Eggplant Cannelloni with Basil Oil

cannelloni ready for the oven
Eggplant Cannelloni
What a great meal to come home to!

We just finished reading On the Noodle Road, by Jen Lin-Liu — a great read, by the way, but not the point of this post — and, she, not surprisingly, spoke about various pasta dishes and how they were prepared, and that they were so delicious she could clearly remember and describe them months, perhaps even years, later, when she wrote the book. Frankly, it made us hungry for pasta.

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The Winter Greens are Coming!

What in the world are tendergreens?
What in the world are tendergreens? And what do you do with them?

How exciting! We’re starting to see a variety of greens show up in our shares. As the weather starts cooling, we start seeing more and more greens because they are great cool weather crops and some of them, such as kale, get even better (slightly sweet) after a light frost. The only downside to getting greens is that sometimes we get huge amounts of greens, which makes it difficult to eat them all up by the time the next share rolls around. This early in the season, though, we have no problem devouring everything.

This week’s share included:

  • Pie pumpkin (1)
  • Gold onions (2)
  • Gold potatoes (3)
  • Baby arugula (1 bag)
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch)
  • Red Russian kale (1 bag)
  • Eggplant (3)
  • Spaghetti squash (1)

So, what are tendergreens, that bundle of leaves right on top, you might ask? Well, we didn’t know, either, but, according to the newsletter we get along with our share, they’re an heirloom version of mustard that’s much milder than the standard spicy mustard leaves. We can’t wait to try those!

Update, November 6. We still haven’t roasted the pumpkin; it’s a good thing they’re real keepers. We did make a batch of French Onion Soup with some of our onions, yum. The arugula worked perfectly as a topping for sandwiches on KBB Bagels and for a nice salad. The tendergreens were quite tender; we’d planned to make stuffed leaves with them, but they pretty much fell apart! We ended up with a casserole, and, while it was really good, we’ll wait until we can actually make the stuffed leaves before posting the recipe. We made a pesto from the Red Russian kale that was very tasty, and the eggplant went into a batch of Moussaka (recipe soon).

Hazelnut Tart Crust

This past Sunday, we headed off to a party for all the volunteers of the walking events we do every Monday and Wednesday. We didn’t feel that we could show up empty-handed, so we spent some time thinking about what to bring. Almost immediately, we realized that we needed to bring something gluten-free. For us — we are so used to using flour in virtually everything — that might be a challenge. We’re up for a challenge, so let’s get scratchin’.

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Our First Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that we’ve done these posts for a full year! Where has the time gone?

Now, in case you’re wondering whether we’ll run out of steam and recipes, we can assure you that we have stacks and stacks of recipes still remaining (and more being sorted and selected daily) to be tested in the most reliable kitchen in America: The Scratchin’ It Test Kitchen!

Thanks for reading!

Ratatouille

ratatouille
ratatouille
Serve over rice for a hearty one-dish meal.

This year has been a bit different as far as produce from our CSA goes. Normally we get certain crops together; for example, we usually get eggplant with summer squash and tomatoes, which means that a batch of ratatouille is there for the making. Just the other week, though, we picked up several eggplants — it seemed a little late in the season for eggplant, but here in Arizona you can never tell — without any squash or tomatoes. We decided to make a batch of ratatouille, anyway. After all, it’s one of those supremely flexible dishes that will take, or do without, almost any vegetable with aplomb.

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Long and Slow Apples

long and slow apples
long and slow apples
Apple pie without a crust? No, even better!

Once again, we headed out to pick apples. It takes a few minutes longer than going to the store, but we know the apples are fresh, we know they’re grown without pesticides, we know they’re local, and they’re really inexpensive: 50¢ a pound! Let’s see you get 10 pounds of pesticide-free apples for $5 at Dul-Mart. Of course, sometimes when we pick them, we aren’t really sure what we’re going to do with all those apples — they fill one crisper drawer in our fridge.

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