CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially, one purchases a ‘share’ in a local farm – much like the stock market, one then has a vested interest in seeing the farm succeed. Dividends/pay outs come in the form of produce – vegetables and sometimes fruit. Different farms do things differently; my farm happens to be also organic, and I pick up my box each week – Tuesdays for me – from a local location. Join me on this journey – my inaugural season with a CSA – as I explore the various vegetables I receive and what I can do with them to turn them into delicious happiness…
For more information on CSAs, click here. To find a CSA local to you, you can click here or for one in NYC, visit JustFood.org. I found mine by typing “Forest Hills CSA” into Google – my neighborhood name + the word CSA, and I’m sure that would work for you as well. Good luck and enjoy the fruits of your labots… har, har.
As I mentioned last week, our CSA started off with a bang, plenty of vegetables I wasn’t familiar with. The second week, however, I was on much more comfortable footing and was able to quickly whip up something delicious that very first night.
Week 2’s veggies list can be found here!
The first thing I did was boil spaghetti and create this semi-primavera pasta, but not quite. Funny enough, I knew exactly how to prep the kale, though I’d never bought nor cooked it before – I have just watched Rachael Ray do it a few times before, and Sunny Anderson as well (btw, I love her down to earth attitude and approach). I just bent the leaves along the center “spine” and pulled with my two fingers, which cleanly removed the leaves. I quickly chopped the leaves, which I sauteed with a bit of garlic in olive oil until the leaves started to turn dark.
I threw in some shredded carrots I had lying around, some red pepper flakes to give it a bit of heat (and salt/pepper), and then added some black olives from a can. After that, I dropped a bit of spaghetti into the pan, stirred it all around, added a teensy bit of the pasta water, and the (washed) spinach from that week’s CSA box as well. When everything was cooling, I zested a lemon then squeezed in some of its juice.
To serve, I grated some cheese on top (romano one night, parmagiano another).
Super healthy, filling, and vegetarian!
Then I made more pasta… 😉
Rather, I used some more of the same box of spaghetti for the garlic scape pesto I made. Everyone and their momma has been posting garlic scape pesto recipes, so you don’t really need mine, although I was feeling poor and didn’t want to shell out $8.99 for a small bag of pine nuts (WTF? seriously?!). So I used what I had at home – smoked almonds, which didn’t impart much of a smoky taste at all, some home-grown basil, the garlic scapes, olive oil, Piave cheese, salt, pepper. Pretty good, with one little exception – this doesn’t seem to bother some people (because I’ve had pesto made by other people with this issue, though at the time, I wasn’t entirely sure what caused it, and other people liked it just fine) – the ‘skins’ were a bit grainy in the pesto. Some people seem to like that. I like my pesto creamier/less papery, so I guess I will have to grudgingly shell out for the pine nuts next time (though I will plan a bit better and get them somewhere cheaper – Trader Joe’s has a good sized package for $5, for sure!). (This made it into bento!)
I also used the garlic scape pesto and tossed it with diced poached chicken breast, added in some peeled/boiled potatoes and chopped up an orange bell pepper as a sort of chicken salad… and this made it into bento as well… twice! That was especially yummy…
Last but not least was frying up an egg to top the end of the pesto-spaghetti with. That added an extra creaminess to the pasta, love it!
And that’s what I did with Week #2’s bundle of goodies!!!