CSA Bounty – Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini Shreds

August 16th, 2012 / Comments 3

I’m not complaining about abundance but I’ve had to develop tactics to deal with the wealth of vegetables and herbs in our CSA share.

CSA flowers c egbert CSA Bounty   Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini Shreds

I reduced the volume of lettuce by half by coring and washing it before I put it in the fridge. After I removed the core, I separated the leaves and put them into the sink filled with cold water. After swishing the lettuce around, I let it rest in the water long enough for the dirt and sand sink to the bottom and the lettuce to absorb bit of water. I lifted it out of the water, spun it dry in a salad spinner, wrapped the leaves in a tea towel and put it into a plastic bag that I pushed the air out of before sealing. The lettuce was ready to be used in a salad or on a sandwich and lasted nearly a week.

CSA Bounty c egbert CSA Bounty   Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini Shreds

When I have a small quantity of fresh basil, dill or parsley I wrap each herb separately in a paper towel. I put all of the herbs into the same plastic bag and put it on a shelf in the fridge, next to the milk so it’s visible and I don’t forget to use them. When I have a large quantity of basil, I use a small food processor to combine it with enough olive oil a form a thick paste. I drop tablespoon size blobs of the basil paste onto a sheet of aluminum foil and put it into the freezer. When it’s frozen, I put the blobs into a plastic bag and store them in the freezer until I’m ready to season spaghetti sauce, soup, or make pesto. To preserve extra cilantro, parsley, or dill, I discard the stems, chop the leaves and put them into ice cube trays that I fill with either water or vegetable broth. When the herb cubes are frozen, I store each kind in a separate containers and label them because  the cubes all look the same. I use them to season soups and sauces.

There’s never enough space in the fridge, so I squeeze the extra air out of plastic bags before I seal them, I cut off the tops of carrots and beets and put them into plastic bags before putting them in the fridge so that they’ll stay crisp. I don’t wash any vegetables, except lettuce, until I’m ready to use them.

I’ve been roasting cauliflower, beets and turnips. Not only does roasting intensify flavor it also reduces the volume of vegetables. When I roasted a cauliflower last week, I used ground cumin to give it some zip. Here’s how I made it:

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

I cut the cauliflower, except for the core, into bite size pieces and put it on a baking sheet and drizzled it with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and dusted it with two teaspoons of ground cumin. I baked the cauliflower, in an oven, preheated to 350º. In thirty-five minutes, it was tender and beginning to brown. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and served it. There was more than we could finish at dinner, even though I had given the core to Gracie, our golden retriever, as a special treat. Charles ate the rest, right out of the fridge, at lunch the next day.

The night before I had to make room in the fridge for our next CSA share, I reduced, the two giant, (well, medium large), zucchini to a cup of very tasty squash shreds that we happily shared at dinner with our neighbor, Kirsten.

Zucchini Shreds

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 basil leaves, minced

I used a mandolin to cut the zucchini into fine julienne. I did not use the seedy middles of the squash. I offered them to Gracie but she politely looked away, so they went into the compost pile. I put the julienne into a colander and tossed them with the salt. After half an hour, I squeezed the zucchini, to get rid of the extra moisture and sauteed them in a medium size pan with olive oil and butter. When they were tender, I added the basil leaves and salt and pepper to taste. What would have been a quart of watery, bland squash was reduce to a cup and a half of very tasty zucchini with no leftovers. Successfully clearing space in the fridge for the next zucchini.

The fresh, local vegetables are full of flavor and I keep preparation simple. I blanch vegetables until they are crisp tender and serve them with a bit of olive or unsalted butter. When I’m more energetic, I make a sauce by combining mayo or yogurt with either a squeeze of lemon juice, minced fresh garlic or a spoonful of fresh herbs.

So far, I’ve been able to keep ahead of the green slime that appears when vegetables have waited too long for their dinner invitation.

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• 3 Responses to “CSA Bounty – Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini Shreds”

  • Kathryn Porterfield says:

    I love our CSA too, here in southern Vermont. It is always a challenge to find new ways to use the abundance. Yesterday it was a Spanish torta-like dish with new potatoes, onions and lots of chard. Tonight it will be Heidi Swanson’s of 101 cookbooks Tomato Tarte Tatin.
    Every Wednesday afternoon my phone rings and it is my youngest daughter, calling to ask what to make with her CSA bounty, having just joined in the tradition down in Cambridge…always interesting to see that produce in Massachusetts is about 2 weeks ahead of here.
    I love these family traditions!
    Thanks for sharing, Carol!

  • Carol says:

    Thanks Annie,

    Fable Farm is a peaceful, welcoming place and you don’t need to be a share holder to be a part of a the pot luck meal.

  • Your description of your evenings at Fable Farm is beautiful. It made me want to go there to get a CSA even though I have more greens in my garden right now than I can eat.
    Thank you for the loveliness your blog adds to the world, to say nothing of great ideas for how to make the food taste even more delicious.
    Love,
    Annie

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