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For my first CSA recipe; Caramelized Radish, Apple and Arugula Salad

Posted Nov 12 2010 5:51am
Community supported agriculture, or CSA is sort of a membership to a farm where you pay a subscription fee up front for the growing season and in turn get a share of the crop.  In my case, at the KYV farm , which is about five minutes from my house, I bought a half share.  This means that every other week I'll go directly to the farm and pick up my share of what is ripe at that time.  (For those that don't live as close they have drop off areas at various points around the city.)

Here is what I got last night: Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Bok Choy, Yukina Spinach, Cucumber (regular and seedless), Bell Green Pepper, Cubanelle Pepper, Green Beans, Radish, Arugula.

The Up-Side
  • You can see where your food is coming from, how it's grown and meet the farmers.
  • The fruits and vegetables (and possibly meats and eggs) you receive are the freshest you can get (as you can see above).
  • For me, it's a much cheaper way to go than paying for organic produce (KYV practices follows organic farming practices) at my natural food store where I'm also paying for the marketing, transport and prepping of the food and the overhead of the store.
  • You get a wide variety of vegetables that you may not normally buy thereby learning new recipes and new ways to cook.
  • Minimize your carbon footprint.
  • Expose your kids to where food and animals (should) come from. (My daughter was very excited to see real chickens running around like chickens are supposed to.)
The Down-Side
  • You have to wash and chop your own veggies.
  • You may not want to learn new ways to cook new veggies.
  • There may be something like a freeze or drought that affects the crop (for me it's definitely worth that chance).
My first CSA experience was wonderful.  I rushed out of work to pick my daughter up at school and drove like a mad woman to the farm while we sang the "chicken song", complete with wings flapping, that we made up on the way there.  

We pulled up; I threw my heels in the trunk and changed into sneakers.  In the dusk light we were greeted by citrus trees and a few small dogs who welcomed us to the front porch of the house.  Inside all the vegetables were neatly arranged in bins with the number that we could add into our produce bag.  Vivian, one of the farm owners, was talking to a few of my new fellow CSA-ers and we discussed food blogging, recipes and the like before I walked in to pick my produce.

I've never seen such gorgeous vegetables!  I remember being warned by someone that CSA vegetables would be really dirty, however; they were only a bit dusty and just would need a good wash.  (The same wash I would give the veggies from the store anyway so not much time lost there). 

My daughter, of course, wanted to see the chickens so Vivian graciously showed us where the hens were lining up to enter the hen house for the night.  After saying goodnight we gathered our bag and made our way home to separate and bag the vegetables in produce bags to be refrigerated. 

This brings me to my first recipe. 

While browsing for radish recipes I found one on Food Republik for a Pan Seared Radish and Avocado Salad .  I had bought an avocado but the thing was still hard as a rock and I decided I wanted something sweet on the salad instead anyway so I went with some of the gorgeous apples I had picked up at the farmers market in Asheville, NC and threw on some honey chevre goat cheese I had gotten there as well. 

The dressing was simple. Equal parts honey and fresh lemon juice. I love the sweet apples, the spicy bite of arugula and the bitter radishes.  
Caramelized Radish, Apple and Arugula SaladAltered from Food Republik's Pan Seared Radish and Avocado Salad Serves 2 Printable Recipe

5 radishes, trimmed and halved
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (such as canola)
Dash of white wine (or some additional lemon juice)
Salt and pepper
1 sweet apple of choice, cored and sliced
5 ounces baby arugula (about 2 big handfuls per serving)
2 ounces goat cheese crumbles
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp honey


1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook about three minutes.  Turn radishes and cook an additional three minutes.  Add a dash of wine and let that cook off for about a minute.  Remove the radishes from the pan to cool.

2. Mix the lemon juice and honey in a small bowl; add the apple sliced and toss to coat.

3. Divide the arugula between two plates, top with the radishes, apples, goat cheese and some additional salt and fresh ground pepper.

Nutrition Facts

2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 298.9
Total Fat 15.8 g
Saturated Fat 6.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.1 g
Cholesterol 22.4 mg
Sodium 170.0 mg
Potassium 323.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Sugars 28.3 g
Protein 7.7 g

Vitamin A 33.1 %
Vitamin B-12 1.0 %
Vitamin B-6 4.2 %
Vitamin C 39.9 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.3 %
Calcium 18.4 %
Copper 11.2 %
Folate 14.3 %
Iron 8.8 %
Magnesium 9.2 %
Manganese 14.4 %
Niacin 2.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.4 %
Phosphorus 14.1 %
Riboflavin 14.9 %
Selenium 2.3 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 3.7 %
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