Things that grow

Each week of the CSA is more exciting than the last! I suppose that is the nature of summer :-DIMG_3405.JPG

The produce this week included cherries, blueberries, golden plums, zucchini, yellow squash, kohlrabi, cucumber, romaine, parsley, kale, corn on the cob, eggs, and red basil (!!!):


Before this pickup, I didn’t even know that basil came in red! There was no mistaking this bunch — the aroma was quite pungent.

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I immediately set to work processing the bounty. I roasted the zucchini, squash (plus some I still had from last week), and kohlrabi with the rest of last week’s garlic, mom’s herb-infused olive oil, sea salt, and balsamic vinegar until crispy:IMG_3414.JPG

I mixed in last week’s parsley and ended up with an excellent salad topper:

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Joining the roasted veggies on top of the salad were a massaged CSA kale salad (raw kale leaves, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, herb infused olive oil, sea salt, coriander, and mashed avocado), steamed kale stems, CSA romaine, balcony garden arugula, sunflower seeds, and garlic croutons left from my coworkers’ lunches last week.

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And because soup is salad’s best friend, I also got some chilled corn and avocado soup going using this recipe. I shucked my five little CSA cobs and arranged them on a rack that I placed over the burner on my stove to simulate a grill:


I had a bite of this corn raw and could have eaten them all right then. It was so sweet!


I openly flamed the corn cobs …


… until the kernels got crispy …


… all the way around:


Then I sliced the kernels from their cobs:


I boiled four cups of water in a large pot and added the kernels, the bare cobs, and this crazy-spicy chile salsa (in place of the chile in the recipe):


I also tossed in the woody stems from the red basil for good measure and boiled/simmered until the broth had reduced by about a cup:


In the meantime, I prepared the garnish. The recipe involved cilantro oil, but I switched it to basil oil for obvious reasons. I chopped all of my red basil (about a cup) and immersion-blended it with sea salt and my mom’s herb-infused olive oil until it was as combined as it was going to get without an actual food processor.

When the broth was ready, I removed the empty cobs and the basil stems and added in a chopped avocado:


I used the immersion blender to puree the avocado and the corn soup until, again, it was as smooth as I could get it without a food processor. I mixed in another avocado’s worth of chunks for texture and then topped a serving with plain yogurt, the basil oil, garlic croutons, and a little sprig of balcony garden basil:


Mmmmmm, this meal was so gourmet yet satisfying and easy to prepare, and you know I made enough to last through my lunches all week long!


Which produce item at its seasonal peak right now makes you most excited?

18 thoughts on “Things that grow

  1. Gina says:

    That looks so gourmet! You are so clever with your produce. The corn on the cob, cooked over the flame, is so great. I bet that tasted amazing. I haven’t had any corn this season, so I guess I will say CORN is what excites me right now, I’ll have to get some the next time I am grocery shopping. Corn and blueberries (fresh blueberries are so cheap right now, it’s crazy).

    Your roasted zucchini looks awesome too. The summer I was involved in CSA I received tons of zucchini and it NEVER got old.


  2. Diana (Soap & Chocolate) says:

    Amazing! Yeah, I was at the farmer’s market this morning (since I’m so lucky to work in Union Square) and my face just about exploded from all the gorgeous produce. I limited myself to just a small eggplant, tiny yellow zucchini and rainbow chard, but trust me, I wanted EVERYthing! And you know I’m so excited about eggplant season beginning. :D


  3. balancejoyanddelicias says:

    Your CSA produces are getting better an better! you really makes me jealous of you! :D
    Favorite seasoned produce? Zucchini!!!


  4. Erin says:

    Gah!! I’m seething with jealousy over your brillz use of your CSA veggies! What an ingenious use of your corn! Srsly, was the soup as good as I’m imagining??


  5. homegirlcaneat says:

    OH man I didn’t know you could grill corn like that on da stove! Genius beans! I love corn and avocado salads… mother cynthia makes a killer one with cilantro and other wonderful herbs :D


  6. foodforfuel says:

    red basil?? craaaazy! and i’m totally loving the avocado and corn soup! my favorite in-season fruit would definitely be avocados, actually. soooooo good!!


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