Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I woke up hot and grumpy this morning, looked to see what light summery vegetables we had left from last week's CSA, and found ... red potatoes.

It seems like we ate a lot of potatoes over the winter (you may remember potato week), and I was feeling pretty uninspired about a summery preparation for our Tuesday potluck crowd.

But Jack, who is never grumpy, said "chives and sour cream," and voila, a tasty start on dinner.

I did use the oven (sorry, housemates!), but in concession to the weather (okay, laziness), I only followed half the instructions in the recipe.

So, yes on roasted potatoes. (I halved them because I like to see some brown on my vegetables if I'm going to use the oven in 90 degree weather.) And yes on snipping some chives into the sour cream.

I skipped the smoked salmon (which I bet is tasty) and the rice-wine-marinated cucumber (which seemed more than a little odd, but potentially interesting).

Monday, June 28, 2010


They say that when a baby rejects a new food, you should retry it as many as 24 times ...

Our house has tried eating dandelion greens once before. And another time. Then Jack cooked up another batch the other day. There are lots of leftovers.

I can't recommend any new recipes for you that we've actually tried, but if you also have some on hand, here's what some people on the Internet are making with their greens:

Relatedly, friend-of-the-house Ashley just wrote about the feeling of responsibility toward eating all your CSA veggies (which inspires many of the stranger foods we eat here) on her extraordinarily thoughtful food blog:
This is a really different question from “salvage cooking” from a place of constraint or lack. In other words, I’m not trying to salvage veggies because I don’t have enough food. I want to salvage out of abundance: I don’t want to squander this kind of wealth.
P.S. Kyan, thank you for identifying our romano beans. Here's a nice-looking Bevy of Beans and Basil on Epicurious that calls for them.

Photo credit: "Desert Dandelion" (http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035743246@N01/7969887) by Dawn Endico. Released under an Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Give Peas a Chance

Last week, it was time to rid our refrigerator of increasingly elderly green things, namely lettuce, green beans, asparagus (not from the CSA), and the very large peapodish things pictured at center here.

Too tough to be peapods, yet too empty of peas to be shelling peas, it was unclear how (or if) these mystery vegetables could be consumed.

Now, apparent inedibility has never stopped me or Jack from trying to make something into food, particularly if guests are coming over. (Our housemates will vouch.)

Inspired by Chocolate and Zucchini's pea pod soup (which, in thrifty fashion, uses just the pods of shelling peas), I thought the peas might be reborn into a delicious light springy soup. Borrowing from recipes for asparagus soup and lettuce and pea soup, I figured I could throw in the ends of the asparagus stalks and a head of lettuce, too, thus transforming all our gnarly green inedibles into delicious soup. (Obviously nothing could go wrong with this plan.)

Jack, who had a more optimistic perspective on the peapods, believed they could be redeemed with steaming and butter sauce. I gave him the asparagus tips and the green beans to play with, too, as insurance that there would be something to feed our potluck guests.

After boiling the green things to death with some broth, I chopped up the large chunks of asparagus and peapod in the food processor, and then tried pressing the whole green mess through the food mill. Producing ... a very thin and rather lettucey green soup. (With some cream and lots of Parmesan added, it became something reminiscent of broccoli-cheddar soup.)

Jack's medley of steamed green things won the taste-off, but only because his steamed peapods went into the compost bin rather than the finished dish.

P.S. Boston Localvores has put together a comprehensive-looking 2010 farmer's market calendar.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday Veggietrivia

Not much cooking last week, as I'm just back from a trip to New Mexico for some dear friends' wedding.

Jack and I did work in a field trip to the Santa Fe Farmers Market, an indoor-spilling-outdoors spectacle of produce, plants, breads, cheeses, yarns, yak meat, belly dancing, and absurdly many free samples. Among other things, we brought home some red chile ginger jam and green chile mustard.

(It's the kind of thing that makes you want to support an indoor year-round public market in Boston.)

A little other veggietrivia ...

Further to supporting Massachusetts farmers' markets, the third annual Strawberry Dessert Festival runs from June 11 through July 4. Order a special strawberry dessert at a participating restaurant or Whole Foods and benefit the Federation of Mass Farmers Markets. (Via Public Radio Kitchen, which also has additional info on Massachusetts strawberries.)

And! The movie Fresh is screening at the Brattle Theatre from June 18 to June 23, with associated events and restaurant dinners:
Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Potato Sprouts

A sudden spate of summer weather has meant less interest in potato eating around here, and some of our recent specimens have gotten a little bit sprouty.

It's also gardening weather, of course, so we decided to try planting the potatoes in a trash can. Potatoes are not exactly roots, but instead grow from the stems of potato plants, so the basic principle is to bury the sprouting potatoes in a few inches of dirt in the bottom of an old trash can, and then, as the plants grow up, keep adding dirt or compost to keep the stems buried. When the can is full and/or you're ready to harvest, you dump the contents of the can and pick out the potatoes. Hopefully, you have more than you started with.

(This generally won't work with supermarket potatoes, which are treated to impede sprouting.)

(I also loved Boston Localvores's recent-ish tribute to their own sprouting vegetables.)