Blast of Spring Green Juice + CSA Box Pizza
Certainly green juices are all the rage right now and I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you were rolling your eyes at the trend. We all know how food crushes go, where you suddenly don’t know anything about health if you’re not snacking on goji berries, sipping kombucha, and whirring spirulina into kale smoothies.
But this juice trend I actually love and as my fellow spring-starved Minnesotans, I suspect you might too. I’ve had a juicer for a couple of years but hadn’t really used it. As buds pop on the trees, thoughts turn to not just romance but also lighter, more colorful food. And honestly, after being completely fed up with blaming the weather for how sluggish I’ve been feeling, I was inspired by a gloriously juicy post on Roost to dust off the juicer and make myself a glass…of spring! Kablam! Fresh green juice is at once tart and intensely herbal, with a hint of sweet and salt. It smells like not-winter, and makes me smile, and does other nice things too like wake me up better than a cup of coffee and add a bit of glow to my skin. What’s not to love?
When you prep the herbs, vegetables, and fruit for your juicer, you realize pretty quickly that juicing consumes a fair amount of produce each week. Which is terrific, I can’t think of an easier way to add a serious blast of plants to your diet. I’m obviously working with co-op and grocery store offerings right now, but I can’t help but dream of summer, and farmers markets, and this slick new (to me) way for using up all of the loveliness that arrives each week in a CSA box. I’m the queen of pickles, and I’m happy to make sauces and soups and can and freeze them, but adding fresh juice to the mix is the perfect way to guarantee that nothing in that box goes to waste.
If you too are dreaming of garden-ripe treats, get thee to Seward Co-op this coming Saturday, April 13, for their 12th Annual Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring the kids and meet with more than 30 participating farms as you decide which CSA share to purchase. Make sure to enter drawings to win a meat bundle from the experts in the co-op’s meat department (valued at $200); copies of Seward’s 40th Anniversary book for sale; and $1,500 worth of full grocery cart giveaways to several lucky winners (eligible with a $20 purchase). See the full list of farms and start planning for a bounty of fresh produce, flowers, cheeses, and meats!
Slam a juice before you head over to get inspired…
Blast of Spring Green Juice
Adapted from a recipe on Roost
Over the weekend, I dubbed this the Local Chef Challenge Special, a little detox before the retox of judging dishes laced with lamb kidneys, bone marrow, wheat, and a whole lotta glorious butter. Congratulations to champion Chef Don Gonzalez of Forepaugh’s!
6 leaves dino (Tuscan, Lacinato, or other green) kale
generous handful of parsley
10 mint leaves
2 stalks celery with leaves
4-inch long piece of cucumber
4-inch long piece of fresh pineapple (adjust for sweetness; substitute seasonal berries or other favorite juicy fruits)
1/2 green apple
1/2 lemon (optional, for more tartness)
1/2-inch piece fresh ginger (optional, for heat)
Put all ingredients through a juicer. Drink immediately for maximum benefit or transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate for a few hours.
(Once you get the hang of balancing tart, sweet, salty, and herbal, you can start making up your own juices with what pops up in your CSA box or at your local market.)
And for lunch or dinner, make this lovely Spring CSA Box Pizza via Seward Co-op! The colors and flavors are just stunning. Bring on spring and short of that (snow-cough-snow), see you at the fair!
Spring CSA Box Pizza
Recipe via Seward Co-op
Holy Land Lavash bread (or flatbread naan), one package
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, woody end snapped off, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
4 petit pan or sunburst summer squashes, sliced thin
3/4 lb. sliced wild or farmed fresh mushrooms
1 – 4 oz log of Stickney Hill fresh chevre (goat cheese), broken into small pieces, set aside
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced as thin as possible, set aside
1 large spring onion, bulb and green part sliced thin, set aside
2 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, picked from stems
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If using a pizza stone, preheat that in the oven too. Otherwise place individual pizzas directly on the center rack.
Lightly sauté asparagus summer squash and mushrooms separately, but in the same pan, using the 2 Tbsp. of oil divided. Use more oil if needed. Set each vegetable aside separately in small bowls.
Lay out the 4 Lavash breads on a board or on the counter. Divide and distribute the mozzarella cheese among them all. Distribute all the other sautéed vegetables evenly among the pizzas on top of the mozzarella cheese.
Divide and distribute the chevre pieces with your fingers evenly among each pizza in 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces. This is kind of messy as the cheese is a bit wet and sticky.
Sprinkle the spring onion pieces around the pizzas as well as the Parmesan cheese. Distribute the fresh thyme among them. Season with salt and pepper.
Place in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, turning mid way as needed. Bake until crust is golden brown.
Serve with a side salad… some of the ingredients of which you may have found from the very same CSA Box!