This Week’s Share: Beets or Carrots, Mustard Greens, Garlic, A Brassica (Broccoli or Cauliflower or Cabbage), Summer Squash, Cucumber, Peppers, Tomatoes and Sweet Corn.
Beets or Carrots: Those are some gorgeous beets! And I think I bunched the largest carrot I have ever seen come out of our lovely clay soil today!
Mustard Greens: A delicate collection of Japanese mustard greens find the way into your share’s this week. The greens are slowly going to trickle back as the days get cooler. We are actually making it a mixed bag, with baby kale and bok choi as well as the mustards. You can safely call them braising greens…but some of you will enjoy them raw. Also, all the greens in the bag are very young and so even the mustards haven’t gained much in spiciness yet. Here is a gumbo recipe that is made with fresh mixed greens and file’ powder (a specialty spice of dried, ground sassafras leaves), which we don’t have, but the recipe is very nice without it! Add shrimp or chicken if you are into that.
Mixed Greens Gumbo from Eat Greens (thank-you Carol!!)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 yellow onions, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 tspn cayenne pepper
- 3 pounds mixed greens, rinsed and stemmed (baby stems are fine)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 Tbpn file’ powder (we used Cajun seasoning)
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes.
- Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, and garlic and cook stirring often for 8-10 minutes.
- Add 8 cups of water to the pot and stir in well. Add the Tabasco and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil. Add the mixed greens, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the greens are very soft and the water is absorbed, about 1 hour. Stir in the file’ powder. Enjoy!
* A side note on Greens (other than lettuce-greens). If you suspect the greens are too bitter (taste them raw), which can happen in older leaves of the plant, plunge them into boiling water for 1 minute before drainng them prior to cooking, sauteing, stir-fry…etc. Should remove any bitterness. I just learned this in the Eat Greens cookbook.
Garlic: I want to put up instructions for roasted garlic. I realize it isn’t common knowledge :).
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut off the top of your bulb (s). (pictured above)
- Cover and bake approximately 45-60 minutes or until cloves are browned at the exposed end and soft throughout.
- Remove from oven and drizzel with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Scoop roasted garlic out of skins with a butter knife and spread onto fresh bread (yep, it spreads like butter!). Love!
*You don’t need a fancy garlic dish with a lid to roast garlic. Simply set on cookie sheet or other bake-ware and then cover with foil.
Cucumber: We are still getting lovely yellow lemon cucumbers coming on, so we are still picking them. Most of you will get some Boothby’s Blond as well as Lemon. Although the larger cucumber do taste better when the thicker skin is peeled, I’m still not tasting bitter. Hope you are not either. Boothby’s Blond (the longer white one) always needs peeling though, and the moist seedy middle has a sharp lemony taste. The recipe below is basically cucumber pesto….and it’s great!
Teritar from Recipes from America’s Small Farms
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 medium cucumbers, peeled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine walnuts and garlic in food processor, chop and process to a paste.
- Cut cucumbers into large chunks; add to walnut mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Add the oil, vinegar, and salt; pulse until mixed but still chunky. Serve chilled or a cool room temperature. Enjoy on bread or crackers (with your roasted garlic above).
Summer Squash: The summer squash supply is tapering off, but will eventually be replaced with winter squash, which we think are even better. Enjoy the last of heirloom Italian and Middle Eastern zucchini’s, the paddy-pans and the yellow warty looking crooknecks. The smaller squash are the sweetest.
A Brassica: We are harvesting some cool looking broccoli and cauliflower right now. The purple broccoli is so beautiful and vivid, as well as the bright, spiraled, chartreuse Romanesco! Nature can be so incredible…the Fibonacci Series alive and well out in the fields…;-) Hope you are daring to try some of the cool looking ones. Local chefs are seeking them out. The flavors are simply delicious.
Peppers: A nice colorful mix of peppers for each of your bags….we have a wonderful pepper stand in our fields! We have the sweet bells and regular bells in great colors. Some Anaheim, relleno, banana, Jalapeno, and long cayenne will be available for you to take from. If you aren’t using all your peppers try roasting and preserving them, or stuff them and grill them.
Preserving Peppers adapted from Earth to Table and the internet…..Makes about 2 pints
- 8 red peppers, or really any colored peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup vinegar (any kind)
- Kosher salt
- Canning jars
- A chopstick or butter knife
- First wash, dry and then lightly oil your peppers. You can do this with hot peppers, too, but be sure to use thick-walled varieties such as jalapenos.
- Roast your peppers. Ideally this is over a smoky wood fire, on a grill. Second choice is a gas grill, third an open burner on a stove. Alternatively, arrange your peppers on a broiling pan and broil them. No matter what your heating method, you will need to turn your peppers from time to time as the skins char and blacken.
