Posts Tagged ‘Beets’

East Side King and Via 313 – Austin, TX

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by virginia

Food trucks are pretty mainstream in Austin. Everywhere we went, there would be parking lots with multiple food trucks set up in what seemed like permanent locations, with Christmas lights strung up, picnic tables, and other assorted outdoor seating. It’s pretty different from NYC where food trucks park on the street and have to move to different locations each day and deal with parking tickets, street cleaning schedules, etc., and we knew that we couldn’t leave Austin without trying a few of the most popular ones.

We were pretty full after our incredible meal at Franklin Barbecue, so even though we walked miles around the city to burn off the calories, we didn’t have room to try as many places as we would have liked. The top of our list was East Side King, which is owned and operated by Paul Qui, the winner of Top Chef Texas. There are many East Side King trucks located throughout Austin, and we were hoping to try the one at the Grackle (which has since closed), since it was outside in front of the bar, which would have made it easier for us to sit there and eat with J.

Austin (and Texas in general) has super strict rules about children not being allowed in bars that don’t serve food. We tried to get into multiple bars on Sixth Street to listen to live music but were turned away every time. Some places even specified “no babies” on their signs that decreed no one under 21 was allowed in, so it’s not just a matter of trying to deter under-aged teens and college students from trying to sneak in. Unfortunately, the East Side King truck at the Grackle was catering a private event that night, and so we went to the next closest location, at the Liberty Bar, which was just up the street. However, the truck is located behind the bar, and to get there, you have to walk through the bar. Josh checked at the door, and they confirmed that they wouldn’t even let us walk a baby through to get the truck out back. So we did what we had to do – park on the street, have Josh go in to order and pick up the food, and then eat in the car.

East Side King at Liberty Bar

East Side King at Liberty Bar

It worked out pretty well, as the food was neatly packaged in takeout containers that allowed us to eat easily without making a huge mess. First we tried the brussels sprout salad, which was fried brussels sprouts with shredded cabbage, onions, and assorted herbs tossed with a sweet-spicy sauce. The brussels sprouts had a good char on the outside and had a nice texture to them – not mushy. The dressing and the herbs gave the salad a southeast Asian flavor, and it was both sweet and savory at the same time. There was lots of mint, basil, and cilantro, which made it quite a refreshing dish that was well balanced. The salad was topped with a deep fried mantou bun.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprout salad

Next we tried the Thai chicken karaage, which was a fusion of Japanese fried chicken bites with Thai flavors. The chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy in the middle. The sauce was similar to the dressing for the brussels sprouts, though a tad sweeter and stickier. Again, the fresh herbs mixed in helped bring balance to the dish.

Thai chicken karaage

Thai chicken karaage

The beet home fries were pretty intriguing – I love beets but I’ve never thought about deep frying them before.  The beets weren’t exactly crispy, but they had a distinctive shell on the outside, and the inside was smooth and creamy. It was like frying had concentrated the roasted beet flavor, making them less earthy and more sweet. There was kewpie mayo (sweet Japanese-style mayo) on the side topped with schichimi togarashi, which is a Japanese spice blend. We didn’t use a lot of the mayo though, as the beets were delicious on their own.

Beet home fries

Beet home fries

Lastly, we tried the Poor Qui’s buns, which is roasted pork belly on steamed mantou buns with hoisin sauce and cucumber kimchi. Pork belly buns were pretty trendy in NYC at one point, and this was a fairly standard version, though still solid. The pork belly wasn’t as melty as I typically prefer, but the cucumber kimchi added a little twist to the usual fare. I just wish there was more filling overall, as the innards were pretty skimpy compared to the bun.

Poor Qui's buns

Poor Qui’s buns

Overall, we were pretty impressed with the dishes we got from East Side King. Even though Josh had to carry the food through the bar outside to us, it was still hot and fresh when we dug in. Everything we tried packed a punch of flavor, especially the brussels sprout salad. It’s definitely something I want to try recreating at home. The only thing I might not order again was the pork belly buns, but there were plenty of interesting-looking things on the menu that we didn’t get to try.

