Monday, July 29, 2013

Roots and Shoots Farm - 4th Week of CSA Food 2013

As a half share participant, my second CSA basket from Roots and Shoots Farm had more hits of colour.  A sign that the season is moving along.

This particular week's share included:
4 cucumbers
a bunch of red onions
head of lettuce
mixed greens
2 zucchini
garlic scapes
hakurei turnips

I bought a chicken from Roots and Shoots Farm and they were delivered frozen with our share this week.  I chose a smaller one.  It is 3.89 lbs. Quite the charmer.  Regular readers know I like to name my chickens before they hit the oven.  Unless I get a better offer, this one will be called Charles William George Esquire.

Kelsey is working at Roots and Shoots Farm for the summer.  With the pick-up being extra busy with chickens, she was on hand to help Danny ensure things went smoothly.  Kelsey says she is having a great summer.

SPECIAL TRICK FOR STORING BASIL: One of my best experiences of this share was my basil.  It kept beautifully. My trick this time was to cut the stems just before placing the bunch in a mini vase.  I then put a bag loosely around them but fully covering the plant right to the base of the vase.  Then into the fridge.  I picked up my share on Thursday and made my pesto on the Monday.  It looked like it had just been picked.  No brown spots.  A fluke? I don't know. But I am going to try that again. When I get basil, I do try to use it right away as it is one of the more delicate herbs.

UPDATE ON BASIL STORAGE (July 0, 2013):  I just came across this post on The Kitchn regarding storing basil. It seems Emily Ho is also a 'bagger'. As you will read in the comments, opinions are varied.  I stored mine in the fridge.  I will try the counter next time.  I think the trick is to keep moisture off the leaves whatever technique you use.

BEST THING THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE KITCHEN THIS SEASON: I am using the tops on my beets and Hakurei turnips.  My favourite way to use them is to wilt them into my pasta dishes.  If you don't think you will use them right away, wash them up, dry them and then store them in the freezer in a ziplock bag with the air removed.

We used the salad and mixed greens right away over the first two days.  The mister said repeated after each bite how fresh the head of lettuce tasted.  He was right.  It was noticeably different than what we can normally get in the store. 

I ate one of the cucumbers as a snack and the other 3 went into a Danish Cucumber Salad that I brought to a potluck.  I was thrilled to have 4 cucumbers in the share.

The onions were used for grilling and also in a pasta dish.  That pasta dish also included scapes, beet tops and my basil, which was turned into a pesto (using more scapes).

The zucchinis were grilled as well.

My scapes have contributed to pasta dishes and anytime I've needed garlic, like when I made pesto.

Do you want to try kale in a salad?  I love the kale salad at Supply and Demand on Wellington Avenue.  It will remind you of a Caesar Salad.  They have been kind to share the recipe.

Stuck for what to do with hakurei turnips? This tasty appetizer works well for happy hour snacks.

What are you making with your CSA basket?

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