Mid-May my husband and I joined our first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with Wimer's Organics, a farm in Lancaster County just a couple of hours from our Philadelphia residence. We were so pleased with our first box of vegetables but it just keeps getting better and better.
Our second pick up included a bag of mixed greens, a huge bunch of kale, red leaf lettuce, radishes, broccoli, spring onions and a cucumber. During that week, it was so warm out that I would simply make a plate of crudite (raw vegetables) with a home made light ranch dip using sour cream. The radishes were so crisp, peppery and bright. I found a way to actually grill kale. I placed a large handful of already washed and roughly chopped kale in a tent of aluminum foil. After drizzling a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, I closed up the foil tent and put on the grill. The kale cooked down in the foil leaving a nice smoky flavor from the grill.
Our third pick-up of farm fresh veggies included collard greens, red butter lettuce, tons of long green onions, garlic scapes, a bunch of oregano and basil, sugar snap peas and green cabbage. Salads with the red butter lettuce were incredible. Not knowing what a garlic scape is or ever eating one, we were pleasantly surprised when we put these long thin green asparagus-like veggies on the grill with some extra virgin olive oil. The garlic scapes, which are what garlic bulbs grow from, have a mild garlic flavor enhanced by sauteing or grilling. Garlic scapes found their way in a few of our pesto pasta dishes in the last few weeks. Pestos have been blending up a storm in my kitchen with not only the huge bundle of basil from Wimer's Organics but also from my basil plant that is successfully growing outside my front door. The collard greens turned out perfectly after I referred to my own recipe, http://off-my-plate.blogspot.com/2009/09/collard-greens-from-garden-to-plate.html. This recipe brings together garlic, onion, mustard, extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar to make a quick and tasty version of collard greens. This time I simplified even more and skipped the pancetta.
Along with all of those vegetables, we received a dozen jumbo eggs-all of which were twins (two yolks in one egg). Our green cabbage is still going strong. I have mastered an easy slaw salad recipe. I shred the green cabbage with thinly sliced red and green onion tossed in a home made mustard vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is made with a teaspoon of dijon mustard, a teaspoon of light sour cream mixed with a splash of red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. With a pinch of salt and pepper, I toss the slaw with the vinaigrette and refrigerate for an hour or two. This crisp and satisfying salad is a refreshing compliment to any meal.
Our latest delivery came from Wimer's last Wednesday. The vegetables continue to get more abundant and vibrant. Napa cabbage, green leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, two crowns of broccoli, a bundle of sage, a hefty green and yellow squash, and three large red tomatoes came with this week's delivery. We have already enjoyed the Swiss chard sauteed simply and topped with freshly grated Romano cheese. I am so excited to cook a variety of Asian-inspired meals with the Napa cabbage. Eating salads everyday for lunch truly has been a pleasure. I thought I may get tired of eating so many greens, but it is the opposite. When I ran out of greens for salad and ate a sandwich for lunch instead, I felt so full and tired. Eating a salad for lunch fills you with out weighing you down. I am ready for a beautiful salad today and all next week.
Stay tuned for more details on the CSA!