Friday, March 23, 2012

Produce from a CSA Share

Big, somewhat eclectic box this week. This is a great example of what it's like to get your produce from a CSA share.

The way it generally works for us is:
  • Watch the "What's in the Box" list.
  • Start thinking about what we'll do with the food.
  • Pick up the box on Thursday.
  • Plan a few meals in which to enjoy the harvest.
  • Decide what else we need for the week.
  • Head to the grocery store.
What's really different here is where you start. With a CSA, you have to start with what you have on hand or risk wasting food.  Without a CSA, you start with what you want to eat and buy what you need. Given that each week involves some planning, I find having a list of ingredients to work with simplifies the process. Admittedly though, some weeks are simpler than others.  This week, for example, includes some interesting items. It's also a lot of food:
  • Raw Peanuts
  • Spring Garlic
  • Gold Turnips
  • Yellow and Purple Carrots
  • Green Mustard
  • Kale
  • Red Bearded Scallions
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Arugula
For dinner last night we made Green Garlic Risotto from The New Cook's Tour of Sonomaby Michele Anna Jordan, served along side a green salad with Dijon vinaigrette and a long time favorite, Baked Carrot Oven Fries from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog. The spring garlic, yellow and purple carrots, and red bearded scallions were gone in a flash.

Some of the remaining ingredients (raw peanuts, turnips, and mustard greens) remind me of the South, where I lived for nearly a decade. For these I'll take my inspiration from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen for Spicy Goobers and a batch of Roasted Turnips and Shallots with Turnip Green Soup. Our turnips came without the greens, so substituting mustard greens in their place.

The cabbage will replenish our sauerkraut supply and the cilantro (which came with its roots intact) will be replanted.  The arugula from this week and last week will become Arugula Pesto. The kale will just have to wait...

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