Saturday, April 27, 2013

Getting All 'Choked Up!

So remember how last week we promised yellow squash that then never arrived?  Well, apparently, we started some sort of trend because this week the missing item ended up being the local asparagus.  Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!  So to help compensate, we chocked your boxes full of lots of extra goodies.  Some of you received, corn, tomatoes, or onions, and then some of you received artichokes.  So if you find yourself scratching your head as you stare at that veggie that looks more like a deranged pineapple than an edible vegetable, fear not!

The awesome foodies at Food & Wine put together a tutorial on how to cook fresh artichokes.  So whether you want to roast them up, toss them with pasta or snuggle up with a bowl of spinach & artichoke dip, their tips will help you master the artichoke and have your friends and family ooo'ing and ahh'ing.  Who needs produce in a can any way?  Get fresh with it!

Check out the tutorial on Food & Wine here: How To Cook Artichokes 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Baked Asparagus Fries

Raise your hand if you think the best part of Spring is fresh asparagus.  Or if your my one friend...ASPARAGUS!!!!  I may hide my zeal more than she does, but I'm right there with her.  In fact, we were texting tonight about our excitement over fresh, local asparagus coming our way in tomorrow's Crop Share.  Yes, it's fresh, it's local and it's...ASPARAGUS!

One of my favorite preparations for asparagus is to just drizzle them with olive oil, toss with some minced garlic, season with salt & pepper and bake it at 400 for 25 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender yet still a bit crisp.

That's the healthy sensible version.  And then there's the fun version from Spoon Fork Bacon!  My asparagus-obsessed friend and I made these Baked Asparagus Fries this past year and we were beyond hooked.  It got our men to eat their veggies, so that means it's bound to work for kids, especially since this is a veggie recipe that's meant to be dipped in something delicious.

Follow the link below to see the recipe on Spoon Fork Bacon...

Baked Asparagus Fries

Mushrooms Sauteed With Sherry Vinegar

If there's one thing I remember from the Summer Olympics in London this past year (aside from that Phillip Phillips song that was used for every USA women's gymnastics intro video) it's this fantabulous mushroom recipe.  Watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies are a big deal for me and yes, I always cry from world-coming-together happiness.  And big deals equal lots of yummy food.  So I ran across this recipe from Herbivoracious for Mushrooms Sauteed with Sherry Vinegar, and decided they'd make a great appetizer while the Mister and I watched the start of the Games.  In retrospect, I'm not entirely sure many mushrooms even made it out of the pan and onto a plate where my husband could enjoy them, as I seem to remember just eating them over the stove, because they were just that darn good.  So whip these up for a quick and easy appetizer, and be sure to have some crusty bread on hand because you are going to want to sop up all of the remaining sauce.  Oh yes you will!

Mushrooms Sauteed with Sherry Vinegar


1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lb small button or crimini mushrooms
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 handful of cilantro leaves (or parsley if you're cilantro phobic)

One-Pot Chicken & Rice With Swiss Chard

My first encounter cooking with swiss chard was last Fall when we received it in our Crop Share, and I decided to use it in the Chicken & Rice with Swiss Chard recipe that was put up on the blog at that time.  We loved it then, so I wanted to share it with you all again.  Not only is it healthy, but as a one-pot dish, kitchen clean up is kept to a minimum.  Then again, isn't the rule that the chef doesn't have to do dishes?

Follow the link below, and enjoy one of our favorites from the Fall round...

One-Pot Chicken & Rice with Swiss Chard

We've got the garlic, onions and carrots needed for this recipe all in store.  So if you have yet to redeem your $3 off coupon from last week, use it to pick up the remaining produce for this great recipe!

Two Blueberry Recipes Even Violet Beauregarde Could Still Love!

Oompa loompa doopity do, I've got two blueberry recipes for you!  Fresh blueberries are fantastic, but I think we can all agree that we would not care to become one like poor, boisterous, gum-smacking Violet from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.  

But I'm fairly certain that these two recipes could win over even Miss Violet.  After all, being juiced has to work up a serious appetite.

Blueberry-Swirl Pound Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/3 cups blueberries
1 1/4 cups, plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 5x9 loaf pan and line with parchment paper, with about 2 inch overhang on all sides.  Also lightly butter the parchment.

In a food processor or blender, puree blueberries with 2 Tbsp sugar.  In a medium sized bowl, mix together your flour, salt and baking powder.  Then in a larger bowl, cream butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar using an electric mixer.  Add in eggs and vanilla, and continue to beat until fully combined.  Gradually add in flour mixture, and between additions of flour, also begin to add in your sour cream, alternating between both and ending with one last bit of the flour mixture.

