Carolina Bed and Breakfast

Your CSA Basket: Tips and tricks

Summer Harvest

Firstly, you all know you can win a trip to the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in Asheville, North Carolina by entering our “Oh My CSA!” recipe contest, right?  Well, if you didn’t know that before, you do now!  It’s easy: get the list of ingredients off our Facebook page, follow your inspiration and before you know it you could be spending the night in any room of your choice for free.  You can read the contest rules here, “Oh My CSA“.

Here is the list of ingredients for week three and this basket should be easy:

Cucumbers
Swiss Chard
Potatoes
Garlic
Summer Squash
Basil
Tomato

And here are a few tips and tricks to help you use up some of that produce.

Cucumbers

Every evening at 5:30 we serve wine and hors d’oeurves to our guests.  The hors d’oeuvres have evolved with time into proper canapes, no chips and dip for our crowd!  We often use cucumber slices in place of crackers, especially when we have guests with gluten allergies or vegan diets.  Wash the cucumbers well then score the sides with a fork and slice them (not too thinly).  The scoring will create a lovely darker ridge pattern on the cucumber.  We serve them with lemon hummus and olives, smoked salmon and cream cheese, or shrimp with cilantro-jalapeno aoili.  See what you can come up with!

Shrimp-cucumber Canapes

 

Summer Squash

After zucchini bread and muffins, zucchini tarts and quiches, what else is there?  Try cutting them into thick 1 1/2 inch slices and use a melon baller to scoop out a hollow inside.  You can fill that hollow with almost anything you can dream up and then bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until the squash is cooked.   We often use fresh herbs, chopped tomato, feta cheese and a little lemon juice as a filling although today I had some leftover onion-bacon marmalade from last week’s CSA basket which I mixed with some goat cheese and parsley.

Summer Squash stuffed with feta and tomato

Basil

Our CSA often comes with a huge bag of basil and there’s only so much pesto you can eat!  One of our favorite breakfast starters is a bowl of blackberries which have been steeped in a Sweet Basil Syrup.   Put 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup of white wine and a teaspoon of vanilla in a saucepan.  Bring it to a boil then throw in about 1 cup (lightly packed) of basil leaves and stems and two tablespoons of lemon juice.  Turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Strain and pour over fresh blackberries and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  The berries will soften slightly and taken on the lovely basil flavor.

That’s just a few of the things I would do with this basket.  I can’t wait to hear what you do!