Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 31 or September 3

Share this week includes:  1 pint of roma tomatoes, 1/2 pound okra, 1 pound yellow onions, 1 butternut squash, 2 pounds Nicola potatoes, 2 small fennel bulbs, 1 pound red beets, 1 pound of october beans.

Storage:  Beans, if you're not going to eat them today or tomorrow, should be transferred to a paper bag so they don't get moldy.  Everything needs to be refrigerated except butternut squash and onions.

For Wednesday RAD market pick-ups, Amy will now be the one at our stand.  She asked that you peek around and tell her who you are and she'll check your name off for the week.

Hot peppers are still coming in so if you'd like some, please help yourself!

The october beans are typically a dry bean similar to a pinto.  When fresh, the green ones can be strung (like last weeks' beans) and snapped.  The ones with the yellowish pods and pink stripes need to be shelled ( don't eat the pods on these as they are rather tough).  I love these beans cooked with onion, salt and pepper.  I also love them stewed with okra and tomatoes.  Following is a link to a recipe.  I would substitute fresh october beans for the kidney beans and fresh romas for the canned tomatoes and sauce.  Also, I prefer just oregano to the italian blend of herbs and fresh hot chilis to chili powder.
A recipe for Okra -Bean Stew

The fennel and beets are good together in a salad.  Grate the beets, thinly slice the fennel bulbs up to where the leaves start, combine with some thinly sliced red onion, 1 T lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and fresh parsley.  Let it sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before eating.

The butternut squash is ready to eat but also will keep a few weeks on your counter.  We are having some difficulty with rot in the stored winter squash.  This is because of all the rain a couple weeks ago keeping the plants and fruits wet for days on end.  Keep an eye on your squash and if you see any signs that it is starting to rot, cut that spot out and cook it immediately.  If you don't feel like eating it now, you can freeze the cooked squash to use later.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24 or 27

This weeks' share includes:  1 bunch of carrots, 2 delicata squash, 1 pound of heirloom string beans, 1& 1/2 pounds of sweet peppers, 1 pound of torpedo onions, 2 garlic heads, 1 globe eggplant.

Storage:  Garlic and Delicata out of fridge.  All else refrigerated.

The heirloom string beans are a few different varieties.  The largest ones that are slightly flat with somewhat to very formed beans inside are Goose Beans.  The short, shiny ones are Greasy Beans.  The third, round variety is from a seed swap last fall in West Virginia and I'm ashamed to say that I have temporarily forgotten the name.  At any rate, they are all flavorful and contain more protein thanks to the formed beans within the pods.  You do need to pull the strings off of them.  Video on how to String beans
Pole beans are one of my favorite foods all year even though they require a bit more work.  Their flavor is worth it.  We would grow lots more of them if it were easier to grow them organically.  There are 2 challenges (at least!) which are that they must be trellised and that there is no organic control for Mexican Bean Beetles other than killing them by hand.  It takes time to build a trellis and once trellised, you cannot cultivate that bed with a tractor so the weeds can be prohibitive to the beans growth.  Pole beans take longer to grow and form beans than bush varieties so the bean beetles can do a lot of damage before the beans are of edible size.  Despite these challenges, we have a good enough crop this year to put them in the shares!  I hope you love them as much as we do!
There are many recipes and methods for cooking them.  We keep it simple.  I just string them, snap them in half, and put them in a skillet with an inch or so of water and a couple of onions cut in quarters, a little salt and pepper.  I let them simmer until they're soft...30 to 40 minutes and then eat.
There is a great recipe in the Root To Leaf cookbook by Steven Satterfield for "Pole Beans in Eggplant-Pepper Broth".  Its too involved for me to type out but if you're interested, look it up or let me know.  

Delicata Squash are the earliest "winter squash" ready to eat.  They are so sweet and need only be cut in half, seeds scooped out, and baked in a 4oo degree oven face down on a sheet pan until soft.  It takes about 20 to 30 minutes.  We eat them plain or with a little butter.

Sweet peppers!  Try them roasted, try them sauteed with onions, try them stuffed, try them as the main ingredient in pasta sauce, try them raw dipped into hummus or baba ganoush.
Beans just after trellising

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August 17 or 20

Share contents:  1 bunch of leeks, 1 celeriac, 2 pounds of beets, sweet peppers (jimmy nardello frying peppers and sweet italia), 1 quart of juliet romas, 1/2 pound cucumber, 1 garlic, 2 pound potatoes.

Storage:  peppers, romas, garlic outside of fridge.  All else requires refrigeration.

Do you know the Jimmy Nardello pepper?  If you've been in our CSA more than this year, you would.  If not, they are the skinny red peppers that look like they'd be hot.  They are an heirloom of some acclaim these days (for good reason).  Just saute them in a little oil and eat alongside other foods or all by themselves.  yum yum.