- When the peppers are mostly blackened, remove them to a paper grocery bag and roll up the bag to seal in the steam. You want to steam the peppers in their own juices. Let the bag sit for 20-40 minutes.
- After the peppers have cooled and steamed, take them out one at a time and remove the skins, stems and seeds. Have a little water running in the sink so you can wash your hands off periodically. Do NOT run the peppers under the water, as this robs them of flavor. Once each pepper is cleaned — get as many seeds out as you can! — put in a bowl. Do all the peppers before proceeding.
- In another bowl or small casserole pan pour in some vinegar. I use red wine, cider or sherry vinegar for red peppers (sherry when I want them to be Spanish, cider for Portuguese, red wine for Italian or Greek) and white wine for green peppers. Dredge each pepper through the vinegar a few times to get it good and coated. Place it in another bowl. Do this for all the peppers.
- Sprinkle the bowl of peppers with kosher salt and gently toss together like a salad. Sprinkle a little more salt and repeat. Sprinkle a little salt into the bowl with the pepper juice too — the original bowl.
- Gather canning jars and pour a little vinegar into each one; enough to cover the bottom of the jar. Pack in the peppers, leaving about 1/2 space at the top. Use a butter knife or chopstick to run down the sides of the jars, releasing air bubbles. You will notice the level of liquid drop. Add the salted pepper juice — but still leave room at the top of the jar.
- Once the air is out to the best of your ability and the vinegar-pepper juice it right at the top of the level of the peppers, pour in olive oil on top of everything to a depth of 1/4 inch. Screw the lids on the jars and you’re done. No sealing needed, although I sometimes place the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes just in case. I have not noticed a big difference either way. Once you open a jar, however, keep it in the fridge. It will last a year, although the peppers will soften over time. Add to salads, serve as a side or on bread.
Tomatoes: Oh, let me count the ways that I praise the summer farm-fresh tomatoes… then again no, I can’t count that high! I have made and canned the salsa. Now it’s time for marinara. The different types of tomatoes make a wonderful, sweet sauce and where you take it from there is up to you.
Sweet Corn: This will likely be the last of our corn. Enjoy it!
End of Summer Quiche from The Farm to Table Cookbook
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced 1/2 ” thick
- 2 ears corn, shucked
- One 9″ baked pie crust
- 1 bell pepper, roasted and chopped
- 2 ounces goat chees, crumbled
- 4 large eggs; 2 whole, 2 just the yolks
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Position the oven rack in the middle and preheat oven to 350. Heat the oil in a medium saute’ pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and saute’ stirring occasionally, until onion begins to caramelize, about 8 minutes.
- To shave the kernals from the corn, hold a cob upright at a slight angle on a cutting board and cut off the kernals with a sharp chef’s knife, being careful not to cut the cob. Add the kernals to the saute’ pan and cook for 1 minute. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet; add the corn mixture, bell pepper, and goat cheese.
- Whisk the egg yolks, eggs, half-and-half, salt, nutmeg, and a few grinds of pepper in a medium bowl. Pour mixture into the pie shell and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set and a knife inserted 1″ from edge comes out clean (the filling will continue to set after the quiche is removed from the oven). Allow the quiche to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
FARM NEWS: Things are great out here on the far-west-side. The hummingbirds are still busy in our yard and around the farm. Even though some plants and flowers are going to seed and we have started collecting seeds here and there. The air is feeling crisp in the mornings instead of hot and heavy, and our first born is about finished with her first week of pre-school.
Summer is ending and Fall is beginning…transitions. The introductory days of Autumn bring anticipation for the new (and even Holidays), as well as longing for the last hot days we’ll be seeing for some time. On the plus side, I haven’t watered the flower beds in several days…and may just let them go at this point. I have a lot bigger things to do, like the humongous pile of laundry which has gathered at the washerrrr. New school days for little ones can be incredibly busy, and full, along with an already busy and full schedule. We haven’t really been able to slow down the irrigation in the fields yet, but that will be here before we know it.
If you want extra vegetables for a large batch of salsa or marinara yourself, please ask! We are getting some requests now and trying to get you everything you order up. We love the idea of supplying your tomatoes, garlic, peppers, dill, basil…whatever you want in bulk for your preserving needs and family feeds. 😉 Yep. Just like the berries, kindly speak up via email or phone call.
Please save the date for our Annual Fall Harvest Gathering/Work Party on October 15th. We hope to see many of you out here. I’m working on getting a flyer out with all the details shortly. Here is the Facebook Event page the we created for it, if you’re in to that http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=230417643676580 , check out our page and let us know you’ll make it. We hope your week is going well so far. And that maybe just maybe some farm fresh, chemical-free, delicious tasting, colorfully pretty foods may help make it a little better!
Farmer Kip, Farmer Amy and the mini-farmer’s appreciate your support!