Thursday, July 22, 2010

Recipes: Basil!

It's that time -- that moment in summer when gardens everywhere are bursting with a bright green explosion and the heady, sweet scent of basil. Think that basil is just for pesto and Italian foods? You're wrong! Called "The King of Herbs", basil has a versatile and surprising flavor that can be incorporated in a million different ways. (Not that we don't love a delicious, fresh Caprese salad now and then!)

Icy Basil Lemonade

This one is from my own kitchen -- I've been making it once a week all summer. Some people are skeptical at first, but everyone is converted as soon as they take a sip! The the bright green leaves also look beautiful floating in a glass pitcher with the yellow lemon wheels.

6-8 ripe lemons
8-10 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup superfine sugar, adding more to taste. (Substitute honey, agave nectar or stevia if desired)
Ice and filtered water

Juice all but one of your lemons (I roll them on the table before cutting to really get the juices flowing). Add sugar and stir thoroughly until dissolved. Add a few scoops of ice and fill with cold filtered water. Taste, add more sugar or lemon juice as needed -- I like mine on the tart side. Slice your last lemon into wheels and drop into pitcher, along with your basil leaves. Stir. Let sit for at least 30 minutes for the basil to infuse. Serve over ice. Note: I always remove the basil after 1 day as they can wilt overnight -- but the yummy flavor remains!

Basil Infused Olive Oil
Here's a great way to make your fresh basil work for you in a whole different way! (from

1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup pure olive oil

Tear the leaves off of the basil and place in a blender with the olive oil. Puree until smooth. Pour mixture into a large saucepan or skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a sterilized airtight jar or bottle. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 week.

Basil Dill Coleslaw
This recipe takes a summer classic -- ordinary coleslaw -- to a new level!

6 cups shredded cabbage
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill, divided

1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

In a serving bowl, combine the cabbage, basil and dill. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients until blended. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
The possibilities really are endless when it comes to basil! What are your favorite basil recipes?

What to Expect: 7/22

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Recipes: Fresh Corn and Bacon Pudding

Nothing says summer like sweet, fresh corn. We love it on the cob, we love it in a black-bean salsa, in a creamy chowder, or in a million other ways.

For the omnivores out there (especially those who believe that everything is better with bacon!) here's a new recipe to try from OrganicToBe: a savory corn pudding.

2 cups fresh organic corn kernels
1½ cups organic milk
2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter plus more for the pan
2 tablespoons unbleached organic white flour
2 organic eggs, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 slices thick free-range bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
½ cup grated organic Cheddar cheese (optional)
Chopped organic green onions for garnish

- Soak the corn in the milk for 15 minutes.
-Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 1-quart baking dish.
-Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, and cook it for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring.
-Drain the corn, and whisk the milk into the flour mixture. Simmer it until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
-Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the eggs. Stir in the corn, salt, pepper, and bacon.
-Pour the corn mixture into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake it until brown on top and firm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes before spooning it into bowls and topping it with green onions. Makes about 2 servings.

Do Ahead: Make the corn pudding and refrigerate it. It loses some of the lightness and velvety texture, but my son maintains that the flavor improves. Chop the green onions.

In the Morning (about 25 minutes): Warm the pudding in a 375-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Spoon into shallow bowls or small plates, garnish, and serve.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What to expect: 7/15

Phew! Your veggies have survived the record-breaking heat-wave! Expect your boxes to be filled to the brim this week with delicious goodies, including -- for the first time from Heaven's Harvest -- organic corn! Yum!

Full Shares

Scallions, Beans, Beets, Pickling Cukes, Cucumber, Corn, Red Chard, Escarole, Lettuce, Green Pepper, Hot Pepper, Zucchini, Yellow Squash , Broccoli/Cabbage, Potatoes

Half Shares
Beans, Beets, Pickling Cukes, Cucumber, Corn, Red Chard, Escarole, Lettuce, Green Pepper, Hot Pepper, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Potatoes

Single Shares
Beans, Pickling Cukes, Cucumber, Corn, Lettuce, Green Pepper, Hot Pepper, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Beets

Due to availability not all shares will have the exact same contents.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Miss Manners: CSA Edition

Thanks for supporting local farms with Crunchy Granola Baby and Heaven's Harvest! To make sure that we can continue being a drop-off location for the CSA, we ask that you note some simple considerations:

* Do not unload your CSA box using our couches or ottoman as tables. If they get wet and dirty, we can't use them for sitting!

* Place any unwanted or extra produce in the donation bin for St. Joe's food pantry.

