I’m pumped. So very pumped. CSA season just started back up and my little veg head is exploding with organic veggie excitement! I may be slightly odd in that I’d much prefer to open a box of veggies than unwrap a birthday present…um, unless that birthday present IS a box veggies…and maybe it includes a bottle of gin, and some aged balsamic vinegar, or some smoked sea salt or fancy dutch-processed cocoa powder, or several jars of my grandma’s homegrown, canned tomato juice that I would totally use to make killer Bloody Marys with…whoa, settle down. Hmm, I wonder if you can register for organic veggies as a wedding gift. I’m already married, buuuuut….how freakin cool would that be to have one of those gift registry guns that you could take to a farm. I’d go nuts with the kale. Yeah, forget engraved towels…give me kale and tomatoes!
I digress. So, after some crazy weather, Laughing Stalk Farmstead is back to delivering me a beautiful box of fresh, organic fruits and veggies every other week! They started with a couple special deliveries of strawberries and rhubarb, but the full-on seasonal eating adventure has officially begun with a box that packs a powerful superfood punch…it’s a mean green veggie machine!
In this week’s box we have gourmet lettuce mix, spicy lettuce mix, spinach, kale, parsley, garlic scapes (the long loopy things) and sugar snap peas. This box is a salad lovers dream…and I just happen to be a salad lover, score! I’ve been packing a salad for lunch everyday with a super simple dressing of 1 part vinegar (I prefer balsamic), 2 parts olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a touch of either honey, agave nectar or maple syrup and sometimes I add a teaspoonish of dijon mustard. Just put the dressing ingredients into a small container then shake before pouring onto the salad when you’re ready to dig in. I washed and prepped the peas by removing the tip and string, so they’re ready to go for lunches and snacks. I put them in my son’s lunch for a nice crunchy, raw veggie. And I’ve found that sometimes when you crave things like potato chips, which I often do, it’s really just the crunch that I’m after, so having a ready-to-eat crunchy veggie handy makes it easy to satisfy that craving.
As for the kale, I go bonkers over it. I love kale so much that I swear sometimes I have kale-withdrawal. When there’s kale in the house I often go to the fridge and just grab a leaf out to munch on. It makes me feel better. Like I know I’m doing something really good for my body, plus I love the flavor. My husband thinks I’m crazy…but that’s ok, this crazy gal is the one who cooks him awesome meals like this one (and P.S. you gotta make the chimichurri sauce, it’s darn tasty and can be slathered on just about anything…oh heck yes!):
Spinach Quesadillas with Chimichurri Sauce
(makes 6 quesadillas)
3 cups cooked kidney beans, or 2 15-oz cans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tomato juice
2 T olive oil
smoked sweet paprika
salt & pepper
1 bag of spinach (about 12-16 oz.)
spring onions, sliced
chimichurri sauce (see below)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the beans, tomato juice, olive oil, a few dashes each of smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper in a bowl and heat in the microwave for a minute or two, until beans are warm and soft. Using a potato masher or beater from a hand mixer mash the beans until desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach for 1 minute. Drain, then rinse in cold water to stop the cooking. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika; mix to combine–I used my hands to handle the delicate spinach and pull the leaves apart.
On two cookie sheets, lay out 6 tortillas. Spread the mashed beans on each of the 6 tortillas and top with cheese, then spinach, green onions, and more cheese. Place the remaining 6 tortillas on top of each quesadilla and heat in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve with chimichurri sauce. Enjoy!
3 garlic scapes, chopped
1 bunch parsley leaves (about 1 cup packed)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 T lemon juice (1 lemon ice cube, melted)
1 – 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 T capers
1 tsp honey
splash of white wine
3/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
In the bowl of a food processor add the parsley and garlic scapes and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Adjust seasonings to taste.