Sunday, May 15, 2011

Agretti, Cardoons and Favas - oh my!

There are many reasons why people join a CSA - the freshness, the cost, supporting local farms... but some do for adventure. In all fairness this Mother's Day dinner was brought about by both the CSA box from Mariquita farm and extra orders from the Ladybug Buying Club, which distributes extra bounty from Mariquita. (You don't have to be a CSA member to order). That impulse to place an extra order though is the fault of many years in our CSA.

See, 10 years ago that "oh my" following agretti, cardoons or favas was one of fear. Our broccoli, carrot and potato diet was based on what the grocery store stocked, but the CSA brought new veggies - we didn't have a choice and we grew to loathe choice. Just tell me what is fresh and tasty and we'll figure it out. And figure it out is what we did... so that this week the idea of three veggies off the beaten path just made my Mother's Day. Did I endure three boys whining for lack of peas and sweet way! They fought over these Italian beauties...don't underestimate your kiddos.

If you are wondering what these veggies are, see Mariquitas lovely description and recipes for agretti, cardoons, and fava beans. Cardoons took a bit for us to master - most say to use in creamy sauces, but we prefer to peel them, blanch them, then cook thoroughly with lemon. I love agretti simply sauteed in tacos or asian noodles - just about anything. Favas get the same universal treatment. I set up an assembly line, we cook the whole batch and keep them in the fridge to throw in pasta, tacos (I eat a lot of those), or on their own. Even Gabriel can peel them..and I can prove it...

OK now for the actual dinner...served, gasp, family style in one course!

Fava beans, sauteed agretti, steamed black forbidden rice and toasted almonds

 Cardoons with preserved lemon and black bean puree

Top Sirloin Roast (for the wee laddies)

 Pavlova with Strawberries, Lemon Balm Vegan Ice Cream, and Lavender Honey Ice Cream

1 comment:

  1. We LOVE agretti! That's what I miss the most about doing that CSA. Looks like a delicious meal!