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Recipes To Help You Make The Most Of Your CSA

Julia Shanks/The Farmer's Kitchen

Overwhelmed by your CSA box? Chef and author, Julia Shanks, has two tasty recipes to offer to put the ingredients of your CSA to good use.

For an unexpected twist, serve the chickpea crepes with a zesty Romanesco sauce, and the tomato soup with basil or arugula pesto. Recipes for those are included below as well.

Chickpea Crepes Stuffed With Wilted Greens (Vg)

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This recipe was inspired by the Southern France street-food socca: a chickpea crepe baked in a cast-iron skillet. Romesco sauce is a wonderful addition to this dish.

  • ½ cups chickpea flour
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¾ cup water (or a mix of cream and water)
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking
  • 1 bunch kale or arugula, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbs pine nuts
  • 2 Tbs currants or raisins
  • ¼ tsp curry powder

1. Sift flours with salt and pepper. Make a well in the center. Add the egg and water. Whisk to incorporate. Add the olive oil. The batter should be the consistency of heavy cream. Let rest for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, raisins and garlic. When garlic starts to brown add the curry powder and pine nuts. Cook for 1 minute more and add the greens. Cook until just wilted. Coarsely chop the greens. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brush the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Pour in a thin layer of batter, and cook until set. Flip over and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove from pan and repeat process until all the crepes are made.

4. Roll each crepe like a cigar with about ½ cup of filling. Reheat just before serving, and slice in half.

Romesco (Vn, Gf)​

Romesco is a versatile sauce for crudité, or served alongside beef, salmon, chicken or polenta.

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots, quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds balsamic or red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste

1. Seed peppers and cut into quarters. Cut tomato into quarters.

2. Put all ingredients, except vinegar, in a shallow pot. Put in a 400°F oven until peppers begin to brown and almonds are toasted.

3. Pour off oil and reserve. Purée roasted veggies in a food processor. Drizzle in oil. Adjust seasoning with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Tomato Soup (Vn, Gf)

In the height of summer tomato season, little embellishment is needed for this tomato soup. If you’d like, serve with a dollop of pesto and a grilled cheese sandwich.

  • 1 Tbs butter or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 4 cups diced tomatoes, a variety is good
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: ¼ cup cream

1. In a soup pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add wine. Then add tomatoes and stock.

2. Simmer for 20 minutes. Purée until smooth. If you want, you can also strain the soup through a mesh strainer to get rid of the seeds. Brett doesn’t like to do this because you also get rid of a lot of nutrients, but Julia prefers the smoother texture.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in cream, if using.

Basil or Arugula Pesto (Vg, Gf)

Pesto is a great way to use up vast quantities of basil or arugula, and freezes superbly. Arugula pesto, tossed with pasta and served with seared scallops, makes a great springtime dinner. Basil pesto brightens any summer meal.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup almonds or pine nuts, toasted and then cooled
  • about 4 cups arugula or basil leaves
  • at least ½ cup more olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup grated Romano cheese more salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté the garlic in the ¼ cup olive oil until soft but not very brown. Immediately add salt, pepper and wine and simmer until the wine volume has reduced by one half. Let cool.

2. Process all this in a Cuisinart until the garlic is fully puréed. Add the nuts and process until nearly smooth. Add the basil and plenty of olive or vegetable oil. Process further, until the basil is just barely smooth (no leaf pieces bigger than ⅛”), always adding more oil if the surface of the basil appears exposed to air. Add the cheese and process 15 seconds more. Taste for salt and pepper.

3. Place in a Tupperware or a glass jar and immediately be sure that there is at least ¼-inch oil floating over the basil.

4. The extra oil is intense and can be used for dressing salads. The surplus of oil in all stages keeps the basil from oxidizing to an unattractive black color.

5. Keeps 6 weeks in the refrigerator or 2 years in a freezer.

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