sugar (simple syrup of brown sugar may be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt


1. Wash and trim the fennel. Cut off the stalks and root end.

2. Cut bulbs in half and discard any tough outer layers. Slice as you would an onion, making thin rings.

3. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion. Stir to spread butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until the fennel softens, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the sugar and salt. Stir as it cooks another 10 or even 20 minutes, until the fennel and onions are a bit brown and tender. The longer and slower over low heat, the better the caramelization.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Thanks to CSA member from Bala Cynwyd, PA, for sending in this recipe from the November 1995 issue of Bon Appétit.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Serves 12

2¼ cups sifted all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1¾ cups sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2½ medium)
1 6-ounce package (about 1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour 13"x9"x2" baking pan. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Mix in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in 3 additions each. Mix in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan.