Friday, June 18, 2010

CSA Share Week 4, Grilled Romaine and Ask Me Monday

My vegetable and fruit bins runneth over.

This week's share consists of:

Blueberries (NJ is famous for blueberries, corn, eggplant and tomatoes)
Bok Choy
Head Lettuce
Oak Leaf Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
Romaine (star of today's show)
3 zucchini
2 yellow squash
Collard Greens
3 tomatoes (hot house)
yellow carrots

You would think that with all of these vegetables every week facing yet another farm box full of greens would be unthinkable, but to my delight and surprise, we are consuming everything from week to week. That is a 1/2 bushel of produce people! Okay, I do tend to "hand over the fence*" a head of lettuce or two here and maybe a beet or squash there, but for the most part, we are incorporating more vegetables (and all the fruit) into our daily lives. Yeah!

*hand over the fence = share with a neighbor

Grilled Romaine: (1 head serves 2, adjust servings accordingly)

One head Romaine Lettuce, washed and sliced in half vertically
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat grill to medium high.

Drizzle romaine with olive oil (or better, spray it) making sure to get a bit into the heart of the lettuce. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.

In addition to all the vegetables in my farm share, the market had some corn from Georgia (the farm trades some northern produce with a southern farm "cousin")

I chopped up some fresh herbs, mixed them with olive oil and drizzled on the fresh corn. Keep the husks intact, just peel back the husk, remove the silk, rinse the whole cob in water, making sure to really wet down those husks, drizzle with olive oil and herbs and pull the wet husks back over the corn.

Place on the corn on the grill. It will begin to steam and spit. When one side is toasted, turn, continue until all sides are roasted and husks are crisp.

Back to the romaine. Place cut side down on hot grill. Grill for about 3 minutes, turn, grill for two more minutes or until wilted and marked by grill.

Off the grill, sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese (optional)

The rest of dinner:
tomatoes mixed with avocado and fresh mozzarella and basil

Dessert - fresh berries

My farm share is paying me back twice by the way. All the waste (husks, outer leaves, peels, stems) from the vegetables and fruits goes into my compost bin, the waste degrades, and then gets worked into the soil of my gardens. It's the perfect arrangement between food and human. Grow, eat, degrade, grow again. Eat again.

Fennel growing organically in my garden

Cucumbers. Naturally fertilized with compost. Marigolds around the border of the garden act as a natural insect repellent.

Ask Me Monday:

I've come to realize that many people do their marketing on the weekend. Farmers Markets are popping up all over the country as crops are ripening.

New and wonderful products are appearing - what do you do when you are tempted to buy a bit of produce that you have never had before? Do you simply pass it up because you are unsure of how to prepare it?

Or are you just tired of making broccoli the same way, week in or week out?

Okay - The Good Cook wants to help you expand your palate and your recipe repertoire.

Next time you are at the market and spy a beautiful Kohlrabi or Swiss Chard or Golden Parsnip or an incredible bunch of Kale, BUY IT. And when you get home, email

Every Monday I will pick a couple of email questions and supply you with information, cooking techniques and recipes for your Farmers Market buys.

So don't forget, when you are out marketing this weekend, go a little crazy, be brave, support your local farmer and purchase something you have never tried before. Then email me, and I'll supply you with a couple of tried and true recipes.

Talk to you all on Monday, happy marketing!


  1. You KNOW I'm just learning how to grill this summer! This is perfect and I'm totally going to try it this weekend. AND I'm going to the farmer's market this weekend! Go a little crazy? Ha!

  2. Oh, and check out my blog for the watermelon/tomato/arugula/feta salad. It was insanely delicious! I WAS SURPRISED!

  3. Kate - that salad does look delicious and I agree, you will certainly get the same results with a simplified technique. Enjoy the market and let me know if I can help with any culinary experiments!

  4. Looks delicious. Garden goods are great this time of the year. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are favorites on anything.

  5. We have a new farmers market by my house..must check it out!

  6. R.J. - those two ingredients have launched some of the best meals in the world!

    Buffalo - that statement sent shivers up my spine! I hope you go and I hope you blog about it!! Please?

  7. Ooooh, I LOOOOVE going to the Farmer's Market. And I will definitely be trying some of your delicious produce recipes. That grilled corn looks FAB!

  8. Well, I wish I had something to ask you right now, but I don't. I'll keep the offer in mind, though.

  9. I long to be footloose and francy free wondering the rows of veggies and fruit at ANY farmers market. But here I sit behind my desk watching the children (and adults) of this county swim, then sate their appetites with Pringles and Pop Tarts. Sad, really sad. I had the most wonderful lunch of tuna and dill pickles wrapped in fresh from a garden lettuce. The tuna came from a can, but it was still quite satisfying.

  10. What a great idea! Thank you!

    By the way, I received the Fire Wire - can't wait to use. Thank you so much!

  11. Oh, what a great idea!!!! I will take you up on that offer somewhere along the way...won't have time for a Farmer's Market this weekend...but will get there sometime soon, I hope!!! Have a great weekend! Love, Janine XO

  12. This is seriously the fourth time I'm trying to make a comment. My browser crashed every other time. What was I going to say? Probably something about blueberries and strawberries.

  13. My mission is to find out where you are and then move in next door!!

  14. That's exactly what I was thinking-how does she use all that fresh food? It looks fantastic though.

    The Ask Me Monday is a great idea!

  15. So many great ideas - lovely of you to share them! Seem easy enough for someone like me! That corn looked fantastic!

  16. Okay, got a great teriyaki broccoli recipe? I love that stuff but have never made it.

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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