* Kindly collapse your box and place it in the bin when you're done! (If you need us to show you how to do so, just ask.)

* If you have any questions or concerns about the contents of your share, we'd be happy to pass the information along to the farm where your boxes are packed.

We love hosting the CSA and we want to keep it going -- be considerate of us, our customers, and the other shareholders!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recipes: Blueberries!

Blueberries are one of the best parts of summer eating. Antioxident rich, sweet, juicy, and slightly tart when fresh, blueberries are great in desserts or smoothies, sprinkled on yogurt, or eaten alone as a snack.

We figured that you've already gotten the best muffin and pie recipies... how about a couple of new ideas for our favorite berries? Here's a delicous salad featuring blueberries & fennel (both in your shares this week!) and a tasty, berry-packed twist on latkes. (Both from

Peach, Blueberry and Fennel Salad

1/4 cup + 1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
2 large peaches seeded and sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 medium head fennel, cored and very thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro, loosely packed, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive or enova oil
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Place onions and 1/4 cup lime juice in a shallow non-reactive dish and set aside for 30 minutes or overnight. In a large non-reactive salad bowl, toss together peaches, blueberries, fennel, and cilantro. Remove onions from lime juice, discard juice. Add to bowl with salad. Add remaining lime juice, olive, salt and pepper, and toss until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over grilled fish, shrimp or scallops, or enjoy by itself.

Blueberry Latkes

2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. Matzo meal
3 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 c. milk (about)
4 tbsp. melted butter
2 c. fresh blueberries
Maple syrup

Sift first 3 dry ingredients, then add sugar and matzo meal. Add milk to eggs. Stir into flour. Stir in melted butter. Beat until smooth. Grease surface of a large frying pan or griddle and fry large latkes on medium heat, browning nicely on both sides. To serve, heat fruit gently, sweetening to taste. Spread with butter, put together in threes with blueberries between layers and syrup on top. Serves 4.

What to Expect: 7/8

Hope everyone had a happy (if hot!) 4th of July! What did you eat to celebrate?

Full Shares
Kale, Cucumber, Scallions, Fennel, Beets, Blueberries, Bunched Carrots, Escarole, Lettuce, Chives, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Purple Turnips, Peppers, Hot Peppers, Chinese Cabbage

Half Shares
Kale, Cucumbers, Scallions, Blueberries, Bunched Carrots, Escarole, Lettuce, Herb (Farm Pick),
Summer Squash, Zucchini, Radishes, Peppers, Bok Choy

Single Shares
Kale, Cucumbers, Scallions, Fennel, Blueberries, Escarole, Lettuce, Herb (Farm Pick), Summer Squash, Zucchini, Peppers, Beets

Due to availability not all shares will have the exact same contents.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is It? Scapes!

You are in for a treat in your CSA haul this week: Scapes. If you've never tried them, start now.

Scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. Growers often remove the scapes to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious. Looking like a curly spring-onion, with a subtle garlic-y taste, scapes will soon be your new best friend. They can serve as vegetable, aromatic, and herb all in one yummy bite!

I first tried them simply -- grilled with a little olive oil -- and I was totally converted to a scape-maniac who looks forward to them every summer. But if you want to get creative, here are a few ideas:

dice them into scrambled eggs
blend them into hummus
slice them thin into a salad
sauté them
use a small bit in guacamole
turn into a compound-butter with lemon and thyme
use in a pesto (see recipe below!)

Recipe for Garlic Scape Pesto (courtesy of
- makes about 1 cup -


1/4 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few generous grinds of black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1. In a small, dry pan set over very low heat, lightly toast the pine nuts, stirring or tossing occasionally until just beginning to brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

2. Combine the scapes, pine nuts, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse about 20 times, until fairly well combined. Pour in the olive oil slowly through the feed tube while the motor is running. When the oil is incorporated, transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. If you plan to freeze the pesto, wait to add the cheese until after you've defrosted it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What to Expect: 7/1/10

Welcome to week 4 of our CSA! Summer's kicking into full swing and bringing with it some of our favorite veggies.

