Our summer farm season is wrapping up. Two weeks ago we got eggplant, kale, turnips (red and white), carrots, potatoes, a yellow pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and garlic. (Remember how our CSA was hit with terrible hail? More of the plants than we thought are still producing!) This week we received cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic, peppers, squash, one cucumber, turnips (and lots of them!) and carrots.
In the past I have had trouble with kale. I’ll eat it, but everyone else (Sam included) found it too bitter. In fact, after our first CSA, Sam’s comment was “too much kale!” and we found a different one that was a little lighter on the greens. But greens are good for us, so I was determined to try again. And I found a winner!
She says the secrets are cutting out the stem (all the way up the leaf) and working the dressing into the leaves a little bit and letting it sit. I made it about 1.5 hours before we ate. When Momo got home from dance class, she picked all the kale out of the salad and left behind the raspberries. (I used raspberries instead of blueberries.) Can she even be my child? Perhaps not.
At the bookends of the season, I find we have a little bit of lots of different things, but sometimes not large enough quantities to make a main course out of anything. So I like to serve what we call “Potpourri,” or lots of different things on pretty plates. Above you see our popcorn, carrots, yellow squash and zucchini (which some of my kids like with Ranch dressing), bread and jam, Sesame Eggplant Obsession, and a variety of cheeses (they are at the top there, served on a gorgeous cheese board my friend made from a walnut tree that came down from his yard- how cool is that?). My friend Amy says anything tastes better in a margarita glass, and that applies to serving boring supermarket slices cheeses on a handcrafted walnut cheese board, too.
It’s not really a summer food, but I made up a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup, and all my kids will eat it. So here it is. Sorry I don’t know how to make it easy to print. Feel free to cut and paste and adapt to your taste.
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or diced
- 3 potatoes (Yukon Golds or Reds work well), washed a diced (no need to peel)
- 6 cups chicken stock
Wash and cut one head of cauliflower into florets. Cut 3 carrots into 1 inch pieces. Toss both with a little olive oil; dust with salt and pepper and roast at 425 degrees until they start to darken (for me it was about 20 minutes, but it will depend on how big your pieces are.) You can do this earlier in the week and store them in the fridge, or do it right before you make the soup.
Chop 2 slices of bacon and dice one medium onion. Brown the bacon for a few minutes till it starts to darken and then bottom of the pan is slick, then add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 clove crushed garlic and sauté until onions and garlic are translucent.
Add 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 3 diced potatoes, and the roasted cauliflower and carrots. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook 20-30 minutes or until all the vegetables are very soft. Purée with a hand blender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crumbled bacon and crusty bread.
Another variation is to add a tart apple (peeled) with the potatoes.
I think that’s it for our Summer Eats Series. I am baking bread again, and the kids are asking for our favorite fall soups again. I hope the end of your summer wraps up well! I’ve added links to my other Summer Eats posts here.