I have noticed this about myself: I go through phases where I’m excited about cooking and trying new recipes, and then I go through phases where I just get a little bored with it. I find myself making the same simple things over and over, and it feels sort of blah. One of the best things about joining the CSA at Basket of Life Farm is that the beautiful, fresh produce they grow really keeps cooking exciting!
Today, I rushed home from work ready to try cooking something brand new – fried cabbage. (Brand new to me, at least!) I have to thank Audrienne (my Uncle Kim’s mother) for this idea – she knew I was looking for new cabbage recipes, and suggested that I try frying it. I had never heard of fried cabbage, but when I asked my boyfriend, Brian, about it, he was amazed (and slightly appalled) that I had never tried it! Brian suggested that I make it with buttered noodles and top it with some sliced hot peppers to kick it up. I had one head of cabbage left, so that’s exactly what I did!
Now, from what I can find online, “frying” cabbage isn’t really frying the way I think of it. It’s more of a saute – Audrienne, please tell me if I did it right! It turned out to be a beautiful dish, and the bite of the hot peppers was perfect with the mild cabbage and noodles.
Here’s what I did: I chopped a few strips of bacon and cooked them in a large, heavy bottom pan until they were crisp. I removed the bacon from the pan and added some olive oil to the bacon fat. I tossed in the sliced cabbage with a bit of salt and cooked that over medium heat until it was just a bit tender (maybe 8 minutes or so? I wasn’t really watching the time – oops). While that was working, I cooked some angel hair pasta from Ohio City Pasta, then tossed that in some herb butter.
I piled the noodles in a bowl, topped that with the cabbage, then added a Hungarian hot pepper sliced in rings and the bacon bits for garnish. Pretty and tasty!
So today I went to Basket of Life Farm to pick up my first CSA box. I had no idea how close to me the farm was – less than 10 minutes away! The people are friendly and the farm is great. Just behind the “sorting shed” where the CSA pickup is, I could see tons of chickens just happily running around.
Now, they say that the first box is always the smallest, so Heather at Basket of Life Farm told me that she made all the CSA folks homemade strawberry jam for a little something extra in the box. The box also included a half dozen eggs from their chickens, garlic scapes, adorable little onions, a bunch of yellow squash, and a bag of cornmeal. The cornmeal is organically grown in Holmes County at Stutzman Farms. It looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to make some polenta!
The first thing I made from the box tonight was a garlic scape pesto – I haven’t actually eaten it yet, so I’ll post pictures later. I did try a taste, though, and it’s good! I’m thinking some pasta this weekend…
As soon as I post this, I’m going back to the kitchen to make some compound butters – one with thyme and garlic scapes, and one with sage and green onions. Yummy!!
Here’s the garlic scape pesto recipe I used (I added some basil leaves as well, since I had cut the basil plant back yesterday and needed to use up the leaves):
Garlic Scape Pesto
6 garlic scapes, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Place the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, lemon juice, and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle the olive oil over the mixture. Blend until the pesto is a brilliant green color and smooth in texture. Season with salt and pepper.
As promised, here’s a plug for my CSA this year – Basket of Life Farm. The farm is on Quick Road in Penninsula, and this is their 10th year as a CSA. My first pickup is next Friday (the 15th), so I haven’t been to the farm yet, but I’ve gotten a chance to talk to the owners via email and see some pictures. They’re really nice and the pictures are great.
Here’s a picture from their website of a sample share from last year:
If this year’s boxes look anything like this, I’ll be happy!
Yippee for local, organically grown veggies! Can’t wait!
Last Saturday was a beautiful day to go to the market to pick up our CSA. We went early to Haymaker Farm Market as we had a lot to do that day and we ran into Care’s sister, Casey, Joe, Tom, Jeff and a whole host of friends. So much for getting in and out. We hit the jackpot with our CSA from Birdsong Farms with wonderful potatoes, baby carrots, kale and peas. Carolyn and her sister Beth enjoyed talking with Matt and getting the lowdown on what is in the box for the week. It is always a pleasure to stop in and know our food is being grown by such a wonderful farm. Carolyn mentioned it is like Christmas when we open the box and we are never disappointed
Care and Matt going over the goods!
I am not sure what we were thinking as we stopped at several booths picking up green and wax beans, some tomatoes, onions, red raspberries. I love summer.
What were we thinking?
We also stopped at Ohio City Pasta and picked up some tomato basil and mixed herb both winners! Again the people there are wonderful and expecting very soon!
Two things I look forward to doing this summer. Making a mess in the kitchen with our own pasta and even more of a mess with homemade italian sausage. I will take photos of the disaster when it happens.
This week was the first week we really had a taste of just HOW. MUCH. PRODUCE. we should expect.
This week’s haul included three kinds of peppers, yellow squash, a perfect eggplant, lettuce, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, spinach, green beans, tomatoes, snap peas, bok choy, and cucumber. Plus, there is always a sign for CSA members to “Help Yourself” to fresh herbs in giant pots outside the greenhouse. Don’t mind if I doooo.
Here’s a picture!
We’ve been warned by Dean’s Greenhouse that we will be getting more and more over the next 6-8 weeks. Kim, when is your canning class?
Just letting you know that I’ve added some categories for organizing our posts. See box to the right when you are writing a post and tick the appropriate box to file your post in a specific category. This will help keep things organized as we add more and more to the blog.
Also, if you have any ideas for categories, leave a comment and I will make sure it is added.
Don’t forget to add tags to your blog posts, as well. Another handy way to organize.
P.S. Prepare to be super jealous of our CSA pick-up today. Pics to come!