Week 7 ~ July 9 – July 15, 2012 CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share: Peas or Pods, Summer Squash, a Brassica, a Big Green, Mixed Lettuce, Cilantro, and Head of Endive or Lettuce.

Peas or Pods: As our Spring sugar-snap and snow pea bounty starts to die down in the heat we have less to offer. However more radish pods are plump and plentiful. We are having a combo item this week of either a bag of peas or a bag of the radish pods you tried last week. We hope to offer everyone the choice. Two totally different flavors, but both completely snack-able or can make a nice side dish, depending on your palette.

Summer Squash: These tasty harbinger’s of summer time bounty truly can squeeze into any meal. We are mostly still harvesting the various types of zucchini’s. They don’t all look like the one’s in the store mainly because we enjoy the seed versatility available of the summer squash and several dependable one’s exist to choose from. They all taste similar, if not exactly like the zucchini you’ll find in the store, but much fresher. We enjoy them simply lightly sautee’d and often. However, if I overcook them and they become mushy, my daughters won’t eat them. They are tender enough to be done in 4 minutes in a skillet with olive oil and salt on medium-high. Member Nichole sent us a great recipe for Zuc Chips which I adapted slightly below. If you like your kale chips, I think you’ll love these! The key is lengthy baking in lower temperature to get them nice and crisp.

Baked Zucchini Chips adapted from Vittles and Bits

  • 2-3 zucchini
  • canola or olive oil
  • seasoned salt, or other seasoning(s) of your choice
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil, and brush with oil.  Set aside.
  2. Slice zucchini into thin medallions, about the thickness of a quarter.  (You can either use a knife & a very steady hand, or a mandoline slicer.)
  3. Lay out slices on prepared baking sheet, and lightly brush tops with additional oil.  Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. (A note on seasoning, however – use LESS than what seems appropriate. These shrink considerably in the oven, and if you use too much it gets very concentrated.  It’s better to end up under seasoning and add more later.)
  4. Place in preheated oven and bake 45 minutes.  Rotate baking sheet, and bake an additional 30-50 minutes, until chips are browned and crisped to your liking.  These are best eaten within a couple hours of removing from the oven (or place in zip-lock bag), as they start to get chewy if left out.  3 small zucchini make up to 1 cup of chips.

A Brassica: Either a cabbage, bunch kholrabi, the first of our broccoli and possibly even some turnips makes it into your share this week. A ‘Brassica’ is the term we use for this plant family, of which many farm vegetables are in. It is actually the formal family name Brassicaceae. Informally, they are known as the mustards, or the crucifers, or the cabbages. For you, this will mean cabbage, kolhrabi, broccoli, cauliflower, Romanesco, turnips or turnip rapini (raab). When we are referring to this term, it mostly will mean for you something other than greens.

A Big Green: Most of you tried the Komatsuna mustard greens last week. Hopefully you found them deliciously mild. They are also known as Japanese Mustard Spinach and usually stir-fried, pickled, boiled and added to soups or used fresh in salads. It is an excellent source of calcium. We will be harvesting more of that for you this week along with some Choi’s. Two fairly mild, sweet and delicious greens for your leafy vegetable pick. Lightly saute’ them and avoid over mushing (cooking). The stems are great for snacking, or if cooked, will need a longer cooking time. I put this ‘Farm Salad’ recipe up last year and hope to get it on the recipe page of our site one day. We have substituted the watercress for cilantro and our endive for their Escarole. If you take the time to make this delicious, favorite salad’s pear dressing you are in for a delightful treat! Be forewarned that you will need a half dozen to 7 pears for the salad and the dressing combined. Totally worth it.

Farm Salad with Escarole, Watercress, Pears, Hazelnuts and Blue Cheese from Recipes from Americas Small Farms

  • 1/3 cup blanched whole hazelnuts
  • roasted pear vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 1 head escarole, rinsed and leaves torn (1 bag Endive/Escarole mix works perfect)
  • 1 bunch watercress, rinsed, drained and trimmed of tough stems
  • 4 Bosc pears, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Sea salt and fresh milled pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spread hazelnuts on rimmed baking sheet and roast until they turn golden, 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette; measure 3/4 cup into a large bowl. Refrigerate the remaining vinaigrette for another use.
  3. Add the escarole, watercress, pears, hazelnuts and salt and pepper to taste into the bowl and toss to combine with vinaigrette.
  4. Place on individual chilled serving plates (6-8) and top each with crumbled blue cheese.

