This is my first year participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). By buying a “share” of a local farmer’s produce, each week I pick up fresh-picked, organic items as they come in season.
Its been one of the highlights of my summer. Grocery store produce simply can’t compare to local, organic produce. I never realized how darn fresh food really can taste. It’s so much fun to see what’s available each week. I was sad when the strawberries were finished, but thrilled that potatoes had come in.
The greatest fun for me, though, has been trying new foods. These are items I wouldn’t normally purchase, simply because I didn’t know about them. But now I do… Kale, leeks, fennel and so many more items are now part of my cooking repertoire.
Some of my favorites so far this season include the aforementioned strawberries, spinach, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chinese cabbage, kale, corn, celery, and so much more. Each week, the farmer throws in a special goodie like sun-dried tomatoes in the early spring when it seemed like I was getting mostly lettuce.
And the potatoes! There is nothing on this earth that compares with an organic, just-picked potato. Potatoes are one of the “must buy organic” foods because of the high amount of pesticides. I know I’ll never enjoy a grocery potato again now that I’ve tried the real thing.
The first week I picked up the leeks, I told Jill, the farmer, I’d never tried them. She suggested I make a potato-leek soup. One taste and I was in love with leeks. Here’s the simple recipe I created. Keep in mind, I rarely measure, so these are just personal preferences.
Sautee the leeks and some garlic in olive oil. Add organic vegetable or chicken broth. Throw in cubed potatoes and boil until tender. Add milk (or non-dairy milk of choice) and seasonings to taste. I found (and tried) several recipes for baked potato soup and other varieties that included cheese, sour cream and other items, but I liked this simple version best. Top with grated cheese if desired.
A great way to eat the kale is in a green smoothie. It’s a way to eat your greens raw–and tastes great. Put a handful of kale, a couple large chunks of pineapple and a banana in a blender. Add water, almond milk or orange juice and blend with ice to desired consistency. Yum… The Best of Raw Food website has other great suggestions, as well.