This Week’s CSA
In Leon’s best game show host voice, it sounds like this week’s share is a cornucopia of produce from the farm; all the best it has to offer from the summer heat, water, and long days in the field. So without further ado, your share this week includes kale, salad mix, summer squash, beets, green beans, Arat parsley root, cucumber, peppers, sweet corn, a bag of garlic, sweet onions, epazote, lemon basil, and a small bag of pears.
The sweet onions will last longer if stored in the refrigerator, while the garlic is cured so it will keep in a cool dark place. Peppers can be stored in the crisper; plastic bag is optional. Corn will also do well stored in the refrigerator. The pears were picked green from a tree that needed thinning in order to save the branches, but the fruit should ripen if left on the counter. To help the process, the pears can also be stored in a paper bag with a ripe banana or avocado.
I lost some pears during a Bitterroot thunderstorm, and while they softened enough to eat raw, they did not have a natural sweetness they get from ripening on the tree, which makes these pears excellent for baked items. These pears are perfect for mixing with the apples from last week to make a crisp, cobbler, or pie. They can also be cooked with the apples to make a pear-applesauce. Or if you love to grill, cut the pear into thick slabs, toss with oil and salt, and grill until tender for a great addition to a summer salad.
As for the peppers, you will get either sweet bells or Anaheim. Anaheims are considered mild, so if you are sensitive to heat, make sure to remove all the pith and seeds to reduce the heat level. Both types of peppers can be roasted with great results and added to quesadillas, scrambled eggs, enchiladas, burritos, salads, or pizza.
Please refer to the notes from August 7 for a refresher on how best to use the parsley root. This week’s root should be bigger since it is later in the season, making them perfect for roasting or mashing.
One of the oldest known cereal crops in the world, corn is a kind of grass with very large edible seed heads. Corn is versatile and can be added to soups, stews, pancakes, bread, soufflés, and casserole dishes. It can be sautéed, steamed, boiled, creamed, or grilled with great results. Searching ‘grilled corn’ at Saveur.com will give you several ideas on ways to use corn, from grilling to salads.
Grilled Corn with Flavored Butter
Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated #124
This recipe is designed to use with a disposable aluminum roasting pan that is at least 2 3/4″ deep.
1 recipe flavored butter (recipe follows)
1 13 by 9 inch disposable aluminum roasting pan
8 ears corn, husks and silk removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper
Place flavored butter in disposable pan. Brush corn evenly with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste
Grill corn over hot fire, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 5 to 9 minutes. Transfer corn to pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Place pan on grill and cook, shaking pan frequently, until butter is sizzling, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from grill and carefully remove foil, allowing steam to escape away from you. Serve corn, spooning any butter in a pan over individual ears.
Basil and Lemon Butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/ teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.