June 26, 2013 by drandmrso
Author’s note: This post was supposed to be published last Sunday, but someone (ahem, Dr. O) had my computer for the weekend. Expect an additional post on Friday!
How would you like to get a box full of delicious surprises every single week?
And what if those surprises were organic and locally grown?
And what if the cost of this box went directly to supporting a family-owned farm instead of to a supermarket chain, distribution company, and agroindustrial corporation?
Oh, you’re interested because that sounds amazing?
Well do I have news for you: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares are the perfect way to support local farmers, usually with organic practices, and get a bounty of produce delivered to you every week. We signed up last winter with another couple so that we could get the bigger sized box (a better value) and split the contents with them each week. Only a few farms in our area provide CSA shares so our decision to go with Featherstone Farm was pretty easy.
Our first box was delivered June 6. All of the boxes get delivered to our local food coop and we have a time window on Thursdays when we can go pick it up. The first box looked a little something like this:
And for those of you who are more detail-oriented, here’s the close-up:
I used the rhubarb to make super-yummy Cinnamon Sugar Rhubarb Tarts. Here’s the recipe (based on this one from Allrecipes.com):
Mrs. O’s Cinnamon Sugar Rhubarb Tarts
Makes 16 super-yummy dessert tarts in about an hour.
2 tubes of Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuits
1 bunch of rhubarb (approximately 2 cups chopped)
1 cup brown sugar plus a little extra
1 cup water
1 stick of butter, melted
Ground cinnamon to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Thoroughly rinse your rhubarb (seriously—it grows best in sandy soil which obviously gets into all the nooks and crannies) and chop into 1/2 inch cubes.
3. Pop open the biscuit tubes (yay!) and separate the pieces. Squash each round so it’s about 4 inches in diameter. Place about 1.5 tablespoons (or a little more or less, depending on how much rhubarb you have) of the chopped rhubarb in the center of the circle. Sprinkle a bit of the extra brown sugar on top of the rhubarb before sealing up the dough into a little round ball of goodness. Place the tart seam-side down into a high-sided baking dish (I used an ungreased 9×13 casserole dish and another ungreased 8×8 casserole dish with great success). Repeat until you’ve used all the biscuits and rhubarb, placing the tarts about two inches apart on each side in the dish(es).
4. In a bowl, mix together the melted butter, water, and 1 cup of brown sugar. Drizzle this mixture over the tarts. Sprinkle ground cinnamon over the top to taste.
5. Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes.
6. Best enjoyed warm from the oven!
Sadly I didn’t get an after picture of my rhubarb tarts, but they were delicious! I brought them to the ENT Snot Luck (har, har) and lots of people commented on their yumminess.
The farm had to skip delivery the week of June 13 because of the incredibly late spring/massive amounts of rain/minimal amount of sun we’ve had so far. They’re making up for it with a delivery the week of July 1 which was originally an off week so it all works out. The box on June 20 included many of the same items as the first (lettuce, spinach, asparagus, cilantro) but also included radishes, green garlic, dill, oregano, and strawberries. I used the asparagus to make a yummy summery dinner.
Mrs. O’s Polenta & Asparagus with Marinara
Makes a light entree for two in about 15 minutes.
1 bunch of asparagus
1 tube of pre-cooked polenta. I used Food Merchants’ Basil Pesto flavor.
1 cup marinara sauce. I used Trader Joe’s Vodka Sauce because it is really flipping good.
Goat cheese (optional)
Dash of olive oil
1. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Cut up half of the polenta into 1/4 inch thick patties and cook about three minutes per side, or until nicely golden. Set aside.
3. Depending on your preference, either chop or leave the asparagus stalks long, and cook in the same pan you used for the polenta for about three minutes or just until tender.
4. On each plate, lay out a few of the polenta slices, layer some asparagus on top, and spoon on about 1/2 cup of marinara. Optional: add a dab of goat cheese on top.
Looks pretty good, huh? It was fantastic, and so quick and easy! I’m looking forward to this Thursday’s box and the new concoction options that it will provide! How about you? What kinds of summer produce meals and treats are you cooking up these days?