Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yesterday, we came home to a miserably hot apartment. We hadn't had a chance to go grocery shopping and had no food at home. We decided to head out and try Bread, a place that had been recommended to us.

We ordered Greek Olive Tapenade Tartines for our first course. The presentation was unimpressive, but the olive tapenade was tasty. I've decided that I like tapenade a bit chunkier. I think I would pass on this the next time around and save space for some of the other amazing dishes.

Next we tried the Smoked Salmon Carpaccio. I often don't liked smoked foods especially anything with a fake smoke taste. In this dish, the smokey salmon flavor was delicious because it paired nicely with the peppery arugula, the bite of the radishes, and the lemon dressing. We both greatly enjoyed the dish.

Last but not least we tried the Meat Balls served with potatoes and peas. Ahh. They were good! The only critique would be that they were really hot and probably better enjoyed on a cold winter day, but that's our fault. The tomato sauce had a great rich, meaty taste. I only wish we had more bread to sop up every bit of it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back Home

We got back into New York City late last night, and arrived home to an empty fridge. We had friends pick-up our farm share last Saturday. We offered them the week's food in exchange for a photo. Here's the photo:

They report that they are enjoying the vegetables and they made the salad with mixed greens, beets, fennel (bulb and leaves) and carrots (tops and all).

Tomorrow will bring more tales of cooking and eating...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Juicing and Grilling

Each morning during our visit to Phoenix, my father has been making us fresh squeezed orange juice. What a delicious treat! My parents have an orange tree, so it's very local. When I was growing up we had two orange trees and two grapefruit trees, and one of our "jobs" was to help pick the fruit and squeeze them. We drank a lot of juice and also froze it in ice cube trays for later.

Yesterday morning we had a friend over for bagels with cream cheese, salmon, white fish, lettuce, onion and tomato. This is one of those easy meals that's more about the shopping and a little presentation than actual cooking. The guys headed over to an excellent NY style deli, Scott's Generations, to pick-up the fixings. My husband did a beautiful job plating everything up.

After a busy day out and about visiting friends and sight seeing, we had my grandmother and uncle over for a BBQ. It was a hot job, but the results were great. Grilled asparagus, summer squash, zucchini and sirloin with baked potatoes, it's a classic family combination. It was our last dinner in Phoenix on this trip, and a fitting way to be sent off.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Day of Eating

We always seem to eat a lot when we are visiting family and friends. There are restaurants we want to try, old favorites to revisit, and lots of people to eat with. Yesterday we started out with some homemade egg and chorizo burritos. The chorizo came from a Phoenix institution called Schreiner's Fine Sausage. They have traditional German sausages in addition to sausage inspired by Portugal, Spain, England and Mexico. Everything is homemade and delicious. We sauteed the chorizo until it was cooked through and added scrambled eggs. Cooked it until the eggs were dry and wrapped up the mixture in a tortilla. It's a breakfast treat that's quick and easy to prepare.

For dinner we headed over to a new restaurant, Hula's Modern Tiki, to meet friends. They had a wide selection of offerings that included lots of fish, burgers and Polynesian inspired plates. I had their fish tacos with a tiki twist and my husband had Duke's Luau Pork Plate. Both of our meals had their coleslaw (mine was in the tacos and his as a side), and it was great. It started with a typical coleslaw recipe, but added ginger. I plan on recreating it at home.

After spending an evening visiting with friends, we stopped for ice cream at Mary Coyle's on the way home. This is another Phoenix institution, and I have great memories of going there after choir concerts and dance performances while I was growing up. All the girls would pile in one booth and our parents would be in a booth a few spots away. We loved getting to feel grown-up with a booth of our own and the old-fashioned ice cream parlor feel. Today I love the delicious ice cream and the good memories associated with the place. The ice cream is all made on site, and is rich, creamy and not too sweet (the menu brags that it has 16% butterfat content). My husband and I each got our favorite flavors, peanut butter crunch and peppermint chip. Lots of places only make peppermint chip at Christmas time, but Mary Coyle's serves it year round, and it is the perfect way to finish a hot Phoenix summer day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Matt's Big Breakfast

Can you tell where we are? We arrived in Phoenix, AZ late Thursday night. Yesterday, we woke up bright and early (because we are still on east coast time), and headed over to my favorite breakfast place, Matt's Big Breakfast. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the place is tiny! They have tables to seat about 20 and then counters that seat 10 more. They serve simple food with high quality ingredients, and they do it really well. I wanted to make sure we got there Friday morning because on the weekend there is usually 1.5 hour wait to get in. We got there at 8:00 on Friday and waited 20 minutes - not too bad.

