Thursday, August 18, 2011

CSA Week 8 & Cheesy Dinners

The amount of produce I am getting in my half share is pretty amazing.  
Last week in CSA Week 8, I got:
Summer Squash, Blueberries, Arugula, Eggplant, Zucchini, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Corn, Heirloom Tomatoes, Green Pepper, Potatoes, Radishes, and Kale.

I was in the mood for an easy dinner so I also picked up a loaf of french bread at the market.  When I got home I took 5 ingredients and made it into a delicious sandwich!
This sandwich is modeled after my favorite sandwich at Al's Cafe on State Street.  Now I don't often buy lunch during the week but when I do, Al's is a staple.  Where else can you get Gourmet Subs for $5 in Boston?! Impressive right? Anyway, my favorite sandwich is the State Street Cafe Special.
Sounds easy enough right?  So I made it at home with fresh arugula instead of basil.  I also used hot pepper jelly instead of balsamic because I didn't have any.  Dinner done in a flash.
Remember how I got some planters the first week of my CSA?  Well what I thought was basil turned into peppers.  Can someone tell me if my pepper is a red pepper or is going to turn green?
I also have SO much Kale and Chives.  I need to actually do something with that!  Soon, I promise. 
Oh, and what's that you see in the background? 
 Just my husband smoking a cigar, sipping on some whiskey while reading a book on the Civil War.  He is most definitely a man's man. : )
So what else did I make in CSA Week 8?  I made Shannon's Zucchini and Kale Lasagna.
Only I also used pasta noodles in addition to the zucchini "noodles."  Because I don't have a mandoline, I can't slice my zucchini the same and I always get worried it won't stay together. 
Cheesy vegetarian dinners always win in my book.

The next recipe I made was adapted from Kalyn's Chicken Pesto or Pesto Chicken.  Whenever I have greens that are starting to wilt, I always make pesto.  My swiss chard and kale was starting to look a bit dead so I blanched that and mixed it in the food processor with pine nuts, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and EVOO.  I think I had a couple basil leaves so I threw that in too.
I spread the pesto on the bottom of a pan, put my chicken pieces on top and spread more pesto over the top.  I then added more parmesan cheese and tomato slices and baked it in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then I sprinkled basil on top.
And with this dish I served Whole Roasted Stuffed Eggplant, a recipe I saw on a new blog that I love- Proud Italian Cook. 
What is this beauty you ask?  Well it's a delicious caprese eggplant stuffed with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil.  This is simple.  
All you do is slice up the eggplant- I cut through about 6X.  Then you drizzle that with salt, pepper and olive oil and roast in a 400 degree oven until tender. Once it's tender, stuff mozzarella cheese and juicy tomatoes into the eggplant and place back into the oven until the cheese melts.  
Ummm yes.  This was delicious.  In hindsight, I probably should have fanned out the eggplant and cut through completely so it gets more tender.  Next time I know.
Cheesy dinner, served.  Delicious indeed.

Theodora mentioned that I cook a lot of cheesy meals and that's probably true but I can't help myself.  What can I say?  
Oh right, that's what I can say.  "Will Run for Cheese."  YUM.

Have you made anything fun with eggplant lately? I got tons more yesterday!


  1. The cheesy eggplant looks amazing! As does your lasagna! Those planters got pretty big - so much fun!

  2. Speaking of CSAs, I'm making your zucchini enchiladas tonight! Cannot wait!

  3. ahhh I love Al's! Your spin-off looks delicious :)

  4. I so wish I had a snadwich place near my work like that. I looks delicious.

  5. Holy crap, that all looks delicious. COME COOK FOR ME.

  6. you probably should have named the blog that.

  7. Your pictures always make me want to go cook something. It all looks so good. I have been looking for eggplant recipes lately. David Rocco has an eggplant meatball recipe on his website that I made and it is delicious (and cheesy). I can't wait to try your lasagna. Yum!

  8. I actually just went "ohhhhhhhohhhh" out loud when I saw the pic of that sandwich!

  9. That pepper might turn purple. I saw purple ones at the farm just down the road from us, here on the North Shore.

  10. My husband and your husband would totally get along.

  11. Oh my goodness, I want that lasagna!! Veggie lasagna is one of my favorite meals ever. And I could not turn down that sub. Will you take me to the $5 place someday?? :)
    Looks like this extra time in the kitchen is totally worth it, Lizzy!

  12. That lasagna looks delicious! Hmm, more eggplant - you could make baba ganoush?!

  13. So now that I've officially made you mad at me, I WILL tell you that everything on here does really look delicious. I love any sort of cheesy meals and vegetarian lasagna is one of my favorite dishes.

    I meant to make you eggplant po' boys this weekend but never got around to getting the spices that I needed. So instead I made a roasted eggplant pizza and this awesome eggplant dip (from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything). Both super easy and super delicious!

  14. Wow, everything looks completely amazing. I have been so busy lately - only home about 1 night per week that I can't remember the last night I cooked at home. I miss home cooked meals and those look fabulous!

  15. I'm so jealous of your garden! And that whole roasted eggplant looks insane

  16. So much cheese...equals so much happiness. I totally run for cheese also.

  17. That sandwich would easily be my favorite sandwich too if I worked in that area. Yum!

    That eggplant looks awesome. I made a deconstructed eggplant parm... and I just picked up some fairytale eggplants today, so I need to figure out what to do with them.

  18. Hi from a new follower! We joined CSA for the first time this year and love the yummy fresh produce. We've been getting kale every week. I'm going to try the lasagna recipe you shared. Plus a few other recipes too. TFS!

    Great blog :)

    Blog: Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

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  19. Your lasagna looks SO good. I want some right now even though it's 8:30 am. I'm on such a cheese kick right now too, and I'm so nervous lactose intolerance is going to come back worse than ever after my pregnancy.

  20. Mmm....cheese! I love cheesy, comfort foods. Everything you get from that CSA always looks so good and you never fail to impress with gourmet meals. I'll have a piece of lasagna with a side of eggplant. Thanks.

  21. You packed so much in this post. I want everything!!! :)

  22. You make such pretty food. I wish you were my chef!!!