Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pasta With Swiss Chard And Pesto

A great vegetarian meal that you can make with your latest CSA share.
(modified from Lidia Bastianich's "Pasta with Swiss Chard and Almond Pesto")

Serves 2

1/2 pound dry long whole-wheat pasta, such as linguine or spaghetti
1 lb. Swiss chard

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 t. red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

1/2 a cup of your favorite pesto recipe

Grated parmesan cheese, to taste (1/2 cup--optional)

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. (“Salted” = throw a few pinches of salt in with the water.)

Rinse and drain chard, and cut the leaf away from the stem and center rib. Slice chard into 1″ strips. Add chard to boiling water, return water to boil, and let boil 10 minutes. Strain chard, but save this water for cooking pasta. Wring excess water from chard after it has cooled a bit. Use the remaining water in the pot by bringing it to a boil and cooking the pasta in it. Cook according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

In another pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the sliced garlic and saute for a minute or two until golden. Then add chard, red pepper flakes, and salt. Add the reserved pasta water and cook everything in the pan until the water is reduced by half (2 tablespoons)

Lower heat and toss pasta with chard. Add pesto and parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bamboo Moves

Besides eating healthy, I try and incorporate physical activities and meditation in my life. It helps me address the stress of daily life in an urban city. This weekend I had a chance to visit Bamboo Moves with, Jessica, a csa member who recommended this yoga spot to me.

Not having participated in a yoga class for over a year, I was a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure if I would fit in and be able to keep up with the class? However, the staff was very warm and friendly, the participants were of all different ages, ethnicities, body types, and level of experiencing, which made it easy for me to clear my mind and just enjoy the yoga session.

After the session, I felt immediate benefits. My blood was circulating and I felt a flow of energy running through my body. But more importantly, I was reminded that yoga is a personal journey of mind, body and spirit and that my earlier fears in taking the class were common fears that keep many people from practicing yoga.

Bamboo Moves is a little haven in the Bronx that focuses on self care. They offers yoga classes (including classes for children) and other wellness classes at affordable rates. I highly recommend taking a class. For more information on Bamboo Moves, go to http://www.bamboomovesthebronx.com/ .

Posted by Sharon

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Meet Sam and Romy, Turf CSA members

Last weekend, we met new csa members, Romy and Sam.

-Where they grew up: Sam grew up in Iowa and lived in New York for ten years. He previously lived in Brooklyn before moving to Parkchester. Romy grew up in New Jersey but says that she’s lived in Los Angeles and even spent some time in London during college before moving to New York. Romy also told us stories from her high school years and going to the Jersey Shore. It was very interesting.

-Professions: Romy works at an art museum, specifically on acquisitions in art. Sam works in giving foundation grants in arts and medical ethics that involve improving patients’ experiences to the controversy over stem cell research.

-Cooking: Sam and Romy both like to cook. Romy says she tries to cook dinner every night. She also says she likes to bake.

-Heard about Turf by: searching “CSAs” on the internet. Romy said she was trying to look for one in Manhattan but they were all too crowded or expensive.

-They joined Turf CSA because…: they do a lot of cooking and that they like to be healthy and “socially responsible”. Sam says it’s important to know where your food is coming from and it’s important to support this type of system to encourage farmers to grow good produce.

-Favorite Vegetable: Sam says he likes the late Jerusalem artichokes because they’re not like most artichokes; they have a crispy flesh, taste fresh, have a great texture, and can be eaten hot or cold. Sam says he’s also a really big fan of arugula. Romy says she likes onions because it “costs nothing” and can go into anything and make it taste better. (Romy told us about how she puts a little bit of olive oil on onions and puts it in the oven and lets it caramelize. She described the smell as “amazing”.)

-Best part about being a part of a CSA: Aside from the food, they like meeting new people and feeling like they’re a part of the neighborhood. They also like being with people with a shared value.

-Advice for CSA members: “The internet is your friend.” Romy says that there are just so many recipes on the internet. She recommends epicurious.com because they have really reliable recipes. However, for new cooks that are still getting to know a good recipe from a bad one, she says to “stick to published recipes.” (Good advice for those weeks we have a new vegetable!)

Although we’ve seen Romy and Sam few times, we got to know that they are very down-to-earth friendly people who were a delight to have as volunteers.

Interview by Erika (Turf High School Intern)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Green Pizza Recipe

This pizza uses a pesto instead of a tomato base but uses some of those lovely green tomatoes we got in our share last week. I used a premade crust but feel free to substitute your favorite homemade pizza crust recipe if you have one.

1 premade whole wheat pizza crust, thawed or 1 homemade pizza crust recipe

1/2 cup pesto (recipe below)

1 onion (white is sharper, red is sweeter), sliced thinly

2 green tomatoes, sliced thinly

1 chicken breast, cooked in whatever manner you choose and diced (I marinated my breast in balsamic vinegar, olive oil ,oregano, and dried basil for 3 hours and grilled it on the George Foreman Grill)

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion in 1 tbsp of oil until golden but still crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove and set aside. Brush pesto onto pizza crust or spread it onto the crust with the back of a spoon. Scatter the onion, green tomatoes, and chicken evenly over the surface of the crust. After you scatter these ingredients, scatter the cheese all over the pizza crust and the toppings. Place the crust on a pizza stone or a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.


1 bunch basil

2 tbsps hard cheese (parmesan or ricotta salata are quite good)

1 tbsp garlic

2 tbsps olive oil

Process all of the ingredients until you have a fine paste. Add more oil to make it smooth or water (1/2 cup to a cup) to thin the pesto as needed. One recipe will yield quite a lot of pesto, suitable to use on pasta, on top of sandwiches, etc.