From Chef Mario: Corn & Potato Soup, and Tips for Sage & Parsley

Thank you to CSA member Chef Mario for another wonderful recipe! A great use for the corn and potatoes we’ve been receiving in our shares:

Here is one of my recipes for a great corn soup, which is not as heavy as a chowder since the majority of it is pureed, I like to leave some of the kernels whole to add texture and it can be served hot or chilled, make it you own.

Corn and Potato Soup

5 Ears of Corn, cut kernels off the cobs and reserve the cobs
½ Pound of Small Red or White potatoes, washed well and cut into ½ inch pieces
3 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Canola Oil
1 Small Onion, small diced
½ Cup of Celery, small diced
1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
½ jalapeño, no seeds
¼ Cup of Dry White Wine
½ Cup of Parsley Leaves, well washed
3 Tbsp of Ground Cumin
2 Cups of Half & Half (Optional)
3 quarts of water
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the kernels off the cobs, reserve the cobs and separate the kernels into two batches, set aside.
In a small stock pot heat up the oil and sauté the onion, celery, garlic and seeded jalapeño pepper until soft, add the cumin, stir and cook for about a minute, add the wine and reduce. When the wine is reduced to almost dry, add the water, the corn cobs and the parsley, bring up to a boil and then bring down to simmer, cook for approximately thirty minutes.
At this point fish out the cobs, and add your potatoes until tender but not overcooked, it will take about twenty minutes, add one of the batches of corn kernels and cook for another ten minutes.
Now you can add the half and half if you desire, remember to always scold the dairy before adding it to a soup so it won’t curdle; you can also omit the dairy.   Take the soup off the fire, let it cool for about ten minutes and blend, be careful with overflowing the vase of the blender, so it won’t splash.
After the soup mixture is blended, add the other batch of the corn kernels and place it on the fire for about ten more minutes, check for seasoning and it is ready to serve.
Garnish it with chopped tomato, avocado and red onions, a piece of grilled shrimp or wherever the mood calls for.

And check out Chef Mario’s great tips on sage and parsley:

If you think that you have more sage and parsley than you can use in a week, try making the parsley into a pesto so it won’t go bad and the sage into a compound butter. Making this is fairly easy: allow unsalted butter to stay at room temperature until soft, but not melted, and mix in about 1 cup of chopped sage leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper, once mixed well place in a jar or make it into a roll and refrigerate. This butter can be used in pasta, chicken, pork or fish.

Have a Great Time!
Best wishes
Chef Mario


From Chef Mario: Baked Salmon with Pesto, Roasted Beets and Beet Greens

Back by popular demand, another post from our CSA member Chef Mario:

I was really excited picking up our CSA this past Wednesday for two reasons: one was the variety of veggies and fresh herbs that came my way looked delicious, and the second one was that I got some feedback from a couple of members that they found the recipes helpful, which is awesome. I love to hear that they are being helpful to your culinary experimentations, so by all means play with the recipes, modify them and just have fun, that is what cooking and food is, plain fun!! Just don’t throw it at each other while it’s still hot.

This week we got young onions that we can eat raw with some lemon, olive oil and sea salt, add some tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for a salad or if you want to use them as a condiment for fish or beef, you can slice two of them very thin, cook them in some olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), add some fresh or dry thyme, sea salt and ground black pepper; then cook them over a very low flame. Keep stirring them until golden brown and there you have it: an onion jam without sugar, the onions are so young and fresh that you won’t need it, of course you can add a small quantity if you want, I just prefer to cook my food without any added sugar.

What to do with all that basil? Make pesto and use it for pasta or as a sauce for that young onion, tomato, mozzarella salad, or if you want to be more adventurous, let’s make a baked salmon with basil pesto crust, roasted beets and sautéed beet greens, these greens have great flavor and are full of Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron.

Baked Salmon with Pesto, Roasted Beets and Beet Greens

For the pesto:

  • 2 cups of basil leaves, washed and patted dry
  • 2 small cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts or walnut pieces. Optional: If you can’t have nuts, pesto will survive.
  • 2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ⅔ cup of olive oil

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Recipe & Tips from Chef Mario: Garlic Pigtails and Zucchini Flowers

Check out this special post from our very own CSA member, Chef Mario:

Awesome signs of early summer are here in our CSA !!!! 

Rhubarb, zucchini flowers and garlic pigtails are definitely a sign of early summer, all of these three items can only be seen grow naturally during the early period of the season. 

