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Potato Leek Quiche

Warning: Do not make this on an empty stomach! The smell will drive you crazy while it bakes.

This recipe is from the Squiche2pring Quiche Trio pages of Simply in Season. I’ve noticed that many of the vegetables available in the spring are also prevalent in the fall. In fact, the leeks were from today’s CSA pickup! The last pickup of the season, sniff.

I used the potato crust recipe, which is super easy – coarsely grate 3 C of potatoes, mix with 3 T of olive oil, and spread it on the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.

While it’s baking, you can make the filling, which is 1 1/2 C of leeks (or ramps, as wild leeks are called) and 1 C of cheese mixed together. The egg mixture is made in a separate bowl – beat together 3 eggs, 1 C of evaporated milk (or 1 C milk + 1/3 C dry milk powder), and a dash or two of salt and pepper.

When the crust is ready, put the leek/cheese mixture on first, then dump the egg mixture on top of that. I noticed the egg mixture was a bit on the stingy side so I didn’t feel the need to put MORE cheese on top (I know, what was I thinking). Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325F and cook for another 25-30 minutes. If you can stand the wait, you really should let it cool for 10-15 minutes.

The verdict: A huge thumbs up from DH. “This is good! It would be great for breakfast, with bacon crumbled on top.” Yes, it was savory indeed. Lots of leeks but leeks are very mild, making this a very tasty dish.

Cranberry Nut Loaf – GUEST BLOGGER

NUTLOAFA huge thank you to Cathy at Cathy’s Kitchen Journey! Doesn’t this cranberry nut loaf look delish? After seeing some of these recipes reviewed and photographed by my fellow bloggers, I’m starting to despise this cranberry allergy of mine. Click on over to read her review!

Roasted Cauliflower and Sprouts

romanescaFor this recipe, I used a romanesca cauliflower. It’s a fascinating looking vegetable, and DH couldn’t wait to try it. Since I still have brussels sprouts coming out of my ears, I decided to use it in this recipe.

The night before, cut the cauliflower into 1 inch florets, halve the brussels sprouts, drizzle with 2 T olive oil and mix. Then, add 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, 1/2 tsp of rosemary, and 1/2 tsp pepper.

The next evening, preheat the oven to 450F, sprinkle with salt, and bake in a single layer for 15-20 minutes (until they’re crisp-tender and beginning to brown at the edges). Stir occasionally (if you take the pan out to stir and close the door while stirring, you won’t lose the oven heat).

The verdict: The flavor is very light, but thorough – perhaps as a result of the “marinating” overnight? It went really well with a chicken that I threw in the crock pot this morning and drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with rosemary and garlic salt. I apologized to DH for not having a very fancy dinner tonight. He said “it doesn’t have to be fancy, this is good!”

For more info about romanesca, click here:
Broccoflower on Foodista

5 Reasons Why I Subscribe to my CSA in October

squash

Photo by Shane Folkertsma

CSA  (Community Supported Agriculture) is a system where you pay up front for a “share” of the next season’s crops, and then during the growing season you receive a box or bags of vegetables each week.

Even though frost is here, the last CSA pickup is this week, and we won’t be getting more vegetables until 7 months from now, I’m putting in my deposit today. Why?

1. Pay Over Time

Even though it’s a good deal once you calculate what you’re getting for your money, most CSAs cost $400+ per share. That can seem like a large chunk of change to pay all at once–even if you are splitting the share with another family.  My CSA (Trillium Haven) is offering an installment plan this year; others will let you put down your deposit and then pay as you wish as long as it’s paid by a specified time (usually in late winter/early spring).  Splitting up the total into smaller payments makes it easier to swallow the total cost.

2. To Make Sure I Get A Spot

CSAs are growing in popularity. I’ve been a member of various CSAs since 2005, and each one “sold out” of available shares by March. The particular CSA I’m a member of now is offering shares to existing members before they open to the general public. I’m taking advantage of this, because the owner mentioned that she is getting at least three inquiries per week from new potential members. The year before last I waited too long and missed out. I thought I would perhaps just visit the farmer’s market, but I found that I didn’t eat nearly as many vegetables that summer.

