Sunday, April 24, 2011

CSA Week 1: Kale. And Kale. And some other stuff.

I seem to have lost some of my food photography skillz since last summer ... I will try to work on making my veggies prettier. :)

Matt and I drove to pick up our very first CSA share of the season on Friday, and I was so very excited! Except that it was pouring rain. And our (cardboard) box of food sits outside in someone's driveway for pickup. And when I got there, I saw that there was a loaf of bread inside. In a paper bag. A very, very wet loaf of bread. But hey, there it is! You can almost see it. This week, we received:

-Kale! Some really curly small-leaf kale. I forgot to take a photo of it before I made it into kale chips (recipe below) - which are in that plastic bag in the last photo.
-More kale! A different kind of kale. I forgot to get it out of the fridge for the photo, so just imagine MORE KALE.
-A half loaf of soggy sesame seed bread. Okay, it didn't end up being very soggy, and tasted very good heated up with some almond butter. Yums.
-BEETS!!!! Yes, I really am that excited about the darn beets. I used to think I hated beets ... then I got some in last year's CSA, learned how to roast them, and realized that they are one of my new favorite things. These beets are pretty weeny, but I am looking forward to roasting them tomorrow and having them with some salad. Yums.
-Greens - beautiful, beautiful salad greens. Seriously - don't they look fresh and delicious? I cannot wait to make myself a good salad Monday for dinner while Matt is at a decades-long group meeting for grad school.

Last year, the CSA share started kind of weak, with only salad stuff and other greens, and gained momentum as the growing season progressed. I am really looking forward to all of this deliciousness!

I got lots of kale last year, and never really knew what to do with it. Unfortunately, a lot of it went bad before I figured out what to do. But not this year! I am determined to not let ANY of this produce go bad. I had heard about kale chips last summer, but just never got around to making them. But since I had not one, but TWO giant bunches of kale, I decided to give it a shot yesterday. I went with a recipe from Smitten Kitchen:

Kale Chips

kale (duh)
extra virgin olive oil (I used spray evoo because that's all I had on hand - worked great)
sea salt
aaaand of course I added a little garlic as well

Preheat oven to 300.

Wash and dry kale in a salad spinner to get out all the moisture (I had done this the night before, so the kale was nice and dry already). Cut or rip into bite-size pieces, removing the thick stems. Toss in olive oil, sea salt and whatever other herbs/spices you would like, and lay on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Or not. I am out of parchment paper so I didn't use any, but I guess that would have been easier for clean-up.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Mine were perfect at 15 minutes - and wow, I was really surprised about how fantastic they are. They really satisfy the salty chip craving - only it's kale! Which is amazingly good for you, and has a ton of health benefits. I am hooked, and I'll definitely be using the pounds and pounds of kale we get this spring to make kale chips!


Jenny @ Practically Perfect... said...

I never thought that I liked beets, either... until I had a dip made from beets. Sooooooo good! We ate it with bread and I seriously think it's one of the best bread dips that I've had :-) Enjoy your yummy veggies!

Becky said...

You've definitely gotten me interested in doing a co-op or CSA. Not sure the mister and I will do it this year because we need to find a place that's close and right for us (amount-wise) but I'm definitely searching! Until then I will be pumped about the farmer's market.