Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cooking from the CSA Bag

Swallowtail Farm, Alachua, Florida
Okay, first of all I have to give some props to my friend Beth. You remember Beth, right? About 30% of the things I'm doing to live better come from Beth to start with, only she doesn't have a blog, so you don't hear it from her. I am especially inspired by her quest to eat fresher, cleaner, locally grown produce and meats.

Several months ago Beth mentioned that she was splitting a CSA (community supported agriculture) share with some friends. I hadn't really heard about CSA before, but apparently they're everywhere. What happens is that you pay a certain amount up front to the farm, and then every week you get a big bag of in season produce. You get to support a small scale farm and eat veggies that were in the ground a few days ago. Win-win!

I saw an add for the Swallowtail Farm CSA at the our new co-op. I found someone to share with (thanks Joanna!), signed up, and picked up my first bag of veggies, herbs, and flowers on Sunday! I got arugula, sweet potato greens, radishes, a tiny eggplant, some jalapenos, and a gigantic sweet potato. I also got some basil, Greek oregano, a sprig of rosemary, and a small bunch of flowers. I bought an organic tomato and some garlic at the store, and a dozen local, free range eggs from a vendor.

Sunday I made a salad with the arugula, sliced radishes, half of the tomato and a carrot. I mixed up some of Alton Brown's delicious honey mustard to dress the salad (just honey, Dijon mustard, and rice vinegar).

Last night I wanted something simple after a long work day, so I made some whole wheat pasta, sauteed the rest of the tomato in a little olive oil, and mixed it with the pasta, some Italian seasoned salt, and chopped fresh basil.

Sweet potato greens (which I had not tried before)are similar to collard greens in texture, but with a sweeter, more delicate flavor. I am following Marc Bittman's recipe- I steamed them for ten minutes, shocked them, and tonight I plan to saute them in butter and serve them with a chopped hard boiled egg on top.  I might also try to cook the eggplant with the garlic and oregano.

I tried to eat the rest of the radishes with some butter and sea salt,as suggested on but I just really don't like them. Also, as a cautionary tale, they dry out pretty quickly if you stick them loose in the fridge.

Friday I'm leaving for Haiti. I think the sweet potato will be fine in the fridge until I come back. I would normally use the jalapenos in some beans and rice, but I think that we are eating beans and rice pretty much every day in Haiti, so that's probably not a good idea. Anyone have any suggestions for the jalapenos?

I am hoping that the CSA bag will help me eat more vegetables and also encourage me to try new things (like sweet potato greens). Has anyone else done a CSA share before? What was your favorite part?

So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and if someone offers you some sweet potato greens, say yes!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out again! I'm really enjoying my share too. Taking the giant eggplant I got home some mom can make some yummy eggplant parm. I like the challenge of finding and trying new recipes with these veggies. It's easy to get into a dinner rut.


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