CSA Week 15

3 more weeks: final pickup October 18-22

In Your Share:

Carrots
Rutabaga
Green Onion
Romaine Lettuce
Chard or Komatsuna
Fennel
Zucchini or Cucumber (Half shares only)

Full Shares Only:

Beets
Basil
Salad Mix
Tomato or Eggplant

I keep trying to make the shares a bit smaller, and I think I might have succeeded today.  I’m sure some of you have some catching up to do, especially half share folks!  We are approaching the end of the main season CSA, but we still have lots of crops out there.  Unfortunately, all of our fall cauliflower is struggling.  The plants have grown beautifully and look healthy, but as the heads are browning as they form.  I believe this is a boron deficiency in our new field and I just started a spray program to try to remedy it (organically approved of course, it’s basically just borax).  Hopefully the final rotation will be salvageable and you’ll get more cauliflower soon, but in the mean time it’s an important fall crop that’s missing from your shares.  Sorry!

On the flip side, new today is a lovely rutabaga.  Rutabagas are one of the underappreciated vegetables.  They are sweeter and starchier than a turnip, and I think they shine in soups and stews, where their creamy texture and sweet mild flavor really comes out.  I peel them, since the skin is a bit spicy and bitter, then cube them up to add to a soup or roast.  Rutabagas keep well in a bag in the fridge.  Last week’s chicken soup recipe is a great way to use rutabaga.

Today’s fennel is one of the nicest rotations we’ve grown, and they are huge and sweet and tender.  We will try not to overwhelm you with fennel, but we do have a lot of it coming up.  I made a fennel apple salad the other night that was delicious, and fennel would be another great addition to that chicken soup.  We also have another lovely head of romaine, which you can also expect to see more of through the fall (though probably not for a couple of weeks).  There will continue to be lots of beets, half shares got a break this week but we have lots more sized up in the field.  Somehow they all come on at once…

On the other hand, we’ve finally caught up with the green onions.  There is just one more rotation, and with the cooler nights and shorter days they aren’t growing quite so quickly.  We’ll have them once or twice more, and then we’ll have to wait until next spring until we see them again.  This will likely also be the last bunch of basil, it’s slowed down considerably and is getting stressed.  It becomes more spicy and less sweet and floral this time of year, so it’s probably time to say goodbye.

Note that this Saturday (Oct 1) is the final week for Neskowin Farmers Market.  After this week, we will only be open at the farm stand on Tuesdays from 10 to 4.  CSA members picking up at the market will get their last few shares at the farm, and can choose to pick up on Saturdays or switch to a Tuesday or Thursday pickup.  The final main season CSA pickup is the week of October 16.


Fennel Apple Salad

I made this salad this weekend for an off the grid vegan potluck.  It is refreshing and nutritious, and made good use of some fresh fall ingredients.  I used honeycrisp apples, but I think any apple would work.

 

1 bulb fennel, quartered and sliced thinly
2 medium apples, sliced into wide matchsticks
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
1 fresh green chili, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt to taste

 

Prepare the apples and toss in the lemon juice.  Mix together in a large bowl with all remaining ingredients.  Serve cold.


Oat and Rutabaga Pilaf with Toasted Walnuts

From The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay, this pilaf uses whole oat groats in place of rice. Serves 6 as a side dish.

 

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add:

½ medium yellow onion, diced

            1 ½ cups peeled and finely diced rutabaga

Stir and sauté for 3 minutes. Add:

1 c uncooked oat groats

            1 clove garlic, minced

            1 tsp dried thyme

            1 tsp celery seeds

Saute a few minutes longer. Add:

2 c vegetable or chicken stock

            ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

            Several grinds black pepper

Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook 45 minutes. Without removing the lid, turn off the heat and allot the pot to stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the pilaf to a serving dish and add:

2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley

            1/3 c toasted walnut pieces

Toss gently to distribute evenly, and serve hot.

