Tag Archives: CSA

Week 6 Pick Box

Another interesting box from Frog Song this week. A real African theme, which befits Florida in the summer.

Pick box Week 6

  • Seminole Pumpkin, a few things come to mind; wonderful ravioli stuffed with pumpkin, or a classic pumpkin pie, or perhaps a cold pumpkin soup.
  • Sweet potato vines, we have lots of these in the garden. Perhaps a stir fry, but I am also going to see if I can find some African recipes for these.
  • Okra, another African vegetable, since we also got eggs this time, I think another okra frittata is on the cards.
  • Chinese eggplant, time for another steamed eggplant with chili sauce, perhaps paired with the sweet potato vine stir fry?
  • Cucumbers, lovely in a simple salad with lemon and olive oil at this time of year.
  • Eggs! Including Bethany’s favorite a blue Ameraucana egg.
  • Roselle, hibiscus sabdariffa is another African native and great for hibiscus tea, but also makes a nice jam, cordial, or the Jamaican Christmas drink, sorrel.

Stay tuned for recipes.

Week three pick box

Watermelon, Chinese eggplant, okra, peppers, red onions, Malabar spinach, and corn.
Watermelon, Chinese eggplant, okra, peppers, red onions, Malabar spinach, and corn.

Here is what we got in the box this week. John kindly swapped out the yard long beans for some malabar spinach, since we have so many of the beans from our own garden. By the way, here is the recipe I use for pickled yard long beans. You curl them into the jars whole so they look great in the jar and they come out like a Slinky.

Amaranth in Hot Garlicky Sauce (Suan Ni Xian Cai)*

My new favorite way to cook amaranth leaves. This is another variation on a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe from Land of Plenty.

Amaranth, all ready to go.
Amaranth, all ready to go.

Amaranth can be a somewhat fibrous vegetable, so prepping is well worth the time. Nip off the smallest leaves and set aside. Nip the leaves from the petiole at the base, so that the petiole remains on the stem (not sure about your parts of the leaf? See here.) using a paring knife, strip the petioles from the stem pulling them down the stem so that you remove the petiole and some of the fibers from the stem, just like you would peal a stick of rhubarb. Wash everything thoroughly. Amaranth can be gritty as well. Chop the stems in half inch pieces and roughly chop the leaves. Now you are ready to begin. By the way, this prep is pretty much what I use for any amaranth recipe. Here is the recipe.

 

Amaranth in Hot Garlicky Sauce

  • One bunch of amaranth, prepped as above.
  • Four tablespoons of sweet aromatic soy sauce (fu zhi jiang you).
  • Four tablespoons of chili oil.
  • 2-3 cloves of crushed garlic.
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
  • Chopped papalo (or cilantro) for garnish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. In the meantime mix the soy sauce, chili oil, garlic, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Blanch the amaranth for about 3-5 minutes. Test a leaf to check if it is cooked. Strain the amaranth from the water. Thoroughly mix the sauce into the amaranth and place in a serving bowl, sprinkle with the papalo. Serve warm.

image
Front; amaranth in hot and garlicky sauce. Back dried fried beans.

We had this with dry fried yard long beans (gain bian si ji dou) and we just couldn’t resist traditional corn on the cob with lashings of butter, since it was so fresh. So this was an all-CSA meal tonight. The pork in the beans is just a flavoring and the beans are crunchy, the amaranth is very garlicky and somewhat spicy. All in all a great combination. ll washed down with a Vouvray.

* My Chinese is virtually non-existent. So I hope I have this right. Let me know if I need to correct it.

Frog Song Organics and the pleasures of CSA.

Contents of pick box.
Green beans, watermelon, amaranth, lemon basil, Chinese eggplant, onions, and sweet peppers.

We just signed up for Frog Song Organics Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) weekly pick box for the summer. Frog Song is located in Hawthorne, FL, up near Gainesville. So not exactly local, local. But they have started coming to the Winter Park Farmers’ Market on Saturday so we can pick up there and, as John says, the climate and soil in Gainesville is so much better for vegetables than down here, even though it is only a couple of hours away. They supplied a great first box; watermelon, amaranth, lemon basil, green beans, grape tomatoes, Chinese eggplant, sweet peppers, and onions.

This blog is going to be all about what we cooked with the CSA each week, augmented by stuff from the garden and from the rest of the farmers’ market. I hope you stick around the the next post to see what we did first. Unless otherwise noted you can assume the dishes are prepared for two people; me and my lovely, hungry, and discriminating partner Bethany.