It’s hard to find fault in a warm round of herb-marinated, breadcrumb-encrusted goat cheese. But seriously my friends, the goat cheese was not the star of this salad. See those greens up there? The tender green leaves and the baby red romaine? These greens, gosh, I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious they are. They come from Morning Song Farm, the north San Diego County farm whose CSA I just became a member.
I have been meaning to join a CSA since arriving in California over a year ago now, and when I learned that the new wine and cheese bar in town was a drop off spot for CSAs, I jumped. I signed up on a Monday via email and two days later my box of freshly harvested produce arrived at The Cellar. I can’t tell you how easy it was. Before I knew it, the above pictured greens were in my hands along with a boodle of other treats — lemons, avocados, grapefruits, Swiss Chard, beets, strawberries, herbs and the list goes on and on. (You can see almost everything that arrived in weeks one and two in the pictures below.)
Most of you know what a CSA is, but just in case, here is a quick summary. And if you still haven’t signed up for one, check out LocalHarvest.org. With 2,500 participating farms listed in their database, Local Harvest has the most comprehensive directory of CSAs in the country.
When I saw these greens, I thought of Alice Water’s recipe for baked goat cheese salad, which Cookstr recently highlighted in their Mother’s Day newsletter. And a good recipe it is indeed. I basically followed it, substituting toasted panko bread crumbs for the freshly made ones, a shortcut I’m sure Alice Waters would look down on, but alas, it worked. I also just made a simple dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Here is the recipe I basically followed.
Anyway, yay!!, it’s Wednesday, which means it’s CSA pickup day. I hate to be sentimental, but one of the best parts about belonging to a CSA is actually belonging. I so look forward to walking up to The Cellar every Wednesday and saying hi to Dawn and Zoe, who have become my west coast incarnations of Sarah Cain, Emily Teel and Joanna Pernick, my friends at the Fair Food Farmstand who I dearly miss. It is so fun peaking inside the box each week, inspecting the goods, and sharing a strawberry or a few strands of the most fragrant and delectable mint you have ever seen. Seriously, it is a real joy.