Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 5

We are reaching the end of the early vegetables: Spinach, bok choi, arugula, garlic scapes, turnips, etc. Summer vegetables are starting to come in: Broccoli, cucumbers, squash, carrots, beans, kale, beets, etc.

We’re visiting the farm this weekend for a picnic. We’re excited to see where our food grows and meet the farmer and his apprentices! We might also go help pick garlic there on July 4.

What we received in our share this week:

  • Lettuce, Scallions, and Cilantro: I’ll add these to taco salads for lunch this week. I’ll probably use the cilantro for guacamole, too.
  • Beets: I’ll roast them and serve them with lentils, feta, and aioli.
  • Broccoli: Just a simple steaming or roasting with garlic, served as a side for pork tenderloin or steak.
  • Cucumber, Garlic Scapes, Chinese Cabbage, and Scallions: I’ll probably make some light kimchi and serve it with bulgogi and rice. It is also timely for upcoming Independence Day because kimchi on hotdogs is amazing.
  • Kale: Tossing it in a frittata with sausage this weekend.
  • Spinach: We still have quite a bit of spinach right now, so I’ll either make this into creamed spinach or freeze it so I can cream it later.

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 4

What we received in our share this week:

  • Spinach, lettuce, scallions, and cucumber – Lunch salads! You’ll probably read that all summer long.
  • Bibb lettuce – We didn’t chop this for salads. We’re keeping it whole and using the leaves for taco wrappers.
  • Basil – I used this tonight in round two of the Vietnamese pork and cold rice noodles dish. I made enough for two meals and needed another set of fresh herbs to chop up and throw in there.
  • Bok Choi – I’m going to stir fry it with quinoa and chicken.
  • Turnips and kohlrabi – Earlier this week I pickled turnips and kohlrabi. It turned out great. This week I’ll chop them up into roughly finger-sized sticks and roast them with olive oil and minced garlic.
  • Garlic Scapes – I’ll chop up some of the garlic scapes and use them in salads. The rest we’ll throw in a frittata with spinach and sausage on Saturday for breakfast.

How we prep greens for salad

Here’s what we do every Tuesday night to make our week easier:

  1. Wash all of the greens in a bowl in the sink, a batch at a time. If it is a head of lettuce, we separate the leaves from the head.
  2. Chop the big greens, leave the small ones like spinach and arugula alone.
  3. Spin the greens dry in a small salad spinner we picked up a few years ago.
  4. Store the greens in gallon-sized ziplock bags that we leave unzipped. We put these bags in the drawers at the bottom of our fridge.

Everything usually keeps for about a week, but we prioritize eating the chopped greens first, since they wilt faster. Prepping the greens ahead of time makes putting together lunch salads a breeze.

See you next week!

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 3

We love CSA season because it saves us from ourselves. If we had to choose each week to buy these vegetables, we probably wouldn’t. We’d probably eat sandwiches or pizza in their place. Since we made the healthy choice once and it lasts for the rest of the summer, we get a lot more veggies in our diet. We hate wasting food, so we get creative and we persevere through those nights when we are tired and don’t want to cook. CSAs are a good thing.

What we received this week

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Here’s what we’re doing with it:

  • Garlic Scapes and Spinach – I made a pesto with the garlic scapes, a handful of spinach, juice from one lemon, two tablespoons of pine nuts, and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan. We ate it tonight with red lentil pasta, cherry tomatos, and skirt steak. (If you are looking for other things to do with garlic scapes, I wrote a post about them last year!)
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  • Arugula, lettuce, cucumber, scallions, and the rest of the Spinach – Salads for lunch!
  • Turnips – We love this Turnips in Mustard Sauce recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. That is definitely how we’ll use these gorgeous turnips this week.
  • Kohlrabi – Last week I peeled the kohlrabi and cut it into thin slices and tossed it into a stir fry with chicken, carrots, baby corn, bell peppers, broccoli, bok choi, chicken, and rice noodles. I’ll either do something similar this week or dice it up and throw it in a breakfast skillet with potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, and onions.

