Sometimes I absolutely love working at a CSA. Last year when I was sweating it out there five days a week, I wasn’t quite sure I’d come back. It was one of the best learning experiences I could ask for. But it was also a lot of hard work!
Despite having my butt kicked into shape every time I enter the farm, I’ve returned for another year. This time I’m only working a couple days a week, which provides the perfect counterbalance to my office job at Discovery. Sitting for long periods of a time at a desk often drives me crazy, and if I ever have to do it 5 days a week, I’ll probably go clinically insane. But for now, I am fortunate to experience both ends of the work world, and I’m loving every side of it. (Let’s hope my journalism career leads me to a job where I can continue experiencing both in and out of office encounters!)
Anyways, so there are times when working at a CSA totally kicks butt. One, it fully puts me in tune with what’s in season. So when the customers at the farmer’s market ask me in May where all the tomatoes are, I can laugh in my head, and tell them they won’t be ready till July. (And peaches won’t be here till August…duh. Kidding, kidding, but really.) Two, I nearly have a whole grocery store of FRESH produce without having to drive an inch. When I’m out picking all those buckets of green beans, you can bet I’m dreaming of what I’m going to do with them that night.
The other day, I took home some new potatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and a few other items that you’ll see featured in future posts. I used those first few listed items along with some basil from my own garden to turn the classic potato salad into a healthier, more summery version. Basil-infused pesto replaces the saturated-fat-filled mayo, and fresh, crunchy cucumbers replace the celery. It’s always fun getting creative with whatever ingredients are freshest, aka, the one’s picked straight from the field. If you can, grab these items from your local farmer’s market (or garden) to yield ideal results from this recipe.
- 1 lb. potatoes (new potatoes, if possible)
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup pesto (recipe here)
- 2 tsp. mustard
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Toasted pine nuts, handful
- Steam potatoes until fork tender. Strain, and quickly run under cool water. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, excluding the pine nuts. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Serve, sprinkling pine nuts on top.