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Geauga Family Farms Summer CSA – Week Four

9 Jul

Summer CSA – Week Four

I am super excited about this week’s CSA haul.  Sugar plum fairies (or maybe kohlrabi gnomes?) are already dancing in my head with tons of ideas for how to use all of this delicious produce – as well as the leftovers from last week.  As promised, the share sizes are increasing as the season goes on.  I’m also very happy with the variation in items we’ve been receiving over the past four weeks.

From left to right, you see pictured about half a dozen pickling cucumbers, half a dozen stalks of rhubarb, a bag of red potatoes, two heads of lettuce, three gorgeously red tomatoes, two extraordinarily large sweet onions, a zucchini, a yellow squash, and three kohlrabi bulbs.

We made pretty good use of last week’s items, though we do have quite a bit left over.  My whole heart salad with creamy yogurt dressing was made from lettuce from week two of the CSA.  The lemon-vegetable risotto included green onions, zucchini, and a carrot from last week’s share.  The grilled panzanella was also chock full of delicious goodies from the CSA, including lettuce, green onions, and zucchini.  Finally the baked beans with collard greens I posted this morning included a carrot, some zucchini, and collard greens.  Unfortunately, I did have to toss some small heads of lettuce that weren’t looking so hot.

While I’m still brainstorming ideas for this week’s share, I will almost certainly include a recipe for some pickled cucumbers and rhubarb, ratatouille, and some Israeli couscous with vegetables.

Baked Beans with Collard Greens and “Baked Bean” Roast Chicken

9 Jul

It was way too hot to cook this meal yesterday.  The kitchen was sweltering and just standing near the stove to prep was kind of brutal.  My love for roast chicken – roast anything, really – is an almost unhealthy obsession.

Still, it was worth it.  The baked beans were a lightened up and healthier version of classic baked beans, amped up with some very healthy collard greens and dailed down a knotch from the classic version due to a lack of sugar, and only a smidgen of bacon.  They were creamy, delicious and full of flavor.  Paired with a lovely roast chicken comprised of the flavors in a more traditional baked bean, this was a really comforting and delicious meal.

Baked Beans with Collard Greens and “Baked Bean” Roast Chicken

Baked Beans with Collard Greens:

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 small carrot, finely chopped

1/4 cup zucchini, diced

2 cloves heirloom garlic, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 small handful collard greens

3 slices center cut pork bacon

1/2 15 oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand

1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 15 oz. can navy beans, undrained

2-3 tbs. fresh parsley

1 tsp. fresh thyme

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 375º.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add collard greens and cook 3-4 minutes.  Drain and run under cold water.

Heat a 10″ cast iron pan over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until mostly crispy, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from pan and crumble.  Set aside.

Add onion, carrot, garlic, and zucchini to the cast iron pan.  Season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and golden, about 7 minutes.

Add the collard greens, tomatoes (with their juices), and bacon and increase heat to medium-high.  Simmer until slightly reduced, about five minutes.  Add pinto beans, then navy beans with their liquid.  Add parsley, thyme, and oregano and return to a simmer.

Coarsely smash about 1/4 of the beans in the skillet with a potato masher, fork, or back of a spoon to thicken.  Taste and add salt as necessary.  Cover tightly with tinfoil.  Transfer to oven and bake 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional ten minutes.

“Baked Bean” Roast Chicken:

1 whole 4 lb. chicken

1 tbs. olive oil

1/3 cup spice rub (see below)

Dressing (see below)

Rub chicken with olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper inside and out.  Rub an even layer of spice rub (see below) all over chicken, including underneath the skin, in the cavity, on the back, in the crease of the wings, etc.  Stuff cavity with dressing (see below).  Let sit overnight on a roasting rack to allow moisture to evaporate.

Preheat oven to 475°.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

Roast at 475° for 15 minutes or until skin is light golden brown.  After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°.  Roast chicken roughly 20 minutes per pound (rounding up to nearest pound), or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken’s thigh reads 165º.  If chicken becomes overly brown, tent with a piece of tinfoil.

When fully cooked, remove chicken from oven and cover with tinfoil.  Rest 15-20 minutes, which will allow juices to redistribute and result in a tender, juicy bird.

Spice Rub:

1 tbs. peeled ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground mustard

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

Thoroughly combine all ingredients.


1 small onion, quartered

1 small bunch fresh thyme

1 small bunch fresh parsley


1 whole canned tomato, crushed by hand

1 tbs. molasses

1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbs. apple cider vinegar

Mix together all ingredients for glaze.

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