Editor’s Note: Let’s welcome back Erica G as a contributor! Erica & her 3 year old son Dominic are enjoying their first season as a CSA Member. This pizza post was written back in late June during the first weeks of their Denison Farm CSA Share. Erica will continue exploring her first CSA season in future posts with a bi-weekly update of a CSA-focused dinner party she has with friends… Onto the pizza…
So I finally took the plunge and bought a CSA share through Denison Farm! I have been anxiously waiting this day since I signed up months ago – I receive both the vegetable and fruit share (which starts in July – also can’t wait for that!!)
I pick up my share Wednesday in Troy, so on June 8th I couldn’t think of anything else while at work except getting to that first veggie share! I picked up D from school and headed straight out to the pick up site which had a large sign listing all the veggies in the box and other notes…of course I didn’t read it – that would have been too smart, I just wanted to get home and get cooking. I got D unloaded and a snack, opened my box and promptly panicked – I had NO idea what so of the items in the box were! I almost packed D back up to go actually read the sign, but then remembered Justine from Denison Farm sends out a wonderful newsletter listing what will be in the box. With the list from the newsletter and some searching on google images to match the right food to the list I was back on track with garlic scapes, bok choy, radishes, spinach, cilantro, and lettuce – mmmm!
I really wanted to use these veggies from my first pick up even though I didn’t have the ingredients for any recipes I was seeing since I wouldn’t be going shopping until the next day. I decided to get a little creative – which probably won’t sound too creative for experienced cooks but I’m still knew to learning how to match ingredients so going off recipe is always a big deal for me! And since D’s reaction to opening a box of green items was “ Mommy I no like that, I no eat it”, I knew whatever I did make could not look like it had veggies in it and would need to be something D usually eats – PIZZA!
We had some left over cheddar cheese and some pizza dough in the freezer (although I would strongly suggest using homemade pizza dough) – all we needed was sauce.
Here’s what I used for the pesto:
- 2 Garlic Scapes
- 1 ½ cup Spinach
- 4-5 leaves of Bok Choy
- Cilantro to taste (I love cilantro in any and everything, so if you do not have the same love for cilantro you may want to omit it)
- Approx. ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
I cut all the veggies and threw them into the food processor raw until puréed with a little olive oil. I made a radish salad that was in the Denison CSA newsletter to finish off the meal. I was expecting D to be hesitant about the sauce being green, however he simple asked “what’s that?” and accepted my answer of “it’s the pizza sauce” – Phew! He then gave the pizza two thumbs up – SUCCESS!
I also really liked the pizza too. I was a little nervous about just using items I had never cooked with before (and I would probably experiment a little with the amounts of the items I used and use a different cheese next time) – but over all I was pretty pleased with it
I am fully in love with my CSA share, and now I make sure I read the sign each week. However, since there are only two of us at home – and D is less than thrilled about eating veggies – I always have extra at the end of the week. I know there are many ways to preserve the food, but I haven’t quite gotten to fit that in my schedule yet so I just end up with a lot of extra food. When I pick up my share there is the option to leave items you will not use that will go to food pantries, but I won’t know until I have planned my meals that night what I won’t use. I happen to work at a homeless shelter for women in Rensselaer NY, so I have taken to bringing in what I won’t use for the families in the shelter. I would urge anyone facing the same issue to find your local shelter or food pantries and donate your extras to them.
Link to The Food Pantries of the Capital Region to locate your local food pantries. Always call ahead to find out the organizations policy on accepting food donations.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer goodies as much as I am – Here’s to a summer full of fresh and healthy cooking