CSA? What’s that? Community Supported Agriculture, a.k.a. a farm share. It’s a program where you can purchase a weekly delivery of produce from local farms throughout the summer and fall. As you can imagine CSA’s vary from farm to farm and there are meat and dairy ones as well. Since farms generally know how much they can supply there are a finite amount of shares available per farm and some sell out pretty quickly in the spring so if you’re not paying attention you can miss out. Which is why I think I got really lucky. One morning I was going through all the usual drink my coffee tasks and saw a post on Twitter saying Montalbano Farms still had some shares left… and they were customizable.
Now, this is a pretty important point. I’ve never participated in a weekly CSA before but some of our friends have and the only complaint I heard was they end up with tons of kale at some point. I mean, it is part of a gamble, you are hoping for a great growing season where there’s a lot of variety but that doesn’t always happen. Anyway, Montalbano Farms was offering a custom weekly share at no extra cost where your money goes into an account and you draw off of it. Each week you get an email/newsletter reminding you to sign in and place your order from what they’re offering. We chose the lowest level in order to augment what I grow in our backyard garden and we end up with about ½ a grocery bag of produce per week, which is plenty for Cheryl and me. There’s really very little for me to do but order and pick-up. Oh and our local pick-up point is Begyle Brewing, just a few blocks away. Yes, we are now getting a quart of beer with our CSA as well.
So far I’ve been able to get something different, yet in season, each week (like rhubarb). For the custom CSA you need to order $20 minimum per week which is deducted from your account when you place your order. Basically $320 (our level) will get you about 16 weeks worth of deliveries, which should get us through September. Getting ahead of your $20 week schedule, take a week off. Account low and you want more? Add some cash. Going on vacation (like us next week)? It’s simply a matter of just not putting in an order. If you’re in the Chicago area and reading this check them out.
Ok so back to this week’s creation, rhubarb tart. In week two of our CSA I ordered rhubarb with the intention of making some sort of dessert with it and tarts are pretty easy. Once again I remind everyone, I’m not a great baker but I do make good pie crust. Anyway, I made this for a special at-home date night dinner since we’ve been ‘overindulging’ a bit during the World Cup and needed a break from going out so much. Poor us, I know. Using half of a normal 3-2-1 pie dough recipe will give you one piece of dough, put a layer of filling in, fold over the edges and bake. You can glaze it or not. Simple and delicious, especially with farm-fresh rhubarb. You can be sure there are going to be many other wonderful posts this summer coming from the Montalbano Farms CSA!
- 3-2-1 pie dough (make a ½ order of 6 oz flour, 4 oz butter, 2 oz water since you don’t need a top crust)
- 4-6 big stalks of rhubarb, crosscut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ C sugar
- 1 C orange juice
- Juice from 1 lime
Make the dough for your crust. Since we’re making a tart you only need ½ of a normal 3-2-1 pie dough recipe. Combine the butter with the flour and crumble together with your fingers until you get pea sized balls of butter. Add the water 1 oz at a time and mix together until a dough ball forms. Place in the fridge and chill for a half hour or hour.
Mix the orange and lime juice with the sugar. Place the rhubarb pieces into the bowl and allow to sit while dough is chilling.
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out into a larger circle, about 10 inches. Place the dough on piece of parchment paper.
Strain the rhubarb from the juice (reserve the juice and set aside) and place in the middle of the dough leaving a couple of inches around the edge for folding over.
Fold the edges in over the rhubarb so the crust covers some of the rhubarb.
Slide the tart and parchment paper onto the baking stone (or on a baking sheet) and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the crust browns.
While the tart is baking, pour the juice into a saucepan and reduce to a syrup over medium heat on the stove.
Remove tart from oven and place on wire rack. Brush orange-lime syrup all over the tart. Allow to cool.