Week 19 Overview

This past week has been the least planned of all of them. That’s kind of how life goes the week before you leave for vacation and I’m not going to apologize for it. Everything piled up at the last minute and I found myself eating a little takeout and a lot of things on rice or toast. The “plan” you will see below is not an exciting one or one that I am following enough to keep it out of quotation marks. But at this point in the season, I have come to look at these overviews as a documentary project about what Lauren grows and what an average person cooks as much as I have viewed it as a cook-along up until now. I have big ideas about printing out a little book of the photos and cooking plans at the end of the year so that one day it can be a piece of history and not another piece of important information lost to the depths of the Internet.

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In the basket:
slicer tomato
red potato
salsa
okra
basil
eggplant
summer squash
sprouts
sweet potato greens

Extras:
turnip greens
lettuce
pawpaws

The “Plan”
1. One large skillet, full of halved eggplants and okra, chickpeas and shichimi togarashi, serve over rice with spoonfuls of tahini and a squeeze of lemon
2. Tonight! Squash, potato and red onion hash with salsa and dollops of Greek yogurt
3. Turnip and sweet potato greens braised with shallots and beef bacon over rice
4. Toast with vegan cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and sprouts
5. Salad with leftover BBQ brisket and leftover roasted vegetables- mostly squash and okra

Week 18 Overview

Summer is winding down here in Tennessee and we’ve got a final burst of tomatoes, okra and squash. I’m ripping my tomato plants out later this week to make space for greens and my winter squash plants have begun to fruit. Soon we’ll be making pies and soups, but for now- one last round of tomato sandwiches.

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In the basket:
slicer tomatoes
sungold tomatoes
okra
green beans
chives
zucchini
salsa

The plan:
1. Tonight I’m having baked salmon over rice with chives and crispy okra.
2. I happen to have some bone in, skin on chicken thighs in my freezer- I think I’m going to braise them with the salsa, shallots, a little cider and maybe a spoonful of chiles in adobo.
3. It’s September, so I’m guessing these are some of our last slicer tomatoes. Meaning: we are morally obligated to eat tomato sandwiches this week.
4. I’m hellbent on making this lentil salad from Basically with almonds, kale, scallions and castelvetrano olives and I just don’t see why I shouldn’t throw my sungold tomatoes into it!
5. Lately I’ve had pad see ew on my mind. My best friend and I used to order it to share from a place on Harvard Ave. in Brookline when it was too cold to go out and buy groceries and it’s one of the most comforting dishes in the whole world to me. It also happens to be one of the easiest Thai dishes to make! I’m going to use this recipe from Serious Eats with green beans and zucchini instead of broccoli and chicken. Honestly, I’m not convinced you need the Oyster Sauce, since most oyster sauce is made of sugar, some form of salt, a thickener and fake oyster flavoring. I think you could easily add extra sugar and fish sauce plus a little corn starch instead. I’ll let you now how it goes!

Week 17 Overview

Just as our winter squash is starting to fruit, the tomatoes gave one last push and put me not knee deep, not up to my eyeballs, but over my head in tomatoes. Lauren, my farmer, is in the same situation. We have two pints of sugary sweet sungolds and slicers in the CSA basket this week and well, I’m still not mad about it.

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In the basket:
slicer tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
rosemary
lettuce
yard long beans
globe zucchini
garlic
salsa

Extras from my garden:
cherry tomatoes
slicers
turnips
radishes
figs!!!

The plan:
1. We had one pizza dough leftover from last week, so this morning we rolled it into flatbread and ate it with halved cherry tomatoes, scrambled eggs and salsa. You could do the same at home with tortillas! We have so many tomatoes this week I suspect we’ll be making this again.
2. At this very moment I am making a version of Tara O’Brady’s grilled tomatoes. Only mine are braising in the oven at 350 with the garlic and rosemary, a little fennel seed, salt, red pepper flakes- lemon and chickpeas will go in later. I’ll probably toss the finished product with rigatoni- and lots of it- so that I can eat it warm for dinner tonight and cold as pasta salad later.
3. Last night I stopped by TKO on my way home to grab szechuan cucumbers, xian bing, and sesame zucchini noodles. I tossed the cucumbers around with lettuce from my CSA share + olive oil and made rice in the rice cooker. A little bit of cheating, but no regrets!
4. Of all the ways I’ve prepared yard long beans this summer, my favorite has been marinated overnight in Tigerish Dressing and tossed with rice noodles and peanuts. Soak them in whatever kind of vinaigrette ya got though. If it’s caesar dressing, great! Who cares! Just let them sit overnight and then top them with shaved Parmesan and black pepper. I’m assuming they would be great marinated in Smitten Kitchen’s sesame sauce too.
5. I never made it around to making falafel last week, so I’m making a HUGE batch this week with chickpeas, roasted turnips and what’s left of the crunchy sprouts. I’ll probably freeze at least half of them and eat the other half with radish tzatziki.
6. Eivind is baking more bread this weekend and it’s got me thinking about an Italian dish- zucchine farcite alla ligure, which is essentially savory bread pudding baked inside a zucchini. All you do is mix pieces of old bread with an egg, a splash of milk, softened onions (and mushrooms if you like), plenty of herbs, a healthy amount of parmesan, then stuff it into a hollowed out squash and bake it for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then again, I might make zucchini butter and freeze it in ice cube molds for winter.
7. I actually don’t have enough figs to make anything proper. I just wanted to brag about the fact that Eivind and I have successfully grown three whole, beautiful figs so far this Summer.

Tomato Paste Pasta

Alternate title: “So you want to cook from my website and you don’t have a CSA share.”

We’ve talked about making tomato paste pasta sauce so many times during Pantry Raid the game now that I couldn’t not put it on my site. It’s the most simple and adding slow-cooked cherry tomatoes is totally optional, though highly recommended. This sauce is extra…saucy. You will definitely want to have some bread on hand to mop up what’s left on your plate when you’re done eating the pasta.

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Tomato Paste Pasta
-serves two

1/4 cup olive oil
5 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced (or more, if that’s the kind of human you are!)
optional: pinch red pepper flakes
kosher salt
2T tomato paste
4 ounces spaghetti or other long pasta*
at least 2T finely chopped herbs (pictured: chives)
shaved cheese such as pecorino
optional: slow-cooked cherry tomatoes
not optional: bread to mop up the extra sauce

1. Preheat the olive oil in a small pan over medium low, then fry the garlic with a pinch of salt and (a pinch of red pepper flakes if using) until golden brown. It will happen fast, so don’t walk away. Remove the crunchy garlic with a slotted spoon and reserve.
2. Add tomato paste to the oil and stir. It might look lumpy- that’s okay!
3. Cook pasta al dente and reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
4. Drain pasta, then place it back in the pot with the tomato oil and pasta water, stirring frequently, until all the water has evaporated- about two minutes. Taste to see if it needs more salt, but remember the cheese is salty too.
5. Toss with herbs and tomatoes. Serve immediately topped with shaved cheese and crispy garlic.

* Technically you can use up to six ounces pasta and you won’t have as much sauce to mop up. But who doesn’t want a big hunk of bread soaked in sauce for dessert? CRAZY PEOPLE, THAT’S WHO.