Friday, August 10, 2012
Talking food with a friend one day - a friend that calls Diet Coke and coffee a balanced breakfast - he asked me if I really feel like buying a CSA share makes any difference, if all these local food groupies were just delusional to think that its really all that much better for our families and our communities, if buying a share from a farmer is just a way to stave off some sort of existential guilt we all have that we're disconnected from the earth, that we're not all farmers growing our own veg and slaughtering our own meat, so instead we shrug our shoulders, line up at Sam's Club, and chow down while watching Dancing with the Stars.
My friend, clearly, has a pessimistic side, and I couldn't help but smirk as I thought to myself in my best internal Jay-Z voice, 'haters gonna hate,' but in response, all I have to do is point to the fantastic things happening right here in my own town: the fact that my CSA Riverbound Farm sold out of shares this year; the line-ups for farm eggs, farm milk, and homegrown chickens around town; the soon-to-come food co-op; the fact that farmers are coming back into public consciousness talking about growing vegetables in the newspaper and raising beef on TV news; the enthusiasm that is growing in my little hamlet of Bismarck-Mandan for fresh, local, real good food, and I say yes, absolutely, my CSA share is making a difference. It's a tangible example of the shift happening in how we approach our food. Every meal reflects a choice, and although I don't feel locked down to 100% local, 100% of the time, I love knowing that my meals are making a difference in my health and my community, contributing directly to a farm family's agrarian lifestyle and feeding my family fresh fresh real good food at the same time. Win-win.
Another CSA bonus: I love kale, and since my share is a bounty of greens, I eat plenty of it. Sauteed kale, Japanese-soup kale, kale chips, kale in eggs, kale with potatoes - heck, I even juice it. And of course, kale with pasta.
This would be a perfect autumn dish - it's pretty hearty for a summer dinner - but I love me a big bowl of pasta any time of year. Definitely try this with the breadcrumbs as the recipe indicates - crispy, toasty, olive-oily goodness - and try whole-wheat pasta and some toasted chopped walnuts for some extra oomph.
Spaghetti with Kale
Adapted from Food52. If you want a spicy kick, keep some hot pepper flakes on the table.
About 8 oz. spaghetti
One bunch of kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 slices of whole wheat bread, spun in a blender to make bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Handful of walnuts, chopped and toasted (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook to al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat and add the bread crumbs and garlic, until bread crumbs are slightly toasted and golden brown. Remove bread crumbs from pot; keep pot on the stove and add in kale with a little pasta water. Saute until wilted.
Drain the pasta and toss with the kale, toasted bread crumbs, walnuts and Parmesan; drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
Posted by Rhubarb and Venison at 6:00 AM