This Weeks Share: Mini-head Lettuce, Big Green (chard, kale or collards), Broccoli/Cauliflower, Cabbage, Onions, Garlic, Cucumber, Summer Squash, and some cutting Celery or some Fennel
- Lettuce: This week we have little lettuce heads for you. Enjoy the very mild and sweet concentrated flavors of these baby heads.
- A Big Green: Bright, colorful swiss chard, green-blue kale or collard greens grace the shares this week and hopefully your tummies via your tables in the days to come!
- Broccoli or Cauliflower: I’ve said it before, but it has been a good season for our broccoli and cauliflower. This week will be either broccoli, cauliflower or you may get a mixed bag. They both have very nice flavor and we hope you are enjoying so much of this in your diet like we are! The kids are putting away healthy amounts of steamed veggies this season and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s a link to a simple easy cauliflower recipe http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/simple-cauliflower-recipe.html . I like this blog in general and her journal style. The comments are always fun to read as well…she has quite the following of foodies 🙂
- Cabbage: Yep, you all get heads of cabbage this week as well. Have you made a cole-slaw lately? Here’s a good looking recipe http://blogchef.net/coleslaw-recipe/. How many of you tried making your own sauerkraut? I was new to the fermenting experience until this spring, (see blog post from mid June) and I truly love the way my kimchee and kraut has been coming out. I also love the idea (and the flavors) of eating food that is alive! I’m doing a couple jars again this week! Here are some impressive health benefits of cabbage http://healthwizard.in/foodhealth-related/health-benefits-of-cabbage.
- Onions: A few more onion bulbs find their way into your share this week. Many of you have commented on how much you like our onions, and that just makes us smile.
- Garlic: The first heads of garlic have started making there way into your shares! More thanks to some of you wonderful members who made it out last fall to help us plant this gorgeous garlic. Some very pretty purple, palm-size heads are turning up. Enjoy! Just in case you can’t be bothered to use individual cloves of garlic pieced out over several meals, why not roast it? If you haven’t tried roasted garlic, you must. The flavor is completely subdued and different than the pungent, firey flavor and aroma of raw garlic…. http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_garlic/. Roasted garlic is soft and spreadable like soft butter, just delicious with a sour loaf of bread! Yum!
- Cucumber: Mmmm fresh crisp cucumbers from the farm are a treat. A favorite summer memory of mine is cucumber and tomato sandwiches on whole wheat with mayo, salt and pepper. I love these, and am dreaming of them, but we have a little while to go before the summer brings us fresh tomatoes….hopefully we will still have some cucumbers around. I came across a fabulous recipe for baked cucumbers (yes! baked) in the Farmer John’s Cookbook by Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics (2006). Here is most of the complete excerpts from the page………….BAKED CUCUMBERS IN BASIL CREAM (pg. 101).
“When cucumbers are baked, their characteristic crispness gives way to a silky succlence. Bathed in a fragrant and creamy sauce, they become almost unrecognizeably luxurious…” ~Angelic Organics Kitchen
INGREDIENTS : 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar ~ 1 teaspoon salt ~ 1/4 teaspoon sugar ~ 4-5 cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch slices ~ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted ~ 1 scallion, finely chopped ~ 1 cup heavy cream ~ 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves ~ salt and fresh ground pepper
METHOD: 1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Mix the vinegar, salt, and sugar in medium glass bowel. Add the cucumber slices and toss to combine. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
3. Drain the cucumber slices in a colander, then pat them dry with a clean dish towel.
4. Put the cucumber slices in a shallow baking dish. Pour melted butter over them and add the scallions; toss to combine. Bake the cucumbers, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 45 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat the cream in a small pot until it comes to a light boil. Continue to cook the cream, stirring frequently, until it is reduced to half (1/2 a cup) about 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and let steep for 2 minutes.
6. Pour the basil cream sauce over the cooked cucumber slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-6.
- Summer Squash: We hope you are gladly utilizing the summer squash bounty….they will be coming to you for a while. We have several types, shapes and sizes to choose from. They all taste great and are relatively similar in flavor. They all are wonderful and fit into any meal grilled, sautéed or baked….however you prefer. I already have a couple zip-lock bags of shredded zucchini put up in the freezer for fall bread and muffins. The mix all gratin is truly a fool-proof and delicious way to prepare your squash for a fabulous meal http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/summer-squash-gratin-recipe.html.
- Cutting Celery 0r Fennel: Cutting celery is new to your shares and the fennel you have all seen before. Cutting celery has a bold, sweet celery flavor and it looks like a cross between Chervil and Parsley. Treat this celery as more of an herb than as a vegetable as its flavor is more intense (however, we have been doing some raw snacking and find it delightful). It is great to add to your favorite salad or soup. Place your bundle in a jar of water in the refrigerator or ice cold water on the counter top until you use it all. You can also hang to dry to use for seasoning later. Here is a link from Mariquita Farm about cutting celery http://www.mariquita.com/recipes/cuttingcelery.html. I like this farms thought provoking info. Their Potato Salad Recipe with this celery sounds delicious and I hope to try it soon. I also LOVE this celery! We were all eating it today and were so impressed on how mild it actually is. We hope you like it.
BERRY SHARE: Well here we are at Week 7 for our berry-share holders. Only 3 more to go. The blackberry season was very short with the heat this year. Some years it lasts longer than others…. this week we have our delicious blueberries for you. Packed with antioxidants and flavor these little gems are a favorite of our u-pickers and share-holders alike! Check out this crazy blueberry rosemary soup recipe….who would have thought? http://capitalspice.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/rosemary-blueberry-soup-would-you-could-you-in-a-bowl/.
FARM NEWS: Things are rolling along out here on the farm. On some levels it is hard for me to believe that we are already at week 10 of the 2010 CSA season. This time last year we had less food for you than we do this year….so an improvement in yield has been nice! It has been around week 12 of our past seasons when tomatoes start showing up in the share’s…..that seems pretty much on par of what it looks like this year. With tomatoes, peppers, corn, potatoes, beans, eggplant and much more still to come….it is hard to believe we are reaching the half-way point of the year! Hope you are enjoying this season as much as we are….it really has been a good looking bounty so far. It is great to hear from member’s that have been with us a while now, comment on how great everything is this year…..thank-you (you know who you are!). But just as much of a joy is to hear you new member’s praise us on quality, flavor and amount’s as well! We LOVE what we do and we LOVE you and your support!
Until the next time,
Your farmers….your farm.