Friday, June 8, 2012

summer produce, week 1

This decision is long overdue, but we finally joined a CSA!

I've been wanting to join one for a while, but I was worried about the long-term commitment considering how crazy - but crazy-good - our life has been over the past year and a half (um, 3 weddings anyone? - see #1, #2, #3).

Now that we will finally be settling into a routine, I looked up some CSA programs in our area. I really wanted to join one that either had a pickup location close to us or a home delivery. Unfortunately, farmers' markets are at least a 30-minute drive for us (I'm not a huge fan of driving...). Our neighborhood grocery store does carry some local produce, but not a lot.

I found Fresh Fork Market, which has multiple weekly pickup locations - one of which is practically just around the corner from us. All their products are sourced within 75 miles, with the exception of a dairy farm that is farther than that.

image source


The nice thing too is that we were able to join for just a month (for now) to give us an idea of how much produce we will be getting. I always worry about having too much and wasting food, so this was a concern I had... although, I suppose it will encourage me to get more creative in the kitchen to use up all the produce.

this bag was nearly overflowing with produce!


Then, we can decide later if we want to subscribe for the rest of the season (which runs until November).

They have a variety of packages, and we got the small vegetarian package. Here is the produce haul for this week:

1 head kohlrabi
1 bunch collard greens
1 quart strawberries
1 bunch red russian kale
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 bunch radishes
1 quarter lb bag pea tendrils
2 bunches spinach
1 head broccoli
1 lb shelled peas
1 container feta cheese (4 oz)
1 lb sweet pea and black pepper linguini from Ohio City Pasta


What a list of goodies - Strawberries in season! Pea tendrils! Garlic scapes! (Pardon the multiple exclamation points, but yes I'm excited)

I was also intrigued by the sweet pea and black pepper linguine from Ohio City Pasta... fresh pasta is always such a treat. I couldn't help it, I cooked it for dinner already - just simply tossed with olive oil and butter (and of course the essential ladleful of starchy pasta water for the pan sauce), lots of freshly ground black pepper and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a la cacio e pepe (which technically uses Pecorino Romano cheese as it is a Roman dish, but A. prefers parm). It was so darn good, it needed nothing else for flavor. I totally get it when Italians say that the pasta is actually the star of the dish, not the sauce... when the pasta itself is this good, it doesn't need a whole lot more than simple ingredients.

sweet pea and black pepper linguine

I can't wait to make this recipe with the kohlrabi... I have to admit I have not tried cooking with kohlrabi yet, so I'm really curious to see how this will turn out. It sure is a funny-looking vegetable.

One day, I'd like to actually work at a CSA/farm and learn about how to grow food - beyond potted herbs on a balcony. I think it will be a good learning experience for me, seeing that I can kill a cactus (and have actually done so before - though my basil and cilantro are starting to come out of the soil now!). There's something to be said about being close to the earth and the source of food and all that.

But in the meantime, I'll enjoy my weekly produce pickup.

peppery radishes (already enjoyed one with butter and salt!)

One thing's for sure... we'll be eating a LOT more vegetables this week! The gears in my brain are spinning as I think of new cooking experiments.

Maybe a frittata with the red russian kale...

Maybe I can replicate the sauteed collard greens from my favorite Ethiopian restaurant...

Then lots and lots of salad combinations with the very large head of Romaine lettuce. Thinly sliced radishes and some pea tendrils will be in one of the combinations...

Hello, summer.



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3 comments:

Jen said...

So fun to decide what to make! If you figure out the key to Emanu's collard greens, please let me know :) I recently tried a recipe for massaged kale greens, and in NC Shelli did the same thing for one of her raw meals ... you literally rub the kale with some salt (or not) until it becomes soft. Delicious with a tahini dressing.

Mia said...

I'll definitely let you know if my Emanu-inspired collard greens turn out well! If my food memory serves me right, it had garlic and a hint of ginger... so I'll probably use those flavors :)

I've heard about massaged kale! I just haven't tried it because some vegetables (when raw) and I are not good friends - especially cruciferous veggies and some dark greens. I think I saw another recipe for massaged kale with olive oil, lemon, and salt. I think I also read that massaging it helps it break down somewhat, but you still get the full benefits of the vegetable as it's still technically raw. A tahini dressing sounds yummy too!

Mia said...

PS: Jen, look what I found: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Yeabesha-Gomen-Ethiopian-Collard-Greens

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