Meatless Monday: Time to Experiment

Every week I pick up a box of goodies. As time has gone on, I have learned to recognize most of the vegetables that show up in my CSA box. I have tried and true recipes on file for when certain things show up. But I still am surprised occasionally, and I am still always looking for new ways to use my seasonal produce.

My latest challenge was all the spinach. I made beans and greens, I steamed it with butter and lemon, I added it to pasta. And I still had spinach to use.

Hence: spinach pesto. It is delicious.

The other annual challenge is zucchini. I’ve only gotten two so far, but I know more is on the way. Recently I looked for a new way to use it, and went with The Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini fritters; they are quick to make, and simply delicious. Instead of the yogurt/lemon sauce she uses, my friend M made me a mayonnaise-based sauce that is fantastic.

This weekend, I also tried for the first time to batter up some squash blossoms and make them crunchy. They turned out not too bad.

This showed up one week not too long ago:

I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I guessed some type of cabbage. I chopped it up, drizzled olive oil and lemon juice on the wedges, sprinkled some garlic salt on them, and roasted them (400 degrees for about 25 minutes, turn the cabbage after about 10 minutes). Perfection.

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Spinach Pesto
an rpm original

8 oz. fresh spinach, cleaned and trimmed
2 garlic scapes, washed and trimmed
1.5 cups of shredded Italian cheese (I think I used of mix a parmesan and asiago)
1/2 cup cashews
Sea salt to taste (I use about a 1/4 tsp.)
Olive oil

1. Put the spinach, cheese, garlic scapes, and cashews into a large food processor. Pulse a few times to chop up.

2. Start adding olive oil as the food processor is on. Process to the consistency you prefer.

3. Toss with hot pasta of your choice.

M loves “green sauce” as we call it, but the girls opt for butter or tomato sauce.

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Here is the recipe for zucchini fritters. Hers look much prettier than mine did. But I bet mine are just as tasty!

Mayo-Dijon Dipping Sauce
an rpm friend original

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar (we used sherry vinegar; M says white is good too)

Whisk all the ingredients together. Drizzle over roasted veggies or serve as a dipping sauce with the fritters.

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Here’s the recipe I used for my squash blossoms (h/t Cynthia Closkey), only I used canola oil instead of peanut oil. They definitely needed more salt and pepper in the flour mixture, and I bet the peanut oil would have added a bit more flavor as well. If I get more, I will definitely try it again. It’s pretty quick. Besides, what else are you going to do with squash blossoms?

(Seriously, is there anything else to do with squash blossoms?)

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Next week’s challenge: Mushrooms. I’m over risotto and creamy mushroom sauce (for now). Send me your favorite recipes!

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6 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Time to Experiment

  1. I’m jealous that you get mushrooms in your CSA. Do you know how to make polenta? it’s awesome with sauteed mushrooms and maybe a little gorgonzola. Of course, if you’re vegan, leave off the cheese.

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