CSA Week 15

In Your Share:

Potatoes
Beets
Shallot
Cucumber or Zucchini
Napa Cabbage or Broccoli
Romaine Lettuce
Kale
Pepper or Tomato

Full Shares Only:

Kohlrabi
Parsley

 

I keep thinking that the shares have less in them, but then they are just as heavy and full as the week before.  This week we had trouble fitting it all in; I’m not sure how that happened…

 

There’s nothing new for half shares this week, but full shares get the first of our sweet bell peppers.  We have a few different varieties of peppers that we grow, but all of them are thin walled sweet peppers with lots of flavor.  They are fantastic raw or cooked, though I mostly prefer them raw or added at the last minute to a stir fry or saute.  Our peppers come on late and these are the very first to ripen, but we will hopefully have plenty more for you in the weeks to come.  They’re worth waiting for.

 

We have a few varieties of potatoes that we’re pulling from this week.  We are working on cleaning out several of the potato beds to prepare them for cover cropping, so we have a smorgasbord of potatoes to put in the shares.  Monday folks and at least some Wednesday folks are getting Terra Rosa, a red skin/red flesh variety we tried out this year.  Some of you will get Carolas or Purple Vikings.  After this week, most of the remaining potatoes in the shares will be Yellow Finns, which are our latest to mature, our best storage variety, and Mike’s favorite.

 

More beets today, as they continue to all be sized up at once.  More beautiful shallots as well, and the cukes and zukes are pumping for at least one more week.  Everyone gets a big dense head of romaine, though you’ll notice some holes in the leaves where they’ve been getting chewed.  I’ve been eating lots of these heads and they are sweet and delicious, just a bit aesthetically challenged.  Chop them up in a salad and dress them up and you won’t even notice the holes!  The parsley is the first cut off a fall planting, and it’s tender and flavorful.

 

Some of you will be pleased and some unhappy to see the giant fall storage kohlrabis in the full shares.  These are a late season variety that are meant to grow large to keep into winter, but they have matured earlier than we expect so you get them now.  They are still fresh and green and will be great raw, or try roasting them or putting them into a chicken noodle soup.  Or try pickling it.

 

If you are finding yourself stuck without new ideas for familiar vegetables, try cutting them up differently.  If you usually chop into cubes, try julienned.  If you usually do large pieces, try small, or vice versa.  I’m particularly fond of bias cuts for lots of things.  Or the Chinese roll cut gives you a very different shape with lots of surface area:

The shape may seem trivial, but it really changes how the veggies cook and how they taste.  You can even make a familiar recipe and see how it changes, or it might inspire you to try something totally new!

 


Fall Chicken Noodle Soup

You can’t go wrong with chicken noodle soup, but it gets even better with some extra fall root vegetables thrown in. I usually make my own chicken stock by boiling a whole chicken with aromatic veggies, then shred some of the boiled chicken into the soup.

 

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion or 2 leeks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, diced

2 bay leaves

1 Tbsp minced thyme

1 Tbsp minced sage

2 c peeled, cubed kohlrabi

2 c peeled, cubed rutabaga

2 c carrots, cubed

2 c cooked chicken, shredded or cubed

8 c chicken stock

2 c elbow or farfalle noodles

 

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sautee the onions or leeks, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, kohlrabi and rutabaga and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are almost tender (about 30 minutes). Add the noodles, and cook until al dente. Add the chicken and cook just enough to heat it. Salt to taste.


Beet Burgers

This recipe came from an old family friend (hi Jane!). She usually makes it with 1 ½ c beet and ½ c carrots, and she combines jarlsberg and parmesan with the cheddar. They are delicious! Makes 6-8 burgers depending how big you make them. Easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.

 

1 C grated beets
1 C grated carrots
½ C diced onion
1/8 C fresh parsley
½ C cooked rice
¼ C sesame seeds
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp tamari
½ C grated cheddar
1 ½ Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tsp olive oil

 

Sautee the onions until soft. Mix all ingredients together and form into patties. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

CSA Week 14

This is the final week for Gleneden Beach Market!  If the market is your pick up site, you will continue to pick up on Thursdays from 1 to 6 inside the Side Door Cafe.

In your share:

img_0390 img_0391Beets
Carrots
Watermelon Radish
Broccoli or Napa Cabbage
Red Onion
Green Onion
Baby Bok Choy
Kale
Salad Mix
Basil

Full Shares Only:

Fennel
Cucumber or Zucchini

 

img_0388What a beautiful, colorful share today.  Some of you even have golden beets in place of our usual red beets, which are one of the prettiest vegetables we’ve harvested this year.  (More coming in future weeks, this was just the first pick).  Golden beets are similar in flavor and can be used interchangeably with red beets.  I find that they are a bit less fruity but have more of a sweet honey flavor, and they don’t bleed red into everything they are in.  This summer’s beets have taken their time coming on, but now we are picking out of 6 different rotations at once.  You can expect lots more beets in your fall shares, although the golden beets will be less common.