Roasted Pear Vinaigrette

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Peel, quarter and core 3 Bosc pears. Arrange them in a roasting pan; sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp sugar, and sea salt and fresh milled pepper to taste. Roast for about 20 minute,s or until tender.
  2. Remove pears and place in blender. Add 1/2 cup pear or cider vinegar and 1/4 cup apple juice to the roasting pan and whisk around to mix and loosen the drippings from pan. Pour the mixture into the blender. Add 1 tsp honey, and a dash of vanilla extract; DO NOT BLEND until cool.
  3. Blend until the pears are smooth and while blending gradually add 1 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup hazelnut oil. Taste and adjust your seasonings. Makes about 3 cups of Roasted Pear Vinaigrette.

Mixed Lettuce: Another mixed lettuce selection for everyone this week a.k.a your ‘go-to-salad-in-a-bag’.

Cilantro: Another week of this versatile herb for your table. Have you tried the cilantro pesto yet?

Head Endive or Lettuce: More heads are rolling out of the fields and into your kitchens. The Endive is delicious with barely a hint of bitterness, yet holding nice complexity, while the mild lettuces are perfectly pleasant and crisp. Many to choose from. Let the head soak in water once you get it home to make sure you remove any residual creatures that may have hitched a ride. Here is a very general recipe for leafy greens. You can do your endive, chard, kale or mustards like the recipe below.

Sauteed Leafy Greens from Lucid Food

  • 1 bunch leafy greens
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced (or your bunch of garlic tops)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Slice out any fibrous inner stems of your greens and discard. Coarsely chop greens, making sure there are no long strands, then submerge them in cold water (sink works great!). Swish them around the water thoroughly and then place in colander. No need to dry them. The water helps the cooking process.
  2. Heat a large saute’ pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Throw in half of the greens, saute’ them for 30 seconds (until they have shrank some), then add the other half.
  3. Saute’ until leaves are tender, but still bright green, about 3 minutes (but can be up to 10 minutes  for heavy kale’s and collards). Add dash of salt as you cook. Add the garlic and saute’ for 1 minute more.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes if using them. Serve hot, seasoned with just lemon juice and freshly ground pepper. Personally I usually cannot help but add my homemade Italian dressing before serving. I’ll post the recipe some time, but it is just a light basic oil and vinegar dressing. Eat those greens!

Lettuce-Share: This week we are harvesting delicious Swiss Chard for Lettuce-Share folks.

Berry-Share: It’s back! Nice ripening happening across the fields now with all this sunshine. Berry-share member’s will delight in either black-raspberries, Marionberries or Black Diamond blackberries. Two full pints of tasty Oregon berries. Thoughts of doubling berry-share this week have been pushed ahead into next week instead. F.Y.I to be ready.

FARM NEWS: Summer is here! We are so grateful for this sunshine….things are growin’, and it’s a showin’.  We can start to see some shifts in the field and food is slowing starting to form. Berries and plums are ripening and root crops are growing nicely as well. Our one small bee-hive has swarmed three times now, and I still don’t have the new hive’s in place. We are needing to get on that sooner than later. The trick for us now is getting all the irrigation lines moved around the field in a timely manner to keep things watered and happy. That along with all the hoeing is keeping us very busy! We have a great and bountiful season of food lined up for you, more of which you will start to see in the share’s soon. Of course barring any natural major catastrophes, which won’t happen, so no worries. Next week we are planning to bring you all berries, with Berry-share members doubling up as well. I’ll have berries up to my ears in the delivery wagon! We hope you are getting into the swing of eating up your vegetables before your new share comes home. And feeling great in the process! We are finally getting into the swing of cooking or preparing raw all the veggies this season and our health and energy levels feel wonderful. More recipes tonight, so please check back……until then…Thank-you!

Your loving Farmer’s,

Kip and Amy and the rest of the farm crew!

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