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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CSA Box One

I'm a big supporter of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Basically, CSAs give you a chance to support your local economy by backing a small farmer with "seed money" and then watching it grow and enjoying a share in their bounty all season long. My CSA is Community Homestead. A delightful community where disabled and able adults live and work together.

This was my first box. I'm a little behind updating and am actually on week three, so I'm going to try to catch you up here with a few posts.

Included in our box this week: spinach, Asian cabbage, green onions, rhubarb, broccoli, spicy salad greens, lettuce and beet greens.

I couldn't wait to get my hands on those greens, so I washed them all and used my handy dandy salad spinner to spin them dry. I've always found that if I wash greens right away when I bring them home, I'm more likely to use them.

I had a small salad for lunch. It had been since last Spring that I'd had such a fresh salad (when I pulled greens from my own little garden plot). I'd forgotten how delicious they are when fresh and not bagged for weeks and sitting on store refrigerator shelves. The cucumber was amazing.

I think we Americans have forgotten what fresh really means!

Included in my first box was a recipe for Asian Cabbage Slaw. I made it for dinner that night, not having any other ideas as to how to use the Asian Cabbage. It was so wonderful, but made a ton of dressing, which I saved to use on other salads. My head of Asian cabbage was small. Those found in the produce section of your grocery store are usually much larger, so perhaps the dressing amount is geared towards that. Delicious. I would take this to summer BBQs and prepare to be asked for the recipe, which you will find below.

Asian Cabbage Slaw

Crisp and sweet, this salad is a full meal itself. Or serve alongside a Asian inspired marinated grilled meat. If you're trying to watch what you eat, cut down on the sesame seeds and almonds tremendously (I did and it was still delicious). Also, drizzle a small amount of dressing on and toss until leaves appear coated and shiny. You don't need much.

1 head Asian cabbage, washed and thinly sliced

1 small bunch green onions, cleaned and sliced

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I bet rice wine vinegar would be great too)

1 TB soy sauce

Toast sesame seeds and almonds in a skillet coated with nonstick spray. Watch carefully, and remove from pan immediately when seeds begin to lightly brown. Place white sugar, oil, vinegar, and soy sauce in a jar. Shake to combine. Toss cabbage and onions, drizzle with dressing and toss until leaves are coated. Sprinkle with seeds and nuts and toss again. Serve immediately. Only dress what you think you will eat, we've found that this salad doesn't keep once it's dressed.

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