All veggies over here right now. That’s because we got our first CSA (1/2) share today! Earlier in the spring, I wrote a post about CSAs…what they were, my hesitancy with them, the pros the cons. Well, right after that post, a friend of mine suggested that we “share a share”. A good way to get my feet wet AND help her with some of the veggie overload. It was a deal on the spot. A perfect solution for the first time CSA-er.
Yesterday the big day arrived. First box (bags) of mystery arrived and it looked great! We got more than I expected and was left wondering how our family of four would handle a whole share. That would be a LOT of veggies to use in one week. This seemed plenty. Good variety, too, and being as it was picked in the last 24 hours, it’s fresh as fresh can be. We received (I felt like we were on the show “Chopped” when I started rifling through everything):
1 bunch of Kale (with purple stems…pretty)
1 huge bunch of Boston lettuce
1 huge bunch of the most gorgeous red lettuce I’ve ever seen
1 bunch spinach
Garlic Scapes (“the challenge”)
1 baby bok choy
a bag of fresh peas (delish! the kids and I couldn’t stop eating them…poor husband came home and said “Huh. Not many peas there”. Whoops)
1 parsley plant (gave it to my friend since I already have some growing)
I instantly made a fabulous grilled chicken salad for dinner with the lettuces, spinach and other ingredients that I had in the fridge. I loved that it came from a farmer who grew it just about 10 miles from me and it’s all organic. Made it taste so much better! We will be brimming with antioxidants in no time flat. Now, what to do with those Garlic Scapes….anyone?
And to go with all of this fresh veggie madness (love summer) is a recipe for Gazpacho that I made this weekend. Gazpacho is one of those love it-or hate-it foods. Purees, or almost-purees, can scare some people away. Add to that it’s made with only fresh vegetables and isn’t cooked…and some people flee. I happen to think it’s a perfect soup for summer and it even makes you feel great when you are eating it. Give me a whole bowl and it’s like, what, 2 calories?
Gazpacho, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres Handbook
1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice (note: I only used 1/2 of SMALL onion. Didn’t want onion breath at party)
1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peel on, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 seedless cucumber, peel on, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 Tb. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro (I used more)
1/2 cup tomato juice, or more if needed
2 Tb. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tb. red wine vinegar
2 Tb. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
In medium bowl, place 1/3 cup of red bell pepper, 1 tsp. of the jalapeno, 1/3 cup of the red onion, 1/3 cup of the tomatoes, 1/3 cup of the cucumber and 1 Tb. of the cilantro. Set aside.
Combine the remaining red bell pepper, jalapeno, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and cilantro. Add the tomato juice, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and salt and pepper. (Martha says to put this in a food processor. I like to use an immersion blender so that you can control the chop more. I’m not a fan of smooth, pureed gazpacho. I like a little texture to it. Personal choice here). Once processed to liking, add the combined reserved ingredients from the medium bowl. Chill for 4-6 hours before serving.
Go get your veggie on! I’m sure I’ll be writing more about my CSA adventures in the weeks to come…