Pasta salad with salmon, cabbage and carrots

  • About 8 ounces of grilled or broiled salmon
  • 1/2 a medium head of cabbage (any kind you prefer)
  • 2 medium carrots (or about 5 baby carrots)
  • a good handful of chopped kalamata olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • a good handful of chopped basil

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I prefer whole fat)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 generous pinch of dried or fresh dill
  • pepper to taste

Like most pasta salad recipes, this is pretty simple. Cook the pasta in boiling water until it’s al dente,then rinse it under cool water until it’s no longer steaming hot. Put it in a large bowl. Flake the salmon, and chop all the vegetables into bitesized pieces. Mix all the vegetables and the salmon into the bowl with the pasta, then add the dressing and stir until it coats everything. As for the dressing, it’s pretty simple, too. Just put all the ingredients into a jar with a lid, and shake it well until it’s emulsified.

Lasagna al Pesto

  • a little oil for the pan
  • about 16 lasagna noodles
  • Chard
  • 2 lbs (4 cups) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup pesto
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil a 9×13 in pan. Cook noodles for 45 minutes so that they are not quite done. Drain and lay flat and
straight on a tray. Wash and dry chard and remove stems. Finely mince the leaves. Place the ricotta in a large bowl. Stir in spinach, pesto, garlic, salt, black pepper, some of the Parmesan and nuts. Mix well. Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread about 1/3 of the filling over the noodles and sprinkle about 1/3 of the mozzarella on top. Follow with another layer of noodles and another 1/3 of the filling and mozzarella. Repeat one more time with a third layer of everything. Top with one final noodle layer and remaining Parmesan. Bake for 50 minutes. If the top browns too quickly cover loosely with foil.

Poached eggs on a bed of vegetables

  • 1 Tbs butter (or oil)
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 handfuls chopped chard (or other greens)
  • a few dashes cayenne
  • 1 heaping Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 4-5 Tbs bread crumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • Black pepper

Melt butter or heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add salt, garlic and greens. Cook and stir for just a few minutes until the greens are wilted. Season to taste with cayenne and herbs. Stirn in the tomato and bread crumbs. Use the back of a spoon to indent 4 little beds for the eggs. Break the eggs into their nests, cover and poach for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until the eggs are set to your taste. Add some black pepper and bring whole pan to the table.

Planting a Squash Patch

Squash (zucchini, pumpkins, acorn squash, etc…) and melons love to roam.  Their tendrils stretch far and wide to cover as much space as possible.  Often in urban areas space is limited so they are not as easily grown.  But that is not an issue at the Bakery Lot, one of our growing areas in SW Detroit.

Bakery Lot in March
The Bakery Lot before planting in March

The only problem with the Bakery Lot is that it is a mostly untamed jungle, with lots of crabgrass, bindweed and other undesirables firmly rooted in the heavy clay soil.  While we’ve done a lot of tilling wedding to make it garden-able this year, sometimes the best approach is to smother.  The nice thing about the winding ways of the squash and melons is that they’ll naturally do this once they get big.  In the meantime we’re re-purposing some cardboard and black plastic to do the job for us.

New squash

big view
From left to right back you can see zucchini and yellow crookneck summer squash, melons on the black plastic (it will help to warm up these heat lovers), and some winter squashes (acorn,butternut, pumpkins, etc…)

What is a CSA?

Sun shining on squash planting
Sun shining down on our last cooperative planting day

Community Supported Agriculture is a fantastic way for people who care about local food, sustainable agriculture and revitalizing the local economy to get directly involved in making it a reality. CSA members support the farms by buying seasonal “shares” that provide them with vegetables and other farm products. Members receive boxes of farm fresh goodies every week during the growing season. City Commons is a cooperative urban CSA; the produce you receive is all grown in Detroit at five market gardens located throughout the city. The food you receive each week has been grown using sustainable methods, meaning that we do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.