Week 20 (10/9 &12)

 

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers (full shares), tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, RAINBOW CARROTS, potatoes, eggplant, Florence fennel, onions, and lettuce. 

LAST WEEK SOMEONE LEFT A CASH PAYMENT IN AN ENVELOPE IN THEIR BASKET WITHOUT PUTTING THEIR NAME ON IT.  PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF IT WAS YOU SO I CAN PROPERLY CREDIT YOUR ACCOUNT.

PUMPKIN PICK UP WEEKEND this year will be October 20th & 21st.  This is the time we set aside for you all to come out to the farm, choose a carving pumpkin (and gourds and odd squash) and enjoy the farm.  We will have farm tours, apple cider pressing, and a pot luck lunch that includes pizza from our wood-fired oven.  I will, of course, be making pumpkin pie pizza, which is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Make plans now to come out one of those days anytime from 11:00 to 4:00.

Amana Ranch, the farm we have been getting eggs from this year, also sells pastured chickens and turkeys.  They would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase frozen chickens.  We’ve tried them and the chicken was tender and juicy and very flavorful.  While we are not able to deliver them with your veggies, you can pick them up at their farm near Cornelius, at a pick-up location in Portland, or if there is sufficient interest, we can have a pick up at our farm.  This latter option could work very well for Thanksgiving turkeys.  Please check out their web site for details and ordering (amanaranch.com).

With the weather turning to fall, these two fennel recipes stood out as timely and tasty.

 LINGUINE WITH FENNEL AND TUNA

1 lb. linguine

2 medium fennel bulbs

3 Tbs. olive oil

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. capers

2 6-oz. cans solid light tuna

salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and return to pot; reserve ½ cup pasta water.  Trim the fennel bulbs, reserving ¼ chopped fronds.  Quarter, core and thinly slice bulbs crosswise; cook in 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat until golden, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Add to pasta along with fronds, lemon juice, capers, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, and the reserved pasta water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Flake in the tuna.  Gently toss.  Serves 4-6. From Everyday Food  October 2003.

ZUPPA DI CECI E FINOCCHIO ALLA SARDA

(Sardinian Chickpea and Fennel Soup)

2 1/2 cups chickpeas

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1 large bulb fennel

2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chopped parsley

3 Tbsp. minced fennel leaves

1 large potato, diced

2 cups peeled, seeded tomatoes

1/4 cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

1 tbsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 cups boiling water

1 cup tubular pasta

Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and drain.  Trim the fennel, halve it, and slice thinly cross wise.  Chop tomatoes.  In a soup kettle over low heat, warm the oil.  Add the onion, garlic, and the 2 tbsp. of parsley; cover and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, add the fennel bulb and leaves and the potato and sauté for an additional 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and then the chickpeas and boiling water.  Stir well, cover, and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the pasta and continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is just tender. Correct for salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in the 1 tsp. parsley and the 1/4 cup cheese. (From The Vegetarian Table: Italy).

We love the look of the rainbow carrots.  While we still have plenty of the variety we have been giving recently, the rainbow carrots are at their best right now and we wanted to share them with you at their peak.  Enjoy!

Week #19 (10/2 & 5)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, red cabbage, beets, sweet corn, basil, and garlic 

PUMPKIN PICK UP WEEKEND this year will be October 20th & 21st.  This is the time we set aside for you all to come out to the farm, choose a carving pumpkin (and gourds and odd squash) and enjoy the farm.  We will have farm tours, apple cider pressing, and a pot luck lunch that includes pizza from our wood-fired oven.  I will, of course, be making pumpkin pie pizza, which is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Make plans now to come out one of those days anytime from 11:00 to 4:00.

Amana Ranch, the farm we have been getting eggs from this year, also sells pastured chickens and turkeys.  They would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase frozen chickens.  We’ve tried them and the chicken was tender and juicy and very flavorful.  While we are not able to deliver them with your veggies, you can pick them up at their farm near Cornelius, at a pick-up location in Portland, or if there is sufficient interest, we can have a pick up at our farm.  This latter option could work very well for Thanksgiving turkeys.  Please check out their web site for details and ordering (amanaranch.com).

This is a great  recipe that was passed along to us by a long-time subscriber.  As the saying goes “try it, you’ll like it”.

