Monday, August 30, 2010

CSA, Week 17

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

Stringless Green Beans – organic
The next round of beans are ready – it’s amazing what lower temperatures and several inches of overhead-irrigated water can do!

Garlic – organic
You have had both the hard neck garlic and soft neck garlic heads so far this season – today your share includes the soft-neck. If we left the stalk of the garlic plant attached, it can be twisted or braided into the hanging ristras popular as a kitchen decorative item. As you try to tell them apart, know that heads of our soft-neck variety are a little whiter skinned and the shapes of the cloves are less uniform than the hard-neck variety. The soft-neck will store longer for you, but either one keeps for several weeks in your pantry, or at room temperature. Just break off a clove when ready to use.

Fresh Herb Bunch: Oregano and Thyme – organic

Red Onion and Yellow Onion – organic

Bell Pepper

Hot Pepper – organic
Dark green chiles are Jalapenos – Yellow longer peppers are known as Hot Banana or Hungarian Wax Chiles. Store refrigerated and use care when cutting and remov-ing seeds from hot peppers – wearing gloves is recommended.

Raspberries – organic

Spaghetti Squash
Like any of the hard-shelled fall or winter squashes, the spaghetti squash will store for you at room temperature for several weeks. The idea of “winter squash” is that it stores into the winter months allowing you to have a fresh vegetable at a time of year when we are prevented from growing squashes due to frigid weather.
There are many recipes online using squashes, but you can always bake, steam, or roast and serve topped with your favorite seasonings.

Tomatoes, Heirloom Salad – organic

Small Green Cabbage – organic

Lacinato / Dinosaur Kale Greens – organic

Okra - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Cabbage Latkes
Recipe from The Washington Post and adapted from original in Nechama Cohen’s Enlitened Kosher Cooking. The author suggests accompaniments of sour cream and applesauce. Recipe makes 12 pancakes, enough for 4 side-dish servings and can be doubled easily.

2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 small onion or 1 scallion, finely chopped
1 ½ T whole-wheat flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ T cooking oil, or more as needed

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place the cabbage in a large bowl. Add the eggs, onion and flour, mixing just until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (There will not be much liquid.)

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray oil. Add 1 T oil and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches of 4 to 6 at a time, drop enough mixture (about 2 T) to form pancakes that are 1 ½ inches wide into the hot oil. Cook the latkes for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to move them around until a nice bottom crust has formed. Turn over and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and crisp.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet between batches and add oil as needed for the remaining latkes. Serve warm.

Moldavian Stuffed Chiles
This unusual take on stuffed bell peppers comes from The Whole Chile Pepper Book by Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach. We varied the vegetable ingredients when testing to use fresh items we had on hand, and pulled some peas from the freezer. Serves 4 as a vegetarian entrée.

3 yellow wax chiles, stems and seeds removed, chopped (USE CARE when handling membrane and seeds of hot peppers, rubber gloves are recommended)
4 bell peppers, tops cut off, seeds removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 C chopped cabbage
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ C cauliflower, broken into flowerets
½ C green peas
3 T olive oil
1 C sour cream
1 T chopped dill or favorite herb
1 C grated cheddar cheese

Parboil the bell peppers for 3 minutes. Remove and drain. Sauté the hot wax chiles and the vegetables in the olive oil until soft but still slightly crisp. Stir in the sour cream and fresh herb.

Stuff the peppers with the vegetable mixture, top with grated cheese, and place in a baking dish with a cup of water. Bake for 15 minutes until hot and the cheese has melted.

Tomato Salsa

1 ½ lbs ripe tomato
2-3 fresh jalapeno chilies stemmed
½ small onion
4 cloves garlic
¼ C water
1/3 C cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cider vinegar

Heat broiler. Lay whole tomatoes and jalapenos out on broiler pan and broil for about 6 minutes. Flip over and do other side. May develop char spots. Set aside and cool.

Turn oven down to 425°. Separate onions into rings and place on baking sheet with whole peeled cloves of garlic. Roast in oven until browned and wilted, 15 minutes.

Place tomatoes, chiles, and onions in a food processor and pulse several times. Add cilantro, salt, and vinegar and pulse to right consistency.

