Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August 30 or September 2

Share contents:  1 pound of half runner beans, 3/4 pound of okra, 1 1/2 pounds of sweet peppers, 2 pounds of Desiree potatoes, 3 bulbs of garlic, 1 butternut squash, 1 cucumber.

Storage:  peppers, garlic, and squash out of fridge and out of direct sunlight.  All else in fridge. If you're going to be a few days before eating the okra, switch it from the plastic bag to a paper one or a bowl.

Half runner beans are a small green bean of big popularity in the south.  They are typically prepared in a broth with smoked pork bacon or jowl and onion and cooked slow and long.  They are also good prepared in many other ways that green beans are used and have great flavor on their own.  In the ones I have cooked so far, some have string and some do not.  I think the fuller the bean pod is with formed beans, the more likely it has a string.
Following is a recipe from Steven Satterfield's Root to Leaf Cookbook
Green Beans, Roasted Pepper, and Potato Salad
1/2 pound potatoes
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 anchovy fillet
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 roasted red or yellow bell peppers, cleaned and seeded
2 cups blanched green beans

Chop the potatoes into chunks of desired size.  Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches.  Add the vinegar and salt to the water and place over medium-high heat.  Cook until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes, then drain well in a colander and set aside.
In a small bowl, mash the anchovy fillet with the back of a fork.  Make the dressing by adding the citrus juice and zest, shallot, chopped parsley, and olive oil to the bowl and whisk to combine.
Toss the potatoes with the dressing while they're still warm.
Slice the roasted peppers into thin strips, about the same size as the green beans.  Toss the blanched green beans and peppers together, including any juice from roasting the peppers, then add to the potato mixture and toss to combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.  Serve at room temperature.

I think that next week you'll start seeing greens and leaves in the shares again.  We are in the late summer portion of the year where it is difficult to have pretty greens due to the heat.  If you aren't in the mood for eating all the potatoes that are coming at you these weeks, they will keep for months in a drawer in your refrigerator (not in a plastic bag).  Also, the garlic will keep if stored in a dry and cool-ish spot out of direct sun.
The hot peppers continue so help yourself to a few at market if you'd like.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23 or 26 CSA

Share contents:  1 pound of summer squashes, 1 pound of green beans, 1 pound of sweet onions, 1 butternut squash, 3/4 pound of Sweet Italian peppers, 1 1/2 pound of Papa Cacho fingerling potatoes, salad tomatoes (orange ones are Clementine, red ones are Mountain Magic).

Storage:  Butternut squash, peppers, and tomatoes can be kept out on your counter not in direct sun.  All else should be refrigerated.

Beans:  we don't have enough of any one variety to give the whole CSA the same kind. So...those of you picking up at RAD today will have Romano beans which are a snap bean.  Those of you who pick up at Catawba or the farm will have Goose beans which are a delicious heirloom pole bean variety that needs to be de-strung before preparing.  Some of the smaller ones haven't developed a string yet but if you can see the from of a bean inside the pod, chances are their a string to pull off the top and bottom of the pod.  The entire pod and beans within are edible.

The Papa Cacho fingerlings have a waxy texture and great flavor.  They are great oven roasted, boiled until just soft and smashed with a spatula and fried, in potato salad.
The sweet onions are very mild.  We mostly use them raw in salads around here.  A lot of their flavor is lost in cooking.
The butternut have been sitting for a few weeks and now and are ready to eat.

Summer Squash and Pepper Salad
Prepare 1 dry cup of bulgur wheat or quinoa or brown short grain rice.  While it is cooking and cooling, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
4 to 6 summer squashes, finely diced
1 sweet red pepper, stem and seeds removed, finely diced
1 sweet onion, very finely diced
1/2 cup of dill, parsley, mint (combination of the three or just one)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
salt and pepper
Combine the cooked grain and vegetables in a large bowl.  Toss to combine.
Whisk the herb(s), olive oil, and citrus juice in a small bowl.  Pour the dressing over the salad.  Add salt and black pepper to taste and combine all together.  Let sit for 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve at room temperature.

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...