This week marks the start of a new CSA season. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and refers to an option each of us has to purchase a "share" of a local farm's produce. Typically a subscription, you purchase a share before the growing season starts and receive a box of fresh, seasonal vegetables, fruit, flowers, etc. as harvested.
Our CSA is from Two Small Farms, a collaboration between High Ground Organics and Mariquita Farm in Watsonville and Hollister, California. We pick up a box every Friday evening.
Click here to learn more about getting started.
This week's box contains:
- Green Garlic
- Red Beets
- Savoy Cabbage
- Braising Mix or other Cooking Green or Mystery from High Ground (we got fennel)
- Red Chard
- Parisian Round Carrots
- Mystery from High Ground (we got shiitake mushrooms)
- Parsley (Curly retro)
For lunch today I'm making green garlic and shiitake "risotto", included below. As far as the rest of the contents, my current plans include:
- roast the beets
- make "parsnip fries"
- make Chimichurri with the parsley; freeze for summer grilling
- saute the chard
- devise some sort of late winter stew to use the carrots, cabbage, and fennel in combination with a butternut squash I have on hand
Green Garlic & Shiitake "Risotto"
1 cup pearled barley
1 bunch green garlic
1 handful shiitake mushrooms
2T sesame oil
1T ume plum vinegar
~6c vegetable broth
Clean and slice both the mushrooms and the green garlic. Bring the
broth to a simmer, adding the trimmings from the mushrooms and the green garlic,
plus a clove of star anise. In a separate stockpot, heat the sesame oil
and saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for
another 2-3 minutes. Add the barley and stir until coated. Add the
broth, one cup full at a time, stirring till absorbed. Repeat this last
step until the risotto is at a texture you like and the barley is cooked.
Add the ume plum vinegar, mix well, and serve.
Making risotto is not difficult, but it does require you to use your senses. Here's a good video on the basic technique for those of you who have not tried it before: How to Make Risotto.