 

If you don’t use the beets right away, remember to detach the greens so the roots store better.  And remember, the greens are my favorite part, cooked with the roots, on their own, or with other greens!  If you haven’t fallen for beets yet or are just looking for something different, you might try pickling them or juicing them.

 

On the other side of the prettiness spectrum are the watermelon radishes.  These are usually quite beautiful, called “watermelon” because of their green and white skin and red flesh.  These, however, got lots of bug damage or something and most of them were deformed.  We did several rounds of culling to end up with some that are decent enough for the CSA, and most of the rest we gave to our neighbor’s pig.  However, even when we cut into some of the ugliest radishes, nearly all the damage was on the surface, and the insides were blemish free and tasty:

img_0383 img_0384

 

Watermelon Radishes are tasty radishes that can be eaten raw or cooked.  They’re pretty spicy, so if you’re not a big fan of radish spice (like me) you’d probably prefer them cooked.  The majority of the spice is in the skin, so I recommend peeling them, which probably goes without saying with these.  These will store well in a bag in the fridge.

 

Today’s bag is a great one for stir fries or a hearty miso soup.  You could use the radish, bok choy, napa cabbage, green onions, and carrots for a flavorful and colorful bowl.  Or try a noodle salad with raw or lightly cooked veggies and a peanut sauce.

 

Today’s red onion will be the last fresh onion of the year, and we’ll be moving into cured onions only by next week.  The fields are starting to look a bit bare, in fact, as we wrap up one harvest after the next.  Soon we’ll see crops dropping off, and we’ve probably seen the last of the green beans (except Friday folks, who missed out last week).  Cucumbers and zucchini are quickly dropping off, and the basil is starting to look stressed as the nights get colder.  I sowed the first cover crop last week, and by the end of the month the field should be ready for the winter rains.  Gleneden Market ends this week (CSA members will continue to pick up their shares at the Side Door Cafe), and the Neskowin Market ends October 1 (members will continue to pick up their shares at the farm).  The farm is transitioning out of summer.

 


Sautéed Radishes Recipe with Brown Butter and Lemon Sauce

When searching for watermelon radish recipes, I saw a few suggestions for sauteing them in brown butter.  This recipe from Organic Authority (by Kimberley Stakal) calls for red radishes, but I’ve adapted it here for watermelon radish.

1 medium watermelon radish, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon lest
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

 

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium until butter foams then subsides, about 1 minute. Add radishes and a pinch of salt; cook until radishes are lightly browned on the outside and fork-tender on the inside, stirring, about 10 minutes. Remove radishes with a slotted spoon to serving plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet, along with lemon juice and zest. Cook until butter browns lightly and sauce cooks down, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Spoon sauce over radishes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Loaded Vegetable Miso Soup

From dairyfreecooking.com by Ashley Adams.  She says:

This is not your typical miso soup, this one is loaded with tons of good things–onion, garlic, carrots, kale, tofu, and broccoli! This recipe is great for weeknight meals—it takes barely anytime to throw together and feels splendidly healthy and nutritious. Feel free to add other vegetables to your soup—it is LOADED, after all! Other veggies that work well for this soup are cauliflower, shitake mushrooms, ginger, cabbage and bok choy. (Just make sure that you add greens like bok choy at the end, to avoid over-cooking!)

 

1 T. olive oil or canola oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 T. minced garlic

1 medium carrot, thinly sliced

2 cups roughly chopped kale (or cabbage)

3 quarts dashi or other stock (dashi is available in Asian markets, but vegetable stock will work as well if this is not available)

3 T. white miso

1 16-ounce Chinese-style tofu, pressed and chopped into 1” cubes

1 cup fresh broccoli floret

4 scallions, finely chopped

Salt, to taste

 

1.In a stock pot or soup pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil or canola oil. Once hot, add the onions, garlic, and carrots, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and fragrant. Add the kale and satuee for 1 minute more, or just until the kale becomes bright green but is still quite crisp. Add the dashi or stock and bring to a light simmer. Turn down the heat to low.

