Thursday, September 17, 2009

CSA week 15 reluctantly sharing the bounty

Skilled at stealing produce, Finn sat close but didn't look directly at my Stoney Plains CSA. I forgot to set the eggs on the bench here, but I knew if I'd gone inside to retrieve them, a number of carrots would have been missing when I returned. He managed to get the potato when I was cleaning up, but he discarded it. I'm not too fussy; I washed it off and used it.

Here is what was in my CSA bag this week: eggs, pears, chesnok red garlic, chives, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, yukon potatoes and shelling peas. I used some of the potatoes I got from Rent's Due Ranch at the University District farmers' market and along with Finn's potato and I made mashed potatoes with Dungeness Valley Creamery milk ( ). Here's a recipe that's pure comfort food, just change the produce you use to suit any season. If you don't own an oven-proof skillet, place the vegetable mixture into a baking dish and cover with potatoes and bake.

Shepherd's Pie

I just finished revising this recipe for an article for Vegetarian Journal ( A Shepherd's Pie is on one dish meal baked in a skillet. This is a version of it. Mom's old Betty Crocker Cookbook from 1969 listed instant mashed potatoes in the ingredient list. Whatever you do, use real potatoes for this dish. Free to make this dish your own with rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, hot peppers or anything else that calls to you.

2 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

1/4 cup salsa

1 cup diced onion or shallots

1 1/2 tablespoons safflower oil

1 jalapeno, minced (optional)

5 cups seasonal vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces (carrots, squash, cauliflower, green beans, summer squash)

1 cup water

1/4 cup white miso

2 tablespoons arrowroot

1 cup cooked, or canned, drained beans (any variety except black)

2 tablespoons cold butter (optional)


Blend salsa into mashed potatoes.(Set aside.) Heat a 10-inch, oven-proof skillet and saute onion and jalapeno until soft.

Add vegetables and stir. Add a little of the water, stir, cover and braise vegetables for a few minutes. Blend miso and arroroot into the remaining water. Stir into vegetables with beans and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove vegetables from stovetop and spread mashed potatoes over the top. Cut butter into chunks and place randomly over the top. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Miso gravy will bubble up over the potatoes.

Hint:: Unless you add the jalapeno, this recipe is not very spicy. I often toss in some Mama Lil's peppers (

Stoney Plains farmers

I wanted to include a photo of the farmer, Patrick Meyer, this week, but Patrick wasn't at the farmers' market ( So I asked Justin to pose for a photo for this blog. Founding farmer Bob Meyer passed away unexpectadly in 2002 and wife Patricia and son Patrick now run this farm. Justin is Bob's grandson and I remember Justin years ago as a gangly teenager. Now he's a dad and works at the University District market sometimes. Bob Meyer's story is one of the farm profiles in Local Vegetarian Cooking (

Look for an updated profile of this farm in the latest version of my Pacific Northwest vegetarian cookbook It will be published by Timber Press next spring. (

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