My husband got the breakfast sandwich with thick-cut peppery bacon, grilled onions and scrambled eggs on a lightly toasted challah roll. I had a taste and it was delicious. We split a side order of hash browns because they are a must! They are cooked in butter and have the perfect crunchy crust with a nice soft inside.

I usually order the special when we to to Matt's because it generally includes eggs with some type of green chilies and chorizo. This is just the type of breakfast an Arizona girl living in NYC craves. But yesterday's special was less alluring to me, a Denver omelet made from eggs, ham and green pepper. So I finally took advantage of the opportunity to try their famous waffles. They make the batter in small batches all morning because they actually use beaten egg whites to create light, fluffy waffles. My father and I both had them, and they didn't disappoint. They were served with real butter and maples syrup and the delicious thick-cut bacon.

The next time you are in Phoenix it is worth a trip downtown to get breakfast at Matt's.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creamed Lambsquarters

I got home last night and realized we didn't have much food in the house [Gasp]! We managed to eat all of our vegetables except for some amaranth, salad greens and lambsquarters. I planned on making us salad for lunches today, so the only thing left to prepare were the lambsquarters. What, you might ask, are lambsquarters? It is a wild green (pictured above) that we got from the CSA share a couple of weeks ago. I learned that it is similar to spinach and immediately wanted to try it creamed. We debated what should accompany our creamed lambsquarters and decided to pick up some sandwiches from Acquedolci. Everything was delicious. We used our non-homogenized milk from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, but cream would make it even richer.

Creamed Lambsquarters
2 T butter
2 shallots, chopped
1 bunch lambsquarters (or spinach)
1/4 cup whole milk (or cream)
1 dash of nutmeg

Melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook until soft. Wash the lambsquarters and roughly chop. Add to the pan and cook until tender. Add the milk or cream and cook until the milk has reduced. Sprinkle a bit of nutmeg over the top before serving.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lentils and Rice

We continue on our quest to eat up all of the CSA vegetables before we leave town tomorrow night. This quest led to a strange combination of dishes for dinner last night. Each one was very good in its own right, but they were a bit odd together. We started with hummus with turnips and radishes (a recipe to follow in another post). I quickly baked some kale "chips," and immediately regretted turning the oven on. We rounded out the night with some kale with bacon and lentils and rice. The kale with bacon was delicious, but my husband aptly observed that it tasted like a BBQ dish. It would pair really well with some grilled meat, potato salad, etc. The lentil recipe was adapted from our Indian food store's recipe. It was also very good and would go nicely with a salad and some simple vegetables. Here are the recipes:

Lentils and Rice
1 small red onion, chopped
handful of garlic scapes, finely chopped
2 t ginger, chopped
4 T butter or oil
1/2 t garam masala
1/2 t cumin seed
1/2 t turmeric (I used fresh, but powdered will work too)
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1 C rice and lentil mixture
4 C water
1 pinch salt

Saute onion, scapes and ginger in butter or oil until soft. Add the garam masala, cumin seed, turmeric and jalapeno and cook for a couple of more minutes. Add the rice and lentil mixture and water and cook over medium heat until tender (about 25-30minutes). Serve with cilantro and green onion or leftover chutney.

Kale with Bacon
5 slices bacon
1 bunch of kale, torn into pieces
2 T balsamic vinegar

Cook the bacon until starting to brown. Remove from the heat and cut into bite size pieces. Pour off any excess fat. Return the bacon pieces to the pan and add the kale. Once the kale is tender, add the balsamic vinegar and cook just a couple extra minutes.

A guest in the house

I'm reading the book, Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen, by Laurie Colwin. It's a series of short essays that offers recipes and humorous stories. Yesterday on my subway ride home, I read the chapters on her worst cooking experiences and the worst meals she's eaten at other people's homes. I was just innocently reading the next chapters in the book, but this might have affected me.