After polishing off the food from East Side King, we continued up the street to Via 313, a pizza truck parked outside of the Violet Crown Social Club. Again, J and I stayed in the car while Josh ran out to order. It took about 15 minutes for our pizza to be ready, but we were parked just across the street so Josh was able to stay inside with us while we waited for order to come up.

Via 313 pizza truck

Via 313 pizza truck

Via 313 features Detroit style pizza, which a thick crust, square pie, similar to a Sicilian. However, the cheese is layered directly on top of the crust, and the tomato sauce is drizzled on top of the cheese. We ordered a plain cheese, so that we could taste the classic version of the pizza.

Classic Detroit-style cheese pizza

Classic Detroit-style cheese pizza

The crust was lighter and more airy than a usual Sicilian, though the very middle was a little doughy. The pizza is baked in a pan, so the bottom and sides are nicely browned. The cheese covers the entire top of the pizza, all the way to the edges where it gets all caramelized and crispy – that was the best part. The sauce was tangy, not too sweet, though I did wish there was a little more of it.

Underside shot

Underside shot

Overall, I had to admit, the Detroit-style pizza was pretty good. We’re NYC pizza snobs, but I could see the appeal of the thick yet crispy crust, the browned cheese edges, and the sauce on top. Via 313 makes a fresh, hot pie that we really enjoyed. J took down a whole slice by herself, and she’s pretty picky about her pizza.

Even though we spent the last night of our trip eating in our car, it was a fun experience, as we got to try innovative and well prepared food that is astonishingly cooked on a food truck. It’s pretty incredible, considering I used to complain about the size of our kitchen when we lived in NYC. The only downside to dining in the car was that we couldn’t enjoy any beers while we were eating, but that was a small sacrifice to be able to taste such great food. Unfortunately we weren’t able to hit all the spots that we wanted to try, but I do hope that we’ll be back in Austin at some point in the near future.

East Side King (multiple locations)
@Liberty Bar
1618 1/2 East 6th St.
Austin, TX

VIA 313 (multiple locations)
@ The Violet Crown Social Club
1111 East 6th St.
Austin, TX

ABC Kitchen

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 by virginia

Back in October, we had a wonderful meal at ABC Kitchen in honor of Lisa’s birthday. I was having a hard time finding a place that would seat 7 of us during prime dinner hours on a Sunday, and ABC Kitchen was the only available restaurant that interested me on the Open Table search results. It’s a restaurant that has gotten a lot of buzz since it opened, and it was named the best new restaurant at the most recent James Beard awards. I usually shy away from buzzy places, preferring to wait until the hype has died down, but I had read plenty of good reviews from reliable sources so we decided to give it a shot.

We were seated at a round table in the front corner of the main room, giving us a great view of the room and its modern decor. It’s pretty minimalist and kind of industrial, but also elegant and classy. Our table was made from knotty wood and sort of rustic, reminiscent of a tree trunk. I loved the chandelier above us, which was silver with white ceramic flowers all over.

Gorgeous chandelier

The menu is fairly extensive, with several different categories to choose from. In addition to appetizers and entrees, there was market table category with various items to be shared, as well as pastas and pizzas. The menu prides itself on focusing on organic and local foods, so dishes change with the season. I had a tough time deciding on what to order but we ended up having a nice variety on the table so we got to taste a lot of different dishes.

The meal started out with some slices of slightly sour rustic bread, olive oil, and french radishes. The bread was fine, if a bit standard, but I loved the radishes. They were fresh, crunchy, and not too sharp. We ate them whole with just a bit of salt sprinkled on top.

Bread, olive oil, salt, and french radishes

We got a few market table items to share for the table. First up was a bowl of olives that were zesty and briney. They were marinated in olive oil and citrus peel, which gave them a nice brightness.

Marinated olives

Next was an order of roasted beets topped with housemade yogurt. The beets were sweet and creamy, and the yogurt added a subtle tanginess.

Roasted beets with housemade yogurt

Lastly, we all shared a pizza with jersey tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil. The pizza had a whole wheat crust, which I was a bit nervous about since I generally don’t like whole wheat breads, but the wheat flavor was very subtle. The crust had a crispy bottom and a nice chew on the edges. The buffalo mozzarella was creamy, and the tomato sauce was fresh and tangy. It was a very good pie.