3. Commitment to Eating Healthfully

There’s something about getting a bag of vegetables that you already paid for that motivates you to eat them. After a summer of eating fresh produce, your tastes change. I find myself noticing in restaurants when vegetables are not fresh or in season, or when they’re not even on the menu. By putting a deposit down now, I feel more motivated to keep up my healthy eating habits over the winter. It’s kind of like making a myself a promise to do the best I can while it’s not as plentiful, because in a few months we will once again be overflowing with greens.

4. Sense of Community

On one hand, it’s kind of a relief knowing that this is the last week I’ll have to remember to clean out the refrigerator the night before, pack my reusable bags in the morning, rush home after work to stand in the line to pick up the vegetables, come home and fit them in the refrigerator, and plan the week’s menus to use them all up. On the other hand, I’ll definitely miss it. I’ll miss the email of the week letting me know what we’ll be getting, explaining any uncommon vegetables like romanesca or black winter radishes. I’ll miss seeing the other members at pickup and at the cooking classes, the co-owner Anja standing there directing us to the U pick items. By handing my check to Anja, I feel like I’m saying “hey, thanks for being my farmer.”

5. Hope for Spring

When the frost arrives, you know that winter is coming. It won’t be long until you’re shoveling snow (at least here in Michigan) and braving subzero wind chills. The only local vegetables available will be root crops and apples. There’s always the grocery store, but somehow stuff that’s picked unripe and shipped for miles just isn’t as appealing as fresh produce picked at its peak. And you know that when you’ve eaten up all the vegetables that you remembered to freeze or can, and have had your fill of chili, soups, and stews, that the spring thaw will come. By subscribing to next year’s CSA, I’m making a leap of faith.

 

How about you, are you thinking about joining a CSA next year, or renewing a current share? Why? Post your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Simply Me in the News

The publisher of Simply in Season recently wrote a story about my blog — click here to check out the article!

Liberian Pumpkin with Cock Sauce

liberianEven though I’ve been cooking for two months now, my idea of what is “a cinch to throw together” is still miles away from what the editors at Simply in Season consider “a cinch to throw together.”

First, for this recipe, one must peel and cube 2-3 C of butternut squash (or you can use pumpkin). I usually peel my butternuts with a vegetable peeler, as a knife is tricky to maneuver.

Then, you have to chop an onion and saute’ along with the butternut squash “until translucent.” This is the second recipe today where it’s supposed to get translucent. Problem is, it’s kind of hard to tell when it’s translucent when the other stuff is in there (it also calls for either hot chili peppers or hot sauce; I took this occasion to try out my new bottle of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce).  Plus it started to burn so I went ahead and added a little of the chicken broth so it didn’t burn while it was cooking, covered. When the butternut squash was tender, I added the rest of the cup of broth and covered again and cooked for the 10 minutes it called for. Meanwhile I browned the 1 lb of sausage (the recipe calls for 1 C but hey, might as well use the whole package) and started on the egg noodles.

While I’m waiting, let me tell you about Sriracha Hot Sauce. I first learned about it at an Indian cooking class at my CSA, and quickly discovered that it’s quite well known among foodies, and is nicknamed cock sauce because of the rooster on the front. I’ve since noticed it at lots of restaurants.

OK, so the 10 minutes is up, and it says to now add the sausage and cook uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed. It’s absorbed. So I put the pot on simmer until the egg noodles are done. You can serve this over any kind of noodle or rice, but DH and I were in the mood for egg noodles tonight.

The verdict: Definitely not “a cinch to throw together,” but not much chopping. The taste is definitely different, the sweet butternut plays off the spicy sausage and cock sauce. As DH said, the sauce makes your tongue tingly. Not sure if I’ll make this again soon, but it’s not a bad way to use up butternut squash.