Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 10, CSA

In Your Share . . .
As always, items may vary in your share depending on your share size and harvest day. Every share may not have every item listed.

Stringless Green Beans – organic
These stringless green beans are the other favorite, besides white half runner beans, of most folks looking for fresh green beans. They have no strings, just snap into bite size pieces to follow a traditional side dish recipe. You can also cook for a short time in boiling water, plunge into ice water before making a green bean salad – you want the beans to be cooked, but crisp, not mushy. Store refrigerated until ready to use.

Broccoli Florets and/ or Broccoli heads – organic
We are getting mostly side shoots for harvest now as the big broccoli heads are gone for the spring crop. Try your broccoli in the curry recipe below.

Rainbow Swiss Chard – organic

Sweet Corn
This week’s corn harvest is another white super sweet variety, a little more narrow ear than last week’s variety, but packed full of flavor. Store refrigerated.

Slicing Cucumber

The hot weather eggplant is ready to harvest. It is low in calories, high in fiber, but a relatively low amount of vitamins and minerals. Usually it is enjoyed with other foods that offer more nutrition. But, it is beautiful to look at with its deep purply-black skin color. Peeling is not necessary before using, just your personal preference, and it is most always eaten cooked, not raw. To remove excess moisture or any bitter flavor that seeps from the dark skin into the fleshy part, lightly salt fat slices that are laid out on a slotted baking pan or in a colander – the salt will push out any excess liquid and it will soak up less cooking oil when preparing. If you try this, use less or no salt in your recipes. And, it seems that young, fresh eggplant often can skip this process altogether. Store refrigerated.

Green Onions – organic
You can enjoy all of this onion plant, the white stalk all the way up into the green leafy portion. Just chop finely or use a processor – use for sauté, oven roasting, soup, or this week’s recipes – in anything that calls for onion. Store refrigerated.

Green Bell Pepper
These freshly harvested green bells are packed full of flavor. They keep well for you (up to a week or more) if refrigerated. They have high nutrition including Vits. A, C & E, iron and potassium. You can easily freeze in an air tight container for later use – just wash, dry and cut into desired sized pieces, or chop finely.

Potatoes – organic
This week find some of the Yukon Gold variety of potatoes. These golden skin, golden flesh, early potatoes are smooth fleshed, and will hold their shape when cooked. They are a great flavorful all-purpose potato for baking, boiling, mashed, fried, or potato salads. Some suggest the gold insides are so creamy, you won’t even feel the need for butter! Remember to store these new potatoes refrigerated and covered from light to prevent the skins from greening.

Also, this week we are harvesting a red skinned, white flesh variety called Sangre. It is good for baking or boiling and will hold its shape for potato salad.

Baby Squash Mix
Enjoy baby squashes raw in salad or as a snack, steamed or sautéed lightly with olive oil, or put on skewers for the grill. Refrigerate and try to use soon as small veggies store less time than larger ones.

Tomatoes, Red – organic
Enjoy more red tomatoes this week and find a new recipe below for a tasty tomato pie!

Zucchini, Green

Cauliflower – organic
It seems to have taken the spring cauliflower a long time this season to make a head. It is always a longer grower than broccoli and cabbage, but the cooler temperatures lately along with the early rains have produced lots of plant and leaf growth, and less fruiting – we see this in many crops, not just the brassica family. Cauliflower contains lots of vitamins and minerals. You can steam 15-20 min. for a whole head, or only 5-10 min. for florets – you want to get it cooked tender, but not mushy as the flavor diminishes when overcooked. To enjoy raw, soak upside down in cold water with a drop of dishwashing soap to remove any hidden field pests. Store refrigerated, can be frozen, like broccoli, for use in soups, stews, or purees.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Cauliflower Potato Curry
Recipe from Asparagus to Zucchini, suggested to serve over cooked rice, makes 4 servings

2 T peanut oil
1 tsp each: curry powder, turmeric, cumin, dried thyme
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2/3 C chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 C cubed waxy potatoes
1 C chicken or vegetable stock or water
2 C chopped cauliflower or broccoli
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 slices fresh gingerroot
¼ pound fresh beans, chopped
1 T fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in deep skillet. Stir in dry spices. Add onion and garlic; cook over medium heat until tender. Add potatoes and stock, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, carrot, and ginger. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans (add broccoli here if using). Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove cover; continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

Paula Deen's Tomato Pie
Our thanks to a CSA member for this yummy recipe.

4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep-dish pie shell
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow draining for 10 minutes.Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Fried Eggplant Cubes
A Barbara Kafka recipe to enjoy eggplant as a snack or added to a tomato sauce over pasta. It also allows you to use as much or as little as you have on hand.

Cut off and discard the stem, then cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes, leaving the skin on. Place in a bowl and toss lightly with kosher salt. Weight down with a plate or other heavy object for 30 minutes. Drain well and blot dry.
Fill a deep pot with favorite cooking oil to a depth of 4 inches. Heat to 375° F. Lightly dust eggplant cubes with cornstarch. Deep fry for 3 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Drain on paper towel.

Zucchini Gratin
Our thanks to a CSA member for recommending this Ina Garten recipe. Similar to a potato gratin, it is highly recommended by many who have tried it.

6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for topping
1 pound yellow onions, cut in 1/2 and sliced (3 large)
2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
2 tsp kosher salt (reduce if using salted butter)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 T all-purpose flour
1 C hot milk
¾ C fresh breadcrumbs
¾ C grated Gruyere
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) sauté pan and cook the onions over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.

Combine the breadcrumbs and Gruyere and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly & browned.