We’ve done it again! Against all odds, we decided to sign up for another year of CSA adventures, this year with Bialas Farms, which operates a farm in the black dirt region of the Hudson Valley.
Although it’s not our first year with a CSA, things will be different this Summer, given that I’m a) not pregnant and b) lucky enough to have more space to prep and store each week’s haul. We have (pinching myself) a brand new beverage fridge that we’ve installed in the basement, so taking the beer out of the crisper and the wine out of the top shelves has given us a few acres of storage space for vegetables.
My plan is to document each week’s box and some of the meals cooked from the produce received, at the very least in short form. If you want more details about what I did to prep or cook one of the dishes, just leave a comment on the post. This week’s post will likely be more detailed than the ones to come, since many of the recipes will be riffs on what I’ve done this week. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway. I know that once I start to get new vegetables, my brain will be spinning with new ideas which I’ll want to put to paper. If you see me doing this kind of detailed post every week, yell at me to get out from behind the computer and go enjoy my summer for crying out loud.
My first box was highly anticipated – by me, and potentially my kids, who have been listening to me yammer on about the damn box for weeks. And it was great to finally meet Kasha, the woman, the myth, the legend behind Bialas Farms, who grow some of the best produce in the region. Kasha also writes the blog The FarmGirl Cooks, and at my first pickup, gave me some recipe inspiration, which I’ll share with you below.
So let’s get on with it, here is the Bialas Farms CSA farm share, week 1:
- Garlic scapes
- Red leaf lettuce
- Yukon gold potatoes
- Tuscan kale
- Green leaf lettuce
- Red radishes
- Bok choi
- Sugar snap peas
- Rainbow chard
- Red beets and beet greens
As you may know by now, one of the kitchen strategies that I stick to without fail is my veg prep when I get home from the market. So my heart was palpitating ever so slightly when I was faced with the mountain of greens that I’d have to wash and bag. But the work moved quickly, and within the hour, I had all of my greens prepped, labeled and stored in the fridge.
But it really does save time in the long run, and keeps your greens fresh throughout the week until you can pick up your next box, so in my book, it’s worth the extra effort up front.
Now for the fun part. I couldn’t wait for my first dinner with my new veg, but first, it was snack time. I scrubbed and trimmed the bunch of radishes, and scooped some sour cream into a bowl – the perfect vehicle for the new finishing salts I picked up in Chelsea Market last week.
Even the kids loved the treat, with the super smoky Alderwood smoked salt as the runaway favorite. Their assessment of truffle salt: “disgusting”. They’ll learn the error of their ways…
And here is where our first dinner with our CSA box went off the rails – one beer led to another, next thing we knew it was time to watch the sunset with a bottle of rose in hand. Prepping dinner took a backseat, and it was 8:30PM cheese quesadillas for everyone, followed by smores. Not a green in sight. Bialas, we apologize.
But we made it up the next morning when I fried up some eggs and locally-made pork sausage patties for breakfast, and served it alongside a heaping pile of lightly-dressed kale.
To make kale salad: In a large bowl, whisk a tablespoon of Dijon mustard with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and a splash of lemon juice. While whisking, add ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt & pepper. Tear a few handfuls of kale greens right over the dressing, and toss to combine. Let the salad marinate for 30 mins to an hour before serving, tossing every so often, to let the kale soften and absorb the vinaigrette.
One of the best things about kale salad is that it can sit in the fridge overnight, in its dressing. Perfect for tucking under poached eggs on toasted Portuguese muffins.