Whole wheat pizza with jersey tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and basil

Moving on to the main portion of our meals, Josh and I split the raw diver scallops and the crab toast for our appetizer course. The scallops were thinly sliced and topped with market grapes and lemon verbena. The dish was beautifully presented in a scallop shell sitting on top of a bed of ice. The raw scallops had a lovely firm and meaty texture to them, and they were lightly dressed with olive oil and citrus. The combination with the grapes was a refreshing blend of tangy and sweet.

Raw diver scallops with market grapes and lemon verbena

The crab toast was technically under the market table section, and it was definitely big enough to share. It was a huge piece of toasted bread topped with tons of crab meat mixed with some dill and lemon aioli. The crab was fresh and sweet, and I liked the earthiness brought by the dill. It was a big serving for an appetizer but we didn’t have any trouble finishing it.

Crab toast with lemon aioli

For our entrees, Josh and I split the black sea bass and the roast suckling pig. The black sea bass was topped with chopped chilies and herbs and served over a bed of spinach and baby potatoes. The chilies added a nice kick to the otherwise simple dish. Lisa asked for her order to be less spicy, and the kitchen willingly obliged. The sea bass was cooked perfectly, with a nice sear on the skin and delicate flaky flesh. The broth in the bowl tasted a bit of ginger, and the whole dish was clean and well balanced.

Black sea bass with chilies and herbs, baby market potatoes, and spinach

The roast suckling pig was my favorite dish of the evening. It was outrageously decadent, with crispy crackling skin and a plum and smoked bacon marmalade on top. The meat was melt in your mouth tender, and I loved the sweet/smokey combination of flavors. I also enjoyed the braised turnips on the side, with the slightly bitter greens that helped cut through the richness of the dish. I almost didn’t want to trade plates with Josh, though I did enjoy the sea bass as well.

Roast suckling pig with plum and smoked bacon marmalade and braised turnips

I don’t normally take pictures of other people’s food or comment too much about dishes that Josh and I didn’t order, but the minute I saw Alice’s fried chicken, I knew it would be something special. The piece of chicken was absolutely massive, with both dark and white meat, and fried to a perfect crisp. The batter was delicate and not remotely greasy, while the chicken inside was juicy and succulent. It was served with collard greens (yum!) and a hot butter sauce.

Fried organic chicken with collard greens and hot butter sauce

Even though we gorged ourselves during the meal, we still managed to save room for dessert. I ordered the seasonal glazed doughnuts while Josh selected the sundae. The seasonal glaze was currant, though it didn’t really have a distinctive flavor. The other flavors included chocolate glazed and a raspberry jelly doughnut. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. The doughnuts were just meh, not freshly fried or very flavorful. I never got into the whole doughnut craze that hit NYC, so maybe I just don’t appreciate them as much. I thought these were just marginally better than Dunkin’s though.

Currant glazed, chocolate glazed, and jelly filled doughnuts

Josh’s sundae, however, was pretty fabulous. It featured salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. It was like a carnival in your mouth. While the ice cream was more caramel than salted caramel (it reminded me of dulce de leche ice cream), the peanuts made up for the lack of salt and the popcorn added a nice crunch. It wasn’t overly sweet, and the ice cream was a refreshing finish to our decadent meal.

Sundae with salted caramel ice cream, candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce

Overall we were all pretty impressed with the meal we had at ABC Kitchen. The food was fresh and well executed, and for the most part, the flavors of all the dishes were spot on. We enjoyed every single one of our shared market plates and appetizers. In addition to the crab toast and raw diver scallops that Josh and I ordered, the other diners at our table enjoyed the lentil soup, pretzel dusted calamari, and tuna sashimi. All of our entrees were hits as well. Only my doughnuts and the buttermilk panna cotta with huckleberry dessert fell flat (the panna cotta was deemed too firm and sour). In terms of service, we had several people waiting on us and they were all efficient and attentive. In honor of Lisa’s birthday, they brought her a small chocolate cupcake with a candle in it. The only drawdown to the restaurant, I think, is the price. Appetizers average around $15, and entrees around $30. Not super expensive by any stretch, but definitely not cheap. While I would love to eat here often, it will be more of a special occasion kind of place for us. Nevertheless, I think ABC Kitchen deserves all the buzz and hype it receives, and I will gladly return for another meal.

