February 8, 2010

CSA Delivery Day: Hooray

I'm not too happy with this photo, but it's getting a little boring to keep complaining about my camera. My lack of photography skills doesn't help the matter. I just wish you could fully appreciate how gorgeous this mid-winter bounty is, colorful and varied as ever.

If you're new to this blog, every two weeks we get a delivery of fresh, local, organic produce from a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This bonanza lasts us a full two weeks and sometimes we have to work pretty hard to use it up. It's so delicious we don't want to waste a thing.

This week we got (roughly clockwise from the back): China Rose radishes, kohlrabi, golden beets, mustard greens, dandelion greens, carrots, broccoli, kale, green oak leaf lettuce, pink lady apples, red onions, ruby crescent potatoes, cilantro, Romanesco cauliflower, onions, and a bag of Bloomsdale spinach that you can't see.

Sometimes right behind my thought bubble along the lines of, "Wow! Look at all this delicious produce!" comes, "How are we going to eat it all?" I immediately start thinking of what needs to be used first and preparation ideas. It's a challenge, but a fun one. I love eating what's fresh and in season, as it's always tastier. When I told my radish-loving husband those huge pink tubers were radishes, his reply was, "That begs the question- how much radish can one man eat?"

Tonight we'll have a kale, white bean, and mushroom soup from a recipe my brother made last weekend while I was visiting him in Portland. It was so delicious that I ate it for lunch the next two days. His soup used bacon but I'm going to make a vegetarian version tonight for Meatless Monday. Tomorrow I'm cooking dinner for a friend and I'll be able to use up a lot more of this delivery while it's still fresh. I'll try to post the recipe for the soup later this afternoon if I have time.

Eating local is better for your health and the environment, and it tastes SO much better. Sometimes I feel sorry for people who've never tasted real produce with real flavor. Click here to find out more about CSA and to find one near you. And please leave me your preparation ideas for anything you see in the photo in the Comments section.


Kate Sommers said...

Hi Angela,
If you don't think you'll use up all of the potatoes you can chop some and freeze for a soup or home fried potatoes another day.
Or have a good excuse for a party and make a big batch of potato salad!

Bellen said...

Radishes can be sauteed with fresh ground pepper and used as a hot veggie, grated or finely chopped and added to home fries, chopped and combined with plain yoghurt and eaten as relish with something kind of bland like fish or use as dip with other veggies, used in stir fry, finely chopped and added to coleslaw.

Radish leaves can be used in soup or salad, or sauteed along with any greens.

Non Consumer Girl said...

I feel healthier just by looking at all of those wonderful vegetables!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum!! Look at all that bounty! Lucky girl!! :) Nothing better than fresh, local produce!!

Can I offer you a suggestion about taking your photos? It looks like you are standing facing *towards* the window there, and you have too much light coming in. Next time stand on the other side of the table with your back in front of the window (so the light coming in behind you) and snap your pic with the flash off. Even in gloomy, cloudy days, use no flash. That should help you out! :) This goes without saying, but if there's natural light make sure there's not lights on in the room you're in.

I hope i'm not overstepping here, just trying to offer you some helpful advice. Please forgive me if i've offended.

Marie-Josée said...

If your hubby loves radishes, and if he likes pickled foods, I would try pickling them in the manner of Lebanese spickled turnips, such as the ones served with shish taouk. I would sautée half the greens, and keep half for a wonderful soup. How about serving the roasted beets with sour cream, Russian style? Yum!

Beautiful produce, lucky you for the freshness. My organic leafy greens and fruits come from California too, at this time of the year, but I live across the continent in Quebec. I know it isn't sustainable, but I need my greens!

Forest Parks said...

I think that selection looks awesome!! Is the Romanesco cauliflower the weird thing on the top left... I had that once before but it was sold as BrocoFlower... I was told it was a brocolli/cauliflower cross breed.

That would all make a fantastic veggie stew...


Angela said...

Kate- We love potatoes in this house, and I'm planning on roasting all of them with just a bit of olive oil and fresh herbs.That way it's easy and I don't even have to peel them.

Bellen- Wow, thanks for the creative suggestions. I will definitely try one of those because this is more than he needs just for his lunches.

Non Consumer Girl- Lately I've been realizing just how healthy eating all this fresh produce really is. One of the things that gets left out of the argument about why fast food is so bad for you is all the stuff you're NOT eating that your body needs.

halfdozendaily- I am so not offended- thanks for your advice. That makes a lot of sense, and I think it was a brighter day than other times that have come out better. Soon I'll be going back outside and those photos were better. Oh, my professional photographer brother would be so embarrassed for me!

Marie-Josee- Thanks for the suggestions- It would be hard for me to live without greens, too!

Forest Parks- Yes, the Romanesco cauliflower is kind of light green and the first time we got it, I thought it was so beautiful I didn't have the heart to do anything more than steam it. I drizzled olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and it was delicious! I like cauliflower, but would hardly describe it as delicious- this had an incredible flavor.

Thanks for commenting everyone!

Wendy said...

To soup sounds right up my alley. Will you post or email me the recipe (I eat an insane about of soup....basically lunch every day).

Marie-Josée said...

Wendy, here is my soup recipe:

I cover the bones of a turkey thigh or chicken (organic) with water and bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour or two ($2 for the bones only at local organic butcher shop). I skim the broth regularly at the beginning to remove the scum. In addition to the bones, you can add onions, garlic, herbs, lemongrass etc. to the broth to flavour it according to your liking. Once it has cooked, strain and keep the broth. I sautée leeks in a bit of butter, directly in the big pot I am making the soup, until they are tender. I add chopped Kale, brocoli, swiss chard, squash, yams or potatoes and tons of spinach as well as sprouted beans. Then I cover all the veggies with the broth, boil and simmer until the harder veggies are tender. I use a hand blender to turn it into a purée. I always add squash and sprouted beans to our soup, because I eat it for lunch, and just complement a big bowl of it with rice or rice cakes and I get a complete protein. This is also the sneaky way I get my family to eat greens that they don't like (kale, collards, swiss chard etc.), because I serve it in lieu of cooked greans at diner.

Angela said...

Marie-Josee- Yum! Thanks so much. I love soup, and I love to make it, and that recipe sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...


I'm slowly emerging from my move/holiday/multi-child shell shock and getting back out into the world! We joined a CSA here in Ventura and I picked up my second weekly delivery on Tuesday. It spurred me to dust off the old computer and check out your recipes and goodies. Although I'm loving the fresh veggies I have to admit a bit of jealousy as our CSA is from a single farm so we are more limited than what you are getting from Auntie Em's farmers market buys.

Hope to be back soon to check in with you!