Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do you have farm shares or community supported agriculture (CSA) programs where you live? Living in Philadelphia and Boston for 10+ years, we had some CSA opportunities, but now many. So we were blown away when there were over a dozen local farms offering farm shares in our current town. In early spring, we went to a CSA "open house" where we got to meet the many farmers, learn about their programs, the vegetables {and in some cases, meats, eggs, and dairy items} they offered. We decided to go with one of the smaller, newer farms. Our choice was partly based upon convenience {their pick-up times and locations fit our schedule}, but also because we were excited to support people our age that were taking the big leap into farming.

This afternoon we'll pick up our 4th box of veggies from a local farm. Since we're a small household, we signed up for a 1/2 share of vegetables from the farm, which means that we pick up a box of vegetables every other week from May through October. And of course I can't help but photograph them. Here's our share from June 26th and what became of everything::

For tonight's box, we have to choose between kale or beets. While I love some hearty greens, there was a resounded shout out for more beets from Sarah and Calder. And who can argue when the beets are looking so beautiful this year?

We supplemented those veggies with store-bought asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onions, along with more bell peppers, because one doesn't cut it when there's hummus to eat.

Couscous and quinoa salads are staples around here; I like to have one in the fridge at all times because they make quick & healthy lunches. I just cook the grain or pasta with some vegetable bouillon and then add whatever chopped vegetables I have on hand. Lately I've like the carrots and turnips grated. And if I'm adding kale, beets, or beet greens, I cook those first. I used to add a simple vinaigrette, but have skipped it and no one has complained.

The evening before the next pick-up, I clear our vegetable drawers of any last vegetables from the previous share. Depending upon what's left, we might throw together a stir fry or salad, but last night, we had the perfect combination for a pan of roasted veggies. From the far we had : beets, turnips, the broccoli, and some carrots remaining. So I chopped them up and added an onion, some potatoes, and asparagus. I drizzled it with olive oil and added some fresh rosemary and thyme.

Everything goes in the oven at about 350F. I stir it a few times while it's in the oven, and keep my eye on it until it's done. Broccoli may seem like the odd veggie in this combo, but it's so delicious roasted! When the pan came out of the oven, C and I ate almost all of the broccoli before we sat down.

I paired the veggies with our go-to simple poached fish. For this we combine equal parts soy and fish sauce. Add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar and a couple cloves of crushed garlic. I wrap 1 fish fillet in foil with a few pats of butter and some sliced shiitakes and the poaching liquid. It goes in the oven for about 10 minutes and it's done!

Last night's fish was topped with some fresh mango ~ paired with the poaching sauce it's a perfect combination of sweet and salty.

What are you eating lately? On the menu this week is a mushroom tart and a lot of veggies.

And while I was taking that first picture of our veg box, the Cash and Charlie were being curious/causing trouble ::

No comments: