The blog post to end all blog posts


Quite literally, this will be the final blog post by me for our Neighborhood School CSA. I believe we are in the market for a new organizer, or this CSA will wind up disbanding next year. Anybody want to step up to the proverbial plate?

I know your CSA pickups are likely long gone. But that doesn’t mean your kitchen has closed forever and ever. So here is a selection of recipes I’ve been meaning to post, but had no time until today. (Starred items have pics)

* Garlic Vegetable Soup*
* Gooseberry Mini Pies*
* Cranberry Ginger & Lemon Chutney
* Butternut Squash Salad*
* Pears poached in port wine*
* Sour Cherry Sorbet

Garlic Vegetable Soup


The catch-all for overwhelmed CSAers. I resisted posting soup recipes because it’s, well, so obvious. But what the heck. Here’s a recipe for a small pot of soup

2 cups water
4 or 5 plump cloves of garlic, minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Whatever vegetables you have on hand – I used carrots, kale, potatoes, onion, corn, and some frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan to taste

Heat olive oil in a pot. Slice onions and sweat in the pot. Add garlic and toss in oil until coated.

Add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and carrots (cut into bite-size pieces). Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until broth is fragrant. Add greens, corn and peas and let simmer uncovered another few minutes. If you use spinach, add at the last second as it takes no time to cook.

Ladle into a bowl and add salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to taste.
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Gooseberry Mini Pies
Gooseberries are typically a Spring/early summer fruit. So I was really surprised to get them with our last fruit pickup. We did not get enough for a whole pie, so I made mini pies.

As you can see here, I baked them in a muffin tin

And here’s one on a plate

Refrigerated pie crust dough (it comes rolled up in a box, in the refrigerated section of the supermarket)
2 cups gooseberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tb quick cooking tapioca
1 TB Butter, plus butter or nonstick spray to coat muffin tins

Remove the papery shells off the gooseberries and cut in half. Place in a saucepan with sugar and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sugar melts and becomes translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the tapioca. Continue stirring for another few minutes. You may add a dab of butter to this mixture if you like (I didn’t). Take off the stove.

Preheat oven to 400F.

While the mixture is cooling, coat the muffin tins to prevent sticking. Then line the muffin tins with pastry dough. Spoon mixture into the cups. Then top off with strips of dough and pinch the edges of the tops to the sides of the dough cups. Brush melted butter over the tops and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until pastry dough looks like it’s nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Then remove from muffin tins. Note: I made these in my toaster oven.

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Cranberry Ginger & Lemon Chutney
1 medium lemon
1 12 oz bag cranberries
1/2 C (2.5 oz) crystallized ginger — may use some
fresh, too
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 C sugar

Grate yellow zest from lemon. Cut away and discard pith. Cut lemon crosswise in half and pick out seeds. Dice lemon into 1/4″ pieces.

In medium glass or stainless steel saucepan combine all ingredients. bring to a boil, stirring often to help dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick and cranberries have burst, ~10-15 minutes.

May serve warm or room temperature.

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Butternut Squash Salad
(Recipe courtesy of the NYTimes)

Butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded and grated (I used a food processor to grate)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or to taste (I used 3 TBs)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Combine the squash, raisins, oil, vinegar and ginger in a salad bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.
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Pears poached in port wine

You may recall that I made this recipe for my dinner party. Sorry it’s taken so long! I thought I’d posted it already. This recipe comes courtesy of Saveur and was a huge hit with my guests. (I served it with vanilla ice cream)

1 cup port wine
3⁄4 cups sugar
3 2″ strips orange peel*
1 2″ strip lemon peel
1 stick cinnamon
4 firm ripe Bosc pears
Ice cream, for serving

*I neglected to buy an orange so 1 TB of dried orange peel in my cupboard used normally for baking

1. Combine wine, sugar, orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon, and 2 cups water in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

2. Cut 1⁄4″ from pear bottoms to make a flat surface. Peel pears and nestle them into bottom of pan containing wine mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until a knife slides into pears with ease, 50–60 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool. To serve, transfer pears, cut side down, to 4 plates and drizzle some of the sauce from the pan over pears. Serve with ice cream.
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Sour Cherry Sorbet

I secretly begged for weeks that we’d get more sour cherries so I could make this again and take pictures. So amazingly yummy it’s NOT EVEN FUNNY. And as an aside, it will make you a little tipsy if you have a lot of it. Note you will have to freeze the cherries first, overnight is fine. You do NOT need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

3 cups pitted tart cherries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup white wine (I used chardonnay)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pit cherries and place flat in a freezer bag. Allow to freeze overnight.

Place cherries in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and pulse until blended. Pour into a freezer container. Cover and freeze until firm.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my postings over the season. As an aside, I have joined a winter CSA with the good people at the Prince George. You can find them via the justfood website where we were also linked. Hope to see some of you next year, if not with NSCSA, then with someone else in the neighborhood.

Bon CSAppetit!
Gina

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