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From CSA to Markets to Farms

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Where I shop these days. In the summer, the vast majority of my food purchases come from these three sources. The only reason I hit the grocery stores or Costco is for bulk pantry items.

Like the nuts and olive oil for pestos. I am in pesto making mode. With the basil from the CSA, and arugula from Love Dove Farm, and mustard greens and carrot tops from the CSA.

fava beans 016

I saved the carrot tops from both weeks of CSA, and the mustard greens from a week ago. Add some arugula and scallion tops, some garlic, slivered almonds from Costco and Pecorino Romano from Costco. I don’t measure this at all. The carrot tops and mustard greens were blanched, then rinsed, then squeezed dry. I got two one cup jars for the freezer.

Pesto is one of those forgiving recipes. Add or subtract. Substitute. Be creative. My second pesto came from the CSA basil, with almonds, pecorino, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. The simple recipe. Two or three cups of basil. 3/4 cup almonds, 3/4 cup of cheese, three garlic cloves, drizzle in the olive oil while processing. Get the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper if you need to. Put it in air tight containers, cover in olive oil. Refrigerate or freeze.

Pesto in the winter is a wonderful thing.

Next venture today was fava bean and halloumi.

fava beans 020

On the right, the fava beans in their pods, after blanching. Take them out and they are still in their wrinkled shells. Shell them and use them in all sorts of ways. This is one of my favorites.

I did not take pictures. Mine don’t look as good as that. I buy my halloumi at Roots Market. Had mint from the CSA. I used peas I got from Love Dove. They were snap peas but I shelled them.

Tomorrow we are hitting Larriland for the first day of blueberry picking. There will be pounds of berries brought home, cleaned and frozen, with some left out to enjoy. I just used the last of what I picked in 2012.

In the summer, hit the markets, the farms, join a CSA and the only thing you buy at the store may be toilet paper. And, other non food items. Really. We have an amazing variety of fresh foods here in Howard County.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

4 responses »

  1. Annie,
    THANKS for the suggestion to use mustard greens in a pesto! I’m staring at a giant bag of them and really appreciate this idea. Our composting pigs will eat the carrot tops, though. They would be pretty annoyed if I took that treat from them, and if you’ve never shared a house with an annoyed guinea pig . . . well, it’s loud. šŸ™‚
    The closest Costco to me is about an hour away–but during the sled hockey season it’s less than 10 minutes from the rink, so I get a good 8 months of easy trips. You’re making me think a jaunt south is in order to stock up on Costco staples.

  2. I have never had halloumi but know I would love it.

  3. Halloumi is a very interesting cheese. Almost rubbery. It definitely does well on the grill. Salty, too.

    As for Costco, you can’t beat their prices for almonds, pistachios, walnuts and pecans. All of which I use in pesto. I do buy jars of Parmesan and pecorino for pesto. I use so much that grating it or trying to pulverize it in the processor is just too much like work šŸ˜‰

    I also buy their large containers of organic olive oil.

  4. My plans for this weekend include making the pesto from garlic scapes that you wrote about previously. Thank you for these additional pesto ideas.


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