ABC Kitchen
35 East 18th St. between Broadway and Park Ave. South
New York, NY

CSA2 Week #8

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 by virginia

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We were in Hilton Head for a long weekend and ended up staying an extra half day when our flight was cancelled due to weather here in NY. At least we had great weather down there, lots of sun, though it was pretty hot and humid. I sat by the pool while Josh golfed in the morning. Not a bad way to spend a few days. Now we’re back and have lots of work to catch up on before we head off on our next trip, next week.

Josh picked up the share this week, which was another heavy load. This week our share contents included:

Cucumbers – 1.75 lbs
Tomatoes – 1.9 lbs
Squash – 1.5 lbs
Greens – 1 lb
Beets – 0.75 lbs
Purslane – 0.4 lbs
Eggplant – 1.75 lbs
Peppers – 1.25 lbs
Melon – 1 each
Basil – 0.2 lbs

Kale, purslane, eggplant, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers, squash, peppers, basil, melon on top

This was the first week that we got tomatoes, and they’re pretty ripe. I’m sure we’ll get more in the next few weeks, and while these are standard red tomatoes, I can’t wait for the heirlooms to come in. I’m not sure if we’ll make a gazpacho with these, or just pair them simply with the gorgeous basil leaves we got.

For the greens, only kale was available, which is always fine by me. We also got some more purslane, which I’m still not sure is the best way to prepare. There’s also a wonky looking yellow melon, which I don’t know if it’s sweet or savory. I guess we’ll just have to cut into it to find out!

As usual, we got more squash and cucumbers, as well as a bunch more peppers. I’ve also got a big supply of eggplant now, though Claire’s idea of baba ganoush is definitely up my alley. I love smokey eggplant dip, and the few recipes I’ve looked up look pretty simple to make. We just don’t have much time to use up all our veggies, since we’ll be away for a week and a half starting next Wednesday. I’m pickling cucumbers as I write!

CSA2 Week #5

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by virginia

Wednesday is upon us once again, which means it’s CSA time! This week, Josh and I picked up our share together, which made things go a bit more quickly. We were pretty excited that we got a few new items this time. Our share contents included:

Beets – 1 lb
Napa Cabbage – 1 each
Fennel – 1 each
Greens – 1 lb
Peppers – 3 each
Squash – 3 lbs
Cucumber – 1 lb
Broccoli – 3/4 lbs

Chard, peppers, cucumbers, fennel, napa, broccoli, squash, beets

I was a bit disappointed that we only had chard for our greens, as I was looking forward to getting some more kale. Nevertheless, the chard is gorgeous as usual, and I made a gratin last week using the chard stems. It was a big hit with Josh and a great way to use up the stems we would otherwise throw away.

For the squash, we picked out a big, round green squash and a flat UFO squash. I’ll probably end up roasting those and making a soup out of them. The beets will also be roasted, and perhaps the fennel.

I’m hoping to make a lion’s head meatball stew with the napa cabbage. I made some last year but never posted about it, and I think it’s a delicious recipe worth sharing. I know I keep saying that I want to post recipes, and I promise I’ll get around to it eventually!

CSA2 Week #1

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 by virginia

I’m happy to announce that it’s CSA time again!! Josh and I have been eagerly looking forward to the start of the CSA season, and we can’t wait to dive into all of our fresh veggies. For those of you who would like to learn more about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), please read here. Basically we have purchased a share in a farm for the summer,  which means that we will start getting weekly vegetable deliveries for the next 22 or so weeks.

After much debate, we decided not to get the fruit share this year. While we loved all the fresh fruit and juices last year, we simply couldn’t keep up with the amount that we received. Sadly, lot of fruit ended up going to waste, and we really didn’t want to see that happen again this year. We thought about getting a bi-weekly fruit share instead, but even then I doubt we would have been able to consume it all.

