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Mpls, MN, United States

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Seasonal Eatin'

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)

The asparagus (which ranged significantly in size this last batch!) I roasted using David's mom's technique: drizzle washed, snapped asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle with 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.

And here are the crèmes, out of the oven but still in their water baths, prior to their burnt sugar topping.

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?


Leah said...

Mmmm, I love asparagus. My favorite asparagus recipe is to roast it with S & P. Nothing else. I wish we still had of my favorite spring veggies!

Right now, we're rolling in delicious tomatoes. I made some fresh salsa, tomato sandwiches, plates of plain tomatoes, tomato salad with cucumber, I could go on.

Tomatoes should be celebrated with their own holiday!

CëRïSë said...

Oooh, tomatoes! I'm so excited for those to start rolling in. Maybe I'll post my new favorite bruschetta recipe.

Daniel said...

Leah, isn't there the big tomato fight in Buñol, Spain?

My mother seems to know every wild asparagus patch in the quad-county area, and my favorite preparation is roasted w/ s&p and an over easy or poached (getting better at poaching) egg.

CëRïSë said...

You're kidding! Wild asparagus patches?! I had no idea those existed.