Home Cooking: How to make the most of your Summit County CSA basket
When I picked up my second CSA basket of fresh-from-the-dirt vegetables last Wednesday, I had another opportunity to speak with Kyla Laplante, the CSA “farmer.” It turns out she’s more than the farmer; she was a motivating force behind the founding and funding of the CSA. Kyla worked with a few other people from High Country Conservation Center to write a grant to fund the CSA and get it off the ground.
Now into their third year, the CSA continues to be sold out almost as soon as shares become available in February. Does Kyla have a farming background? Nope, just a passion for producing locally grown produce. What a difference her passion has made for our community.
The HC3 CSA, along with the recently opened community garden in Dillon, the nearby farm stand and the community garden in Frisco — all speak to a growing interest for locally grown, organic vegetables. I hope demand continues to increase with and farmers and entrepreneurs continuing to find innovative ways to make more locally produced foods available to larger numbers of people in our community, no matter what income level.
My recipes this week use the following from my weekly CSA basket:
The steak recipe was conceived when I had a frozen steak and not enough time to defrost it. I found an easy technique for cooking the steak while it’s frozen, by first searing the steak and then cooking it in a very low-temperature (200F) oven for what would seem a long time (50 minutes). I’m happy to report this experiment was a huge success and resulted in a perfectly medium rare steak that had a beautiful sear on the outside, while being juicy on the inside.
I roasted my radishes in the same pan. While the steak rested, I threw the broccoli rabe into the mix, resulting in a one-pan meal. By the way, roasted radishes are a revelation in delicious soft crunch without the harsh bite of raw radishes.
The honey ice cream was a fun experiment which I ended up not needing an ice cream maker for. I’m heading back to the kitchen to make strawberry ice cream next.
Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Avocados
1 bag baby spinach
Add baby spinach to your salad bowl. Slice strawberries and avocados and add them to the bowl.
Extra virgin olive oil (2-3 parts)
Balsamic vinegar (1 part)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Pinch of kosher salt and Ground pepper
Add all to a small jar and shake it up!
Low and Slow with a Frozen Steak
1 steak per person – should be frozen
1-2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or 1 tablespoon neutral oil and 1 table spoon to butter
Juice of one lemon
Sprinkling of garlic powder, salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 200F.
Heat an oven-proof frying pan on the stovetop. When the pan is very hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of neutral oil with a high smoke point. When the oil is hot, add the frozen steak to the pan and allow it to form a crust on one side.
Add two tablespoons of butter and then add the radishes. Salt and pepper radishes and steak. Put the frying pan with steak and radishes into the 200F oven and cook for 50 minutes. This should result in a medium rare steak. At around the 25 minute mark, flip the steak.
When steak is done, remove the pan from the oven, place steak on a plate to let it rest, add the broccoli rabe to the pan with the radishes and place the pan back onto the stovetop.
Add a top to the pan and allow the broccoli rabe to wilt and saute in the browned butter, lemon and garlic sauce along side the radishes. When done, add the radishes and broccoli rabe to the plate with steak.
Roasted Radishes with Browned Butter, Lemon and Garlic
1 bunch of radishes, tops cut off and sliced into quarters
Broccoli Rabe with Browned Butter, Lemon and Garlic
1 bunch broccoli rabe with tough bottom stems trimmed by 2-3 inches.
Honey-Infused Ice Cream with Balsamic Strawberries
2/3 cup honey – (I used a Private Selection honey infused with vanilla and nutmeg purchased at City Market)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 whole eggs
Pinch kosher salt
Directions: In a saucepan, add heavy cream, milk and honey. Heat to a simmer, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, crack three eggs into a small bowl and whisk together. Slowly drizzle about half a cup of the honey cream into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the eggs without cooking them!
Once tempered, add the egg mixture to the saucepan and continue stirring constantly for ten minutes. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover and chill the custard for 2-3 hours, or overnight, so that the mixture is thoroughly chilled. Pour the mixture into an ice cream mixer and churn according to machine directions.
Note: when I used my ice cream mixture, the custard failed to freeze. So I poured the custard into a metal loaf pan, covered it and let it freeze in the freezer. It turned out beautifully! So perhaps an ice cream mixer isn’t necessary, just convenient.
For Balsamic Strawberries:
1 cup sliced strawberries
Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and sugar
Place strawberries, vinegar and sugar in a cup and allow the strawberries to macerate.
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson is the author of “Comfort Me Cookbook: Easy Meals to Bring Your Family Back to the Table.”
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