Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Day in the Life of a CSA

By now you've heard us wax poetic about our respective CSA's and the beautiful and tasty bounty we receive from them each week. But what exactly does a CSA "pickup" or "share" look like?

Our goods this week were so striking, I decided I had to take a picture of them before I started cooking, so that's what part of this post is all about. The photo above consists of: Red Russian Kale (that is what's in the plastic storage bag), Beets, Scallions (hiding under the Carrots), Red Cabbage, New Potatoes, Carrots and Shell Peas. Additional options included Broccoli (we've been on the run a lot this week and have a bunch from last week, so we passed on that) and Senposai Collards.

Our CSA operates in a "market style" fashion, which means you pick and choose from the week's offerings until you fill your "share". The farm has generously provided us with customized canvas bags (small bags for small shares, which equal approximately 1/4 bushel of produce a week and large bags for large shares, which equal approximately 1/2 bushel of produce a week - we have a small share for our small family). One of the things I love most about this style of distribution is we get the most bang for our buck - taking advantage of the things we love (and new things we want to try), while leaving others that we don't. Or in the case of this week's broccoli - opting out because we still have some at home.

Up until this week I had passed on the Kale. Even though our CSA offers a few different varieties, I've never found a recipe for Kale that rendered it palatable to me. That is until now....

Some of the members of our CSA have been making Kale Chips. This concept intrigued me. I love chips. If I can find a way to justify eating them regularly....well, that would be almost like winning the lottery! (Hey, I said almost.) I didn't have a particular recipe to go by - this was passed along from Desiree at Holiday Brook Farm by word of mouth. I baked them in a convection oven, which worked perfectly, if that option is open to you! Without further adieu, this is what I did...

Tear Kale into bite sized pieces (I was not too particular about this, some of my pieces were small; others were quite large). Toss with a little olive oil and your favorite sea salt or seasoned salt (I used Borsari). Spread out flat on a large cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven, keeping close watch on them. Remove from oven when Kale is crispy (and before they are completely toast colored).

I don't know that this recipe has convinced me to to out and search for Kale on a regular basis, but I do enjoy these and will be making this recipe from time to time. Bon Appetit!


  1. Julie--Kale chips are REALLY big in my house. My friend told me about them last year and I mocked her. Then I tried them. We love them. As in, The Girl and The Boy chant, "Kale chips! Kale chips!" when I take them out of the oven. I've bullied other people at our CSA to at least try them. Most like 'em, some don't.

  2. Hmm, I tried kale chips last year, and didn't like them. Maybe I'll try your recipe instead, as I thought it'd be a homerun! I may have overcooked mine.