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.

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.

Week #12 (8/14 & 17)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes (half shares), GOLDEN BEETS, EGGPLANT (FULL SHARES), sweet peppers, onions, and GARLIC.

We don’t normally give things like beets every week, but we’ve decided to make an exception this year.  Golden beets are different enough to warrant giving them the week after red beets.  Their flavor is less earthy, and they don’t stain other items like regular beets do.  It is also salmon season, and this recipe is amazing.  (just FYI, we have made it with red beets and think the pink couscous is fun!).  You can substitute the beet greens for the spinach, or use the kale in your basket.

PONZU GRILLED SALMON WITH GOLDEN BEET COUSCOUS

Couscous:

1  teaspoon  extravirgin olive oil

2  tablespoons  thinly sliced peeled shallots (about 1 large)

8  ounces  small golden beets, thinly sliced, peeled, and quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)

1  cup  uncooked Israeli couscous

2  cups  water

1/4  teaspoon  salt

1  cup  raw spinach leaves, trimmed

Sauce:

1/2  cup  fresh orange juice

2  tablespoons  brown sugar

3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce

2  tablespoons  sake (rice wine)

1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice

1/2  teaspoon  cornstarch

1/8  teaspoon  crushed red pepper

Remaining ingredients:

4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets with skin (about 1 inch thick)

Cooking spray

Lime wedges (optional)

To prepare couscous, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and beets; sauté 5 minutes or until shallots are tender and just beginning to brown. Stir in couscous; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add water and salt; cover and simmer 8 minutes or until couscous is tender. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Toss gently until combined and spinach wilts. Keep warm.

To prepare sauce, combine orange juice and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small saucepan, stirring well with a whisk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 1 minute.

To prepare fish, brush cut sides of fillets with 1/4 cup sauce; place, skin sides up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill salmon, skin sides up, 2 minutes. Turn salmon fillets; brush with remaining 1/4 cup sauce. Grill 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or desired degree of doneness. Serve with couscous and lime wedges, if desired. Yields 4 servings.  Adapted from Kathryn Conrad, Cooking Light, JUNE 2005

If you have beets languishing in your fridge, consider making the CHOCOLATE BEET CAKE recipe we have on our web site (the password is in the footer of this note.)

GRILLED ZUCCHINI AND RED ONION SALAD

6 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise

1 large red onion, cut into ½” slices

¼ c. plus 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 ¼ c. feta, crumbled

1/3 c. pitted kalamata or nicoise olives, chopped

salt and pepper

Sprinkle zucchini with 1 tsp. salt and set on baking sheet lined with paper towels. Let sit for 15 minutes, then pat dry and cut into 2” pieces. Brush zucchini and onion slices with 2 Tbs. of olive oil, sprinkle with 1 ½ tsp. thyme and some black pepper. Sprinkle onions lightly with salt.  Prepare a medium-hot grill. set the vegetables on grill, cover if using a gas grill, and cook without touching so that the vegetables brown and get good grill marks, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking so that other sides brown and the zucchini is just tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer zucchini to a serving platter and continue to cook onions over a cooler part of fire until they start to soften (10 more minutes).  Add onions to platter with zucchini.  In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, ½ tsp. salt and remaining ¼ cup of olive oil together with 1 ½ tsp thyme and black pepper. Drizzle over vegetables. Sprinkle with feta and olives and serve immediately or let sit for up to 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Serves 8. From Fooday 8/7/07

 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.

Week #11 (8/07 & 10)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, beets, lettuce (half shares), SWEET PEPPERS, cabbage  (full shares), basil, red onions, and carrots. 

With heat warnings, we need cool things to eat.  Gazpacho fits the bill.

GAZPACHO

2 slices whole grain bread or ½ garlic bagel

3 cloves garlic, squeezed

¼ cup olive oil

2 cucumbers

1 onion

1 summer squash

2 basil tips

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 lbs tomatoes

½ lb. green beans

1 sweet pepper

Blend bread, garlic, onion and olive oil in a blender or food processor until smooth.  If needed, add tomatoes for additional liquid.  Trim vegetables of stems and blossom ends, but you do not need to peel them.  Continue adding ingredients until all are included, emptying blender as needed.  Taste and adjust seasonings then chill.  Serve cold with garnish of hard-boiled eggs, chopped onion and croutons.  Serves 4 –6. 

