Before we dive in, do you know about CSAs? Community Supported Agriculture shares are popular around the country: individuals can purchase a “share” of the farm and in return they get a box of weekly produce. Each week there are different kinds of vegetables and fruits (sometimes also eggs or cheese) in unpredictable quantities, presenting a unique culinary challenge.
One week there might be a pound of kale and three pounds of red potatoes with a bundle of scallions and fresh herbs. The next week there might be Japanese eggplant with mustard greens and napa cabbage. I look at it as an opportunity to try new things and enjoy the healthiest, freshest produce in the city.
CSAs aren’t just an efficient way to purchase local food, but they’re also a wonderful way to support your local farmers. By paying upfront before the season begins — often a financially difficult time of year for growers — you help farmers afford the seeds and supplies they need for the summer. In exchange, you receive amazing produce at a more affordable rate than farmer’s markets and grocery stores. What could be better than that?
This summer, let your CSA share guide you in the kitchen. To get you started, I’ve curated a list of vegetable-forward dishes to help you strategize from the first greens of summer to the tomato and zucchini bounties of July, to the long-awaited eggplants and root vegetables of late summer and early fall.
Spinach and Cheese Bourekas
(This recipe is great because you can substitute the package of frozen spinach with 8 cups of your choice of hearty leafy greens, like kale, mustard greens, collard greens, or spinach.)
Late Summer/Early Fall – Peak of the Season