Wednesday, June 29, 2011

CSA Week 1

Not a good sign that I'm already two weeks behind on my CSA posts but here is the first!  If you look at my CSA link on the top of my blog you can see that in 2010 I really enjoyed produce from local farms.  Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a great way for people like me (and you!) to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Last year, my farm was Silverbrook Farms and I picked up Mondays at City Hall Plaza.  I loved Silverbrook Farms and I will definitely continue to buy produce from them this year.  But, I decided to switch my share to Stillmans Farm in large part because they had a pick-up in City Hall Plaza that worked for me (last year they didn't).  AND because they have Kale in every pick up.  In case you didn't know this, I love Kale : )

I paid $350 for a Half Share from Stillman's Farm.  Which translates to just under $20 a week for 18 weeks.  Under 20 bucks for all this produce!  I say that's a steal.  Especially to know EXACTLY where your produce comes from : )

So what did I get in my Week 1 CSA from Stillmans Farm?
 Basil and Kale to plant, three kinds of Kale, Beets, Romaine Lettuce and Strawberries.
Right Away, I got planting : ) I'm excited for the future with Kale, Basil and Chives in my planter : )
Three kinds of Kale definitely made me happy- Curly Kale, Dino Kale and Purple Kale (is that what it's called?)
 Besides Kale Chips, I also made Tuscan Kale and White Bean Pasta.

Pretty simple recipe and dinner was done in a flash.
Kale and White Bean Pasta
Olive Oil
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
pinch or two of red pepper flakes
1 bunch of kale, chopped into small pieces (without the stem)
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of white cannellini beans
1 package of pasta of your choice
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup of grated parm cheese

In a large  skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil and saute the onion about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and half of the kale and cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and the garlic is fragrant. Add remaining kale, tomatoes, and salt to taste, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until soupy, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stirring to combine.
Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. When al dente, drain pasta and add it to the kale mixture. Cook about 2 minutes over medium heat, then sprinkle with Parmesan, if using, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Then put in mini casserole dishes, add some mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melty.  Serve with Kale Chips.
Next up... the strawberries.  Well, I just ate them.  In Week 2, I did something super fun, but you'll have to wait for the recipe! How could I not just eat them, look how delicious they are! Yum : )

 Then the beets.  I wish I could say I like beets, but sadly they just aren't for me.  I did have fun cooking with these guys though!
 I took all the beets, trimmed the ends and put them in a glass baking dish, added a little water and covered the dish with foil.  Then I baked them in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.
(I added some turnips in there....) When they came out, they looked like this!

 Then you wash them under the sink and peel the skin off.  Then you can get chopping.  Pretty soon I had a pretty pile of beets.
 I turned the beets into a salad of goat cheese, sliced green apples and Arugula.  I made a dressing combining honey mustard and olive oil.  I wish I could say I loved this salad, but I just don't like beets. Luckily the husband enjoyed it : )
Hope you enjoyed Week 1 of my CSA goodies.  Weekly I will be updating you with what I get and what I do with my CSA produce.

Do you belong to a CSA?  Do you buy from local farms?


  1. I made roasted beets with a mustard cream sauce once... it kind of masks their usual flavor... it might be something to try if you get more beets in your CSA!

  2. I don't belong to a CSA, but I usually go to the farmers market once a week. I got beets last week and have been eating them with kale and goat cheese as a salad. best combination.
    Also, that soup looks really good!

  3. That pasta looks good. What a good use for kale!

  4. you did a lot of great things with week 1! those strawberries are gorgeous, might as well enjoy them in pure form. i would love that beet salad!

  5. Yes! I am so excited your csa started and I can drool over all your new recipes and get ready for my csa starting in November!

  6. The beets looks delicious. I want to make beet chips soon.

  7. The pasta and white bean dish looks amazing. I make something similiar for the husband but it's more soup-like. We buy veggies from local farms all the time. I like to buy produce in season as much as I can.

  8. I definitely need to think about a CSA share in the future. I am always jealous of your haul. The strawberries look so good. I keep saying that I need to go pick some. I think you should make that yummy cheesecake with the Jo-Jo's! And then I'll come over and eat it.

  9. Yummm! This all looks amazing. I'm pretty sure I will be jealous of your CSA all summer! When I get my act together someday I will sign up for one too.

  10. I would love to belong to a CSA, but I don't! Not sure why, actually. that looks like a really great week! I heart beets so much.

  11. What a haul and lovely way to enjoy all your veggies! I especially want to try your pasta :)

  12. Those strawberries look beautiful! Ours are already out of season down here. So sad.

  13. You've probably tried this already but roasting them sliced at 400* for about 20 minutes (tossed in EVOO, S&P) makes beets super caramelized and totally different tasting. I LOVE beets but don't think the boiled kind would be appealing even to me. Give it one more go! [You'll probably get them in your CSA at some point again...]