Category: CSA (Page 3 of 3)

Farm to Fork, a CSA Series: Taking the Easy Way Out…Broccoli, Cheese and Quick Pickles

Join me at Simple, Good, And Tasty where I share a summer update in the Farm to Fork, a CSA Series.

This week I took the easy way out.  I broke down and finally ate my broccoli.  But not without combining it with cheese.  I also experimented with refrigerator pickling.  It’s an easy method to use-up small quantities of vegetables without going through the whole canning process.

I’ll meet you there.

Baked Cream Cheese Wontons With Garlic Scapes

Earlier this week, I wrote about recreating the mandu eggrolls I remembered from childhood Korean Culture Camp lunches at Simple, Good, and Tasty.

I’m still in a dumpling state of mind.

In addition to frying mandu, I baked cream cheese wontons flavored with garlic scapes and green onions from our CSA box.  Unfortunately, garlic scapes only appeared in our CSA boxes two weeks, but from what I’m reading from other bloggers, they are still available at farmers markets.

If garlic scape season has passed in your neighborhood, substitute minced or grated garlic (or garlic powder).

Lisa Lillien may be at the end of many of my jokes, I’m occasionally inspired by some of her ideas.  In true Hungry Girl style, I baked the cream cheese wontons, although I used the full-fat cream cheese.  I find the lower-fat versions unappealingly grainy.  When baked, the wonton wrappers are acceptably crispy, albeit a tad floury on the outside.  Overall, an acceptable substitute for deep frying.

If you want an option that falls between deep-frying and baking, try pan fry-steaming.  Heat a little oil in a pan and fry one side of the wontons.  Flip the wontons and cook until the other side begins to turn golden brown.  Add a small splash of water, quickly cover, and briefly steam.  The wontons should be crispy on the outside.  Drain on paper towels.

Baked Cream Cheese Wontons Flavored With Garlic Scapes & Green Onion

Cream cheese, softened
Garlic scapes, thinly sliced  (or minced/grated garlic)
Green onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
Wonton wrappers
Egg, beaten into egg wash
Cooking spray or your choice or oil, misted


  1. Preheat oven to about 375 degrees F.
  2. Mix the cream cheese with garlic scapes, green onion, sugar, and a pinch of salt, all to taste.  I like my filling to lean towards sweet.
  3. For each wonton, place a small spoonful of cream cheese filling into the wrapper.  Smear two edges of the wrapper with egg wash and firmly press to seal.  For extra security, press the sealed edges with the tines of a fork.
  4. Before baking, cover the wontons with a damp cloth so they don’t dry out.
  5. Place onto an oiled sheet pan and mist the tops with oil.
  6. Bake until golden brown. Watch the corners so they don’t burn.
  7. Serve with sweet chili sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

Introducing Farm To Fork: A CSA Series At Simple, Good, And Tasty

This summer, I am excited to share our first CSA box experience through bi-monthly articles published by Simple, Good, and Tasty.  The first article and recipe was published June 18, 2012.

We chose to receive half-share boxes of produce from Bluebird Gardens, a farm located in Fergus Falls, MN.  Our first CSA box contained lots of early spring goodies and we feasted on Lebanese fattoush-inspired salad for days (and more days to come).  
You can find it here.  

Radish Pizza

I never imagined I’d become fond of radishes.

This past week, we found a sizable bunch of radishes in our first Bluebird Gardens CSA box. I curiously nibbled a raw radish and wrinkled my nose when its sharp, spicy flavor hit my sinuses. After several attempts, I found that I enjoyed the radishes sliced into translucent half moons and tossed into salad. Then, I began to wonder what they would taste like on pizza.

On Sunday evenings, I’ve been baking flatbread pizzas in our oven. This week, we experimented with our CSA radishes; a vegetable neither of us had ever seen cooked, let alone added to pizza.

I shaved the radishes and placed them on top of flatbread layered with garlic and olive oil, fresh mozzarella, green onions, and thinly sliced pea pods. Then, I spread citrusy pea green salad on top of the radish pizza. The baking process rendered the shaved radish tender and much sweeter than its raw counterpart.

So far, my favorite flatbread recipe can be found as part of Saveur’s recipe for Lahmacun.  I’ve made the dough at least ten times and substitute honey for sugar and add extra water. The dough has to rise once, but is fairly simple to prepare, even on a weeknight. The texture and flavor remind me of Broders’ Cucina Italiana’s Fulton Flatbread.

