Weeks Four & Five: Greek Zucchini & Squash Fritters

I’ve been traveling all around New England for the past couple of weeks on an audition tour of sorts, so there hasn’t been much time for cooking. As a result, I’ve got quite the backlog of produce piling up in my fridge. No complaints here, as I actually found myself craving veggies and missing my CSA produce while I was on the road, but it means that I’ve got some catching up to do!

My husband and I toured Greece five years ago on our honeymoon, and both of us have been in love with Greek food ever since. Greek food can be a bit seafood-focused, given its island culture, but there is a lot of delicious Greek flavor to be had if you’re a vegetarian, too.

I’ve made zucchini fritters in the past as a way of making my veggie-averse, feta-worshipping husband happy, but we had half summer squash and half zucchini in our CSA baskets for the past three weeks. I’m not a huge fan of summer squash on its own, but I wondered if it would work as well in these Greek-style fritters. And it totally did!

Mine were about 2/3 summer squash and 1/3 zucchini because I had some summer squash that really needed to be used first, and these were absolutely delicious. Throw in a young onion from my week five basket and a big bunch of fresh dill from this week’s basket, and you not only have a great way to use up a ton of veggies at once, but an incredibly tasty dinner. OPA!

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Greek Zucchini & Squash Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups packed grated zucchini & squash (6-7 very small zucchini & squash, shredded together in whatever ratio you choose)
  • 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
  • 1 young onion including greens, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup feta
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 TB olive oil for frying

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Week Two: Spanakopita Bites

Last weekend, we threw a housewarming party for our new place / birthday party for my brother. It was a Friday night, the night before my next CSA basket pick-up, and I was eager to use up the spinach that had been bumped to the bottom of the list all week because spinach is easy to use and a vegetable I’m already really familiar with, so less exciting. It also used up the rest of my green onions, which was good, because we got more this week! Not that I’m complaining, green onions are super versatile and delicious.

So Spanakopita Bites were on the menu! They’re a fave finger food of mine because they’re very simple and always a crowd-pleaser. Sure enough, they were the first thing gone at the party. Take that as you will.

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Spanakopita Bites

Recipe adapted from What’s Cookin, Chicago?

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 10 green onions, chopped
  • 5-6 cups chopped spinach
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound phyllo, thawed
  • 6 TBs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté chopped green onions in 1 TB olive oil over medium heat until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Mix spinach, feta, cottage cheese, egg, and cooked onions in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut the phyllo dough into 2 inch by 2 inch squares and stack them up for easy use.

Prepare muffin pan by brushing butter in each well. Place 1-2 squares of phyllo dough into each well and form into a cup shape. Brush with more melted butter and add 1-2 more squares of phyllo dough into each well. Repeat once more to have 4-6 total phyllo squares in each well. Fill each well with spinach mixture and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

 

What are your favorite ways to use up spinach? This one was a major hit with my friends! We got more spinach this week, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more ideas coming up 🙂

Week Two: Spinach, Feta, & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Arugula Pesto

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This recipe is my personal triumph from the past two weeks. Not only was it super delicious and an easy way to make both my brother and my husband happy, but I managed to use not one, not two, but three separate CSA vegetables on one pizza!

Make this pizza for a tasty game night snack (we played Monopoly!), and as a fabulous use of extra CSA veggie leftovers to prep for your next share pick-up!

Spinach, Feta & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Arugula Pesto

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough, I used Bobby Flay’s recipe for this pizza
  • Arugula Pesto, same as Radish Green Pesto, just swap for Arugula!
  • 1 large onion, caramelized
  • 1 cup feta
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach or regular spinach with stems removed and ripped into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 diced green onions

Roll out the Pizza dough to the size and thickness of your preference. Spread arugula pesto in a thick coat. Layer spinach, caramelized onions, green onions, and cheese. Bake on a pizza stone or cookie sheet covered in tin foil at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until your crust is golden brown.

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What’s your favorite way to combine multiple CSA vegetables into one recipe?

Week Two: Couscous Salad with Roasted Hakurei Turnips

Hooray, week two! I’ve used up pretty much all of my week one produce, except for a little bit of salad greens that I’ll polish off throughout the week. Pleased to have used everything in a delicious way with absolutely no waste, and excited to get a start on week two!