Red Tomato Rice

Vegetable oil
2 C rice
2 C Tomato salsa (see above recipe)
1 ½ C chicken broth
1 tsp salt
½ C cilantro

Heat oil to medium-high and add rice. Cook until it starts to brown. Add salsa and stir one minute. Add broth and salt. Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cover tightly. Cook for about 25 minutes. Let stand off heat for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve

Heirloom Tomato Salad on Grilled Bruschetta
Our thanks to a friend of the farm for sharing this Bobby Flay recipe.

2 pounds assorted heirloom tomatoes, diced
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 T red wine vinegar
¼ C plus 2 T extra virgin olive oil
½ C packed basil leaves, thinly sliced or ¼ C oregano or thyme leaves, minced
salt and fresh black pepper
4 ½-inch thick slices ciabatta bread

Put the tomatoes, onion, garlic, vinegar ¼ C of olive oil and the fresh herb in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Heat a grill pan over high heat (or a grill to high). Grill the bread on each side until slightly charred, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from the grill and brush the tops with the remaining 2 T of olive oil. Mound the bread with the tomato mixture and some of the juices and serve immediately.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Week 16, CSA News

From the Farm . . .

It has come to our attention that we would be remiss to not give you a report on the current growing conditions at Elmwood. With such scattered pop-up showers and storms over the past month, we realize that many of you may not know of the exceptional dryness we have been experiencing at the farm along with the high temperatures. From speaking each week with other farmers at the farmers market, we are surprised to learn of some areas of the region (and even our own county) not lacking in rain-fall and in fact, hoping that they don’t get anymore rain soon.

Unfortunately, we received only six-tenths of an inch when others got inches during the past 2 weeks, and this past Saturday morning when it rained on our market booth 3 times, the farm received only one brief shower-just enough to dampen the dust.

Some of your crops are irrigated from the day they are transplanted with a drip irrigation system that utilizes less water by trickling it directly to the plants’ roots underneath mulch that prevents the water from evaporating.

Other crops like potatoes, beets, radishes, and corn are being irrigated with our overhead traveling circular water gun – it is more mobile and less permanent that the drip under mulch system – and it can water crops that are planted in dirt as it moves down the rows next to the crop, but it uses more water – so we have it available to use if needed like now, but some years won’t need to, like last season.

Unlike recent dry years (2007 and 2008), this season’s super high temperatures create undue stress on plants as they try to pull more water through their roots to stay cool. Just like people, the plants will feel the high temperatures and begin to “wilt.” In fact, one problem for many growers across the area is the lack of fruit set on vegetable crops. When it is extremely hot, a plant will either drop its blooms, or not even produce blooms that eventually grow into tomatoes or peppers or pumpkins.

Another concern with high temperatures is the inability to get fall season crop seeds to germinate.

A news report came out this week announcing that the six time winner (and 2-time defending champion) of the largest pumpkin at the Kentucky State Fair would not be able to compete this year. With a goal of besting his 929 ½ pound Grand Prize Champion pumpkin of last year, Frank Mudd’s entry for this year finally succumbed to the high heat and died on the vine at only 430 pounds.

The ideal temperature for growing pumpkins is 85°, but watermelons actually prefer closer to 90 degrees. Frank luckily also had a watermelon vine planted, and took home the KY State Fair grand winner blue ribbon with a 224 ¼ pound watermelon.

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

Acorn Squash
One of the most popular hard squashes, the acorn stores very well for you – no need to refrigerate.

It is not our plan to give you eggplant three weeks in a row any year of the CSA program. Well, why then this year, you ask? This is one of those times you get to “share in the bounty” as we have an abundance of eggplant and your next round of yellow squash and zucchini is just ready to bloom and not quite ready yet. Also, many of you really enjoy eating it at least once weekly. Our farm chef, Sarah, shares her secret special eggplant recipe (that the farm crew happily eats as a sandwich spread because they don’t realize it is eggplant). You might want to try it.

Lacinato / Dinosaur Kale Greens – organic

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

Raspberries – organic

Tomatoes, Heirloom Salad – organic

Cabbage – organic

Garlic – organic

Okra – organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Sarah’s Special Eggplant Dip

2 eggplant
juice of 2 lemons, squeezed
¾ C Italian breadcrumbs
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ C feta cheese
handful pecan pieces
2 T minced parsley

Pierce holes in eggplant and broil whole for 1 hour.

When smashed down and done, remove from oven and let cool. Scoop pulp out into bowl.

Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Add enough breadcrumbs to soak up some of the moisture, depending on how liquidy you want your final product.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve with favorite bread, pita chips, or crackers. Store refrigerated.

They Won't Know Raspberry Coffee Cake
Our thanks to a CSA member who shared this recipe she likes from the website She describes it as SUPER delicious and easy – it gets great reviews and 5 stars! And, they won't know it is low fat . . .

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened raspberry (fresh or frozen, if using frozen do not thaw)
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1/4 cup
confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon nonfat milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine the flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Combine the egg, yogurt, butter, and vanilla: add to dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon two-thirds of the batter into an 8-in round baking pan (a pie or cake pan work great for this) coated with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the brown sugar and raspberries; sprinkle over batter.

Spoon the remaining batter over the top.

Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched and is golden brown.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine the glaze ingredients and drizzle over coffee cake.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cipollini 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 cipollini 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.

Monday, August 16, 2010

CSA, Week 15

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

Stringless Green Beans – organic
Your beans are growing fast with all the heat. If you store in the plastic unopened bag, you may see some rusting color appear on the beans with a lack of airf. Sometimes it cooks out and some-times it won’t, but either way it will not affect the flavor or nutrtional benefits of fresh green beans. You only need to snap off the ends – this variety adapts well to a quick saute or blanching for green bean salad.

Eggplant is very low in calories as it is mostly water. It will absorb a lot of oil (if your recipe calls for it) so keep this in mind when considering your preparation. Your eggplant will store well refrigerated, though it prefers the warmest area of your fridge. Use within a week or so, and feel free to peel prior to cooking as most bitterness if found in the skin.

Garlic – organic

Fresh Herb, Sage – organic
Your fresh bundle can be used with the spaghetti squash and a butter or cream sauce. You can hang up to dry; or you can pan fry the sage leaves (see 8/18/08 on Elmwood’s recipe blog); or add to the leek chip recipe below.

Leeks – organic
Related to onions, leeks have a mild flavor and sweeten when cooked. Store refrigerated, they will keep for 2 weeks. Find a soup recipe on the Elmwood blog 8/20/07 and a snack recipe below.

Red Onion and Yellow Onion – organic

Raspberries – organic

Spaghetti Squash
Store this hard skin squash in your pantry until ready to use, as this item will keep for you for weeks. Boil whole; or halve and bake with flesh side down in a little water until done; remove seeds, then enjoy with a little butter, fresh pesto, or your favorite pasta sauce. Find a recipe below.

Tomatoes, Heirloom Salad – organic

Swiss Chard - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Stuffed Chard
From Elmwood’s farm kitchen, this recipe can use cabbage, kale, or chard leaves, and any of your favorite meats.

15 large chard leaves with stems removed and reserved
2 medium onions, chopped
2 TBS butter
2 C chicken stock
2 TBS lemon juice
1-2 TBS olive oil

Meat Filling
1 ¼ lbs ground beef, veal or turkey
¼ lbs ground pork
1 large clove garlic, chopped
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
¼ C parsley
1 tsp each fresh oregano and thyme
½ tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg beaten
¼ C milk

Mix the meat filling ingredients together until well combined and set aside.
Immerse the chard leaves, 4 or 5 at a time, in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes or until limp. Remove and drain. Repeat until all the leaves are done.

Lay chard leaves out flat. Mound several rounded TBS of the meat filling on the center of each leave. Fold sides of leaf over center, and then fold top and bottom down. Roll each leaf into a compact bundle.

Finely chop reserved chard stems. In a large heavy pot, melt 2 TBS butter. Sauté the chopped onions and chard stems about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Lay chard bundles on top of sautéed vegetables, add chicken stock and sprinkle with lemon juice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Drizzle 1-2 TBS olive oil over the bundles. Simmer over low heat until filling is done, about 35 minutes. Garnish bundles with fresh lemon slices and fresh yogurt or sour cream.

Spaghetti Squash and Shrimp or Scallops
This recipe was such a hit, we have included it again this season. Our thanks to a CSA member who shared this great recipe last summer! She was thrilled that her whole family really enjoyed this one-dish meal.

