CSA Members Learn New Recipes with Chef/Member Laura Allen at BBCSA’s Dinner & Demo Event

By Shana Makaron

On a recent brisk fall night, 27 hungry Brooklyn Bridge CSA members gathered at 3B, a lovely bed and breakfast in Downtown Brooklyn, to participate in the first ever Brooklyn Bridge CSA Dinner and Cooking Demo. With bottles of wine in hand, local food lovers came from as far as Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights to enjoy a 9-course vegetarian meal prepared by CSA member and professional chef Laura Allen (Aureole, Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats, The River Café).

After a bit of mingling, the crowd gathered around as Chef Laura took to the butcher block for a cooking demo using produce donated by Farmer Fred from Sang Lee Farms.

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Within 20 minutes, the room had learned how to prepare basil in a chiffonade style, use up the pounds of sweet potatoes sitting in their pantries, and turn kohlrabi into something they’d actually want to eat. Laura explained and put the finishing touch on each dish as it made its way to the communal table.

 

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Chef Laura Allen expertly chopping some napa cabbage for her quick pickled kimchi salad.

Soon enough, everyone was ready to dig in and settle down for an evening of good food and good company.

On the menu:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
With coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and cilantro

Baba Ghanoush
Served with bell peppers and pita chips

Tomato Salad and Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini
With chopped kohlrabi, shallots, basil, balsamic, and olive oil

Kimchi Salad
With baby bok choy, daikon, carrots, turnips, and napa cabbage

Smashed Red and Sweet Potatoes
Topped with fried shallots, brussel sprout leaves, and cheddar

Israeli Cous Cous
With green beans, bell peppers, eggplant, and chives

Orecchiete
With sautéed hot peppers, kale, tomato, mozzarella, garlic and red pepper flakes

Egg Noodles
With spinach cream and roasted broccoli

Poached Pear Puree
Served with vanilla ice cream and diced apples

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CSA members surveying the amazing spread of vegetarian dishes prepared with produce from Sang Lee Farms and the Borough Hall Greenmarket.

In case there was any doubt, the event was an absolute hit for everyone involved – we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout and a more successful inaugural BBCSA Dinner and Demo. Stay tuned for more like it in the future!

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One of the many big hits of the night- orecchiete with sautéed vegetables and mozzarella

A very special thanks to:
• Matt Keesan and the rest of the folks at 3B for donating their beautiful space to host the event
• Farmer Fred for donating the delicious ingredients for the dinner
• Chef Laura and her sous chef Hal for donating their time and fantastic cooking skills
• Core group member Joelle Berman for planning the event and making it a beautiful reality
• Members of Brooklyn Bridge CSA for the drinks, enthusiasm, good conversation, and hungry bellies

 

Chef Laura’s Simple Marinated Tomato Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese Crostini

  1. Chop tomatoes and kohlrabi; marinate overnight in balsamic and olive oil
  2. Whip some of the leftover marinade with goat cheese
  3. Spread goat cheese on toasted baguette rounds, top with salad and garnish with chopped basil
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Follow Chef Laura’s blog, Pineapple Kitchen, for more delicious, simple recipes that use locally sourced meat and produce.

For more recipes from the CSA dinner, contact Joelle at brooklynbridgecsa@gmail.com. Feedback on your experience at the dinner will be greatly appreciated!