I'm trying to be more healthy.
The winter was bad for me. I hurt my knee in August and then couldn't run for months on end. In fact, I'm still struggling to run. It hurts if I run on concrete, and even extended running on dirt still causes my knee to act up.
And then there's the lack of fresh, local produce here in Massachusetts during the long, dark winters.
It means I was less inspired to eat vegetables. And instead spent the winter playing around with my pressure cooker making dishes such as lamb osso bucco, lamb bolognese, and French lentil soup;
or used my sous vide machine making such beauties as a 36-hour Chashu Pork Belly.
But now there's really no excuse. Spring produce is exploding everywhere, and the longer days are finally motivating me to get out and exercise - even if it means doing low impact activities (yes, my bike is tuned up and ready to go!) or joining a gym and learning new things (pilates, anyone?)
As added motivation, I decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) this summer. In a CSA, you invest in a farm by paying up front for that season's share of their crops. Every week, they give you a portion of that week's harvest.
Now, if you've been reading my blog for a very long time (and I do mean very long time - I probably had like 100 readers back in those days), you may remember that I participated in a CSA with Siena Farms three years ago.
Since then, I've tried many other things. First, I tried another CSA that focused on more "everyday" vegetables. Though it was fine, I got bored quite quickly and decided I preferred to have a say in which vegetables I bought and cooked. The following summer I decided I would shop for my own groceries at farmers' markets every weekend.
Ha! That didn't work out so well. It actually takes a lot of effort to go to the market everyday! Or even on a regular basis. I think we ate out a lot that summer.
And finally this year, I decided I wanted to try the CSA thing again. I remember really enjoying my first CSA with Siena Farms because they introduced me to bunch of interesting and more "heirloom" varieties of vegetables that I'd never tried before.
You see cool vegetables like purple kohlrabi (it's sitting next to a green one, by the way, which you see much more often at markets);
baby French breakfast radishes (milder and sweeter than traditional radishes!);
and green garlic (very young garlic that's harvested before the cloves have matured). I wonder whether green garlic tastes like ramps?
They also provide plenty of nicely packaged mesclun greens, arugula, and braising greens, which are all washed and prepped, ready to cook or eat.
This crazy green oak leaf lettuce is bigger than my head. There's going to be lots of salad this week.
And finally, a huge bag of pre-washed savoy spinach, which I cooked in the simplest way possible - just a quick stir-fry with some garlic, salt, and pepper. Oh, and a tiny splash of sesame oil for fun.
I'll be partnering with Siena Farms all throughout the summer and fall documenting everything I receive from the "Peak Season Farm Share" (as well as the fun dishes I cook with the bounty!). Stay tuned!
The entire share this week.
I received a discount on the price of the CSA. All opinions are completely my own.
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[…] cafe Sofra. All three are excellent. Chef Sortun’s husband is a farmer (I actually belong to his CSA!). Accordingly, it’s no surprise that the restaurant strongly emphasizes local and seasonal […]