29 July 2013

Recipe: CSA grab-bag ragout

The summer bounty of our community-supported agriculture subscription continues. What I can't finish up by my weekly pick-up date fills the crockpot, leaving room for the new produce to fill the fridge.

It helps that I found a very new crockpot at my favorite charity shop some weeks ago. It looks as though it was never used -- perhaps a housewarming gift to an apartment dweller, in whose kitchen it languished, untouched, until the renter moved out in June. Their 4.5-quart loss is my CSA stew gain. And it's all black! I call it my Punk Rock Crockpot, and after the end of CSA season, I'll look forward to making stew and chili in it this winter.

Anyway, my point, and I had one when I started this post, was to discuss the issue that the selection of produce in your weekly CSA box isn't necessarily the selection of produce that you would bring home yourself from the supermarket. Instead of a balanced variety of items you know you like, you get a sack of multi-colored carrots here; two pounds of red potatoes there; and three large zucchini and pound of weird-looking heirloom string beans to top off the box. Plus a pint container of cherry tomatoes.

Ever cooked cherry tomatoes into a sauce? Well, we did. Since it's light on the tomatoes, I'm calling it a ragout, though it's not a terribly authentic one. But it successfully brings down the number of zucchini in the fridge this week.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 8 ounces string beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried oregano and garlic powder to taste
  • 2 servings pasta


    Chop the tomatoes in half. Slice the zucchini lengthwise, then turn and slice lengthwise again. Chop into 1/4-inch slices, so that the result is quarter-circle sections of zucchini slices. Snap, de-string, and slice the string beans into 2-inch pieces.

    Start cooking pasta.

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add tomatoes and season. Saute tomatoes a few minutes, until soft, at medium-high heat. Break tomatoes with a potato masher until a good amount of juice has run into the skillet. Add zucchini, toss, and heat through. Add beans, oregano, and garlic powder, and toss. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the pasta is done. Drain pasta, add to skillet, and toss or stir. Serve hot with cheese grated on top.

    Serves 2 to 4.
  • No comments: