Our awesome friends are vacationing and have left us to babysit their Sienna Farms veggie share!
Day 1: Mazen’s Bok choy + Sage Salad
We picked up the mini-microwave sized box (yes, I obviously use the microwave too much as I use it even to scale things)… checking off our ever-so-generous friends’ names. At home we ripped open the box pulling out lots of fun stuff we’d only seen at Russo’s before, but never thought of buying! Purple and white carrots, mini eggplants, 2 giant fennel “bushes”, curly kale, heirloom tomatoes of all different colors, and so much more!
The only question was what to use and how! I suggested a simple salad (as we were already home late) of cucumber and bok choy. Mazen got to work while I fed Leila starting with his famous lemon-evoo dressing. He chopped up the bok choy and added half a cucumber, 2 of the white carrots, whole sage leaves, garlic, a little red onion and a sprinkle of salt. AMAZING! It was the best salad I’ve had in such a long time. The bok choy and sage went surprisingly well together to make a new, fresh taste. You should try too and let me know what you think!
Day 2: Ana’s Fennel Cake + Mischa’s Lentil Salad
I received an email from my veggie share benefactor which includes the Sienna farms newsletter complete with two recipes to try. The first “Ana’s Smokey Eggplant Puree” requires some exotic spices I didn’t have in the cupboard so I passed for the day. The second recipe “Ana’s Fennel Cake” seemed doable. This recipe called for: grated fennel, yellow onion, chopped garlic, melted butter, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, dried oregano, and parmesan cheese. Just fry like a pancake. To go with this I made my mother-in-law Mischa’s OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD Lentil salad (sorry family recipe).
Day 3: Out of Town – Claire’s Corner Copia
We went on a family trip to New Haven to visit a couple of museums we’ve been wanting to see. We ate at a great little restaurant fittingly called Claire’s Corner Copia as it sat on the corner of College St. and Chapel St. straddling the New Haven info center. (Check out photos from the day in previous post: Kahn + Saarinen…) I had yummy lavender lemonade and a veggie burger with soy bacon (I would have preferred the real stuff but my arteries will thank me one day). Mazen and Leila shared a quesadilla. No cooking today…
Day 4: Mazen’s Arugula + Thyme Salad
We spent the day at the Our Lady of Cedars Lebanese festival. (Check out photos from this event in a previous post: Lebanese Festival) When we got home we were exhausted! Again! Mazen made another great salad for us, this time throwing in some grated Parmesan cheese we had left from the fennel cakes. I must say that Arugula and Thyme go together PERFECTLY! Another winner Mazen!
Day 5: Grilled Ratatouille
Leftover salad from Sunday evening made a great lunch. I finally decided to come up with something of my own! I had all of the classic ratatouille ingredients (except zucchini, oh well…) so I decided to try grilling everything on our Foreman. I grilled long slivers of the mini eggplants, tomato, green pepper, and red onion. I made a tomato sauce out of the canned stuff cooked with garlic, salt, evoo, and a bit of white vinegar. Honestly it looked better than it tasted, but maybe eggplants just aren’t my thing. Hopefully Mazen will make something tomorrow!
Day 6: Curried Tenderloin with Purple Carrots and Corn on the Cobb
Success! The carrots went perfectly with the curried beef tenderloin. It all cooked up so fast and I just had to wait for the rice to cook. Yeah! I created something without a recipe that actually tasted good! I fried the meat and the carrots together adding no oil. I just added curry and a bit of salt. I laid it on top of some rice and next to our yummy corn on the cobb!
Day 7: Everything Soup!
All the leftovers went into the big pot! Two onions, one green pepper, kale greens, carrots and tomatoes. A strange combo to work with, but I wanted to cook everything before it started to show age. I added a bit of lime juice and cilantro to go with the pepper. I didn’t really like the soup, but Mazen said it just needed salt :). Leila ate a bit, but was so tired around dinner time she didn’t finish her bowl.
All in all it was a good experience to share the veggie share. We tried a lot of new things we wouldn’t have dared to do on our own and covered a whole food group that is often neglected.