Radish Pizza Topped With Tart Pea Green Salad

2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
1 packet instant rise yeast
2 squirts of honey (about 2 teaspoons)
1 ½ teaspoons saltGarlic Oil
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes

Pizza Toppings
Mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
Radish, thinly shaved
Green onion, thinly sliced from the roots, up
Pea Greens
Lemon Juice

To Make The Flatbread

  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with warm water and a couple squirts of honey. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt and form a hole in the middle. Pour in the bloomed yeast mixture and stir until dough forms.
  3. Pour the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Add more flour or water if the dry is too wet or dry.
  4. Form the dough into a ball. Put a little olive oil in a bowl.  Put the dough in the bowl and rotate until the ball is coated in oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm location until doubled (about 1 hour).
  5. When you are ready to make the pizza, cut the risen dough into two pieces. Roll each ball onto a floured surface until thin (about  1/8 inch thick). Place on a sheet pan covered with foil or parchment and add toppings.
 To Prepare The Pizzas
  1. Preheat oven to 450-475 degrees F.
  2. Mix the grated or minced garlic with several tablespoons of olive oil. Flavor with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes and combine.
  3. Spread the flavored olive oil on the rolled-out pizza dough.
  4. Top with mozzarella cheese, sliced green onions, shaved radish, and pea pods. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and lightly drizzle with a touch of olive oil.
  5. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and flatbread is golden brown. Cool slightly.
  6. Top the pizzas with a simple salad made from of fresh pea greens tossed with a little olive oil, lots of lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper.

Week(ends) In Review: Heartland, Our First CSA Box & Ribfest

Weekends in the Twin Cities are wonderful, though they leave us scrambling for breath as we return, racing back to work.

Amidst the excitement of last weekend’s TECHmunch and family festivities, our parents collaborated on planning a surprise engagement dinner at Heartland.  If I had been quicker on my feet, I would have arranged my own surprise by ordering our marriage paperwork from the county and a pastor to meet us at dinner.  
Our parents have only met on one occasion and so I was a little anxious about the gathering of our families.  I ordered something green and something strong.  I don’t remember what it contained besides lime juice and gin, but what I do remember is that it was extremely strong.  I coughed my way through the first few sips and resolved to drink it slowly, lest I take down my own engagement dinner.  
One of our servers seemed concerned that it remained so full.  He checked in a few times to ask if I was enjoying the beverage.  I tried to reassure him that although it was delightful, it was incredibly strong for my likes.  
I steadily sipped the the drink and even passed it around for others to enjoy.  Somehow, we hardly made a dent.     
We had a grand time enjoying each others’ company and tasting all of the dishes.  On this evening, chicken reigned supreme.  Those of us who ordered the Fauna tasting menu began with a small piece of moist, crispy-skinned chicken.  
It rested on sweet, beautifully cooked vegetables and vibrant beet broth.  Even the most cautious of eaters declared it the best chicken he had ever eaten.  
Five others ordered the chicken entree.  Again, lots of crispy, seasoned skin and succulent meat.  Even the white meat was buttery tender and flavorful.  
This past Thursday, I picked up our first CSA box from Bluebird Gardens of Fergus Falls, MN.  After months of receiving anticipatory emails updates, I giddily unloaded our first bounty onto our kitchen counter.  I gently examined the delicate lettuce, radishes, spinach, spring onions, a petite kohlrabi, and my favorite; a bag of pea sprouts.  
Processing the vegetables and stuffing them into our fridge took time, but was well worth the effort.  Now, I can easily grab the vegetables and incorporate them into our meals.  We’ve been feasting on giant fattoush salads made with toasted pita bread and everything in our box.  Let me know if you are willing to share any of your favorite uses for CSA vegetables.  Especially kohlrabi.  I didn’t hate my first taste of kohlrabi but am wondering how I will ever fall in love with it. 
I plan to submit bimonthly updates about what I create with my CSA boxes to Simple, Good & Tasty.
Finally, there’s Ribfest at the Fargodome which began on Wednesday and ends this evening.  I’m surprised it’s open during so many weekdays, but I’ve been told that many request time off from work to attend.  Festivities include seven rib vendors, additional food and beverage vendors, a large music stage that features 80’s hair bands and country music, and an expansive array of blow-up jumpy things. 
I think the blow-up jumpy things almost outnumber the rib vendors 2:1. 
Last evening, we visited Ribfest and sampled ribs from two vendors.  Cowboys BBQ & Rib Co. of Forth Worth Texas boasted an extensive array of awards but their ribs were woefully tough and covered in flabby skin.  I hope this can be chalked-up to a bad evening.  Otherwise, I can’t imagine them winning anything. 
On a positive note, I enjoyed their barbecue sauce which seemed well-balanced.  
We also tried ribs from Aussom Aussie’s BBQ of Pittsburgh.  These were much better.  
The meat had a better texture and a smokier flavor, though they were slightly fatty.  The exterior had some bark and the sauce was lovely.  It had a little heat and that vinegary note that I love so much about Ted Cook’s. 
We’re hoping to return for a blooming onion and to sample some more rib vendors.
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