Simple Pairings

Every Wednesday, Katchkie Farms (a community-supported agriculture farm run from a 60-acre organic farm in Kinderhook, N.Y.) delivers our office CSA group a range of fresh produce. Tomatoes, basil, kale, scallions, cucumbers, and some crazy kohlrabi.

Channing and I have been using this as a way to simplify our diets. A less intensive effort and more raw natural ingredients basically gives us more time for dinner on the terrace. The best is when pieces of our meals are simple and only require two ingredients. We’ve been stealing that idea from a series of articles we saw in Fantastic Man (good magazine layout, decent articles, ridiculous title) about simple pairings. A few of my favorites:

Watermelon and Sea Salt. I’m always surprised when people have never heard of this. Sea salt adds a perfect balance to the sweetness of a ripe watermelon.

Cut up cucumber slices or soldiers for dipping into honey. The water from the cucumber does wonders at creating a simple syrup from the honey.

Tomato and mint are a summer version on our basil routine. Cut tomatoes, mint, plus olive oil and lemon zest and you’ve got a good salad going.

Strawberries and black pepper. Hesitant to try this at first, if only because why mess with a strawberry? But crushed black pepper adds a subtle warmth to the berries.

Watermellon and Salt

Fantastic Man - Cucumber and Honey

Fantastic Man - Tomato and Mint

Fantastic Man - Strawberries and Pepper

Side note: Why do a workplace CSA? It has been a much easier way for us to keep eating healthy despite our workload. Every Wednesday, we gather in the office kitchen for 10-15 minutes and pick up “groceries.” It’s nice being able to eat fresh, in season, organic produce from a local farm delivered directly to me. And…low carbon footprint to our food supply, healthy food, supporting local business and encouraging their growth. The limitations of in-season, delivered produce have also forced our creativity in the kitchen. How many ways can I cook kale? And, I didn’t end up taking it home with me, but I had never heard of kohlrabi before.