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Turnips are a vegetable I previously relegated to bland sounding soups and the cute little clip art in this blog header. But when I picked up this week’s basket, there were these beautiful little white Hakurei Turnips that I was eager to try out, since one of the most exciting parts of being in this CSA is cooking with new-to-me vegetables.

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I searched for recipe inspiration and found this little gem. I never have to be sold on couscous, love throwing chickpeas into every dish for more protein, and I added feta for cheesy goodness. Because tagging my recipe blog posts is quickly teaching me that I have what definitely borders on a feta obsession. Is there any dish that isn’t made better by adding feta? When my brother tried this dish, he said, “This is really good and filling…I think the feta is what really pulls it all together.” Indeed 🙂

Couscous Salad with Roasted Hakurei Turnips

Adapted from NotEatingOutinNY.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch hakurei turnips and greens
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 cup diced green onions
  • Juice and zest from 2 lemons
  • 4-5 TB olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim turnip greens off, leaving a short piece of the stems attached. Quarter the turnips and finely chop the greens.

Toss the turnips with 1 TB olive oil, salt and pepper, and chili flakes. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or just until lightly browned. Flip and continue roasting another 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your couscous according to package directions.

Heat 2 TB olive oil over medium-high flame and add garlic. Once fragrant, add the turnip greens and chickpeas, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Sautee until just wilted, 3-4 minutes.

Combine the green onions with the couscous and greens. Add lemon juice and zest, an extra TB of olive oil, feta, and salt & pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted radishes on top.

 

Have you ever cooked with turnips before? How did you use them?

Week One: Homemade Peanut-Lime Dressing

Our first week’s CSA basket featured a beautiful Mesclun mix and delicate Arugula that was deserving of more than some bottled grocery store dressing. This week’s basket, which I just picked up (!!), features some tasty-looking head lettuce, as well. So it was time to start testing out some homemade dressings!

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First up is a delicious Peanut-Lime Dressing, with all of my favorite Asian flavors. I added an extra tablespoon of water to the recipe because I liked that consistency better, plus I threw in some salt because I like my food with a hefty salt quotient. Feel free to leave it out in yours 😉

Homemade Peanut-Lime Dressing

Adapted from The Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 4 TB water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TB rice vinegar
  • 1 TB chopped peeled ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Dash or 2 of salt

Process all ingredients together in a small food processor or blender until well combined. Serve over delicious CSA greens! Only keeps for a couple of days in the fridge, so use it up quickly.

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This particular salad featured mesclun and arugula, feta, chickpeas, radish slices, chopped green onions (week two preview!!), and almond slivers.

What’s your favorite homemade salad dressing?

 

Week One: Spinach & Egg Frittata

Here’s my deep, dark cooking confession: I hate to cook breakfast.

It’s true, I almost never make anything fancier than oatmeal for breakfast, and if I do? It definitely happens at lunch time. I just can’t find the motivation to get up and cook something in the mornings.

Which is why this Spinach & Egg Frittata makes total sense in my life.

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This recipe makes 8 slices of delicious egg-cheese-greeny goodness that will reheat for breakfast all week long. The combo of spinach and feta is always a winner, and this recipe is simple enough for even lazy breakfast cooks like me to throw it together.

Spinach & Feta Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 6 ounces spinach (several large handfuls in my case!)
  • TB butter or olive oil
  • Handful of chives or scallions (mine came from my little herb garden!)
  • 1/2-2/3 cup feta cheese
  • 4 TB breadcrumbs or panko
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat over to 450 degrees. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add spinach and chives. Cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a bowl with water, 2 TB breadcrumbs, and salt & pepper. Remove spinach pan from heat and add egg mixture and feta, stir to combine. Sprinkle remaining 2 TB breadcrumbs on top and place pan in the oven to bake until the eggs are set, 15-20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges and serve!

This was delicious and totally felt like breakfast power food. The slightly crunchy breadcrumb top made it feel a little less healthy, too, without hurting the nutritional value much 🙂

What are your favorite ways to incorporate greens into your breakfast? What are your favorite lazy morning healthy recipes?