Posts Tagged ‘CSA’

Favorite Things: No-Cook Summer Suppers

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Our favorite things week continues with a non-recipe — because I don’t spend much time developing new recipes here at the close of summer. Pretty much everything found at the market or in our CSA bag can be served fresh or quickly grilled with a little cheese and few slices of bread. Why make things complicated?

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Here we also added some prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and watermelon from the CSA, and peaches from southern Maryland. The tomatoes and fruit were sprinkled with champagne vinegar, and the mozzarella drizzled with olive oil. A pinch of salt and pepper and we were set. Oh, and a loaf of Atwater’s sourdough, also from the farmers market. The boy still doesn’t like tomatoes, so I composed the ingredients as shown above and let the kids mix as they desired.

We’d been to a Good Food Awards tasting earlier in the day, where the kids went nuts over this champagne vinegar. Really. {Kimberley Wine Vinegars from California. Check ‘em out.}

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The tot stopped to say hello to one of her pickle ladies, aka Sarah from Gordy’s Pickle Jar. They had run out of her sweet chips, though, so I had promised her we’d have some at home (fortunately we still had a jar in the fridge). So, this was her dinner creation, titled “The Pickled Lady”:

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We may have eaten this meal a few more times this week…. and then we got more tomatoes and watermelon in our CSA bag yesterday, so I moved on to gazpacho.

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What’s your favorite no-cook supper?

CSA Sign Up Season is Here

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

farm stand at PVFRegardless of whether you believe the groundhog’s prediction of an early spring, your local farmers are gearing up for spring plantings. And you can help by signing up for a farm share, or “CSA.” (CSA = community supported agriculture.) If you’ve incorporated a weekly (or more) farmers market trip into your routine, joining a CSA lets you take your relationship with your local farmers to the next level — signing up up front to share in the farm’s produce for the season.

Of course, CSA membership is not for everyone — if you like to have total control over your weekly menu and don’t deal well with surprises, or just can’t bear the thought of getting kale or chard seemingly every single week, you may not be the best candidate for a CSA membership. (Personally, I split the difference — a half share to replenish the produce crisper midweek, but still shop the markets on most weekends.)

If you live in the DC/Northern Virginia area, here are a few well-regarded CSAs you may wish to check out:

  • Potomac Vegetable Farms — Our CSA, they grow “eco-ganic” produce on the last remaining working farm in Fairfax County, just minutes from Tysons Corner, as well as on a larger farm in Loudoun County. They also have an arrangement with Next Step Produce and another local farm to supplement their offerings during the season. (Registration for new members opens Feb. 15, and fills up quickly so act fast!)
  • Food Matters CSA — If you’ve eaten at Food Matters in Alexandria’s West End, you’ve already sampled the producers who supply the restaurant’s CSA. This CSA is technically a buying group, as the restaurant sources the products from a variety of well-vetted local sources. This means more variety for you, including local honey and cheeses. They do not deliver; you’ll need to pick up your share at the restaurant each Saturday.
  • Bull Run Mountain Vegetable Farm — a chemical/pesticide-free farm in The Plains, delivers to Alexandria, Falls Church and DC.
  • Great Country Farms — Great Country offers u-pick and many weekend festivals throughout the year, and a number of options for CSA pickup/delivery (including a monthly payment plan).

inspecting the week's haul

Most of these CSAs require sign-up by the end of February, so if you’re thinking about taking the plunge this year, please act quickly! And if you’re outside the area, check out Local Harvest to find a CSA farm near you.

Any CSA veterans out there? What did you love, or not, about your experience?

Support Farmer Heinz (and a Sunchoke Soup Recipe)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

A local Maryland farm, Next Step Produce, recently lost their boiler room in a fire. They lost $1600 worth in seeds in the fire and are unable to heat their greenhouses until the boiler room is rebuilt. Read more about the situation here, or go to FreshFarm Markets’ website to make a contribution to the “Help Heinz Fund.” Not only is farmer Heinz a fixture at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm market, but his organic produce is also distributed through our CSA in a crop-sharing arrangement. Below is a favorite recipe from the FoodieTots archives using one of the ingredients I was first introduced to by Heinz, sunchokes. My toddler, then just two-and-a-half, eagerly sampled a sunchoke handed to him by Heinz at the market — and if I remember correctly, sampled this soup as well.

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Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, look very similar to ginger root, but when you begin to peel them they offer an intensely concentrated artichoke aroma. Raw, they have the texture of a water chestnut, but taste sweeter and nuttier. They are a member of the tuber farm and are packed with iron and potassium. They aid in digestion and store carbs as inulin, not starch, making them an ideal substitute for potatoes. The farmer suggested roasting them or serving raw in a salad, but I’ve had sunchoke soup on the mind since Ramona’s post in the spring. This simple soup lets their flavor shine. I added mushrooms which added to the earthy flavor, but you can omit them.

