I have to say that the CSA experience this year is dramatically improved from last year. Last year, we had a fruit share that came in every other week. The fruit was okay, not great, and Jeff and I were constantly forgetting to go pick it up. Also, the produce was just kind of sad, wilting listlessly in its bins. I struggled for a while with the fact that I wasn't a fan. That I didn't want to do that again this year.
But I didn't want to give up on CSA in general. It's something I believe in, something important. I believe that supporting small farms is better for the environment, makes for better community, and really? The food tastes better too. (Joe would contend that I sound like Michael Pollan. So what? I think, no, I know, he's right. Go read the book(s), lazy.) It is difficult, though, to send in a fair amount of money up front, only to not know what kind of produce you'll be faced with when the growing season comes around.
So far, I'm glad I haven't given up. Our produce is beautiful, and I just bought a share of eggs, too... because really? I. Love. Eggs. On the other hand, I've been wracking my brain for ways to use chard, without going back to the world's best quiche. Tonight: quick stir-fried greens. I made these last week, before heading out to Minnesota, and they were fantastic. Not entirely original, perhaps, but waaaaaaay better than I had been expecting. Pair it with some stir fry and some steamed rice, and you're good to go. If you don't have chard, any green will do, really (like the bok choy featured along with the chard in the photo).
Soy Sautéed Greens
1 bunch fresh large-leaf greens (chard, spinach, ect.)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste.
1 tablespoon peanut oil, or another neutral oil
1-2 teaspoon soy sauce
salt, to taste
1. Wash greens well, and remove the tough stems. If you're using large leaves, stack them, roll like a cigar, and slice, about 1/2-inch thick or so. This is only helpful, though, if you don't want to gnaw your way through large leaves. Just a thought.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. When it's hot, add the garlic and pepper, and sauté about 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add greens, and sauté until wilted. Add soy sauce, and stir to coat, taste, and add salt. When the greens are cooked though, take off the heat and serve. This really doesn't take long, so keep a sharp eye on them. Three minutes max, if you're working with a hot stove.