Monday, June 7, 2010

June 3 CSA share

Inspired by the experiences of friends I trust in the culinary arts, and the fact that Breezy Willow Farm came recruiting at Sinai, we have joined a community supported agriculture program. Behold, our first share:

The roll call: beets, radishes, strawberries, eggs, bread, squash, spinach, and two kinds of lettuce.

The grander experiment here is in the forced cooking that will result from the influx of fresh foodstuffs each week. While I enjoy cooking, busy schedules and low energy levels lead to me normally relying on quick meal plans that involve, as Thom likes to point out, more "heating" than actually "cooking." One of my intentions behind posting my CSA experiences here will be to see exactly how I end up using the produce we get. It may not be amazing or epic in terms of dishes and recipes, but it will be interesting to see play out. Breezy Willow is being extraordinarily helpful in this regard, as they are posting recipes each week that match up with the contents of that week's share.

Which is good, because beets and I have had a Mutual Avoidance Agreement for some time... and now, I have a bunch.

Since getting the above share on Thursday, the following experiments have occurred:

  • strawberry radish salad - chopped strawberries, radishes, and lettuce tossed with a lime juice/olive oil emulsion. Basic, easy, and damn good. The addition of nuts and a crumbled cheese, such as blue or feta, would make this better.
  • radish green pasta - sauteed radish greens in a dash of olive oil and butter, mixed with cooked fusilli pasta, dried garlic powder, chunks of breaded chicken, and shredded mozzarella cheese. The flavor profile was fair, but this ended up being far too dry, namely due to lack of having any mayo or adequate dressing on-hand to use as a base.
  • Irish cheese, apple, and lettuce sandwiches - also basic, easy, and damn good.
  • scrambled eggs with sauteed spinach, onions, bacon, and shredded cheddar cheese - continuing the basic, easy, and damn good trend.
  • grated beets with onion - I used Madhur Jaffrey's Grated Beets with Shallots recipe as a base, substituting a medium yellow onion for the shallots (being shallot-less), a 4 ounce can of minced green chilis for the hot chili pepper, and sea salt instead of table salt. The result was surprisingly subtle and flavorful, and I expect to return to this again if beets continue to show up in future shares.

Looking ahead, I seeing squash soup and baked beets attempts in my near future. And then, the next share will be upon us... Until then, I'll point out that not only is Ryn discussing her CSA shares and freezer cooking plans, but Dree is also documenting her own foray into a CSA program, currently in her third week.

1 comment:

melaniet42 said...

Awesome! A couple friends of mine have been doing the CSA thing for a few summers, though I haven't been brave enough to try it (due to my general dislike of vegetables). One day, though, one day...