Monday, September 15, 2008

CSA News, Week 19

In Your Share . . .


Hard Neck Garlic – organic
So far this season, most of the garlic has had a mellow and not too pungent flavor. To get a stronger taste, mince or puree to release sulfuric compounds and oils. The longer you cook garlic; the flavor softens and even sweetens up. Store your whole garlic heads in a dry, cool, and even dark place for several weeks. Once broken into pieces, the cloves will not last quite as long. Don’t store refrigerated.

To Roast Garlic:
Position oven rack in center and preheat to 350F. Remove papery skin from head of garlic, taking care to leave the heads intact and the cloves covered. Slice ½ inch off the top to expose the cloves. Put head in a large piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Gather foil around the garlic and place in baking dish in case the oil leaks. Roast until garlic is completely soft and golden brown, 70-80 minutes. Let cool briefly and push garlic from skin.

Use as spread on bread or crackers; whisk into a salad dressing; stir into mashed potatoes or cooked veggies.

Fresh Cut Herbs, Scarborough Bundle – organic
This week’s fresh herb is a collection of Parsley (Italian Flat-Leaf), Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. Use fresh or dry for later use.

To Dry Herbs:
Ideal temperature for drying is between 70-90 degrees F, not letting herb dry out too fast. Preferable is an airy, dark place, so that moisture can evaporate and oxidation is prevented that may change the flavor. To air dry, tie stems in small bunches and hang upside down in paper bags to keep dust-free.

To quickly oven dry, spread out in a single layer on flat pan with oven on lowest possible temperature and leave door ajar to let moisture escape.

To store dried herbs, first remove stem, seed chaff, or other material. Put into airtight jars or bags and store in dark area.

To Freeze Herbs:
Freeze a whole stem as is in a ziploc bag. Or, remove herb from stem, chop fresh, freeze in ice-cube tray with a little water. Once frozen, put cubes in other container ready to use one or two cubes in your recipes.

Pepper, Bell – organic

Potatoes – organic

Spaghetti Squash

Summer Squash

Red or Heirloom Tomato – organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Bohemienne – French Eggplant
This dish from Béatrice Peltre comes from the south of France, where it's typically served as a side, or a spread on toasted rustic bread. In many ways, bohemienne is similar to ratatouille or caponata, except that bohemienne is an even simpler dish, requiring fewer ingredients and less time behind the stove.

2 medium eggplants, cut into ½ inch dice
1 T coarse sea salt, or to taste
5 tomatoes
3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 sprigs fresh thyme
pepper, to taste
1 T chopped basil

1. In a colander, place the eggplants and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Toss and let rest for 30 minutes. This softens the flesh so they cook faster and removes any bitter juices.

2. Core the tomatoes. With the tip of a paring knife, make a 1-inch "x" at the bottom of each one. Place the tomatoes in a large heatproof bowl. Pour enough boiling water over them to cover them. Set aside for 10 seconds to loosen the skins. Drain the water. Peel off and discard the skins at the slits. Halve the tomatoes, squeeze the halves till the seeds pop out, and discard the seeds. Coarsely chop the flesh.

3. In a heavy-bottom casserole over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until it softens without browning. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for 1 minute more.

4. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring often and crushing the eggplant pieces with the back of a spoon, for 1 hour, so the texture resembles a coarse puree.

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Discard the thyme. Add pepper and basil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

Squash Casserole
Thanks to the CSA member who shared this delicious recipe, originally in a Southern Living magazine. Makes 8 servings.

2 ½ lbs yellow squash, sliced
¼ C butter
2 large eggs
¼ C mayonnaise
½ C chopped onion
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ C crackers, crushed, either Saltine or buttery
½ C shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Cook squash, covered, in a small amount of boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until tender; drain well. Combine squash and butter in a bowl; mash until butter melts. Stir in eggs, mayonnaise, onion, sugar and salt; spoon into a lightly greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed crackers. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.

Roasted New Potato Salad
also a Southern Living recipe from 2004

2 T olive oil
2 pounds small potatoes, diced
½ medium-size sweet onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp coarse salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
8 to 10 cooked crisp bacon slices, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¾ C prepared dressing (Ranch suggested)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place oil in a 15- x 10-inch pan; add potatoes and the next 4 ingredients, tossing to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer. Bake at 425° for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss together potatoes, bacon, green onions, and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Garlic-Rosemary Butter
adapted from Fine Cooking, yields ½ cup

2 large or 4 small garlic cloves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper

Peel the garlic cloves, halve them lengthwise, coarsely chop. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, smear and mash the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste, making about 2 tsp paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl; add lemon juice and rosemary. Stir to combine. Add the butter and mash together with a fork until completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or shape into a log in wax paper or plastic wrap, twisting the ends like a sausage. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.