Dining al Fresco Out of a Brown Box

By: Elizabeth Webber Akre

Ok, I am not IN a brown box. But I am in love with a brown box. This past Saturday was my second delivery from Brown Box Veggies. I am their new biggest fan. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the “Veggie Girls” stock up a big box of fruits and veggies to deliver on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month. They reach out to as many local farms as possible to grab what’s fresh and what is being harvested right now. Then, they pack the box FULL of what they’ve found and sell it to people like us for only $22! I couldn’t duplicate what I received for $22 in a grocery store, and the produce was fresher and didn’t go bad on me before I could use it all.

Brown box #1

My first box was so beautiful, I almost cried when I opened it. Even my little one got excited helping me unpack. The box contained broccoli, parsley, tomatoes, spinach, kale, Carolina Sweet onions, squash, zucchini, pears, oranges, potatoes and asparagus. A true cornucopia. We used every bit of it with delight.

This past Saturday was my second go-round. Sorry that I didn’t take a photo of box #2- we dove in and never looked back! This time, we received Carolina Sweets, cabbage, collards, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, radishes, romaine, corn, strawberries, apples and dill. Lots and lots of dill. I’m talkin’ about two humongous bunches, each about 3″ around and 12″ long. My head is reeling trying to figure out what to do with all of it. This week might be the week I dive in and try to make my own pickles.

But, first, dinner. Of course, when you think of dill, one of the first ideas you have is salmon. Since my daughter is eating salmon (happily!), I’m cooking it every chance I get. I whipped up this dinner and we ate al Fresco on the patio. Now, my title makes some sense, huh? Salmon with dill sauce, sauteed pea pods, and yellow rice.

Salmon with dill sauce, sauteed pea pods, and yellow rice.

Salmon with dill sauce, sauteed pea pods, and yellow rice.

Here’s what I did: I salt and peppered two 6oz. (skinless) salmon fillets. I placed them on foil and topped each with some slices of Carolina Sweet onions and lemons and wrapped up the foil tightly to enclose them. I baked them for about 20 minutes or so at 350°. While that was happening, I mixed together these ingredients to make a sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. light mayo
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers
  • 1 tsp finely chopped Carolina Sweet onion
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp horseradish
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • pepper

Then, we just drizzled the sauce over our salmon and devoured it! I’m a sucker for anything pickled, so I think I’ll add a few more capers next time. I have actually eaten capers out of the jar with a spoon before. (The first step is admitting it, right?) Thank you Veggie Girls for my jam packed boxes of loveliness. And, you may be the reason that I finally embark on this pickle making project. The idea of canning is a little intimidating, but I can’t let all this dill go to waste! If any of you need some dill, I can hook you up.

Elizabeth also writes “Gastronomy (by a Wanna-be Chef).” She loves all things food and wine and how they fit into our lives.

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