The After Life: Swan Song of a CSA

The back-to-school commercials are running. Mercilessly. Chances are, you’re reading this from a dorm room (or off-campus apartment, aren’t you fancy?) on a break between classes or reading assignments. Summer’s reign is truly coming to an end, and along with that comes the death knell of a new-to-me summer staple: the CSA.

My office building decided to take part in a summer CSA (or Community Supported Agriculture, for those of you who hail from areas less populated by hipsters and/or farmers) this year, and a coworker and I pooled our resources to take half a vegetable share. So, every Wednesday for the last twelve weeks, veggies rained down upon us from a nearby farm.

Now, we all know I’m a foodie, but I’ll be honest with you: it was really overwhelming. There were only so many bunches of kale and beets and radishes I could handle before my creativity completely escaped me. Now that the end of our share has arrived, I’m glad that I gave the CSA summer a shot…but I’m ready to return to a diet with slightly less emphasis on the cruciferous veggies.

This recipe is one that I threw together during the last weeks of my CSA, as tomatoes started to come into their prime and the last of the summer’s sweet corn came our way. I think it was my favorite dish of the season!


Summer  CSA Vegetable Salad
Serves 2 as a main dish; 4 as a side

1 ear corn
1 tomato, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 cup black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cups wild spinach (lambsquarter), torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Flaky sea salt, to taste

Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil and add corn ear (cut in half to fit if necessary). Cover and boil for about 20 minutes, until fully cooked. Drain water and set corn aside to cool completely.

When corn is cool, slice kernels off the cob.

Add all ingredients except salt to a large salad bowl and toss to combine. Add salt in small increments (I suggest half teaspoonfuls), tasting between each until salad reaches your desired flavoring. Serve at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator (can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days). This is also a wonderful side dish when paired with chicken or fish!

Tara Powers is a Villanova grad (and, now, current NYU student) who works in publishing in Manhattan. She thinks baked goods should be given a much bigger slice on the food pyramid and advocates for those views at Chip Chip Hooray.

Originally posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

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