For the first time ever, I've joined a CSA—Community Supported Agriculture group. The delivery is a few blocks from my house, so I couldn't resist. I've purchased a vegetable share and a fruit share, and anticipate some delicious challenges arising from getting produce I didn't select. Talk about seasonal!The way a CSA works is, you buy a share of a farmer's produce, they bring it to a drop-off point on a predetermined day, and you walk away with your arms loaded with whatever was ready to harvest that week. You get farm-fresh produce while supporting a local farmer. If the farm has a good year, you get lots of food, and if the farm has a bad year, well, you—the community—help them bear the load. Our CSA's farm is called Garden of Eve and it's located on the eastern end of Long Island in New York.
This week's list wasn't too daunting:
1 lb potatoes (about 5-6 little ones)
a big bag mesclun lettuce
about ½ a produce bag spinach
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch bok choi
1 bunch sweet salad turnips
5 garlic scapes
3 pints strawberries
3 stalks of rhubarb
Some items were a no-brainer. We inhaled the strawberries in less than 2 days, plain. But the biggest crowd-pleaser turned out to be the rhubarb. There's a rhubarb fan in my house, and she cooked up the stalks (no leaves! they're toxic!) with last week's store-bought strawberries and some agave nectar into a sauce that I happily turned into sundae topping on vanilla ice cream.
The potatoes and some cilantro went into a tomatillo soup (supplemented, of course, with tomatillos and lots of onions from elsewhere). I sautéed the greens from the turnips in olive oil with a little salt. The turnips themselves I cut up and served on top of the mesclun lettuce, dressed with fresh lemon juice, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of kosher salt.
Plans are still in the works for the rest of the veg... maybe I'll use the bok choy to make my Mom's Everyday Food fave, Bok Choy, Carrot, and Apple Slaw.