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.