Summer Squash Noodles with Carrot Top Pesto
I’ve always wanted to join a CSA.
God knows I love fresh produce, and the thought of being treated to a giant box of seasonal fruits and vegetables every week while supporting local farmers gives me excitement goosebumps and a serious case of warm fuzzies. I also like the idea of being able to casually drop my CSA membership into Instagram captions and food-related conversations. Like, “I just can’t get over the gorgeous summer squash in my CSA box this week! I’m so impressed with Jack’s crop. Oh sorry, I forgot you don’t know Jack!! He’s my farmer.” It would give me the type of hippie street cred I haven’t had since the summer I spent selling cowboy hats and ruthlessly critiquing the Boulder burrito scene.
For some reason, I feel a strong urge to order vegan leather boots and a kombucha SCOBY right now.
However, despite toying with the idea for years, I’ve never managed to bite the CSA bullet. After all, a CSA subscription is a big responsibility—most memberships are at least 3 months—and I have well-documented commitment issues. I worry that I wouldn’t be able to give my produce the love and attention deserves, and it would end up wasting away and making a smelly mess in my apartment. Especially during the summer months. There’s just no way I could take care of pounds and pounds of vegetables while on the wedding circuit! It’s too much pressure!!
Funnily enough, this is the same argument I make every time my roommate suggests we get a dog…
I’d all but given up on my farm share dreams, but then I happily stumbled upon the answer to every commitment-phobe’s prayers—Peapod’s Local Farm Box. The geniuses at Peapod have found a way to deliver all the benefits of a CSA without the scary long-term signup! The box features the best seasonal produce from regional farms, and not only can it be ordered individually, the contents are also listed beforehand on Peapod’s website. So, if you’re going out of town or simply don’t like the items in the weekly box, no worries! HALLELUJAH. And for those interested in having the aforementioned “farmer Jack” convo with friends, your Farm Box includes information on the farmers who grew your food, many of whom you may recognize from your local farmer’s market. Hippie street cred for everyone!
I got my first Farm Box delivered a few weeks ago, and it was loaded with the most vibrant purple onions, giant carrots with deep green tops, beets, red chard, and a boatload of yellow squash. You better believe I made all manner of festive creations with my rainbow bounty (Chard wraps! Asian beet slaw! Carrot Salad! Succotash!), but these Summer Squash Noodles with Carrot Top Pesto were a personal favorite.
As you may have noticed, I’m really into my spiralizer right now (to be perfectly honest, my life mostly revolves around spiralizing, Bloodline, and rosé these days), and I can’t get enough of raw squash noodle salads. They’re a lighter, more refreshing spin on traditional pasta salad, and I love that you can dress them up in a million creative ways. In this case, I tossed my noodles with a bright, peppery pesto made with the bush of leftover carrot tops in my Farm Box, shaved Parmesan, fresh basil, and just enough chopped walnuts to give each bite a little extra crunch. It’s the perfect no-cook light lunch or side, and even Logan couldn’t stop raving about the insane amount of flavor and texture in this sexy summer salad. (Given the nutrient-packed nature of the recipe, I consider this a MAJOR Dude Diet win.)
If you don’t have a spiralizer (have I still not sold you on its wonders??!), don’t panic. You can use a julienne peeler to make squash “noodles,” or shave your squash into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. And feel free to sub arugula, baby kale, or beet tops for carrot tops in the pesto if you like—they’re equally delicious.
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