By the end of the week, it’s easy to feel exhausted of ideas for how to use those final, few things in your CSA box. While Charles would be content with stir fry every day, I usually crave a bit more variety, and since I’m the cook, I’m usually playing with new concepts for quick and easy dinners.
This is where local grains come in. We’re lucky enough to have Lundberg Family Farms in our region. Their boxed risottos are tasty and easy to prepare, so I snagged one a couple of nights ago, knowing that it would become part of dinner, just not knowing exactly how. (Polenta from Grass Valley Grains was another thought, but I’m saving it to make fried mush for breakfast on Sunday.)
Then there was the next step, opening the crisper to see what needed to be used. I rather enjoy this activity. It seems like no matter how well I plan, I’m always pleasantly surprised by some of the items that have yet to make it into a meal. I was presented with a young onion, some summer squash, and some tatsoi. On the counter, a tomato sat in all its tomato-y splendor.
While the risotto cooked, I cut up and sautéed the onion and squash. I added a teensy bit of seasoning and let it rest while I diced the tomato and tatsoi and the risotto finished. Then I tossed it all together and garnished with a bit of Parmesan.
It was a hit – especially when paired with some Sierra Bella from Montoliva Vineyard and Winery. I can pretty much guarantee it will have an encore performance sometime this summer, as well as various incarnations with other grains as the base. After a long day at work, easy meals to prepare are almost relaxing. There’s no stress involved, and you’re rewarded with a delectable finale.