Well Dined



We have joined a CSA this year - it stands for Community Supported Agriculture and what it means is that you buy a share in a local farm and they deliver produce to you weekly. The CSA that we joined is Dragonfly Farms and you can read all the information about it here. We got our first share this week and, as you can see, it was packed full with good stuff!

Beautiful! What was in the crate:
1 head of butter lettuce
1 head of Romaine
a big bag of spinach (10-15 oz)
a bunch of asparagus
2 green/spring onions
several stalks of rhubarb
a pint of hothouse strawberries
4 tomatoes on the vine
a pint of English peas

I pick up my share from Whole Foods, which allows me to take a look at what is in the crate and immediately buy groceries to supplement. The first thing that caught my eye was the tomatoes and my immediate thought was - caprese salad.

So I picked up some basil and local fresh mozzarella.

Add some extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and sea salt - Et Voila! Delicious lunch.


On first glance, I mistook the English peas for snap peas and decided to make an Asian salmon dish with orange miso peas.

I picked up some gorgeous salmon filets.

Then I made a sauce from (a whole bunch) of Asian ingredients like soy, mirin, ginger, and miso.

I topped the salmon with Panko and the sauce and baked it.

When I realized my mistake about the peas, I went ahead and shelled them.

I added them to hot, steamed rice. You can eat English peas raw, and when you cook them you don't want them to be mushy (for example, only boil fresh peas for about 10 seconds). The rice was hot enough to cook them without overcooking.

I also made up a quick salad with some of the butter lettuce.


When I saw that the crate had both rhubarb and strawberries in it, I decided immediately to make a pie. I had been wanting to try out a book that I recently bought by Martha Stewart and settled on the mini-galette recipe.

As you can see, my galette forming skills are not quite up to par, but they sure tasted good.

I started by making the Pate Brisee dough recipe. Martha prefers the all butter version, but I like the version that replaces half the butter with (butter flavored) shortening which makes for a more tender dough.

Pate Brisee means "broken pastry". It is named that because you cut the butter into the flour. Martha likes to use the food processor to do this, but if you are not experienced it is really easy to overwork the dough that way. I recommend using a pastry tool, it gives you more control and is way faster than knives or forks.

After cutting the butter and shortening into the flour, adding a little ice water and working it with your hands gives you a beautiful dough.

While the dough rested in the fridge, I started on the filling. Here is my pint of berries.

The picture shows halved berries, but I ended up quartering them.

Gorgeous rhubarb. Do not eat the leaves - they are poisonous!

All diced up.

Mixed together with cornstarch and sugar. If this sits around for any amount of time, the fruit will start to macerate. Drain it or you will end up with too much liquid.

I divided the dough into 8 pieces, rolling them out to mini rounds, and placing the filling in the center.

Then I folded the edges up around the filling, leaving an open space in the center. If you are like Martha, you will be able to make this much prettier than I can.


I knew that I wanted to roast the asparagus, so I dug out some pork loin from the freezer to go with it.

I mixed cherry pie filling with mustard and parsley and spread it on top of the pork.

Then I wrapped it in bacon and roasted it. Pork wrapped in pork - yum.

Towards the end, I brushed the bacon with some jam and vinegar (hard to see in the pic, but it makes a nice glaze).

I trimmed the woody ends off of the asparagus.

Then I tossed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.

I have to say, the asparagus definitely outshone the pork.


I really enjoyed the quiche I made the other week, so I decided to use up the spring onions and the spinach in a quiche, using the guidelines from the Martha Stewart book.

I used the same pate brisee recipe for the crust, only making half the amount.

After trimming the edges, I pierced the bottom of the crust several times with a fork.

I blind baked the crust and sprinkled it with cheese to seal the bottom. (one of the edges slipped a bit while baking)

For the filling, I started by cooking some bacon.

These are the spring onions from the CSA, I trimmed off the darker part of the stem.

Then I chopped them, washed them, and sauteed them in the bacon fat. Spring onions need to be cooked a little longer than leeks, but not as long as fully mature onions.

I washed and trimmed the spinach.

Then I wilted it down - this is how much that huge bunch cooked down to!

I mixed the bacon, onions, and spinach together. Then I made a custard with eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Martha's recipe called for 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk - that seemed a bit fussy to me, so I just used 3 whole eggs.

I decided at the last minute to add some crumbled goat cheese to the filling, then topped it with more shredded cheese. Who doesn't love more cheese?

Martha's instructions placed the filling in the crust first, then poured the custard over it. I didn't really notice a difference doing it this way as opposed to mixing it all together first.

The baked quiche - it should be puffy and lightly browned. You may need to cover the edges with foil so that they do not overcook.

