Community Supported Agriculture

As some may know from my past blogging, I love to cook and I often blogged about recipes and other items of culinary interest. This summer we decided to buy into a CSA. For those who have never heard of this, or is not sure what it is, basically local farms will sell shares of their crops to the local community. Each week you get a basket full of produce and of course get to have fun coming up with great new ways to prepare said produce. Because we were able to get over 10 people to buy in, we also have the farm deliver the produce to our Synagogue and everyone can come pick up there, which makes it very easy. Our CSA is 20 weeks and the farms grows an eclectic list of fruits and vegetables.

Of course you have no clue as to what you are going to get. In the early weeks the baskets were filled to the brim with leafy greens. Different kinds of lettuces, Swiss Chard, Spinach, etc. Now I have no problem with leafy greens and they are totally good for you, but it was hard working with that many greens for three or four weeks (PLEASE try grilled romaine it is very good!)

Once the leafy green season our baskets are so full it is hard to pick them up! This week, for example, we got the following:

2 small bunches of Kale (the only leafy green that comes in the mid to late summer)
2 pounds of grape tomatoes
8 beautiful large tomatoes
1 small and 1 large cantaloupe
6 assorted hot peppers
4 large onions
6 large potatoes
2 small purple eggplants
2 small white egglants
6 cucumbers
1 large cabbage                                                                          Last week’s baskets
16 ears of corn

That is a lot of food and we should be able to get through most of it. If we cannot eat or cook it during the week ahead, we will freeze it. Here is some ideas on what we might do with the produce this week. For the kale we are going to make Kale chips. If you do this right they are just as good as potato chips (well, not AS good, but pretty good). It is a very simple recipe. Take a small bunch of kale and take out the thick stems. Tear the leaves into pieces and then coat with ½ – 1 Tablespoon of oil. Work the oil in with your hands to get every piece covered. Place in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheets and bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn the sheets and bake for 15 more minutes. Let the chips rest for 3 – 5 minutes before eating or bagging. You can season the kale with almost any spice before baking, but I think just a little kosher salt will be good.

Last week we got the same amount of grape tomatoes. Here is a recipe (from andreasrecipes.com) that I used with them.

Equipment

9×13 baking pan, lined with foil
12-inch nonstick saute pan

Ingredients

TOMATOES
2 pounds grape tomatoes
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons dried basil (I used Italian seasoning)
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 or 4 grinds of fresh black pepper

REST OF THE INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup sliced olives (I skipped the olives)
1/3 cup sliced button mushrooms
12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
16 ounces linguine, cooked al dente
fresh grated Parmesan, for garnish (or other option for vegan)

Preparation

1. Roasting the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 375° F. Put the grape tomatoes into the foil-lined baking pan. Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the dried basil and the sea salt. Shake the pan from side to side to get all the tomatoes coated with the oil and seasonings. Roast for about 90 minutes, until the tomatoes are starting to shrivel. Turn off the heat and leave the tomatoes in the oven while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.

2. In the nonstick pan over medium heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, green pepper, yellow pepper, olives, and mushrooms. Stir until all the ingredients are distributed and coated with the olive oil. Continue cooking until the vegetables are heated through and just starting to soften.

3. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and pour them along with all the olive oil and seasonings into the pan with the vegetables. Toss in the fresh chopped basil and stir and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over cooked linguine and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan.

Last week we had gotten peppers also so I used a lot of what we had in the one recipe. I hope you will try this recipe it is so delicious. If you do make it, PLEASE do not discard the oil that the tomatoes roasted in. It makes a remarkable creamy sauce for the pasta.

Finally, here is you tube video about how to cook corn:


Enjoy!

This entry was posted in Cooking, family. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>