Pour half of the batter into the pan and dot with 1/2 cup of the blueberry puree.  Add remaining batter and dot with the rest of the puree.  With a thin-bladed knife or skewer, swirl the batter and puree together.  Bake at 350 for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then lift out of pan by parchment.  Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Pancakes

1 2/3 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
2 large eggs (or 2 egg equivalent of Ener-G Egg Replacer for egg-free/vegan)
1 cup light vanilla soy milk (or vanilla almond milk)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (I make my own by steeping vanilla beans in brandy for several months)
1/2 cup blueberries

In one bowl, combine your dry ingredients and then in a separate bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients, and then slowly mix into the dry mixture until well combined.  Mix in blueberries.  Add coconut oil to your skillet and once melted, begin to spoon your batter into the heated skillet.  Once the edged begin to brown, flip your pancakes and cook until both sides are golden.

We served ours topped with Earth Balance margarine and agave nectar, since I'd made this recipe on a complete whim and didn't have any maple syrup around.  This really is a no-fail gluten free (and vegan if you make the egg substitute) pancake recipe.  I'd never made pancakes before in my life, and on our one snow day this past year, I decided it was time to not just make pancakes for the first time, but now they have to also be gluten, egg & dairy free.  This recipe was cobbled together from several that I looked up, and the results were fantastic.  The only problem was there just weren't enough!

Leek & Potato Soup

If I ever start my own political party it might have to be called the I Love Leeks Party (either that or the I Still Believe In Unicorns Party), because I adore this odd little vegetable.  Sitting somewhere in the flavor profile between garlic and onions and shallots, with green stalks that taste somewhat like green onions, yet not quite as pungent.  It's a beautifully balanced vegetable, which is what makes it ideal for this delicate Leek & Potato Soup.

I first had this soup during my time in Northern Ireland, and the chef served it with crispy leeks on top.  I've yet to master the art of making something crispy without totally incinerating it, so my hat tips to you if you can make that happen as a lovely finish to this soup.  An added perk is that this soup, while creamy and dreamy, is completely free of dairy, so it's a calorie savings on most other creamy soups.

Leek & Potato Soup

Serves 6-8


2-3 Tbsp olive oil
4 leeks, washed & sliced (green & white parts)
Dash of Kosher salt
¼ tsp chile powder
6 cups water
1 ¼ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 bay leaves
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

If you prep all your ingredients first, this soup goes incredibly quick, so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.  And remember -- wash your leeks thoroughly, and when I say thoroughly, think akin to showering after a day at the beach.  You’re going to find grit where you never thought grit could get! 

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add in your sliced leeks, throw in a dash of salt, and sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until leeks are soft and wilted.  If you can avail yourself of some Black Truffle Salt from Spice & Tea Exchange in Old Town, you should absolutely use this in place of any other salt!  A little goes a long way and you’ll get that lovely earthy aroma from the black truffle.

Once leeks are soft, add in chile powder and stir for about 30 more seconds.  For those weary of heat, fear not, I didn’t notice that this imparted any extra heat to the soup, and while it seems like an odd ingredient, just go with it, somehow it completely works.

Pour in your water and stir to deglaze anything that might be sticking to the bottom.  Add in potatoes and bay leaves, cover pot and bring to a rolling simmer for about 15-30 minutes, or until your potatoes can be easily speared with a knife.

Remove your bay leaves and turn off the heat.  Now it’s time to puree!  If you’re lucky enough to own an immersion blender, now is the time to bust that bad boy out and go all Top Chef on your soup.  If you don’t have one, first write a letter to Santa asking for one this Christmas, then you’ll want to puree the soup in batches in a blender.  Don’t use a food processor, as I hear that will make the soup gummy.  If you’re using a blender, don’t fill it more than half-full, and be sure to cover over a lid with a kitchen towel to prevent steaming or burning yourself from renegade soup bits.  With either method, puree until smooth and if you feel the soup is too thick, you can always add more water.

Stir in black pepper, and taste to see if additional salt may be needed.  Now if you want to get fancy, and you’ve availed yourself of the aforementioned Black Truffle Salt, you can whip up some garlic truffle oil in advance to drizzle on top of your soup for an added luscious kick.  Just heat 1 Tbsp of minced garlic in oh about 1 cup of olive oil, throw in some Black Truffle Salt and let that simmer away on low heat for about 30 minutes.  Strain out your garlic, and bottle up the oil for future use.  I added a sprig of dried rosemary to my bottle, because the essence of garlic and black truffle was just not decadent enough.

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring Crop Share Registration Now OPEN!

Our Spring Crop Share round will begin on May 10th and run till June 28th, but registration for this new round has opened up TODAY!

This round we'll be sourcing all the produce from the East Coast, but we'll try to source as much locally as possible, despite the late start our farmers got to their growing season with the disappearing act Spring tried to perform on us.  Also, be on the lookout for forms in your Week 1 box, as we're now expanding the list of special inclusions you can add onto your pick up.  We understand that certain items you may not want on a weekly basis, but yet you'd love the convenience of one-stop-shopping.  So we'll be presenting you with a selection of specialty items you can request on a week-by-week basis, including local honey, Great Harvest Bread, McCutcheon's jams & fruit butters, and locally-roasted organic coffee from Cervantes Coffee.  In fact, you'll be able to sample products from both Great Harvest and Cervantes Coffee tomorrow (April 19) from 3-5:50pm!

Punxsutawney Phil may have wrongly predicted an early spring, but we can confidently predict 8 more weeks of wonderful spring produce!

Spring Crop Share Pricing

May 10th - June 28th
8 Week Single Share, $170 includes $6 box deposit
8 Week Double Share, $340 includes $6 box deposit

Crop Share Registration and Payment

You can register online by clicking here or you can complete the registration form and bring it in the store or email to **PLEASE NOTE: Our online registration currently does not calculate pro-rated rates for members joining mid-season.  If you wish to join after the season has begun, please e-mail us or complete the above registration form and bring it in, so that we can ensure you are not overcharged.**

You can email or you can call us at 703-971-4068 to pay by credit card over the phone. If you need to make any other alternate arrangements for payment please do so at the above email address.

If you have any questions about the Nalls Neighborhood Crop Share, please feel free to contact us at

Yellow Squash with Tomatoes & Parmesan

Where most people tire of yellow squash, I can't seem to get enough of it.  And once squash season is going full tilt, I will find new and interesting ways to fit it in to pretty much every meal of the day.  One of my go-to dishes over the past few years has been to slice yellow squash in half, place it into a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and cardamom, and then bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

But when I saw this recipe for Yellow Squash with Tomatoes & Parmesan, over at Kayln's Kitchen, I knew I'd found a new love!  Such a quick and simple weeknight side dish to throw together.  Or, if you're a squash fiend like me, an entire meal to try and hoard all to yourself.  With the Vidalia onion also in this week's share, you'll already have 2 of 7 ingredients going home with you!

Hop on over to Kayln's Kitchen to view the recipe for Yellow Squash with Tomatoes & Parmesan!

Chicken & Spring Onion Stew

Several weeks ago, when we had spring Vidalia onions in the Crop Share, I found a recipe by Jamie Oliver on Food & Wine for a Chicken and Leek Stew.  So I figured, why not give it a try with the spring onions in place of the leeks?  This was one experiment that turned out fantastic, and it was even reminiscent of some of the flavors in my Mama's stroganoff.  We served ours over rice, but this would be perfect with noodles or even tossed with pasta.  This dish will be the perfect fit for the local spring onions coming your way this week!

Chicken & Spring Onion Stew

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bundle of spring onions, bulb and green parts thinly sliced
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt & ground pepper
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken tenderloins
All-purpose flour for dusting (can substitute gluten-free flour)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp chopped thyme
2 Tbsp sour cream (we used Tofutti Sour Supreme for dairy free)
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Chocolate & Strawberries: A Match Made in Food Heaven

It seems that most people I've encountered the past few days have all had "a week."  You know, when you have a case of the Mondays that just seems to last all...week...long.  So the first of the season strawberries from South Carolina in this week's Crop Share will go a long way to brighten any crummy week you may have had.  But in case strawberries just aren't enough...add chocolate and whiskey!

I found this recipe several months ago as an adaptation to Hervé This' infamous chocolate mousse.  Think of This as sort of the original mad scientist of the culinary world, in fact, he began his career as a chemist.  So this dairy-free chocolate mousse is one product of that wonderful scientific brain of his, proving that it is absolutely possible to make chocolate mousse with only 2 or 3 ingredients.  And since the strawberries this week are more delicate, and thus best eaten sooner rather than later, it's the perfect excuse to literally whip up this mousse to reclaim whatever sanity you may have lost this week!

