After 15+ years of farmers market shopping, I rarely encounter an unfamiliar ingredient. And so it was with this week. I’ve had everything in my CSA box before; most items countless times. But edible flowers are something I’ve only used once or twice. Moreover, their natural beauty encourages improvisation. (Just try to find a recipe with flowers—and if you do, they’re likely “optional”.) Besides flowers, this week’s box held many summer staples:
The middle of summer is also when the first bulk produce sales are available. While many items hit their peak in August and September, July is cherry season.
Inspiration From Home-Dried Fruit
While I pitted and froze most of the cherries, I also dehydrated some for the first time. My mom had bought fresh apricots in bulk for canning. I’ve been a long-time fan of dried apricots from the farmers market, but I had never dried them myself. So I dehydrated the apricots she didn’t use along with some cherries. The experimentation led to this breakfast:
And then this one, thanks to our neighbors who supplied the homemade bagels (yes, we are lucky!):
Dehydrating can make familiar ingredients seem new. But let’s be honest. A dehydrator is specialty equipment and single purpose. I don’t even own one—I borrowed my mom’s after she gave me a bag of dried apricots and I ate them all in two days. (Yes, they are that good.) So IF you can get your hands on a dehydrator, I recommend trying it. Wash, cut in half, and remove pit. Turn the halves inside out and lay on trays, peel side down. Dry at 135 deg for about 24 hours. Attempt to save some until September. Good luck.
I Promised You Edible Flowers
Everything you do with edible flowers amounts to one result—make any dish look beautiful.
As you can see, “cooking” with edible flowers is as simple as it gets:
Two More Super Simple Meals
To end the week, two easy meals anyone can make. In this case, both made by Matt (not to say he can’t make complicated meals too). One is the classic breakfast-for-dinner approach, the other is too-convenient-to-pass-up pasta.
The End of The Week
If you’ve been following these weekly CSA posts, you’re probably expecting a photo. Well, I don’t have one. And it’s not because I used everything up. On the contrary, the list of remaining ingredients was rather long. There were various alliums (garlic scapes, scallions, and onions). I also still had head lettuce, beets, and cheese to use. But that’s how some weeks go. I had prioritized the perishables: flowers, fruit, cut lettuces, and herbs. There’s always next week for the rest.
DO YOU LIKE TO BUY EXOTIC INGREDIENTS BUT THEN WONDER HOW TO USE THEM? KITCHENLISTER HAS AN APP FOR THAT. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS CREATE A FREE ACCOUNT.
If you’d like more information about any of these July CSA meals, leave me a comment.
Read more about my “Week in Review” posts.