MAYE’S RED CABBAGE SALAD

2 lbs. red cabbage

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 ½ lbs. tart green apples, peeled, quartered, and sliced

½ c. butter (I use less)

1 t. salt

2 T. brown sugar

2 T. cider vinegar

¼ t. cloves

pinch cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

black pepper to taste

¾ c. beer

Sauté the cabbage, onions and apples in the butter for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover, lower the heat, and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The cabbage can be served at this point but improves if allowed to cool and reheated several hours later or the next day.  From The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two by Anna Thomas

We’ve made a variation on the salad below by eliminating the apple and starting the whole process by cooking a few strips of bacon in the pan before sautéing the onion.  We add the vinegar at the end.

WARM RED CABBAGE SALAD

¾ cup walnuts

2 tsp. walnut oil

salt

pepper

1 small red cabbage

1 crisp red apple

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 ½ Tbsp. olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3-4 oz. goat cheese, broken into large pieces

1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

½ tsp. marjoram, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix walnut pieces with walnut oil, some salt and freshly-ground pepper,  Toast them in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until they begin to smell nutty.  Let them cool.  Quarter the cabbage, core, and slice thinly crosswise.  Cut the apple into sixths, core, then slice thinly crosswise.  Put the garlic, vinegar, and oil in a wide saute pan over medium-high heat.  As soon as they are hot, add onion and saute for 30 seconds.  Add cabbage and continue to cook, stirring, for approximately 2 minutes, until just wilted.  Season with salt, plenty of pepper, and more vinegar, if necessary, to sharpen the flavors.  Add the goat cheese, apple, herbs, and walnuts.  Toss briefly and serve.  Serves four to six.  From The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown

BEET RISOTTO WITH GREENS AND FETA

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 ¼ c. chopped onion

1 ½ c. arborio rice

1 ½ Tbs. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. crumbled dried rosemary

½ c. red wine

3 ½ cups finely chopped peeled beets

2 vegetable bouillon cubes

3 c. water

3 ½ c. chopped greens

4 oz. feta cheese

½ c. chopped toasted walnuts

To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they barely start to brown.  Stir often to avoid scorching.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add onion and cook until translucent.  Add ginger, rosemary and rice, stir to coat and cook a minute or two.  Add wine and cook until wine is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add beets, bouillon cubes and water.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until beets are tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in greens and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.  Add cheese and stir until blended.  Sprinkle each serving with toasted walnuts.  Makes 8 servings.

Week #18 (9/25 & 28)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, SPAGHETTI SQUASH, sweet corn, and onions 

PUMPKIN PICK UP WEEKEND this year will be October 20th & 21st.  This is the time we set aside for you all to come out to the farm, choose a carving pumpkin (and gourds and odd squash) and enjoy the farm.  We will have farm tours, apple cider pressing, and a pot luck lunch that includes pizza from our wood-fired oven.  I will, of course, be making pumpkin pie pizza, which is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Make plans now to come out one of those days anytime from 11:00 to 4:00.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH TIPS

The SPAGHETTI SQUASH, or vegetable spaghetti, is one of our favorite squashes.  If you think of it as you do most winter squashes you might be disappointed in it.  On the other hand, if you consider it a low-calorie, crisp-textured, and gluten-free alternative to pasta, you will start to understand its place on your plate.  It is excellent with any sauce you would use on regular pasta, especially primavera types.  There are two ways to cook it; boiling and baking.  In both cases the squash should be left whole.  For boiling drop into boiling water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.  When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.  To bake, prick squash and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hrs. or until tender.  When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half length-wise, remove seeds, then with a fork “comb” the squash flesh.  The spaghetti will pull off in long strands.

AUTUMN RAGU

1 onion

1 Florence fennel bulb, chopped

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs olive oil

1 zucchini

1 sweet pepper

4 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Chop all vegetables (approx. ¼ inch).  Peel tomatoes, if desired.  Saute onion  in butter and olive oil until translucent.  Add zucchini, sweet pepper, fennel, and garlic and sauté five minutes longer.  Add tomatoes, cover and cook twenty minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper.  Serve over any pasta or firm white fish.  This recipe can be expanded with carrots, celery, beans or just about any other vegetable you like.