Recipe: Creamy Sunchoke Soup
Adapted from Thomas Keller

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sunchokes
  • 1 leek, white part and an inch of the green portion, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream

Instructions: Peel and thinly slice the sunchokes. (They are a little tricky to peel, so go carefully.) Slice the leek cross-wise into thin strips. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Melt butter in stock pot over medium low heat. Add sunchokes and leeks and cook until they are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more. Season with white pepper and salt, and stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in blender or with stick blender until smooth.  Stir in cream, warm over low heat for two minutes, then remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: Organic sunchokes and leek, Next Step Produce and maitake from the Mushroom Lady, Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Butter from South Mountain Creamery.

– originally posted 12/09/08

Local Potluck Tuesday July 6 (and Garlic Scape Chimichurri)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

As we prepared to welcome baby #2, this holiday weekend was an exercise in clearing out our CSA produce from the fridge. We grilled flank steak one evening, and I had chimichurri on the mind but was missing jalapeno peppers. (Chimichurri is a South American pesto-style green sauce, typically made with parsley and peppers. We first tasted it at an Argentinian steakhouse in Puerto Rico, on our honeymoon.) When my dad arrived back in town, imagine my surprise that a garden-fresh care package from my sister-in-law in North Carolina contained … jalapenos! I used the last of our CSA garlic scapes, and parsley from my herb pots. Unfortunately my basil plants have quite overshadowed my parsley, so I didn’t have quite as much as I would have liked. But this turned out delicious just the same. We also roasted beets, zucchini and yellow squash on the grill. Simple and tasty!

Recipe: Garlic Scape Chimichurri
(If you don’t have garlic scapes, substitute fresh garlic cloves.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded (leave seeds in if you like it extra hot)
  • 3 garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch pieces (or garlic cloves, peeled)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 – 12 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions: Place peppers, garlic and parsley in food processor and process until finely chopped. Gradually add olive oil until a pesto-like consistency is reached. Stir in salt and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes: I rub a generous amount onto flank steak, place it in a pan and add half a bottle of beer, then marinate it for at least 1 hour before grilling. Then serve extra chimichurri along side the cooked steak. It’s also great tossed with potatoes and/or zucchini before roasting them. Enjoy!

Please join in and share what local foods you’ve enjoyed this past week!

Local Potluck Tuesdaya few guidelines:
1. Share a relevant post — a recipe, menu or pictures of a meal featuring local foods, from the farmers market, CSA, farm stand or your own garden — using the MckLinky widget below. In the link title field, enter both your post title and your name &/or blog name, e.g., “Lemon Cucumber Salad — Colleen @ FoodieTots.”

2. Bonus points if you included your kids in picking, growing, purchasing or cooking the ingredients for the meal! (And by bonus points, I mean increased likelihood of seeing your post featured in a future post.)

3. In your post, please link back to this post here at FoodieTots, so your readers can find the potluck and be encouraged to join in as well.  Of course if you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to share in the comments.

That’s it! I hope you’ll join in and share what you’re cooking up that’s fresh & local to you!

Local Potluck Tuesday June 22 (and Swiss Chard with Tomatoes)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Swiss chard is pretty much a weekly constant in our summer CSA share. I enjoy it just fine sauteed on its own — but the boy doesn’t (yet) eat leafy greens and the husband has merely grown to tolerate it over the years. Attempts to boost flavor with dried cranberries and/or bacon didn’t impress, but a recent variation with garlic and cherry tomatoes actually had the husband voluntarily eating a second helping. (No, this was still no help with my tomato-averse son, but that just leaves more for us.)

Recipe: Swiss Chard and Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed well
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt & pepper

Instructions: Trim the ends of the Swiss chard stems. Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces, and cut or tear chard leaves into 1-inch strips. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook garlic for 1 minute, then add the chard stems and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they start soften. Add cherry tomatoes, cut side down, and cook another minute. Add chard leaves to the pan, add vinegar, cover and cook until leaves wilt, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat, drain any excess liquid and season with salt and pepper. Makes 2-4 servings. Enjoy!

Your turn: Please join in and share what local foods you’ve enjoyed this past week!

Local Potluck Tuesdaya few guidelines:
1. Share a relevant post — a recipe, menu or pictures of a meal featuring local foods, from the farmers market, CSA, farm stand or your own garden — using the MckLinky widget below. In the link title field, enter both your post title and your name &/or blog name, e.g., “Lemon Cucumber Salad — Colleen @ FoodieTots.”
2. Bonus points if you included your kids in picking, growing, purchasing or cooking the ingredients for the meal! (And by bonus points, I mean increased likelihood of seeing your post featured in a future post.)
3. In your post, please link back to this post here at FoodieTots, so your readers can find the potluck and be encouraged to join in as well.

That’s it! I hope you’ll join in and share what you’re cooking up that’s fresh & local to you!