Our salad template

Since we’ve been getting a lot of greens that we’ve been using for salads, here is our salad template:

  • Greens – Spinach, arugula, green/red leaf lettuce, tatsoi, etc)
  • Protein – This is mostly dinner leftovers, but some weeks I’ll cook some chicken or flank steak and slice it thinly and we keep it in a container just for salads. On busy weeks like this one, I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shred it when I get home, then we’ll use that for the protein.
  • Vegetables – We use whatever we have on-hand. This is usually scallions, bell peppers, radishes, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers. Amanda and I usually dice a bunch up on Tuesday nights and keep them in the fridge so we can throw salads together quickly. Occasionally we include green beans, snap peas, carrots, zucchini, squash, etc. I’m not kidding when I say it is whatever we have. Salads are an excuse to eat vegetables for lunch instead of burgers.
  • Cheese – We love cheese and always have some type of it around. As long it is hard enough to grate, it goes on salads.
  • Dressing – Here are a few dressings we love:
    • Lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper – This is a regular for us. We squeeze half a lemon on some greens, drizzle some nice olive oil on top, give it a few cranks with your black pepper mill, and mix it all up. We’ve been using this Frankies 457 olive oil. We found a great deal on it locally.
    • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. For two people, we do 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a few cranks of black pepper. We often mix it together right in the bowl with the salad greens and toss everything to coat. It is worth using some quality balsamic since it is the backbone of the dressing. We’ve been using this 18 year from The Olive Scene.
    • Creamy oil-roasted garlic dressing
    • Not a dressing, but this is our favorite seasoning for salads: Sunny Paris from Penzeys.

 

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 2

Week two came just in time! We finished our greens from last week’s share with today’s salad lunch.

Here’s what we’re doing with this week’s share:

  • Lettuce, spinach, radishes, and scallions – These will make up the bulk of the ingredients for our lunch salads this week. I’ll cook some chicken or flank steak for the protein and add cheese, bell peppers, and some light dressing.
  • Kale and Basil – I used both of these in tonight’s dinner. I made pasta with pancetta, sausage, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, Parmesan, kale, and basil. I also made enough for us to have for lunch tomorrow. (We’ve been using chickpea-based and lentil-based pastas for the last few months to cut down on carbs.)
  • Turnips – I usually enjoy small, early turnips like these by halving them and roasting them with grapeseed oil for 20 minutes at 400F, usually with other root veggies. This week, though, the CSA newsletter included a recipe for a Turnip Puff. It intrigued me, so I’ll probably make it this week. Perhaps with ribeyes.
  • Bok Choi and Kohlrabi – I have two possibilities for these and I’m not sure which one I’ll pick.
    • 1. Stir fry. I’d shred the kohlrabi and rough chop the bok choi, add a protein, ginger, soy sauce, and serve it all over rice.
    • 2. This bok choi and kohlrabi pizza. My mandolin would make quick work of slicing the kohlrabi, we have enough bok choi for the pesto and the toppings, and we love making pizza on our baking steel. We have dinner plans with people multiple nights this week, so this would make a weekend lunch.
    • Alternatively, the kohlrabi would make a great addition to the roasted turnips if you peel it and dice it in one-inch chunks. The bok choi I made last week was great, or you could add it as another salad green as long as it isn’t more than 1/3 of the total greens. It is a little bitter and stands out in a salad. Keep it minimal.

Sisters Hill Farm 2018 CSA: Week 1

After a cold spring, the weather finally turned and it is finally fresh vegetable season again!

I switched CSAs this year. The Groundwork Hudson Valley lost some of its funding, so many projects like the farm market and CSA got cut. We loved Peace and Carrots farm, but they aren’t delivering down to Yonkers anymore without the support of Groundwork. I searched for another CSA that delivers nearby and I found the Sisters Hill Farm, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity New York. We pick up every Tuesday at Mount Saint Vincent College in the Bronx. There are still spots if you’d like to join!

Here’s what I plan to do with this week’s share:

Salad dressings

Since most of this week is dedicated to salad, here are a few dressings we love:

  1. Lemon juice, olive oil, and black pepper – This is a regular for us. We squeeze half a lemon on some greens, drizzle some nice olive oil on top, give it a few cranks with your black pepper mill, and mix it all up. We’ve been using this Frankies 457 olive oil. We found a great deal on it locally.
  2. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and black pepper. For two people, we do 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a few cranks of black pepper. We often mix it together right in the bowl with the salad greens and toss everything to coat. It is worth using some quality balsamic since it is the backbone of the dressing. We’ve been using this 18 year from The Olive Scene.
  3. Creamy oil-roasted garlic dressing
  4. Not a dressing, but this is our favorite seasoning for salads: Sunny Paris from Penzeys.

See you next week!

What I Did With My CSA Shares: Weeks 15-20

I’ve been a slacker and let six weeks of CSA posts stack up. For most of that time I was traveling either during the week, on the weekend, or both, so I just snapped photos and resolved to post about it later. After driving up to the Peace and Carrots Farm (our CSA provider) today for their Harvest Fest, I decided that I shouldn’t wait any longer.

Week 15

We used all of this except the potatoes in a giant salad that we took with us on road trip up to Maine. We tossed in some grilled chicken and were on our way! When we came home a week later, we used the potatoes in a breakfast skillet.

