Wednesday, September 5, 2012

CSA Meal Planning: Summer's bounty

Many of you know that we are members of a wonderful CSA, Farm Fresh To You. Every two weeks I get a huge delivery of beautiful peak-season veggies. And each and every time, it feels like Christmas morning when I open my box to discover the gems hidden inside. With great care, I plan out my menu based on the contents of my CSA box; often times I turn to old favorites that have been eagerly waiting for the perfect vegetable to reappear in season. However, I strive to create a new dish with every CSA delivery.

Recently, my CSA box was full of such wonderful summer produce:

Heirloom and roma tomatoes
Summer squash (yellow and patty pan)
Sweet potatoes
Japanese eggplant
Rainbow Chard
Purple Kale
Gypsy sweet peppers
Shisito pepper
Lemon cucumber

Our CSA Menu Plan for the week:

Days 1: eggplant caponata with gyspy peppers
summer squash soup with mint, parsley pistou

Day 2: fried shisito peppers with coarse salt
radishes with herb lemon garlic butter and sea salt on whole wheat bread
summer squash soup with mint, parsley pistou

Day 3: lunch: whole wheat spaghetti with no cook fresh tomato sauce, lemon, garlic, basil
dinner: purple kale chips with sea salt, cumin, and red cayenne pepper
heirloom tomato, onion, olive, goat cheese, parm tart (variation with whole wheat black pepper parmesan crust)

Days 4, 5 (dinner): lunch: heirloom tomato, cucumber, gypsy pepper panzanella (variation with red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic dressing)
dinner: roma tomato, summer squash, cannellini bean ragout with fresh oregano, thyme, basil
swiss chard, summer squash, mushroom lasagna with bechamel sauce
carrot cake

Day 6: no fry eggplant parmigiana
parmesan roasted broccoli with lemon

Days 7: cumin-scented cucumber yogurt soup with mint, basil, and garlic topped with radish
spicy sweet potato fries (baked) with yogurt mint dipping sauce

The eggplant caponata keeps well for up to 5 days, just bring to room temperature before serving.

The gorgeous summer squash soup serves 6, so we will eat it over a few days. Alternatively you can set aside some of it to freeze.

For the heirloom tomato, onion, olive, and goat cheese tart, I plan to make 6 mini tarts so that I can save a few to take for lunch during the week. If you haven't tried it yet, the whole wheat crust with black pepper, parmesan, and thyme salt  is heavenly.

For our big Sunday night dinner with family and friends, we will have the tomato, squash, and bean ragout and Swiss chard, squash, mushroom lasagna. You can prepare the bechamel sauce and the vegetables in advance, and it only takes a few minutes to arrange the layers. You can have the dish baking in the oven when everyone arrives for dinner. Be sure to let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving.

As you can see by the links, many of these are old favorites with slight variations; however, several are new ideas that I will experiment with over the next two weeks. I'm sure you are eager to hear how they turn out, so I will keep you posted!

1 comment:

  1. So excited to see this up here! Can't wait to see more!!!


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