Way back in snow-drenched January, when I was newly diagnosed with high cholesterol and all gung-ho about eating healthier and looking forward to spring vegetables, I joined a CSA with a friend.
A CSA is basically a farm-share – you pay upfront to get fresh veggies all spring and summer from a local farm. I can never remember why it’s called a CSA (it stands for Community Supported Agriculture, thank you google). Sounds great in theory, right? Eating local, check. Supporting local farmers, check. Farm-fresh veggies, yum-check.
In practice, I’m totally overwhelemed.
First of all, the first few weeks of the CSA were nearly 100% lettuce (and the veggies that weren’t lettuce were totally unidentifiable to me.) As I am not, shall we say, Salad-Girl, this was a tremendous problem for me.
Luckily my sister Melissa – who works with our family business so is around to help me sort out the weekly bounty – loves salad. She took many heads of gigando-leafed, what-on-earth-is-that lettuce off my hands.
But even Melissa, who is the very definition of Salad-Girl, had to resort to GRILLING LETTUCE because there was so much of it. Let me repeat – grilling lettuce! Who ever heard of such a thing.
Her teenage girls were not amused.
I am still laughing.
Luckily, the growing season has progressed – we are now past the lettuce stage, and I feel smug and smart, as I can identify nearly all of the vegetables in my box each week.
Identify – yes. Know how to cook? No.
The CSA weekly newsletter helps – they tell you what’s in that week’s box and even provide handy recipes for things like kohlrabi chips. (I have still not tried kohlrabi – what on earth is it anyway? I just know I’m happy Melissa likes it.)
It was getting a little crazy, though – I mean I’m paying all this money (and should be eating more fresh veggies) so I decided to try cooking something I’ve never before cooked.
No, not kohlrabi.
Melissa told me it was easy to cook kale, and since: a) it did indeed sound easy; b) I know I like kale; and c) it’s not weird-looking kohlrabi, I threw a huge head of kale in the car, took it (along with vodka and wine of course) to my friends’ new summer-rental home in Litchfield, CT.
SCORE! Roasted kale was easy as pie and so delicious everyone had seconds until there was not a scrap left.
I should note, however, that there were no kids eating, and the 4 adults had consumed a few bottles of wine.
That said, it was easy to make and wonderfully flavorful. If you’ve not tried roasted kale, you might want to give it a go.
The recipe, if you want to call it that, is simple:
- Preheat oven to 450
- Rinse and rib the kale (toss ribs). Rip into pieces – same as you would for lettuce (LOL)
- Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper. You want it to be barely-wet, not drenched and not dry. Add a few garlic cloves if you want – whole or minced.
- Roast for about 20 minutes and serve.
Goes particularly well with wine. Oh, and food.