Participating in the Hen House CSA (community supported agriculture) this summer has brought our family’s fruit and vegetable consumption from junior varsity to varsity status in a flash. It has been exciting each Saturday morning to grab our bag and scurry to Hen House market to see what goodies they have for us. If you have been on the fence, then run, don’t walk and sign up to participate in a CSA.
Each week seems better than the week before and they are all 5 star. Saturday I picked up a gallon of whole milk, a dozen eggs, fresh basil, fresh carrots, tomatoes, peaches, cinnamon raisin bread and salsa. Whew! That’s a lot of great goodness for my family to enjoy.
There seems to be thousands of ways to use fresh basil in the summer but, of course, our go to is pesto. My daughter would enjoy pesto everyday of the week if I would serve it to her. I like to make it during the summer and freeze it for those cold, snowy days that we are sure to see in 6 months.
Peaches!? Well you know the drill–each and every summer we celebrate peaches with a fresh peach pie. Another family favorite using ripe peaches is to place sliced peaches in the bottom of a ramekin and top the fresh peach slices with homemade vanilla pudding. I’m thinking bread pudding with the cinnamon raisin bread, eggs and milk will be a winner too and I can hardly wait to serve grilled chicken with tri-color grilled carrots with harissa sauce.
Here are my two favorite recipes that I am preparing from our CSA this week, pesto and peach pie.
Basil Mint Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place basil, nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in bowl of food processor. Pulse to finely chop. While the food processor is running, add oil in a steady stream. Process until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Makes about 1 cup
Tip: Toasting the pine nuts or walnuts intensifies the flavor. To toast the nuts, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° F for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Fresh Peach Pie
Unbaked pie crust for a 2-crust (9-inch) pie.
1 tablespoon water
6 cups sliced fresh, peeled peaches, about 8 medium peaches
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie crust. Combine egg and water and blend well. Lightly brush the egg glaze over the bottom of the pie crust to moisture proof the crust.
Toss the peaches with lemon juice, sugar (amount of sugar used depends of sweetness of peaches,) cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. Spoon fruit into crust. Dot with butter. Place second crust on top of peaches. Fold crust under and pinch together to seal. Using a paring knife, cut slits in top crust to vent. Brush lightly with egg glaze and sprinkle lightly with additional sugar.
Place pie on cookie sheet to avoid boil over. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 350° F. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown.
Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
This post has been sponsored by Hen House. More information on their CSA can be found here. All opinions expressed in this post are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make this site possible.