CSA WEEK #9

 
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This week we focused on simple salads and using the veggies with minimal ingredients to allow their flavor to stand out. We appreciate simplifying our ingredients, honoring the full flavor that the vegetables have to offer. I love how easy it is to whip up these recipes and the flavor combinations are killer. The eggplant salad is a combination of many of my favorite veggies tossed into one simple dish. Eggplants, scallions, cucumbers and tomatoes make up the heart of this salad and I can’t get over how fresh this tastes! From ours to yours, happy cooking... 


WINE BRAISED EGGPLANT & TOMATO PASTA WITH TAHINI SAUCE
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES    SERVES: 4 

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsely
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pasta

  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted  

PREPARE

  1. Prepare the sauce by whisking together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. This works great with an immersion blender or small food processor for the smoothest consistency. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed. If the sauce seems to thick, add a touch more water.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the garlic, cherry tomatoes and wine. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes have split open. About 5-8 minutes.
  4. Spoon the veggies over the cooked pasta and drizzle with the tahini sauce. If the pasta seems a bit dry add the reserved cooking liquid.
  5. Serve the pasta with the minced cilantro, toasted almonds and salt and pepper to taste.

EGGPLANT + CUCUMBER CRUNCH SALAD WITH LEMON-TAHINI DRESSING
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES    SERVES: 4 

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 scallions, minced, white and light green parts only
  • 1 large cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 1 bunch of parsley, diced
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas-if canned rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

  PREPARE

  1. Prepare the quinoa by combining 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until quinoa has absorbed the liquid and can easily be fluffed with a fork.
  2. Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together until smooth. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch chunks (no need to peel) and lightly salt them and set aside on a dish cloth.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the eggplant and chickpeas and continue to cook stirring often until eggplants begin to brown on all sides and chickpeas become lightly toasted. About 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and eggplant/chickpea mixture. Stir in the parsley and toss until well combine.  Drizzle with dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

SWISS CHARD SALAD WITH BACON & BLUE CHEESE
PREP TIME: 15 MIN    COOK TIME: 7 MIN    SERVES: 4 

Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • 4 strips of good quality bacon
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup pickled chard stems (optional)
  • Flakey sea salt

PREPARE

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.
  2. Wash and dry the chard and remove the stems (make quick pickled chard stems) Stack the chard leaves and roll them like a cigar. Slice the leaves into thin ribbons. Place the chard ribbons in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the bacon in a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to hanld roughly chop the bacon.
  4. Toss half of the dressing with the chard leaves and use your hands to gently massage the dressing into the leaves. Divide the chard between plates and top each plate with crumbled bacon, blue cheese, pickled chard stems and a drizzle of more dressing.

 

PICKLED CHARD STEMS
SERVES: 1 PINT 

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped chard stems (from about 1 large bunch of chard)
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  1. Place the chopped chard stems in a glass bowl or large mason jar and set aside.
  2. Toast the brown mustard seeds in a saucepan for about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, water, honey and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the honey has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the peppercorns and let the brine cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the brine over the chopped chard and cover the jar with a secure lid. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before enjoying.

Cheers from Black Finger Farm! 

 
Joe & Kristin