In your share week 10:
Cauliflower and/or Broccoli
Dill or mint
Just over halfway through the season, and this is a huge share! We are at peak production on the farm, and your share reflects that. We’ve gotten into huge picks of all the fruits, with our biggest pick yet on green beans last Friday (106 pounds!). The zucchini have finally taken off and are making up for lost time, and the tomatoes are treating us to consistently large harvests of delicious juicy fruit. Meanwhile, we’re still getting regular harvests from all our cool season favorites, and we’ve still got 2/3 of the potato patch to dig.
Today’s share is a lot of food, so if you can’t eat it all this week consider putting some up. Tomatoes are easy to freeze, just put them in a ziploc bag and you’re done. Green beans and kale can be blanched (briefly submerged in boiling water) and then frozen. Zucchini, Cauliflower, and broccoli can all be frozen by roasting or grilling them part way first (or these can be blanched and frozen too). Zucchini can also be grated and frozen to make zucchini bread in the winter, and basil can be ground in olive oil and frozen to add to soups, pastas, and more. You can also try pickling many of today’s veggies, and we’ve included an extra bunch of herbs that could be used to flavor your favorite pickles (dilly beans, anyone?).
For many of you, these are the first beets. Our beets don’t need peeling as the skins are very tender. You can eat them raw, roasted, boiled, or grilled. Beet greens are a real winner, too; they are extra nutritious with a fruity, earthy flavor. I’m honestly not a huge beet fan, but I love the greens. Cook them like kale or spinach, sauteed, steamed, or in soup. Store beets in a bag in the fridge, if you won’t use them right away remove the tops and store them separately.
We are sad to bid farewell to one of our crewmembers this week as Helen heads back for her sophomore year at Western Washington University. Helen has been a skilled harvester and has packed nearly all of your shares. She’s been a lot of fun to work with and we’ve enjoyed her great attitude, calm presence, and keen observation here at the farm. The crew won’t be the same without her.
Helen has classes to get to, so she’s leaving a little before our harvests actually taper off, but it’s hard to believe that in just a few weeks we’ll be starting to slow down. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, growth slows and some of the warm weather crops kick the bucket. Our potatoes are dying back and soon we’ll be digging them all out to store for fall and winter use. We’re already cutting back on watering and getting ready to cover crop the fields for winter, planting fall crops in the greenhouses, and finishing up our final sowings and plantings. You always have to be 3 steps ahead in farming or you miss your chance!
This time of year, people start to ask me when the CSA ends. Folks getting the summer only shares have their final pickup September 18 – 23. The rest of you go into November, so you’re really only halfway through the season! We still have lots more to harvest from our summer crops and lots of fall crops coming that we haven’t even harvested (pumpkins! Brussels sprouts!). We still have Thanksgiving shares available if you want to secure some storage crops and delicious goodies for your holiday table, click here to sign up if you haven’t already. I’ll be raising the price soon, but with all this harvesting I haven’t gotten around to it. Last chance to get the early bird price!
Zucchini and Rosemary Soup
Recommended by member Anna Russo, she says this delicious soup is easy to make and is a great way to use up lots of zucchini. From the June 1995 issue of Bon Appetit.
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth
1 potato, peeled, sliced
3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Chopped green onions
Melt butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and rosemary. Add stock and potato; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add sliced zucchini; simmer until tender about 15 minutes.
Working in batches, puree in blender (or use an immersion blender). Season with salt and pepper.
Cook cubed zucchini in saucepan of boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Drain. Rewarm soup over medium heat. Ladle into bowls. Top with zucchini and croutons. Sprinkle with green onions.
Spaghetti with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Roasted Broccoli Spears
This is a quick and filling meal. You can use a canned tomato sauce, or make a simple one like in the recipe below. This works best with the smaller side shoots of the broccoli, as they cook quickly and require no preparation. Serves 4.
For the sauce, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add:
4 cloves garlic, chopped (or use garlic scapes in season)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and black pepper
Sautee for a couple of minutes, then add:
2 pounds coarsely chopped tomatoes
Stir to coat the tomatoes in the oil and garlic. Within a few minutes, the tomatoes should start to
release their juice. I also add a splash of red or white wine. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency. Add ½ c chopped basil or parsley.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400. If necessary, slice one bunch broccoli lengthwise into thin
spears, or use whole if already thin. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, using tongs to turn the spears once. They are done when the florets start to get crispy and the stems are tender.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously. Add 1 pound spaghetti and cook until al dente. Toss with the sauce and top with broccoli spears and a sprinkle of parmesan.