If you have a community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscription, or love the farmer's market, your culinary skills might be getting a little challenged. Produce is never more abundant, fresh or beautiful than it is right about now, but there's just so much of it!
One of the big advantages of having a CSA subscription is knowing you are supporting a family farm and letting the farmer choose what is right at peak ripeness for your box, and it lets them plant vegetables they probably wouldn't otherwise because they couldn't sell enough. And part of the fun is never quite knowing what to expect when you pick up your box and finding surprises in there...golden beets! white eggplant! garlic scapes!...but it also poses a challenge when you may have never seen these things before and don't entirely know how best to use them.
And at this time of year when everything is coming in, there may be a lot of even familiar favorites you have to use before they go bad, whether you grew them yourself, bought them at the farmer's market or found them in your CSA box.
In any case, it's time to sharpen your culinary curiosity and find new things to do with old favorites and delicious things to do with new flavors. The New York Times had a cool article this week about how to do exactly that; there's a regular recipe story, and then this super fun Farmer's Market Recipe Generator. You can choose one of any number of current farmer's market/CSA finds (cauliflower, eggplant. stone fruit, etc.) a cooking method (grill, stove top or oven) and a type of fresh herb and give it a "spin," and ta-da! Up comes a recipe. If, say, you're heading to the market and want to cook with whatever looks good, you can choose "randomize" and it will choose a combo for you...then just head to the market and shop!
It's a good antidote to being overwhelmed by summer's bounty...after all, in the dead of winter when you're missing the taste of a nice ripe tomato or the juiciness of a summer peach, you'll be glad you seized the moment while you could!
Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the summer produce or are you loving every minute?