‘Tis the season for a return on an investment- that’s right, it’s growing season and farmers supported by CSAs are churnin’ out the good stuff. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a relatively new phenomenon (<40 years) brought on by the alternative food movement of the 1980s wherein a farmer is able to elicit one time investors into their production for a season, guaranteeing them an income no matter the outcome of the growing season. In this way, the consumers are taking on some of the risk of the farmer, while also ensuring that the farmer will be able to grow again next year. For more of the goods on CSA history click HERE.
Due to the privilege of growing up with gardens, I had no need of a CSA until recently as I got all my summer veggies straight from the yard. This year, however, I have no yard, and so I am excited to be a part of a CSA with Bonavida Growers in Longmont, CO. I’ve purchased one share with my sister, and so we’ve each ended up spending $180.00 for approximately 20 weeks of vegetables. That’s 9$/ week, and a heck of a deal for one person who eats a ton of veggies.
So, every Friday this summer I hope to share with you recipes that I use from my CSA products. I’m going to challenge myself to keep these recipes as simple as possible with a majority of the product coming from the veggies themselves. I’m going to give each meal a Localism Rating- what percentage of the meal came from local food, as well as a bit of Nutrition information. I’m hoping I can get a little creative with the food, give you some ideas, and stay true to the commitment of eating local along the way.
CSA Spring Salad:
First off, this week, we have a whole lotta greens. Spring is the time to eat salad, my friends, and a good salad is easy to make when you’ve got awesome ingredient such as these!
In the bag:
From left to right: baby red leaf lettuce, baby romaine, and baby spinach!
Left to right: a turnip!, red globe/cherry radish, and what I believe is a French Breakfast radish- two types of radishes!
Recipe: This is the quantity I use for one to two people, depending on how hungry I am.
3 cups greens mix (lettuces and spinach)
1 turnip, washed and sliced thinly into disks
1-2 radishes, washed and sliced thinly into disks
2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the stuff with the sharp flavor everybody!)
2 pinches sea salt
1/4 teaspoon balsamic reduction
Place first three ingredients into a nice big bowl, one that will allow you to toss the salad without also tossing it out the bowl. Drizzle oil and balsamic over the top, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat.
That is literally it.
If you want to be a bit more luxurious, I also tend to add:
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup crushed pecans
1-2 Tablespoons feta or gorgonzola cheese.
The first recipe is approximately 89% local. With the other add-ins, the recipe is approximately 68% local.
Nutrition Label (recipe with extra add-ins)
Holy vitamins, Batman! This salad is a fantastic source of vitamins and minerals, and if you’re at all concerned about fat levels, consider taking out the cheese, lowering the olive oil input, and adding some chickpeas.
I will be eating this salad literally all week for dinner, so feel free to try it out and tweak it according to your style. Let me know in the comments what you’ve tried and what you think.