The shared: Pears, Butternut squash, Acorn squash, Carrots, Parsnips, Parsley, and Greens Galore (Kale, lettuce, arugula, and other green things I don’t know the proper name for).
The sharers: We are three sweet female roommates (i.e., sugar ladies).
There are two approaches to cooking. The first is scientific, i.e., following a recipe. The other is improvisational, i.e., “winging it.” This week, we did a little of both. For the formal approach, a “breakfast apple (+PEAR) granola crisp” was a highlight of the week. This is a recipe I found off the food blog Smitten Kitchen (everything I’ve cooked off her site has been fantastic and I find it to be a great resource for culinary inspiration). The recipe just calls for apples, but I spiced it up with some pears from our share. It happens to the best of us, but we had not quite gotten through the abundance of apples from the last distribution (you know you still have some too) and so while technically not from this week’s share, it was a good way to finish them off while incorporating the newly arrived pears. Depending on your comfort level, this recipe is very customizable. The best thing about this dish, it’s great for breakfast or dessert!
Breakfast Apple (+Pear) Granola Crisp via Smitten Kitchen
- 3 pounds* of whatever apples and pears peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
*Enough for a layer of apples and pears in your dish size of choice, 9×13 suggested
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple and pear chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples and pears are evenly coated. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the fruit is softened and bubbly. Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.
Again, we slacked on our last distribution and had a few things (onion, corn, potatoes) to knock out that complemented the fresh veggies from this week. A great way to cook up a lot of veggies, a veggie soup! Here comes the “winging it” portion of the week:
Improvisational Veggie Soup via My Intuition
- 1 Onion
- 1 Garlic clove
- 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
- 3 Carrots/Parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 2 Corn cobs worth of kernels, cut from cob
- Bunch of Kale
- 2 cups veggie stock
- Olive Oil
- Spice to taste
In a large soup pot, cook the onions and garlic with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Cook until onions and garlic begin to brown. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and veggie stock. Add water to just cover veggies. Add spices (salt, pepper, etc to taste). Bring to boil, then simmer. Add corn. Add kale when potatoes are mostly cooked. Adjust spices and add water as needed throughout process. Let simmer until veggies are done.
Basic rules of thumb to guide you through…1) onion and garlic are always great ways to start a soup/sauce/whatever; 2) cook the hearty, starchy veggies first (potatoes, winter squashes, etc), then move onto the the less starchy veggies, ending with your leafy greens; 3) keep it simple when in doubt.