Juliet Romas are really good oven roasted and eaten on bread or with pasta.

Celeriac is an unusual one...flavor is an earthy version of celery.  I will include our 2 favorite ways to eat it.
1 celeriac
3 cucumbers
2 T capers
salt and black pepper
lemon juice
sour cream or buttermilk or mayonnaise
a little parsley or dill
remove the green tops of the celeriac (save to use in a soup stock)
peel the celeriac and slice into 1/8 inch thick rounds
put in a pot with enough water to cover and sprinkle a little lemon juice in as well
bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and let simmer about 5 minutes, until tender but not falling apart
remove from the water and cool in cold water or an ice bath
slice into matchstick size pieces and place in a bowl
slice cucumbers and add to bowl
add capers, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup of creamy substance of your choice, and herbs if you have them
stir all together and enjoy chilled

serves 4 to 6 
3 T butter
1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
2 pounds potatoes 
3 leeks,sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 tsp mace or nutmeg
1/2 cup cream, milk, or unsweetened rice or almond milk
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onions; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the celeriac, potatoes, stock; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.
2.  Let the soup cool slightly and then puree in a food processor or blender.  Return to the soup pot, stir in the cream, salt, mace or nutmeg, and pepper to taste and heat on low until heated through.

 Click on this link for some different ways to cook beets

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August 10 or 13

Share this week includes:  1/2# okra, 2# eggplant, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1 1/2# heirloom paste tomatoes, 1# silver slicer cucumber, 1# onions (red and yellow), 1 garlic, 1 antohi romania and 2 amish pimento peppers (both are very sweet).

Storage:  peppers, tomatoes, and garlic can be kept on the counter.  The rest needs to be refrigerated.

The paste tomatoes make really good salsa or sauce but are great for eating plain as well.  The peppers are both heirloom varieties and are superior in flavor/sweetness to a bell pepper.  They do not keep as well so eat them in the 1st few days.
I know we are sending you lots of eggplant.  It is what is growing really well right now.  If you are tired of eating it, you could make the recipe below and freeze for another time. Or try cutting them in half lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and salt and roasting at 400 degrees until soft.  We eat them straight out of the oven and even the kids like them.  They have an earthy, almost mushroom taste.  The okra is good like this too and the okra and eggplant are a nice combination, especially with a quick sauce made of the paste tomatoes, garlic, onion, and oregano...maybe a little hot pepper.

The offer for hot peppers still stands, just ask whomever is working market where to get them from.
Click on the link below for a good recipe.
Eggplant "meatball" Recipe

We will begin harvesting winter squash today and putting it in the barn to "cure".  This is the process by which the squash turns its starches into sugar and makes the sweet flavor come out.  Straight from the vine, most winter squashes do not taste sweet at all.  You'll see them in your share in early September.  We wait as patiently as we can for this rainy spell to break so that we can get fall crops in the ground.  Coming soon will be orange carrots, string beans, celeriac. Hope you have a good week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

August! 3rd or 6th

Share contents this week: 1 bulb of garlic, 1&1/2pounds Austrian Crescent fingerling potatoes, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 1&1/2 pounds of fairytale and gretel eggplant, 1 bunch of shiso, 1 japanese cucumber, 1 very ripe cantaloupe melon, 1 yellow bell pepper, 3 yellow onions.

Storage:  All things but the garlic need to be kept refrigerated.  Shiso needs to be in a bag with air squeezed out.  Melon needs to be eaten today.

Shiso is an herb with a light cumin flavor.  It lends that flavor as well as a pink color when added to liquid.  It is good with cherry tomatoes tossed in a vinaigrette, great with eggplant, and pretty in a jar of pickles.

A recipe for Eggplant Caponata

Again this week, we are rich with tomatoes.  It will all be over soon so if you want tomatoes to put up, you need to do it this week.  A 20 pound box is only $35!  (market price is $3/pound)
We aren't putting big tomatoes in the share this week because many of you seemed exhausted with the tomatoes as you unpacked your box last week.  If you want some big tomatoes, please let us know at market and we'll get you some!

Creamy Eggplant Dip
1. Cut the small eggplant in half lengthwise, arrange on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Roast in a 450 degree oven until browning and somewhat wrinkled (about 20 minutes).
3. While the eggplant is roasting,thinly slice 1 to 3 yellow onions and 4 cloves of garlic.
4. Caramelize these in a skillet.
5.  If you have a food processor, transfer the eggplant, skin on, into it with the caramelized onion and grind to a creamy consistency.  If you don't have one, scoop the eggplant out of the skin and put in a bowl with the onion and mash by hand.
6.  You can add a spoon full of tahini or yogurt to make it more creamy.
7.  Season with more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
8.  Lastly, chop the leaves of 1 stem of the purple shiso and stir into the dip.  Eat with warmed pita bread.