My husband, Craig, is known for finding some of the most unique things (but I’ll get back to this later).
Quite a few years ago we were introduced to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and quickly became spoiled!! A CSA project is a system that connects local producers/farmers with consumers (that’s me), allowing the consumers to subscribe to the harvest of a farm or group of farms. Generally, you buy a share of that year’s crop, which then gets delivered on a regular schedule (usually once a week). Some CSA’s even include farm events throughout the growing season. By attending these CSA farm events, Craig and I have expanded our knowledge of chickens, farming and canning as well as having the opportunity to try “new to us” produce items we would have not probably tried (Kohlrabi and Broccoli Rabe, just to name a couple).
Now, back to Craig and his ability to find unique opportunities, He found a seafood CSA. What? Mind blown! Soon after signing up, we received a pound (plus) of fish every Tuesday. The fish we received was absolutely the freshest fish I’ve ever tasted, straight out of the waters of Juan de Fuca. Black Cod, Striped Salmon, Coho. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Since moving to Portland, we’ve tried a few different CSA options. We even tried an egg CSA. Nothing ever really seemed to fit our needs.
So that brings me to today (remember those unique abilities of Craig?). He asked me if I was interested in signing up for a Pop up Dinner. Okay, that peaked my curiosity. OSU was offering a vegetarian dinner (for two). I’m game, let’s do it!
A bit of background information about me, in our house I plan every meal down to the pepper grains. Seriously. And I don’t like to divert my meal plans either. I quickly catch myself from being offended if someone spontaneously invites us for dinner. I’m like, what the hell, now I have to shift the menu. With this new adventure, I shifted Taco Tuesday to accommodate our Pop up Dinner, as well as added some fresh salmon as a side (our neighbor had just returned home from fishing and offered us a HUGE salmon fillet).
The OSU Pop up Dinner box included items to prepare Baked Ratatouille, Nectarine Radish Fennel Salad and Apple Pear Blueberry Crisp. All of these recipes are vegetarian and gluten free.
12oz tomato sauce
1 eggplant, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
3 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 T basil, minced
1 T thyme, minced
1 T parsley, minced
1 clove garlic , minced
salt and pepper to taste
Mix herb topping together. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 10 inch round pan.
Stack 1 slice each of eggplant, zucchini, tomato, yellow squash and onion. Repeat this step until all vegetables have been used, Then place vegetable stacks around the pan, on top of the tomato sauce.
Lightly salt and pepper. Top the vegetable stacks with the herb mixture.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Nectarine Radish and Fennel Salad
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T white balsamic
1 T honey
1 t dijon mustard
2 T lemon juice
4 T mixed chopped fresh herbs (mint, tarragon, thyme)
Salt to taste
2 nectarines, diced
1 bunch small radishes, very thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced
1 shallot, very thinly slice and separated
2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a medium bowl, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients. Mix to blend. Set aside.
Place all the sliced vegetables and fruit into the bowl and toss to coat, making sure to separate the radishes and shallots, so they don’t stick together.
Pear, Apple & Blueberry Crisp
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
2 green apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 t cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 t lemon juice
2 t cornstarch
1 cup oatmeal (I used 2 Bob’s Red Mill Blueberry Oatmeal Cups)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Combine apples, pears and blueberries in a bowl. Add lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Toss to coat.
In a separate bowl, mix together the oatmeal and butter until combined.
Preheat oven to 350°.
I divided the fruit filling between 6 greased ramikins, but you can place the fruit filling into a greased glass
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.