Saturday, July 21, 2012

My "CSA" Salad

Several years ago, we purchased a share in a local CSA. I think CSA's are fantastic, and they can be wonderful if they are run well. Unfortunately, our experience was not so wonderful. I won't go into details, but let's just say the farm didn't treat its subscribers very well (lack of communication, small quantities of food, extremely small variety of vegetables, and poor quality were my main gripes). It didn't surprise me when the farm went out of business a couple of years ago.

Nevertheless, I did learn many things during my CSA summer. One of them was how to take a random assortment of veggies (turnip, beets, fennel) and turn it into a kick-booty salad.

I call this a CSA Salad, and I posted the recipe on VegWeb. It has a base of steamed bulgur, which is then tossed with a variety of raw, chopped veggies, toasted walnuts, and vinaigrette. My favorite veggies to use include beets, carrots, celery, cucumber, fennel, turnip, spinach, and scallions, but you can use whatever you have on hand. The vinaigrette takes two minutes to whip up, and in no time, you have a crunchy, tangy, vitamin-loaded plate of goodness.

Sometimes I'll add a can of chickpeas in there, but it doesn't even really need it. I've also had success substituting millet for the bulgur to make it gluten-free, but I prefer it with the bulgur. It tastes great freshly made and even better the next day.


Hannah said...

I really love the idea of a CSA, but I just can't commit; I need too many specific vegetables and fruits when I'm writing recipes. It's a bit comforting to know that I'm not the only one missing the bandwagon here! So sorry to hear about your crummy experience, though.

Bethany said...

Hi Hannah! I am the same way - I need specific veggies for specific meals. I pretty much had a panic attack each week at pickup because I was like, OK, what am I going to do with this before it goes bad!? I'm much more of a meal planner :) But even though I had a bad experience at that particular farm, I still think CSAs are great. Unfortunately there aren't many options in RI, but if I ever moved, I'd definitely try it again. It would be good for me to expand my horizons and experiment in the kitchen!