Monday, August 17, 2009

CSA News, Week 15

In Your Share . . .
Items may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share may not have every item listed below.

Basil, Sweet – organic
Time to enjoy with fresh sliced tomatoes, a nice mozzarella or goat cheese, and a drizzle of good olive oil or fresh vinaigrette. Also, you have enough this week for pesto making. Our 8/13/07 newsletter has a couple of quick, easy recipes. Try the roasted tomato and basil pesto for something a little different; or the easy traditional basil, garlic, cheese pesto is always a favorite.

You can also process basil leaves with a little olive oil, freeze in ice cube trays. Pop out when frozen and store until ready to use this winter in sauce, soups or add your cheese then to finish the pesto.


Okra – organic
Find a new okra recipe below – you can also add to your tomato pie!

Onions, Yellow (mini shares) or Cipollini Sweet Onions (larger shares) - organic
You will have either a freshly dug round yellow onion, or the flatter round Cipollini onions. We really enjoy growing the specialty Cipollini onions and once you have them, we hope you appreciate their special flavor compared to a traditional onion. Not as sweet as a “candy” type, these Italian onions are excellent cooked whole in liquid, they retain the juicy goodness until you cut or bite into them. We suggest the Gourmet magazine recipe found in 8/18/08 newsletter (or on the site). It is difficult right now to get all the onions dry enough to store in your pantry – high humidity and frequent rainfall prevents the dry conditions necessary to properly cure onions. You may want to store refrigerated or try to use fairly soon.

Potatoes – organic
This week’s freshly dug potatoes are a gold skin, gold flesh variety, one of the farm’s favorites. Like all new potatoes, they will have higher moisture than a storage potato, and you will want to keep out of the light to prevent the skins from greening. Find a new recipe below.

Tomato, Green
We’re not sure how long before the killing tomato blight arrives, so we added extra while we have them. Wrap in newspaper individually to let ripen. Use green tomatoes in salsa, fruit chutney, or oven/pan fry. See 7/10/06 news on Elmwood site for recipes.

Tomato, Heirloom – organic
The mid-season heirloom varieties of tomatoes are finally ripening the last several days. We try to pick often and let them ripen as much as we can on the vine. This means the cracks, slits, and other somewhat ugly attributes of heirloom tomatoes are front and center – however the wonderful flavor and taste are well worth it! Most all have a little discoloration on the stem end or inside the center core – uneven ripening is weather related and almost every heirloom grower we know is also experiencing it. Just cut away and enjoy the rest.

Generally these tomatoes are lower in acid and have a thinner skin than most hybrid tomatoes.

Tomato, Red – organic

Tomato, Yellow Slicing - organic
Enjoy sliced on a platter with other tomatoes for a colorful summer side dish.


Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Henkle’s Herbs and Heirloom’s Tomato Pie
We’ve shared tomato pie recipes before, but this one comes highly recommended by a CSA member and we thank her for sharing it. Recipe from Velvet Henkle, a local caterer who grows heirloom tomatoes with her husband and sells at the Lexington Farmers Market

4 large heirloom tomatoes
1 C mayonnaise
5 large leaves of fresh basil
¼ C pine nuts
1 9-inch piecrust
¼ C feta cheese
1 C grated mozzarella cheese
3 T Parmesan cheese
1 C grated cheddar cheese

Pre bake the pie shell for 8 minutes at 450, remove pie shell, and then lower the oven temperature to 350.

Slice heirloom tomatoes and place in a colander to drain. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh pepper and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Layer the heirloom tomatoes and basil into the pie shell, then top with pine nuts. Mix the grated cheese and mayonnaise together and spread them over the tomatoes. Top with feta cheese and Parmesan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Allow to congeal for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Eggplant Fritters
Recipe from Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things, can adjust ingredients for quantity of eggplant desired to prepare

2 medium eggplants, peeled
1 T salt
1 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
Dash of pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 C cold milk
1 T salad oil

Cut eggplants into fingers. Toss with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Drain and dry.

Combine remaining ingredients. Dip eggplant in batter. Drop eggplant into hot oil a few at a time. It takes about 5 or 6 minutes to fry. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Potato Puffs
A Mark Bittman recipe originally from France, served as a side dish. You can omit the onion and dip in sugar to serve as a dessert, makes 4-6 servings.

1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
salt and black pepper to taste
½ C flour
1 egg
½ C minced onion
favorite cooking oil

Boil potatoes in salted water to cover until soft, at least 15 minutes. Drain, then mash them well or put them through a food mill or ricer. Combine with the remaining ingredients except the oil. (You can prepare this mixture several hours ahead if you like; cover and refrigerate.)

Put at least 1 inch, preferably 2 inches, of oil in a heavy skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the oil to a temperature between 325 and 350° F. Roll the potato mixture out on a floured surface and, using a cookie cutter or glass, cut into 2 inch circles; or simply roll into small balls with your hands. Fry the circles or balls until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

Okra and Tomato Salad
Adapted from a Bert Greene recipe

¼ C olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1small clove garlic
1 T sour cream
¼ pound tender young okra, stems lightly trimmed, cut in half lengthwise or sliced into pieces
1 large ripe tomato, cut into ½ inch thick wedges

Combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic in a small jar. Seal the jar and shake well. Let it stand about 30 minutes. Remove the garlic clove. Add the sour cream. Seal and shake well again.

Place the okra halves and tomato wedges in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over, mix gently, and let stand 15 minutes. Serves 2.

Optional: Can be served over chopped fresh greens such as lettuce, spinach, or finely chopped cabbage.