Week 16

We missed week 16 because we were up in Maine on vacation. I’m sure the veggies were gorgeous as always!

Week 17

The day we got this share we had to drive to Ohio for a birthday party, so we took one of the Long Island Cheese Pumpkins, the shishitos, and the jalapeños to my parents.

The rest:

  • Celeriac – I peeled it, chopped it, and put it in a veggie soup a few weeks later.
  • Garlic – We put it in the pantry with our large garlic store for winter!
  • Bell peppers 🌶- We put these in a veggie soup and cut up some for a breakfast skillet a few weeks later.
  • Broccoli 🥦 – We tossed the florets with olive oil and roasted them at 400F for 15 minutes, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and pecorino cheese afterward.
  • Radishes – We sliced these up and put them on chorizo potato tacos 🌮.
  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin – We intended to roast this and save it for pies, scones, and bread, but it started to rot before we could get to it 😔

Week 18

The day we got this share we drove to Virginia for a wedding, so this stuff was promptly put in the fridge for use the following week.

  • Tatsoi – I chopped this up and added it to a veggie soup the following week.
  • Delicata Squash – Roasted and topped with brown butter and fried sage.
  • Brussels Sprouts – I roasted them at 400F for 20 minutes with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Peas – I chopped these up and added them to a big pot of veggie soup.
  • Spinach – We froze this to use later this year with creamed spinach or chickpea, spinach, and ginger stew.
  • Carrots – Chopped up and put in the veggie soup.
  • Garlic – We put it in the pantry with the rest to use this winter

Week 19

  • Cabbage – Chopped up and put in a large veggie soup.
  • Fennel – Chopped in half and simmered in the veggie soup broth before all the veggies were added. It is also pretty good braised in chicken broth and eaten as a side, or shaved and put in a salad.
  • Garlic – Saved in the pantry.
  • Hot Peppers 🌶 – Chopped up in tacos and breakfast skillets.
  • Spinach – We froze this to use later this year with creamed spinach or chickpea, spinach, and ginger stew.
  • Celeriac – We saved this and it will most likely get chopped up for a soup.
  • Yellow sweet peppers – We added three of these in a breakfast skillet and will probably freeze the other one with some other leftover peppers.
  • Brussels Sprouts – We are going to roast these in a little olive oil for 20 minutes at 400F and season with salt and pepper.
  • Kale – We have a bunch of greens, so we’ll probably make a big batch of greens sautéed with garlic and bacon.

Week 20

  • Delicata Squash – Roasted and topped with brown butter and fried sage. Or roasted and puréed into a vegetable mash.
  • Jerusalem Artichokes – These are tricky. I’ve only had them once before and I didn’t like how I prepared them (as part of a veggie mash). I talked to the farmer today and she prefers to roast them whole, so that is what I’ll probably try this time.
  • Turnips – I like them roasted and I like them diced up in veggie soup. I’ll probably do half and half.
  • Radishes – We are making flank steak tomorrow, so I might slice these and add them to a guacamole or I might make some radish slaw.
  • Turnip Greens – See below.
  • Lacinato Kale – I’ll probably take a bunch of greens I have in the fridge and saute them with garlic and bacon. Maybe some peppers, too. Though I could take this kale and make a quick breakfast with it.
  • Jalapeños – I’ll probably add this to some guacamole and add them to other dishes to give some heat.
  • Spinach – I’ll probably make creamed spinach later this week.
  • Sweet Peppers – We’ll use some of these in a breakfast skillet, but then we’ll chop up the rest and freeze them for this winter.
  • Celeriac – We already have one of these in the fridge right now, so I’ll probably peel this one, dice it up, and freeze it for soup.

Frittatas

You can make thousands of frittata recipes just by changing the fillings, but the base always remains the same: Eggs, veggies, and meat (if you are partial to that sort of thing; I am.) I’m going to give you a specific recipe for the frittata I made this morning, generalize a formula for making any frittata, then pull some suggestions out of my Instagram archives for good combinations.

Frittatas are great for brunch with your family or friends, but they are still worth making for 1-2 people. I like eating the leftovers for breakfast during the week like a cold pizza. Delicious.