Another perfect dish for this time of year (though it is hot) is ratatouille.  This is the best version I’ve had in a long time.

BUDDY’S RATATOUILLE

1 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups chopped zucchini

¼ cup olive oil

2 Tbs Balsamic vinegar

1 chopped basil

1 cup diced tomatoes

Oregano

Salt

Pepper

¼- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large sauté pan heat the oil and cook the garlic and onion until the onions are translucent.  Add the zucchini, oregano, tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until zucchini is tender.  Add basil and Balsamic vinegar.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

BEET ORANGE AND OLIVE SALAD

2 to 5 beets

half a small onion

2 tablespoons vinegar

sea salt or kosher salt to taste

Pinch of sugar

2 to 3 oranges

2 tablespoons olive oil

handful of black, oil-cured olives, pitted and halved

Place beets in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then cook at a gentle simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or even longer, depending on the size. Just cook them until they are tender — when you stick a small knife into each beet, it should go in smoothly. Let beets cool in the water, then drain them and peel them. Cut each beet into wedges or small cubes and place on a serving platter. Season all over with salt.   Meanwhile, mince the shallot or onion and place in a small bowl. Cover with the vinegar. Season with a pinch of salt and sugar and set aside. Trim off the top and bases of the oranges, and with a sharp knife, slice down along the flesh of the orange to remove the peel. Remove the segments by slicing between the membranes. (Alternatively, cut the oranges into slices, then cut the slices again so that the oranges are in bite-size pieces.) Squeeze the membrane and any orange peels with flesh still attached over the bowl with the macerating shallots. Pour half of the shallot-vinegar-orange mixture over the beets and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter the oranges over top. Pour the remaining shallot mixture over top as well as the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter olives over top. Let sit a few minutes before serving. As you serve, spoon the dressing pooling at the bottom of the plate over the beets and oranges. You could, of course, give everything a toss, just know that the beets will color everything red.   Adapted from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi. 

EGGS ARE BACK! We’ve made arrangements with a local pastured egg producer to provide eggs for our subscribers.  Starting next week, 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.  Thank you.

BLACKBERRIES are in full swing soon.  You are welcome to come out to the farm at your convenience to pick all the free blackberries you can use.  Email us to let us know when you expect to come so we can plan to point you in the best direction (or leave a self-guided map).

Hot peppers will be ready soon.  If you were on last year’s list we’ll get them to you.  Email us to be added or removed from the list.

Week #10 (7/31 & 8/3)

This week your basket contains: zucchini, cucumbers, snow peas (half shares), tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, beets, lettuce, potatoes (full shares), and carrots. 

Sometimes, our baskets contain an unusual combination of veggies that one might not think work well together.  This week that combination is beets and tomatoes.  We found this recipe and we think it will become a hit with your family.

BEET, TOMATO AND COCONUT CURRY

1 large onion

5 small vine-ripened tomatoes (14 to 16 ounces total)

2 large cloves garlic

One 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root

4 small raw beets (10 to 11 ounces total, trimmed)

1 small jalapeño or serrano chile pepper (see headnote)

1 heaping teaspoon solid coconut oil

Handful cilantro stems

1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pinch ground cinnamon

2 cardamom pods

3 whole cloves

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup low-fat coconut milk 

Cut the onion in half, then into very thin half-moon slices. Cut the tomato into small dice. Mince the garlic. Peel and grate enough ginger to yield 2 teaspoons. Scrub the beets well (or peel them), then cut them into small dice. Stem and seed the chili pepper, then cut it lengthwise into very thin strips.  Melt the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Stir in the onion to coat; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring often, until golden and softened.  Meanwhile, coarsely chop the cilantro (tender leaves and stems). Squeeze juice from the lemon half into a small bowl (at least 2 tablespoons).  Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the garlic and fresh ginger; cook for 2 minutes, then add the jalapeño or serrano chili pepper, ground ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, plus the tomatoes and the water. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, add the beets, stirring to incorporate. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the beets are fork-tender. Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, cilantro and lemon juice; cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes (for the flavors to meld). Fish out and discard the whole spices before serving, if desired, or at least tell your fellow diners to be on the lookout for them.

Keeping with the theme of curry, this is one of my favorite carrot recipes.

