JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: As we all know, I've been basking in the joys of my CSA shares: fresh organic veggies from the farm (literally) next door. Not just boring veggies, either, but cool heirloom and foreign varieties that I've never seen before and can barely pronounce.
One of the great things about the Bumbleroot Organic Farm CSA is the e-newsletter they send out each week. It helpfully identifies the vegetables, so when Ross picks up a leafy bunch and says, "What's this?" I can sound suave and knowledgeable by saying, "Rainbow chard" or "Baby kale." There are also beautiful pictures, which, even though I walk the dogs by their fields every day, and see the stuff growing, I still find enchanting. (If you want to drool, check out their Instagram page.)
They also include serving suggestions and at least one recipe. This week's was Farmer's Lunch, so-named because it was quick, requires no actual cooking (perfect for hot days) and uses lots of fresh veg. It is, in fact, a vegetarian recipe, and if you left the cheese off, it could be vegan as well. I modified the original to bulk it up to feed four adults, so I suppose I should call it dinner.
(the original recipe came via Lecia Phinney's blog, A Day That is Dessert.)
2 cans chickpeas, drained
2 large cucumbers, or several small - we have an interesting assortment of cukes from our share, and I put in all three varieties into this dish
1/3 c chopped cilantro - we had run out of cilantro making a faux ceviche, so I subbed in a generous tablespoon of coriander. If you want to heat things up a bit, add some cumin as well.
1/2 bunch scallions, finely chopped
juice of one lime - use fresh, it really is better! If you get an extra lime, you can use it for accompanying gin & tonics.
1/2 c crumbled queso fresca or mild feta. The former is pretty exotic for our little Hanneford supermarket, so I went with the latter.
My own addition: 2 cups (or more) of small shell pasta, cooked.
Peel the cukes, half and then quarter them, and cut them into bite sized chunks.
Peel the avocados, remove from the seed and cut them into chunks. Try to resist licking the avocado that will inevitably smear over your fingers.
Mix cukes, avocados, chickpeas, pasta, chopped scallions and cilantro (or coriander/cumin) together in bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the mixture, toss, then sprinkle with the crumbled feta. That's it!
Celebrate having such a delicious and healthy dinner by eating two slices of blueberry pie afterwards. No? Just me, then?