We were a bit deceived by our late season corn this week.  We had hoped to have Silver Queen white corn for you, but it didn’t quite ripen in time.  The ears this week are mostly from plants we transplanted to fill in where the direct seeded plants failed to germinate.  They are probably best cut off the cob and used in a recipe like the sauce above (though we ate it as corn on the cob and enjoyed it)

FAST SAUTÉ OF FENNEL AND MUSHROOMS

1 large fennel (with leaves)

1/2 lb whole mushrooms

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

salt & pepper

Thinly slice fennel, discarding any hard core.  Mince 1/2 cup of the leaves and set aside.  Slice mushrooms to same thickness as fennel.  Heat 1 Tbsp. butter and oil in a sauté pan.  Add mushrooms and cook over medium high heat until brown.  Remove and set aside.  Add remaining butter and fennel to pan.  Cook over medium heat until softened but still crunchy.  Add mushrooms, stir together.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in minced fennel leaves. (From The Victory Garden Cookbook)

Amana Ranch, the farm we have been getting eggs from this year, also sells pastured chickens and turkeys.  They would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase frozen chickens.  We’ve tried them and the chicken was tender and juicy and very flavorful.  While we are not able to deliver them with your veggies, you can pick them up at their farm near Cornelius, at a pick-up location in Portland, or if there is sufficient interest, we can have a pick up at our farm.  This latter option could work very well for Thanksgiving turkeys.  Please check out their web site for details and ordering (amanaranch.com).

Week #17 (9/18 & 21)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, beets, RED CABBAGE, TOMATILLOS (full shares), eggplant (half shares), basil, and onions 

PUMPKIN PICK UP WEEKEND this year will be October 20th & 21st.  This is the time we set aside for you all to come out to the farm, choose a carving pumpkin (and gourds and odd squash) and enjoy the farm.  We will have farm tours, apple cider pressing, and a pot luck lunch that includes pizza from our wood-fired oven.  I will, of course, be making pumpkin pie pizza, which is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Make plans now to come out one of those days anytime from 11:00 to 4:00.

It has been a funny summer in some ways.  Related crops (in this case tomatoes and eggplant) which are growing right next to each other and were fertilized exactly the same have performed very differently.  As you can see from your basket today, tomato yields continue to be heavy, whereas this is only the second time we’ve been able to harvest eggplant and each time it has only been for some of our baskets. We’re baffled, especially after the great eggplant we had last year.  In any case, you can find good eggplant recipes on our web site.

TOMATILLOS are doing well.  Counterintuitively, tomatillos are NOT related to tomatoes.  Tomatillos are most commonly used in salsa, but are very versatile.  Check out our web site for recipes.

CABBAGE & CHICKPEA SALAD

This quick and easy salad combines chickpeas, chopped red cabbage, tomatoes, and onions in a tahini salad dressing, or substitute your favorite dressing.

2 (16 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cups chopped red cabbage

1 cup chopped tomato

2 tablespoons chopped onion

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup tahini salad dressing (see below)

Combine chickpeas, red cabbage, tomato, and onion in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with salad dressing until ingredients are evenly coated.

TAHINI DRESSING

1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)

1/2 lemon, juiced

2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

3-4 Tbsp good olive oil

salt and pepper

Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine

OK, for those of you that have been storing up all those beets, wondering when the right recipe would come along, this is it! It sounds weird, but it’s always been a hit when we make it.

CHOCOLATE BEET CAKE

1 ¼ c. beet puree (see below)

3 eggs

½ c. vegetable oil

½ tsp. salt

¾ c. cocoa powder

1 ½ c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ c. flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

Beet puree can be made ahead of time. Basically, you need to cook beets until they can be easily pierced with a fork. You can roast whole in silver foil (this takes about an hour) or chunk and boil. Either peel before cooking (if boiling) or after (if roasting). Puree cooked beets in blender or food processor. You want the puree to be pretty thick, but you can add a touch of cooking water to make them whirl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan (or 8-9” square pan). In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in sugar, oil, vanilla, salt and beet puree. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa and soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

 

Week #16 (9/11 & 14)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, sweet corn, Florence fennel. 

