What a treat we have this week! One of our fantastic 2016 Summer CSA members, Kim, has submitted the recipe below to share the love with all of us. One of my favorite things about this delicious Eastern European soup recipe is the number of veggies it uses that are currently in season! Thanks, Kim! Vegetarian Borscht By Kimberly Sturgill Looney Makes 6 servings Ingredients: 2 quarts Vegetable Stock (or 2 quarts Water and 2-3 Vegetable Bouillon Cubes) 2 tablespoons Butter (or Oil of Choice for Vegan version) 1 cup Cabbage, finely chopped 1 cup Potatoes, diced ½ cup Carrots, diced 1 stalk Celery, minced 1 Onion, chopped 1 can Stewed Tomatoes 3-5 Beets Salt and Pepper, to taste Chopped Dill or Parsley, to taste Sour Cream, to taste (Optional) Instructions: In a large pot, melt Butter and lightly sauté Cabbage, Potatoes, Celery, and Onion for approximately 5 minutes. Add Vegetable Stock and Stewed Tomatoes. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are soft. Meanwhile, boil 3-5 whole Beets in a small pot with enough water to cover them, until tender. Let Beets cool enough to cut them into julienne strips. Add julienned Beets and Beet Juice to simmering veggies to give soup a beautiful color and great flavor. Add Salt and Pepper to taste. Add another Bouillon Cube if needed for additional flavor, and add more Water or Stock if soup needs more liquid. Serve hot with dollop of Sour Cream and sprinkling of Dill or Parsley over each bowl. *Image courtesy of: https://longislandweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Zox_B.jpg.
‘Tis the season when zucchini grows giant overnight. This recipe is quick and easy, perfect for a family or easily increased for a large group gathering. Grilled Zuke & Herby Quinoa by Abigail Henson, Founder of LoFo* Makes 6 servings. Ingredients: 1 large Zucchini 6 Rainbow Chard Stems 1 cup Quinoa, uncooked 1/4 cup White Vinegar 2 tbsp. Sugar 1 tbsp. Kosher Salt 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta (Omit this step for a 100% vegan recipe!) 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped 1 handful of your choice of Fresh Herbs (I like mine chock-full of Basil, Mint, Parsley, Dill, & Sage.) Salt and Pepper to taste 1 Lemon, juiced Instructions: STEP ONE: Quick-pickle your Chard stems. It is absolutely tragic when I see someone toss the stems of a rainbow chard- they are so crisp and delicious, and the splash of color they add to any dish is worth keeping them around. This is an easy way to jazz them up. They will start to take the brine in within 30 minutes, for a quick-pickle fix. Chop at the nape of the leaf of 6 Rainbow Chard leaves, trimming the ragged edges where they were connected to the main plant. Slice each stem 2-3 times length-wise, and then cut across the width by the ¼ inch to make tiny cubes. In a small bowl, mix Vinegar, Salt, and Sugar and stir. Place Chard cubes in the brine and let rest. STEP TWO: Cook your Quinoa. I like to cook a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week so that I can speckle it into my meals throughout the weekdays without much hassle. Place Quinoa in a large bowl and submerge it in water, gently swirling it around. Strain in a fine mesh strainer and add to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of Water and a teaspoon of Salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat, and let cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let let rest for 5 minutes before removing the cover to fluff. STEP THREE: Grill your Zuke. While your Quinoa is cooking, slice your Zucchini into 4 sections, then cut each section in half. Each section will act as one serving. Rub Zucchini with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put seed side down on grill. Cover grill and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until char lines have appear and pieces are fork-tender. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly. STEP FOUR: Fill your Zuke. Taking the spoon down the center of the Zucchini gently remove the seeds and transfer them into a sauté pan. Combine cooked Quinoa and chopped Herbs. Add a drizzle of Olive Oil and Lemon Juice to the quinoa mixture. On medium heat, lightly toss all ingredients in pan. Transfer filling from pan into Zucchini boats. Top with chopped Kalamata Olives and crumbled Feta Cheese. Strain Rainbow Chard stems from the pickling liquid and sprinkle over Zucchini boats like it’s party time! Give thanks to the beautiful bounty you are about to receive, go forth, and eat local! *ABIGAIL HENSON is the Founder of LoFo, a company that specializes in conscious cuisine and provides catering, events, and education.
Last weekend, I visited Lockwood Lavender Farm during the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival and left with several fresh bouquets to dry at home. I arranged them into bundles, rubber-banded the stems, hooked jumbo paperclips through the rubber bands, and hung them off the utility shelf in my kitchen closet. Who knew you could do so much with a paperclip and a rubber band? Don’t fret! Such fun isn’t only reserved for lavender. Below are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way to stretch as much use as possible out of those big, beautiful bunches of herbs that come home with us from the farm. Treat fresh herbs like flowers. No, this is not a joke. You will routinely find vases of herbs around my little home in the summertime, and they make quite a fine substitution. All you need to do is collect the herbs into a little bundle, removing any leaves that would rest beneath the water. Trim the stems, and place your lovely arrangement in a vase. Place in a well-lit area at room temperature, and enjoy the lovely scents. Change the water regularly, continuing to trim the ends as needed and removing any soggy leaves that have crept under the water line. I’ve kept bunches of oregano fresh for cooking this way for three weeks! Wrap herbs in paper towels inside a sealed zip-lock bag, and store in the fridge. This approach is pretty straightforward. As long as the herbs are in a nice, moist, cool environment, they have quite a bit of longevity – up to 2 weeks! If you’re not a fan of herbal bouquets, this might be a better approach for you. Dry herbs for use all year long. It’s amazing how much money we spend on those little bottles of dried herbs when home-preserving is so remarkably easy. If you purchase a bundle of herbs so big that you couldn’t possibly consume it in a few weeks’ time, separate a portion. Rinse the leaves and allow them to air-dry on a clean towel. Collect all the stems into a bunch. For herbs with woodier stems, secure them with a rubber band. For more delicate stems, secure with string or dental floss. Then, hang that little bundle upside down in a dark area, like a closet, that isn’t too humid. (No basements for this kitchen experiment.) Herbs usually take approximately 2 weeks to dry, sometimes longer. You’ll know they’re done when they crumble at the touch. At this point, you can either crumble the leaves off the stems and store them in an airtight jar as is or use a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle for smaller, more even pieces.