So I'm Back.
After 9 months of greens we have finally reached the time that all CSA members love...Summer produce. Boxes of colorful, sweet fruits and veggies; mostly green-free except for lettuce which fits perfectly into hot-summer-day meal plans.
Summer Low Point:
It's a 105 degree day and we're trying our best to adhere to the SmartRate plan. On PGE determined SmartRate day, you're supposed to turn off AC and limit electrical usage from 2 to 7. Being the environmentally-friendly family (my husband even works for an eco-friendly company whose motto is "Waste Nothing") we decided to give it a shot. Stuck with more greens than I knew what to do with, I dutifully prepared all the ingredients for Kale, Sausage and Potato Soup and placed them in the crockpot. (This appliance apparently uses little electricity and is dubbed SmartRate day friendly.)
As we are sitting at the table around 6:30 watching the clock for when we can push the ON button on the AC, soup has been doled out and cooled off with a little extra cream. Apparently not quite cool enough, my youngest and oh-so-observant son asks "Why again are we eating soup on a 105 degree day?"
I filled him in on how I had to use the greens and potatoes that I had and the cooking method used the least kilowatts. Knowing that a freezing cold popsicle and water war with neighbors awaited soup consumption, he went along with the craziness and ate with no further questions.
Needless to say when I made the observation one day last week (a week after said LOW POINT) that the chard we were eating tasted extra earthy due to the fact it was the last of the year, there was much rejoicing among my kids! They are troopers and almost always eat the greens without a word, but much like me and all of my fellow CSA members that Ive talked to, it's always a welcome change when the new season's produce arrives.
As is normal every year at this time, the first arrival is usually summer squash then cucumbers. With squash not being a fave with the boys, I decided to make something super light (ironically on a not-so-hot day) and chilled versus cooking the veggies.
A big squeeze of lime juice, some salt, tamari sauce, sesame oil and a little sugar, it became a quite-nice, Asian-inspired slaw on its own, but tossed with a half-bag of corn pasta from Trader Joe's that was sitting neglected on my pantry shelf it was shaping up to be a meal. The kid-friendly factor was amped up - as well as providing a protein source for shellfish-shy Eliot - by making a little peanut sauce to drizzle over the top. (Download "Rock Star in the Kitchen" recipe collection to get this and lots of other recipes to amp up any meal) A few roasted shrimp made it more substantial for the rest of us and toasted almond slices and black sesame seeds dressed it up. It was light, refreshing and totally consumed by my squash detractors.
So now that I'm back, I should tell you to watch for my blog re-design that is in the works right now. This is also partially why I haven't been writing. I was waiting for the big "Reveal" (watched too many design and food shows, I guess) and the process is taking WAY longer than I originally anticipated...mostly due to my lack of being inside on the internet. But I promise to get back on the horse and begin to blog again. Thanks for reading.
Shaved Summer Veggie and Sesame Noodle Salad
1 yellow squash, shaved, shredded or julienned
1 medium cucumber, shaved, shredded or julienned
1 carrot, shaved, shredded or julienned
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 head of cabbage, shredded (you can leave this out and use extra shredded veggies)
a large handful each of basil,cilantro and mint leaves (or any combination of those that you have available), roughly chopped
8 oz spaghetti, cooked and rinsed in cold water (I used Trader Joe's Corn pasta)
2 limes, juiced and zested
2 tbsp tamari, Bragg's aminos, or soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp agave nectar (brown sugar if you don't have agave)
1 1" piece of ginger (see picture for what this looks like)
1-2 tsp chile garlic sauce (to taste)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb of medium shrimp (31-40 ct)
sea salt to taste
toasted slice almonds and black or toasted white sesame seeds for garnish, optional
Peanut Sauce, for passing at table
For the salad:
Combine all the veggies and herbs in a large bowl. Toss with the cooked and cooled spaghetti.
To make the dressing and shrimp marinade:
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, tamari sauce, sesame oil, agave nectar, and chile garlic sauce if using. Remove 1/3 cup of this mixture and toss with the shrimp. Marinate for 10 minutes only. (Any longer and the shrimp will start cooking in the lime juice.)
Whisk the ginger and garlic into the remaining dressing and toss with the salad.
To roast the shrimp:
Heat broiler. Drain the shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. On a foil lined cookie sheet, arrange the shrimp in a single layer and sprinkle with sea salt. They will most likely be brown or grey before being cooked, like this:
Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp curl up and turn pink, like this:
Turn them over and cook until they brown a bit on the other side (just a minute or two).
To serve, place a mound of the salad in a shallow bowl and top with shrimp, sliced almonds and sesame seeds. Pass peanut sauce if you're using.
Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got