Wednesday, June 13, 2012

CSA Pickup 1 - plus CSA Salad with Garlic Scape Dressing

I picked up my first CSA share just the other day and was delighted with my produce -- not only was my produce beautiful, I found way more of it in my bin than I expected! Here's what I got:
First Pickup from my CSA
  • Green Romaine Lettuce
  • Red Butterhead Lettuce
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Carrots
  • Japanese Turnips
  • Kohlrabi
  • Spring Onions
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Lambsquarters (so excited about this)
  • Edible flowers (caledula -- the yellow & orange ones; bachelor buttons)
  • Garlic Scapes
My CSA also sent along a recipe to encourage me to use the garlic scapes (when I joined last week, they gave me a handful for free since they weren't selling this year -- apparently people are hesitant to buy them, which makes me sad because they're one of my favorite things as far as early produce goes!). The credit for that recipe (below -- anything in parentheses are my suggested changes based on dietary restrictions) goes to HappyDirt Veggie Patch (unless, of course, they took it from someone they didn't credit in the letter included with my produce).

The opportunity to support local, chemical free produce farmers excites me because I've wanted to join a CSA for several years, but as I mentioned before, haven't felt stable enough in a place. This year, in part because I'm trying to shift to more conscious living in general, I decided that it was important to me to support local agriculture (especially because I have so little room for my own garden) and to make a real effort toward more creative cooking and eating more whole foods. Plus, there's the opportunity for surprise plants, like the lambsquarters (which is another plant you can forage in many areas) that I'll get to figure out how to use.

First CSA Salad
For my first dish with these lovely veggies, I decided to make a large salad using the butterhead lettuce because from past experience, I know that won't last as long. On top of that, I added some thinly sliced carrot (1), thinly sliced Japanese turnip (1) and chopped turnip greens, and then sprinkled some edible flowers over it all. My friend Caitlin joined me for dinner and brought tempeh for protein, which made this a lovely meal.

I made the dressing basically as directed, except subbing in agave for honey (since I was out of honey) and reducing the amount of oil by a fair amount. I can't stand salad dressings that leave my lips feeling greasy even though I know the chemistry behind salad dressings does actually dictate a certain amount (not sure that that is) of oil to the rest of the base. Those changes are not reflected in the recipe below, which is supposed to prepare about 1 cup of dressing -- enough for several salads!

Garlic Scape Dressing
2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped
Equivalent amount spring onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon honey (or agave)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or similar brown mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
dash salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a blender, combine all ingredients, except the olive oil, and blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended.

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