Monday, September 9, 2013

CSA Share Ninja Rescue 2013: tomatoes and winter squash (13 ideas)

This is the final installment for 2013 of my CSA Share Ninja Rescue, a weekly feature in which you tell me on Fridays what veg you got in your CSA share box (or found at the farmers' market) that you don't know what to do with and I'll give you a whole bunch of recipe ideas on the following Monday.

Even though I'm wrapping up this feature for this year, I know that many of you will continue receiving CSA shares well into the fall and perhaps even through the winter; if you need some ideas, feel free to message me or post your request on my Facebook page.

And rest assured that the CSA Share Ninja Rescue will be back in 2014 as well.

But for now, since it's nearly fall, I thought I'd leave you with ideas for two perfect transition veggies: tomatoes, which are signaling the end of summer (and the ramp-up of crazed canning season!), and winter squash, which heralds the arrival of fall.

Please note that I am skipping pumpkin. This is for two reasons:
  1. I respect seasonality. Therefore, I recently pledged not to jump into the pumpkin patch until it is truly pumpkin season (read: October 1), no matter what Starbucks' latte menu says.
  2. I'm sure you're being inundated on blogs, Facebook and Pinterest with pumpkin EVERYTHING, so I doubt you're out of ideas quite yet.
Many thanks to all of you who have made requests or left comments this year. As I always note, this feature is only successful when you participate and tell me what you need -- and we were very successful indeed in 2013!

Now, the recipe ideas...

  • Tiny tomato bisque: Easy and quick, this bisque is equally as delicious with fresh or frozen tomatoes (the recipe is at the very end of the post)
  • Tomato jam: Made with fresh tomatoes, this is a wonderful savory condiment to use throughout the tomato-less winter
  • Green tomato cake: I make a few of these spice cakes and freeze them when I'm forced, by an impending frost, to pull all the unripened tomatoes off my plants (that should happen soon, unfortunately)
  • Bloody Mary tomato salad: A salad that tastes almost like a cocktail -- one of my faves!
  • Fresh tomato and sausage ragu: Kick your pasta up several notches with this delicious sauce
  • Gazpacho: Perhaps the easiest and most delicious way to use up nearly everything from your CSA share all at once
  • Marinated Dried Tomatoes: ZOMG -- I love these! They are so wonderfully tangy on pizzas and even better when rehydrated in a cream sauce over pasta
Winter Squash

So ... what was your favorite recipe (or recipes) from the 2013 CSA Share Ninja Rescue? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.


  1. Jules, I don't belong to a CSA but I have to share what I made last week and of course hubby wouldn't try it so I had it all to myself! :-) I had some cherry tomatoes that needed to be used up so I cut in half, sliced up some Italian peppers, onions, couple of garlic cloves and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh basil....roasted them in oven. Cooked up some spaghetti and tossed in the veggies. Was it ever delish! So now I am going to make another batch and freeze to enjoy the sweetness in the cold months of winter.

    1. A fresh tomato-veggie pasta sauce -- awesome! You're so clever! And I hear you: Mr. Ninj would likely have balked at that as well.

  2. No CSA here either, but we've made it through about 20 lbs of tomatoes from the garden, some big ones and some cherry tomatoes, and I still haven't gotten sick of pasta sauce. Our first batch was primarily red big and cherry tomatoes, with a few yellow ones thrown in for fun. The second batch was primarily yellow big and cherry tomatoes, with a handful of red cherries and a couple of chocolate bell peppers, so it's this beautiful gold-orange color. I'm glad I labeled the jars - if I hadn't, I might have mistaken them for pureed squash!

    1. Very jealous of your yield! My tomatoes are just starting to come in and, of course, the weather is starting to turn cold.