Saturday, December 12, 2009

Awash in a Sea of Produce

Keeping up with a CSA is hard!  We really struggled to find ways to use all the yummies we got before they went bad, and we still weren't entirely successful.  Not big fans of eggplant, those went to the break room at work for someone else to put to good use.  We had so many peppers we couldn't possibly use them all, and some of them have become shriveled and sad looking.  The rest, however, went into some tasty meals.

We used many of the peppers in a fresh salsa.  I roasted one of the poblanos, then minced and added it to the salsa, along with a few serranos and jalapenos. Some of the other peppers went into a chili Mr. L made later in the week, although even then, we still couldn't use them all up.

Lettuces and some of the carrots went into yummy salads for dinner and lunch.  And I triumped over the kohlrabi!  Thanks to Wendy over at I Love Baby Quilts! for sending me to a link explaining all the great ways to eat kohlrabi.  I went with the simplest - peeled and shaved raw over a green salad.  Delicious!  It really does taste like a raw broccoli stem - sweet and a little earthy.

I tossed the fennel and remaining carrots with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme and roasted them according to the instructions posted at TheKitchn last week.  Super yummy!

The butternut squash went to very good use in an amazing Butternut Squash Risotto with Shrimp from Bon Appetit's November 2009 magazine.  The risotto is infused with the sweet, earthy butternut squash flavor.  Because you saute the pancetta and shrimp separately and then stir them into the risotto at the end, they retain their individual flavors and as you're eating you discover pleasant pops of smoky pancetta and sweet-salty shrimp.  Divine!

The risotto looks a little monochromatic in this photo, but I assure you the orange squash, 
pink shrimp, and reddish-brown pancetta all pop on the plate.
The beets were fabulous in a Roasted Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop (thanks to SBITC and fortunecookiejunkie for reminding me of this awesome recipe!)  My favorite thing about this recipe is that it features the beet greens as well, so you really use the entire food.  And it has goat cheese, which is also always a plus. 

Lastly, the Swiss Chard went into a delicious recipe for Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans from Eating Well's January/February 2009 issue.  This one just didn't photograph so beautifully, but trust me when I say it tasted great!

We picked up this week's CSA delivery, and it contains much of the same as last week, including lettuces, carrots, beets, peppers, and two small butternut squash.  We received a few new items as well, including fresh dill, new potatoes, and bok choy.


I'm still a little stumped by what to do with all the peppers we're getting, though.  We just can't use that many serranos and jalapenos in a single week.  Do any of you have a solid way for preserving these?  Smoking and canning?  Pickling and canning?  Help!

I'm also having trouble identifying these peppers this week.  They're the size and shape of a poblano, but much closer to an anaheim in color.  Anybody have any idea what they are?  Can I stuff & bake them?

The largest of these guys is about 6 inches long, much closer to a poblano in size and shape.

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