1 med. spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
¼ C olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
½ pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned (or scallops)
2 T lemon juice
1 ½ T fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 sm. tomatoes, chopped
1 lg. bunch watercress or ½ bag spinach, washed
¼ C toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 C crumbled Feta or grated Parmesan cheese

Cut squash lengthwise; bake face down on oiled cookie sheet at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until easily pierced by fork. Cool; scoop out insides. Heat oil and sauté garlic. Add shrimp, lemon juice, and spices. Sauté, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and watercress or spinach and cook 1 minute longer until vegetables are wilted. Add pine nuts and cheese and toss with squash. Serve heaped in squash shells or individual casseroles. Makes 2 generous servings.

Fried Eggplant Salad
from Greene on Greens

1 large eggplant or 2 small (about 1 ½ pounds)
½ C olive oil, approximately
1 medium onion, halved, thinly sliced; or green onions
1 large clove garlic, minced
juice of 2 lemons
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges

Cut the stem from the eggplant and slice it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into ¼ inch thick slices. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle them with salt, and let stand 30 minutes. Brush the eggplant with paper towels to remove the salt; pat dry.

Heat 2 T of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add enough eggplant slices to cover the bottom. Sprinkle lightly with more oil, and sauté until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Continue to sauté the eggplant slices, adding more oil as needed.

Pour off all but 2 tsp of oil from skillet. Add the onion; cook over medium-low heat 1 minute. Add the garlic; cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Place one fourth of the eggplant in the bottom of a deep, narrow serving bowl. Sprinkle with the juice of ½ lemon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with one fourth of the onion mixture. Continue to layer, squeezing lemon juice over each successive layer of eggplant, until all ingredients are used up. End with the onion mixture. Chill well. Serve garnished with parsley and lemon wedges. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Leek Chips
A Mollie Katzen recipe – reminds you of the old fashioned homemade French-fried onions atop the green bean casserole. A great snack!

1 T extra virgin olive oil
2-3 medium sized leeks (1 ½” inch diameter)
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 250°. Line a large baking tray with foil and coat with the oil.
Remove and discard the dark green leaves from the leeks. Slice off about ¼ inch from the root end as well. (You want the white and pale green portions only.) Use a very sharp knife to cut the leeks into ¼ inch slices, then transfer them to a large bowl of cold water. Use your fingers and thumb to separate the slices into rings, then swish the pieces around vigorously to remove any grit that might be tucked in between the layers. With your hands or a large slotted spoon, lift the leek rings out of the water and transfer them to a colander in the sink. Drain thoroughly, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

Distribute the leek rings onto the prepared baking tray and toss to coat with the oil. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Some rings may be ready to remove at 30 minutes, others may take up to 60 minutes or longer – just remove them as they are done.

Transfer the finished chips to a plate, season to taste with a few dashes of salt and pepper and serve at room temperature. Store in a covered container. They will keep for a week or longer, but taste best within a few hours of being made.

Monday, August 9, 2010

CSA News, Week 14

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

White Half Runner Green Beans – organic
This most popular of all of the string beans, your half runner beans offer the most “beany” flavor, but come with a price. You do need to remove the string from each bean and then break into bite-sized pieces before cooking. Start by break-ing the end and pulling down the length of the bean until the string is removed at the other end. Repeat the process up the otherside of the bean. Then, when breaking into pieces, remove any string piece that you might have missed the first time. A little time now will result in a delicious result later on. Refrigerate.

Sweet Corn
Though we thought last week was your last corn for a while, we had a few more of the smaller ears available for today. You may recall these are the second ear off of the plant and will not be as long or as full as the earlier harvest. However, you’ve told us you would rather have the small ears than no corn at all! Enjoy this extra surprise in today’s shares.


Sweet Onion – organic

Italian Sweet Pepper – organic
Your cone shaped green pepper is sweet, similar in flavor to a mild red or green bell pepper. Use as you would any sweet pepper, or mix with the hot in making a salsa.

Assorted Hot Peppers – organic
Find just a handful of hot peppers including jalapeno and hot banana. Use caution when cutting, remembering the seeds and interior membrane is the hottest. Refrigerate.

Raspberries – organic

Tomatoes, Heirloom and Slicing - organic

Tomatoes, Heirloom Salad – organic
Today’s shares contain the Garden Peach (light yellow skin with peach-like texture), Black Plum, and the popular Sungold.


Garlic – organic

Leeks - organic

Okra - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .
For several years we have had someone at the farm in charge of feeding all of us a nutritious home-cooked meal each day at noon. Several people have held this position, and you have seen many of their recipes in your newsletters over the seasons – including the tried and true selections included today!

