Backyard Gardens CSA: Week 11 — August 14, 2014

All right, all right, I made it back from my many trips within a trip safe and sound. Thankfully, with such a great crew, the farm is all in one piece and not too much has changed. That said, there are more butterflies out and about pollinating everything they can get their proboscises into, and there are more wasps, and way more flowers! This is week two of beautiful flowers, so come on out to market, grab a bouquet, and make someone’s day 🙂  In case you were wondering, no, you don’t have to carry them in your mouth as I did in this photo.

All work, no play

If you hadn’t noticed by now, your CSA bin is almost a giant Greek salad already, so all you have to do is prep it the way you like. When it comes down to it, the only things missing are some olives and feta, but besides that, you’re golden. Below the photos is solid recipe if you’d like some more ideas of what to add into the mix. As promised, tomatoes are on. Aren’t they pretty?

Good for snacking, great for salads.

Good for snacking, great for salads.

This week’s batch of basil is a little different than weeks prior, the big difference being that it’s a little more difficult to make pesto out of the varieties in your bins. You can still do it, but Thai basil and Lemon basil can be so much more than just pesto! Thai basil has an anise flavor, while lemon, go figure, has more of a citrus undertone. For cooking ideas, look no further than each basil’s namesake. Any Thai, or Southeast Asian, dish—think soups like pho, stir fries, and any and all curries— can be made extra fresh by adding some Thai basil, and lemon basil goes great with chicken, as well as lemon.

Till next time,

Garik and The Crew

Nick, in his Christmas suspenders, had a whale of a time bundling bouquets of flowers.

Nick, in his Christmas suspenders, had a whale of a time bundling bouquets of flowers.

WHAT’S IN YOUR BIN?

Full Share

Basil – 1 bunch Cherry tomato – 1 pint Cucumber – 1 pound Garlic – 2 head Kale – 1 bunch Onion – 2 head Summer squash – 2 pounds Tomato – 1 pound

Half Share

Basil – 1 bunch Carrot – 1 bunch Cucumber – 1 pound Garlic – 2 head Onion – 1 head Tomato – 1 pound

RECIPES

Greek Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 4 whole ripe tomatoes, cut into six wedges each, then each wedge cut in half
  • 1 whole (large) cucumber, peeled, cut into fourths lengthwise, and diced into large chunks
  • ½ whole onion, sliced very thin
  • 30 whole pitted kalamata olives, cut in half lengthwise
  • 6 ounces, weight crumbled feta cheese
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (more To Taste)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 whole kalamata olives (extra), chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, for squeezing
Directions:
  1. Add chopped lettuce, tomato wedges, cucumber chunks, onion slices, halved Kalamata olives, half the feta, and parsley to a large bowl.
  2. Combine olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, and chopped olives in a bowl. Whisk together until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings (I almost always add a little sugar.)
  3. Pour dressing over salad ingredients, then add salt and pepper. Toss with tongs or clean hands. Just before serving, top with additional feta and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top.

Note: Try whole roasting a head of garlic instead of mincing just a clove. recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Lemon Basil Chicken & Capers

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thickness
  • ¼ teaspoon dry oregano
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white cooking wine
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers (you can find these in little jars in the canned vegetable section of your local market, often near the mushrooms or artichoke hearts)
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced into strips (plus more for garnish)
Directions:
  1. Season both sides of chicken breasts with oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Add garlic, cooking wine, capers, and lemon slices to large nonstick pan or skillet. Cook over medium high heat until garlic is fragrant (3-5 minutes), being careful to stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning.
  3. Add chicken breasts and basil, right on top of the pan’s contents. Cook first side 6-8 minutes or until cooked through. Flip chicken breasts and cook other side until cooked through and beginning to brown. Pierce meet with a fork or knife to check for any pinkness in the meat. Once meat is white all the way though, serve with capers from the pan and garnish with additional basil if desired.

recipe courtesy of La Creme de la Crumb

Larry tried to help, but really he only got in the way, even if he is super cute and has his tongue stuck out.

Larry tried to help, but really he only got in the way, even if he is super cute and has his tongue stuck out.