CSA Spectacular: September Highlights

Achievement: #26. Join a CSA

September was a pretty exciting month in the life of a Penn’s Corner CSA member, mostly because our boxes started looking like this:

September CSA
Overflowing!!

While the early months were very full of greens, August through October brought us a lot more variety, with tomatoes, pears, berries, peppers, potatoes, and BEETS GALORE!

September CSA
Michael took the reins with the tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini and went recipe-free to whip up a pasta for dinner.

September CSA
He added some chicken to the mix as well.

September CSA
And a little garlic bread & some wine… and there you have it: gourmet (but homemade) pasta!

September CSA
There were enough veggies leftover for another round of pasta later in the week (which allowed us to use the ends of two different boxes of pasta, too).

September CSA
And this delightful combination of potatoes, onion, and green pepper? Just what I need to make my favorite quiche recipe!

September CSA
What’s so great about this is how light it is compared to a standard quiche: instead of a buttery pastry crust, you line the bottom of the dish with potato slices. Much lighter, but still delicious! I’ve been making this quiche since about 2002, and I love it. I use regular, thick-cut bacon instead of Canadian bacon, but you can do whatever you prefer.

September CSA
Since we got a TON of potatoes, I decided to go for broke and try out a recipe that I LOVE but have never had outside of my favorite Indian restaurant…

September CSA
Jeera aloo! This is a semi-spicy, but very flavorful vegetarian Indian dish that they *used* to make at India Garden back in the early 2000s, but it’s now off the menu. I used this recipe from Manjula’s Kitchen with a few slight modifications, since I couldn’t make it to the Indian spice shop I usually use. I swapped in onion powder and garlic for the asafetida (1/8 tsp of each to match the 1/8 tsp of asafetida), and an equivalent of lemon juice in place of the mango powder. Amazingly, this recipe turned out JUST how I remembered it from India Garden all those years ago! This is definitely in my regular rotation of side dishes.

September CSA
And since we’re not afraid to pair different ethnic cuisines, the French quiche went quite well with the Indian potatoes.

September CSA
For dessert, I’d gotten a huge bag of pears, which were kind of on the end of their rope, so not really suitable for eating fresh.

September CSA
But they were perfect in a crisp! I used some prune plums and the pears for this oatmeal, almond, pear & plum crisp, which was a really hearty – but pretty healthy – dessert.

September CSA
We still had some prune plums left, so we put those to use with the skills we learned at our Butterjoint shrub-making class during Pittsburgh Cocktail Week.

September CSA
We also had some spare roma tomatoes, so that went into a shrub as well.

Shrub is a type of mixer made with fresh fruits or veggies, sugar, and vinegar. It’s great because you can use the not-so-pretty parts of the fruits, or the fruits that are on their way out freshness-wise. When it’s done (a process that takes about a week start to finish), you can mix them with booze for a great cocktail, or even just with club soda for a great little refreshing spritzer.

September CSA
At the end of our shrub-making, we had a prune plum shrub, the ground cherry & pineapple shrub from the Butterjoint class, and the roma tomato shrub. The prune plums go well with dark rums, but that tomato shrub is just right with some tequila (we used El Jimador anejo). We’re total shrub believers!

September CSA
And finally, our September CSA shares were the start of some beautiful late-summer early-autumn flowers that brightened our whole dining room. September was a great month to be a farm share member!

4 Comments

Filed under #26, #26-13, baking, booze, buy fresh buy local, cocktails, cooking, CSA, dessert, flowers, french food, indian food, pasta

4 Responses to CSA Spectacular: September Highlights

  1. Woubbie

    Om nom nom! Happy Harvest!

  2. Wow! Dinner in the Fox household looks amazing, especially the pasta, quiche, and India Garden-inspired potatoes. I might just have to try some of these recipes:)

  3. Sure. Tease us with the quiche and potatoes and not share recipes. Thanks a lot! 😉

    • steelcityfox

      There are recipes!! You just have to click on the links (which should work on mobile platforms as well, but I will double-check) 🙂

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