Wednesday, August 4, 2010

CSAs, Patio Tomatoes & Okra

Earlier this year, we decided to join the Jug Bay CSA with a couple of our friends. A CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a program where you can buy seasonal produce and herbs directly from a local farm. You pay up front early in the season, and then your “shares” are delivered weekly. With Jug Bay, you can either pick them up at the farm or at their drop-off spot in Capitol Hill.

Aside from always being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of produce we get (we end up sharing a lot of it), it's been a good experience overall. One of the benefits is that it inspires you to prepare food you might not have otherwise.

For instance, okra, which has been plentiful lately. Okra dishes are not a part of my culinary canon -- my family is Italian and I was raised in northeast Ohio. But Chris (who lived in the south for several years) suggested we make stewed okra and tomatoes. Sounded like a good idea to me.

So I did a quick search and found this basic recipe.* Turns out, this is a quick and simple way to enjoy okra. Fortunately, you don’t need to do much to good-quality, fresh ingredients. This is my kind of cooking.

Making this dish has also been a good way to enjoy all of the patio tomatoes we’ve been harvesting from our garden. I highly recommend these tomatoes, by the way. We're novice gardeners, but it's been suprisingly easy to grow them. And they have a great tart flavor. The ones we have are by Herb Herbert's Traditional Herbs. We got them at Merrifield Garden Center.

* I modified the recipe by sauteeing the onions in olive oil, using fresh tomatoes and cracked pepper, and not using green bell peppers.

No comments: