Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CSA Box: Challenge Accepted

Produce and vegetables are big in Portland. We're super close to lots of local farms so it's pretty easy to get fresh greens. I particularly appreciate this aspect of Portland after living in New York. Who are we kidding? New York is an island and getting locally grown food there is a bit of a task. Often by the time you get to the vegetables they've travelled a bit so the shelf life tends to be not so long.

In Portland you can get a CSA box (Portland Area Community Supported Agriculture). Basically it's vegetables from the farm. You get the box once a week and you don't always know what you'll get. (Kind of like a vegetable wheel of fortune) The boxes are pretty big so it's not unheard of for people to split a box. Our friends who split a box are out of town and offered it to us this week.

Deeply intrigued by the idea of a CSA box I jumped at the chance to experience it. I picked up their share of the vegetables last night. Quite a bounty: 

Sweet Bounty!
Large bunch of scallions
Napa cabbage
Gnarly (literally) carrots
Fava beans
Kohlrabi (At least, I think that's what it's called)

While most people probably see a grocery list of healthy food, I see a challenge. I'm going to do my best to use everything in the CSA box by the end of the week. I'm not a great cook or a natural cook. I would rather bake any day of the week. 

Sauteed Kale with Garlic & Olive Oil

When I lived in New York I couldn't really cook at all (beyond making the occasional late night quesadilla). I took cooking classes at Peter Kump's Institute of Culinary Education. After quite a few classes I can pretty much follow just about any recipe and have a mild idea about flavor profiles. That's it. Don't start thinking I can create recipes. I still call my mom to find out how to boil an egg. 

This challenge is going to take me out of my comfort zone. I've already found a few recipes online for some of the ingredients, but if anyone has ideas about what to do with Kohlrabi or Fennel, please help a sista' out and send them my way.

Tonight I started off simple: Salad and sauteed kale. Oh and just because it all sounded so healthy I made some salted fudge brownies for dessert. 

Seriously, any ideas for some of these ingredients are great welcomed! Just leave a comment below.

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