The Farm

I love our CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture). Every week during the growing season we get to go and pick up wonderful organic local produce. There’s nothing better than getting to eat awesome food and support a local small farmer. I do have to say though that there are certain challenges to having someone else do your vegetable shopping for you. Typically I look at it as waging war on our share. I know, a very gentle, earthy outlook isn’t it? If you manage to use up the whole share (or at least those things that will go bad) you’ve won for that week. If something spoils you’ve lost a battle. It’s much better in my mind to share the wealth if I have something that our family flat out doesn’t like or simply can’t use in the quantity offered. Lucky for me I have a neighbor that happily takes those items. This is our 5th year and I’ve definitely become a much better general over time. Each year I seem to find more and better ways to use up things in a way that the family enjoys. Can you believe I didn’t like greens or squash when this exercise started? This time of year is particularly challenging in the greens area. Both Tim and I enjoy them, but Piper is still working up to some of the more challenging flavors. I’m very excited that she started liking spinach this year! Anyhow, even if you like greens, this can be a little intimidating in 1 week:

Beets w/ gorgeous beet greens
Garlic Scapes

Yes, that means 4 dinners with greens in 1 week, not including salads, and if you don’t want to be overrun by enemy reinforcements i.e. next weeks share, they need to be used up. Last year, escarole would have been a problem. My attempts to use this vegetable were met with a definite lack of enthusiasm even by the adult members of the family. No longer thanks to this recipe based on Mollie Katzen’s White Bean and Escarole Soup.

2 cans canellini beans
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
olive oil
2 vegetable boullion cubes
1 head of escarole, chopped
5-6 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste

Saute carrots and garlic for a few minutes in a little olive oil. Add bay, boullion, and water. Bring to boil, then simmer until carrots are tender. Meanwhile, mash the beans leaving a little texture. (I just squashed them with my hands.) When the carrots are ready, add the beans and stir through. Next, add the escarole and simmer until it is wilted and tender. Add salt and pepper. For adults a little crushed red pepper is a tasty addition.

So good and better yet, Piper loved it! Another battle won. 🙂


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