Box Blog: August WFH Lunches!
Updated: Jun 27, 2022
After a year of veggie boxing, I knew what to expect in August: a mixture of only-good-in-the-summer things, such as tomatoes and summer squash, and some staple items that can be grown almost anytime, like kale and cabbage. But there's always something, be it a surprise item or a recipe that I stumble onto, that I end up loving.
I would put Indian cucumbers in the former category. I'm not talking about the North American wild Indian cucumbers that are sometimes foraged for their berries, but the Dosakkai variety (I think), common in East Asia. They are lemon-shaped and lemon colored (if you expand the picture above, they are at the top left) and lemon tinged flavor that makes them almost fruity. Which makes sense, since they are actually melons, according to Feast magazine. I'd say they are more cucumber than fruit, IMHO. Maybe it's because they are a melon that they worked fine as a regular cucumber in the recipe I chose but their interesting lemon flavor got lost. Sadly, I only got one, so I didn't have the opportunity to run kitchen experiments. Definitely on the list for next summer.
As for recipe surprises, I was trying to use the banana peppers for a variation on the standard stuffed jalapeño-style appetizer when I realized that they are huge and might make a delicious lunch. I split them in half, filled them with prosciutto, cheese, tomatoes, and onions, then roasted and sprinkled them with fresh basil. No-fuss. The flavor combination was so good I can see myself ordering banana peppers from the supermarket, even out of season, just to have this dish again as a satisfying work-from-home lunch.
Another surprise was the roasted ratatouille recipe from Fine Cooking's Martha Holmberg. I loved that it used so many things in the box and was in line with the standard roasting I do once a week. It may be labor-intensive for a side dish (that was the biggest complaint in the recipe reviews), but as a basis for many other dishes, it is worth the work. When used as a filler for an omelet, it's a great Italian twist on the classic diner-stlye Spanish omelet. Tossed with pasta and parmesan, or used in a grinder, it made a great lunch. What is a grinder, you ask? This is what Philadelphians call a sub (or hoagie) that's been topped with cheese and then toasted/melted under a broiler. Roasted ratatouille on a baguette topped with sharp provolone and toasted in the toaster oven - this was yet another reason why I love working from home. May the gods of social science make it so for life.
Here's some of the recipes I used and meals I made with this box:
Banana Peppers Stuffed with Fresh Tomato, Sweet Onion and Jack Cheese
Roasted Ratatouille Grinder
Pan Fried Pork Chops with Sauerkraut, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage, and Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes