Veggie Feast (CSA) September 18

Notes from the Farm

Thanks to some hardworking friends our onion harvest is underway.  And they look good!  In this week’s veggie box are some sweet onions.  We have had sweet onions last until February or later, but generally their shelf life is about mid November due to their high water content.  The red onions are also harvested you will see those next week.

We also eagerly dove into the squash patch and we are, well…..slightly bummed.  This crop is growing underneath the canopy of sunflowers to the south of the driveway.  The foliage is beautiful but much of the squash is squishy!  Yes, the beautiful summer of occasional rain and mild temperatures didn’t do the squash any favors.  Many fruits are simply immature and would need another month of warm temperatures to ripen, and others are ripe but moldy.  You will still get winter squash in your shares, but not the quantity as in years past.  On the bright side everything else is rocking so there is no shortage of good eats.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Paprika Peppers, Jalapenos, Carnival Squash, Leeks, Purple Potatoes, Sweet Onions, Beets, Assorted Tomatoes and Cucumber

New This Week

 

Paprika Peppers

The paprika is probably best known as a ground spice.  These sweet peppers are thin skinned and perfect for drying into homemade paprika powder.  If that is not your thing they can also be thinly sliced and added to a sautee, a baked entree or an egg dish.

Jalapenos

As for all “spicy” peppers, heat intensity can vary widely.  If you slice the tip off each pepper you can usually smell the spiciness, or taste a small portion.  We have grown jalapenos ion the past that had the heat intensity of a bell pepper (impressive, huh?) and other years were there was a bit of a kick.  Pepper roulette.

Carnival Squash

Carnival winter squash are a type of delicata.  The skin is thin, which means you could peel it if you really want to.  The flesh is a light yellow with a mild flavor.  Since our squash crop is compromised we are not sure how long the fruits will store.  Could be a few weeks or could be months.  If you do plan to keep it for later just check it every week for soft spots, especially on areas where the skin has a nick.

 

Leeks

Is it really that time of year for leek soup?  Why, yes.  Or try out the recipe below and see how fermentation goes for you.  A friend gave me a taste of her fermented leeks last year and I am now inspired to make my own.

Recipes

Spicy Fermented Leeks in a Jar

Ingredients

  • 3 Small leeks
  • Handful of fresh dill
  • 1 Small dried hot red pepper
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of coriander seeds

Instructions

  • First, wash the leeks, making sure that there’s no dirt in between the leaves.
  • Next, remove the roots and thinly slice the leeks, discard the dark green portion of the leaf, and place in a bowl.
  • Finely slice the garlic cloves, and add the salt to the leeks, so that it can begin to release their liquids.
  • Now, depending on how spicy you like your food, I added 1 small dried red pepper, but you can go wild. Grind the red pepper and the coriander seeds.
  • Finely chop the fresh dill and add to the bowl.
  • Now, give it all a good massage.
  • Finally, cram it all into your glass jar, with an airlock, and fill with water.
  • Weight everything down, I use a plastic sheet and a shot glass, close the jar and leave out at room temperature for 3 – 7 days, away from direct sunlight, then transfer to the fridge. Leave them for a few more days, for the flavors to perfectly infuse. Then, dig in.

Source: Let’s Brighten Up

Carnival Squash Chowder

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lbs Carnival Squash peeled and diced
  • 2 oz jamon or prosciutto finely minced
  • 1 medium onion finely minced
  • 2 gloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme minced
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup ap flour
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 0.5 oz dried porcini mushrooms re-hydrated and chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh sage minced 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Peal and dice the squash in to half inch cubes. Finely mince the ham, onions, and garlic.
  • In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown the ham for 5-7 minutes over medium-low heat. Add butter and onions and sauté for 5 minutes until tender. Add the garlic, nutmeg, and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir in with the other ingredients for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the vegetable and chicken broth an bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf and porcini mushrooms and simmer until the squash is fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Once the squash is fork tender, remove the pot from the stove and turn off the heat. Use a potato masher to smash some of the squash leaving some larger chunks. Incorporate the freshly minced sage and vigorously whisk the chowder. Whisk in the cream just before serving.

Source:  Eat Up!

