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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Boston Organics Challenge, Part II: Re-Imagined Summer Menu

Boston Organics Challenge, Part II

As you can see from the list at the end of this post, our latest Boston Organics box held a bounty of local summer produce.  Filled with nostalgia at the sight of it, I craved a New England farm-stand supper like the ones we often had in my youth: ripe tomatoes, snappy green beans, and fresh, just-picked corn on the cob, with nothing but a little salt and butter, and homemade crusty bread to sop up the juices.  Ah, but that was then.  This is now: my husband doesn’t share my mania for vegetables, and, in truth, we both could use a better-balanced dinner than the ones that beckon from my memories.
The Plan
I decided instead to create a menu that re-imagines another childhood favorite combo—tomato soup, grilled-cheese sandwiches, and pickles—but made with the exquisitely fresh produce I had on hand, and with a modern, sophisticated flair.

For the first course, I made a delicate Cream of Summer Tomato Soup with Corn and Crème Fraîche, also using the bell peppers, onion, garlic and pea shoots from the Boston Organics crate.  More of the mild organic Spanish onion went into the Spiced Cheddar and Onion Spread, which I broiled on French bread for our modest entrée, accompanied by spicy, garlicky Refrigerator Pickled Dilly Beans, and a simple romaine salad.   I wish I could say we had fresh, local blackberries with some of the leftover crème fraîche for dessert: we should have, but life is imperfect, after all.  The best I can do is to recommend that you do so.  I found an intriguing recipe for shortcake biscuits recently, that I promise to try and then post, so you can have them with your berries and cream!

Boston Organics Dogma Box for 8/4/10
Corn (MA)
Cucumbers (MA)
Bell Peppers (MA)
Kale (MA)
Mixed Summer Squash (MA)
Romaine Lettuce (MA)
Spanish Onions (MA)
Hardneck Garlic (MA)
Green Beans (MA)
Salad Tomatoes (MA)
Pea Shoots (MA)

 Obviously I didn’t use all the items in the box for my meal.  (In fact, I traded all the kale and most of the zucchini to my friend Sherry, who splits the box with me, in return for more tomatoes, corn, and lettuce.)  I was thinking of this menu challenge as a combination of the classic MasterChef “mystery box” challenge, and the kind of test where a chef is required to create dishes according to a theme—and playing fast and loose with the rules of both.  Hey, give me a break: it’s summer!

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  1. I thought I would chime in and let folks know what happened to that kale.
    I chopped it throughly and then sauteed it in garlic with vidalia onion. I dressed it with with some Umeboshi Plum Vinegar and served. Pretty tasty.

    -Sherry (The person sharing the Boston Organics with Anne)

  2. Ah, Boston Organics Kale--how I miss making you into pesto. Actually, Anne, should I post that recipie?

    In any case, great post! Can't wait to come cook good things with you.

  3. Yes, please do post that kale pesto recipe! It was great, and will be welcome during that time of year when it seems like all we have are greens.

  4. I'd like to see the kale pesto recipe!


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