Week 15 from Geauga Family Farms.  I think they’re getting better—the lettuce is fresher, there’s less signs of travel in the soft vegetables. As I’ve pointed out before, just because you grow heirloom fruits and veg, doesn’t mean they’re good. You’ve got to be a good farmer or grower.  And just because you grow excellent fruits and veg, doesn’t mean they’re still excellent when they arrive on the table of the family that purchased the CSA.  Every part of the process matters. Fun CSA this week: I’m not a huge fan of cherry tomatoes—too much skin relative to the amount of flesh, and frankly, I don’t love them enough to blanch, shock, and peel them.  But last night, photographing a bacon and eggs pizza for the new book, I had some leftover dough and cheese, Read On »

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Cool surprise in today’s CSA.  Okra!  Something I almost never cook, and something that when I’ve had it, is cooked into slime. The key to cooking okra is to not cook it too much.  Saute it in a tablespoon of canola oil in a hot pan, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes if you want some heat, till tender but still crunchy. When I was working on Return To Cooking with Eric, he sauted them this way and served them on mahi mahi with a citrus vinaigrette. They’re delectable.  Truly, and so rarely do I eat them, they taste and feel like a delicacy when prepared this way. Or, cook okra the southern way, dipped in butter milk or egg, rolled in a corn-meal-mixture and fried.  That’s delicious, too.  Goes great with Carolina barbecue! Summer Read On »

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This is week 13 of my CSA from Geauga Family Farms (my iPhone, Donna was on the road).  Very happy (green peppers went into a steak and bell pepper stir fry).  Tomato garlic basil pasta for dinner tonight, along with a green bean, onion and corn salad with a creamy lemon peper vinaigrette.  The cubanos will be stuffed with sausage and cheese and grilled. The photos below show a nice cross-section of CSA’s from around the country, from Cape Cod to San Diago, thanks everyone.  It would be interesting to see fall CSA shares from southern states.  Hold your cursor over the photo for the name and location of the sender.  I was unable to add the name of the farm or the CSA or link to each one, but if you see yours here, Read On »

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Week 12 of our CSA. No surprise with the tomatoes and corn, and no disappointment either.  Though five ears corn doesn’t even cover breakfast for me. Beans were great, peaches wouldn’t want to wait longer (and one of those peaches harbors a scary stinging bug that scared the hell out of me when I bit down to the pit.  But damn, Ohio peaches?  They don’t last long but they are amazing—deeply flavored, sweet, succulent.  Georgia may grow more but they don’t grow them better. And those raspberries were more raspberrier than any I’ve had. That acorn squash, so bittersweet.  Are we moving into squash season? Are those leaves outside my window turning to brown already.  Where did summer go?  Oh, sigh.  James started school today.  Where did my youth go? How can squash make me Read On »

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Butter-Braised Radishes with Snow Peas, photo by Donna This was a last minute dish on Saturday to follow the fritters.  We had radishes, we had snow peas.  I had some mint in the garden.  Why not?  Crunchy, refreshing, satisfying, a fine vegetable dish.  You see, I don’t ALWAYS have to throw cured pork products in (though, come to thing of it, this would be delicious with some bacon or pancetta thrown in!).  When you get your CSA goods, remember that it would be hard to combine them in ways that do not go together.  I wouldn’t serve blueberries and chard but for the most part all this stuff goes well side by side. Butter Braised Radishes with Snow Peas a few tablespoons of butter Radishes, as needed, trimmed and quartered Snow peas, as needed, picked Read On »

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