Bacon, Potato, and Brussels Sprouts Frittata

Necessary Tools

  • Large (12-14in) non-stick skillet that is oven- and broiler-safe
  • Non-metal or coated spatula (so you don’t scratch your non-stick coating)
  • Knife and cutting board suitable for chopping
  • Stove with burners and an oven
  • Fine cheese grater (for grating the chunk of parmesan)
  • Oven mitt

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts, cleaned and chopped if they are large
  • 1 large potato, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6-8 eggs, whisked with an ounce of half & half or milk for fluffiness.
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Start browning the chopped bacon in a skillet over medium high heat and add the cup of water to it. Cook down until the water is gone, stirring occasionally. Continue letting the bacon brown, stirring more frequently so it doesn’t burn, until it is crisped to your liking.
  2. You may need to pour off some of the bacon grease during this process. If you do, pour about 1/4 cup of it into a non-stick skillet. We will use this to fry the potatoes, brussels sprouts, and onions.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  4. Heat the excess bacon grease (or olive oil if you aren’t using bacon) over medium-high heat in a large, non-stick skillet that is oven safe. Choose the skillet wisely; the size of the skillet determines the size of the frittata. Carefully put the diced potatoes into the grease to start browning them. Stir occasionally to keep them from burning.
  5. As the potatoes are starting to turn golden brown (5-7 minutes), add in the brussels sprouts. The sprouts we had were tiny, so I didn’t bother chopping them. If you have larger sprouts, definitely chop them. Continue stirring occasionally.
  6. After the sprouts have been in for 5 minutes and are starting to get crisp on the sides, toss in the diced onion. Continue stirring occasionally.
  7. When the onions are starting to get soft (about 5 minutes), turn the heat down to medium.
  8. Pour in the whisked eggs & milk and stir everything to make sure the fillings are evenly distributed.
  9. Cook over medium heat until the sides start to pull away from the edges of the pan and start to bubble. Don’t stir, just let it set up. The center should still be runny.
  10. Take the whole pan and put it on the center rack in the oven for 10 minutes.
  11. After the 10 minutes are up, pull the pan out and grate the parmesan cheese and grind some black pepper over the top.
  12. Turn on the broiler, pop the pan (if it is broiler safe, i.e. your handles won’t melt) back in the oven under the broiler until the cheese melts and crisps up the top. This takes 3-5 minutes. Watch it attentively so it doesn’t burn.
  13. Pull it out of the oven and let the pan cool on the stovetop for 5 minutes, then carefully release the frittata from the pan by working a non-metal spatula around the edges. The frittata should then easily slide out on the cutting board.
  14. Cut like a pizza and sprinkle each slice with a little sea salt and serve.

 

 

Basic Frittata Formula

Ingredients

  • Choose 1 meat, three vegetables, and 1 cheese. If you are a vegetarian or don’t want meat in it, that is okay. Make it to your tastes.
    • Crumbly cheeses like feta are good for mixing into the frittata. Hard cheeses are better for grating on top of it.
    • Veggies like spinach and cherry tomatoes should be mixed in with the eggs instead of cooked beforehand.
  • For a 1 inch thick frittata, use 6-8 eggs in a large pan or 4-5 eggs in a medium sized pan. If you want a thicker frittata, add more eggs. If you want a thinner one, use fewer eggs.
  • Salt and pepper are good general seasonings, but sometimes oregano, garlic, thyme, and others work well with your ingredients.

Instructions

  1. Cook and brown the meat you are using (if you are using it.)
  2. Clean and chop all of your veggies.
  3. Cook your veggies in stages so nothing gets overcooked. In my recipe above, you’ll notice that I cooked potatoes first, then added brussels sprouts, then added the onions so that by the time the onions were done, everything else was, too. If I had added the onions at the beginning, they would have burned by the time the potatoes were done.
  4. Whisk the eggs with an ounce of half & half or milk. The added liquid and protein makes the final product more fluffy. If you add salt, let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs, stir so the ingredients are evenly distributed, then cook over medium heat until the sides start to pull away from the edges of the pan and start to bubble. Don’t stir, just let it set up. The center should still be runny.
  6. Take the whole pan and put it on the center rack in the oven for 10 minutes at 375F.
  7. Turn on the broiler for the 3-5 minutes to brown and crisp the top. If you want to grate cheese on it, do this before broiling. Watch it attentively so it doesn’t burn.
  8. Pull it out of the oven and let the pan cool on the stovetop for 5 minutes, then carefully release the frittata from the pan by working a non-metal spatula around the edges. The frittata should then easily slide out on the cutting board.
  9. Cut like a pizza and sprinkle each slice with a little sea salt and serve.

 

Ideas for good ingredients combinations

  • Ground turkey, spinach, broccoli, onions, and basil
  • Mushrooms, shallots, thyme, and soft cheese like camembert
  • Broccoli, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes, and green onions
  • Spicy Italian sausage, brussels sprouts, jalapeños, and asiago cheese
  • Mexican chorizo, potatoes, and onions
  • Ham, kale, green peppers, and goat cheese
  • Ham, broccoli, and cheddar

 

Here are a few frittatas I pulled from my Instagram feed:

FrittataFrittata