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 labors… har, har.
Yes, my dears, I joined the CSA again this year! There was no way I would miss this for the world; the fresh veggies, the reasonable pricing schedule (with 1/2 a share, it comes out to about $10 a week for local & organic produce), which is completely reasonable, cheap even. I have a few photos of items, though most things I’ve been making magic soup with (even in this horrid weather) or roasting (again, even in this horrid weather – toaster oven, and stay out of the kitchen while it’s going on so I don’t roast myself as well) – many of these goodies then became bento-staples. (Enter the giveaway while you’re over there, why don’t you?)
In this instance, I actually remembered to take a picture of the “cream of fennel” soup I made. Simple (and no leeks, which a lot of recipes seemed to call for):
- Sautee thinly sliced fennel and thinly sliced onion together in butter.
- Cook until very, very soft, but do not brown.
- Toss a tablespoon or two of flour on top and stir to incorporate/coat, allowing flour to cook a bit.
- Add cream or milk slowly, then let come to a small bubble (VERY small bubble) and thicken a bit.
- Using an immersion blender (or you can use a regular blender if that’s what you have, but be careful!), blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve.
I added the fronds on top just to look fancy but I didn’t eat them. You can also serve this cold if you like!
This next one I’ve been posting on Facebook repeatedly as I tweak the recipe to fit what’s in my fridge. It’s perfect for the hot weather. You must have seen it on my Facebook because you’re a fan of the Feisty Foodie, right? Right? Well, why not? Anyway, the first time I posted it here and the second time I posted it here… but here are my final tweaks, I think, unless I make it one more time:
poached/cooked/cooled/shredded chicken breast (one) (you can use whatever chicken you like, or even the meat from a rotisserie chicken you picked up! just make the meat bite sized, or shredded so that it’s close in size/shape to the cabbage)
shredded green cabbage, half a head to a head depending on size (you can even buy a bag of this already shredded at Trader Joe’s)
shredded carrots (hey if you’re already at Trader Joe’s, just pick those up while you’re there, it’s next to the cabbage)
shredded radicchio for color and bitterness
dill and/or celery seed
thinly sliced onion
Really, you can play around with the veggies to find a combo you like – the carrots add a nice sweetness, so when I didn’t use them, I found myself adding a little sugar to my vinaigrette to cut the tartness a little bit.
juice of a lemon, lime, both, either, or
dash of sesame oil (do NOT substitute all of your oil and only use sesame oil; sesame oil is VERY strong)
extra virgin olive oil
Whisk to incorporate. Honey or sugar can be used (sparingly) to cut the tartness if it’s too tart for you. Taste it, make it what you like! Have fun with it!
I love making quick and fast salads like so, without mayo (which can be heavy, cloying, or just icky in this horrible heat NYC is encountering currently). How do you make yours? What do you put in it? Share in the comments your quick-fast-easy meals for weekday nights that are too hot to cook!