CURRIED CREAM OF CARROT SOUP

2 Tbs. butter

2 med. onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ tsp. dry thyme

1 lb. carrots, pared and diced

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp. curry powder

1 cup milk or cream

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add onion, garlic and thyme.  Sauté until onion is soft.  Add carrots and cook 10 minutes.  Add chicken broth and curry powder.  Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.  Puree in a blender; return to pan and add milk or cream until the soup reaches desired consistency.  Heat for 5 minutes and serve garnished with yogurt or sour cream and chives.

ROASTED BEET AND CUCUMBER SALAD WITH YOGURT DRESSING

1 pound beets

1 English cucumber (large, approximately 16 inches)

one small red onion, sliced (about 1/2 cup)

Garlic Yogurt Dressing

1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut off the very top of each beet and clean them thoroughly. Wrap the beets in foil and roast at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Unwrap the beets and allow them to cool until warm but cool enough to handle. Remove the skin from the beets with your fingers or a paper towel. Slice the beets and cucumbers into uniform pieces. Slice the red onion and add to a medium-large bowl with the beets and cucumbers.  For the yogurt dressing, combine the minced garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. (You can allow this to marinate for a while if you prefer.) Add the yogurt, dill and mint and stir until well-combined.  Pour the garlic yogurt dressing onto the vegetables and stir gently.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.  Serves 6-8

BLACKBERRIES will be in full swing soon.  Starting this week we invite you to come out to the farm at your convenience to pick all the free blackberries you can use.  Email us to let us know when you expect to come so we can plan to point you in the best direction (or leave a self-guided map).

Week #9 (7/24 & 27)

This week your basket contains:  kale (half shares), broccoli (full shares), zucchini, cucumbers, snow peas, TOMATOES OR CHERRY TOMATOES, BASIL, garlic, and carrots. 

Heat does funny things in the garden.  Some crops just give up the ghost while others kick into high gear.  Zukes, cukes, and tomatoes are loving it; broccoli and greens not so much.  In the abstract, peas don’t like a lot of heat, but they did quite well for us today.  In addition to the quick pickle recipe from last week, here are a few recipes to help with the cucumbers and squash.

TZADZIKI

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THOSE CUCUMBERS?  Make tzadziki, of course!  Simply grate whole cucumbers, lightly salt and set aside for 20  minutes.  Drain off the liquid that accumulates, squeeze in a few cloves of garlic and stir in some yogurt and/or sour cream (we find it best to use a 50/50 mix).   Generally, you want to use equal volumes of cucumber and dairy product. Serve with toasted pita bread or crackers.

SWEDISH CUCUMBER SALAD

½ cup sour cream

2  tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 tbsp.  sugar

3 tbsp.  minced fresh parsley

2 tbsp.  minced fresh dill

2 tbsp.  thinly sliced  scallions

4 cups unpeeled cucumbers, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste

1 small head of lettuce, sliced

In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, vinegar, sugar, parsley, dill and scallions until well blended.  Add the cucumbers and toss gently.  Add the salt and pepper.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of lettuce.  Adapted from The 30-Minute Kosher Cook by Judy Zeidler.

INSALATA CAPRESE

2 med. cucumbers, thinly sliced

1 pt. Cherry tomatoes, halved or 3-4 slicing tomatoes, thinly sliced

3-4 fresh mozzarella balls, sliced ¼ inch thick

olive oil

6-8 basil leaves

salt and pepper

On a plate, layer cucumbers, tomatoes and mozzarella.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and top with ribbons of sliced basil.  For added tang, sprinkle lightly with balsamic vinegar.

This recipe was sent to us by a subscriber who says it is one of her family’s favorite.  I believe it!

LINQUINE WITH ZUCCHINI, GARLIC AND CAPERS

2 Lbs zucchini

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs minced garlic

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup capers with some juice

Salt

12-14 oz linguini, cooked

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

¼ cup chopped basil, plus some for garnish

Shred zucchini until you have 4 cups then pat dry with paper towel. Heat oil in large heavy skillet, add garlic and pepper flakes and sauté for a minute or less.  Add zucchini and cook until softened (5-6 minutes). Add capers, taste and season with salt.  Set this mixture aside.  When linguine is cooked  al dente, drain and return to the cooking pot.  Add feta and parmesan then add zucchini mixture.  Stir in basil and serve, garnished with additional basil.  Adapted from FOODday August 11, 2009.

