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Farm-fresh food lovers, start your engines (salad-spinners, blenders, stovetops, VitaMixes, ice-cream makers, juicers, dehydrators). CSA season is upon us!

Okay, so we’re a little behind out here in Colorado. It’s that pesky snow thing. But, we’re a hardy bunch. We don’t let cold weather ruin our fun or our growing season. Last weekend was Grant Family Farm’s spring farm tour and CSA kick-off celebration. It was cold, rainy, dreary and muddy, but in true Woodstock tradition, spirits were high, the beer was flowing and the farm-fresh food abundant.

As I did last year, I’ll be posting recipes according to what I receive in my share box each week. Please join me in eating our way through the season.

spinach pesto
what you need

2 cups fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic
2 – 3 tablespoons parsley, washed and stemmed
1 – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

what you do
Place all ingredient in a food processor and pulse. Salt and pepper to taste. Serving ideas: drizzle over roasted chicken, serve with crackers, use on pizza, substitute as a condiment in wraps or sandwiches, use as a pasta sauce. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Photos courtesy of Kirsten Akens, Food & Drink writer for the Colorado Springs Independent. Please follow this link to Kirsten’s article about Grant Farms Spring Farm Tour (more photos included). Thank you, Kirsten!

Peace, love and farm-fresh food.
Melissa

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17 Responses to “CSA Season begins (hallelujah)”

  1. Alta says:

    I have finally joined a CSA (took me a long while to find one – thanks to Amy @ SimplySugarandGlutenFree I did!) and I love it! We’re past spinach out here in Texas, and we’re on to garlic, onions, greens, cucumbers, and even starting to see peaches! Love this pesto. Yum!

  2. Lisa says:

    Sounds great! I can’t wait to dust off the food processor. Do you suppose this will freeze well? We did get a LOT of spinach :-) .

  3. Wanda says:

    I made the spinach pesto last night and used it on corn spaghetti. Yum yum!! My husband – not a celiac – had 2 helpings.

  4. Hethyr says:

    I’m excited to follow your CSA posts this year – I really enjoyed so many of your recipes last year and am SO excited that the season has begun! =)

  5. Cid says:

    Melissa,

    How can you fail with a recipe like this, deliciousness in seconds. I made some only last week and there was enough for all sorts of dishes. I like a spoonful in freshly made soup.

    Be picky about your Parmesan folks…. go for Reggiano and don’t forget to eat the rind as well, it has lots of flavour. For those of you who prefer goats cheese there’s Dutch Landana which has the same texture.

    Cid

  6. lo says:

    Mmm. CSA Season. And pesto. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

    We just did a presentation on using summer herbs at a local book festival this weekend — and pesto was on our list of topics. I talked about adding spinach to basil pesto to keep it nice and brightly green — but have never done it with spinach and parsley. Will have to give that a go!

  7. Melissa says:

    Alta,

    You’re going to love belonging to a CSA. From the looks of your bounty (your CSA blog post), it looks as though you found a wonderful one!

    Have fun with it!

  8. Sophie says:

    I so love a good pesto recipe like this one!! I also grow my own spinach & there is nothing better then enjoying fresh produce in a real winner’s recipe!

  9. Melissa says:

    Lisa,

    I’ve never frozen pesto (it always gets used), but most greens freeze well with some preparation. I also dehydrate spinach and add it to soups later.

  10. Melissa says:

    Wanda,

    That’s a great idea! There are so many good gluten-free pastas available now that it is no problem to substitute for the wheat-cootie versions.

    Two helpings? It must have been good!
    =)

  11. Melissa says:

    Hethyr,

    Thanks! I really appreciate your kind comments. Stay tuned for more good CSA recipes, tips and ideas. Share some of yours with us! You’re the “real” chef.

    =)

  12. Melissa says:

    Cid,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m not a cheese expert by any means, but I sure know it when I’m eating the good stuff. Great tip about the rind. I’ve heard people throw it in a soup to add depth of flavor, then take it out before serving. Have you ever done that? And thanks for the goat cheese name. I never know what to ask for, but I do favor goat products and we have a local goat dairy nearby that specializes in artisanal cheeses. I’ll check with them.

    http://www.haystackgoatcheese.com/index.htm#

    As always, I love your suggestions.

    xo

  13. Melissa says:

    Lo,

    Wish I could attend your presentations. Or, we could even do one together! What a hoot that would be.

    I’m getting lots of parsley and cilantro in my CSA box right now, so I’m throwing it into everything I make.

    =)

  14. Melissa says:

    Sophie,

    Thanks for the comment. And good for you for growing your own spinach. I’ve done so in the past, but with my CSA share, I’m having trouble using it all as it is!

  15. I’m behind on your posts … that vacation thing. ;-) I know how your CSA season invigorates you–woohoo! Sounds like a great season-opening event! I love pesto, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never had spinach pesto. Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing, Melissa. :-)

    Hugsss,
    Shirley

  16. Melissa says:

    Shirley,

    Funny, your comments are now going straight to my “approval desk” rather than into spam. Yeah! The spam gods finally figured out that we’re friends.
    =)

    “Vacation things” are good. The blogosphere will be here, take advantage of the break whenever you can!

    My CSA box is pretty much a spinach box right now (greens in general), so I’m doing whatever I can to take advantage of the abundance.

    Thanks for the visit!

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