Borrowing a CSA

Friend of Al Dente, Jon Rogers, messaged me a week or two ago to see if I was interested in his CSA share for the week leading into the Independence Day holiday. Jon and his family, subscribers to the Early Morning Farm CSA program, were departing for a long weekend in the Adirondacks and he didn’t want the delivery to go to waste. All I had to do was drop by Green Planet Grocery in Camillus to pick it up. Never one to turn his back on vegetables, I accepted his offer.

I claimed Jon’s wet box of veggies on Thursday afternoon and immediately loaded everything into the small bay of my kitchen sink. I kept things wet and figured I could break down the haul the next day.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Consumers, such as you and me, plunk down an upfront payment and receive a weekly allotment of produce. The delivery is farmer’s choice, generally, but you get a variety of veggies, herbs, flowers, fruit or other goodies that have been planted and harvested by the farm. We here at Al Dente have been hesitant to join a CSA because we tend to vacate Syracuse for much of the month of July and I’m afraid that I would stop going to farmer’s markets. But, the allure of opening a box and not knowing what’s inside is there and may turn me into a subscriber down the road.

Early Morning Farm’s basic CSA share for July 2, 2015 included heads of kale, escarole, lettuce and napa cabbage, a large bunch of basil, and trios of beets and spring onions. Much of the haul was broken down for the freezer.


Escarole and Beet Tops

Those hit a bath of boiling water for blanching and freezing. After squeezing the water out of everything, I was left with two 11 oz. portions of escarole and one 8 oz. portions of beet tops. The beet greens were particularly attractive as an alternative to chard.



Yeah. Um, no. Beets, spaghetti squash, butternut and other autumn squashes, radishes and cauliflower fall on the no way, no how list of veggies in my life. Those ended up with The Aunt, who planned to make a salad with them.


That’s easy. The long stems are sitting in a glass and covered with a plastic baggy. I plan to break it down for pesto before we skip town.


Spring Onions

Just like regular onions, but the tops come off like leeks.

Napa Cabbage

Uaing a large, thin-slicing knife, I chopped up the napa for a coleslaw that I made for the 4th of July picnic we went to on Saturday.



Not sure what will happen to this. It’s hanging out in the crisper waiting for its demise.


Yeah, I’m guessing we’re having a lot of salad this week.



No idea. I have no idea what this thing is, what to do with it, or what it will go with. Buuuuuuuuut, that’s a concern for later in the week. It turns out that the ladies at The Kitchn have an answer (they have the answer to everything…).


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