CSA Sample Meal Plan (Mid Summer)

This week my CSA share came with 1 tromboncino squash (a new to me vegetable), 2 eggplants, 1 basket of cherry tomatoes, several potatoes, several pounds of peaches, a half pound of mushrooms, 4 cups of basil, several bell peppers, 1 pound of tomatillos, 1 cantaloupe, and several large onions. In addition to this, I also picked about ten pounds of tomatoes and 2 pounds of raspberries at a local farm, and I harvested a few cups of chokecherries from some trees in my yard and 2 zucchinis from my garden. This is how I made sure all of the produce got used in our meals.

First I focused on the items that go bad quickly: the mushrooms, the raspberries and basil. I had some tofu left over in the fridge as well as some store bought wonton wrappers, so I decided to make some tofu wontons with vegetable fried rice. Instead of dried mushrooms in the wontons I used fresh, and I added the extra mushrooms to the fried rice.

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/healthy-red-fruits-sweet-52536/

Some of the raspberries were eaten fresh, some were frozen for the winter, and some were baked into a fruit crumble with the chokecherries. I used more sugar than usual since chokeberries have such an astringent natural flavor. The dish was a hit, and I was excited to try a new way to use locally (and ethically) foraged fruit from our property.

This was probably the fourth batch of basil I had gotten, and I didn’t have any odd tops to use up (radish tops, onion tops, etc), so I opted to experiment with non-pesto recipes this week. I had so much basil I used it in 4 different recipes, an arugula (rocket) and basil dip to top potatoes for a yummy side dish, a basil and tomato pasta dish, a zucchini and basil soup that looked refreshing, and the ratatouille I’ll talk about soon. That took care of the raspberries, chokecherries, basil, potatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms.

The eggplant and squash instantly made me think of ratatouille, a delicious but labor intensive dish. Thankfully, my kids are helpful in the kitchen and enjoyed organizing the colorful vegetables into intriguing patterns. The tromboncino squash skin was thicker than I anticipated, so next time I plan to peel the squash prior to slicing, but baking the dish for ten extra minutes softened the squash skin adequately. That took care of the eggplant, half the onions, the bell peppers, and the tromboncino squash.

For the rest of the tomatoes I opted to eat many fresh, as well as make a half batch of tomato jam to try with homemade bread and some blistered tomatoes to put in the freezer for the winter.

Photo by Cup of Couple: https://www.pexels.com/photo/sliced-melon-on-a-wooden-chopping-board-7657271/

Peaches and cantaloupe were eaten fresh, but I contemplated grilling firm peaches for a treat.

Last but not least I focused on the last of the onions and the tomatillos. I usually make a delicious salsa when I have tomatillos, but I was wanting to try something new this week. I chose a white bean and tomatillo soup to pair with homemade tortillas. I topped it with whatever quick picked vegetables I had on hand (radishes, red cabbage, and purple onion). Yum!

I found meal planning really straightforward this week. I don’t know if this past week was easier than normal, or if my skills are improving. Either way, I’m grateful for this summer’s harvest.