There was a bit of a snafu with our usual CSA pickup location, but fortunately the organizers were able to find an alternate location that was extremely convenient. I picked up our share before heading to the gym, as Josh is away on a business trip. The earlier weeks of the share are usually smaller harvests, but I was happy with both the amount of the quality of the items we got. For our first share of this season, we received:

Lettuce – 1 head
Greens – 1 lb
Radishes (mixed colors) – 5 each
Garlic – 2 each
Garlic scapes – 8 each
Spring onions – 4 each
Beets – 3 each

Swiss chard, beets, lettuce, radishes, garlic, onions, garlic scapes in the middle

For the greens, we had a choice of kale or swiss chard. I know Josh was looking forward to making kale chips, one of our favorite CSA recipes, but the ruby stalks on the chard just looked too inviting for me to pass up. Plus I figured that we got a lot of kale last year, and only a few weeks of chard, so I wanted to take advantage of the shorter swiss chard season. For the lettuce, we had a choice between green leaf and red leaf, and I opted for the larger green variety.

The beets are a bit small but came with the leafy tops intact, so we’ll be sure to use both parts. The radishes came in an assortment of colors so I tried to get a different variety. They also had nice leafy tops that we either saute briefly or chop up and mix in with our salads.

Both the onions and the garlic came with green stalks, which I’m sure we’ll find use for. I was happy to see that we got so many garlic scapes, as I’m still experimenting with scape pesto. We also made a delicious garlic scape dip last year with white beans that I never posted about, so I’ll have to be sure to rectify that this year.

All in all it looks our CSA is off to a great start this season. We are excited to see what the harvest will bring over the next few months!

CSA Week #22 (Last Share of the Season!)

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 by virginia

Sadly, today is the last day of our CSA share for the season. We decided not to do the winter share so we will have to wait until next summer before we can join the CSA again. This was our first year trying it out, and it was definitely a great experience for us. Even though the produce got a bit overwhelming at times, we definitely tried our best not to let anything go to waste.

This week we got our biggest distribution of the season, probably because it was the last share. Our vegetable share contents included:

Winter Squash – 1 each
Brussels Sprouts – 1 each
Radishes – 5 each
Potatoes – 1 lb
Cooking Greens – 1 lb
Bok Choy – 1 each
Cabbage – 1 each
Carrots – 1 1/2 lbs
Onions – 1 lb
Beets – 1 lb
Celery – 1 each

Bok choy, beets, onions, brussels sprouts, celery, carrots, radishes, cabbage, kale, squash, potatoes

I’m excited about the winter squash, which was butternut this time. I might just roast it, or make some butternut squash soup. I was also happy to see bok choy again, since it was always one of my favorites during the season. Everything else looked great as well, and we definitely have enough vegetables to last us for the next few weeks.

Any guesses what our fruit share contained? That’s right, MORE apples! This week the contents included:

Fuji Apples – 4 3/4 lbs
Jonagold Apples – 4 3/4 lbs

Fuji and jonagold apples

The entire bottom shelf of our refrigerator is just packed with apples right now. Some are getting a bit bruised and soggy so I’m going to turn them into a huge batch of applesauce. With the rest, I foresee a few pies and tarts, and maybe a crumble or two. I’m complaining about the amount of apples now, but when we finally do get through them, I know I’ll feel a bit sad.

Joining the CSA was really a great decision for us. We got to try out vegetables that we ordinarily would not have picked up from the supermarket, and it was nice to have fresh produce on hand weekly. Cost-wise, the share was very reasonably priced per week, though you have to pay the total at the beginning of the season. The vegetables and fruits we got more than covered the cost, especially when we saw how pricey certain items were at the local Greenmarkets. We will absolutely join a CSA again next year, and we hope we’ve inspired some of you to check out a CSA as well.

P.S. No worries about CSA posts withdrawal, I’ve still got plenty of recipes to write about. Thanks for reading!

El Balcon de Don Zacarias Restaurant – Chivay, Peru

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 by virginia

During our drive from Arequipa to the Colca Valley, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant called El Balcon de Don Zacarias in the town of Chivay. Lunch was included as part of our tour package but that wasn’t the case for everyone in our group, and Josh and I were pretty disappointed not to be able to explore restaurants in the town by ourselves. In our experience, tour package restaurants for the most part have served us pretty lousy, bland food that is designed for tourists. See most of my China posts for reference.