Full Shares
Chinese Cabbage , Lettuce , Yellow Squash , Zucchini, Swiss Chard, Beets, Broccoli, Cherries, Mint, Fennel, Garlic Scapes, Oregano, Chives

Half Shares
Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Beets, Cherries, Mint, Fennel, Garlic Scapes, Oregano

Single Shares
Chinese Cabbage, Lettuce, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Beets, Cherries, Garlic Scapes, Oregano

Due to availability not all shares will have the exact same contents. All produce this week is certified Organic with the exception of the Broccoli, which is locally and conventionally grown.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Sauteed Bok Choy

This week, all shares inlcude one of our favorite veggies: bok choy. This Chinese cabbage is ridiculously healthy and nutritious; one half cup of raw bok choy, which is approximately 56 grams, contains only 10 calories. Additionally, bok choy contains no fat or cholesterol and is a good source of calcium (hear that, nursing moms?). It is also low in sodium and high in vitamins C and A. And, it's just plain YUMMY. Bok choy is delicious steamed, in soups, raw in salads, or, in our favorite preparation -- a garlicky stir fry.

Sure, this recipe is nothing fancy... but it's fast, easy, and oh so tasty.

1 head bok choy, sliced, both white and green parts
1/3 cup onion
, diced
1/2 tablespoon grated gingerroot

2 cloves garlic, crushed (or more, if you love garlic like we do!)
1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Rinse and drain bok choy and set aside.
2. Sauté onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil and sesame oil until onion is tender.
3. Add remaining ingredients and sauté for about 8 minutes.

That's it. Three steps. Thank us later.

What to Expect: 6/24/10

Week three is here, and a lot of fantastic treats will be making their way into your shares!

Full Shares
Collards, Mint, Sugar Baby Watermelon, Sweet Potatoes, Beets, Shelling Peas, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Turnips, Yellow Squash, Herb (Farm Pick), Scallions, Fennel

Half Shares
Collards, Grape Tomatoes, New Red Potatoes, Beets, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Herb (Farm Pick), Scallions, Green Pointed Cabbage, Yellow Squash

Single Shares
Collards, Sweet Potatoes, Turnip/Radish, Snow Peas, Bok Choy, Lettuce, Herb (Farm Pick), Scallions

P.S. Due to availability shares' contents will vary slightly. Full shares: remember to shell your peas before eating! Single Shares: You are recieving edible podded peas - enjoy the whole pod and inner peas too!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Wondering what exactly to do with that funny looking veggie in your latest CSA share? It's K0hlrabi, and it's delicious.

Kohlrabi came to the United States from Europe. Its name literally means "cabbage-turnip". Kohlrabi can be planted for both spring and fall harvest. It comes in white, actually green, and purple varieties.

Storage: Store kohlrabi with leaves on to maintain freshness. However, they can be stored sans leaves if you are short on space. Either way, store kohlrabi in your refrigerator crisper. Since they are so bulky, it is usually easier to simply use them right away.
Preparation:For recipes, trim off root and top, peel until fibrous layer is removed. You also can use leaves. Larger leaves may need to be boiled for a couple of minutes to remove any bitterness. Kohlrabi can be eaten fresh in sliced, julienned, and grated form, in vegetable platters, salads, and slaws. Alternatively, the roots and greens can be cooked for stews, soups, and gratins.

Here's an awesome recipe that uses the kohlrabi and the yummy summer squash in your CSA shares, courtesy of The best part? This is a recipe your kids will go CRAZY for -- they'll be too busy asking for seconds realize that they're eating their veggies!

Kohlrabi & Squash Empanadas
Ingredients: 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced; inch of ginger, peeled and grated; 2 medium kohlrabies, peeled and cut into small cubes; 1 large summer squash, cut into small cubes; 2 large scallions, both white and green parts, finely cut; 1 radish, minced (optional); 1 T. extra virgin olive oil; 1 T. butter; salt and pepper to taste; dash of freshly grated nutmeg; 1 box of pre-made pie crust (or one batch homemade); 1 egg

In a medium skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger to brown. Add kohlrabi cubes, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Toss well and cook 3 or 4 minutes until kohlrabi are softening a bit. Add squash cubes and continue to cook for 4 more minutes. Add scallions, radish, nutmeg and another pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for one minute before removing from heat. Set mixture to this side to cool.

Roll out dough to be a little thinner than pie crust typically is. If you are using pre-made crust from the store, run your rolling pin over it once or twice. Using a cereal bowl or large circular cookie cutter, cut out 6 inch-ish circles from the dough. It should yield about 15, give or take depending on your cutter and dough thickness.

Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Prepare egg wash by beating egg with a teaspoon of water and set to the side along with a small bowl of water.
To make the empanadas, spoon one tablespoon of kohlrabi and squash mixture into the center of a circle of dough. (It’s better to have less filling than too much or the empanadas won’t hold together. Feel out the right ratio that allows you to close off the dough without any filling popping out.) Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the outside edge of the dough. Fold dough over the filling to create a half circle. Press down edges. Carefully pick up the dough pocket and pinch edges (see photo) to seal them tightly. A fork can also be used to crimp the edges if you want a less tedious method.

