Our First CSA Share + Dandelion and Celeriac Salad

Colorful farm-fresh produce in our CSA Share | vermilionroots.com

If you could see me right now, you'd notice the biggest smile on my face. The colorful farm-fresh produce in our first CSA share (community supported agriculture) from Live Earth Farm in Watsonville, California is bringing so much sunshine into our kitchen. Some of these vegetables are new to me, so I've been having a lot of fun experimenting with recipes and reaching out to friends for guidance. I'm learning so much and can't wait to share with you the discoveries I'm making! So this week's link love is all about vegetables, particularly those that came in our CSA, and at the end of this post you'll find a recipe for a salad using three ingredients from the box: dandelion greens, celery root and lemons. 

Let's start with this wonderful article by Rachel of Simple Seasonal about what a CSA is and 21 reasons you should join a CSA. Also find out what a Whole-Diet CSA is.  

If you love looking at beautiful photos of fresh vegetables as much as I do, you'll want to follow Rooting The Sun on Instagram

Want to know what life is like on a farm? Go on a photo tour of Angie The Freckled Rose's farm. Warning: Lots of cute farm animal photos!

Have you heard of white strawberries? In the spirit of discovery, how about growing these 15 unusual fruits and vegetables at home? 

Now let's look at what came in our CSA share:

Celery root or celeriac is an interesting-looking fella (left photo above), don't you think? Since trying it for the first time in a salad (recipe below), I have become pretty obsessed with it. Food writer Nigel Slater describes its flavor as "celery meets walnut". 

Dandelion greens are not the only edible weeds around. What's growing in your backyard?

I'm putting those Meyer lemons into a time capsule. Speaking of which, these salted kumquats are almost a year old!

For a first-timer like me, leeks look like giant scallions but are in fact a totally different plant, according to this beginner's guide to onions. Yes, they are onions. 

Colorful farm-fresh produce in our CSA Share | vermilionroots.com

Here's a visual guide to salad greens. Because everyone should know what the lettuce in their plate is called, right?

Don't miss a beet. (See what I did there?) Just Beet It is a blog dedicated entirely to beetroots. Be still, my beeting heart. (See I did it again!)

Do you know the different types of cabbage? I'm crushing so hard on savoy, I'm snacking on it throughout the day. Just like that. Raw. 

Made Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup) with collard greens and potatoes. What a fantastically easy and satisfying soup it was. 

+ Some updates on Vermilion Roots: Every Monday I interview a blogger and ask why he or she writes about food. I'd love for you to join us here! And don't forget to check out my Asian Kitchen Project series, in which I share key ingredients that let me cook with an Asian twist no matter where I am in the world. If you like what you see here, subscribe to get personalized email updates. 

Have a link to share with me? Leave me a comment below. I'd crazy love to hear from you. Enjoy your weekend, friends! 

Dandelion and Celeriac Salad with Lemon Maple Syrup Dressing | vermilionroots.com. The bitterness of the dandelion greens is wonderfully soothed by the celeriac's sweet earthy taste and a zesty lemon dressing.
Dandelion and Celeriac Salad with Lemon Maple Syrup Dressing
This salad, adapted from a recipe on the CSA farm's website, uses three ingredients from our first CSA share. It's my first time eating dandelion greens and celeriac (or celery root), and I'm glad to report I enjoy them both. In this recipe, the bitterness of the dandelion greens is wonderfully soothed by the celeriac's sweet earthy taste and fruitiness from the apple, helped along by a zesty lemon dressing adapted from Ottolenghi. If like me, you're intimidated by celeriac, here's a video that might help. 

1 bunch dandelion greens, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 celeriac, peeled and coarsely grated
A pinch of salt and pepper
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

To make the dressing, whisk lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Then drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil as you continue whisking. You should feel free to adjust the seasoning according to your preference. 

I have a habit of seasoning my salad ingredients before dressing them. Place dandelion greens and celeriac in a bowl and toss with some salt and pepper. Add some of the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Leave some dressing for later. Serve with sliced apples on top and sprinkled with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Finish off with a drizzle of the dressing.