This Weeks Box 9/3/2011

After months of keeping us company and never taking a day off from watching the sun, It is time to eat the sunflowers. Some of the heads were bigger than the csa boxes, so we broke them in a few pieces so that everything would fit in the box.

Sunflower Seed Head

Here is a link for harvesting and roasting your sunflower seeds.

We have been eating them raw. I have not sprouted them but I think I will like to try that this year as I am eating more sprouted food lately.

If you are not feeling adventurous or do not like sunflower seeds, just set the seed head outside near a bird feeder or a place where birds frequent for some good bird diplomacy.

Box Contents

green beans


white corn

bell peppers

valencia oranges

summer squash



kale or chard


fresh basil

sunflower seed head “full of edible seeds”

Green Bean Gratinate with Cherry Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Basil


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound cherry tomatoes (about 3 cups), preferably small grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella
  • 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano–Reggiano (or Grana Padano cheese)
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Recommended Equipment
  • A shallow baking dish with two-or three-quart capacity
  • Cooking Directions

    Arrange a rack in the top half of the oven and preheat to 375º. Fill a large pot with water (at least five quarts) and bring it to a boil.

    Dump them all into the boiling water, cover the pot until the water boils again, then cook uncovered, for 10 minutes or so, until they are just cooked through —- tender but still firm enough to snap.

    Drain the beans briefly in a colander, then put them in a big kitchen bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt on the hot beans and toss them so they’re all seasoned. Let the salt melt and the beans cool for a couple of minutes.

    Meanwhile, rinse and dry the tomatoes. If they’re larger than an inch, slice them in halves, otherwise, leave them whole. Cut the mozzarella into 1/2–inch cubes. Slice the basil leaves into thin shreds or a chiffonade.

    Toss the grated cheese and bread crumbs together in a small bowl. Lightly grease the insides of the baking dish with a teaspoon or more of the butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese-and–bread-crumb mix all over the bottom of the dish.

    When the beans are no longer steaming, drop the tomatoes, cubes of mozzarella and basil shreds on top. Drizzle the olive oil over all, sprinkle on the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss together a few times. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the cheesy bread crumbs on top and toss well, so everything is coated.

    Turn the vegetables, scraping up all the crumbs, into the baking dish and spread them in an even layer. Sprinkle over the remaining 1/4 cup of crumbs, cut the rest of the butter in small pieces and scatter them all over the top. Place the dish in the oven.

    Bake the gratinate for 10 minutes, then rotate it back to front and bake another 10 minutes. Check to see that it is browning and bake a few minutes more, until the gratinate is dark golden and crusted. (If the crumbs still look pale after 20 minutes in your oven, raise the temperature to 400 degrees or 425 degrees and bake until done.)

    Insalata Caprese Salad

    Insalata Caprese Salad

    Fresh Basil, Tomatoes and Mozzarella

    Maybe some Capers and Artichoke Hearts too?

    Oh yeah. Olive oil and Balsamic are our Friends!!

    Here is what is coming in the garden

    we had quite a few people ask why mesclun mix had not been around lately. No reason.

    spaghetti squash

    butternut squash

    bacon avocados “October”

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