Three-ish Ingredient Whiskey Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

9-10 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips as they are dairy-free)
Just less than 1 cup water
4 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp whiskey, or other liquor of your choice (optional)
Sliced, fresh strawberries

Melt your chocolate, sugar, water and whiskey together in a double boiler.  Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and then place a smaller bowl on top.  Once your chocolate is melted, empty it into the bowl on top of the ice.  Then use an electric hand-held mixer to beat the mixture until it thickens.  As the chocolate cools, it will begin to thicken.  This always takes me about 7-10 minutes, but some people swear it comes together for them in 3-5.  Once the chocolate begins to thicken it will harden very quickly, so take care not to over-beat.  If your chocolate gets too grainy, you can melt it down and begin again.  Serve immediately topped with sliced, fresh strawberries.

Adapted from Drizzle & Dip

Nalls Next Blog Superstar Is...

Drumroll please...

Miss Elisa and her "seriously succulent" Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocado & Toasted Pecans!

With the combo of avocado, pecans and balsamic vinegar, Elisa's dish delivers on her promise of succulent.  But I dare say this dish is downright decadent!

Plus, Elisa is the local food blogger behind Citrus -n- Spice, so you should run, not walk, your typing fingers over to her blog to see some of the other delicious recipes she's posted.

So without further adieu, from Elisa's kitchen to yours...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocado & Toasted Pecans

1/3 Cup pecans
1.5 lbs Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Crushed red pepper
1 Medium Avocado, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp Thyme
2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Chop into small pieces and set aside.

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Blanch the brussels sprouts for about 3 minutes (less if they are small). Drain and let cool. Cut the sprouts in half and place on a foil covered cookie sheet or roasting pan. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil (3 Tbsp.) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
Roast in oven on the top rack for 20 minutes.

In a serving bowl, combine brussels sprouts, avocado, pecans, crushed red pepper and thyme. Stir gently and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Congratulations again Elisa, you've made our produce-loving hearts flutter!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Green Beans With Garlic & Tea

Maybe it's the cool night air and the rain creeping towards us that has me on a family recipe kick tonight and thinking of my hometown of Youngstown.  Whatever the impetus may be, you will have my amazing mother-in-law, Heather, to thank for bequeathing me with a copy of the Greater Youngstown Italian Fest cookbook, containing none other than her absolutely killer Green Beans with Garlic & Tea recipe.  And no, I'm not trying to earn points, my mother-in-law is pretty darn awesome, especially when it comes to all things cooking and baking.  Heather is also the queen of tea, there's always a pot steeping every time you walk into her home, so I shouldn't have been surprised the first time she served up these delectable green beans.  Forget the traditional heavy green bean casserole, these green beans are the perfect light and fragrant side dish, especially as we start moving into warmer temperatures.  So get ready to put the kettle on...and make some dinner!

Green Beans with Garlic & Tea

1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp Keemun tea leaves (can substitute other Chinese black teas, Oolong or even Prince of Wales)
2 cups spring water
1 or 2 Tbsp almond slices, toasted

Boil the spring water and add the tea and allow to brew.  Steam the green beans in water.  While beans are steaming, saute garlic in oil until opaque.  Add brewed tea and simmer with garlic for 2 minutes.  Remove beans from steamer and put in large serving bowl.  Pour tea marinade over drained beans.  Garnish with the toasted almond slices and serve.

Let's Be Rad(ish)!

Think radishes only exist to be shaved thin and perched atop fancy crostini appetizers, then it's time to Rethink Radishes.  The foodies over at Cooking Light put together a series of 20 recipes to stretch our imaginations when it comes to this oft underused vegetable.  So be sure to check out the full list (here), but here was my favorite from the bunch: Radishes In Browned Butter & Lemon.

Radishes In Browned Butter & Lemon

3 cups radishes, halved lengthwise, with root and 1" stem left on
1 Tbsp butter (or dairy-free margarine for vegan preparation)
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup torn radish leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper

Click through to view the rest of the recipe...

And just so you all know...

Chocolate & Balsamic Roasted Beets

This week, let's turn up the beet!  I know many of us are still very skeptical when it comes to eating and preparing beets, especially when our only encounter with them has been when they're laying on our side salad.  But as a reformed beet loather, I can safely say you really should give beets a chance...especially when they come with...wait for it...CHOCOLATE!  Everything is better with chocolate, no? 

So enjoy this fun twist on a roasted vegetable side dish from Jerry James Stone over at Cooking Stoned.  There's even a hysterical instructional video to go along with it, and you should watch it so we can all fall in love with Jerry and want him to come cook dinner for all of us.  Just please, don't actually die after eating these beets, we would miss you too much!

