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“The What’s That?” Harvest Astoria Veggie of the Week - by michele zezima

How to store:

To store purslane, right after picking -- or picking it up from your CSA :), pop it in a plastic bag and put it straight into the refrigerator or a cooler bag. It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a week or more. Don't wash it until just before you are ready to eat.

Purslane is so versatile that it truly can be one of those vegetables that goes with any cuisine. In addition to the flavor, its crunchy texture adds a pleasant note to many dishes. (I have heard that some people find it "mucilaginous," and I can only guess that they may be picking very mature plants as I have never found it so.)




Not only does purslane have five times the amount of Omega-3 fatty acid that spinach has, but it also has stems high in vitamin C. Omega-3 fatty acids are instrumental in regulating our metabolism. Purslane also contains alpha-linolenic acid.


Purslane can either be used raw in salads or sauteed as a side dish. In addition to the crispy texture you would expect from a succulent, purslane also has an interesting peppery flavor.

More about it here (two recipes):




and more recipes here:




Apple Pie Challenge

This week we are continuing to see early fall produce mixing in with the incredible summer veggies we've been getting – especially apples! To get everyone ready for the best season of the year, I'm issuing a challenge:

Harvest Astoria Apple Pie Challenge!

By virtue of it being Autumn we are about to be inundated with apples. You may have also heard that New York is getting a bumper crop of apples this year. To me, that means one thing. Apple Pie! I would like everyone to send me their favorite apple pie recipe. For this particular challenge I'm looking for recipes that can be linked to from websites so we can put them all on the Apple Pinterest Page. If you're a pie baker like me, try as many recipes as you can, and add your notes (and your votes) to the Pinterest page. Hopefully by Thanksgiving we'll all know which recipe to use to impress our friends and family.

Don't let the pie challenge distract you from dinner though. We are, as always, looking for your favorite recipe submissions. So if you have a recipe that you love, that you're eager to try, or that you read about and think others might like to know about please send it my way. 

Just to be clear, you can send me any recipe from the internet that I can link to for the Pinterest page. That means anything on a news site, food blog, tv show website, etc. We currently are ONLY accepting recipes linkable from websites, but as soon as that changes I will certainly let you all know. 

If you aren't already following us on Pinterest, please do!



Harvest Astoria CSA ~ Pinterest Page

Hello fellow CSAers,

I'm Sarah and I will once again be in charge of rounding up recipes from everyone. This year I am very excited to announce that we have a Harvest Astoria Pinterest page so we are accepting website links to your favorite recipes. 

For original recipes that you yourself come up with and are not following anyone else's recipes, please email that to me for inclusion on the website recipe library.

For recipes and ideas you find online, please email me the link so I can include it on our page. Please include recipes for any and everything we receive in our shares, including fruit and add-ons. Everyone will receive a credit in the description for recipes you submit. If you do not see a credit, that probably means it's my submission.

If you try a recipe and you love it, leave a comment. If you try a recipe and you hate it, leave a warning. But please, we're all friends here, be nice about it. Maybe you just happen to not like cilantro very much.

Googling is very easy, so please only send along recipes that you yourself have tried and can without a doubt say is wonderful and we all should try it. We want to make this something we can go to for great ideas, not something we have to sift through. 

Follow us on Pinterest at pinterest.com/harvestastoria. This is a great way to find and share recipe ideas specific to our CSA shares! I hope you're all as excited as I am :) 





Roasted Tomato Soup

Recipe by Sarah Spencer

  • 3-4 lbs of Tomatoes
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Yellow Onions
  • 7-8 Cloves Garlic
  • 2-3 Cups ChickenStock, Vegetable Stock or Water
  • Handful of Fresh Basil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt (garnish)

Set oven to 400º.

Cut tomatoes and onion into 2 inch cubes. Add to bowl along with garlic, olive oil, half of the balsaic vinegar, and salt. Toss until evenly coated.

Pour everything out onto a large baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Roast for 50 minutes or until slightly charred, but not burnt.

Scrape everything, including all juices, into a large soup pot.  Pour enough stock or water into pot to just cover tomatoes and onions. Puree with a stick blender or in batches in a blender or food processor to desired consistency. Add basil and bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Serve with sour cream or greek yogurt, chopped basil and a splash of the reserved vinegar.


Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

Recipe by Sarah Spencer

  • 7 or 8 Tomatillos 
  • 1/4 of a Medium Red Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno, more or less to taste
  • 1 Large Handful Cilantro
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • Salt & Pepper

Cut tomatillos in half, cut red onion into very thick slices and cut jalapeno in half. Grill them all until black char marks show up. If you have an outdoor grill, congratulations! You win at being a New Yorker. Otherwise a Foreman Grill or a castiron pan work great. 

Add all grilled vegetables along with cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend to desired consistency. Serve with chips, as a topping or with a spoon. Enjoy!


Greek Salad

Recipe by Sarah Spencer

  • 1/2 Cup Tomato, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 Cup Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/4 Cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 Cup chopped Kalamata Olives
  • 1/4 Cup Pepperoncini Peppers, chopped 
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Handful Parsley, roughly chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Put red onions in a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt for a quick cure for about 5-10 mins.

Add all other ingredients. Serve with toasted pita and hummus. Enjoy!


Carrot Greens Tempura

Thanks to Meg Tanaka!

  • 1 Bunch Carrot Greens (Tops)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Carrot
  • 4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 oz Cold Water
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste

Mix flour, salt and water in a bowl. Add shredded carrot and carrot leaves that have been removed from stem.

Heat oil to 350 degrees.  Ladel the tempura mixture into hot oil. Once it becomes light brown remove, drain and sprinkle with salt. Serve hot.


Carrot Greens Ohitashi

Thanks to Meg Tanaka!

  • Carrot Greens (Tops)
  • Soy Sauce

Boil leaves with stems until just cooked through. Cut into small pieces, then refrigerate. When cold, eat with soy sauce.


Veggie Buckwheat Pancakes

Thanks to Laura Bootsy Boutwell!

  • 8 oz Grated Zucchini
  • 8 oz Grated Eggplant
  • 4 oz Grated Gouda
  • 2 Bell Peppers, finely chopped
  • 10-12 Basil Leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 dash Nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Let veggies drain for a little bit if they seem wet. 

Mix together all veggies, gouda and basil. Add the buckwheat flour, just enough to coat the veggies and leave it kind of powdery. Use more or less depending on the moisture content of your veggies. Add the beaten egg, mix enough to moisten. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. The pancake dough should be fairly wet, but try to form it into balls that can be flattened in the pan. Fry until crunchy at the edges. 

Serve hot. Some good toppings include okonomiyaki sauce, mustard, ketchup, hummus or sour cream.


Stuffed Eggplant with Zucchini and Beef

Thanks to Rebecca Greene!

  • 1 Med/Large Eggplant
  • 1 Med Zucchini
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Garlic Clove, chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chopped Basil
  • 2 Cups Ground Beef
  • Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat oven to 400.

Halve eggplant and scoop out enough middle to leave a bowl. Reserve insides.

Finely chop zucchini and reserved eggplant. Mix tomato paste with 1/4 Cup water and add to zucchini and eggplant mixture along with the beef, garlic, basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the eggplant bowls with the mixture. 

Coat a baking pan with oil. Add eggplant to pan, lightly drizzle oil on top.

Cook approx. 40 minutes until meat is cooked and eggplant is soft.