Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 16 or 19

Share contents:  2 and 1/2 pounds of potatoes ( a mix of Nicola and Red Maria), 1 pound of yellow onions, 1 Italian eggplant, 3 pounds of Opalka paste tomatoes, sweet peppers (1 round of Hungary pimento, 1 sweet Italian, several Jimmy Nardello), 1 cantaloupe.
those of you who pick up on Saturday got your melon last Saturday
Storage:  Potatoes should be refrigerated if you're not going to eat them this week.  Onions can be kept out but will burn your eyes less when chopping them if you keep them refrigerated.  Melon should be eaten within 2 days or refrigerated.  Peppers, eggplant and tomatoes can be kept on your counter.

We are in the part of the season where there is not much green to eat.  Kales and chard are growing.  There will be baby beets with tops again soon and radishes in September.  We just planted lots of head lettuce.  So, feast on these hot weather veggies and know cooler crops are on the way!

Eggplant, Tomato, and Onion Gratin
From Chez Panisse
3 onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 or 3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 globe eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplant
3 ripe tomatoes

Peel and chop the onions and garlic very fine.  Stew them over medium  heat for about 5 minutes, until soft, in half the butter and olive oil, with the leaves of the thyme, the bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds.  Slice the tomatoes slightly thicker.
Preheat the oven to 400.  Butter a shallow gratin dish.  (Or pyrex or pie pan.)
Remove the bay leaf from the onions and spread them over the bottom of the dish.  Cover with overlapping rows of alternate tomato and eggplant slices.  Each slice should cover 2/3 of the preceding one.  Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil, cover, and cook in the oven until the eggplant is soft enough to be cut with a spoon, about 45 minutes.  Uncover for the last 15 minutes or earlier if the tomatoes are giving up too much liquid.  Brush or spoon the juices over the top occasionally to prevent the top layer from drying out.  This gratin should be moist but not watery.  Serves 6 to 8.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 9 or 12 CSA

Your share this week includes:  1 yellow bell pepper, 1 antohi romania sweet pepper, 1 pound of red onions, 1 bunch of parsley, 2 small bulbs of fennel, 1/2 pound of okra, 1 head of garlic, 2 acorn squash, 3 pounds of a mix of japanese black trifele and garden peach tomatoes.
(You'll be weighing out your own tomatoes at the market pick-ups...those of you picking up elsewhere will have a paper bag with the tomatoes in it.)

Storage: fennel and parsley in bag with the air squeezed out in your refrigerator.  Okra in your fridge.  If its going to be a few days until you eat the okra, transfer it to a bowl or a paper will get moldy quicker in the plastic bag.  All other things can be kept on your counter.

Acorn squash is the first of many winter squashes you'll get the rest of this CSA year.  They do not keep well so eat them soon.  There will be other varieties later that you can keep for longer.  Both of the peppers are sweet.  If you want hot peppers, you are welcome to take a few from the market stand.  If you want a large quantity for hot sauce or such, let me know and we'll give you a discount price. 

Pepper and Onion Salad
from Chez Panisse Vegetables
Seed and slice thin some peppers of different colors and varieties.  Slice a small to medium red onion very thin and toss together with the pepper slices, some pitted nicoise olives, and a spoonful of capers rinsed of brine.
Make a vinaigrette with red wine vinegar and good olive oil, and season with chopped garlic and jalapeno pepper(or another hot pepper variety) and red pepper flakes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Cut basil leaves (or parsley) into a chiffonade and sprinkle over the salad.  This salad should be spicy and robust; taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

An Okra Recipe on Epicurious
The share this week also has just about all the ingredients for a good gumbo.  Or you can just oven roast the okra in a hot oven for about 20 minutes tossed in olive oil and salt.

This week is the 14th box of 22.  Over the next few weeks we'll be harvesting all the winter squash varieties and you'll see those in your share.  There will be sweet potatoes in the last couple of boxes.  Pole beans are on their way. Greens and lettuce will return in September.  Carrots and beets and radishes are sprouting in this cool and wet weather...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How can it be August 2 or 5 already?

If anyone is interested in a box of tomatoes for canning or freezing, this is the week!  We have 20 pound boxes of heirloom paste tomatoes for $30 to the CSA only.  Let me know if you'd like to get one and I'll pack it up for you.
This weeks' share:  2 pounds of beets, 1 head of flat dutch cabbage, 2 pounds of desiree potatoes, 1 bunch of leeks, 1 celeriac, 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, 1 bulb of garlic.
Storage:  all but cherry tomatoes and garlic in the fridge.

The beets are without tops because the tops look terrible right now and you would to want to eat them.  The celeriac tops are great for making a stock or broth with but not great for eating whole because they are difficult to chew.

Following is a recipe for cabbage.  You could make borscht thought too with the beets and cabbage...
Cabbage in Vinegar
1head of cabbage
1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon
1 to 3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Boil cabbage 10 minutes in lightly salted water.  Drain and shred.  heat oil in skillet, add bay leaf and garlic and brown.  Add shredded cabbage, half lemon, salt and pepper and cook 15 minutes.  Pour water, vinegar and sugar over the cabbage, cover skillet and cook 10 minutes longer.  Serves 4.  (adapted from The Talisman Italian Cookbook)

Those of you who have been in our CSA for years have seen this recipe is a favorite from "Farmer John's Cookbook".
Creamy Celeriac Soup
3 Tablespoons butter
1 bunch of leeks, quartered and sliced
1 celeriac, peeled, roughly chopped
3 to 5 potatoes, roughly chopped
4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth/ stock
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or mace
1/2 cup cream or coconut milk or almond milk
salt and pepper to taste

1.Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks; cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add the celeriac, potatoes, stock and 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, and pepper to taste and heat on low until heated through.
This soup is good cold too.

The other day I cooked made a good beet salad of steamed beets cut into quarter sized chunks with a dressing of sour cream, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, fresh mint leaves and nasturtium flowers.  We liked it...