Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week 6 Summer CSA and Minestrone Salad

I had my weeding schedule figured out for this week, but a few seconds on Sunday changed all that.
After dealing with a family emergency on Saturday, I had a bit of time on Sunday to get to the grass on our property. With all the rain and now the heat, it's been growing every bit as quickly as the weeds.
When I got the riding mower stuck as I always do, I tried to hoist it, but didn't succeed the first time.
Knowing I could lift the mower, I tried harder the second time. There was a crack in my back and over I went, truly stunned that it happened.
Good-bye weeding schedule, and hello to "let's see what I can even do."

My job depends on my back and I am hopeful that an appointment tomorrow, my first with a chiropractor, will be helpful.  The weeds will wait, I'm sure.

The heat of the last few days has been tough to work in, especially when you are in pain.  My favourite part of the day, my walks with my beloved dogs, Ellie, Darwin and Bandit are minimal in this heat.
My chickens have stopped laying and give themselves frequent dust baths in a tree shaded spot.
Joey, my sweet pig, pops out for meals, but otherwise hides out in his cool inner sanctum.
The cats feel the same and stay in the house where it's cooler. The ducks need more water and my bunny stretches out motionless in the shade. Hot. Smothering hot.

I was concerned about putting greens in the baskets today because of the heat. I'm sure by the time they were picked up, the greens and basils were a tad wilted.
Todays baskets contained zucchini, eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, beans (or beets), kale, basils, garlic, rosemary and berries (gooseberries or currants). The basil variety that dominated in the baskets is my favourite-African Blue. This variety is one that doesn't grow from seed and I would think that I have successfully overwinter plants for about 10 years or so now, taking fresh cuttings in the spring to revive the failing parent plants.

The tomatoes are Stupice, my favourite little Czech heirloom that produces a really tasty tomato nice and early. I ate my first ones in June from my small hoophouse.
The garlic is fresh-not cured. You can use it as is, or cure it so it will store better. This simply means drying it..hang it up out of direct sunlight, or just put it somewhere dry, warm and shaded. I've cured mine on my driveway in the shade with good results.

When I checked my emails this morning as I always do, I was thrilled to find this recipe which I think will be perfect with todays baskets.  This came to me via Epicurious.  No, I have not made it yet. This however will be tomorrow night's dinner. It looks just great.

I'm not going to be adding the asparagus though-I like to work with what I've got.

Minestrone Salad

Serves 8
This pasta salad is a clever take on a well-loved soup. Because it's served at room temperature, it makes a great side dish at a picnic or barbecue. It's colorful and extremely flavorful, with pesto, beans, and vegetables.


  • 12 ounces fingerling or baby red potatoes
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut in half
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound gemelli or tubetti (or any short pasta you choose)
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • one 15 1/2-ounce can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • one 6-ounce jar roasted peppers, sliced into strips
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Place 12 ounces fingerling or baby red potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Spread them out on a baking sheet to cool, then slice the potatoes into 1/2-inch coins.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add 8 ounces green beans, cut in half, and 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces so they're about the size of the pasta you're using, and blanch the vegetables just until they're bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the hot water with a spider or a strainer, rinse them with cold water, and submerge them in the ice water until completely cool, then drain, pat dry, and set aside.
3. Add 1 pound gemelli or tubetti (or any short pasta you choose) to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl to cool a bit.
4. Toss in the potatoes, asparagus, green beans, 1/2 cup pesto, one 15 1/2-ounce can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed), one 6-ounce jar roasted peppers, sliced into strips, and salt and pepper to taste. If preparing ahead of time, combine all of the ingredients 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Reprinted with permission from What's a Hostess to Do?: 313 Ideas and Inspirations for Effortless Entertaining by Susan Spungen. Copyright © 2013 by Susan Spungen. Published by Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing Company, Inc.


DanT said...

Hi Linda.

I am sorry to hear about your back.

For my part, I encourage you to take the time you need to recover - you are why I joined your CSA, not the food.

By the way, my basket was fine when I picked it up at 3:30.

Take good care of yourself,


Linda said...

Thanks Dan-I appreciate it. My first Chiropractor's appointment was yesterday, so I am hopeful. But have to take it easy , which is hard.

Izabell Fagan said...

Oh no, hope you are feeling better soon. I will keep this recipe and make it fro you when you visit... :)