This summer, I did something I've wanted to try for a long time: joined a CSA! Our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share is from Trumpeter Swan Farm, which is about 50 miles northwest of us and makes weekly deliveries to my friend E's house (eight blocks from us). E and I went halvsies on a full share (designed to feed a family of four or five, I think), and she did the research on finding this one for us. It was a great find; it includes a dozen eggs/week, includes some fruit (strawberries, raspberries, and more) and delivers weekly over six months(!).
The season has started slowly (right up until our recent hot temps, we'd had a cold, wet spring), so our shares so far haven't been very big and early on were supplemented with canned goods from the farm. However, recently they've been picking up, and we've had a lot of asparagus, some green onions, radishes (which I tried, but ultimately failed, to eat), and most recently spinach.
I enjoyed designing the following meal around the most recent delivery:
|Spinach salads with rounds of fresh local chèvre (encrusted in freshly ground pepper), dried cranberries, and spiced candied nuts|
|Roasted asparagus on a bed of fettuccine in a lemon-scented light cream sauce with CSA green onions and garden chives|
|Crème brûlée (using lots of those farm-fresh eggs, and local dairy), brûléed somewhat less than successfully under the broiler)|
Maldon sea salt (seriously, I love this salt!) and/or lemon pepper (which, sadly, I don't have, though a little lemon zest can be nice). Pop into 400° oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on size of stalks); flip and continue roasting another 5-10 minutes, until just fork tender. This time around I pulled the smaller stalks out halfway through and let the larger ones cook longer, but it's not usually a problem.
The next day, since we'd eaten all the asparagus, I caramelized onions, threw the rest of the spinach in with them to sautee down a bit, and then added that to the fettuccine, which I reheated with some of the leftover chèvre for an even more decadent dish. Delicious!
I look forward to the CSA inspiring many more dinners to come. What are your favorite seasonal dishes?