Category Archives: organic

Tonight was the first time I ever ate or prepared tomatillos, (again thanks to Elby & Grace’s CSA share this week). I decided to make something completely different — Chilaquiles Verdes. What a fun name! I accompanied our chilaquiles with some Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken. Both were great!

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican peasant dish of fried tortillas bathed in green or red salsa (depending on the region) until tender. Chilaquiles are most commonly eaten at breakfast time (not uncommonly as a hangover cure). Unlike nachos, chilaquiles are a meal to be eaten with a fork. Nothing is wasted in the Mexican home, so this dish was born as a clever way to revive yesterday’s tortillas and leftover salsa.You can ask for chilaquiles to be topped with a fried egg, frijoles negros, or shredded chicken or beef.

This was a really great dish, it was just unfortunate that tonight, for some reason I lost my appetite. 😦 But despite that fact, I was still able to eat the chilaquiles and appreciate its taste! I was surprised at how easy it is to make salsa verde –  so simple! All you do is boil the veggies whole, puree them with spices, then put it back on the stove to thicken. No chopping involved, whatsoever! I also had a lot of fun deep-frying for the first time and making home-made tortilla chips, which I think taste better knowing you made them yourself.

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I’m not entirely sure,  but I think the tomatoes we received this week are HEIRLOOM tomatoes! For lunch yesterday I made a Panzanella salad and I combined 3 different recipes I found off of epicurious and allrecipes. Panzanella salad is an Italian salad where instead of greens, there is crispy, seasoned pieces of Italian bread. I first had it when my principal made it for one of our lunch meetings and it was pret-ty amazing.

I walked over to Chelsea Market and laid down $4.75 for an organic rustic Italian loaf, but I think a regular ciabatta loaf or baguette would work just fine too. But, that bread was really yummy! This salad was a bit more work than a regular salad, since you grill (or in my case brown in a pan) the squash and bake the bread pieces, but it was so tasty, it was worth waiting until 4 PM to eat my lunch! I also quickly sauteed some chicken in the blackened squash pan and added it to the salad for some extra protein in my lunch.

Ingredients:
2 medium summer squash, sliced into 1.5 inch strips
1/2 walla walla onion, sliced
3 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 sweet peppers, sliced
1 rustic Italian loaf or Ciabatta loaf, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Drizzle squash strips with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on each side. Set aside on paper-toweled plate.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl,  toss bread pieces with 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Lay bread pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

3. Cut grilled squash strips into 1 inch pieces. Toss onions, tomatoes and peppers together in bowl. Add the grilled squash pieces and the bread pieces.*

4. Mix the 1/4 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

*If you aren’t going to eat the entire salad right away, I would keep the grilled squash and bread pieces separate until just before serving, and also wait to dress the salad.


Elby and Grace are out of town again, so we got some more beautiful, farm-fresh goodness. This week’s share:

Veggies:
*Cucumbers-1 pound Boothby Blonde/Poohna Keerna
* Cucumbers-slicing-1 each
* Summer Squash-1 pound
* Hot Peppers -2
* Sweet Peppers-3
* Basil-1 bunch.
* Walla Walla Onions-2
* Slicing Tomatoes-3 pounds
* Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
* Bright Lights Swiss Chard-1 bunch
* Tomatillos-1 pound

Fruit Share
* 1 bag of Clapp Pears and Peaches
* 1 basket of Apricots

Here are some highlights…

Stay tuned for more farm-fresh cooking to come…


Since we’re leaving for Seattle on Friday (and because we like their company), we invited some friends over to help us eat our vegetables and fruit.

Last Night’s Dinner Menu:

  • Juice & Seltzer (thanks to the Hsus, I wonder I never discovered this sooner)
  • Babaghanoush with crudites of green bell pepper and terrachips
  • Summer squash sauteed with tomatoes, onions and basil (accompanied with pasta)
  • Whole baked fish (Black Sea Bass and Blackfish) stuffed with lemon and leeks, and encrusted in… salt
  • Arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese
  • Bowl of donut peaches and nectarines

I think when I planned this meal, I wasn’t entirely thinking straight. I think I was so consumed with using up all the produce that I didn’t consider whether the recipes I found would actually be appealing. I guess I just relied too much on people’s ratings of the recipes, without taking into account personal tastes. I mean, everything was palatable, but I think I really should have rethought the fish.

New furniture layout and table setting to accomodate a party of 8

chopped and sliced CSA vegetables

(the only produce I store-bought was the arugula and strawberries)

veggies being sauteed and delicious stone fruit

tons of encrusted sea salt after the fish was removed

plate of food

1) The babaghanoush. I usually don’t like babaghanoush, except for maybe two times, where it was just the perfect blend of flavors. Grace used her eggplant from last week to make an amazing babaghanoush. Mine was ok, but I think if I ever have another eggplant, I’ll ask for her recipe.

2) The Fish. Encrusted in salt – really? Weber seemed to really like it, but I think everyone else was just… eating it because it was on their plate, myself included. It. Was. Just. So. Salteeey! If I had been actually thinking through the recipe, I would have foreseen this problem… sigh.

3) The summer squash was good, but I think I added too much pasta, which was a concern of mine before making the dish, but then in the midst of cooking I stopped thinking about that for some reason. It made the dish a bit bland, which actually was a nice respite from the intense saltiness of the fish. I like that I got to put fresh basil into this dish, but next time would add it later, so the taste doesn’t get all cooked away since it simmers for 20 minutes.

4) The salad. I liked it! I had intended to put wedges of nectarines in the salad but then realized slicing strawberries was much easier than halving, seeding and cutting nectarines. I made a red wine vinaigrette instead of my usual lemon vinaigrette, which was good, but that lemon vinaigrette is just so excellent. And, anything is wonderful when you can add goat cheese to it!

5) Peaches & Nectarines. Nothing simpler than just washing and serving. 🙂 Yum! Carrie also made some homemade chocolate covered toffee and brought some ice cream. Excellent end to the meal.

Thanks friends for being polite and spending an evening with us! I kind of felt like Ina Gartner or Giada prepping and cooking for friends. 🙂


Thanks to Elby and Grace being out of town (although we miss you!), we got their weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) share of vegetables and fruits — straight from the farm. How exciting!

What We Got:

2 lbs summer squash
1 cucumber
2 lbs slicer tomatoes
1 basket cherry tomatoes
3 green peppers
1 bunch leeks
1 bunch basil

1 bag DONUT! peaches (my favorite)
1 bag nectarines

Stay tuned to see what we create…