CSA Share, Week 1
We received our first CSA share of the season this week: ceeeee-le-brate good times, come on!
CSA Share, Week 1
In this week’s share: kale, collards, lettuce, baby salad greens, garlic scapes, arugula, fingerling potatoes, radishes, and salad turnips.
I’ve been waiting for this week with quite a bit of anticipation. It’s our 4th year belonging to a CSA, and for the past 2 years, we’ve had shares in the Full Plate Farm Collective. This CSA is unique in that it’s a collective of 3 farms:
- Remembrance Farm, which is certified organic and biodynamic, and specializes in salad greens, onions, and root crops
- Stick and Stone Farm, which is certified organic, and grows a wide range of vegetables, including lettuce, cooking greens, summer and winter squash, heirloom tomatoes, beets and spinach.They also have a lovely U-pick section of the farm for shareholders.
- Three Swallows Farm, which is certified organic and biodynamic, and specialized in hot weather crops like eggplant, hot peppers, tomatoes, and melons.
We love the fact that this CSA allows us to support three local farms at once. They do a great job of providing a variety of produce throughout the growing season, and offer a few different pick-up and delivery options to give people all around the Ithaca area a way to conveniently get their shares.
We’ve found in our CSA experience that June in the cooler climate of the Northeast usually brings greens, greens, and more greens! The first year we belonged to a CSA, I was exposed to a few kinds of greens I’d never cooked before — kale, mustard greens, collards — but one of the best things about being a CSA shareholder (in my opinion) is the learning process of figuring out how and what to cook with the vegetables you get each week (and kale, incidentally, is absolutely one of my favorite vegetables now.)
One of the other things I had to learn fairly quickly was how to best store the vegetables we received and how I could space the vegetables out over the week. Greens are pretty perishable, but there are certain ones that keep longer than others. Here are a few tips that have worked for me:
- Salad greens, particularly baby greens and arugula, are quite perishable and should be used in the first few days after you bring them home. They’re best stored in the front part of the fridge, where it’s not as cold as the rear.
- We receive our baby salad greens in plastic bags, misted with water. I tried keeping them in this bag during the week, but ended up sacrificing a few that rotted from the moisture. Now, when I bring them home, I spin them dry in a salad spinner and transfer them to a dry ziptop bag; they seem to keep well in the fridge for a few days, sealed, this way.
- Kale and collards are sturdier and can be stored in the fridge for most of the week. Kale, especially, doesn’t mind colder temperatures and can take being pushed towards the back of the fridge if you’re cramped for space.
- Radish greens and turnip greens are delicious and shouldn’t be discarded. Both are, however, fragile and I usually try to use them the same day that I receive the radishes and turnips. They both have a peppery flavor, with turnip greens having a taste reminiscent of mustard greens (but not quite as spicy.) Radish greens are terrific mixed into a salad or sauteed, and turnip greens are delicious given a light braise or saute with garlic and olive oil.
The reason I was so thrilled to see all of these crunchy greens in our share is that we have been gorging on salads with dinner lately, now that local lettuce is in season, and I am positively obsessed with this buttermilk dill dressing that I mixed up one day, after picking up a gorgeous bunch of feathery dill at the farmer’s market.
come to mama
We’ve been eating this kind of salad non-stop lately with whatever I bring back on the weekend from the farmer’s market; recently, it’s been tender baby greens with salad turnips (more delicate and mild than the fall storage turnips, I love them!), radishes, and a few chive blossoms thrown in from the chives I have growing in a pot outside.
Easter Egg radishes
beautiful (edible!) chive blossoms
The tang of the buttermilk and fresh dill is a perfect match for the crunchy, delicate greens and thinly sliced radishes and salad turnips. On the day we brought home the share, I blanched the fingerlings in salted water, let them cool slightly, sliced them and tossed them in with the salad — the dressing is a wonderful topping for potatoes, too (you could try it on a potato salad – yum!) We’ve also had it as a sauce for poached salmon (delicious), served with some sliced greenhouse cucumbers that I picked up at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago. I’ve even used it as a dip for raw vegetables (just use less, or leave out, the buttermilk so it’s a thicker consistency.)
I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you how much of this I’ve made already this spring…I can’t get enough of it!
Buttermilk Dill Dressing
an Eggs on Sunday original
view printable recipe
You can make this into a dip, instead; just reduce the amount of buttermilk used (or leave it out entirely, relying just on the sour cream and mayonnaise for thickness.)
Makes 2 cups of dressing (enough for quite a few salads!)
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp coarse salt (plus any additional to taste)
freshly ground black pepper – at least 1/2 tsp
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 cup buttermilk
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, minced shallot, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk in the chopped fresh dill. Slowly add the buttermilk in a stream, whisking constantly until it’s the consistency you like (I find the 1 cup makes a good consistency for a salad dressing.)