When I got home, I made dinner for my husband, a potential business partner, and myself. The plan was to serve a simple dinner of ravioli with a quick fresh tomato sauce and a side of sauteed broccoli rabe with garlic. My husband planned to pick up the ravioli on his way home from the Piemonte Ravioli Co. It turns out that they close at 5:00 and not 6:00, so we had to settle for dried pasta.

We saved 6 pakoras from the night before, and I quickly reheated them in a hot saute pan and served them with the mint and cherry chutneys. This bought me some time while I prepared the rest of the dinner. I quickly washed and chopped up the 2 bunches of broccoli rabe and dropped it into our large skillet. As it began cooking, it shrank, and shrank, and shrank down to almost nothing. I knew that it was not enough for three people, so I added in the greens from a bunch of turnips. This too shrank down to very little, so I decided to make an additional side of carrots. Of course we only had a few small carrots, but I sauteed them and tossed them with lemon juice and cilantro. Meanwhile, I put the pasta in boiling water, and started my sauce. Two tomatoes chopped up and several cloves of garlic sliced went into a sauce pan with a generous amount of olive oil. I soon realized that this was not enough for the pound of pasta I had cooking.

All this time I was trying to be really quiet and not disturb them, but I was unsuccessful. It reminded me of the early morning when you are trying to tip-toe around and not wake the other people in the house, but you invariably drop things, trip over chairs, etc. That was me in the kitchen last night. I was dropping pots, spoons, getting myself all wet, and I was very self-conscious because they were having a technical discussion only 4 feet away (because our apartment is really small). My husband reassures me that he didn't even notice, so maybe I was being overly self-conscious.

In the end, the dinner was fine. We had pasta with a light tomato, garlic and basil sauce with carrots and greens, but it was very stressful getting there. I realized that I'm not used to cooking for 3 (cooking for more somehow isn't a problem) and for someone I have never met.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Vegetable Pakoras with Cherry Chutney

We saw Danny Devito on the way to the farmers' market yesterday! It's always fun to see people from TV and movies in real life.

On the way home, we stopped at the Indian market for some chickpea flour and other assorted pantry supplies. A video tour of the store is available on You Tube.

We decided to enter another food contest at A + M blog (check it out here). This week's featured ingredient is cherries. We thought most entries would be something sweet, and so we decided to do something savory. Plus, here at City Share our goal is to present meal ideas. We landed on vegetable pakoras with cherry chutney. We've had lots of mango chutneys at Indian restaurants, and decided to adapt it for cherries. Cherries are bountiful these days and it fits our theme of seasonal food.

Vegetable pakoras are always a hit. I've taken them to lots of parties and people always ask me for the recipe. The great thing about them is that the basic recipe can be adapted to use up any vegetables on hand. This time around I used chopped turnips, turnip greens and onions. I steamed the greens to make sure they got cooked through. I have made them before with cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, kale, etc. We also made mint chutney to use up our wild mint from the week before. Pakoras are traditionally served as an appetizer, but they were so good that's all we ate last night, and we saved the "dinner" for lunches.

Vegetable Pakoras
1 C chickpea flour
1 t salt
1/2 t ground turmeric
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t garam masala
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 C water
3 C chopped vegetables

Mix the chickpea flour, salt, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala and garlic. Add the water and mix well. Mix in the vegetables. In a large straight-sided skillet, pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat. Working in small batches, fry the mixture, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Cherry Chutney
2 C cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 C sugar
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 t ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely minced

Simmer the cherries and sugar until the cherries begin to break up (5-10 minutes). Mix in the rest of the ingredients and refrigerate for several hours before serving. If you want it to be chunkier, drain off some of the liquid.

Mint Chutney
juice of 1 lime
2 T agave nectar
1 C mint, packed
1 T water
1/2 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced
1/4 t cayenne (or to taste)

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week #3

This week's share saw the arrival of our first carrots! There are only three of them and they are small, but it signifies a shift into more diverse produce. Very exciting! We also got broccoli raab, turnips, kale (also a first), garlic scapes, bok choy, salad mix, and a wild green called amaranth. I'm excited to try the amaranth. Our CSA organizer is a chef (or was a chef) and suggested using it in salad.

