CSA Week 19: Variations on several Themes

This week we got: six ears of corn, an onion, a red bell pepper, baby tomatoes, some big gold potatoes, a garlic, a handful of shallots, a bunch of mint, green beans, curly kale, and some concord grapes.

CSA Week 19

I love getting shallots. When cooked, they tend to develop a more buttery, luxurious flavor than regular onions or garlic, and they are usually already cured when we get them, so they can be stored in or out of the fridge for a good while. I also love that we are still getting dark leafy greens. Usually we only have those in the spring and fall, when the weather is cooler. I skimmed through my weekly Emails from the farmer but didn’t see any explanation for the longer kale and chard season this year. I’m not complaining, I’m just curious!

Anyway. Wednesday I was pretty wiped from travel and a rough day back at work but had run through last week’s leftovers, so I made patatas bravas yet again. It’s turning into something of a comfort food, since it’s pretty easy to make and I nearly always have the ingredients around. And I made mint tea, of course.

On Thursday I made a lentil curry with the kale, last week’s little tomatoes, a shallot, and a very old carrot. This and the potato-tomato dish are decent examples of how cooking becomes a habit and gets easier over time. I tried these recipes for the first time a few weeks ago, but I’m comfortable enough with them now that I can throw together something close enough even on a tired, solitary evening.
However, I’ve been very lax about grocery shopping while my foot was healing, so I actually ran out of the green lentils I’d been using. I filled it out instead with a lentil-split pea-alphabet soup mix I’ve had in the cupboard for awhile. Alphabet curry.

Curry with Lentils and. . . alphabet pasta.

One makes do.

Friday was a designated cooking day with my neighbor. To mix things up a bit, we fried our corn into pancakes following a recipe from an old vegetarian cookbook, but they came out more like fritters. Are you ready, internet? Because this is probably the only time I’ll ever post a recipe rather than linking to one. I’m not very good at stylizing them.

Corn “pancakes”

Cut the kernels off of four cobs. Mix in two finely chopped shallots, two finely chopped cloves of garlic, cilantro to taste (we had some frozen in an ice cube tray), chili powder to taste, salt and pepper. Stir in 4 beaten eggs and 5 tablespoons of cornmeal. Heat a thin layer of oil in a wide flat skillet. Drop scoops of corn mixture onto hot skillet and cook until brown on each side, turning once. Makes fifteen if you scoop with a 1/3 cup measure, as we did.

As I look at the recipe book, I see that it also calls for two tablespoons of brown sugar, which we entirely overlooked. But it’s just as well, because we made ourselves a wonderful tomato chutney that included some brown sugar, and it made an excellent sweet, earthy accompaniment for the savory fritters. A side of sesame green beans and we had a nice dinner.

Corn fritters with tomato chutney and green beans

It wasn’t a low-maintenance meal, but it wasn’t extraordinarily complicated either–I think we were at work for a little over an hour, and that included some dishwashing and cutting more corn off the cob for the freezer.

I coasted on leftovers for the weekend, but threw together some corn, tomatoes, black beans, and rice for easy dinner + leftovers on Tuesday. That’ll be the last corn in our boxes for awhile, as it happens. I’m ready for a new vegetable leader; corn tends to dominate the cooking while it’s in season. But we certainly made some delicious things out of it.

4 responses to “CSA Week 19: Variations on several Themes

  1. Pingback: CSA Week 22: Tomato time | Scenes of Eating·

  2. Pingback: CSA Week 30: End-of-Season Reflection | Scenes of Eating·

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