View the recipe here: Chocolate & Balsamic Roasted Beets

Grammy Freer's Chicken In A Wine Sauce

Some of my most beloved childhood memories are of cooking and baking with my Grammy Freer (yes, I am 31, and yes I will call her Grammy no matter how old I get).  Much of what I know about kitchen fundamentals comes from spending good chunks of my formative years, standing on a step stool, at her side while she baked pies and cookies or made homemade french fries.  There was even a somewhat "explosive" incident involving our first attempt at cream puffs.  So it's no surprise that I've been waiting in hopes of just the right mix of items in the Crop Share so that I can feature one of my Grammy's recipes, her Chicken In A Wine Sauce.  If you're anything like me, she had you at "wine sauce."  So enjoy putting this week's carrots and fresh parsley to good use in this recipe from one awesome lady!  Oh and...Hi Grammy!  ;)

Grammy Freer's Chicken In A Wine Sauce

4 bone in chicken breasts, skinned
4 bone in chicken thighs, skinned
4 bone in chicken legs, skinned
1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp canola or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup thinly diced carrots
1/2 cup thinly diced celery
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (sub in gluten-free flour or cornstarch for gluten-free version)
3 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottom, oven-safe pan over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt & pepper, and begin to add about half of the chicken to the pan to begin to brown, for about 4 - 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and repeat with remaining chicken till all are browned.  Set aside chicken

Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the pan and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Return chicken to pan.  Combine flour and stock in a bowl, whisking until smooth.  Add to the pan and stir to incorporate.  Stir in tarragon, parsley, mustard and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then cover and place in oven to bake at 325 for 1 hour or until chicken is very tender.  Remove chicken and bay leaf and stir butter into sauce.

If sauce is too thin when you remove the chicken, bring back to a boil on the stove top for about 5 additional minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens to more of a gravy consistency.  Serve pieces of chicken topped with the pan sauce.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin

Most of my life I considered myself an avowed brussels sprouts hater.  But without fail, every Thanksgiving my mom would make them, and out of curiosity I would try them in hopes that year would be different and I'd finally come to like them.  However, a whole new world opened up for me when I discovered that brussels sprouts grow on stalks and not as tiny cabbages in freezer packs slathered in a butter sauce.  Who knew?

And then, St. Patrick's Day 2012 rolled around and a friend brought a brussels sprouts dish to our party because, well they're green and cabbage-y.  That night, for the first time, I fell in love with brussels sprouts.  The next morning I begged her for the recipe, so here it is, the golden ticket of brussels sprouts recipes, sure to win over the biggest skeptic.

Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin

Serves 8 / Total Time: 1.5 hrs

For Brussels Sprouts:
2 lbs fresh brussels sprouts, outer leaf layers removed, spout ends sliced off, halved lengthwise
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 lb slab of bacon, diced into 1/4" pieces
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp heavy cream

For Gratin Topping:
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
6 Tbsp grated Parmesan
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fresh sage, minced (can substitute parsley or chives)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss brussels sprouts with melted butter, bacon, salt & pepper.  Spread in a shallow baking dish, just large enough for one layer with a little overlap.  Roast on top rack of oven for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting.

While the sprouts are roasting, prepare your gratin topping.  In a bowl, mix together all of your toppings ingredients and set aside.

After the brussels sprouts have roasted for 25 minutes, add the heavy cream and stir to fully coat.  Evenly top with your breadcrumb mixture, and put it back into the oven to roast for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before serving.

The Versatility of Corn

If the mere mention of corn leaves you feeling like this...

"YES!  Corn, corn, corn, corn...."

Then have I got a trio of corn goodness for you.  Corn on the cob may be great, but with recipes like these, you'll want to step away from those cute little cob holders.  Click the recipe names below to view each recipe.

Rosemary-Corn Muffins

Corn & Chorizo Fritters

Smoky Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Who Is This Broccoli Rob?

One part mini-broccoli and one part greens, broccoli rabe is a double duty vegetable.  If you're like me, for years you had heard of broccoli rabe and thought to yourself, "Who's this Broccoli Rob?"  So if this is your first encounter with it, don't fret and prepare to fall in love with Broccoli Rob!  As we mentioned in the Crop Share spoiler e-mail, broccoli rabe is fantasmagorical when sauteed and tossed with pasta, especially when some manner of sausage is involved.  In the past, I'd worked off of a Williams-Sonoma recipe that wanted me to use enough salt to choke a camel, but this one from A La Mode requires only salt to taste and is easily modified for any individual tastes or dietary restrictions.  And look at that photo!  Is it wrong to try and poke your computer screen with a fork?