Many of us may not be familiar with garlic pigtails, also known as garlic scapes or garlic shoots, they are the green bright beautiful part of the garlic plant that comes out before the garlic matures; however, flavor wise I think that they are the best of both worlds, since these twisty, curly stems have a gentle, fresh, sweet taste of garlic without the harshness that is usually associated with the vampire repellent flavor of the conventional garlic bulb.

Please store these garlic pigtails in a paper bag in the refrigerator, they can last up to a week and a half this way. They can be grilled, oven roasted, made into pesto or pickled.  When grilled or roasted, these delicate stems will pair well with grilled fish or meat for your July 4th barbecue, and if pickled they can do the same; but you could also use them as a complement snack for a martini or a sparkling white wine like a Verdicchio or a Vinho Verde.

Now let’s get to make some Garlic Shoot Pesto, and for this you will need:

  • 3 pieces of top garlic pig tails roughly chopped, trim the really hard part of the stems, reserve and use them for roasting or grilling
  • juice of 1 medium size lemon, 
  • ½ cup of olive oil, 
  • ¼ cup of raw almonds, and
  • ¾ cup of parmesan cheese, this is optional if you are not in the mood for cheese.

Place all in a blender and blend until completely pureed, use this pesto with pasta or as a sauce for the animal or non animal protein of your choice.

Pickling them is also easy, but you only need the top tender parts of the shoot, which you will place in a heat resistant glass jar with a lid. In a small pot, place 1 cup of water, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, ⅛ cup of sea salt and ⅛ cup of demerara sugar, bring to a boil and pour this solution, while hot, over the garlic shoots, wait about five minutes and then close the jar, leave jar out to room temperature for two hours, and then refrigerate.

How about those bright yellow Zucchini flowers? They can be stuffed or eaten as they are, mixed in your pasta with tomato sauce, or your morning omelette or egg scrammies; however, if you want to get a bit fancy with that pesto you are planning to make with the garlic pig tails, the pesto can be mixed with ricotta cheese, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Stuff the flowers with this mix, dip them in a tempura batter and pan fried them, don’t wait too long since their shelf life is short.

Happy Fourth!! Enjoy what our CSA is bringing to us, there is nothing better than eating organic, beautiful ingredients, one morsel at a time.

Best wishes

Chef Mario @ Morsels in the Buff

Message from Ana

Hello Everyone, I wanted to pass along this message from Ana Angel from the farm! I hope that everyone is enjoying their veggies each week!

Dear Members,

We welcomed the rain several weeks ago as well as the cooler temperatures now because some of our crops really needed water and not be under stress. We were happy that it didn’t rain too much, as it had in June, because that would have damaged many plants.  These days we’re planting vegetables for the fall. We usually do our plantings in stages throughout the season and are now planting these fall crops: beans, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, greens, and lettuce. We also planted corn about two weeks ago. We hope you enjoy these come autumn!

You can expect these vegetables as a part of our harvest: eggplant, peppers, corn, tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes.

Lastly, I’d like to share with you that to keep the vegetables fresh for you, we harvest them on the same day as we deliver them. We harvest them in the morning and do the deliveries that afternoon.

-Ana Angel

Baked Cod with Braised Cabbage and Corn Nage

Here is a recipe that comes from our very own member, Chef Mario! He notes that a nage is a clean vegetable puree, with no cream or high fats, that is usually used as a sauce and it has a good flavor intensity. It can be made ahead of time and reheated over very low heat, without letting it boil.

Baked Cod with Braised Cabbage and Corn Nage
Serves 4 – Preheat Oven at 375 F
  • (4)  5 ounce portions of Cod Filet
  • 1 small CSA Young Green Cabbage Cut in to 8 wedges with the stem intact, run under water to remove any soil
  • 3 Leaves of Young Lemon Grass
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, lightly smashed; skin off
  • 1 Quart of Chicken stock or Broth, Low Sodium
  • 3 Corn on the cob, kernels stripped off cob; reserve the cob and kernels separately
  • 3 Shallots Julienned
  • 1 Clove of Chopped Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Jalapeño, no seeds (must wash hands and working surface immediately afterwards)
  • 6 tbsp of Blended or Canola oil
  • 1/8 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat the fish
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 1 tbsp of Coriander Seed
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and pepper
For the Corn Nage 
In a small sauce pan, heat 3 tbsp of blended oil and sauté garlic, shallots and jalapeño.  Add white wine, bay leaves and ground coriander seed; when wine is reduced to almost sec (Dry), pour in 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock and add the corn cobs, bring up to a boil and simmer low for about 30 minutes. When the simmering time is up, pull cobs out from the broth and discard, add the kernels and with hand blender, liquefy until smooth. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper; strain through a colander. If not being used right away, cool down and refrigerate.

