I got my first CSA delivery last week!
I’d been thinking about joining a CSA for a while and then the perfect opportunity presented itself. We found a farm that offered small shares and weekly delivery right in the atrium of my husband’s office building. So we jumped on it.
CSA stands for community supported agriculture. The way it works is that you buy a share, or membership, in a local farm. In return, you get a weekly produce delivery. The advantage for the farmer is that he gets the money up front. The advantage to the consumer is a steady supply of local, seasonal produce.
I’ve been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my family’s meals for a long time. But my meals still tend to be meat-centric. And I keep coming back to the same, familiar vegetables, which means lots of asparagus and zucchini.
Enter the CSA. The first week’s delivery included strawberries, beets, pickling cucumbers, romaine lettuce, carrots, kale, and a tomato.
The kale is a perfect example of why I joined a CSA. Kale is an incredibly nutritious food. Every time I walk by it in the store I stop and stare at it, thinking that I really should put it in my cart. But then, not knowing if I’m going to like it, I walk past it and reach for the zucchini.
But now here it was it in my CSA bag. I searched around on the web for recipes and saw the usual, predictable recipes for braised and sautéed kale. But I also kept coming across recipes for kale chips. Intrigued, I decided to give it a try.
The recipe was simple. Toss kale with some olive oil, sprinkle it with salt, and bake. The result was surprisingly good. The leaves became crispy and crunchy. They had a nice salty bite that you want in a chip, with a hint of bitterness that’s characteristic of the kale.
I’d planned to serve them alongside turkey burgers for dinner. But our hunger got the best of us and we ended up munching on them while waiting for dinner to finish cooking. They ended up being a surprisingly good (and healthy!) alternative to potato chips. Who woulda thought?
Start with some lovely kale.
Lay each leaf flat. Using a knife, cut out the large, tough central stem.
Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces and toss with olive oil.
Spread on a sheet pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake until the kale is crispy and the edges are golden brown.
1 bunch kale, washed and dried
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Remove the tough stem from each kale leaf and discard. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil.
3. Lay kale on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Bake until crisp and golden brown, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 to 25 minutes.