Middle-Age Spread

This here Yankee was well into her forties before she tried Pimento Cheese. She is, apparently, making up for lost time. I’ve been CSAing with Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op for eight years now. This past week was the first time I scored a bag of pimento peppers. Bingo. Pimento Cheese Spread As with pesto, potato…

Puff-Pastry Tomato Tarts

The Great British Baking Show. Love it. Every season, it seems like Paul and Mary have the bakers make puff pastry at least three or four times. I’m mesmerized anew each time. I’ve tried it myself from scratch exactly once. Made the lean dough (yes, by hand and pastry scraper). Chilled it. Pounded the butter…

Squash Blossom Specials

Yesterday, for the first time in years, our sharebox included a carton of squash blossoms—a dozen or so beauties, each about four inches long. I knew they wouldn’t last long, even in the fridge, so I wanted to use them right away. There you go. A double-dip, blossom-binge day: Squash Poppers stuffed with goat cheese to…

Swap-Box Hero: Celeriac Edition

“SELL-err-ee-ack.” Not quite. “SELLer-rack.” Nope, again. “Sell-ryack.” Closer. CSAers, if you bail and say, “celery root,” that’s cool. But, judging by our end-of-day swap-box  contents, way too many of you also bail on the veggie itself. Maybe you’re lacking celeriac confidence. Maybe I can help. First:  pronunciation. Suh-LAIR-ee-ack. Think Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out—”in the fall you…

Microgreen Goddess

“What the heck is a microgreen, anyway?” That’s what a long-time Moore Brothers CSA participant asked me yesterday. “Um, I’m not sure. I’ve always assumed they’re just teensy radish greens, but I’ve never looked it up.” Well, now I have. Turns out, they’re pretty much any super-young salad green (arugula, chard, radish, mustard, beet, and…

Start the Clock: Asparagus Tarts

dSince Sheila and I were away on vacation last week — missing both the season’s first farmer’s market and first CSA delivery — our Asparagus Clock started yesterday. Yes, the Asparagus Clock. For about seven glorious weeks each year, we binge on fresh, local asparagus. And when I say binge, I mean we probably eat it four times a…

Squishy Squash: Spreadable Summer

Decades before Farm-to-Table was a nationwide THING, Madison’s L’Etoile (est. 1976), was championing small, local growers, constructing seasonal menus, and pushing vegetable-centric cooking beyond lentil cakes and baba ghanoush. A summer-squash compendium on the kitchn last week reminded me of a meal I’d had at L’Etoile close to 30 years ago—a meal that kicked off with a warm loaf of crusty bread and…

Kale and Hearty

It’s easy to take potatoes for granted. But fresh, local spuds are a marvel, with a nutty flavor and creamy texture that can’t be matched out of the mesh sacks shipped halfway across the country. In fact, next to eggs (okay, and maybe sweet, late-season carrots), they’re my favorite CSA staple, and when my stash is…

Whizbang Salsa II: Tomatillo Edition

Late-ripening tomatillos have replaced summer’s steady stream of tomatoes, from my own vines and from the Co-op‘s. I love the tangy-tart of tomatillos, but I never know what to do with them besides make salsa verde. With the season is so short, though, I guess it’s not a horrible rut to be in. Using the same roast-then-blend…

Grill … Whoosh … Baba Ghanoush

Somehow, after last Tuesday’s sharebox, I would up with three different kinds of eggplant. A few of the tender, wee ones found their way into a mixed sauté of zucchini, tomato, and onion. But come Monday, a day ahead of this week’s CSA delivery, the others, though still in great shape, were taking up valuable fridge real…