BLACKBERRIES will be in full swing soon.  Starting next week (July 30th) we invite you to come out to the farm at you convenience to pick all the free blackberries you can use.  Email us to let us know when you expect to come so we can plan to point you in the best direction (or leave a self-guided map).

Week #8 (7/17 & 20)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, snap peas or snow peas, lettuce, cabbage (full shares), beet greens (half shares), RED ONIONS, and carrots. 

Thank you all for sending in your PAPER BAGS WITH HANDLES.  Your response has been so overwhelming that we have run out of space to store them!  Please hold on to them for now, and we will let you know when we need them again. 

Peas have been struggling in this heat, but zucchini and cucumbers have loved it!  On hot evenings, nobody wants to cook, so we’ve been making cold soup.  Fortunately, this recipe makes just about the tastiest cold soup imaginable.  We garnish with chopped onion, croutons, and chopped hardboiled egg.

CREAM OF CUCUMBER SOUP

2 lbs. Cucumbers

2 Tbsp. butter

1/3 c. chopped onions or shallots

5 c. chicken broth

1 Tbsp. wine vinegar

½ c. chopped dill

¼ c. farina or ½ lb. Cubed potatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 c. sour cream

Peel and roughly chop cucumbers, reserving ½ a cucumber to slice into paper-thin slices.  Melt butter, cook onions or shallots until wilted.  Add chopped cucumbers, broth, vinegar and 1/3 c. of the dill.  Bring broth to a boil, whisk in farina or add potatoes.  Cook until soft.  Puree.  Before serving, reheat and thin if necessary with water.  Whisk in half of the sour cream, garnish with cucumber slices and a sprinkling of dill.  If you wish, this can be served cold, chilling instead if reheating.  Serve remaining sour cream at table as a garnish.  From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash

COLD ZUCCHINI YOGHURT SOUP

2 pounds zucchini, sliced

2 cups water

Salt (1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons)

3 cups plain low-fat yogurt

3 tablespoons finely chopped mint

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, mashed to a paste in a mortar and pestle, or put through a press (optional)

Place the water in the bottom of a saucepan fitted with a steamer and bring to a boil. Place the zucchini in the steamer, set over the boiling water, cover and steam 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Do not drain the steaming water. Place half the zucchini in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, add 3/4 teaspoons salt, and puree until smooth. Add half the steaming water and pulse until smooth. Scrape into a bowl, and repeat with the remaining zucchini and steaming water, and another 3/4 teaspoon salt. Scrape into the bowl with the first batch. Whisk in the yogurt, the chopped mint, pepper, lemon juice, and optional garlic. Taste and adjust salt. Chill, either in the refrigerator or in an ice bath. Strain the cold soup through a medium strainer into a bowl. Use a rubber spatula to press the soup against the strainer and to scrape the soup off the outside of the strainer, to extract maximum flavor and to get as much soup through as you can. Toss the thinly sliced zucchini garnish with a generous pinch of salt and place in a strainer set over a bowl, or in the sink. Let sit for 15 minutes. The zucchini will soften. Rinse and pat dry. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with several slices of zucchini and a sprinkle of slivered mint leaves. Adapted from cooking.nytimes.com

Another recipe we use all summer long is this quick pickle recipe.  We try to keep some in the fridge at all times (a real chore when we had four kids at home all summer!)  These are a great quick snack that is amazingly refreshing.

QUICK PICKLES

2 unwaxed or peeled cucumbers

1 small onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tb fresh dill or 1 ½ tsp. dill seed

1 cup hot water

1 Tb salt

2 Tb honey

3 Tb cider vinegar

Slice each cucumber lengthwise into 8 sticks.  Slice onion into rings.  Alternate layers of cucumber and onion in a broad non-metal dish.  Scatter dill and garlic on top.  Mix water with honey and salt to dissolve; add vinegar and pour this brine over the cucumbers.  Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before using.  NOTE:  When ready to replenish the pickle container, add 1 Tb vinegar and 1 rounded tsp of honey to the brine and add more sliced cucumber and onion as needed.  Prepare a fresh solution after 2 or 3 batches have been made.  From American Wholefoods Cuisine by Nikki and David Goldberg 

FLOWERS HAVE COME ON WITH A VENGANCE!  Polly can put together a large (25+ stems), beautiful bouquet that we will deliver with your basket for only $7.  All you need to do is email to order one time or as a standing order.