WEEK 8: July 6 – July 12, 2009 CSA Newsletter

This Week’s Share:   Head Lettuce, Chard or Spigariello greens, Allium Mix, bag of Fava Beans and Summer Squash.

 Week 8

Recipes, Information and Suggestions: 

 New to your share this week are the ‘Sweet Diane’ Fava Beans.  This particular variety is grown tender enough, that only in the very large pods will you find the need to also ‘skin’  the bean itself.  Meaning you can mostly just remove the beans from the pods and you’re good to go. The larger beans will have an outer cover which should also be removed, or ‘skinned’  as follows……In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Take the shucked fava beans and blanch them for about 30-45 seconds. Drain them into a colander and let them cool. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove their waxy, whiteish shells (skins). Now they’re ready for your favorite recipe.   

While stringing and shucking, and then skinning the beans is a bit labor-intensive, it’s one of those activities that’s all but made for summer, particularly if you have a porch, some time on your hands and a glass of something cold by your side.  Fava beans are one of the oldest plants under cultivation, and they were eaten in ancient Greece and Rome. Despite the name, fava beans are a member of the pea family, though they are also known as broad beans, pigeon beans, horse beans, and windsor beans. They are popular in Mediterranean cuisine, with many summer dishes celebrating the seasonal bean, although they are also dried for winter use. Fresh consumption Fava’s are usually planted in February and come to peak in July.

Fava beans have a distinct flavor and creamy texture that makes them a great addition to a wide variety of dishes. When the flat, wide beans are shelled and blanched, they adopt a vibrant grassy hue and buttery texture that enriches any meal, and their rapid cooking time makes it easy to incorporate them into a quick weeknight dinner — or into lunch the following day. The following link has 9 different ways to try and enjoy these tasty beans….and then the link below that is for the griller’s who can’t be bothered with the labor at all…….Enjoy!

http://www.seasonalchef.com/recipe0506b.htm

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/grilled-fava-beans-recipe.html

Also new to everyone’s share this week you’ll find some lovely Summer Squash. Finally, these very versatile veggies have started to come to a size and form perfect for the grill, a saute or your favorite sauces. Herein begins the squash season which can last in the vegetable share for weeks to come…weather and season depending. We are growing zucchini’s, Romanesco’s, heirloom round varieties, crookneck’s, and patty-pan’s and even varieties of those therein. All the individual squash flavor’s are akin to the traditional zucchini most everyone is used to. All the squash can be used  in relatively similar ways and recipes…..even including bread! We enjoy the diversity of the different fruit types and growth forms. Also, the types of strains we grow are best for local consumption. The squash skins are not as thick (not meant to ship across the country) and so the flavors can be more pronounced. We hope you enjoy whichever squash you receive. Here’s a nice summer squash recipe  that is simple and flavorful….

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/zucchini_summer_squash_gratin.aspx

Many recipes call for fresh squash, yet it also can store well too. Stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, they should keep for a week. Freezing softens the flesh of the squash, but it will still be usable in casseroles and other dishes where crispness is not important. Blanch cut up summer squash 2 minutes before freezing, and store in the freezer for up to 4 months. For breads, freeze the raw squash whole or grated.

This week you will also find a bag of greens, either Chard or  Spigariello greens. We have had chard for you often as of late, and it is essentially beet greens, bred for greens rather than beets. The Spigariello greens have appeared in the share before as well. They are Italian broccoli greens (see the WEEK  3 Newsletter) and can be used just like Kale.  Hopefully, either green will find a welcomed place at your table this week. They both will make a nice braised or warmed greens dish.

The Allium Mix  in your share this week will be any of the Allium’s you have likely seen before, onions, garlic scapes, or leeks, or even an combination of those. Lettuce remains in the vegetable share this week….one head of the various types we grow.

BERRY-SHARE:  Members will receive two pints of ‘Black-cap’ Raspberries, or ‘Metolius’ Blackberries for their berry-share this week. Even less likely but not improbable, Blueberries might make the berry share later in the week. This is week 4 of our 10 week berry-share.

FARM NEWS:  Wow, what a change in the weather this week! Today brought intermittent mists between brief sun appearances, a very welcomed change compared to the high temperatures of last week and the weekend. This is wonderful weather for farming….the heat can be nice too, but this week is more ideal. It’s best to have foods ripen gradually and to not stress about water requirements, but mother nature often has other plans.

With summer squash and fava beans appearing in the share now, the summer diversity seems to begin. Towards the end of July we usually have tomatoes, and hopefully some other fresh beans and cucumber soon.

We are working on the date for our summer member gathering and should be able to post that soon. I also am going through some favorite photos of our season so far, and hope to get them on the blog by next week.

Have a great week and enjoy the cooler days…..until next time!

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