Friday, February 5, 2010

CSA Time and A Lovely Meatless Meal

Green dots denote CSA locations

The weatherman is predicting up to 12 inches of snow tonight and into tomorrow. To me this is the perfect weather for curling up with a good book while something wonderful is simmering, rising or baking in the kitchen.

It is also the perfect time of year for joining your local CSA (community supported agriculture). That's right. Farmers in your community are lining up shareholders for their crops. Joining a CSA now will allow your local farmer to buy their seed in the coming months - and grow food for you!

I just signed up for mine. Beginning in May and continuing through November I will have 25 pounds of the ripest, freshest local produce delivered to my door. My CSA costs $35.00 per week and will keep me in vegetables, fruits and herbs through the year (I will can and freeze what we cannot eat immediately). This is in addition to my own garden's yields.

Sound wonderful? Find a CSA near you to join in on one of the most healthful things you can do for yourself and your family this year.

To find a local farm and CSA near you, go to this Local Harvest website.

White Beans with Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes: Serves 4

Two 15 ounce cans white beans (cannellini or butter) drained and rinsed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth or white wine)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 big bulb fennel, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
4 plum tomatoes, sliced in half
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place sliced fennel and halved tomatoes (cut side up) on rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in top third of oven and roast until soft and browned, about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.

While the fennel and tomatoes are roasting, drain and rinse beans.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to large saucepan. Heat and add minced garlic. Saute over low heat until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans and chicken broth (wine or veggie broth) and water and bring to simmer. Cook on a high simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed and what is left has thickened (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese and thyme.

Serve alongside fennel and tomatoes with a crusty loaf of french bread, preferably while snow if falling! Stay warm this weekend, where ever you are.


  1. I just re-signed up for my CSA a couple of weeks ago and I've already started getting produce weekly! I LOVE IT. It keeps me eating seasonally as well as locally (my husband is not so stoked on all the squash but OH WELL I LIKE SQUASH).

    Everyone should join a CSA! DO IT NOW! Especially if you live somewhere like Oregon where you get produce year-round because NO SNOW (even though we would LIKE a little about now). :o)

  2. You have the best tips! I found one here that is June through October. It even offers 1/2 shares for smaller families. Not that we'll be a smaller family for too terribly long, especially if I can get my hubby eating more veggies:)

  3. My CSA is not doing their program this year. :( Now I'm looking for a new one...

  4. Jen - You are so lucky to have year round produce. Jan, Feb and early March have me living out of my freezer - the last of the year's produce!!

    Whitney - Good for you! You are going to love your CSA. And remember, there are plenty of other members who are always willing to "swap" items. Say you love squash but not eggplant? I guarantee someone will give you their squash if you give them your eggplant! Congratulations on your healthy choice and for supporting your local farm community!

  5. That does sound nice. In our area it's different. You have to volunteer on the farm and pick up your veggies. We don't do it but our friends do.

  6. I definitely have to check this out. In Jacksonville, the farmer's market is closed until spring.
    This sounds amazing though! Josh and I spend about $75 a week on groceries, and this would surely cut the cost of organic produce.
    Great advice!

    p.s. I'm making butternut squash soup as I type. :)

  7. You are always full of terrific ideas. I will check this out. I live in snow country, but I'm very close to California - which has plenty of farming. I also have all the ingredients for this dish on hand. With younger daughter on her way, and being veggie - this might work for dinner or lunch tomorrow.

  8. The CSA sounds wonderful.

  9. Alfarat - I hope you find the website useful in locating a new CSA. You might want to call your old one and find out why they discontinued?

    Yaya- there are several CSA's nearby that also have a "volunteer" requirement. These are also great fun - and a wonderful way to meet like minded people.

    Phoebe - It really is an economical way to get your produce. The upfront costs seems high - but ask, many allow you to "pay-down" the investment over a period of a few months. (before the growing season) AND YUM on the soup!

    Nancy - I am gearing up for when I raise ALL my own produce and live out of the freezer during the non-growing months. I will be posting soon about our "5 year plan"... that is - from city to farm in under 5!

    Eternally - I wish it was spring and I was already receiving my weekly box of goodies!

  10. Last night, I had a friend over for dinner and I made your pie. It was absolutely delicious. I paired it with a cabernet sauvignon and it was a fabulous meatless meal. I am so happy to see more posts on meatless dinners. Thanks Good Cook!

    Abby's Mom

  11. I meant to say I made your mushroom pie!

    Abby's Mom

  12. Abby's Mom: so glad you liked it! It is one of my favorites and how about that crust?? Is it not the best and easiest and most delicious, easy to handle thing going??

    If anyone wants to make the Mushroom Pie, just use the search tool at the top of this blog, type in Mushroom Pie and viola - you've got yourself a rich, delicious meatless meal.

  13. We go weekly to our farmers market here..all our produce is bought there..I love this meatless meal..Perfect for our rainy weather here on the coast..confort food. thank you for stopping by...12 acres wow ! what a dream! I bet you are in heaven.. the planning part is soo exciting! new beginnings! I love them! You must post pictures so we can all see!!! have a great day! Marlene

  14. I am loving my CSA, they run all year round. When they cannot offer food they organically grew they offer me other organic produce in its place. I love the variety and the fact that I can give them a list of things to NEVER mushrooms! YUCK!


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