Tomato Salsa
1 ½ lbs ripe tomato
2-3 fresh jalapeno chilies, stemmed
½ small onion
4 cloves garlic
¼ C water
1/3 C cilantro
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cider vinegar

Heat broiler. Lay whole tomatoes and jalapenos out on broiler pan and broil for about 6 minutes. Flip over and do other side. May develop char spots. Set aside and cool.
Turn oven down to 425. Separate onions into rings and place on baking sheet with whole peeled cloves of garlic. Roast in oven until browned and wilted. 15 minutes.
Place in a food processor and pulse to right consistency. Add cilantro, salt, and vinegar.

Fruit Salsa

1 C diced cantaloupe
1C diced watermelon
1 C peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
4 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
½ C chopped red onion
¼ C fresh lime juice
3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1-1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Stir together in a bowl; cover and chill for 1 hour. Eat on tortilla chips.

Green Bean Salad

1½ lbs green beans
A handful of Sungold tomatoes
1 small sweet or red onion chopped
½ C lemon vinaigrette
Feta cheese

Cook green beans in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes if using snap beans, longer if using half-runner beans – just make sure tender. Drain and plunge into ice water to stop cooking process. Drain and pat dry. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Add chopped onion, tomatoes, vinaigrette and top with feta cheese.

Lemon Vinaigrette
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
3 TBS white wine vinegar
1 TBS Dijon mustard
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
½ C olive oil

Cajun Succotash

Sauté diced onion and minced garlic. Add corn cut off the cob and okra sliced in bite-sized pieces. Finish with diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. To freeze, cut all fresh ingredients (except tomatoes) and put in plastic bag. Add tomatoes when ready to cook later.

Eggplant Casserole

1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
4 slices bread, torn
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs, separated
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cover eggplant with water in saucepan. Cook egg-plant in boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Mash eggplant and set aside.

Combine bread and milk. Let stand 10 minutes.
Cook onion and garlic in butter in a large skillet over
medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until tender. Add eggplant, egg yolks, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into eggplant mixture. Pour into well-greased 1 ½-quart baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until set. Serve immediately.

Classic Southern-Style Green Beans
This recipe is from Ronni Lundy’s Butter Beans to
Blackberries. In her narrative, she says” I’ll wager
just about anything that slow-cooked is the only
way we’ll be asking for them in heaven, with a pan
of cornbread, a platter of fresh sliced garden –warm
tomatoes, and a chilled bowl of cucumbers and
onions on the side.”

2 pounds beans
¼ pound salt pork

Snap beans into pieces about 1 inch long. Discard any with blemishes. Rinse in very cold water and drain. Put beans in a large, heavy pot with a lid, and just cover with water. Add the salt pork, using your hand to bury it down in the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn down the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

After the hour, add salt if needed (depending on how briny the pork is). Half-cover and simmer for another hour or so, until the beans are very tender and saturated with the seasoning, and the water has boiled down to a bit of rich pot likker. These beans are even better warmed up the second day. Don’t let the water boil completely boil away, so add more if needed during your preparation.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Week 13, CSA

From the Farm . . .

When we first started transitioning from a traditional Kentucky beef cattle and burley tobacco farm to a more diversified farming system in the early 1990’s, farmers markets (specifically Lexington Farmers Market) were busy and thriving with an abundance of truck farmers and a supportive customer base. However, one did not see as much promotion of “Buy Local” in supermarkets and restaurants as we see today. Restaurants imported specialty foods from Europe (like cheese, mushrooms and chocolates) and our groceries promoted convenience over freshness and flavor.

Over the past decade, we have started to see people becoming reacquainted with locally grown foods they may remember eating as a child at the home of a grandparent. Now people are beginning to seek out Kentucky based value-added products (jams, jellies, cheeses, sausages, salsas, and much more) or even learning how to process their own. Issues surrounding food safety and food security give people motivation to get to know their local farmers, purchase a CSA share, seek out certified organic products, and know more about production practices of how their food is grown.

Finally, it seems there is also a resurgence of community as people come together in canning or freezing parties at local church kitchens, organize potluck dinners in their neighborhood with food from their own gardens, or request local farm foods at their wedding and birthday celebrations. The existence of the internet and use of websites and food blogs for people to post or search for favorite recipes has opened up the secrets of food presser-vation and fresh food preparation to all of us. It is not as hard to “Buy Local” as it once was and for this we can all be Kentucky Proud!

