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In Season

The CSA Chronicles: Week 18


(By Stephanie Witt Sedgwick For The Washington Post)

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By Stephanie Witt Sedgwick
Wednesday, November 12, 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.

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CSA members pay in advance for a weekly delivery or pickup of produce and other fresh items from a local farm. Check out her recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables With Curry, which uses ingredients from her CSA bag.

Her column usually appears on the first Wednesday of every month, in Food. This month, however, the column and recipes will run Nov. 23, in the second of our Thanksgiving issues.

Our CSA membership season clearly is coming to an end. It feels bittersweet. I'll miss the surprises, but I'm ready to resume meal planning without the challenge of trying to incorporate what we received.

With just one week to go, our share is a collection of odds and ends. It's time for combination/desperation cooking. I've got enough salad greens to mix together for at least two nights. The cooking greens can go into a soup. The green tomatoes will end up in either a frying pan or the storage bin.

My first plan for the root vegetables was a British-style mash, but because I prefer my vegetables with a little texture, I opted to roast them instead. The collection seemed well suited for a dusting of curry powder. I tossed in an apple to round out the flavors.

After all these months, I've become a little more creative because I've had to cook to the beat of what's in the bag. The roasted vegetable dish is a perfect example: Normally, I would have used squash alone. Combining the vegetables made for a more interesting side dish and allowed me to balance strong flavors (the radish) with mild ones (the carrot and the squash).

It's a lesson I'd like to remember when, by chance or poor planning, I end up with a cache of this and that.

In the bag this week: 1 small butternut squash ( 3/4 pound), 2 fat carrots, 4 daikon radishes, 6 green tomatoes, 1 bunch collards, 1 head curly endive, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch curly kale, 1 head lettuce, all the green peppers I wanted.

Attention, CSA members: Want to share your thoughts on the experience? Send e-mails by Nov. 21 to Stephanie Witt Sedgwick at food@washpost.com.


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