Thursday I received my first CSA (community supported agriculture) box with veggies and fruits from local farms. Here in Olympia there are many such programs to choose from, and this one delivers to the local fresh seafood market, which seems like a bonus. This time I picked up a spicy calamari salad and fresh spot prawns from Westport, WA (local, yay!) to go with my veggies. This year we had a very late spring, accounting for the late start of the program, which will last 18 weeks. I really enjoy doing this as it typically provides nearly enough food for a week, all local, organic, and sustainably grown. Not to mention that I’m forced to figure out how to cook and eat new things! Half the fun is not knowing what will be in your box each week. And I lose weight… need I say more?
In the box this week was:
– 2 pints of the deepest red ripe strawberries you ever saw
– 4 medium-sized bok choy
– a head of oak leaf lettuce
– a bunch of arugula
– a bunch of cilantro
– a bunch of chives
– garlic scapes
– 4 very large radishes
– a box of various mushrooms (I have a small mushroom share also)
– there were also supposed to be flowers but they had a slight mixup on the first delivery!
As you can see, we’re still largely in the greens and herbs part of the season around here. Peas are starting to come in and should be ready by next week, and we’ve had asparagus for a while. I actually don’t have a fruit share this time (on the waiting list) – the vegetable farm grows some strawberries, pears, and apples, so I’ll get some of those as the season goes along. I can supplement at the farmer’s market if need be – nectarines and cherries are the only other fruits that have made it into season so far.
The strawberries are so sweet that they nearly cry out for something to pair them with. I don’t have any goat cheese at the moment, so yesterday I made a salad of lettuce, arugula, chives, cilantro, and strawberries with balsamic vinaigrette. That was really good. I normally don’t like arugula much, but I also tried it with the very spicy calamari salad and it seemed to pair well with that. I also made some biscuits and have been eating the strawberries with milk and biscuits for breakfast, or with fiber cereal. Last night I marinaded the spot prawns in some lime juice and zest I had leftover from another dinner party, along with heaps of cilantro and garlic-chile sauce. The prawns were sauteed with the bok choy, and all was good.
Now I just need to figure out how to eat these amazing-looking radishes, given that I really don’t like raw radishes. I’ve been wondering if there’s some way to creatively roast them or otherwise use them that might change their flavor?