CSA Day!

I’m so excited! Today I picked up my very first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) basket! Isn’t it beautiful?

Digging into this basket was like opening a Christmas present…every layer revealed a new surprise. Granted, I didn’t really know what everything was, but it was exciting nonetheless. While picking up the basket, I traded our basket’s fennel in for an extra bunch of beets, since no one around here likes fennel. I guess this week we’ll be finding out whether anyone likes turnips or purple kohlrabi, either.
I was a little worried that the basket would only contain strange stuff that my family wouldn’t eat, but happily, it contained nectarines, peaches, grapes, cucumbers, zucchini, and other recognizables, too.
My sister, Amy, was here to share the excitement, and we made the most delicious recipe that the CSA recommended for our chard, beets, and onion. Oh, my…delicious!
Can’t wait to see what comes next time. I’ve attached the recipe below for you to enjoy.

swiss chard with beets, goat cheese, and raisins Bon Appétit | December 2005

The slight bitterness of the greens is tempered by the sweetness of the beets and the raisins, while the cheese adds a creamy richness.

1 1/2 pounds red beets (about 3 large)

4 pounds Swiss chard

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, halved lengthwise, cut thinly crosswise
3/4 cup sliced green onions (about 3)
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced crosswise with seeds
3 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons golden raisins

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 51/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons pine nuts
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets individually in foil. Roast until beets are tender, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover; chill.)

Fold Swiss chard leaves in half lengthwise and cut stalks away from leaves. Cut leaves coarsely into 1-inch pieces. Slice stalks thinly crosswise. Reserve stalks and leaves separately. Cook chopped leaves in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain and reserve.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add sliced stalks; sauté until starting to soften, about 8 minutes.

Add onion and next 3 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes. Add drained tomatoes and 1 cup raisins. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Add chard leaves to pot; stir to heat through. Remove from heat; add lime juice and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer chard mixture to large platter. Sprinkle with beets, goat cheese, pine nuts, and remaining 2 tablespoons raisins. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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