 

2.Ladle one cup of the stock into a small bowl.  Add the miso, and stir to dissolve. Add the cup of miso mixture to the broth and return the soup to a gentle simmer, taking care not to let the soup come to a boil. Add the tofu cubes, broccoli florets and the scallions, and simmer for 2 minutes longer, or until the broccoli is bright green and tender-crisp. Transfer to bowls and serve immediately.

CSA Week 13

In Your Share:

Potatoes
Onion
Cucumber and/or Zucchini
Green Beans
Salad Mix
Bok Choy
CSA Secret Surprise

Full shares only:

Napa Cabbage
Eggplant or Tomato

We made it through August!  August is a tough time on a farm, with long days, huge harvests, busy markets, and not a lot of energy.  This year has been especially challenging with all the new infrastructure we added in the spring, so I’m feeling pretty relieved to be on this side of Labor Day.  Fortunately for you, September has some of our biggest harvests and the most crop diversity, so you’ve got some great shares coming.

Half shares don’t have anything new today, but there are some lovely heads of baby bok choy, a nice bag of green beans, and a full bag of salad mix for everyone.  I know we’ve been a bit slim on salad mix for the CSA this summer, but I’m hoping to step it up a bit for the next few weeks.  By October the mix (and everything else) starts to slow down, but we have some lovely rotations coming up and plan to give you several bags in the next 6 weeks.

You get some different and pretty potatoes today, a mix of pink and purple beauties.  These are 2 new varieties for us, which are lovely and tasty but which I probably won’t grow again because of low yields.  Both are gold fleshed and good for roasting, mashing, or home fries.  I haven’t tried boiling them to see if they hold their shape well, but if you want to try it you might add a bit of vinegar to the water to help keep them from overcooking.

The new item for full shares today (hopefully next week for half shares) is napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage.  Napa cabbage is mild flavored and extra tender, and it is great raw, cooked, or fermented into kim chi.  Raw it’s great as a green salad, as a base or crunchy addition to noodle salads, or makes a good coleslaw.  Cooked, it’s most often used in stirfries, but I use it in lots of dishes.

The only part that’s hard to eat is right where it attached to the plant, at the center bottom of the head.  The thick ribs cook faster than the edges of the leaves, so you may want to add them a few minutes earlier.  Napa cabbage holds well for a few weeks in a bag in the fridge.  If you don’t want to use the whole head at once, you can either peel off leaves or slice however much you want from the top or side of the head.  The cut edge may brown and need to be sliced off when you use it next, but the head will still hold well.

I also decided to give you all a break from green onions so you could catch up.  More next week (don’t worry, there’s only 2 more rotations to go).  Cucumbers are still coming on strong, but we pulled out one rotation to make room for fall salad and lettuce, so I expect that the yields will be dropping off soon.  Zucchini are definitely on the decline, though the fruits we’re getting are still beautiful.  This rain will probably do a lot to send them into mold land.


Crispy Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes

From Bon Apetit May 2014.  A nice alternative to roasted potatoes (which we love but get a bit overused in our house).

 

2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved, quartered if large

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Flaky sea salt

Combine potatoes, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan; add water to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20–25 minutes; drain and pat dry.

Heat butter in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add potatoes; season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Serve topped with chives and sea salt.


Tacos of Napa Cabbage, Corn, and Tempeh Chorizo

Yes, you read that right. I prefer napa cabbage to the European style, and I think it makes a great filling for Mexican food. I also use this as an enchilada filling. Try it! Makes lots of tacos.

Tempeh Chorizo:

Crumble 6 oz tempeh into a bowl. Stir together with:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp ground ancho chile (or add a bit of cayenne and double the paprika)

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican

pinch each cinnamon, cloves and ground coriander

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

Let sit at least 20 minutes.

Add to this mixture:

3 c chopped napa cabbage

            Kernels from 3 ears corn

            ½ bunch cilantro

Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Add the mixture and stir and fry about 12 minutes, until the napa cabbage is tender and the tempeh browned. Add more oil if necessary. Serve with warm corn tortillas, a twist of lime, and your favorite salsa (salsa verde is especially good.) You can also add cheese, sweet peppers, and more fresh cilantro.