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
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!