Common Ground has teamed up with Turning Point Farm this season to help CSA members find interesting ways to enjoy their shares. Even if you’re not a CSA member, we think you’ll find lots of useful information in these posts about seasonal veggies you’re likely to encounter at farmers markets and in stores. Let us know what you think!
Leeks, potatoes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, butternut squash, okra, celery. What a box! What shall we do with it?
First thing we did was process the tomatoes. Wash them, core them, put them in the food processor. Zing zing. Bag them and freeze them. No peeling required, and they’re soup-and-sauce ready.
Next, potatoes. It’s finally cool enough to bake things, and I think these potatoes are perfect little bakers. If the ones in your box are on the petite side, serve two or three on a plate instead of one. No problem!
Rub the skins with a bit of oil, pat on some salt, and stab them here and there a knife to let steam escape so they don’t blow up in your oven. Have you ever had a potato blow up in your oven? I have not, but I’ve been warned by every cookbook I’ve ever owned, so I stab them with my steely knife. Can’t be too careful.
Bake them at 350 for about an hour, depending on how big they are. You can go with higher heat if you like, it’ll speed things up a bit, but I like the results I get with a longer bake.
If you’re a baked potato purist, a little butter is all you’ll want, but there are lots a good sauces to try, too. Our go-to at the cafe is chimichurri. There’s also this creamy delicious tikka sauce that’s super on potatoes.
We substitute coconut milk for dairy milk when we make this at the café, and leave out the butter altogether. It’s luscious and good on pretty much everything.
Next up: leeks. If you haven’t cooked with leeks before, you might be surprised at how much grit you find between the layers of leaves. Cut off most of the green part, cut off the root end, and give them a really good rinse under running water.
Use leeks anywhere you’d use onions. They’re especially nice in soup, but you can sauté them and put them on a pizza, or pile them onto a grilled sandwich. Why not?
Finally this week, a word about that okra. Okay, seven words: Isn’t it pretty? Make some gumbo, okay?
What’s simmering in your kitchen this week?