After picking up our share, we headed out to Coney Island for the annual Mermaid Parade. I was hot and sunny, so the crowds were out in full force. This parade signals the "opening" of the beach for the season, and it was a wacky and wild time. We didn't get home until late in the day, so there are no CSA meals to report. (Only a little salad green was used in some sandwiches.)

This week we will go into CSA overdrive to try and use everything up or to find some freezer friendly options because we are going to be on vacation from Thursday night until Tuesday night. We still have some purslane, mint, bok choy, one radish, one turnip and a bit of turnip greens left from last week. Wish us luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Eggplant Parm Salad

During my recent blog trolling, I discovered the website The A + M Blog. This website has great recipes and they host weekly recipe contests. Each week they feature a selected ingredient. Readers submit their recipes for editors and other readers to test. The winning recipe each week wins prizes and will be featured in an upcoming cookbook. This whole process was intriguing to me, and my husband and I decided to throw our hat in the ring.

This week's contest ingredient is fresh mozzarella. We brainstormed lots of ideas for fresh mozzarella, and landed on eggplant parm salad. We were inspired by the deconstructed green sushi salad from Green Kitchen Stories that we tried last week. Our salad was designed to be a summer alternative to the traditional eggplant parm that requires oven time. (Please vote for our entry here.) The only down side of this plan is that it only used a little bit of purslane from the share. We will have to get back on the CSA bandwagon tomorrow.

Eggplant Parm Salad serves 4
1 C Balsamic vinegar
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 C flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
6 oz arugula
small handful of basil, stems removed and torn into pieces
olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into strips
2 tomatoes, cut into strips

Pour the Balsamic vinegar into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool and place in sealed container. It should be the consistency of a thick syrup. If it gets too thick, it can be thinned with additional vinegar.

Dredge an eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Allow the eggplant to dry for 15 minutes once all of the slices are finished. Pour the oil to a depth of 1/4 inch in a small saute pan. Once the oil is warm, work in small batches frying the eggplant slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Once cool, cut the eggplant slices into thirds.

Place arugula and basil in a mixing bowl and toss with 2 T olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

Layer the greens, eggplant strips, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella on dinner plates. Drizzle the Balsamic vinegar reduction over the top.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Quick Burritos

Recently when my brother asked me what I had been up to, I had to admit that I had been spending a fair bit of time on food lately. Between going to the farmers' market, picking up our CSA, reading food blogs, cooking and eating, food was taking up a good part of my week. In contrast, he shared that he tries to spend as little time on food as possible. He has his regular rotation of quick meals in which burritos feature prominently. When he mentioned burritos - a light bulb went off - I could put greens in burritos. So in our continued effort to eat up all of our greens, we made burritos with greens for dinner tonight.

I grew up eating lots of Mexican food. When I lived in upstate NY, I joked that the best Mexican food in the county came from my kitchen. At that point, I would spend whole days making mole sauce from scratch, making my own tortillas and all sorts of salsas, and the list went on. This dinner was not in the same category, but it was delicious and a great healthy option for a fast weeknight dinner. We had dinner on the table within 30 minutes of walking in the door.

Quick Burritos
2 bunches of greens (we used turnip and radish greens)
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 16 oz can of beans (pinto or black beans work well)
grated cheddar cheese

Slice the greens into 1 inch wide strips and steam until tender. While the greens are cooking, lightly coat a saute pan with olive oil. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the beans and heat through. Soften the tortillas by placing them right over the flame on a gas stove or in a dry frying pan. Do one tortilla at a time for a few seconds on each side. After the tortillas are warm, layer the beans, greens, salsa and cheese. Enjoy!

Tip: Our first burritos were really watery. We decided to split one more burrito, and the second time around we squeezed the moisture out of the greens and drained some of the liquid off the salsa. It made a big difference! We didn't have juice running down our arm any more.

Salsa Fresca
2 tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 jalapenos, with seeds and membrane removed
1/2 onion, chopped
handful of cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
pinch of salt

Chop all of the ingredients and combine. Cover and let sit for 1 hour to let the flavors mingle.

For a smoother texture: Use a food processor to combine the ingredients. This was the route we chose this evening.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pasta with Scapes and Broccoli Rabe

We continued to look abroad for inspiration for ways to eat up our greens. Tonight we decided on Italy. My husband picked up some fresh pasta and Parmesan cheese on his way home, and we had some garlic scapes and broccoli rabe to eat up from the share.

