Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CSA Goodness

A few weeks ago, we starting receiving a half share in our local CSA . A friends picks up the CSA share, and I pick up half of it a day later. I have to say, I am REALLY excited about this.

First of all, I feel like I am really doing something I believe in. I've always wanted to join a CSA, but for reasons unknown I've never done it. I love knowing that my money is going to support local organic farming, and that I am getting super farm-fresh veggies for my family. The kids love preparing supper using veggies from "the farmer".

It's like Christmas for me, receiving our bag of organic, locally-grown veggie goodness, unsure of what treasures are in inside. Our produce share is dependent on what is ready for harvest that week and will change throughout the season. The first week, we received a giant bunch of green onion, some swiss chard, a head of leaf lettuce, some spinach, and a head of cauliflower with the beautiful leaves still attached.

Because I am determined not to waste any of this yumminess, I am getting to flex my creative kitchen muscles a bit. We are all eating more fresh veggies, which is great. Lots of salad, lots of green mixed into our dishes. Yum! I have to admit, though, I was stumped by what to make with the cauliflower leaves! Who knew they were edible! I ended up sauteing them in oil and garlic, and adding them to a super delicious bean and sausage soup. So Good!

So, in honor of that, here is the recipe I finally settled on (adapted from a recipe in Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely)

Bean and Sausage Soup
one lb bulk Italian sausage
lots and lots of fresh greens (we used about 4 cups)
a cup veggies (a yellow squash is called for, but this is one of those times when you can use up pretty much anything)
4 cups cooked white beans (can use two cans, drained)
4 quarts chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
Italian seasoning to taste
cheese to garnish (a romano or parmesan works the best but we have used just whatever we have)

Brown one pound of bulk sausage, set to the side (we make our own bulk sausage, seasoning up local grassfed ground beef).

Take lots of greens from the CSA, like chard and cauliflower leaves, and saute in olive oil. Add lots of fresh garlic, and chopped bunching onion or whatever onion you have on hand. Saute until greens wilt and onions are soft.

Add whatever other veggies you are including and saute for a moment or

Add remaining ingredients, including the cooked sausage, and heat. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with cheese on top, and fresh baked rolls or biscuits.


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