A couple of years ago, when I was just getting started in culinary school, some of our friends gifted me the August share of their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box. It was full of heirloom tomatoes, fresh garden greens, more summer squash than I knew what to do with and some of the most luscious blueberries I’d ever tasted. So naturally, when the next CSA season came around, I was in.
We were a bit short on funds at that point, so I got in touch with the farmer and we settled on a trade. Every week I would drive south to two tiny Oregon towns and pick up artisan bread and goat’s cheese. Little did I know those weekly forays into the countryside would be some of my most treasured moments of the summer.
The day my sweet niece was born, my best friends and I piled in the car to go pick up the bread and cheese while we waited. One week my mother-in-law and I went together, eating lunch at an adorable all-natural cafe and stopping to deliver blueberries to a family friend who might live on the most beautiful hilltop in the entire valley. I took both my parents at separate times, and we devoured pints of decadent vanilla goat’s milk ice cream on our way home.
Having a direct connection to where your food comes from (like a CSA) is not only satisfying and healthy, it’s a wonderful way to bring others into the circle and let them experience the amazing relationships that inevitably form.
I picked up our first bag of CSA goodies Wednesday evening from our friends, Bubba and Sarah (and Ulysses). They’ve worked incredibly hard to build this amazing life, farm and CSA program, and I am absolutely thrilled to be a small part in supporting that work. Though I had already made, shot and consumed this fresh salad, I quickly realized it would have been the perfect dish to craft out of the ingredients I received this week.
Every now and again I’ll show enough initiative to roast off a bird on the weekends to eat on throughout the week. Tossed with fresh lettuce greens, radishes and pea pods- all in this week’s CSA- that bit of herb roasted bird shone brightly. I threw in some perfectly delicious chive blossoms from my garden, a few crumbles of feta, some sliced almonds and covered the salad in fresh lemon juice and Oregon Olive Oil. A little bit of fleur de sel and fresh cracked pepper, and this meal lasted just long enough for me to take a few photos and stuff it in my mouth.
So fresh, clean and healthy. And grown by real, talented people who I want to move next door to and be friends with forever. It doesn’t get much more special than that.
- 1 cup roasted chicken, shredded (roasted 45 minutes at 375, seasoned inside and out with s&p, 1 lemon & rosemary shoved in the cavity)
- 2 cups fresh lettuce greens
- 4-5 radishes, shaved
- handful of pea pods (could also shell and add raw peas)
- 6 chive blossoms
- 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
- 2 Tbsp feta, crumbled
- juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 tsp lemon juice)
- 2 tsp GOOD olive oil
- sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
- Combine lemon juice and olive oil.
- Cut and wash greens and veggies.
- Toss chicken, greens and veggies in dressing.
- Add almonds, cheese and season with salt and pepper.