Monday, July 12, 2010

Week, 10, CSA News

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

Blackberries – organic

Savoy Cabbage – organic
The Savoy cabbage is one of our most popular varieties. You can use as you might any green cabbage – oven roasted, steamed, braised, raw in cole slaws, etc. Store refrigerated and remove the outer leaves before coring and preparing. It will keep very well for you refrigerated, so you can save for several weeks if desired.

Cauliflower - organic
Enough heads for all shares this week. As we mentioned before, with such hot temperatures and sunshine during most of its growth in June, your heads will be creamier in color than the stark white we expect to see in the fall crop. Refrigerate prior to use.

We’re still harvesting this first round of cucumbers, though we’ll probably have a break before the next planting is ready to go. Refrigerate and know that a high percent of cucumber is water, so you will want to use within the week. Find a new recipe below.

Fresh Garlic - organic
You can store in your refrigerator, or dry it yourself in your pantry, garage, or porch – just hang up and protect from rain & damp conditions. Garlic will keep for you dried for many months – and you’ll be happy you have it when the summer growing season is over.

Yellow Onions - organic
These all-purpose yellow onions were harvested shortly after we got a brief rain at the farm during the night. They have not been dried and “cured” like you might expect when you see a bulb onion (what it is called without the green leafy tops). Use within the week if you find yours very fresh and a little moist. Or you can begin the drying process by storing like the garlic in a dry and undamp location like the pantry or garage.

Green Bell Pepper

All-Red Potatoes –organic
These Cranberry All-Red potatoes are one of the farm favorites – a good all-purpose potato with a red / white interior. They are moist and high in starch and best when steamed, sauteed or au gratin. Refrigerate.

Tomatoes, Red Slicing
We purposelly chose to include ripe and not-yet- ripe tomatoes for you today. Set out on the counter to ripen over the next several days.

Tomatoes, Heirloom – organic
Your share includes some more of the small salad varieties: Tigrella and Black Plum. These are grown in our unheated high tunnel that allows us to get plants out earlier than normal KY weather allows. We hope for earlier harvesting as a result also. With a nice growing spring, our field tomatoes are also starting to ripen. Your share includes a slicing tomato also this week. We’ll offer more on varieties in a later letter, but know that they are fragile, have less acidity than red tomatoes, and best enjoyed fresh! Find a new recipe on the back.

The first harvest of the season finds a handful of the traditional black globe eggplant ready. Refrigerate prior to use and find several recipes at our web blog.

Sweet Corn
Our next patch of sweet corn is ready for harvest today. This Super Sweet White variety is almost as popular as the Bi-Color we started with this season. As always, leave in the husk and refrigerate until ready to prepare to keep your sweetness intact and the ears as fresh as possible.

Patty Pan Squashes
You might steam or lightly saute your little squashes. Enjoy raw with dip or skewered for the grill. Use fairly soon as babies do not keep as well as big squash.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Tomato Feta Salad
Recipe and comments from Rona Roberts – learn more about local foods at her website Savoring Kentucky

1. Wash, core, chop into tablespoon-sized chunks, and put in a medium size bowl:

3 pounds sweet, fully ripe summer tomatoes. Three pounds will be about two giant pink Brandywine or other heirloom types, or four-five mid-sized round tomatoes. Mixed colors are nice.

2. Crumble into the bowl:

2 ounces good feta, or more, or less, depending on your taste

3. Add:

1 Tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar1 teaspoon sea salt

4. Stir together. Taste. Adjust the seasonings, and add any additional vegetables or aromatic seasonings you want to try. Sit down with a bowl and spoon — this salad is juicy — and enjoy.

Tips on each key ingredient as this salad is a good as the quality of its basic ingredients:

Tomatoes: Use completely ripe, flavorful varieties from your garden or local farmers’ market. Heirloom pink and yellow types work well in this salad because their natural sweetness contrasts beautifully with the feta’s salty bite.

Feta: Make your own, or use locally made cheese like Bluegrass Chevre's

delicious goat milk feta, or buy good quality organic feta.

Salt: Crunchy Celtic Gray Sea Salt crystals add texture; any good sea salt works well.

Balsamic Vinegar: I like Cavalli Balsamic Seasoning, which is fairly sweet. Many other balsamic vinegars will work beautifully here.

As you may know, the original recipes was developed in Louisville by Jennie Benedict. Growing up in Kentucky, when folks move away, they are surprised to learn that this popular creamy spread used for sandwiches or as a dip is not known in other parts of the country. The version below makes quite a bit, you can reduce to meet your needs if desired Keeps very well refrigerated. Yield: 3-3 ½ cups.

1 ½# cream cheese, softened to room temperature
4-6 cucumbers, depending on size; peeled, seeded, pureed
1 med yellow onion, grated
1 tsp salt
(1-2 T mayo, optional)
5-7 drops hot sauce (suggest Crystal)

Peel, seed, crude chop cucumber. Puree. Strain through cheesecloth. Gently squeeze out all possible liquid.

Return to rinsed and dried food processor with remaining ingredients (mayo is traditionally, but it is suggested here to forgo it). (Salt and hot sauce can be adjusted for diet or taste).

Cabbage with Indian Spices
Recipe from Farmer John’s Cookbook

3 T vegetable oil
2 C minced onion
1 ½ tsp minced ginger
1 green hot chile pepper, cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
pinch tumeric
3 T water
1 large fresh tomato, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, ginger and chile pepper; sauté, stirring often, until the onion is browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage. Add the coriander, cayenne, and tumeric and mix well. Add the water, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the tomato and salt; stir to combine. Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the hot chile pepper before serving.

Garlic Paste
12 large garlic cloves, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
½ tsp salt
½ cup olive oil

Heat halved garlic cloves, thyme, bay, salt and oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat until bubbles start to rise to surface. Reduce heat to low and cook until garlic is soft, about 30 minutes. Cool completely. Strain, reserving oil. Discard herbs and transfer garlic to small bowl. Mash garlic with 1 T garlic oil until paste forms.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Suggested use includes rubbing meat or fish with oil before roasting or grilling. Use paste on meats or fish before oven cooking to give flavorful crust.

Sautéed Cabbage
from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa, she writes that
Martha Stewart taught her this delicious dish

1 small head of cabbage, including outer leaves
2 T unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Cut the cabbage in half and, with the cut-side down,
slice it as thinly as possible around the core, as
though you were making coleslaw. Discard the core.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and begins to brown. Finish with another sprinkling of kosher salt. Serve hot. Serves 6.