Week 11 ~ August 6-August 12, 2012 CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Half-Share: Sweet Corn, Bunch Beets w/greens, Cucumber, Summer Squash, A Brassica (Cabbage or Broccoli), A Big Green, Lettuce and Garlic.

Sweet Corn: We are picking the very first, tender but darn tasty, ears of our corn for you this week. We ask ourselves do we want it this week, or should we wait a week? Then we both tried it and exclaimed ‘why wait’?! We usually start to pick it about now, when the very tip of the ear is still a little white and not fully fattened out. It’s the most tender right now. It barely needs cooked. Three minutes hard boiled max. Enjoy!

Beets: I am so happy to put some beets in the share this week! These tasty red morsels of goodness are one of my favorite things. We are harvesting with greens on, as they have managed to look pretty good through the weeks. So if you are unfamiliar, your beet greens are, in essence chard greens, and can be treated as such added to salads or gently braised. I adore them raw….munch, munch…munch. The thing about the earthy-sweet flavor of beets makes them perfect companions to strong flavored cheese, like feta or blue cheese. Here is a delightful beet recipe to try.

Ruby Salad with Crumbled Feta and Spicy Pepitas from Cooking In Season

FOR THE BEETS:

  • 1 bunch beets (4-5 small), trimmed and scrubbed
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary, or 3fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE:

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

FOR THE SPICY PEPITAS:

  • 6 ounces pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon corn or peanut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure chili powder (ancho or New Mexico)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 4 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1 small head)
  • 1 medium sized red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces (4 cups) mixed baby greens (beet greens work well too!)
  • 6 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  1. Roast the beets: Heat the oven to 400*F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Put the beets, herbs, salt and a drizzle of olive oil in the center; toss to coat. Fold the foil into a loose-fitting but tightly sealed packet around the beets. Roast on the sheet until beets are tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let the beets cool completely in the foil. When cool, use a paring knife to peel and slice the beets into wedges (6-8 per beet). Roasting the beets can be done up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.
  2. Make the Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil.
  3. Toast the Pepitas: Heat the oven to 375*F. In a small bowl, toss the pepitas with the oil, chile powder, and salt. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until golden and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes (you’ll hear them popping). Let cool completely on the baking sheet. If making ahead, store in an airtight container.
  4. Make the Salad: Combine the cabbage and onion in a medium bowl and set aside. Up to an hour before serving, the the beet wedges to the cabbage and onion; toss gently with half of the vinaigrette. Just before serving, and the baby greens, half of the feta, and half of the pepitas; toss with the remaining vinaigrette. Arrange on a big serving platter and garnish with the remaining feta and pepitas.

Cucumber: More tasty, cool, crisp cucumbers. Make your family some fresh couscous or orzo and add peeled, diced cucumber, diced feta, torn mint leaves, lemon juice and olive oil with sea salt and pepper to taste….yum.

Summer Squash: Tasty summer squash continues to be your feeding friend! Try this  Zucchini Caponata taste delight this week. It’s a light dish which works great as a starter with crusty bread or a nice side with a grilled steak or lamb.

Zucchini Caponata from Eat Greens

  • 3 medium zucchini (or any summer squash, about 3-4 cups)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 1 cup canned chopped organic tomatoes in their juices
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  1. Trim and quarter the zucchini lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. In a large skillet, saute’ the zucchini stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 Tblsp oil to the pan and reduce the heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the celery and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the zucchini, vinegar, capers, olives, sugar and pepper to taste and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  7. Taste. Adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Serve at once or chill for a few hours or overnight and serve cold or at room temperature. The caponata will keep in the refrigerator covered for five days.

A Brassica: Mostly we are harvesting full-size cabbage and broccoli crowns. Hope those will work in your menu.

A Big Green: We are harvesting lovely kale and young collard greens this week for most of your big greens. Cook with your beet greens for a wonderful taste delight.

Lettuce: Nice mixed bags of crisp lettuce for everyone’s salad this week. After hounding members Terry and Violet for the recipe to Wilted Lettuce Salad and dressing, I got my hands on it and tried it. Fabulous! If you are a bacon eater, you have to try this, it’s delicious. We couldn’t help ourselves to add our raw, fresh, young-cured garlic to the dressing. It was sublime. Violet’s original recipe has no garlic.

Wilted Lettuce Dressing / Salad   adapted from Terry and Violet Thetford of Forest Grove, Oregon

  • vinegar (your choice…cider, balsamic, rice wine, infused…)
  • water
  • sugar
  • 3 cloves ‘fresh garlic’, finely chopped
  • 3-5 strips fried bacon, cut into crunchy bits with grease saved
  • Nice platter of lettuce greens, rinsed and dried
  1. Prepare the dressing: Use approximately equal amounts of vinegar and sugar. Should have tang, not sweet, but on the cusp of the two. Use water as desired to dilute the tartness of the vinegar. Add garlic and whisk together.
  2. Add the bits of bacon to your lettuce. Re-heat 1 tablespoon bacon grease and add dressing mix, heating all of it together in a small sauce-pan. Add more grease, for more flavor, as desired. Bring to a quick boil, mixing thoroughly.
  3. Drizzle hot dressing over the greens, wilting them. Toss lightly to evenly coat. Serve immediately. Only use enough greens for one meal, as the wilted green salad will not hold over. The dressing will store for a couple weeks. Heat dressing up before re-using.

Garlic: Still MMmmm great tasting fresh, young-aged garlic for your cooking pleasure. More if you want it.

LETTUCE-SHARE: Bags of Chard for you this week.

BERRY-SHARE: Four pints of our delicious blueberries for weeks 8 & 9 of berry-share this week. One more week to go with our berry-share after this week.

FARM NEWS: It’s been hot. You have been feeling it too. The heat is on. Sometimes muggy, sometimes scorching, but never-the-less clothes sticking, sweat-dripping HOT. It doesn’t look like there is any rain to be had in the forseeable future either. We have been struggling to keep things watered, diligently moving our five water lines around our fields in constant rotation. We weren’t able to get our new drip system fully activated this spring before busy time was upon us. That will eventually help save time and energy with watering. Ah well, another chore for this winter. We are starting to add tasks to the ‘off-season’ ‘to-do’ list. It is starting to feel, but dare I even say, like the slight jabs of Autumn are nipping at our heels. It’s August. Back-to-school is already getting air-play and families are squeezing in those last, end of summer getaways. We are serving up sweet corn and tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and beans are all right around the corner. We have a nice looking bottom half of our season ahead for you.

Save The Date ~ PICKLE PARTY with the Love Farm ~ Sunday August 19th, 2012 ~ 9:00 a.m – ?

We had to move the party day to Sunday. Hopefully this will work out even better for some of you. Our apologies if this now prevents you from coming. We have a wedding to attend Saturday. We will get an early start. Bring your own jars, ready to go and we’ll provide the rest. $8.00 a head should cover our costs. Please RSVP us so we can plan accordingly.

Thanks for your support Members! Enjoy your blueberries this week, those of you getting them. The rest of you, please enjoy the sunshine! Or find some delightful shade….

Until next time…. 😉

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