Garlic scapes are the flower stems produced by garlic plants before the bulbs mature. They have a fresh, light garlic flavor. In the photo, the chopped up scapes are cooking in butter. Here is our recipe:

Fresh Pasta with Garlic Scapes and Broccoli Rabe
2 bunches of broccoli rabe, sliced in 1 inch wide strips
1 bunch garlic scapes, finely chopped
4 T butter
1 lb fresh pasta
grated Parmesan cheese

Steam the broccoli rabe and set aside. Cook the pasta and drain. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the scapes. Cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the pasta and broccoli rabe to the pan and toss to combine. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

The results were very satisfying. The broccoli rabe is slightly bitter, but this tasted great with the richness of the butter, the garlicky scapes, and firm pasta. A great meal for early summer.

On to another greens dish tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Purslane Salad

I'm attending a farewell dinner this evening for one of our beloved staff members. She is off to new adventures and we are taking her to 5 Napkin Burger for dinner. I've never been there before and I'm curious to see what $15 burger tastes like.

Because I knew I would be out for dinner this evening, I saved the recipe from last night's salad for today's post. I was very excited to get three types of wild foods last week in the CSA share. The first one we're trying is the purslane. I tried looking up some recipes, but they were very sparse. The basic message I took away from my research was that purslane is similar to watercress. I have never prepared watercress either, so that wasn't too helpful.

Purslane looks like a jade plant with thinner leaves, and it's hard to imagine it tasting great raw, but it does. Here's the recipe:

Purslane Salad
2 C purslane, broken into bite-size pieces
1 radish, sliced
1 salad turnip, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced

1 T balsamic vinegar
2 T oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix the dressing in a separate container. I like to use a coffee mug and spoon- the handle makes it easy to grasp the mug and the spoon blends the oil and vinegar together well. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to mix.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Lentils with Greens

The quest for new greens recipes continues. Today we looked to India for inspiration. We decided to include greens in our favorite recipe for lentils. The results were fantastic. The greens added another dimension to the spicy, garlicky, nutty taste of the lentils.

Lentils with Greens
4 C water
1 C lentils
1/2 lb braising greens, washed and chopped
2 T butter
1 T cumin seeds
2 T cumin
1 T turmeric
1/4 t cayenne or 1 T chili powder
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 t salt

Put a sauce pan over high heat and add the water, lentils and greens. In a separate saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle. Add garlic, cumin, turmeric and cayenne and cook 1 minute. Add the spices to the sauce pan of lentils. Once the lentils come to a boil, lower to medium heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the salt after finished cooking.

The step of cooking the spices in butter or oil before adding them to the lentils is very important. This is a key step in Indian cooking because it releases the full flavor of the spices.

We served the lentils with greens over steamed cauliflower. After a weekend of eating lots of liver and onions, it was nice to have a vegetarian dinner.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I forgot to mention the contents of this week's share in yesterdays post. (It's hard to recognize everything in the photo.) We have a nice selection to work with including: salad turnips, radishes, salad mix, braising mix (mustard greens, Asian greens, kale, and frizee)broccoli raab, garlic scapes, bok choy, wild food selections (mint, lambsquarters and purslane). I'm especially excited about the wild foods.

I think a frittata is one of the best ways to use up leftover vegetables. This morning's breakfast used up some left over sauteed greens with garlic and potatoes. Here is my basic recipe for a frittata:

Basic Frittata
1-2 eggs per person, beaten
1 cup of cooked vegetables per person
1 clove of garlic per person (or onion)
Some cheese to sprinkle over the top
olive oil or butter

Use a cast iron skillet, or another pan that can go under the broiler. Pre-heat the broiler. Place pan on the burner to warm, and add olive oil. Add the vegetables to the pan and warm through. Add the eggs. Cook until the eggs are firming up around the edges (about 5 minutes). Place under the broiler until golden (only 1 or 2 minutes). Slice into wedges and remove from the pan. It's important to remove it from the pan because it holds the heat and will continue to cook.

Within the formula there is lots of flexibility. Red peppers, broccoli, garlic and feta. Spinach, cauliflower, onions and emmantalier. Whatever you have in your fridge will work.

