Strawberry, Lemon & Basil Soda Recipe

Basil has an amazing smell that makes me think of summer.  It is an easy plant to grow if you have the right sun/shade mix, but we received great basil in this week’s CSA share.  I use basil as a topping on pasta, lettuce salads, fruit and even “herb toast” which is a favorite snack my four-year-old nephew.  He learned about spices as a baby and has a great palate for snacks! I usually roll the basil and slice thinly to get little pieces in every bite.  Here is a refreshing way to use basil.


Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Strawberry, Lemon & Basil Soda Recipe

From Bon Appetit

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  • 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 5 small strawberries (or 3 large strawberries, quartered) plus 1 thin slice for garnish
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup soda water

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Steve’s Weekly Update 7/20/11

Climatology 2011:   Back to the furnace:  hot and dry.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: the disaster relief paperwork has not arrived in the mail.  Additional hay bill, for cows who, but for the drought, would be doing fine on pasture, is $150 per week.  I am fortunate to have so many contacts at the Pueblos where I work with MoGro who grow good hay on small fields and are willing to sell for more reasonable prices.  The price of commercial scale hay is up about 40% from a year ago.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   Cheese cheese cheese!  We hope to receive some feedback from members about last week’s cheese delivery.  Remember that we are also making fresh (pasteurized) mozzarella, along with our Salado Jack.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Protein update:  I picked up the pork and beef late yesterday and got it home and we will sort it out and develop a pork share that will be available on the market place Friday.  Our butcher remarked that the pork was very, very good1  We will not have the smoked/cured ham and bacon back for a while yet.  But we have lots of chops and steaks and the like.  There will be a more complete list along with the pork share offering.

All of the meat is stamped “not for sale” but remember that applies to retail establishments.  We are not subject to that constraint as a voluntary COOP.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    The organic cherries from Paolo Lugara’s Sage Creations farm in Palisades continue for one more week.  We also have melons from Los Poblanos.

This week we also have carrots, from Vida Verde, tomatoes one more time from Agricultura,  chard from Synergia ranch, and our special treat of the week is basil from Vida Verde and the legendary Matt Romero.

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA .  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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Cabbage Squash Coleslaw Recipe

I have four squash plants in my backyard.  They seem to prolific and grow multiple zucchini overnight.  I have tried many recipes to enjoy them.  This is an interesting one from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks called 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes. Cabbage was included in a zucchini slaw recipe so I decided to try this sweet coleslaw.  It includes pineapple, but you could substitute vinegar if you don’t like the sweet version.  The cabbage and bell pepper provide the crunch in this salad.  You can barely taste the zucchini so it is a nice way to enjoy the texture.  Enjoy.

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Zucchini Coleslaw

1,000 Vegetarian Recipes

1-1/2 cups chopped Cabbage

1 cup shredded Zucchini

3/4 cup finely chopped fresh Pineapple

1/3 cup finely chopped Green Bell Pepper

1/4 cup Mayonnaise

handful Scallions

Salt & Pepper

Toss all ingredients together.  You can substitute carrots for the zucchini if you want a more traditional coleslaw.

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Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb is a vegetable that has been used in culinary and medicinal recipes for centuries. The variety that we will receive is green rhubarb and is just like red rhubarb, except for the color, it is not unripe, it is the variety.

Cooking Tips:

  • Cut into 1″ pieces and cook for 5 minutes with sweetener in a little water; use on toast, waffles and with yogurt.  You may also use the cooked rhubarb in the compote recipe below.
  • Good cooked with organic strawberries; use as above.
Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Rhubarb Compote

From Local Flavors

Recipe by Deborah Madison

1 lb Rhubarb

1/3 cup Maple Syrup

1 tsp Minute Tapocia

1 small Orange, zested and juiced

1/8 tsp ground Cloves

Handful of Strawberries or Blackberries

Creme fraiche

4 sliced Candied Ginger for garnish

Wash the rhubarb, trim off the ends of the stalks and then slice them crosswise into 1/2-inch chunks.  If the stalks are very thick, halve them lengthwise first.  Toss with syrup, tapocia, orange juice, orange zest and cloves.  Arrange in an 8×8 gratin dish and let stand while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cover with foil and bake until the fruit is tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 45 minutes.

Rinse the strawberries and add to the top of the hot rhubarb dish.  The heat will bring out flavor in the berries.  Top with ginger.  Enjoy.

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Steve’s Weekly Update 7/13/11

Climatology 2011:   We had a measurable rainfall event!  We hope and pray for more.  Meanwhile the entire state of NM has been declared an agricultural disaster area due to drought, along with all contiguous counties.  Looking over the land this morning, I actually think the best hope we have for recovery of our forage for the summer is a hail storm.  This may seem odd, but with the hail sitting on the ground and soaking slowly in, the grasses really take off.

