In Season

The CSA Chronicles: Week 3

By Stephanie Witt Sedgwick
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This summer and fall, In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick is sharing her experiences as a member of a community-supported agriculture program. CSA members pay in advance for a weekly delivery or pickup of produce and other fresh items from a local farm.

Here is her quick take for the week. Check out her recipe for Creamy Cabbage and Carrot Slaw With Celery Seeds, which uses ingredients from her CSA bag, and watch for her column, which appears on the first Wednesday of every month in Food.

This week's cabbage sums up my current challenges with the CSA life. It's not the unusual vegetables that I'm having trouble using; it's the most mundane ones. First it was the lettuce, begging to be washed and turned into a salad. That was great for a week or two, but we began craving meaty stalks of asparagus and tender green beans.

Now, my fourth and fifth heads of cabbage are proving a bit difficult to use up. I'm a cabbage fan, but mostly in cold weather, when I can add the workhorse vegetable to pot-pie fillings and soups, braise it and use it in egg rolls with ginger and sweet-roasted pork.

With the heat discouraging any slow-cooked options, I decided to stick with summer basics: a simple slaw. No fancy tricks, no Asian flavors, no roasted chili peppers; just a tangy, light dressing and a healthy dose of celery seeds. I added carrots because they were in my bag this week. They were on the small side and a bit knobby. I didn't have enough to serve them on their own, so into the slaw they went, adding color and sweet flavor.

In the bag this week (besides cabbage and carrots): tomatoes, sweet onions, zucchini/summer squash, parsley and basil.

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