CSA and Backyard Garden-Inspired Meals
Adam and I are checking out Green Gate Farms CSA this month — splitting a full share with our friends Laura and Mike. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture,” and basically is a way to connect consumers and farmers directly — cutting out the middle man and ensuring food is eaten at its peak. I think the best part so far is the new recipe experimenting. We picked up our loot last Saturday from our new friend Adelea and she passed along some great recipes. I made my own version of one of her recipes with some fresh kale and swiss chard:
Baked Eggs with Kale/Chard and Cheddar Green Onion Polenta
Bunch of greens (I used kale and chard)
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove (or if you are out of garlic, you can substitute something totally different – like green onion)
1 cup grits (or if you don’t have grits, you can substitute polenta)
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (or the remainder of the Kraft Mexican Shredded Cheese mix and that container of Parmesan)
4-6 eggs (or in our case, 2 large duck eggs)
Butter individual baking dishes (or in our case, one baking dish where you plan to wedge two servings). Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash greens, cutting out the stems. Chop greens. Steam greens until just wilted. Sprinkle with vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Set greens aside.
Place 3 1/4 cups water and garlic (or whatever you’ve got – I mixed some garlic granules with chopped green onions) in a saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in polenta, lower heat, cover, and cook gently, stirring, 5 minutes. At this point I realized I had made WAY too much polenta for two people so I took out half. THEN, I stirred in cheese (in my case, the shredded Kraft mix) and half of cooked greens.
Portion grits into baking dish(es). Make a well in the center, nestle the remaining greens into the indentations, and crack an egg over each (this part was FUN! Although, I broke the yoke on one of the eggs so it didn’t look so pretty and got a bit overcooked in the end). Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I also sprinkled with Parmesan cheese in the hopes it would brown and crisp up). Bake until the eggs are set, 10-15 minutes.
The same day we picked up our CSA share, we stopped by our friend David and Meredith’s house for a Stone Soup Party. David, aka the Soup Peddler, helped the kids at the party fill the pot with interesting stones to make this special soup.
David is quite the home gardener as well and allowed us to pick some fresh veggies from his backyard. We cut bunches of arugula and sorrel to take home. I tried the sorrel to see what it tastes like and really didn’t enjoy it raw. David insisted we take some home and make a sorrel sauce to try with fish so that is what I did. And, I liked it as a sauce. The recipe I used was from epicurious and is for Pecan-Crusted Salmon with Sorrel Sauce. I think I over-reduced the sorrel sauce which is why in the end it was pretty thick and gloopy. It was all delicious though!
My favorite comment on the final preparation was on Facebook from Chris: “Looks like a Dr. Seuss creation….Yes yes Sam I Am, I do like green eggs and ham. Does look tasty.”
In less than an hour, I’m heading to Green Gate to see their farmstead for the first time and pick up this week’s share. I’m looking forward especially to the easter egg radishes — my friend Kristi swears they are wonderful with eggs. I’ll have to check out her recipe on Austin Farm to Table, along with Boots in the Oven version of it, this weekend!Tags: brunch, CSA, eggs, farm, fish, garden, green gate, salmon, soup peddler