This week’s Cow stories:  Mesa Top cows and Jim Miller Ayrshire project: I am now feeding hay to all of the cows.  They are just not getting the nutrition they need because there is no grass.   Some of the older cows are suffering a bit, but I think we can take care of them.  The disaster designation means that if I can find the time to sit in the local FSA office and fill out paperwork, I might be able to get some emergency relief funds to help cover the feed costs.

This week’s cheese and herd share update:   We are grateful to the CSA for this week’s opportunity to send out packaged cheese to all of you.  We are sending a mixture of different types of cheese.  We are also experimenting with the packaging process.  We hope to have all of the cheese vacuum packed.  All of the cheeses should be marked with a date and batch code so that if you have comments on the cheese, we can correlate those to our cheese log.  We hope that you enjoy the cheese.  And we look forward to your comments, which will help us continue to improve our cheese making and packaging processes.

This week’s cheese share includes: a variety of artisanal cheeses.

Mesa Top Protein update:  We will pick up most of the pork and the new batch of ground beef next week. There will also be bacon and smoked hams curing that take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.  We will go back for those later in the summer.  We are getting some sausage made also.  Most likely the details on these new proteins will be available so that you can order next week for delivery on CSA distribution day the week after.

This week’s Veggie/Share Update:    The organic cherries from Paolo Lugara’s Sage Creations farm in Palisades continue for a short while longer.

We have cabbage and onions from Desert Gardens, tomatoes from Agricultura, and rhubard from Talon de Gato farm.

We are looking forward to an increasing variety of vegetables as we go on into the summer, and will do our best to keep the variety interesting.  Example:  Who thought they would get local rhubarb from the CSA?

Membership news:  Thank you for your investment in the CSA.  We appreciate your continued support!

Steve Warshawer

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Spinach Smoothie Recipe

Spinach is typically thought of as a lunch or dinner ingredient in a savory recipe.  I have been thinking about eating more greens throughout the day.  Spinach can be in a breakfast smoothie with a few creamy ingredients to start the morning.  Smoothies have a basic recipe of fruit/vegetable, starch like yogurt or banana, something frozen and liquid.  Those four ingredients can be interchanged.  Spinach can be blended to taste like many other things, but give you a nutrition boost with iron and vitamin A.  Here is a smoothie inspired by Rasa Juice Bar in Santa Fe.  They have a lot of interesting combinations.  The yoga studio has a community yoga class for a suggested donation of $10 each Sunday at 4pm.  I went to a class that focused on gardening stretching and poses.  I recommend the class and the smoothies.

Spinach Smoothie

Handful of Spinach

Coconut Milk

Apple Juice

Frozen Banana (or you can use a banana and ice)

Local, Organic Honey

Blend in a blender for a few minutes.  Enjoy!

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Roasted Vegetable Casserole

I love to read cookbooks and cooking magazines.  It helps me to have better brainstorming sessions about my CSA food for the week.  This dish can use several different CSA vegetables, including squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms and even root vegetables like carrots or beets.  I made it for a party last weekend and it was enjoyed by everyone…even kids that wanted the cheese sauce.  It is actually a very lowfat cheese sauce with 1% milk and a handful of cheese for the whole dish.  Enjoy!

Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger

Roasted Vegetable Casserole

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine Recipes and Vegetarian Times

4 Yellow Squash

2 small Onions

1 Bell Pepper

1/2 cup 1% Milk (use what you need to make the sauce come together)

2 tblsps butter

2 tblsps All purpose flour (for texture)

Handful of grated Cheese, like cheddar or mozzarella


Salt & Pepper

3 slices bread, cut into cubes and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper

Roast the vegetables and bread separately at 400 degrees for the appropriate amount of time.  The squash took about 15 minutes, onion/pepper took 10 minutes and bread about 10 minutes.  Let them cool.  Make the bechamel sauce, which is a thick white sauce and base for the cheese.  Start with a medium hot pan (I use an enameled cast iron, but anything with a heavy bottom would work).  Add the butter first.  You have to use butter to get a good texture that will bake well in the casserole.  Let the butter foam and then even out, but not burn.  Add the flour and stir.  It will be a clumpy mess for a few minutes.  Let it cook to get the taste of the flour out.  I have found that the all purpose flour works the best for texture.  Add the milk slowly, you might not need the whole amount.  I usually let the sauce cook for a few minutes and stir occasionally to have it thicken.  If it is taking a long time then you know that you added too much milk and it needs to cook away to make the sauce.  Once the sauce has thickness, add the cheese.  Layer the vegetables in a baking dish and pour the sauce over.  Top with the bread crumbs.  Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Enjoy!

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