Each Friday, we receive a box of locally grown veggies from Two Small Farms, a partnership of two farms, one in Watsonville and one in Hollister. This is our second year participating, and so far, we are thoroughly enjoying all the box has to offer (well, except maybe those back to back weeks of leeks in the spring!).
There is always a sense of anticipation, of excitement, to see what the week’s box brings. For me, it usually means trying several new recipes and exploring at least one new vegetable or herb that I have not tried before. And in order to stay on top of things, I try to think ahead about how I will use my box. Here is my plan for this week:
Romaine Lettuce lends itself nicely to side salads. After washing all the greens well, I will store them wrapped in paper towels in my fridge for our nightly green salad, dressed with a simple Meyer lemon vinaigrette (or ranch dressing for the kids).
With the New Potatoes, I will make a simple salad for the 4th. After boiling the potatoes (whole), I will slice them and toss with a vinaigrette of dijon mustard, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I will add 1 tablespoon of capers, and slice up 10-15 cornichons. A little parsley will make it all look pretty. I like to serve this salad chilled.
Chantenay Carrots are beautiful to look at, so my son’s favorite Carrot salad might be in order. And it packs well, so I will take it to the BBQ this weekend – Shred the carrots, add 1/2 cup diced jicama, 1/2 cup drained pineapple bits, 1/4 cup golden raisins. Mix the dressing of 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sugar. Pour dressing over carrot mixture and stir well.
I will save the Lacinato Kale for one night when we are home for dinner – I like to sauté sliced onions in bacon fat (yumm, bacon!), and then toss the chopped Kale in. Sauté for a few minutes, then add water or broth, cover and cook until tender.
The box will have either Dill or Cilantro - with either, I will make a dip. The dill goes nicely in a white bean, feta and green yogurt dip (whirl one 15 oz can, drained white beans, 4 oz feta cheese, 7 oz greek yogurt, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice together. Fold in 1/4 cup chopped dill. Serve with pita chips or veggies), and cilantro is great in guacamole. Either would be nice this weekend at the pool.
Baby Erbette Chard is another green perfect for the sauté pan. It is a little more delicate than the Kale above, so I cook it a little less, usually in olive oil. A sprinkle of coarse salt is all it really needs.
All my Basil these days has been going into making pesto. I use the recipe from Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook. 2 cups fresh basil, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons grated Romano pecorino cheese, and 3 tablespoons butter. Blend the first 5 ingredients together (I use my food processor), scraping the bowl from time to time. Pour into a bowl and blend the cheeses and butter in by hand. Since I freeze my pesto for later use, I don’t add the cheeses and butter. I divvy it up into little 1/2 cup storage containers, which are perfect for tossing with hot pasta, slathering atop chicken breasts before BBQing or using as part of a dip.
The box also includes two mystery items, but I won’t know what those are until they arrive!