Nevertheless, since we had apparently already paid for lunch as part of our package, we grudgingly trudged up the stairs and into the restaurant. We were further disappointed to see that it was a buffet, and the few patrons in the restaurant were all clearly tourists. Josh and I took a quick stroll around the buffet to see what the offerings were, and I was pleased to see that the food did look pretty interesting, as we didn’t recognize any dishes. Everything looked homemade and kind of rustic, no fussy presentations or decorations in sight, so I was hoping that we would be eating authentic Peruvian dishes, not a watered down version of Peruvian food for tourists. With everything arranged in pyrex dishes on a long table, it looked sort of like a potluck, rather than a restaurant buffet.

Some dishes on the buffet table

Josh and I both started out with some soup – squash for him and chicken soup for me. The squash soup wasn’t like the pureed butternut variety we typically eat here. Instead there were cubes of different kinds of squash mixed in a creamy yellow soup that was surprisingly light and not too rich. The chicken soup I had was plain but soothing, with a clean chicken flavor. There were thin strands of noodles inside but they were long and kind of hard to spoon up so I mostly just drank the broth.

Squash soup

Chicken soup

I started out with a “feeler” plate, taking a little bit of most things so that I could try as much as possible. Half of the buffet contained raw salad items, however, which I avoided because I wasn’t sure how they washed their vegetables. I did eat things that were peeled though, like beets and tomatoes without skin. Maybe I’m just being paranoid but even though we’re adventurous eaters, we do take some precautions to try and avoid getting sick.

Beets, salsa, beef, bread, pork, quinoa, llama, alpaca, chicken, vegetable fritters, french fries in the middle

The meats were all in stew-like sauces, so it was hard to distinguish between them. It was the first time that we tried llama and alpaca though. The llama was very strange, since they have to dry the meat before cooking it. The result was very tough and gristly, almost like eating cartilage. Flavor-wise, however, it was fantastically gamey. I loved the taste but couldn’t get past the texture. The alpaca was inoffensive, with a texture similar to veal or pork, and tasted mostly like the sauce it was cooked in. The beets were fabulous, just plain roasted but super sweet and intensely “beety” in flavor. I took seconds of that, as well as the vegetable fritters which were a mix of corn and squash and were also sweet and fresh-tasting.

For dessert, there was fruit in a sweet, white syrup, a flan-like custard, and a passion fruit flavored pudding. Nothing super exciting, but not bad either.

Papaya and pineapple in syrup, flan, passion fruit pudding

The food at Zacarias really wasn’t upscale or gourmet, but I actually liked it much more than I thought I would. Yes, I’m sure it’s still designed for tourists, but the food seemed genuine and there weren’t any cop-out dishes (ie., plain chicken or beef, American food, etc.). The only dish we knew was french fries, but they were made from flavorful, starchy Peruvian potatoes, not the McDonalds variety. I don’t know if you need to be part of a tour group to eat at this restaurant or if you can just walk in, but if you find yourself in Chivay for whatever reason, it’s worth checking out. The restaurant and the facilities are clean, and the buffet was a nice way to try lots of different dishes. I still like to think they were authentic homestyle Peruvian dishes, though I don’t know the names and won’t be able to order them elsewhere. Regardless, the food was tasty and we left with our bellies very full.

El Balcon de Don Zacarias Restaurant
Av. 22 De Agosto, Valle Del Colca
Chivay, Peru

CSA Week #13

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 by virginia

The weather this week has been unbearably hot, and I wonder how that has affected our CSA crops. I felt bad because Josh had to run home right after work to pick up our share, and then go out again to meet some people for a happy hour. We had a bunch of repeats this week, and our fridge is absolutely packed with squash and tomatoes. The tomatoes I don’t mind, but does anyone have good suggestions about what to make with squash? We’ve already made squash soup, ratatouille, zucchini bread, and squash pancakes (similar to potato pancakes). We’re running out of ideas, and we still have lots of squash left. This week our veggie share contents included:

Watermelon – 1/2
Peppers – 5 mini
Tomatoes – 1 1/4 lbs
Mixed Greens – 1 lb
Squash – 2 lbs
Beets – 3 each
Spearmint – 1/8 lb
Beans – 1/2 lbs

Greens, squash, watermelon, tomatoes, spearmint, pole beans, mini bell peppers, beets

I’m not sure what kind of greens we got this week. They kind of look like baby collards. Anyone have any idea? The watermelon we got has yellow flesh. I don’t think I’ve had yellow watermelon before, and I wonder if it tastes the same as pink watermelon. We also got a lot of mint, so I foresee lots of mojitos.

