In Season

The CSA Chronicles: Week 15

By Stephanie Witt Sedgwick
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This summer and fall, In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick is sharing her experiences as a member of a community-supported agriculture (CSA) 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; see her recipe for Daikon Radish Slaw. Watch for her column, which appears on the first Wednesday of every month in Food.

I am still marveling at how much was in our latest share. I'm buying less at food markets because the CSA is satisfying almost all of our vegetable needs.

One of my goals in joining the CSA was to get my family out of our produce comfort zone. Although I had cooked with a lot of different vegetables, I felt there were just as many I hadn't tried.

Mission accomplished. The first thing I cooked with this week was the kale, which I had found excuses not to buy in the past. I sauteed some pancetta and garlic, added cut-up kale and water and let it braise. We ate it happily with grilled pork.

As I pulled the collards out of the bag, I wondered aloud what to do with them. "Are you kidding?" my husband said. "I love collard greens." (This I learn after 19 years of marriage.) I haven't gotten to them yet, but they are beautiful and waiting in an open plastic bag in the refrigerator.

I whipped up a simple supper of pasta tossed with sauteed chicken and arugula, spiked with a lot of garlic. The bitterness of the greens was a nice counterpoint. I had heard that daikon radishes were used to make European-style salads, so I gave that sort of recipe a try. I'm wild for the results, a crunchy remoulade-like salad that starts out sweet and ends with a peppery kick.

The best part is that so far I've worked only halfway through what was in our share.

In the bag this week: 6 small, thin eggplants, 2 green bell peppers, 2 purple bell peppers, 2 small butternut squash, 1 small kabocha squash, 1 bunch of daikon radishes (about 1 pound), 1 bag of salad greens, 1 bunch of collard greens, 1 bunch of kale, 9 carrots, 2 small garlic bulbs, 1 bunch of arugula, 1 bunch of parsley.

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