--or: The Return of the Iron Chefettes!
I can't speak for Miss T., since I don't talk to her about what I'm cooking with my CSA box--other than to taunt her with my mad CSA-box-using skilz--but the summer is settling into that point where the food from the box is varied and delicious and, frankly, hardly needs any help at all from me to be worth eating. That point arrived late this year--thanks, Mother Nature--but it has arrived.
This week's ingredients included a Jimmy Nardello sweet pepper, garlic, onions, red potatoes, cucumbers, kale, summer squash, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, green beans, salad mix, and a bouquet garni. Miss T. and I also both purchased tri-color potatoes and fresh blueberries.
I'll spare you the salad shots--you know what a good salad looks like, right? I used all kinds of things--the salad mix, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, the Jimmy Nardello pepper. I dried the bouquet garni to save for the winter. There were several cucumbers, which I divided between two favorite recipes.
Did I say I wasn't going to show you any salads? Oops. I lied.
A sort of bastardized salad Nicoise, with steamed potatoes and green beans, salad mix, and cucumbers. And tuna. Tuna from Italy. Very nice tuna. Very nice salad. Very happy me.
Speaking of potatoes, I roasted some of the tri-colors:
--which went quite suitably with steak and mushrooms.
Some of the leftover potatoes made an appearance, diced and sauteed with butter and onions, in some scrambled eggs.
Because, really, is there any vegetable that doesn't blend well with eggs? I think not.
This one was of my favorites of the week: Chicken with Haricot Verts and Lemon Butter. OK, these really aren't haricot verts, but they are young, fresh green beans, and it worked just fine. Such wonderful flavor--especially with the lemon. I wish there had been leftovers. Next time I'll make more.
More potatoes, steamed this time. And--roasted kale! I saw this over on Cheryl's site. I tossed the kale with olive oil and roasted until crispy, then sprinkled with sea salt. Oh my. As usual, I find roasting a vegetable to be such an easy way to change up its flavor profile altogether. And the chicken? Peri-peri Nutty Chicken. Don't know what that is? Let me explain: NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.
That should clarify things for you.
I'm struggling how to describe the above dish, Rice with Summer Squash, Red Peppers, and Roasted Pepitas. Not because it wasn't good--it was good, very--but because it wasn't, somewhat surprisingly, a flavor powerhouse. It was mild and gentle. And good! But--well--gentle. Not that that's a bad thing. It just feels odd, when everything else I've made is, to use the old cliche, bursting with flavor, to try and explain something that doesn't burst and make it sound good is a challenge.
Unlike the dish below.
This was from a list of 101 salads by Mark Bittman: grated carrots tossed with roasted sunflower seeds, blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper. I'll confess to being the only person in the house who liked it. And even at that, truly? These blueberries? So amazing that it seemed a shame to bury them in something else. I initially planned to bake the rest of the blueberries, or use them in pancakes, but instead we simply ate them. As one ought to do when one has access to such fruity excellence.
Finally, I'll close with two pasta dishes.
One rainy night, I made spaghetti sauce, using some of my cherry tomatoes along with garlic and onion, and my mother's secret spaghetti ingredient: French's Spaghetti Sauce Mix. Yes, I know--hideously non-gourmet and all that. But that's how we made spaghetti when I was growing up, and sometimes you just have to go back to basics.
I made up for it here, though.
I've got a little old cookbook I got through the mail from Antoine's Pasta (are they still around? They don't have a website) years and years ago that had a recipe for Ratatouille Pasta. This used up the eggplant and the last of my summer squash, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Along with some red and green peppers. Oh my. Very, very tasty.
Overall, an excellent use of my box. No matter what Miss T. comes up with, I shall remain smug and self-satisfied.