It's a short post this week, because we got the crate a day before we left for Las Vegas for a week (oh yes, there will be posts about that). So I only had one day to make, eat, and store what I could. That is also the reason that we will skip from week 11 to week 13 - I had a friend take our share while we were out of town.
In the crate this week:
Large and small tomatoes
In the crate this week:
2 Korean Melons
You may be wondering what happened to week 5 - unfortunately I was unable to pick up my share that weekend. Not to worry - when this happens the food is donated, not thrown out.
I had some left over ingredients from some of my dishes this week: a leek, some shredded zucchini, and some basil. I didn't want these to go to waste so I decided to throw them all together into a quiche - adding a little bacon for flavor and because, well, it's bacon.
I blind baked a pie crust, then sprinkled it with cheese to seal the crust and keep it from getting soggy. I would have liked to use mozzarella or Gruyere, but all I had on hand was Mexican 4-cheese blend.
Bacon, Zucchini, and Leek Quiche
1 refrigerated pie crust
1/4 lb of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, diced
1-2 medium zucchini, shredded or grated
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut into half moons
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1-2 tbsp basil
3/4 cup shredded soft cheese (mozzarella, Gruyere, cheddar)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place pie dough into a 9inch pie pan and press into the bottom. Cover the dough with foil, pressing into the bottom and edges, and fill with pie weights, beans, or rice. Bake for 12 minutes, remove the foil and weights, bake another 5 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly. Sprinkle 1/4 of the soft cheese over the bottom of the crust to seal it. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, place the bacon pieces in a cold skillet and set over medium high heat. Cook until crispy, then set aside on paper towels. Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded zucchini, the leeks, and 1/2 tsp salt, cook a few more minutes.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, basil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the vegetable mixture, bacon, remaining 1/2 cup soft cheese, and Parmesan to the eggs. Pour the mixture into the pie shell, cover the edges with foil, and bake 35-45 minutes - until the center is set. Cool on a wire rack 10-15 minutes before serving.
Ah, spring - new beginnings, new growth, and the start of peak veggie season. I am a vegetable fan, but I despise the plain steam treatment, so I am always looking for new ways to incorporate vegetables into fun dishes. Zucchini and spinach are two of my favorites because they are incredibly versatile and easy to add to any dish. One of my favorite spring dishes combines them with pasta and a Gruyere sauce for a creamy, cheesy, and flavorful veggie casserole. You can add in shredded or diced cooked chicken for more protein, if you wish.
Start with fresh, medium sized zucchini - they have fewer seeds and more flavor than larger ones. Also look for vibrant skin - younger, fresher zucchini will have a more tender skin that is easier to eat. Leave the skin on - it has a lot of nutrients!
Spring Shells and Cheese
adapted from The Food Network
Time: 1.5 hrs Serves: 6-8
2 lb medium zucchini
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cups whole milk
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 lb medium pasta shells
4 shallots, minced
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 1 1/4 cups)
4 oz baby spinach
Grate or shred the zucchini (do not peel) into a colander. Toss with 1 tablespoon salt, then place in the sink to drain for about 15 minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid.
Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, nutmeg, cayenne, 2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until the raw flour smell cooks out, about 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk, about a cup at a time. Then add the thyme, bay leaves, and lemon zest and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened slightly, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain into a bowl, discarding the herbs.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini mixture to the pasta along with the egg yolks and all but 3 tablespoons of both cheeses. Stir to combine, then add the spinach.
Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Bake until browned on top and heated through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Another easy way to incorporate zucchini into a family friendly dish is to bake it with flour, cheese, eggs in a pie dish. This rich, dense, savory pie is sure to be a hit. The original recipe called for Provolone cheese - you can certainly use that, or Mozzarella, but I prefer Gruyere. I also like to add more basil than originally called for.
adapted from Real Simple
Time: 1.5 hrs Serves: 6
3 cups grated zucchini (about 1.5 lbs)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp grated Parmesan
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1 tbsp of the Parmesan. Spoon the zucchini mixture into a greased pie plate. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown, sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.