Sunday, September 13, 2009

Delicious meals one after the other

The busy week prevented us from talking about the many other marvelous meals we prepared with our first share. (We also found many of our pictures were mysteriously deleted .)

Basil - We are passionate about pesto in our family, so several large plants worth of basil was easily transformed into a scrumptious Pesto Risotto. (Risotto, for the uninitiated, is a labor of love - but well-worth the effort.) Good arborio rice, homemade butter, and chopped onions sauteed. Add hot chicken broth and white wine. Stir. Stir. Broth. Stir. Stir. One hour later, add the pesto and freshly grated Parmesan. We served this alongside beautiful seared sea scallops and a simple salad. The leftovers made two other meals during the week. 

Arugula - We haven't purchased arugula before, but probably have had it served to us in restaurants. At first, I wasn't exactly certain what it even was. The flavor is reminiscent of two things we do enjoy often: mustard and horseradish. We decided to add it in good measure to our nightly salads, dressed with a basic vineagrette of red wine vinegar, lime juice, garlic, salt, and some excellent olive oil. Again, this was a hit.

Watermelon - It's Florida. Hot and sticky well into the fall months. How would you satisfy the snack requests for a houseful of children and their friends? Slabs of chilled melon kept everyone happy and cool. The seeds not used in several spitting contests found their way into some concoction I still don't understand. Two of the older kids decided to combine water, dish soap, watermelon seeds, green glitter, and yellow food coloring. Apparently there was a plan to use this to spook the littler ones, but one is often left to ponder the ways of children.

Hot Peppers - Here was a great opportunity to use two CSA items in one meal. Imagine, fluffy scrambled eggs - made with just a sprinkling of salt & pepper - served with zesty sautéed tomatoes and minced pepper. We had this along with homemade croissants (yes, the stick of butter, 12-hours of labor variety). 

Okra - As a transplanted family with a born-and-raised southern mom, we enjoy southern dishes. Okra, however, is for many an acquired taste. We often prepare it with tomatoes and corn to make a wonderful side dish. Various New Orleans-inspired dishes also use okra in ways that we enjoy. The challenge was to find a different approach. Enter the Okra and Ground Beef Casserole (Victory Garden Cookbook). We don't eat much red meat, and using a stick of butter, several eggs, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan to make a roux topping for this layered dish means that one should probably only have this a few times per year; but this was a winner.

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009