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Last weekend I signed us up for a new CSA – one that will ultimately be closer to our new home. This CSA is through Sleeping Frog Farms, and so far our first pick-up has been successful! They have sign-ups quarterly, so right now we just started the “Winter” quarter. Although we just did our first pick-up today, I’m already liking this CSA a little more than our previous one simply because it’s located in the Sunday Farmer’s Market at St. Philips Plaza, so there are a lot of vendors to visit and there’s more than enough fresh produce to select from. The St. Philip’s Farmer’s Market is the largest in Tucson, with (according to their website) nearly 70 vendors.

Today we walked away with the following from the CSA:

  • One Pie Pumpkin
  • One bunch of Swiss Chard
  • One bunch of Cilantro
  • One bunch of Beets
  • 3 heads of Garlic
  • One bag of Spinach
  • One bag of Salad Greens

We also walked through the farmer’s market and picked up a few more items to take home with us:

  • Some spicy corn nuts, sesame sticks, and pistachios from High Country Nuts in Sahuarita, AZ
  • Herbed Garlic-Shallot Goat Cheese and Baked Goat Ricotta from Fiore di Capra
  • Roasted Green Chili Peppers – being roasted on site!

All in all, it was a good morning. Half of the cilantro has already been used to make a batch of homemade salsa – as have two of the roasted peppers. I suspect some goat cheese and salad greens will be used for salads tonight. I love that we can get fresh local produce year-round here…

In other news, I wanted to share a recent recipe that has become a favorite around here – Roasted Kalamata Olives. I first came across these at my manager’s holiday party. Just before Christmas, he invited his staff members over to his house for a wine tasting. I quickly became addicted to one of the dishes he served, and have since been making them at home. They’re great as finger foods for a snack, served with a cheese plate, or tossed with a salad. I’ve been keeping a constant supply in the fridge just to have on hand…

Roasted Kalamata Olives

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Ingredients

  • About 2 cups of Kalamata Olives (I buy them at the olive bar in our local grocery store)
  • 1 cup of red wine (whatever your preference is – I’ve used a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir – both have turned out quite nice)
  • 1-2 tsps Fennel Seeds
  • 3-4 cloves of chopped/minced garlic

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Toss all of the ingredients together in an oven safe dish.
  • Bake the olives in the oven for about an hour, stirring them every 20 minutes or so. You want to bake them until most of the wine has thickened/evaporated (although there should be some liquid in the bottom of the dish so that the olives don’t burn).
  • That’s it! Once they’re out of the oven, I let them cool to room temperature, and then dump them back into the plastic container I brought them home from the grocery store in. They should keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

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