June has been an odd month here in Boston. It’s felt more like April with endless days of clouds and rain. Yesterday though we finally got the ideal summer day: bright, and breezy with just a light touch of humidity. (Granted, I could have done without the humidity but after all the storms it seemed no time to be picky.) It seemed like the best day to put the summery produce from my CSA share to good use.
For those who are not familiar with a CSA, here is how it works. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Interested people can purchase a share/membership and then receive a box of locally grown/produced food at regular intervals throughout the farming season. My share is set up so that each week I get a half share of primarily vegetables but also eggs, jams, and sometimes even cheese. This is my first time being a member and this week was my first week so I was especially excited to see what I would get.
Although I was told it would be a light week because it’s the beginning of the season my reusable shopping bag was stuffed with farm-raised eggs, 2 heads of lettuce, 3 bunches of beets, a pound of rainbow chard, strawberry jam, and homemade cheese. It was a fun assortment and I couldn’t wait to cook with my local ingredients.
To showcase the beets and chard I settled on a recipe for Swiss Chard with Beets, Goat Cheese, and Raisins from Bon Appetit. The ingredient list sounded a bit unorthodox calling for tomatoes and jalapenos among the mix but the results were amazing. It tasted like a lovely warm salad and really allowed the candy sweetness of the beets and the earthiness of the chard to shine through. The goat cheese added a nice creaminess as well. My variation on the recipe was slight. I cut back on the oil to make it more figure friendly and substituted almonds for the pine nuts since that was what I had on hand. I recommend this as a lovely alternative to the typical summer salad and a great way to showcase locally grown food. The recipe is definitely worth making and has a wonderful mosaic of flavors, smells, and textures. Check it out here.
For those who are also CSA members (Victoria, I know that you are but not sure about others) what has been the best thing you’ve gotten so far and what have you made with your goodies?