Many of you are already aware of many local activities and resources in our Central Kentucky area that focus on this topic. A few that Elmwood feels fortu-nate to be a part of recently are listed here:

Take the
Eat Local Challenge during the month of August – you can signup and get helpful information from Good Foods Market and Café in Lexington.

Visit Kentucky Green TV, an internet based television station to learn more on sustainability and visit
one or two of the Elmwood farmers.

Local Lexington based web site that promotes, educates, and helps us find all local things to satisfy our taste buds. Enjoy the delicious photos of Savoring Kentucky, along with tried and true recipes, and sometimes some
really nice tributes to local farms.

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

Stringless Green Beans – organic

Savoy Cabbage – organic
You may recall that the savory cabbage is a little sweeter than traditional green. It will also store for you very well in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Sweet Corn
The last harvest for several weeks – Enjoy!

Garlic – organic
Your garlic head has been air-dried and cured and will store at room temperature.

Yellow Onion – organic

Bell Pepper

Raspberries – organic
Ripening very fast due to the heat, eat these soon!

Tomatoes, Heirloom and Slicing - organic

Tomatoes, Heirloom Salad – organic


Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Summer Succotash with Bacon and Garlic Croutons
Our thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe. She reports that it is “TO DIE FOR” and that she used frozen lima beans as fresh are not in season yet. Original recipe was in Gourmet magazine, but this also appeared on the Smitten Kitchen food blog site. Makes 4-6 servings.

1 pound fresh or frozen baby lima beans
1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound cherry tomatoes halved, or other tomatoes chopped
Fresh kernels from 4 ears corn
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup packed small fresh basil leaves (optional)

In a small saucepan of boiling salted water cook shelled beans over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 5 minutes. In a sieve drain beans and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Set aside.

In a skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels and crumble. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from skillet. Add oil to bacon fat in skillet and cook onion over moderate heat, stirring, until just softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, corn, and vinegar and cook, stirring, until tomatoes just begin to lose their shape. Remove skillet from heat and gently stir in cooked beans and half of bacon. Cool succotash to room temperature and gently stir in basil and salt, pepper and additional sherry vinegar to taste. Toss with croutons (below, if using) and sprinkle with remaining bacon before serving.

Garlic Croutons

1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 round loaf crusty bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cut three 1-inch-thick slices from middle of loaf and brush bread with oil. Lightly oil a well-seasoned ridged grill pan and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Grill bread until golden brown on both sides. Alternately, you can run toasts under the broiler for a minute. Remove from heat and immediately rub bread both sides with cut side of garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cut into cubes and toss into succotash.

Corn Cob Jelly
Though this old-time recipe may seem a bit of a novelty, if you are intent on using “everything” in your share this week, this fits the bill. People say it reminds them of honey.

12 corn cobs, kernels removed
4 cups water
1 box pectin (such as Sure-Jell)
4 cups sugar

Place corn cobs in large pot and add 4 cups water. Bring to boil and cook 10 minutes. Remove cobs and drain liquid through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. You should have 3 cups; if not, add water to equal three cups. Return liquid to pot and add pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil. Add sugar, bring back to boil and boil for one full minute. Skim foam and pour into hot jars (I use half pint size), top with sterile lids and rings.

Tomato and Smoked Mozzarella Pasta
Thanks to a friend of the farm for this tasty, yet simple quick pasta recipe. You can customize by using different colors and varieties of tomatoes; adding cooked chicken or shrimp; and changing the type of cheese, perhaps provolone. Serve immediately.

Penne pasta
4 cups chopped tomatoes
8 oz smoked mozzarella, diced
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients except pasta in large bowl. Toss with pasta and serve.

Country Green Beans
recipe from Entertaining with Bluegrass Winners – recipe can be adapted using oil rather than bacon grease and leaving out the bacon

2-3 pounds fresh green beans
3-4 slices uncooked bacon
1 heaping T bacon drippings
1 large onion, chopped
1 heaping T sugar
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Pop off ends of beans and break into bite-sized pieces. Rinse in cold water. Place in large pan with just enough water to cover. Cut bacon into pieces and add to beans with rest of ingredients. Bring beans to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours, adding a little water if necessary. Serves 6 to 8, improves as leftovers.