Veggie Feast (CSA) September 11

Notes from the Farm

This is the final week of corn.  It’s been a good run.  At the beginning of the season the corn looked pretty weak, it was so cold (remember way back in May?) we had poor germination.  But it has been a success.  We grew four varieties this year, one early season, one mid-season and this week’s variety, which is a bi-color hybrid that takes a bit longer to mature.  That’s only three you say?  We grow one variety called Painted Mountain, and that one is for the birds.  Painted Mountain corn is a colorful, beautiful, highly nutritious field corn that was developed in Montana.  It can be eaten fresh, or ground for cornmeal.  Or grown for the blackbirds so they do not eat the sweet corn.

Painted Mountain Corn

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast September 11, 2019

Anaheim peppers, shiso, cantaloupe, celeriac, carrots, red cabbage, Swiss chard, yellow zucchini, corn

New This Week

Anaheim Chile Peppers

Anaheims originated from New Mexico and were brought to Anaheim, CA in the early 1900’s.  The heat of these peppers varies wildly, ranging from 550 to 2,500 on the Scoville scale.  Pepper heat intensity depends on many factors, climate being a major player.   You can taste test a tiny bit of the pepper to see how much heat it carries.  These peppers are great in chili, fajitas, burritos, veggie egg scrambles, enchiladas, or salsas, or can be stuffed and baked.

Shiso

Shiso hails from Asia and is one of the “new” foodie crazes.  We decided to give it a try this year.  It is an annual mint in our northern climate and grew well.  The leaves look and feel a lot like catmint in shape and texture.  It has a slight minty flavor to it, but nowhere as strong as peppermint or spearmint.  I would say the flavor is earthier.  Since this is a new crop for us we have little, okay make that no experience using this herb, but we are excited to try it out.  Let us know what you think.  Does shiso have a place in the veggie feast?  Here is a blog that has 43 things to make with shiso.

Celery Root

Celery root or celeriac is an odd looking vegetable that is overshadowed by the tasteless celery stalks that are sold in the grocery store.  Oops.  Did I just write that?  The celeriac bulb is relatively mild and can be roasted with other veggies, or diced and put into soups.  It also makes a lovely addition to purees.  The stalk and leaves are much more flavorful and can be used as spicing agents.  We like to dry the stalk and leaves and use them in the winter to add yumminess to soup and baked entrees.  There’s more information for celeriac on our website

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is another new crop for us.  We grew them in the greenhouses for a couple of years only to lose them among the jungle of foliage.  This year we grew them outside to see if they would mature before the frost.  We did not grow a large number of plants, so we are trying to make sure everyone gets a melon.  If you did not get one in your share last week or the week before one should be in your share this week.  They are delicious and very ripe.

Veggie Feast (CSA) September 4, 2019

Notes from the Farm

Fall is in the air.  Although it is still quite warm we have reduced irrigating the crops to allow the fruits to ripen.  This is likely the last week of cucumbers, but more corn and tomatoes are on the way.  We hope you are enjoying the bounty of late summer.  Soon we will be harvesting the storage onions and winter squash.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast September 4, 2019

Poblanos, cucumber. yellow zucchini, sweet corn, romaine lettuce, beets, potatoes and garlic, broccoli

New This Week

Poblano pepper

The poblano is one of the many chile pepper varieties.  It hails from Puebla, Mexico and on the heat intensity scale (the scoville scale) it is considered very mild.  Many people know these peppers as anchos, or chile anchos, which means wide in Spanish.  As they dry out they become flat, wide and heart shaped.  Poblanos are often stuffed and baked or roasted.  As a northerner I really have no business giving advice on pepper usage, so check out  The Spruce Eats if you want more info on poblanos.

How to Roast a Pepper

Place the whole chili over the open flame of a gas stove or grill, and turn it from time to time until the skin is blistered and brown. If you want the peppers to be soft and slightly smoky, roast them until the skins are completely charred. If you want to peel the peppers without cooking them too much, cut off the top of the pepper, then slice in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins, and press down on each half to flatten. Roast them 5 to 6 inches under the oven broiler until the skins are wrinkled but not charred, 10-20 minutes. Once done charring the skin, immediately place peppers in a plastic bag or in a bowl covered with a plate to steam. Let steam for at least 15 minutes to loosen the skins. Use your hands or a paper towel to gently rub off the skin and don’t worry if not every fleck is removed. Try to avoid rinsing them under water, as you will wash away the good flavor developed during roasting. Once peeled, cut open whole peppers and remove any seeds and ribs.

How to Dry Chiles

If you plan on drying chiles, use a sewing needle and heavy thread to string peppers through the base of the stem. Hang in a cool, dry place until dried throughout.

Veggie Feast (CSA) August 28, 2019

Notes from the Farm

We planted the last of the lettuce, Napa cabbage, pak choi and fennel seedlings on Sunday.  We also seeded a few more radishes and spinach for the fall season.  Now we wait and see what the weather does.  Planting the last of the veggies is always bittersweet.  It means summer is coming to an end, but it is also one less thing to keep track of!  We are consumed with harvest, this is the most abundant time of year for the farm.

The sow Lashes had piglets a few weeks ago and they are starting to run around.  They live north of our driveway, so please be careful when you drive in.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

 

August 28, 2019 Veggie Feast

Sweet Corn, Rainbow Carrots, Tomato Mix, Salad Mix, Yellow Beans, Cucumber, Swiss Chard/Kale Bundle

New This Week

Sweet corn

Good news:  the red-winged blackbirds have not found the corn yet!  In your share this week is Trinity sweet corn.  It is a bi-colored, early season, flavorful variety. Due to the cool weather the ears are shorter and smaller, but the taste is superb.

Rainbow carrots

Each year we try some new varieties.  This year I wanted to grow Rainbow Carrots.  When Leon brought them to the washing station someone dubbed them anemic carrots because of their pale color.  We were a little disappointed that there were no purples or reds.  They germinated well, and are sizable but I would not have named them Rainbow.  Maybe Yellow Wave or something less deceiving.  We all agree that they taste fine, but not as good as the other varieties we grow.  Rainbow also led us into a brief discussion about the history of carrot pigmentation.  The World Carrot Museum goes into detail about this and probably everything else you want to know about a carrot.

Cherry tomatoes

We also planted some new varieties of tomatoes this year.  Unfortunately, the soil where we planted them is too rich with compost.  This means the stems and the leaves grow crazy wild, while the fruits are actually smaller and oddly enough, pointed.  It hasn’t seemed to affect the flavor and we pleased with the new varieties in that regard.  In your share you will get a mix of some early slicers and cherry tomatoes.

Veggie Feast (CSA) August 21, 2019

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Veggie Feast August 21, 2019

Dillweed, Romanesco, Red Onion, Green Bell Pepper, Assorted String Beans, Purple Potatoes, Cucumbers, Yellow Summer Squash, Cauliflower

New This Week

Dill weed

Although native to parts of western Asia, dill weed is usually associated with Russian and European cuisine where it is paired with fish (gravlax), pickles, yogurt, sour cream, and potatoes.  This herb doesn’t store super well, so best to use it within a few days or dry it for future use.

Romanesco

Romanesco is a member of the brassica family, along with broccoli and cauliflower.  These too are immature flower buds, arranged in a spiral, or Fibonacci sequence.  Probably one of the more visually striking vegetables out there, and pretty good to eat too.  Prepare as you would cauliflower.

Red onions

Red onions have a bit more bite than the sweet whites that you’ve been getting in your shares.  Although red onions are a great storage vegetable when we harvest them this early in the season they are best eaten fresh.

Bell Peppers

Slice em, dice em, roast, em, stuff them.  First peppers of the season.

Dragon Tongue Beans

Yellow Beans

Green Beans

An assortment of string beans.  Enjoy!

Purple Potatoes

Recipes

Gjelina’s Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini, and Sumac

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons (43 grams) tahini
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cold filtered water, plus more for thinning
  • 1 tablespoon quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • Flake-style salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Pan-roasted Romanesco

  • 1 medium head of Romanesco, trimmed and cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon Homemade Vegetable Stock or filtered water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • Maldon sea salt
  • High-quality olive oil for drizzling

Preparation

Dressing

  • In a small/medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, 1 tablespoon of cold filtered water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and minced garlic.
  • While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive into the tahini mixture.
  • With lemon juice and/or water (chef’s discretion based on taste preferences, I usually use a 50/50 blend) adjust the thickness of the dressing. The sauce should be thick but not so thick that it can’t be drizzled. Season with flake-style salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Pan-roasted Romanesco

  • Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan (enough to cover the bottom) and heat over medium-high.
  • When the oil is hot and shimmering (but not smoking), add the Romanesco in a single layer with the cut side down. Let the florets cook undisturbed for a few minutes until they start to develop a deep golden color. Toss the Romanesco and continue to cook until almost tender. Note: The Romanesco should be just shy of tender before you add the raisins. I added the raisins too soon the first time I made this dish and ended up picking them out of the pan so that the Romanesco could finish cooking.
  • Lower the heat to medium, add the raisins, a pinch of flake-style salt, and freshly ground pepper, then cook for 2 minutes so that the raisins can soften.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high, add the homemade vegetable stock or water to the pan, and allow everything to steam for about 1-2 minutes. The stock will evaporate quickly.
  • Transfer the Romanesco to a serving plate or bowl.
  • To serve, drizzle with the tahini dressing, sprinkle the sumac, then finish with sea salt to taste.
  • Finally, drizzle some highly quality olive oil over the top.
  • The Romanesco is great warm, room temperature, and even the cold leftovers are wonderful as a snack.

Source: Chic Eats

Veggie Feast (CSA) August 14, 2019

Notes from the Farm

Zucchini Plant

This week’s three recipes have one ingredient in common:  zucchini.  The zucchini plant starts out with one tiny seed and in a couple of months can grow to an impressive size and produces a lot of fruits (technically it is a fruit because it has a seed).  What to do with all of this produce?  Here are three recipe ideas below, ranging from a simple sautee (6 ingredients if you count the salt and pepper) to a beautiful zucchini galette (way more than 6 ingredients).  If none of these recipes look interesting The Smitten Kitchen blog has a load more ideas.  Have fun!

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Cucumbers, Green Beans, Basil, Sweet Onions, Carrots, Broccoli, Garlic, Zucchini and Yellow Squash

New This Week

Cucumber

Cucumbers are very refreshing on a hot summer day. As they sit, slicing cukes tend to soften, so they are best eaten fresh. Sliced thin, cucumbers are a treat on any sandwich or salad, served on a veggie platter or just eaten fresh with a sprinkling of salt. For a twist on a refreshing summer drink, add very thin slices of cucumber to sparkling water or as a garnish to gin and tonics.

Green Beans

Store unwashed fresh beans pods in a plastic bag kept in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans stored this way should keep for about seven days. Just prior to using the green beans, wash them under running water. Remove both ends of the beans by either snapping them off or cutting them with a knife. Green beans are a classic ingredient in Salad Nicoise, a French cold salad dish that combines steamed green beans with tuna fish and potatoes. Sautéd green beans are great with shiitake mushrooms. Or prepare the perennial favorite, green beans almondine, by sprinkling slivered almonds on healthy sautéed beans.

 

Basil

Fresh basil is very sensitive so if you have cold spots in your refrigerator, avoid those areas since the basil will turn brown quickly. Keep it well wrapped in the vegetable bin of your fridge. It will also brown if crushed by heavier vegetables, so put it on top of your veggie bin.

Recipes

Quick Zucchini Sautee

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced almonds
  • 1 medium or 2 small zucchinis, cut into 1/8-inch matchsticks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Peelings of pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)

Instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add enough oil to coat the pan well. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking, then add the almonds to the pan. Cook them, stirring, until the almonds are golden-brown, approximately a minute or two. Don’t skimp on this step; they provide a depth of flavor that carries the whole dish. Add the zucchini to the pan, tossing it with the oil and almonds until it just begins to glisten, about one minute. The idea is not to cook the zucchini so much as warm it so it begins to soften. Season well with salt and pepper, slide onto a plate, top with cheese (if using) and immediately dig in.

Source:  Smitten Kitchen

Hummus with Summer Squash (or Zucchini) and Lamb

Ingredients

Hummus

  • 2 15.5-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher salt

Lamb and Assembly

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp. ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 lb. summer squash and/or zucchini, cut into ¾” pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro

Instructions

  • Mix together salt, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes (if using) in a small bowl. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add lamb and press into a large 1¼”-thick patty; sprinkle with half of spice mixture and half of garlic. Cook, without moving, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn over in pieces and cook until other side is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, breaking up and stirring, until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, scoop lamb over hummus.

  • Pour out and discard fat and wipe out skillet. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over high. Cook squash in a single layer, undisturbed, until browned, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture and garlic and cook, stirring, until squash is coated and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Spoon squash over lamb. Drizzle with more oil and top with herbs. Serve with pita.

    Source:  Bon Appetit

Zuchinni and Ricotta Galette

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Filling:
1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

Glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Source: Smitten Kitchen