Have you had the chance to visit your local farmer’s market to wander through the assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables being sold? Recently my sister and I visited the Root Connection Farm in Redmond, WA to sample out several different dishes of food that came straight from the farm. We were volunteering to create dishes that come straight from customer’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes. A CSA box is filled with fruits and veggies straight from the farm (pesticide free) that are in season. Each week as you pick up your box, you can look forward to lettuce, corn, Swiss chard, beans, summer squash, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, winter squash, and pumpkins (fruits and vegetables may vary from farm to farm). As customer’s came to pick up their CSA boxes at the Root Connection Farm, we had a variety of food samples on display to show ways the food from the box can be utilized, as well as to inspire the customer’s with new ideas of how to use their farm fresh food.
We sampled a tomato corn salad from Katherine Oldfield who is a PCC cooks instructor, as well as a fresh vegetable salad utilizing lettuce, green beans, snap peas, cucumber, zucchini, and squash with a lemon/olive oil vinaigrette. We decided to keep the salad simple so that the taste of the fresh vegetables was not masked behind a strong dressing. What’s wonderful about this salad is that it can be taken in any direction…add beans or chicken to make it a more complete meal or if you have fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, etc.) on hand, add them in. Since we had a bunch of fresh parsley and cilantro, we made a pesto with raw pumpkin seeds and sampled it with cucumbers and turnips.
I would love to hear your favorite dishes from your local farm or your CSA box. If you have left over vegetables in your box that you do not know what to do with, let me know. I would love to help you create a wonderful way to incorporate this vegetable into your next meal.