I chose to eat it with toast. Delicious!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Week 2

New York City was buzzing with World Cup frenzy today. I saw multiple people wearing flags tied around their necks like capes, and bars in our neighborhood that are normally pretty sleepy had lines out the door. How did I choose to celebrate? I picked up share #2!

It's impressive isn't it? They are really throwing down the gauntlet. It's going to be a challenge to eat all of this up in one week. If the shares keep growing, we might have to start freezing the extras for later.

This morning I also went to the Union Square Farmers' Market and picked out some milk, eggs, bread and liver. I have been reading about the nutritional value of organ meets, and decided to give them a try. I remember having liver and onions as a kid and I have actually had it in restaurants, but I never made it myself before today.

We had greens sauteed with garlic, brown rice and liver smothered with onions. It took a bit of trial and error to prepare the liver. My directions for the greens and liver and onions are below:

Sauteed Greens
1 large bunch of greens
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
olive oil

Heat the pan and add enough olive oil to lightly coat it. Add the greens and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook until soft.

Liver and Onions
4 T butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1 lb cow's liver, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 C flour
1/2 C cooking sherry
1/2 t Dijon mustard

Melt half the butter and add the onions. Stir frequently and cook until the onions are browned. Take onions out of the pan and put aside. Dredge the liver slices in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Melt the second half of the butter and add the liver to the pan. Cook the liver about 5 minutes on each side or until they are browned and light pink inside. Remove the liver from the pan. Pour in the cooking sherry and bring to a simmer. Add the mustard and stir until it is dissolved. Add the onions back in and simmer until the sauce forms a glaze on the onions. Plate the liver slices and top with onions.

The results were really good because the flour created a bit of a crispy crust around the tender liver. The onions were really sweet and balanced the richness of the liver nicely.

Do you have any greens recipes to share? I think we might need them.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Vegetarian Sushi Salad

I don't like to be late. I feel like it's inconsiderate and disrespectful to the person I'm keeping waiting. But sometimes life seems to get in the way, and I can't help it. This morning I decided I wanted to try a recipe that required I run to the store to pick-up a couple of things before preparing the meal. I had 2.5 hours. That should be plenty of time to get everything done at a nice leisurely pace, right? Wrong. Somehow I got down to 30 minutes before I had to leave and all I had ready was some chopped up broccoli and marinating tofu. Where did the time go? I had to buy myself some time and push lunch back 30 minutes, but the results were worth the wait.

I had some salad greens and radish that I wanted to use up from the share and decided to try Green Sushi Salad from Green Kitchen Stories. I like this blog because it has great recipes, beautiful photos and it's in English and Swedish. Tack så mycket. I tend to use recipes as a starting point, so here's my version:

Vegetarian Sushi Salad, based on Green Kitchen Stories
Requires 1-2 hours for the tofu to marinate

5 T sesame oil
5 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red chili or 1/4 t red pepper flakes
2-inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 16 oz. package of firm tofu
2 C cooked short grain brown rice
1 C field greens
1 large radish, sliced
1 crown of broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets (about 2 C)
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 handful sugarsnap peas
1 handful bean sprouts
1/2 cucumber, cut into slices
4 sheets nori seaweed, ripped into bite size pieces
1 small handful roasted sesame seeds
1 handful cilantro

Combine the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, red pepper and ginger in a mixing bowl. Drain and dry the tofu and cut into small cubes. Add the tofu to the marinade and gently spoon the marinade over the tofu. Cover the bowl and place in the refridgerator.

Cook the brown rice and allow to cool.

Layer the rice, vegetables and tofu and drizzle the marinade over the top as a dressing.

All we have left from our first week is some braising greens. Any suggestions on how to prepare them?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Roasted Root Vegetables

I have a confession. I don't turn on the oven if it's hot outside. Our apartment is really small, so small that apartments this small don't exist outside of New York City. So if we turn on our oven in the hot weather, even with our window air conditioner running, the apartment will be miserably hot. No worries. I have had some practice at life sans oven because I grew up in a hot climate where we basically didn't use our oven for 6 months of the year. But when I was growing up we had a BBQ, and that was our go to cooking equipment for the summer, we don't have a BBQ in the city. Maybe we will figure a way to get a tiny grill on our fire escape at some point, but I think it's officially illegal... I'm tellling you all of this because yesterday it finally cooled off and I decided to use the oven for dinner! This offered an exciting variety of options different from just using the stove top every night.