Repeat above process to finish all the empanadas, laying them on the lined cookie sheet when done. With a fork, prick the tops once and brush with egg wash. Bake for 8 minutes and turn over. Bake another 5 to 7 minutes until deep golden brown and flaky. Best served straight from the oven.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What to Expect: 6/17/10

We're into the second week of our 2010 Summer CSA! Here's what you can expect this week:

Full Shares: Yellow Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Sugar Ann Snow Peas, Green Kale, Red Chard, Bok Choi, Lettuce, Strawberries, Napa Cabbage, Kohlrabi, Spinach, and Herb

Half Shares: Yellow Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Sugar Ann Snow Peas, Green Kale, Bok Choi, Lettuce, Strawberries, Kohlrabi and Herb

Single Shares: Tomatoes, Sugar Ann Snow Peas, Green Kale, Bok Choi, Lettuce, Strawberries, Kohlrabi and Herb

P.S. Due to availability shares' content may vary slightly

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What is it? Kabu

Wondering what that strange purple vegetable is in your CSA? Here's a blurb:

Kabu (turnip)Kabu has been widely grown and consumed in Japan since the 7th century. There are many different varieties with different shapes, sizes and colors, and it's commonly eaten raw, marinated or pickled. The most common variety is much more delicate than the turnips you usually think of: beautifully smooth, white and round, a little larger than the size of golf balls. The light green leaves have jagged edges and can also be pickled or chopped up and enjoyed in salads or cooked in miso soup. The flavor is somewhat similar to daikon, but milder and the texture, softer. The roots are high in vitamin C and iron; the leaves are high in fiber, vitamin A, and calcium.

Per Mamma Licia, Kabu tastes great grilled on the barbecue.

What To Expect: 6/10/10

CGB's Summer CSA is kickin' off today! And for all you shareholders, here's what to expect:

Full Shares: 2 heads of Lettuce, Mizuna, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Scallion, Cherry Tomato, Seedless baby watermelon, Chives, Oregano, Sugar Ann snow peas, Radishes, Potatoes, Zucchini, Beet Greens

Half Shares: Lettuce, Mizuna, Bok Choi, Broccoli, Scallion, Chives, Oregano, Yellow Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Radishes, Beets, Sugar Ann snow peas, Pickling Cuke

PS: Due to availability not all shares will have the exact same contents.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gettin' Ready for CSA 2010!

CGB's Summer 2010 CSA is kickin' off on Thursday, June 10!

Click here for details. We look forward to seeing you this Thursday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Do you crave fresh produce?

Do you want to support a local, organic farm?

Join our 2010 CSA!

A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for people to build a relationship with a farm. By making a financial commitment to a farm, the people become "shareholders" of the CSA and receive weekly baskets of produce. It's a perfect (and affordable) way to eat healthy and support a local farm.

And for the third year in a row, Crunchy Granola Baby has again teamed up with Heaven's Harvest Farm in New Braintree to offer local North Shore residents the opportunity to become shareholders in a CSA.


  • A full share is $600. A half share is $400
  • Previous shareholders can save 10% if they register by February 15. The final deadline for all shareholders is March 19.
  • The season runs for 15 weeks, from June to October.
  • Produce is delivered weekly to Crunchy Granola Baby on Thursday afternoons. Shareholders then stop by CGB (between 3 and 6:30PM) to pick up their share.

Want To Become A ShareHolder?

Register at Crunchy Granola Baby as soon as possible, no later than March 19. Checks should be made out to Heavens Harvest Farm and dropped off (or mailed) to Crunchy Granola Baby. Please include: Name, Address, Phone and Email.

The deadline for share registrations is March 19

Questions? Contact CGB at 978.741.0800

CGB is located at 72 Washington St. Salem MA 01970

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Learn to Cook!

Our good friend, and CSA shareholder, Licia is a fantastic cook. And I mean, fantastic.

And now she's launching her own business called Mamma Licia Cooking Lessons!

Discover the pleasure of an authentic Italian homemade meal, handcrafted with natural wholesome ingredients in less time than you think! Licia will teach you to cook with locally sourced ingredients that are in season and at their peak of freshness and flavor. She will help you create fresh, light and essentially clean pure food the way nature intended it. No processed stuff, GMOs, artificially colored or preserved foods. Love it!

During classes, you will explore the basics that withhold the secrets to it's healthful benefits and help you incorporate this cooking style in your everyday life.

Learn more about Mamma Licia classes here and contact her at