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, but no more bacon. So I simply sliced a couple handfuls, put them on the cheese, baked till crust was done, covered it with torn basil from the garden, et voila. Fabulous way to use those little buggers! They give great acidity to the rich cheese and floral basil. Highly recommended.
Here's a great recipe for homemade pizza (and some gorgeous pizza shots by Donna). Just replace the bacon with halved or sliced cherry tomatoes, top with basil after cooking.
We also got more green beans this week, excellent. We have beans once a week at least. With the weather going cooler, I'm going to roast them with cumin, garlic and chilli flakes. My mom used to roast acorn squash halved, scoop out the seeds, mash a half a stick of butter with the flesh and eat it straight out of the shell with lots of salt and pepper. I may try soup, since I've got chix stock on hand and haven't tried soup with this kind of squash—dice the squash, saute in butter, add some chix stock, puree with hand blender, season with lots of fresh thyme or freshly dried thyme, salt and pepper. Toast the seeds with butter and garnish the soup with them. Tomatoes—tomato-basil pasta, a summer staple with a cool technique I want to video this week for using tomato water.
Definitely time to start pickling the hot peppers. No Hungarian/Cubanelles—apparently people complained they were too hot and no one knew how to use (pickle, or stuff with meat and grill, or you can make a really cool spicy mustard sauce—see Symon's book, where it's called Sasha Sauce).
The lettuce, it's pretty tasteless, so will need some serious work, adornment, and good vinaigrette. And, of course, there they are, five red bell peppers, but only two are ripe ... sigh. Is there a green pepper support group?