For the Cabbage
In a sauté pan with a fit cover, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and brown the cabbage wedges on each side, move off the fire and add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, the smashed garlic clove and the lemon grass leaves, cover and place in the oven.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until fork tender, take out of the oven and set aside, remove the lemon grass leaves and discard.
Cooking the Cod
Place Cod in an oven safe dish and coat with extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half of lemon and salt and pepper, place in oven and cook covered (aluminum foil can be used,) for about 12 minutes.
To plate, ladle about 2 ounces of corn nage on the bottom of 4 bowls or shallow plates, place 2 wages of cabbage on the center of each plate and the cod on top of the cabbage, enjoy!!

Week # 9

Hello Central Park West CSA Members!

I hope that everyone is enjoying this lovely summer weather.  Here are the vegetables that you can expect to see tomorrow when you pick up your shares:

  • Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Corn

Vegetable Spotlight: Tomatoes 

TOMATOES ARE HERE!  The often fan-favorite of the summer vegetables, tomatoes are both versatile in cooking as well as packed with nutrients.  Frequently seen in soups, sides, salads, entrees, dips and sauces- tomatoes can be eaten raw, cooked or anywhere in between.

Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamins C, A and K,  potassium and folate as well as an excellent source of lycopene, the antioxidant  that gives red, orange and yellow tomatoes their coloring. Results from a study done by Bhosale et al. (2004, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry)  showed a direct relationship in both human and animals between a high dietary intake of carotenoids [lycopene] and a decreased risk of certain types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and age-related macular degeneration ( 2004 ).

So the time has come to break out the salt shaker or whip up a BLT; however you choose to enjoy this weeks’ spotlight vegetable and get your daily dose of lycopene!

Summertime Eggs Benedict

Try this summer (and waistline) friendly version of Eggs Benedict that adds a punch of greens, substitutes sodium packed ham for heart-healthy avocado and swaps out heavy butter based Hollandaise sauce with refreshing salsa. Enjoy!

Serves 4


4 whole wheat English muffins
8 whole eggs
4 cups swiss chard leaves washed and roughly chopped
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 red onion diced
1 T olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
8 thin slices of avocado
favorite salsa, pico de gallo or salsa verde
salt and pepper to taste


1.) Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
2.) In a skillet saute the onions in olive oil for about 1-2 minutes until they just start to sweat. Add mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes more. Add the swiss chard and cook 2-4 minutes until the chard wilts slightly. Remove from heat.
3.) Open English muffins and toast under the broiler for 1-2 minutes.
4.) Add vinegar to the pot of boiling water. Crack an egg into a plastic ramekin and then slowly slip the egg into boiling water, cook (each egg) ~3 mins.                                    ***this part can be a little tricky. I like to have all my eggs cracked into ramekins and slip an egg in at 30 second intervals, which gives me enough time to scoop out the cooked egg and add a new raw one.                                                                                                 5.) On top of an English muffin half, layer sauteed veggies, an egg, avocado slice and then top with your choice of salsa. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Week #8 Share Contents

Hi All! I’m going to try and get the list of veggies posted so that you have an idea of what you are getting each week. I’m also going to pick a fruit or vegetable to highlight and  give a bit of an explanation on the nutrient profile of the food I chose. I hope you all find it interesting and I hope that everyone is enjoying their veggies each week!


Week 8 Veggies

Swiss chard


Week 8 Fruit  



Vegetable Spotlight: Swiss Chardchard

Swiss chard, a member of the Chenopodioideae family, is of close relation to spinach and beets. Swiss chard flourishes in cooler  temperatures with lots of sun and is native to the Mediterranean.

Swiss chard is high in fiber and low in calories, with one cup containing only 35 calories. Swiss chard is high in Vitamin K, A and C. It is a good source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, Vitamin E, copper, choline, calcium, B vitamins and zinc. The leaves of swiss chard contain more than 13 different pholyphenol antioxidants. Antioxidants are the substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals or molecules in your body that can damage cells, and may play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other disease states. For example,  Kaempferol, an antioxidant found in swiss chard is cardioprotective and promotes heart heath. Beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, also found in swiss chard, help maintain eye health and may reduce the risk of cataracts.