Our dear friends Travis and Erin got us hooked on Mother Earth Produce. It's a delivery service in the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina (Asheville area), similar to a CSA, except, in our opinion, much more flexible. There are three different bin sizes, you can customize your weekly bin, you can skip bins if you're going to be out of town, and you can get bins year-round.
We've been super-pleased with the quality of our produce these first few weeks. The multi-colored cherry tomatoes and mini sweet peppers in our first box were gone in a night. I also ate the entire box of organic strawberries in one sitting (sorry, B!). It may cost slightly more than the grocery store, but your box is delivered to your door. Our delivery day is Sunday, and it's always there by the time we get home from the early service at church.
Plus, you know you're getting quality produce and supporting local farmers, and that's huge.
Getting the MEP bin has also been great to help us narrow down our menu planning instead of wandering the aisles of Trader Joe's after church looking for ideas, trying to resist the temptation to buy a box of Joe-Joe's (not that that's happened...).
If we know we're receiving certain ingredients, we plan meals around them. Like beets And turnips. In an effort to use them up, B stumbled across this recipe for Moroccan roasted beets, turnips, and carrots. We did not have to buy one additional ingredient to make this dish. Not a single one. Lime juice, fresh thyme, cilantro, olive oil...we had it all.
And it was delicious. We LOVED the spice the harissa gave the vegetables, and the leftovers reheated well. Beets are MESSY to cook with - you've been warned - but their subtle sweetness is SO good. I know it's May, but this recipe would be fantastic with root vegetables in the winter. We'll definitely keep it in rotation.
Have you ever made beets before? If so, what recipe(s) have you used?
E & B
Also!! For my Upstaters (and Ashevillians!), if you take a look and decide to subscribe to Mother Earth Produce, be sure to put our name(s) in the "referred by" box. We'll get a little credit towards our weekly box, and as a new customer, you'll get coupons off your first three boxes (It's legit, I promise. We've gotten them). If you have questions about how MEP works, shoot me an email via the contact form and I'll be happy to answer them!
Moroccan-style roasted beetsAn easy, veggie-heavy dish with Moroccan flair. Serves 4
1 pound beets
2 branches fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 bunch carrots
1 pound medium white turnips
salt and pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon harissa
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the whole beets in a roasting pan with the thyme sprigs, garlic cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the beets and add 1/3 cup of water to the pan. Cover with tin foil and roast in the oven until tender and the skins slip easily off the beets, approximately 1 hour.
2. While the beets are cooking, cut the turnips into quarters and slice the carrots into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Toss the vegetables with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper.
3. When the beets are done, remove them from the oven, and turn up the heat: You want a temp in the 450° to 500° F range. Place the carrots and turnips in the hot oven on a roasting pan (go ahead and use the beet pan if you don’t want to wash too many pans). Meanwhile, peel the beets and cut into quarters.
4. Whisk the rest of the olive oil with the lime juice and harissa. When the carrots and turnips are roasted and browned (about 20 to 30 minutes), toss with the beets. Dress with the harissa-lime juice mixture, toss with the cilantro, and taste and adjust for salt. Serve immediately or let cool to room temperature.
Recipe from Food52.