CSAs and More

Eats + Drinks

By Rachel Werner


GETTING FRESH
ALTERNA-CSAs
DIDN’T THINK ASPARAGUS COULD BE HIPSTER? Think again! A few local companies are stretching the original CSA model far beyond the box.

608CSK: 608COMMUNITY SUPPORTED KITCHEN
Enjoy locally sourced fresh vegetables already whipped up into two tasty entrées! This prepared food share is delivered right to your door once a week. Founder Ben Lubchansky says, “The members who benefit the most were already eating out, taking out or fussing over dinner one to two times per week. With our service they save money and eat much better food, around their own kitchen table at home.” Mazomanie. 608csk.com.

OXHEART FARM:
How much more user-friendly would your weekly share be if you could choose the veggies you receive each pick-up? Owners Cella Langer and Emmet Fisher are on it, offering their June-December CSA as market- style. Members come out to the farm and select all the items they’d like to take home. Mount Horeb. oxheartfarm.wordpress.com.

SQUARE HARVEST:
Prefer to shop with the stroke of your fingertips? Then Square Harvest is for you. With the goal of making local produce and food products more accessible—and no additional membership fees—this model allows you to complete your shopping online and be proud that 100 percent of your food dollars stay in the local economy. squareharvest.com.


SCAVENGER HUNT

LIKE FREE FOOD? Head outdoors and start picking! Foraging is an inexpensive, create-your-own food adventure, hunting and gathering wild edible plants. As a longtime local forager, owner of Four Elements Organic Herbals Jane Stevens says local plants are now ripe for plucking. Elderflowers and linden flowers are in plentiful supply this month in the Madison area along residential streets, bike trails and railroad tracks. Also be on the lookout for blackberries and the tiny fruit on Mayapple trees in state parks such as Governor Dodge and Devil’s Lake, recommends Stevens, as their peak season is typically the first week of July. The following recipes will help you put your scavenger bounty to good use!

ELDERFLOWER FIZZ
“This is a beautiful beverage that makes you and your guests feel divine. It is well worth the effort!” says Stevens.

20-30 elderflower blossoms
3 c. sugar
6 quarts water
2 lemons

Be sure not to wash the elderflower; the active yeast necessary for this recipe is naturally on these flowers.

Thinly slice lemons and add to water.

Stir in the elder blossoms, and then add mixture to a ceramic or stainless steel bowl.

Cover with a towel and set in a cool place (not refrigerated) for 2-4 days until a foam and ferment occurs.

Strain, then add sugar—careful to stir until dissolved—and pour into glass bottles, covering with a champagne cork, or a balloon to allow gas to escape.

Ready to drink after a week, and can be stored for several more in a cool place.

GOBO SALAD
For this foraging recipe, dig burdock root (found along bike trails) in spring or fall, when it looks similar to a rhubarb plant. Wash thoroughly and grate. Measure the amount of grated burdock root and add an equal amount of grated carrot and mix together in a bowl.

For every 4 cups of grated root mix, add:
4 Tbsp. cider, wine or balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp. olive or sesame oil
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. grated ginger

Stir together, refrigerate and enjoy!


GET HUNGRY! FOOD CARTS AROUND THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Featuring a rotating lineup of Madison’s best food carts, Let’s Eat Out (LEO) is working to achieve its mission of bringing neighborhoods together while expanding access to local food in a very delicious way. With 15 weekly dinners featuring over 19 participating carts, LEO’s 2015 dinner venues can be found in different neighborhoods Monday through Thursday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. until Aug. 27. letseatoutwi.org.