I made a salad with the romaine from the CSA to go with it.

I still have some lettuce left over, but other than that I managed to use up the whole share. Stay tuned for next week's CSA adventure.


Asian Salmon
adapted from Food Network
Reviews on the original recipe complained about it being too salty, so I replaced some of the soy with Mirin to balance it. I also didn't have all the called for ingredients on hand, so I made substitutions. Here is the dish as I made it.

4 salmon filets, about 6 oz each.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Mirin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup panko

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Line a baking pan with foil and place the salmon in the pan. Mix together all of the ingredients except for the panko. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the fish. Sprinkle the panko over the fish, then pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Scoop any panko that fell off back on top of the fish. Allow to soak for about 15 min. Roast the salmon for about 20 min. Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and rest 15 min.

In case you are interested, this is the recipe I was intending to use for snap peas. I have made it before and it is very good, just be sure not to overcook the peas.

Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Galettes
adapted from Martha Stewart
(there is a nice video on that website, btw)
Makes 8 mini galettes

Pate Brisee, recipe follows, do not divide into 2 disks
1 1/2 pounds trimmed rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh strawberries (or raspberries)
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups granulated sugar
Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Divide dough evenly into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece to a 7-inch round, 1/8 inch thick. Transfer rounds to 2 large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, arranging several inches apart. (If rounds become too soft to handle, refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.)

In a large bowl, toss to combine rhubarb, strawberries, cornstarch, and granulated sugar.

Cover each round of dough with a heaping 1/2 cup rhubarb mixture, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold edges over rhubarb filling, leaving an opening in center; gently brush water between folds, and press gently so that folds adhere. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush edges of dough with water, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crusts are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake until juices bubble and start to run out from center of each galette, 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely before serving.

Pate Brisee
adapted from Martha Stewart
This is seriously the BEST dough recipe. It is flexible, it won't crack, it is super tender and flaky and awesome. It is important that everything be COLD.
Makes two 9 inch single-crust pies or one 9 inch double-crust pie

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/2 cup chilled butter flavored Crisco, cut in pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Whisk or sift together the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and shortening, and cut together until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the ice water evenly over the flour and work together with your hands until the dough just holds together. Do not overwork.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 30 min before using.

Balsamic Roasted Asparagus
Serves 2-4

1 lb asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425°.
Snap off tough ends of asparagus, place in a pan. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar; sprinkle with salt, garlic, and pepper, tossing to coat. Bake for 10 minutes, turning once.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin with Cherries
adapted from Real Simple
I didn't have dried cherries or currant jelly on hand, so I used my favorite cherry pie filling (its not overly sweet) and apricot jam.
Serves 4-6

1 2-lb piece boneless pork loin
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup dried cherries (or apricots), chopped
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
6 slices bacon
1 tbsp currant jelly (or apricot or cherry jam)
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Heat oven to 350° F. Season the pork with the allspice and 1⁄2 tsp pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the cherries, parsley, and mustard. Spread evenly over the pork. Lay the bacon slices crosswise over the pork, overlapping them slightly and tucking the ends underneath. Roast for 45 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the jelly and vinegar. Brush over the bacon and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Spring Onion, Spinach, and Bacon Quiche
Note: this is time consuming, don't expect to be able to throw it together in 30 min, but it is definitely worth it.

1/2 Pate Brisee, recipe above
4-6 slices of bacon, diced
2 spring onions, white and light green parts, diced and washed well
1 lb spinach, trimmed and washed
1 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, Gruyere, or cheddar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 eggs
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round. Fit into a 9 inch pie pan, gently pressing into the bottom and sides. Trim excess dough and pierce the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 min.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the shell with parchment or foil, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 30 min, remove parchment and weights, bake 5 to 10 min more. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Place the bacon in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook until crisp and remove to drain on paper towels. Drain most of the fat from the pan. Add the onions and cook until softened - about 3 minutes. Set aside. Add the spinach to the pan and wilt, add to the onions. Add the bacon to the vegetables and allow to cool slightly. Add the goat cheese to the mixture.

Make the custard. Whisk together the milk, cream, and eggs. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Place the pie pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the filling, top with the remaining 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Carefully pour the custard over the top. Bake until just set in the center, 35 min. Transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 10 min before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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  1. I am so jealous that you guys joined a CSA! We talked about it but decided it would probably be wasteful at this point. But it looks like you've been eating really delicious foods all week!
    P.S., Dave wants to eat some pork wrapped in pork…

  2. It's a lot of fun! But I did have to work really hard to use everything in a week. If I had a more demanding schedule, we would probably have to split a share of this size with another couple.

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