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  #1  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:16 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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WTF, CSA? Or, Recipe ideas for Community Supported Agriculture Farm Shares

A CSA is the typical way in Chicago to refer to a "farm share" or Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you buy a "share" or a "half share" of a farm, and you get fresh veggies and fruits (and sometimes meats and cheeses!) all summer long for free. It's a "thing" in Chicago - lots of people who work in buildings in the Loop participate, because the farms will drop your veggies off at your office building if enough people in one building sign up for the same one.

So, this our first year doing a CSA. Live-in and I have had our eyes opened up to Sunchokes, Kohlrabi, and 80 different ways to prepare Kale, and we'll be doing more as the summer continues.

I can't be the only one here doing a CSA this summer. So, what are your favorite recipes for things that aren't the staple veggies (broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, etc.)?

This week we've been eating a Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw that's been great with all our summer dishes. I also did roasted Sunchokes once (not that awesome), and diced Sunchokes on salads.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:46 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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That would be fantastic if they did it here.
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:49 PM
TonyB06 TonyB06 is offline
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..I'm just amazed someone actually uses kohlrabi outside of The Food Network.
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  #4  
Old 07-10-2013, 03:29 PM
Shellfish Shellfish is offline
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I don't get a CSA because of the small size of my household (one), but I do like to browse at farmers' markets and try things. This year it was garlic scapes, from which I've whipped up a couple of batches of this pesto recipe, which I used as a spread on sandwiches with ham and tomato. At first, it is some super strong stuff, but with age it mellows and is wonderful.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2013, 04:39 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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My office mate has a similar thing she does (for probably dramatically more money) having a random selection of organic fruit and veg delivered to her house at specified intervals. I think for her program you decide how much you want delivered at a time. But it sounds like the California, way more expensive version of the same thing. The good news here is the growing season is year round, although seasonality dictates what you're going to get.

One of my favorite things to do when I lived in Dubai was buy odd fruits and vegetables just to see what their deal was. Usually I was tickled by the result. Just one time it was a complete failure. But I was unable to find any information AT ALL on the interwebs about this particular Indian vegetable (have forgotten the name of this cucumber/zucchini/potato thing), so I had no idea how to cook it. And I guessed wrong.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:46 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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I learned what a sunchoke is today. Thanks!

I'm no help with recipes, sorry.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2013, 05:12 PM
angels&angles angels&angles is offline
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Sunchokes are also sometimes called Jerusalem artichokes. If you plant them, they will take over your yard. They are also delicious!
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2013, 09:48 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation View Post
That would be fantastic if they did it here.
Maybe they do? It's usually the organic or family farms. How many in your house now? They told us a full share was good for 2-4 people but we feel like we could feed an army.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyB06 View Post
..I'm just amazed someone actually uses kohlrabi outside of The Food Network.
It's actually my favorite "new" thing. It's a very mild, cabbage-like taste. Really fresh tasting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellfish View Post
I don't get a CSA because of the small size of my household (one), but I do like to browse at farmers' markets and try things. This year it was garlic scapes, from which I've whipped up a couple of batches of this pesto recipe, which I used as a spread on sandwiches with ham and tomato. At first, it is some super strong stuff, but with age it mellows and is wonderful.
That looks awesome! We'll have to try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
My office mate has a similar thing she does (for probably dramatically more money) having a random selection of organic fruit and veg delivered to her house at specified intervals. I think for her program you decide how much you want delivered at a time. But it sounds like the California, way more expensive version of the same thing. The good news here is the growing season is year round, although seasonality dictates what you're going to get.

One of my favorite things to do when I lived in Dubai was buy odd fruits and vegetables just to see what their deal was. Usually I was tickled by the result. Just one time it was a complete failure. But I was unable to find any information AT ALL on the interwebs about this particular Indian vegetable (have forgotten the name of this cucumber/zucchini/potato thing), so I had no idea how to cook it. And I guessed wrong.
We paid about $500 for a full share and have already saved about $200 at the grocery store - and our CSA goes into October! I wish I knew more about your veggie fail!
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:30 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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The grocery store I shopped at was this AMAZING place with piles of every kind of vegetable you could think of and way more you've never heard of, plus 6 or 8 kinds of eggplant, a couple kinds of ginger, etc., all at way cheaper than the fancy British store. You had to pick through everything because they went from the field (in India, Jordan and Egypt mostly, but some from Europe) to the bins and they could be bruised, rotten, buggy, etc. But they tasted like actual vegetables and cheap enough to take chances. So the time after I bought this crazy vegetable, like a zucchini but had seeds in the middle sort of like a cucumber, but quite firm and bland like a raw potato. I tried to treat it like a zucchini and it was gross. So the next time I was at the store, there was this Indian guy picking some out, so I cornered him and asked him what it was, what it's used for etc. He said it's used for soups. Cut it up and boil it (like a potato). It's very bland and doesn't improve. What I got is that it's really just used for filler. But it turned out the guy was the head chef at one of the more famous Indian restaurants in Dubai. Akin to randomly asking a guy a question at the grocery store and having it be Wolfgang Puck. So there you go. I did better with the weird fruits, crazy sized bananas, etc. Who knew a grocery store could carry 5 varieties of bananas?
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2013, 11:51 PM
amanda6035 amanda6035 is offline
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I did a veggie CSA last year. Loved the experience. However, I also learned that many of the items were still too weird for me. I'll stick to tomatoes, squash, zuccs, and such.

This year, we joined an organic meat CSA, and it's been a MUCH better experience. Still some weird stuff, but nothing I havent been willing to eat yet. Usually chicken, beef, and sausage, but I've also gotten guinea (a type of bird - poultry) a goose, ground lamb, rabbit meat, etc. It's been AWESOME. I'll never go back to buying meat in the grocery store. Whenever we want something specific, we just call ahead of time and order ot for delivery with our CSA. They have AWESOME burgers.

www.whiteoakpastures.com is where we get ours through. They also sell some products in whole foods, publix, earth fare, and are featured at some restaurants.


Also - some resources you may be interested in: www.localharvest.org, http://www.greenpolkadotbox.com/, http://www.grasslandbeef.com/
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Last edited by amanda6035; 07-10-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2013, 12:23 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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So yesterday we got some little yellow squashes, a cucumber, more kale (yum), more cabbage, some carrots, and some other things. I took the squash and sauteed it with a little butter, some parsley, and green onion. It was pretty good, but squash often leaves me feeling a little "meh."
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2013, 02:33 PM
Gusteau Gusteau is offline
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This might be a less "meh" way to have squash: Dip sliced rounds of squash in olive oil (or egg) and dip in breadcrumbs and bake it at 350 until it's golden. My mom always used to make it in the summer. Sometimes she would make a zuccinni and squash gratin that might also spice up your squash!
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2013, 04:09 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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Oooo that's a good one!
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2013, 04:16 PM
Gusteau Gusteau is offline
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I hope you like it! If you get any corn: I'll be trying this recipe with my burgers tonight, and I'm very excited for it! http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qu...can-corn-salad
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  #15  
Old 07-15-2013, 05:37 PM
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We're part of a co-op. Not the same at all. We bought a share, which was $50 or so. That entitles us to buy directly from the farms and collect directly from a distribution point when our monthly order arrives.
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