|Blackberry pie fresh from the oven (and our CSA).|
Although the midwest is experiencing the worst drought in 50 years, the produce that we've received has been worth the price of admission. Especially for someone who didn't know her kale from, well, the rest of the leafy greens. I'm not claiming that I'm now a kale fan but I have added it to omelets and lived to tell about it.
It has been a challenge to find recipes and use the variety of produce before it spoils. If I were more adept at preparing vegetables, it would have been a piece of cake (carrot, perhaps?) But, that was part of the challenge that made signing up for the CSA appealing. I wanted to learn new recipes and possibly find a few new favorite foods.
One of my favorite "finds" this season are fresh beets. I've only eaten beets from a can or jar and I was convinced that beets must come with that awful, vinegary sweet juice. For three weeks, I received fresh beets from the CSA. I ran out of room in the refrigerator to store them and my husband was losing patience. Everywhere he turned, there were those darn beets.
I talked with a friend and co-worker, Kerry, who rattled off a very easy recipe to make a cold beet salad with rice vinegar, olive oil, a bit of sliced onion and salt and pepper. I had read another article online that described how to easily roast and peel beets. Voilà! What an wonderful surprise. They were awesome. They were tender, mildly sweet and downright addictive. I must have eaten beets for a week - by choice. My grandma would have been proud! I served them once for hubby Joe and he said he preferred the beets in a jar. (Surely he must be mad!)
Roasted red, white and blue potatoes with rosemary and thyme were a nice addition to our dinner as well as breakfast. Another favorite gift from the CSA has been honey from White Violet Center's bee hives. It's a gentle, golden color and almost buttery sweet. Yum!
Organically grown vegetables actually taste good. I find that I want to use recipes that bring out the natural flavor of the vegetable, rather than masking it with sauce or cheese. It has become a pleasure to plan meals instead of just trying to find a few side dishes to go along with the main dish. What's next? Brusselsprouts? Let's not go crazy.