Tuesday, June 30, 2009

CSA Recipes - Week 4

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the rhubarb compiling in your refrigerator?  This week will be the last delivery of it for the season, so try to get inspired to experiment with this marvelous spring vegetable.  In case you had any doubts about the Rhubarb-lentil soup recipe posted a couple of weeks ago, a CSA member brought me a sample last week of her version, and it was fantastic!! Also, just yesterday eve I made a batch of the rhubarb spritzer, but used the juice of a whole lime instead and added about a cup of fresh mint to the pot and let it stew with the rhubarb.  Yum! You can do any number of variations with that recipe, and the results are bound to be refreshing and delicious!  But, in case you are still not convinced to try either one of those, here is one classic not to be missed:

Rhubarb-Strawberry Crisp
(about 6 servings) from the Moosewood Cookbook
 - an easy cobbler to make...use less sugar if you'd like it tart

2 lbs. fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-1" chunks
3-4 C. sliced strawberries (you can vary this recipe by adding other fruits, such as apple)
1/3 - 1/2 C. cane sugar
1 C. rolled oats
1 C. unbleached flour
2-3 Tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a dash or two of each: nutmeg and allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbs. melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 375'F.
2. Combine rhubarb and strawberries in 9" square pan. Sprinkle with cane sugar.
3. Mix together remaining ingredients in med.-sized bowl. Distribute over top of the fruit and pat firmly into place. 
4. Bake uncovered 35-40 min., or until the top is crisp and lightly browned and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature. 

For additional rhubarb recipes, please click on the link provided (under 'Rhubarb recipes') in the link section at the bottom of this blog page.

Now, as for sugar snap peas, they, too, can be fun to cook with (if you don't eat them all first). As you will be receiving a lot of these sweet things in the next couple of weeks, I thought I should touch on ways to incorporate pea dishes into your evening meals.  Sugar snap peas' sugars turn quickly to starch once picked, so these are one crop you don't want to be stingy with...enjoy gorging on them without guilt while they last!  In cooking, peas partner well with butter, sesame and peanut oils; herbs such as dill, parsley, basil, chives and mint; ginger, fresh garlic (or scapes!), shallots, onions, and scallions.  When used in cooked dishes, it is easiest to eat the peas if you remove the strings (with a paring knife, cut into the stem end, lift the string that binds the pea like a zipper, and pull down to the blossom end), however, in my laziness I often skip this step and worry about that when I'm eating them. 

Stir-fried Peas with Red Pepper Flakes
(serves 4-6)

1 1/2 Tbs. roasted peanut or sesame oil
1 garlic clove, chopped (or about 1 tsp. chopped garlic scapes)
1 lb. sugar snap peas, strung
1/2 - 1 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste
sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste

Heat a wok or large skillet (med.-high heat), then dribble in the oil. When oil is hot, add the peas and garlic and stir-fry until peas are bright green. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with salt and peppers, toss again, and serve. Variations may include items such as fresh mince ginger, or even turnips (halved and added a couple minutes before adding peas).

Blanched Sugar Snap Peas (Cook's Illustrated Best Recipe Cookbook)
(serves 4-6)

1 tsp. salt
4 C. (about 1 lb.) sugar snap peas, strings removed

Bring 6 C. water to boil in large saucepan. Add salt and peas, cooking until crisp-tender, 1 1/2-2 min. Drain, shock in ice (or cold tap) water, drain again, and pat dry. Can be set aside for up to 1 hour before seasoning)

...with Hazelnut Butter and Sage
2 Tbs. chopped, toasted hazelnuts
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage leaves
salt/black ground pepper to taste

1. Toast nuts in small skillet over med. heat, tossing pan often for even toasting, 3-4 minutes or until just fragrant. Set aside.
2. Heat butter in medium saute pan over med. heat until it turns the color of brown sugar and smells nutty, about 5 min. (do not let burn). Add blanched peas, sage, and nuts. Toss to combine and cook until peas are heated through, 1-1/2 min. Adjust seasonings, adding salt/pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

...with Ham and Mint (can omit ham for vegetarian version)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/2 C. country or smoked ham, cut into 1/4" dice
2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
salt/ground black pepper to taste

Melt butter in med. saute pan over med. heat. When foam subsides, add ham and saute for 1 min. Add peas and mint, tossing to combine. Cook 1-1 1/2 min. until peas are heated through. Adjust seasonings, serve immediately.

....with Lemon, Garlic, and Basil
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1 med. lemon, minced, plus 1 Tbs. juice
1 med. garlic clove, minced (or 1 tsp. mince garlic scape)
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt/ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in med. saute pan over med. heat. Add zest and garlic, saute until garlic is golden, about 2 min. Add peas, lemon juice, and basil. Toss to combine and cook 1-1 1/2 min. until peas are heated through. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Hello sister! I absolutely love your new blog! After looking and reading about all the produce you have harvested, I am definitely hungry for some of the sauteed snap peas with red pepper flakes...maybe we can throw in some garlic scapes as well? Bella, the kids and I are so excited to come see you and Darrin and eat our way through K-Falls! Love you lots!