Summer is certainly over, but it doesn’t mean its bounty is. I’m still up to my eyeballs in eggplant, mostly due to my overly eager mom (she goes crazy when I bring her to my CSA and just can’t help herself.) This past Saturday we spent a few hours snipping some of the most breathtaking arugula, tatsoi and mustards I’ve ever seen. A few last tomatoes held tight to the vine, while the peppers exploded everywhere. Kale and cabbage abounded, as expected. But the eggplant! What a delightful treat. Now despite the color synonymous with its name, eggplant is certainly not limited to one color or variety. Japanese, Italian, Chinese, white and zebra eggplants range in length, width and color. Some slightly firmer and others a tad more tender, some deep purple, some striped, some even white, but all delicious. By far are the cutest are the fairytale eggplant, shown above. Luckily for us, we don’t need to be living in a fairytale to enjoy them.
And for a smile:
Join a CSA & know your VEGGIES!!
The sweet glories of summer!
Last week’s CSA share
Squash Blossoms begging to be fried…
Fresh produce lovers rejoice! Summer is in full swing and with it arrives its glorious bounty. Now is the time to truly ditch your supermarket produce section and hit the green markets and roadside farm stands. And let me tell you- the local farm stands in Upstate New York and Long Island are overflowing with wonderful colors and smells. I went to one today that was pure food porn. The tomatoes were so sweet and perfect and the blueberries, my dear, they tasted like a blueberry pie. I can only assume that the farmers serenaded them every morning until they were picked. Often you pay a premium for these elevated earthy delights, but you will certainly taste the difference.
You can also get involved with a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it’s one of the best ways to support your local farmers. CSAs work by offering memberships before the growing season, which help ensure the farmer’s income for the year. Green markets are great for business, but they can also be a gamble for sales. Typically you either pick up or receive a box of whatever is being harvested that week. You can opt for fruit and eggs too. There are are even different meat and fish CSAs that have popped up. Usually sign ups are in April/May so you would normally be too late to participate in a regular CSA now. (Do sign up next season- check your local community boards or the Local Harvest site to find a convenient one near you.)
But…. Guess what FreshDirect just started offering? Non-membership CSAs! While signing up for a season membership is best for the farmers, the new FreshDirect option is a great alternative. One of the most exciting aspects of a CSA is that you can’t pick what you get, so you are forced to be creative and try new vegetables. Of course you will occasionally get that one vegetable that you dislike or are just confuzzled by (for me that’s kohlrabi) but that’s when you conveniently start gifting your neighbors or coworkers fresh produce…
So hit the markets or try out the new FreshDirect option and enjoy!