Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22 or 25 Tomatoes! Tomatoes! Tomatoes!

A nest of baby birds in the cherry tomato row

Up close...a full nest!
Small Boxes:  1 bunch of shiso, 1 pound of torpedo onions, 2 1/2 pounds of "Paul Robeson" tomatoes, 1 italian eggplant, 1 canteloupe melon, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes.
Regular Boxes:  all of the above plus 1 pound of yellow wax beans, 1 pineapple bi-color tomato, 1 bunch of gold beets.

Storage:  Tomatoes will have best flavor if kept out of the refrigerator, but it means they will need to be eaten within 3 days or so.  Keep them in fridge if you won't eat them that quickly.  The melon is ripe so keep it refrigerated until eating.  All other items will keep best in the fridge as well.

Shiso is an herb with a mild cumin flavor.  It is good in salad, hummus, with beans, in baba ghanouj.

Here is the description of the Paul Robeson tomato from the FEDCO seed catalog that led me to start growing this one:  "This Russian heirloom was named in honor of Paul Robeson (1898-1976) who befriended the Soviet Union. Athlete (15 varsity letters at Rutgers!), actor (played Othello in the longest-running Shakespearean production in Broadway history), singer (world famous for his vibrant baritone renditions of Negro spirituals), orator, cultural scholar and linguist (fluent in at least 15 languages!), Robeson was an outspoken crusader for racial equality and social justice. Revered by the left, reviled by the right, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era and beyond, harassed by the FBI, his passport revoked for eight years, his career stifled. He died broken and almost forgotten, his life a testament to lost opportunities in 20th-century American history. His namesake tomato developed almost a cult following among seed savers. The maroon-brick 6–12 oz oblate often bi-lobed fruits with dark green shoulders come closest in flavor to Black Krim, but claim their own distinctive sweet smoky taste. A sandwich tomato with a tang, an extraordinary tomato for an extraordinary man."
See what you think!  Also makes good soup and a good canning tomato as well.

On that note, we are in the tomatoes right now and have more than enough.  If you would like tomatoes to can or freeze or just eat a lot of fresh, we will sell you 25 pound boxes for $30.  (At market they are $2.50/pound.  This is a special deal for csa customers!)  Just let me know by email or let us know at market that you want to do this.  It needs to happen this week as they'll slow down again probably by end of July.  If you just want to try some other variety this week in addition to what is in your box, grab it from us at market "on the house".   Also, we don't put hot peppers in the box because so many people don't eat them.  If you want hot peppers, help yourself at market or if you pick up elsewhere, let me know and i'll send you some.

Shiso and Lemon Dressing
juice from 2 lemons 
5 to 10 shiso leaves
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T rice vinegar
1/2 T maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

this dressing can be made in advance and kept in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator.  It is good on fresh tomatoes, on potato salad, on bean salad.

The following recipe is for a huge batch, so you'll have to cut down the amount of ingredients or ask us for extra eggplant if you want a huge batch!
Eggplant salad recipe
Tomatoes on the vine

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