Friday, April 20, 2012

Locavore: Eating Seasonally

Purple Kohlrabi

Finally some time!

My schedule settled down this week and I finally found some time to think about food. This week's box contains:
  • Purple Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Spring Onions
  • Rapini
  • Red Radishes
  • Erbette Chard
  • Fennel
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
 The viable items we still have on hand from past weeks includes:
  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Red Cabbage (from 4/11 and 3/21!)
  • Carrots
  • Green Garlic
  • French Breakfast Radishes
  • Red Chard
Unfortunately we composted turnip greens, soup celery, red romaine lettuce, Portuguese cabbage and some little gem lettuces.

Having the time to think about food is not the same time as having the time to cook a good meal. First, there's deciding what to cook. Then there's shopping. Then there's cooking ... you get the idea.

When I picked up the box yesterday, I decided to go with what we had on hand (which wasn't much) and just work with it. We ended up making an adapted version of Martha Rose Shulman'sbroccoli risotto, adding sun-dried tomatoes and skipping the parsley; we were able to make use of the broccoli and some of the onions and green garlic from this week and those prior. I also started a batch of sauerkraut, using up the cabbage from 3/21 and 4/11 and the purple kohlrabi from this week's box.

For dinner tonight, we made Swiss chard stuffed manicotti (an adapted version of the Swiss Chard Stuffed Shells recipe from CHOW) served with a green salad. This meal made great use of the Erbette chard from this week's box and the red chard from 4/4 as well as the lettuce and onions from this week's box and green garlic from weeks past.

We now have rapini, radishes, fennel, and strawberries left. My plan is to pickle the radishes, eat the strawberries out of hand, make roasted fennel tartines for dinner one night next week, and to serve the rapini sauteed along side some to-be-determined main course.

Two main themes over the past month: time and eating seasonally and locally.

The trick on the time theme is knowing what is perishable and eating it first, then taking steps to preserve the food you don't have time to deal with right away. Lots of options for preservation, but my go-to solution continues to be Evert-Fresh bags; they really do buy you time.

On eating locally, the trick is starting with what you have and finding ways to make it interesting. All this takes is a quick inventory, a bit of research, and of course, time.

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