Friday, May 22, 2009

CSA - Week 1

Well, I did it. This city girl finally got her rear in gear and joined a CSA. I was a little nervous about how I would manage to use up all the fresh veggies coming my way. Would I find the time to find recipes and make the home cooked meals it required? Would I even like them? My partner, gotta love her, informed me very clearly that she "would not eat half of the vegetables they give you." Hmm.

The thing is some CSAs allow you to sign up for less frequent deliveries if you think you cannot keep up with a once a week delivery. Or some people choose to go in on it with a friend and split them. Luckily for us I found Harmony Valley Farm which has many glorious options! So, I signed us up for veggies every other week. And fruit every other week (opposite the veggies). And cheese once a month. Before you start to think I went a little overboard for a first-timer, let me point out that I did miraculously manage to hold myself back from also ordering the coffee share. If you knew anything about me and coffee you'd know that's a true feat! And, also a feat, a week since getting our first veggie box my partner has eaten more than half the veggies they gave us. In fact, she's eaten exactly what I have, except for the black radish chips (more on those later).

All in all, this has been a glorious week of amazingly good, nutritious, veggie filled recipes! I'm completely thrilled with the whole experience so far (aside from the larger than normal mounds of dirty dishes!) Over the next few days I'll try to post some of the recipes we've tried. But for starters I'll share the absolutely scrumptious dinner we had tonight:

Beef and Black Radish Stew (Khuplama)
This was the best thing I've made in a long time! It cooks for a while, but it was so easy. And I got to use up one more of those radishes. The only think I did differently from the recipe is to skip the cayenne and cilantro and added some chili powder. Do you know radish is one of those things that my partner swore she would not eat? And she had no idea it was in here!

Potato, Parsnip and Ramp Pie
Great side dish. I adapted the recipe quite a bit to fit what I had on hand so I'll re-type it here the way I did it. In hind sight I think it could have used a couple cloves of garlic too. Here's what I did:
1 lb potatos & parsnips, peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
1 c cheddar, grated
1/2 c half & half
3 eggs
salt & pepper
One pre-made pie crust (I use Pillsbury frozen pie crusts)
3 ramps, chopped - use all parts of the ramps

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the potatoes & parsnips. Let boil for 15 minutes until tender. Drain. Return the potatoes & parsnips to the pot, add the cheese & mash. Stir half & half & eggs together then stir into mash. Salt & pepper generously. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Lay the pie crust in a 9" pie plate. Pour the mashed mixture on top of the crust and spread out. Trim any excess pie crust. Sprinkle ramps on top of the mash.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the mash has set & the edges are golden brown. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

4 servings.

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