We got lots of fruit this week, and I think we currently have more fruit in our refrigerator than we have vegetables. I made a tasty apricot tart with our CSA apricots that were starting to get overly ripe. It was a great way to make sure the fruit didn’t go to waste. This week our fruit share contents included:

Italian Plums – 1 3/4 lbs
Apples – 1 bag
Peaches – 2 lbs

Apples, peaches, Italian plums

The apples we got were similar to macintoshes. The Italian plums this week were pretty soft so we’ll either have to eat them really quickly, or I’ll have to turn them into a dessert. Meanwhile, the peaches we’ve been getting are fantastic. They’re the juicy, sweet, white variety and I’ve been eating a few each day. Can’t believe the summer is almost over!

CSA Week #11

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by virginia

We got a note from the farm this week apologizing for some of the spoiled produce we’ve been seeing, and explaining that the cause is the weather. I understand the difficulties that they’re dealing with, it just pains me to have to throw food away but I’m sure it pains the farmers even more.

We had another week of heavy produce, and this time it was Josh who had to carry it all home by himself. This week our vegetable share contents included:

Tomatoes – 3 lbs
Melon – 1 each
Napa Cabbage – 1 each
Greens – 1/2 lb
Squash – 2 lbs
Carrots – 1/3 lb
Cucumbers – 2 lbs
Corn – 2 ears
Beets – 1 lb

Heirloom tomatoes, beets, greens, napa cabbage, squash, carrots, corn, cucumbers, melon on top

The tomatoes were much better this week, and Josh found three huge heirlooms that look juicy and ripe. For the greens, he picked up some swiss chard with yellow stems this time instead of the red stems. He also picked up a different kind of squash that is big and round, with bright yellow skin and green trim on the edges.

The fruit this week also looked MUCH better, and I was really happy with what we got. The fruit share contents included:

Nectarines – 3 1/2 lbs
Peaches – 3 1/2 lbs

Nectarines and peaches

These also look sweet and juicy, and only one peach was spoiled out of the whole bunch. We’ll have to eat these quickly though as they’re super ripe. I’ll have to look into some peach dessert recipes. Cobbler perhaps?

CSA Week #8

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 by virginia

It was a hectic CSA Wednesday for me, as Josh is currently in Las Vegas and I had a softball game right after work so I had to run out and pick up our share during the day. It was really hot out and I was a sweaty mess by the time I got back to my office, but I didn’t want to take the chance that I wouldn’t get back from the game in time to get our veggies and fruit.

This week our share did match what was sent in the email, and I was happy to see cucumbers on the list. Our vegetable contents this week included:

Squash – 2 lbs
Fava Beans – 1 lb
Carrots – 1 lb
Cucumber – 3 lbs
Eggplant – 1 each
Greens – 1/2 lb
Beets – 3 each

Cucumbers, fava beans, carrots, eggplant, kale, beets, squash

The greens this week was kale once again, and I look forward to making more kale chips. I also plan on making ratatouille with the squash and eggplant, something that I’ve never tried before. And of course, braised cucumbers, because I want to see what all the fuss is about!

We got lots of fruit this week as well, and our fridge is just bursting at the seams right now. We’ve actually found a great use for most of the plums we’ve been getting, making a really wonderful plum salsa that I’ll be posting about. This week our fruit share included:

Shiro Plums – 1 1/2 lbs
Apricots – 1 quart
Blueberries – 2 pints

Shiro plums, blueberries, apricots

I don’t know the difference between Shiro plums and sugar plums, since they look very similar. Maybe they taste different? We’ll see. And two pints of blueberries doesn’t sound like a lot but I feel like we have an abundance of them right now. Josh wants me to bake a pie so maybe I’ll consider doing that, or just making a big batch of blueberry pancakes. The possibilities are endless!