image courtesy epicurious.com*
As it turns out, I make a salad. A quite delightful one, at that.
In our first week with the CSA, we got a delivery that included all the vegetable ingredients for this salad - asparagus, fava beans, and salad greens. We didn't have the pecorino cheese that the recipe called for, but I made do with a hunk of parmigiano reggiano. The salad itself was pretty simple - the veggies were tossed in olive oil with a little salt and pepper (is there anything in the world that isn't delicious with just EVOO, salt and pepper?), cheese shaved on top, and doused liberally with balsamic vinegar - but it was light, flavorful, and unexpectedly filling. Definitely a thumbs up.
I'd never encountered fava beans before, and after reading up on how to prepare them I thought it would be a pain - most recipes require you to shell the beans, steam or blanch the beans, and then peel off the outside layer to get the good stuff inside. And, okay, it *is* kind of a pain, but my husband and I were already sitting in front of the TV watching the Red Sox game, so it's not like we had anything better to do than shell and peel fava beans. It went quickly between the two of us, anyway.
I was also a little wary of the raw asparagus in the salad, but boy was I wrong. It was fabulous! I don't know if it was the raw-ness (the tips were blanched, but that was it) or their farm fresh-ness, but it was definitely the best asparagus I've had in a long time. Maybe even ever.
All in all, tonight served to remind me exactly what I love about being part of a CSA: discovering new recipes through having to cook with foods I'd never grab in the supermarket, and the joy of getting those foods super fresh and at peak season (I didn't even mention the fantastic strawberries and CHERRIES!). Plus I get to feel all self-righteous about supporting the local economy and sustainable organic agriculture! Hee.
Next up: What to do with a couple pounds of sugar snap peas?
*my photo skills just can't compare... and our salad was much bigger and messier, anyway!