the local harvest website includes a much more detailed explanation including benefits to the farmer, to the shareholders and to the earth...as well as an interactive program enabling you to find a local csa in your area...
one thing a csa does is really teach you about eating local and in-season food. my csa provides enough produce to last for the entire week....and you get the same items as long as they are in season. there is always a bit of diversity...and i find it really cool to watch the progress throughout the season. the first week we got carrots they were tiny...about the size of my baby finger...each week they were a bit bigger...last week's box contained carrots 8 or 9 inches in length. i feel about as close to the growing process as possible without literally growing it myself. i find that just when i am beginning to get a bit tired of a particular item the season is over and something new appears.
the only possible exception is turnips....turnips have been in the boxes for the first two months. it was a long, cold and very wet spring this year...and summer produce has been late...but the turnips thrived...so...turnips. i have made turnips every way imaginable...roasted them a thousand times (just a slight exaggeration) with olive oil and sea salt... yum! i have mashed them with yukon gold potatoes, steamed them, pureed them, used in soups, stews and pasta dishes. last week i was fresh out of ideas....and thought i could not handle one more turnip. i needed something new....and decided to try frying them. not french-frying...but pan-frying in extra virgin olive oil...and serving with italian sausage and pimientos de padrón (a small green pepper you sauté in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt). you know what? the turnips were delicious...as was the entire meal...and i added one more preparation method to my recipe file. this week we picked up our box and...guess what? no turnips.
i think this is nature's way of ensuring we really eat seasonally...just when we begin to tire of an item it is gone...new items appear....and by the time we begin to crave an item it is back in season. of course for me the only exception is tomatoes...don't get me started on my passion for tomatoes!
pan fried turnips in e.v.o.o.
extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs turnips, sliced into medallions about 1/2 thick
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons italian parsley, torn
bring a large pot of water to boil. salt water like you would for pasta. add turnips and cook until tender when pierced with a fork. pour into colander, drain well and pat dry. add 1/4 cup olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. when oil begins to shimmer add the onion slices and chopped garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. add the prepared turnips, a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. cook the turnips until well browned on one side. flip the turnips and cook until the other side is well browned. remove from heat and sprinkle with the parsley and additional sea salt. serve hot
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