Back in January, I signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm share for this summer. At the time, it was a little painful writing a check for food I wouldn't see for months, but the season is upon us, and I am finally reaping the benefits. Yesterday was the first pick-up (the last will be in October), and I was really pleased with the fresh, organic haul I received: ripe, juicy strawberries, crisp apples, fresh, peppery arugula, bunches of mint and oregano, yummy salad greens, broccoli rabe, bright green spinach, and heavenly crunchy radishes (not all of it is pictured, since greens are only so interesting). It presents an "Iron Chef" challenge to figure out how I am going to use everything this week, before the next mystery produce batch arrives.
With ingredients this fresh, you don't need a whole lot of bells and whistles- I want to keep the recipes simple so the natural flavors of the veggies shine through.
Tonight, I think we'll munch on the radishes raw, with a little soft butter and salt (don't knock it til you try it).
To serve with dinner, I'll be making a super simple arugula salad, like the one they serve at Lil' Frankie's (a family fave restaurant on the Lower East Side) with just arugula (that's "rocket" to you Brits), shaved Parmesan, and a lemon-balsamic vinaigrette.
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil
What to do: Combine lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, add the oil in a thin stream. Remove the garlic and serve or store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
And we'll have fresh strawberries and whipped cream for dessert. Now to figure out what to do with two pounds of spinach and broccoli rabe...
To find a CSA near you, visit www.localharvest.org.
6 hours ago