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CSA Adventures: Squash Recipes & More

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Food & Recipes | 0 comments

CSA Adventures: Squash Recipes & More

One of the joys and challenges of having a CSA share is the surprise factor. You don’t have much, if any, warning about the food you’ll be getting that week – some farmers send emails a few days before but others don’t – and it’s likely you’ll get some food you’ve never seen or eaten.

One of the best ways to experience a CSA is with a friend so you can share recipes and cooking tips. While we’re getting started with this series pretty late this season, we hope that our weekly posts will prove a useful source of ideas for the rest of the season. Just consider us your virtual CSA buddies. And please share your tips and tricks with us too!

Squash: Beyond The Side Dish

There seems to be a plethora of squash throughout most of the CSA season but this week was a challenge because the new arrivals from my Country Dreams share were added to last week’s leftovers. Usually, we grill our squash (toss cut squash with olive oil and lemon pepper to season, then grill) as a side dish but, this week, I had to step it up and make squash the main dish.

Enter this fabulous stuffed zucchini recipe. While the recipe calls for zucchini, I use any (and almost every) squash I had that could be halved and laid on its side. For the filling, I had a CSA onion and used two pounds of ground beef instead of the recommended beef/sausage mix because our freezer was full of ground beef from my Brookford Farm meat CSA share. I considered substituting fresh tomatoes for the can of crushed tomatoes but was glad I decided against it because the fresh tomatoes might not have offered as much liquid. I ended up stuffing a half dozen squashes and making a tasty dish. This dish reheats well so I enjoyed it for lunch the next day.

Squash & Tomato Gratin

Even after making the stuffed zucchini, I had a few more squashes left. Nicole sent me a simple recipe last year that has become part of the regular rotation at my house in the summer. The recipe can easily be sized up or down depending on how many you’re feeding. Over the weekend, I used one large tomato and two squashes to make this dish in a 7×7 pan.

Squash and Tomato Gratin
A simple side dish for garden fresh veggies.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 small zucchini or squash
  2. 4 small tomatoes
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  4. salt and pepper (to taste)
  5. 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  6. 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
Instructions
  1. Slice zucchini and tomatoes into ΒΌ inch thick slices.
  2. Lightly coat a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. Overlap tomato and zucchini slices alternately in prepared dish.
  4. Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Combine cheeses and sprinkle on top.
  6. Broil 6 inches from heat for 5-6 minutes or until heated and cheese is lightly browned.
A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/

Preserving Beans & Peppers

Green beans and wax beans were also in abundance this week. I’ll steam some as a side dish and freeze the rest. I always like to mix the green and wax beans when I freeze them. The frozen beans are great for stir fry dishes later in the year and the two types add more color to dishes.

This week, I was able to start digging into some of the beans I pickled earlier this year too. I did a few different takes on the dilly beans recipe from Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round. (The recipe is also online with one difference: the web version recommends red pepper flakes and the book version uses cayenne pepper.)

While this is not true for all canning recipes, with pickling it is safe to alter the spices and herbs. So I made three jars:

  • Regular dilly beans
  • Dilly beans with half the amount of dill
  • Pickled beans with garlic and cayenne

So far, I’ve opened the pickled beans with garlic and cayenne and they were quite good. I’m planning to make more once we’ve tried the other jars.

While I didn’t get a lot of peppers this week, I didn’t have plans to use the ones I did get. So they went straight to the freezer. These will also be used in the winter for stir fries and pizza toppings, among other things.

CSA Surprise

ivory cucumbersThis was the most colorful week for my veggie share so far. Heirloom tomatoes in all colors and sizes, beets, a variety of squashes and the big surprise in this week’s share was a couple of ivory cucumbers. I never knew cucumbers could be anything other than green, did you?

 

 

 

 

Kim is an eco enthusiast who tries to make small changes that will add up and make a difference.

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