Community Supported Agriculture. The dictionary lists the following definition: a noun–“a system by which people purchase a share from a local farm and periodically receive vegetables and other agricultural products throughout the farming season.
A simple definition that means so much more! A CSA is a chance for “city folk” to learn about agriculture, and where their food comes from. It is a chance for people who want to support local agriculture to purchase fresh produce, and meet the person that grew it. It is a chance to stretch your imagination with fruits and vegetable cookery, as you never know what will be in your bag each week. It all depends on the weather, the farmer(s) adding to the bag, and in the end, some luck on when produce is ripe. It’s like opening a bag full of “Chopped” ingredients and figuring out what you can do with them–only better!
We have been receiving a CSA bag weekly for a couple of years. It really gets you thinking about how to utilize produce at it’s freshest! Every day it sits around, it declines in nutritional value and quality. I think of it as gardening without all of the work or land! This week I was lucky enough to receive two different CSA bags. They were both full of lovely produce. It was fun coming up with ideas on how to use them! Here are a few of my uses for what I received.
It was HOT this week–we are talking 100 degrees hot! So I cut up the broccoli, cauliflower and turnips and placed them in a throw away grill pan with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese. On the top shelf of the grill they come out crisp yet tender–and oh so tasty!
The beets were beautiful! I boiled them, peeled them and sliced them. A pinch of butter, and they were incredible all by themselves!
The corn on the cob was so sweet! We had a few ears left after dinner, so the next night I cut the corn off of the cob, sautéed it with a little roasted garlic and butter. It was incredible!
The Yukon potatoes were so fresh. I chunked them up with a little olive oil in a grill safe pan and a pinch of salt. Sometimes that is all the seasoning they need! I covered them and grilled them on the middle shelf for about 45 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes. They rocked!
The peaches were divine–I was going to grill them, but they ripened so fast, we just ate them as is. I grilled the onion in slices to go with the potatoes. The tomato was wonderful sliced. Period. Fresh tomatoes are terrific all by themselves.
Finally, I used a recipe from the Pioneer Woman for the carrots. It is called “Roasted Carrots with Vinaigrette.” It has such a layer of flavors–you’ll love it!
Check out your local farmers market if you are not involved in a CSA. Fresh produce is a lovely summer experience! They even have fresh herbs!
For more terrific produce recipes, check out these blogs by nutrition experts!