Monday, August 18, 2008

Week 15, CSA

News from the Farm . . .

While some CSA members are making plans for seasonal vacations, others are back into the routines of school schedules. The cooler temperatures this August push us all to think a little about fall, but from the perspecitve of the growing potential on the farm, we are really just about halfway through the year. Continuous producing summer veggies like tomatoes and squash have been coming ripe for havest almost two full months. Items that have a one-time harvest like cabbage, onions, and sweet corn had somewhat good growing conditions. We still have several items that take the whole summer to reach maturity like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Other items prefer the shorter, cooler days of autumn for their primary growth and harvest.

The summer season CSA goes through the week of October 6th. We also offer a shorter season Fall CSA that runs late October through mid-December. Shares are expected to contain some combination of cooking greens such as kale and collard; salad greens; root crops such as turnips, radishes and beets; and storage items such as potatoes and winter squashes. We offer only one share size and cannot offer credit for canceled pickups during the fall season. Harvest and pickup is every second week: 5 pickups over a 10 week period. Some members are already signed up, and we are offering another signup period now to our current CSA membership, then available to the general public if we still have availability. Please contact us by email, or phone, and we can share all the details.

In Your Share . . .
As always, items in the shares may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share may not have each item listed below.

Edamame – organic
Find a share of this popular soybean in your basket this week. Do not use the shell beans raw. Pull from the vine, wash, and put the pods into boiling, salted water. Cook 5-8 minutes. After drain-ing water, you may salt or season as desired. Pop beans out of the pod into your mouth for a healthy snack.


Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Herbs, Mixed – organic
This week’s fresh herb can be called the Scarborough Mix – Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Chop into salads, soups, add to potatoes, pastas, with meat or fish, and in some recipes below.

Okra - organic

Cipolline Onions – organic

These pungent, deliciously sweet onions should be the stars of a meal. A favorite of chefs everywhere, these flat onions will store a little while for you if you need them to. Find a new recipe below, or sauté with your fresh herbs and 2-3 T butter on low heat for 20 minutes or so until they begin to brown and caramelize.

Bell Peppers – organic

Some green peppers will turn red, some yellow, some orange - it depends on what variety is planted. As a bell turns color, the flavor becomes sweeter, less tart. The long time it takes to do this and the halting of growing more peppers by the plant are some reasons why sweet color bells are so costly to grow.

Chile Peppers – organic
Your share contains a small assortment of barely-hot green or red chiles up to somewhat-hot jalapeno or poblano peppers. In this week’s harvest, the larger the pepper, the more mild its flavor. Chop fresh with onion, tomato, garlic for a nice pico de gallo; roast the long chiles on an open flame and peel the skin to enjoy fresh roasted pepper; you can carefully remove the seeds from the smaller peppers, then throw in the freezer for later use.

Potatoes – organic
This week’s potato is the Rose Gold or Rote Erstling variety, a creamy mid-dry potato. The rosy skin covers a yellowy gold flesh that can be used for most all purposes, however, it is best when steamed, baked or for creamy soups. Remember to store all your organic potatoes refrigerated, out of the light (in a container or paper bag) to prevent the skin from turning green. If this happens, just cut out that portion.

Yellow Squash

Roma Tomatoes – organic
A few of the roma paste-type of tomatoes are included in your share this week. Used to make sauce, salsa, ketchup, marinara, or for freezing or canning, the roma type tomatoes are more meaty with less seeds.

Heirloom Salad Tomatoes, Red Slicing Tomato – organic
A good week to make fresh salsa or pico de gallo. (See July 07 news for recipes).

Green Zucchini

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Cipolline with Bay Leaf and Golden Raisins
recipe serves 4, from July 2008 issue of Gourmet, can be adapted for other favorite fresh herbs

¼ C golden raisins
1 T sugar
1 T unsalted butter
¾ lb cipolline onions, peeled
1/3 C dry white wine
½ fresh or dried bay leaf

Soak raisins in hot water until ready to use. Cut out a 10 inch round of parchment paper. Heat sugar in center of 10 inch skillet over medium heat until it starts to melt. Cook, tilting skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until golden brown. Stir in butter, then add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add wine, bay leaf, ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper, and drained raisins. Reduce heat to low, cover with parchment and lid. Gently simmer, shaking skillet occasionally, until onions are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove lid and parchment, then simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crispy Sage Leaves

from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without
Her Notes: You must pay very close attention for just a few seconds or you will burn the leaves. Try cooking the first leaf or two until you see how fast they go. Different stoves and pans make this an imprecise act.

1 T extra virgin olive oil (or as needed)
16-20 large, fresh sage leaves, washed and carefully patted dry.

Line a plate with several layers of paper towels and set aside. Place a small skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add 1 to 2 tsp olive oil, enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan. Add 3 to 4 sage leaves, gently pressing them flat with a fork or the back of a spoon. Cook them for only 5 to 7 seconds, then use tongs to carefully flip over. Cook for about 5 seconds on the other side, or until they turn bright green with no hint of browning. Quickly transfer to the plate, they will crispen as they cool. Repeat with remaining leaves, adding more oil as needed. Store in a jar at room temperature for a week or more. Use as a topping on quiche, pasta, potatoes.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups
recipe from Vegetarian Times Issue: September 2006

8 large tomatoes (for 8 servings)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 medium eggs
1 tsp. dried herbs, such as oregano, chervil, basil or sage (can use freshly chopped)

Preheat oven to 425F. Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop out seeds and pulp. Place tomatoes in shallow baking dish, and sprinkle cavities with salt, pepper and pinches of cheese.

Crack one egg into each tomato. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs and remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes for soft yolks, 30 to 35 minutes for hard yolks. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Zucchini
Thanks to a CSA member for sharing this easy and tasty recipe. It makes enough to serve 8.
4 medium zucchini
¾ C chopped tomato
1/3 C chopped green pepper
¼ C chopped onion
¼ t salt
¼ t dried whole basil
1/3 C extra sharp cheddar cheese

Wash squash; place in saucepan with water to cover and bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain and cool to touch. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and reserve pulp, leaving firm shell.
Chop pulp, combine pulp and next 5 ingredients. Place squash shells in a baking dish. Spoon vegetable mixture into shells. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake additional 5 minutes.