Sunday, August 29, 2010


Instead of my regularly scheduled greenmarket shopping this week, I was a CSA tourist. My friend Meg couldn't pick up her Stanton Street CSA share Thursday, so she let me have it. My haul is pictured above (there are a dozen more nectarines inside the Whole Foods bag).

All in all, I took home:
1 head lettuce
6 beefsteak tomatoes
4 yellow plum tomatoes
35 cherry tomatoes
2 Italian frying peppers (?)
2 small yellow peppers
2 long skinny Thai-looking peppers
1 head fennel
2 slicing cucumbers
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 bunch basil
1 lb. tongue of fire beans
13 nectarines

This for the low, low price of free ninety-nine (with a plan to buy Meg dinner in the nearish future, maybe at M. Wells, where I inexplicably still haven't been.)

The lettuce and chard are easy enough (salads; sautéed - last night, I had some with white wine and bacon), but there are a lot of tomatoes in this cornucopia for someone with serious tomato sensitivity. I threw caution to the wind and ate all the cherry tomatoes plain; I made tomato, cucumber, and basil salads with some of the plum tomatoes, and added others to green salads.

Most of the beefsteak tomatoes ended up in the ranchero sauce I made for this morning's huevos rancheros brunch with my friend Jane - I cooked them along with onions, garlic, cumin, the frying peppers (roasted) and yellow peppers, and a little cayenne and oregano, then threw it all in a blender. This sauce is killer - I'm excited to find out what else I can put it on - I'm thinking almost anything.

I still have a few tomatoes left, and I'm stumped, since I'm already paying for eating all the other ones. Maybe I can add them in small amounts to things here and there without causing too much damage.

As for the nectarines, which (of course) ripened all at once, I have been eating them as quickly as I can; I used four of them in some nectarine muffins, which I adapted from this recipe; I used half whole-wheat flour, used 1.5 cups sucanat instead of 2 cups white sugar, used melted butter instead of vegetable oil, and in addition to freshly-ground Ceylon cinnamon, I added 1 teaspoon vanilla. I'm not a big muffin person, because they're generally so dull, but these are quite moist and have a lot of flavor - switching to butter was definitely the right move.

I'm having a crew over for Thai curry Tuesday evening, so I'll throw in the rest of my basil (if it lasts), and if I'm feeling brave, maybe I'll toss in some slices of the Thai chiles. Or I could try sautéeing those with shallots, and tossing them with popcorn, maybe with lime and some curry powder? We'll see.

The tongue of fire beans are a bit of a stumper, but since I still have some tomatoes left, I might pick up some corn and make an improvised succotash for dinner one of these nights. I bet that ranchero sauce would be right at home on top!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I had a party instead

Though, to be fair, I did buy some collards yesterday. But now I have to clean the floors.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Field trip!

Upon finding myself in Clinton Hill of a Saturday morning, I took the opportunity to be a Greenmarket tourist, visiting the petite but well-stocked (and refreshingly uncrowded) Fort Greene market. Plus the sun was shining and I found some vintage sunglasses at a stoop sale for $3: all in all, a magical, if drowsy, visit.

A well-balanced haul for two hours' sleep:
1 bunch collards
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 bunch carrots
3 lbs. mixed summer squash
4 shallots
1 pint sungold tomatoes
1 1/4 lbs. nectarines
Total spent: $25

Naturally, the sungolds are gone - can't stop from eating those things like candy, as much as they wreck my stomach + the inside of my mouth. The first one of the nectarines to ripen was my first nectarine of the season, and I couldn't have asked for a better one: it was perfect, and started my lazy Sunday in the best possible way.

I'll quick-pickle the shallots, add the squash to everything in typical late-summer fashion, and sauté the greens - all per usual. Some of the carrots will go into lunches, but I have been thinking about this simple recipe for grated carrot salad from David Lebovitz since I saw the post, and I'll whip up my own version along with dinner tonight.

Otherwise, it's all catching up on sleep and biding my time until the rest of my nectarines ripen. It's a lush life, people.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Late-summer powersalad

This whole both-ends candle-burning tendency continued unexpectedly through my return from Bloomington IN, so I didn't wake up bright or early enough to make it to Union Square Saturday morning. Instead, I had a semi-lazy morning and took my budget-shopping to the McCarren Park market instead.

Midwest recovery diet:
1 bunch collards
1 bunch curly kale
1 head red romaine lettuce
2 ears white corn
2 yellow bell peppers
1 bunch spring onions
1 lb. apricots
2 lbs. new Yukon gold potatoes
Total spent: $16

Vacation-eating (and drinking) for the past five days had put me in desperation for a cleanse, so I revised my powersalad recipe to use more of late summer's bounty, ratchet up the fiber, and blast those phytonutrient levels up to healing levels. More importantly: this salad is a joy to eat.

Late-summer powersalad
3 cups torn romaine leaves, cleaned and dried well
One ear sweet corn
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper
2 hardboiled eggs
4 kalamata olives (optional)
Dijon mustard vinaigrette
Sea salt
Black pepper

Shell and quarter hardboiled eggs; set aside. Roughly chop olives if using.
Remove kernels from corn cob into large bowl. Slice bell pepper into thin strips with mandoline into the same bowl. Add lettuce leaves, drizzle in dressing, and toss with tongs; taste and add more dressing if needed.
Plate lettuce mixture and top with eggs and olives, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper.

The rest of my haul is pretty much just maintenance, but I did innovate a little tonight, adding homemade curry powder to tonight's collards with caramelized onions, to great effect; I had them for dinner under a medium-rare grass-fed burger, with red-and-white mixed quinoa on the side. Dessert was four super-juicy Red Jacket Orchards apricots.