In an effort to spend less time in front of a computer screen, I’m trying to reduce the word count on my posts, and yesterday well…..yeah not so much. My post was still too long, but the food was soooo good. How could I short change such lovely morsels. It would be wrong, cruel even. Veggie abuse.
What’s that you say? I need to focus, stick to the topic at hand! Hmm, self-diagnosed ADD aside, I’ll give it whirl, although I realize squeezing two topics into a single title has me off to a bad start. Let’s just break it down then (and I’m dancing now).
Last week, I grabbed week nine of our CSA share, and I can’t believe we are already this far into the program; almost halfway through. It makes me sad to think it will be over in just 10 short weeks. Screw that, my season is half full, and I am going to enjoy every delicious bite while I’ve got it. I also might start shopping around for a winter CSA on the side. I love you Geauga Farms, but what’s a girl gotta do to get a winter CSA hook up. Oh, move to a warmer climate….
In this share, we got bold beautiful melons (I love talking about melons; maybe I should write a book, name it 50 Shades of Melon): a cantaloupe and a watermelon. We scored more patty pan squash, tomatoes (big and small), hot Hungarian peppers, a green bell pepper, lettuce, and green beans. Nothing too intimidating especially since I know what to do with the squash (go on, click my link, you know you want to), although I may be looking for a new way to use them. Gotta keep mixing it up. I cut into the cantaloupe on Monday and pretty much inhaled it as is; most of it didn’t make it further than the cutting board. The watermelon has been going the same way too, but I was also tossing around the idea of some watermelon water with a hint of mint. Or maybe a ton a mint, a little rum, and you’ve got mojito magic (say hello to my little friend). I also have big plans tonight to make a thick, rich and chunky (weird adjective, but accurate) pasta sauce with the rest of my tomatoes, my green bell pepper, my hot Hungarian peppers (Dance Ladies, Dance!) and some of my sweet onion. It will be delicious, comforting, and spicy: a nice big bowl of pasta, maybe curled up in an oversized armchair with a book or my iPad; yep, it’s gonna be a good night.
And while it may not look like it in the picture, there is a pound and a half of green beans in that teeny tiny bag, which is much more than the Hubby and I can put down in a single meal, so I decided to make a green bean salad to bring to family dinner last weekend. With the help of Rachel Ray (say what you will, she’s got some great recipes and at least she pushes olive oil instead of butter) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/eat-your-vegetables-green-bean-salad-with-red-onion-and-tomato-recipe/index.html, I whipped up a Cold Green Bean Salad with Red Onions, Cherry Tomatoes (another CSA item – check), and some cucumber. The beans are cooked slightly beforehand so they still maintain their crunch without being overtly crispy (i.e. inedible). The cucumber, the red onion, and the cherry tomatoes are refreshing and give it all a summery vibe (not to mention the colors – so pretty). Rachel Ray really nailed this one, and my family put out a great spread. We know how to do salads, and not a single one included lettuce. How do like them apples.
Along with some speciality burgers and a veggie patty for me ( 🙂 ), we had a Cold Green Bean Salad, a Caprese Salad, a Barley Salad with lentils, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, and some pickles. I know the pickles aren’t as impressive, unless you’re a pickle-a-holic (Snooki), but the nice long ones (hee, hee) were once my mini-cukes, so I had to share with the family. Plus, I was scared to try them and figured they’d be good guinea pigs (and they willingly obliged). At the end of the meal, only the little store-bought ones remained, so I’d say S-U-C-C-E-S-S. That’s the way we spell success (cheerleader moment over).
I wrapped up the whole meal with a small piece of cake AND not one, but two, lemon squares. Channeling Rachel Ray, they were Yum-O. Seriously, they were sweet yet tart, smooth and creamy on the inside with a cookie like crust on the bottom. To Die For (not literally though). For me, anytime you add fruit to dessert, it’s on (like Donkey Kong). I’m just glad family dinner wasn’t at my house because I would have scarfed down all the leftover lemon squares three seconds after everyone walked out the door.
Final word count: 961. Damn! Me and short posts: we’re not friends.
Cold Green Bean Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions, and Tomatoes
- 1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
- 1/4 European cucumber, cut into thin sticks resembling shape and size of green beans
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Coarse salt and pepper
Steam green beans in 1/2 inch boiling water covered for 3 or 4 minutes. Cold shock beans by running under cold water and drain well. Place beans in a bowl and combine with onions, cucumber and tomato. Dress salad with a generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Season salad with coarse salt and pepper, to taste.