Our weekly CSA share kicked in yesterday and we received a ton of fresh organic produce! For those of you who aren’t familiar, “CSA” stands for community supported agriculture. This relatively new socio-economic concept changes the way food is produced, distributed and sold, creating small scale closed markets for farmers in which the consumer participates in the risk and rewards of the farm.
One of the great benefits of the CSA (in addition to receiving produce the day it is picked) is that it gives farmers more time to do what they do best –grow food. By cutting out the middle man, the farmers also receive more money for their crops and save time by not having to market produce to stores.
Earlier this year my family purchased a “share” in this season’s crop from Abbondanza. This means we receive vegetables straight from the farm each week during the harvest months.
Top 10 Reasons to Join a CSA
- Create a relationship with the person who grows your food
- Help farmers -money goes directly to grower, not middle man and chain stores
- Support neighborhood businesses –be a part of re-localization effort
- Reduce fossil fuel consumption used in food transport
- Support land intensive organic farming
- Purchase nutrient dense foods
- Eat locally
- Eat seasonally
- Eat fresh food
- Receive weekly basket of produce –often same day it is harvested
Frankly, our farm share is looking great this year –although we actually only purchased a “half share,” we received more greens yesterday than I could figure out what to do with. This sent me rummaging through my recipes last night in search of culinary solutions to my vegetable overload.
The biggest “problem” was spinach. What to do with the several pounds of spinach crowding out the other greens in the veggie drawer of my fridge? Spinach cake of course!
- Wilt spinach in a large covered saucepan, over low heat (do not add water) 5 minutes, until tender
- Drain and cool, then gently squeeze moisture out of spinach
- Place spinach in food processor and pulse until coarsely blended, then set aside
- In a small skillet, warm 3 tablespoons oil, add pine nuts and saute until golden brown
- Add garlic to pan of pine nuts and saute together an additional minute
- In a large bowl, combine pine nuts mixture, blended spinach, eggs, currants and salt
- Spread mixture into a greased 7 x 11 inch baking dish
- Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes
This spinach recipe is based on Claudia Roden’s Tortino di Spinaci. As I have mentioned before, she is my all time favorite cookbook author. I often hear her speaking about the history of Jewish food on NPR. She is basically a food historian, as well as a culinary genius.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do and that it solves your spinach harvest woes!