Orecchiette With Sausage And Broccoli Rabe

1 lb orecchiette pasta
1 lb Italian sausage, casing removed (can sub in turkey sausage for a lighter version)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, cut into two sections
1 lemon, zested & sliced in half
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano

For breadcrumbs:
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
Zest of lemon

We've got plenty of lemons and onions on hand, so be sure to pick them up this weekend for this recipe!

Spiced Lentil & Potato Soup

I have a slight problem with lentils.  No, not lentils themselves, I quite love them and perhaps a bit too much. You see, every time I cook up lentils, I wind up with enough to feed a mid-sized nation.  So I devised this Lentil & Potato Soup last fall, as a way to use up the ignorant amount of cooked lentils I always end up with.  And the new gold potatoes in this week's Crop Share will be the perfect potato to use for this hearty and spicy soup.  Guaranteed to take the evening chill off while we wait for next week's 70 degree temps!

Spiced Lentil & Potato Soup

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
2 tsp garlic, minced
5 medium gold potatoes, diced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
12 oz tomato paste
2 Tbsp Tandoori Roasting Blend (I used Spice & Tea Exchange’s, or use any tandoori spice blend)
3 cups cooked brown lentils
32 oz low sodium vegetable broth (for vegan) or chicken broth
1 can (13.66 oz) lite coconut milk (cream and water portion)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp parsley, plus more for garnish (dried or fresh, I used dried just fine)
Tofutti sour cream, crème fraîche or  plain Greek yogurt for garnish, optional

Simmer onion, carrot and garlic in a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes.  Add in potatoes and sauté for 3-5 minutes.  Add in spices, salt through ginger, and stir to fully coat (for less heat, omit crushed red pepper and reduce cayenne to 1/8 tsp).  Stir in tomato paste, tandoori spice and lentils, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Add in vegetable or chicken stock and make sure to scrape bottom of pan to loosen anything that has begun to stick.  Stir in coconut milk, lemon juice and parsley.

Bring to a full simmer, cover pot and reduce heat.  Simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes.  Soup should be more of a stew consistency, so check regularly and add or subtract simmering time as needed.

Serve each bowl with a dollop of vegan sour cream, plain Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, and a sprinkle of parsley.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Lonely Tomato

This past week you got a lone tomato in your Crop Share, so what to do with this solo tomato?  Sure, you could dice it up for a salad garnish or to mix in with a homemade burrito bowl (it's not you it's me, Chipotle, I'm trying to quit you).  But, I really think you should take that tomato...and stuff it!

That's right, stuff that tomato and bake it up!  Pretty much whatever you have on hand that will taste delicious with a tomato will work, so get creative with those leftovers.  I've even seen pasta-stuffed baked tomatoes on Pinterest!  And since this makes a great lunch-for-one, you don't have to share!

For mine, I preheat the oven to 375 degrees, lop off the top of the tomato, hollow it out and stuff mine with a mixture of 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa, some spices (usually salt, pepper & garlic powder, at least), a heaping spoonful of cream cheese (Tofutti makes an amazing dairy-free version), the diced up lid of the tomato, and then I'll continue to build from there with what I have on hand.  So last week it was some slices of zucchini added in (pictured above), and another time it was leftover shredded chicken.  And then just set it in a baking dish and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 375.  You'll want the skin on the tomato to just start to split or peel, and if you're using a stuffing that's more on the dry side (like the quinoa), you'll want to drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top before baking.

Don't let that tomato stay lonely, invite it to your lunch-for-one for a bright and fresh lunchtime interlude!

P.S. Did you notice on your Week 4 Crop Share sheet that we're looking for Nall's Next Blog Superstar?  That's right, we want YOU to send us your guest blog posts!  Because not only do we want to know what's cookin', but also a $20 gift card is up for grabs!  Wait, a $20 gift card, can I enter myself?  And while America's Next Top Model may have Tyra Banks, we have Penny the pig, so Penny, please remind our members what's at stake...
"The winner of Nall's Next Blog Superstar will receive a featured blog post on Nalls Crop Share Recipe Blog, a $20 gift certificate to use in our produce store & garden center, and an oink of approval from myself."  

Thanks for that Penny!  So get cooking and send your guest blog posts to and you will be in the running to be Nall's Next Blog Superstar!