Pantry Pizza: Local, Organic, Tasty & Cheap

pizzaSaturday I get to pick up my winter CSA share, but meanwhile I’m making the most of my pantry, including some of the the canned and dehydrated stuff I put up during the warm months. So what’s for dinner?


For tonight’s dinner I used some CSA onions and garlic, plus foraged hen of the woods (maitake) mushrooms, home-canned CSA tomatoes, and dried oregano and other herbs from my garden. The cheese was one of my favorite local cheeses, Farmhouse Jack. The flour for the crust came from Farmer Ground Flour.

If I had eaten out tonight, what would an all-organic, almost all locally grown (the olive oil wasn’t) pizza featuring a choice wild mushroom have cost? $10? $15? Or if I’d wolfed down a couple of slices at the local pizza joint, how much would that have set me back? $5?

Because I volunteer time for my CSA share in exchange for vegetables, the onions, garlic and tomatoes were free. Ditto the seasonings from my garden and the foraged shrooms. That leaves the flour, cheese and olive oil. I estimate that tonight’s pizza cost under $4. It was big enough to feed two (guess what I’m having for breakfast?).

I’m focusing on the cost because one of the negatives that still haunts the sustainable food movement is the idea that it is an elitist thing that only those with money to spare can afford. It doesn’t have to be.

I realize not everyone is going to volunteer time to get a free CSA share, or learn foraging and food preservation skills. Not everyone needs or wants to. I’m just saying that if you really wish you could eat mostly local, organic foods and don’t think you can afford to, there are ways.

By the way, many CSAs offer discounted shares to low income individuals and families. If you need the help, it’s worth asking to find out if that is an option.

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