Got an email earlier this week saying that the CSA harvest is done for the year.
I'd say my experiment with community supported agriculture was a limited success. I found myself a little flummoxed as to what to do with some of the things I got, but all in all I enjoyed it. Ate more vegetables this summer than I did last year, and did a whole lot more "from scratch" cooking. Two recipes I'm definitely adding to my permanent stash this year? Fennel and Potato Gratin and Baked Gnocchi with Chard and Ricotta. I never managed to get a picture of either dish, but they were both very tasty. Both recipes came in issues of the CSA's bulletin--they were always giving us ways to use some of what we're taking home.
Here's the recipe for the potato/fennel thing. I'll post the gnocchi recipe later on this month (don't want to use up all my ideas the first week, now do I?):
Fennel & Potato Gratin (Originally from Farmer John's Cookbook)
2 cups fennel bulb, cut crosswise into 1/8 inch slices
2 cups thinly sliced potatoes
2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk for less richness)
2 Tbsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a shallow 2-qt. baking dish with butter.
2. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of fennel slices. Cover with half the potato slices. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Repeat layers until you've used up all the slices.
3. Bring the half-and-half to a gentle boil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Pour it over the fennel and potato.
4. Using a large spatula, press down on the top layer to submerge it. Dot with butter. Bake until potatoes are tender and the top is golden, about 1 hour.
I had this with chicken sausage and some applesauce. Yum.
I already signed up for next year's crop, a half share. Because I signed early I get a discount.
Next major purchase (aside from a chair for the living room. Unless this is cheaper, in which case it might get bought first)? A small deep freezer. I'm gonna be a blanchin', freezin', puttin' things by kind of girl next summer. I was won over to the process late in the game, and could have kicked myself when I thought of all the stuff that went bad before I could use it. That won't happen next year, though. I will be ready. 'Cause now I have an idea what to expect.