This last week we received our first ever grain CSA. I am freaking out a little bit about it: thirty pounds of ancient and heirloom grains and lentils grown right here in Montana and delivered to us. What a gift! What a fun experiment to learn to cook with new food! What an honor to support this hard-working family! What fun to learn about these grains and beans!
the farro seed dates back 20,000 years!
The girls and I explored and talked about the dried kernels yesterday. Their enthusiasm met my curiosity and we had a full-blown educational experience at the kitchen table. We learned about true whole grains: fully intact grain. People often strip grains of the nutrient-rich exterior to speed up cooking or improve aesthetic. We learned about food industrialization and seed threat (ok, that was just my own lesson. I lost the girls when I started talking about Monsanto and soil biodiversity). We packed them in my favorite jars and planned meals.
I quite literally couldn’t wait to cook with our new beauties. And so, last night’s dinner became our first Prairie Heritage Farm CSA meal, prepared by Ruby and me. It may sound clinical but here’s what it was: DELICIOUS.
The farm’s website has some recipes and I adapted our dinner from a recipe they listed out of Mothering Magazine, using ingredients we had on hand. I think many vegetable combinations would be awesome (winter squash + sage or summer squash, fennel + thyme). Next time, I’ll add frozen corn.
Farro Lentil Pilaf
serves 6 or so
3 T olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 cup uncooked lentils
1 cup uncooked farro
2 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
plain yogurt or sour cream
Preheat the oven to 325. In a Dutch oven, heat oil and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add farro, lentils, carrots, celery, parsnip and stir. Add water, tomatoes, salt and cumin. Cover and bake in the oven for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until grain and lentils are done to your liking. We like the farro to be al dente. Remove dutch oven. Gently (minimal stirring) fold on cheese and pine nuts. Serve immediately with a dollop of yogurt of sour cream and cilantro.
Holy smokes was it tasty. Ruby reluctantly took her first bite and then beamed, “Yum! I think this is good for my body!” It’s actually all gone already because Andy brought it to work for lunch and I ate it for breakfast.
CSAs are growing in popularity and with good, heartening reason. Everything we buy is a vote for what we want in our world. Investing in food grown by our neighbors directly supports our local economy, environment and community. And, the freshly and sustainably harvested food brings nutrient-packed food into the bodies of those you love. To find CSAs and farms in your neighborhood, visit Local Harvest (type in your zip code on the right hand side of the page).
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Today, in my mamalode column I wrote about my meandering, spontaneous ways. Trying to figure out if I need to work on my daily rhythm (always late/behind) or embrace my natural inclination. Click to read mama digs: tick tock.