Florence fennel is a relative of carrots and parsnips that has an anise-like flavor.  Cooked, it pairs well with fish.  It can also be raw in salads where it compliments heartier greens like kale or endive as well as avocado.  In Israel, fennel salad is made of chopped fennel bulbs flavored with salt, black pepper, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and sometimes sumac.  These recipes are also great ways to use your fennel. If you use the bulb, remember to keep the fronds to flavor dishes.  You can keep them in the fridge or hang them in a warm dry place for a few days to dry and then store them in herb bottles.

GREEN BEANS AND FENNEL RAGOUT

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

3 Tbs. olive oil

3 cups chopped tomatoes

3 large potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 cup water

1 lb green beans

2 cups fennel in 1/4 inch slices

2 pinches saffron threads

1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the potatoes and tomatoes, thyme and water.  Cover and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Stem the beans and cut to 1 inch pieces.  Add the beans and sliced fennel to the pot along with saffron, orange peel and lemon juice.  Simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and beans are tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  This recipe can be served with hearty peasant style bread and soft cheese like chevre or brie.  The flavors also meld nicely over time and so this dish is great as a leftover.

CUCUMBER & FENNEL WITH ORANGE-MINT DRESSING

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely slivered

1 Granny Smith apple, sliced

2 tsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. toasted walnuts, chopped 

For the vinaigrette:

2 Tbsp. orange juice

2 Tbsp. walnut oil

1 Tbsp. fresh mint

1 Tbsp. cilantro

1/8 tsp. paprika

salt and pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients except walnuts in a salad bowl and gently mix. In a small bowl, whisk all vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and pour over salad. Serve immediately or marinate, covered in fridge, for 1-2 hours. Before serving, toss and garnish with toasted nuts. From Yamuna’s Table by Yamuna Devi.

If you are getting tired of corn on the cob (I have heard that this is possible, though I have no personal experience with that phenomenon) this is a good recipe to use your corn.  It can be use with green as well as red peppers (I happen to think having both red and green peppers along with the yellow corn makes for a better looking dish).  On another note, we have started to see some minor damage to the top of some of the corn. As the weather starts to cool, we often see bees and wasps eating into the kernels in search of the sugars.  That bit of the cob is easily trimmed (or ignored as we do).

CARAMELIZED CORN AND RED PEPPERS

2 cups fresh corn kernels

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn; stir until beginning to dry and brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add oil to skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Sauté until peppers are tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in cilantro and chili powder, then corn. Stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Week #15 (9/4 & 7)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, sweet corn, lettuce, and garlic. 

The tomatoes are coming on strong!  Every year we stop irrigating the tomatoes in the middle of August to shock the plants into ripening all the fruit they have set and to stop them from setting more.  Most years as soon as we do this, it rains, which is not good for the tomatoes.  This year, no rain, so there are many great tomatoes.  This recipe is one of our favorites.  We generally freeze a few batches for use in the winter.  It is a fast and easy way to make a vindaloo-like dish with grilled chicken, lamb or shrimp.  We’ve also used it on pasta for puttanesca.  In other words, it is extremely versatile so experiment and enjoy! 

HYDERABADI TOMATO CHUTNEY

12 peeled garlic cloves

7 cups chopped or pureed tomatoes

2 tsp. grated ginger root

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ cup olive oil

2 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. black mustard seed

½ tsp. fenugreek seeds

4 small dried chili peppers

1 sp. Pickling salt

Mash four of the garlic cloves and combine them in a bowl with the tomatoes, ginger and cayenne.  Heat the ol in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the remaining garlic cloves and fry them, stirring, until they are golden brown.  Add the cumin, fenugreek, and mustard and let them sizzle for a few seconds.  Add the whole dried peppers and stir as the peppers swell and darken.  Add the tomato mixture taking care to avoid splattering.  Cook for 15-20 minutes stirring consistently until the chutney is thick.  At this point the chutney is ready for use or storage.  It will keep well in your refrigerator for a week or more and much longer in the freezer.  Adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, GOAT CHEESE AND OLIVES

For the beans:

1 lb. green beans,

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the sauce:

1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 c. drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes  (rinsed, patted dry, coarsely chopped)

1/2 c. kalamata olives, chopped

2 tsp. minced fresh oregano

For topping:

1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese

An aluminum foil liner prevents burning on dark nonstick baking sheets and facilitates cleanup. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread beans on lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil; using hands, toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, toss to coat, and distribute in an even layer. Roast 10 minutes.  Remove baking sheet from oven. Using tongs, redistribute beans. Continue roasting until beans are dark golden brown in spots and have started to shrivel, 10 to 12 minutes longer.  While beans roast, combine sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beans; toss well to combine, and adjust seasonings. Transfer to serving dish, top with goat cheese and serve. From Cook’s Illustrated.

The pumpkins and winter squash have responded to the recent cooler nights by starting to die back which means that we are starting to see what we have in store for us harvest-wise.  From what we’ve seen so far the size of our pumpkins is great!  The quantity is a little harder to asses, but I am already getting excited about our PUMPKIN PICK UP WEEKEND which we have planned for October 20th & 21st.  This is the time we set aside for you all to come out to the farm, choose a carving pumpkin (and gourds and odd squash) and enjoy the farm.  We will have farm tours, apple cider pressing, and a pot luck lunch that includes pizza from our wood-fired oven.  I will, of course, be making pumpkin pie pizza, which is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Make plans now to come out one of those days anytime from 11:00 to 4:00.

Week #14 (8/28 & 31)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, beets, SWEET CORN, and garlic. 

The beans have come on strong!  If the amount you received today is more than you can use in a week, remember that beans can be prepared for freezing very easily.  Simply top-and-tail the beans  and steam them for about 3-5 minutes.  At that point, they have turned dark green but are not fully cooked.  Then rinse them with cold water and drain until dry.  Put them in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer.  They will maintain their quality for several months and are quite welcome additions to winter soups and stews.

Beets have also been doing very well for us this summer.  This is a recipe we found through the New York Times that is amazing.  

BEETS AND BEET GREENS WITH TAHINI SAUCE

1 bunch medium or large beets (3 to 4)

1 large bunch or 2 smaller bunches beet greens (about 3/4 pound)

Salt to taste

1 plump garlic clove, cut in half, green shoot removed

¼ cup sesame tahini

2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

2 to 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley 

Cut greens away from beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub beets with vegetable brush. To steam beets, place in a steamer above 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover. Turn down heat to medium. Steam small and medium beets for 30 minutes and large beets for 40 minutes, until you can pierce the beet to the middle with a knife or skewer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. To roast, preheat oven to 425ºF and place beets in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole). Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (3 ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (8 ounces) 50 to 60 minutes, until they are easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish.

When beets have cooled, cut away ends and slip off skins. Slice in rounds or cut into wedges or half-moons. Blanch greens in salted boiling water for about 1 minute, just until they wilt. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain and squeeze out excess moisture, taking up the greens by the handful. Alternatively, steam for 2 minutes, using tongs to flip the greens over top to bottom halfway through, for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop coarsely.  To make sauce, purée garlic cloves with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle, or put through a garlic press. Transfer to a bowl or measuring cup and whisk in sesame tahini. Whisk in lemon juice, beginning with smaller amount. The mix will stiffen up. Gradually whisk in up to 1/4 cup water, until sauce has consistency of thick cream or runny yogurt. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice.  Line a platter with the beet greens and arrange beets on top and around greens. Drizzle on tahini sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

After last week’s deliveries we received an email from a subscriber who passed along a great tip for utilizing the veggies that he gets from us.  This salad suggestion could be started with the brine recipe from our quick pickle recipe (on our web site).  This is what he said:

After reading this week’s flyer about your cucumber tomato salad, I thought I would share our ‘summer salad’ recipe. As the cukes start to show up in our basket, we make a traditional cucumber dill salad – thinly sliced cucumbers, plenty of dill weed and salt, and apple cider vinegar. To the leftover salad brine we add more cucumbers and put it in the fridge to marinate. This more ‘pickled’ salad is eaten the next day and for many successive days as we keep adding more cukes, and occasionally more salt, dill, and vinegar. After about a week we start adding other veggies along with cukes – onion, cauliflower, tomato, beets, zucchini, etc. Depending on the veggies, sometimes the brine gets too dilute and we’ll restart it, but the summer salad continues on throughout the summer and well into the fall. It’s a simple and delicious way to have fresh vegetables at every meal.

Calabacitas Con Crema

This recipe comes from Diana Kennedy’s “The Cuisines of Mexico”. Diana writes: “There are hundreds of ways of cooking squash in Mexico, and every cook has her own method and seasoning. This was our maid Godileva’s way of preparing them, and the dish frequently appeared on our dinner table. It has an exotic flavor, and is quite unlike any other squash dish I have come across.”

