A Season to Grow

Both Rachel and I have shares in CSAs this year.  I had a great experience last year with the Sippel Family Farm, you can read about my year in food throughout the blog and check my financial analysis of our decision to purchase a share here.  My farmers began delivering produce last week.  Unfortunately, due to class and work schedules, this was our first week of harvest.  This summer, I am going to try to update you weekly on the produce I receive and recipes that I invent from the produce.

So here goes.  This week we received a HUGE head of beautiful leaf lettuce, a bag of spinach, a head of escarole, and green onions.

Tuesday night I did what became a norm last year, sauteing veggies together in a skillet and enjoying the beauty of the harvest.  Escarole, ground turkey, green onions, salt, and pepper braised together happily, then rested atop a helping of quinoa, and filled excited bellies as the first flavors of Ohio reached our excited lips.  This week we have happily eaten many lovely things filled with that head of lettuce.  Oh lettuce wraps.  You make a fabulous lunch.

Tonight I used another favorite CSA produce cooking method.  I made a frittata.  You don’t hardly need a recipe for frittatas, the best part is throwing lovely ingredients together and cooking for a short while on the stove, then covering with lightly whisked eggs and popping it all in the oven.

If you are a recipe-follower, here’s a basic guideline to brinner at our house.  First chop potatoes and toss with a generous amount of olive oil.  Top with paprika and kosher salt and pop in a 400+ degree oven.  Tonight mine was set at 425.  Forget about them while you chop some veggies.  I tend to stir potatoes every 10-15 minutes while roasting.  They will likely need ~30 minutes in the oven, depending on how big your chunks are.

Choose a large, oven-safe skillet.  Chop 1/2 of an onion (or throw the whole thing in if you want more onion and less other veggies)  and saute in oil until translucent.  Add asparagus from your mother’s garden cut into 1″ pieces and cook another 2 minutes.  Add spinach and 1-2 tomatoes and cook until the spinach has cooked down.  In the meantime, scramble ~8-10 eggs.  I had 5 leftover egg whites in my fridge from a previous cooking experiment, I added 4 more whole eggs.  Add coconut milk (or a milk of your choice), salt and pepper.  Whisk together well.  When veggies are ready, turn off the heat and top the veggies with the eggs.  Pop in the oven on a middle rack (move the potatoes down, if you have to).

Check the fritatta periodically and remove when the center has set fully.  Run a knife around the edges to gently loosen from the skillet.  Place a plate over the pan and flip onto the plate to serve.  Add a sprinkling of chopped green onions and serve.

Those of you allowed to have cheese should never hesitate to add a handful to the frittata before popping in the oven.  You should also consider this a great opportunity to eat hot sauce.  As you can see, my frittata got a little brown around the edges, which prompted The Philosopher to excitedly state, “That’s ok, it looks like pizza!”  I am not exactly sure it tasted like pizza, but brinner has always been one of my favorite surprises.  I am pretty sure that only good things come from eating breakfast at dinner time.  Especially when the ingredients are local and the farmers have become part of your community.

That’s comfort food.

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