We had turnips and salad greens from the CSA share at home and I decided to pick up a couple more things on my way home to round out the meal. It started pouring during the afternoon, and by the time I got home I was sopping wet. All the more reason to get the oven started. I don't know if I fully exploited the oven opportunity, but I decided on steak, oven roasted root vegetables and salad for dinner. I felt like some simple comfort food. Here is the way I decided to use the turnip:

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
Preheat oven to 450°

3 small red potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 small turnips, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
olive oil
sea salt

Combine the vegetables. Add enough olive oil to coat the vegetables and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking.

We really enjoyed the meal. It's amazing what a little olive oil, salt, pepper and heat can do.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beans and Greens

Last night I arrived home to find my husband putting the finishing touches on dinner. I'm always starving by the time I get home from work, so this was a wonderful surprise. We had planned on having beans and greens with sausage, but we didn't have all of the traditional ingredients on hand. He made some substitutions that worked out really well.

The traditional beans and greens are usually a mixture of greens, garlic, white beans and chicken stock. Here is the City Share version, it happens to be vegan (in case that is of interest to you):

City Share Beans and Greens (vegan)
1 -2 bunches of greens
5 cloves of garlic, sliced
1/4 c. water
1 t. miso
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 16 oz. can of garbanzo beans

Soak and rinse the greens. Remove any tough stems. Saute greens until tender. Push to the side of the pan, and add water, miso and mustard to the other side. Stir the sauce together until combined. Add beans and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

We topped this with sausage and caramelized onions to make it a meal (and no longer vegan). The sausage came from Alleva Dairy. We are lucky to have this old school Italian market close by. It feels like it hasn't changed in 50 years (in a good way) and the staff is really helpful. It's a great place to pick up all sorts of Italian specialties including sausage.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

House Vinaigrette

I've just recently started reading blogs (I'm a bit of a Luddite). I never got into them before because I thought it was mostly people putting lots of personal details out to the world. I didn't feel the need to read other people's diaries, and so I stayed away. Recently this changed when I started reading food blogs. There I found some information that I could use. I decided that I could feel comfortable sharing what I ate for dinner, and City Share was born.

The one dangerous thing about these food blogs is that they seem to feature A LOT of desserts. Desserts with gooey, tempting photos. I can almost feel myself going into sugar coma just reading them. I try to keep the baking to a minimum. Or when I do bake, the goods need to be whisked away to work, someone else's house, or a party so that I don't eat a half a pan of brownies or a pie in one evening. Because of this, we will be focusing not on desserts, but meals.

Last night's dinner was a salad with a side of steamed asparagus. The asparagus was just steamed and served plain. Why mess with a good thing? The salad featured greens and radishes from our share, napa cabbage, carrots, bits of mozzarella, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sautéed chicken breast. I think the salad dressing is key, and luckily my husband makes the best salad dressing! We occasionally buy a bottle of dressing to make life easier, but it always disappoints. This is our go to recipe, and we decided to call it our House Vinaigrette. He never really measures, but here's a best guess of the proportions:

House Vinaigrette
Juice of half a lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
Splash of cider vinegar (approx. 1T)
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
1 t Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil

After mincing the garlic, drag the side of the knife over the garlic to crush the garlic and release the juices. This step of smearing the garlic is the key to the whole dressing. Combine ingredients.

Happy Eating!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day Off

Yesterday we didn't prepare anything from our CSA share. We had family in town and ended up eating out for all of our meals. However, the meals out and about are worthy of mention.

The first stop was brunch at Public. We have walked by there plenty of times, and I have even read the menu on several occasions, but I was never really tempted to stop. For some reason, we popped in yesterday on a whim and it exceeded our expectations. It was delicious!

I ordered the Crispy pork belly with poached eggs, potato hash, buttered spinach, roasted tomatoes and a harissa hollandaise. The sauce was amazing, and at some point I will try to recreate it.