1 ½ lb. diced zucchini

2 medium tomatoes, diced
6 whole peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh coriander
2 sprigs fresh mint
1/2″ stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
2 whole chiles serranos
1/2 cup light cream
Salt to taste

 

Combine everything in a pot and cook over a very low flame, stirring occasionally so it does not stick. Add a little water if it looks like it is getting too dry. It will take about 30 minutes to cook, the zucchini should be very soft, the milk or cream should be absorbed with no liquid remaining in the pan. The chilies should remain whole and just flavor the squash — it should not be picante. It is even better reheated the next day.

Week #13 (8/21 & 24)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, BEANS, carrots, sweet peppers, onions, and garlic.

We have been asked why we don’t have more salad greens in the baskets.  We would like to, and in fact have tried to grow them for you.  Unfortunately, we have had a very difficult time with the heat this year.  Temperatures in the 90’s and above suppress germination, and when they have germinated the small lettuces have been difficult to keep alive after transplanting.  We have also seen lettuce go to seed before they were large enough to harvest.  All in all very frustrating for us.  We will keep trying the lettuce (we have some coming on nicely) and will get them to you as soon as we can.  We know there is milder temperatures in the near future and that bodes well for us as well.  For our own meals, we have been more salads based on cucumbers and tomatoes (what one friend calls Israeli salad).  We cube both the cukes and the tomatoes, add avocado and/or grated or minced carrot, basil, salt a& pepper and just about any other veggie we have on hand.  You can add a few pine nuts or walnuts and fresh mozzarella as well.  We use a simple balsamic vinaigrette for dressing and have really been enjoying them. 

Hurray for beans!  We are really happy to have a new crop for you this week.  With these early beans, this is the first recipe we make.  We gave this recipe for peas, but we love it so much want to pass it along again.

GARLIC BEANS WITH FILBERTS

1/2 lb. beans, cut to 1-2 inch pieces

2-3 small carrots, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup chopped filberts

1 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. butter

salt to taste

Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy frying pan.  Sauté onions and garlic until the onions are translucent.  Add carrots, chopped nuts (almonds or walnuts can be substituted for filberts) and salt.  I tend not to use much salt when I cook, but this is one recipe where I use more than usual.  The effect you are shooting for is for the nuts to take on a salted, roasted taste.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add the beans and cook stirring until they take on a dark green color.  This recipe is also great with snow peas instead of green beans.

GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH PROSCIUTTO

1 Lb. green beans

4 Oz. prosciutto cut into thin strips

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

½ medium onion chopped

1 Tbs. fresh basil

1/2 cup shavings of Parmesan cheese

Cook beans in a pot of salted water until tender; approx. 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Allow to dry.  In a large non-stick skillet add prosciutto and onion.  Cook over high heat until onions are translucent and prosciutto starts to crisp.  In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, kosher salt and white pepper.  Whisk in the oil.  Add the prosciutto mixture and the basil and mix well.  Add the beans and cheese shavings and toss gently.  Serve immediately.  Adapted from 1999 Food and Wine Recipes.

If you are having tomatoes back up on you (I’ve heard it does happen) or just want a quick and easy tomato sauce, this is the recipe for you!

VERY EASY TOMATO SAUCE 

I just quarter the tomatoes (any that don’t get eaten within four or five days), cherry and sungold tomatoes I leave whole, quarter an onion or two and place these in a baking dish. Then I peel and add four or five garlic cloves, fresh basil, rosemary, etc. and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil all over everything. Then I roast it all in allow oven – 300 to 325 degrees, for three or four hours or until everything is mushy. Once it’s cooled, I dump it all in the food processor and voila! thick rich roasted tomato sauce. The most recent batch included a smallish fennel bulb and a coarsely chopped eggplant. The roasting seems to bring out the natural sweetness of those delicious tomatoes. 

EGGS ARE BACK! We’ve made arrangements with a local pastured egg producer to provide eggs for our subscribers. We will be able to deliver you eggs at $6/dozen (available in multiples of 3 eggs).  If you were on the order list last year we will just send along your standing order.  If you were not on last year’s list or want to change or cancel your order, just drop us an email.