One of the highlights of this summer is receiving a variety of fresh produce each week from my CSA. For those who don’t know, CSA stands for community supported agriculture. You pay a monthly fee, and in return, you get a box of fresh produce each week, based on what your chosen farm is harvesting at the time. It’s not only a great way to pledge support to local farmers, and purchase healthy, organic ingredients, but I’ve also found it to be a fun way to spark my creativity in the kitchen. I always get excited to see what’s new each week.
I recently read this article about not being able to handle the farm share each week. For me, its great fun to figure out how to use all the items, so I figured I would share my CSA strategy for those of you who may be struggling.
For this case study, we’ll be using the actual ingredients I got in my CSA box the other week. This included:
I start almost every day with lemon water and avocado toast. I know lemons aren’t on the list, but often I find them in my CSA box. I combine the juice of 2 lemons with 32 oz of water, and drink that first thing in the morning. I follow it up with 1/2 an avocado spread on 1 piece of whole wheat toast which I sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
When I first get my CSA box, I always try to make a big salad that I can portion out and bring with me for lunches throughout the week. This particular week I made what I call my antipasto salad. The great part about salads like this, is that you can truly use anything you get in your CSA box, as well as a few leftovers from your fridge. First, I chop my lettuce and store it in a large ziploc bag in the fridge. This week, I added purslane to my lettuce as well. It’s a great, yet fairly unknown salad booster.
Next, I mixed up my antipasto salad ingredients in a large bowl with homemade italian dressing. This time I used cucumbers, carrots, green beans, radishes, broccoli and tomatoes. You can pretty much substitute any vegetable, any type of cheese and any herbs you can think of. There are no “wrong” combinations.
So far we’ve used all our lettuce and purslane, some of our cucumbers, some of our radishes, some of our avocados, some of our green beans and some of our carrots and its only the first day! Tune in tomorrow to see what else I make with my CSA haul.
Bean Salad with Herb Dressing
Pasta, pepperoni, mozzarella and a zesty dressing make this cold salad incredibly satisfying.
For the dressing
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
For the salad
- 2 cups cooked pasta penne, rotini etc.
- 4 cups chopped vegetables: carrots cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, etc.
- 1/2 cup chopped turkey pepperoni
- 1/2 cup chopped or shredded mozzarella cheese I used chopped up string cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary etc
To make the dressing
Whisk together all ingredients until well combined.
To make the salad
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with a bit of the dressing at a time, stirring until desired coating is achieved.
Serve on top of greens.