My husband was much more sensible and got the Salad of herby lentils, green beans, avocado, toasted pecans & baby gem with pomegranate molasses and avocado oil vinaigrette. (The descriptions are just too good. I had to quote them.) I guess my palate is unsophisticated because the dressing just tasted like balsamic vinaigrette. Luckily, this will make it much easier to recreate.

For dinner, we met up with family for Vietnamese food at Bao Noodles. I was too embarrassed to take photos, so you'll just have to trust me that the grapefruit salad and Bún ga nuong (grilled chicken vermicelli) were the perfect meal for the end of a hot, humid weekend. After dinner we strolled through Stuyvesant and Union Squares, and arrived at Crumbs. I never really succumbed to the cupcake craze- I didn't have the budget or extra inches in my waistband- so the selection was a little overwhelming to me. After much deliberation, I decided on the red velvet cupcake. I actually found it disappointing. I was looking forward to some rich cream cheese frosting, but instead it was slathered with a disappointing sugary butter cream. This really worked out well because now I'm not dying for a repeat visit.

Tomorrow we return to the tale of our CSA share.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dinosaur's Mean Greens

I couldn't wait to start digging into our share last night. I decided to cook up the braising greens based on a recipe from Dinosaur Bar B Que. If you have never been to Dinosaur Bar B Que, it is worth the trip. It started in Syracuse, and now has a location in NYC at 125th St (right across from the Fairway). Friends from Texas even think the brisket is good, and it's hard for a Texan to admit that New York State BBQ is even edible.

So I started with the Dinosaur recipe for "Mean Money Greens Revisited," and made a couple of tweaks based on what we had available. This is what I ended up with:

Dinosaur Inspired Greens
1/2 pound braising greens (use up to 1 pound)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or to taste)
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)

Wash the greens well. Drop the greens into a couple of inches of boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Coarsely chop. Pour the olive oil into a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the peppers and onions. Once they're soft, add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Dump in the greens and give them a stir. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the vinegar, Tabasco, and maple syrup. Stir a couple of more times, and it's ready to serve.

Ours ended up heavy on the peppers and onions because we only had a little over a half pound of greens, but it was really tasty and we got a rainbow of vegetables right in one dish. All of the veggies were still firm. If you prefer a more traditional texture, just keep on cooking them until they are to your liking before adding all of the seasonings.

Even though the greens were good enough to eat by themselves, we decided to add a couple of other things to our meal. We started with a salad of mixed greens with a bit of red onion and some yogurt dressing leftover from some Pakistani takeout (from Lahore Diner - delicious!), and the rest of the menu included some blackened salmon and lemon, garlic quinoa. Doesn't it look delicious on our gorgeous mustard yellow plates?

Looking forward to the next delicious meal.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First Day

This morning kind of felt like the first day of school because it felt like a new beginning, and I was excited to head off and get our first share, meet the farmers and the other members. Of course just like the first day of school, I started having some second thoughts as the time got closer. We had originally wanted to join a different CSA because it had a pick-up during the week, it was a bit closer to our apartment, cheaper and offered an affordable fruit option. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we procrastinated signing-up and missed the deadline. During lunch I started lamenting that maybe we had missed out on the better option.

When we arrived at our pick-up point, I saw that all of my fears were unnecessary. They had several giant ice chests with labels on the side letting us know the contents and the quantity to take. We got about half a pound of two different salad green mixes, braising greens, asparagus, beets, radishes and broccoli raab.

I'm ecstatic with the selection, especially considering that this is only the first week. This is probably more food than we got during the height of our CSA two summers ago.

Looking forward to some delicious meals.

Friday, June 4, 2010


We are looking forward to getting our first CSA share of the season tomorrow. The members of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) pay for a share of the farm's vegetables at the beginning of the season. We joined a CSA two summers ago and we were really disappointed with the amount of food we received. We would head to the Farmers' Market each week to supplement our vegetables and found that it would have been cheaper to just buy each week at the market. Of course we joined the CSA to support the farmers and have a culinary adventure, but it would have been nice if it felt like a good value too.

We took a break from CSA life last summer, and now we are ready to venture out and try again. We have joined the Foodstocking CSA. We thought we'd blog our way through the summer to hold ourselves accountable and share our ideas on using up massive amounts of kale and other veggies. But who knows, maybe there will not be massive amounts of anything... please join us on our adventure.
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