Last C.S.A. Share of the Season

Yesterday I picked up our last shares of 2010–some winter squash, a bag of potatoes, some nice leeks, beets, apples, and some of Grant Farm’s amazing cherry wine.  I will admit to a little bit of C.S.A. burnout at this stage in the game, but we are totally sold on the concept and we will definitely do shares next year.  Not only does it help support your local farmers, it is a great way to stretch your culinary wings and get more produce into your diet.With this last batch I did a sort of a “farewell C.S.A.” meal incorporating leeks, potatoes, and some of the pitted pie cherries from our fruit share.  I made a very simple dish that I like to call “Samosa As Big As Your Head.”  It’s a great entree dish and easy to put together.

I started by cleaning and slicing up the leeks (a heaping cup, cleaned) and cooking them until soft in about a tablespoon of olive oil.

To this, I added about five cups of cooked, small potatoes, some crushed fresh garlic and grated ginger, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of turmeric, some crushed red pepper flakes, and two teaspoons of curry powder.  Crush the potatoes up with your spatula, and as the mixture cooks together, stir in a cup of vegetable stock to thin it out.

To this, stir in two cups of frozen peas.  Transfer the filling to an oiled baking pan.

Next you want to take a sheet of puff pastry (thaw for 40 minutes at room temperature, or until soft enough to unfold without breaking) and trim the edges to fit over the filling.

The pastry will shrink a little as it bakes, so leave a small edge.  I brushed this with beaten egg to give it a nice browned look, or you could use soy milk for a vegan version.  Bake this at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is evenly puffed up and nice and golden.  Cut into squares and serve with chutney.

I used the puff pastry trimmings to make a little dessert using some of the C.S.A. cherries.  I cut the pastry scraps into triangles, brushed them with beaten egg, sprinkled with sliced almonds, and baked until puffy and browned.  I made little sundaes with vanilla bean gelato, cherries, and the pastry.

C.S.A.s do require some patience and understanding of the real risks related to farming–your produce will not always look perfect, and some crops will fail or under-perform.  This year the big disappointments were the tomatoes and the sweet corn, two things that are harder to do well in our somewhat extreme growing environment.  Some of the high points were the beautiful kale and greens, the leeks, the winter squash, the wax beans, and the fantastic apples (and that cherry wine).  If you want to get a real sense of connection to the growing seasons in your area, try a C.S.A.  They exist pretty much everywhere now, and if you are looking for one in your area try localharvest.org.

We have lots of preserved foods and store-able bounty to get us through the next few months, and I also purchased some pastured, local meat from Grant Farm with our last share.  More on that in the upcoming weeks.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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6 Responses to Last C.S.A. Share of the Season

  1. Yenta Mary December 8, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Tom and I are both phobic of flying; however, we've agreed that this meal is sufficient enticement to not only board a plane, but to then overcome any semblance of manners by simply showing up at your door with forks, knives and spoons in hand … :)

  2. Angela FRS December 8, 2010 at 1:46 am #

    If you fly out to visit, we will not only cook for you, we will even provide forks!! Plus spoons, on an as-needed basis…

  3. Karen December 8, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    The more I see blogs about CSA, the more I want to do it! Maybe next year. Your CSA inspired dishes look fantastic. Love the samosa…sounds really yummy with the chutney.

  4. Anna December 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    That is such great idea…I love Samosas but the frying part always put me off. Yours looks delicious.

  5. Angela FRS December 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    It makes them *slightly* healthier, too–not that puff pastry is health food, of course.

  6. Tracy December 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    I did a CSA for several years. I enjoyed it but I understand CSA burnout and disappointments too. The biggest problem I had with it was the quantity of food I ended up discarding because I didn't get around to using it all (such as in the fall, when I got multiple heads of cabbage). I didn't do it last year, to the detriment of my family's veggie consumption. It's a conundrum.

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