Thanksgiving Shares

In your share:

Winter Luxury Pumpkin
Winter Squash
Yacon
Potatoes
Carrots
Shallot
Eggplant or Green pepper
Brussels Sprouts or Salad
Fresh Herbs
Kale

 

Happy Thanksgiving!  We’ve finally made it to the end of the season and your farmers are ready for a break.  We have a beautiful, bountiful share for you today, with some goodies for your Thanksgiving table and beyond.

 

Storage: The squash and pumpkin will keep at room temperature on the counter for at least a couple of weeks.  The pumpkins and butternut squash should probably be used pretty soon, if you have a delicata or golden acorn they are fine for a few months.  Potatoes can be kept at room temp or colder, but be sure they’re not exposed to light.  Everything else should be kept in a bag in the fridge.  Carrots and yacon will keep for months in the refrigerator.  If you don’t plan to use up the herbs in the next week or so, the easiest way to store them is to dry them.  I just leave them out by my wood stove and they dry out pretty well within a few days.

 

Using your share:

Yacon (pronounced yah-CONE) is a member of the sunflower family from the Andes.  This is the tuberous vegetable that looks like a sweet potato, oblong with dark skin.  We like to eat it raw, and it is sweet, tender, mild flavored, and juicy.  Think of jicama, asian pear, or even a cucumber.  We most often slice it up and eat it plain as a refreshing snack or side dish.  I like the flavor of the skin (it’s earthy and somewhat bitter), but you may prefer it peeled.

 

Your heirloom winter luxury pumpkin makes the most fantastic pumpkin puree and pie: flavorful, sweet, and velvety.  I’ve used the puree to make pies, soups, risotto, and more.  They are also delicious to roast and eat with butter or other toppings, although I think their texture is better pureed.  You also have another type of winter squash, either butternut (tan), delicata (oblong and striped), carnival (mulitcolored striped) or acorn (golden).  These can all be roasted, added to hashes or stir fries, turned into sweet breads or pies, or used for soup.  For pumpkins or winter squash, cut them in half, put them in a pan with a bit of water, and roast at 375 until a fork goes through it easily.  To make puree, scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin, and use an immersion blender, food processor, blender, or potato masher.

 

Our potatoes and carrots are both extra yummy.  You either have yellow finn or fingerling potatoes, which are both buttery, all purpose potatoes good for roasting, mashing, or whatever you like.  This year we’ve had the most beautiful and abundant fall carrots, so you get lots!  Our carrots are great raw or cooked, and I never worry about peeling them.

 

The shallots are fresh out of the field, so they probably look different than what you’re used to.  They haven’t dried down to have a papery skin and still have some of their greens on them.  I like to use the tops along with the shallots, or they make a great addition to turkey stock.  Since they have been sitting in the rain, it’s a bit gooey where the bulb meets the greens.  I usually just peel this back and use the good parts, but if you don’t want to deal with it you can just cut off the tops at the bulb.  Shallots are extra savory but can be used much the same way as onion: they are great in stuffings, soups, and all kinds of dishes.

 

We’ve included the last few eggplant or some green peppers in your share as we clean out the greenhouse.  The green peppers are thin walled bell peppers, not spicy even though they look a bit like chilis.  The eggplant are the long, thin, Japanese type, which are similar to the more familiar Italian type.  I use them skin and all, especially with these since they are pretty small.  I like it roasted or grilled and eaten on top of or beside just about anything, but it’s also lovely in stir fries and curries or turned into baba ganouj. To prepare them, cut off the stem end and either slice them into slabs or chunks.  Eggplant absorb quite a bit of oil in cooking, so some people like to salt them and let them sit for 15 or 20 minutes to cut down on that.

 

For Thanksgiving we’ve included a little bag of herbs, containing fresh thyme, sage, and bay.  These are all great with turkeys, soups, and stuffings.  For all three, you want to use the leaves and leave the woody stems (the tips of the thyme and sage should be succulent and tender enough to eat).  Bay is typically added to your aromatic vegetables (onions, carrots, celery) at the beginning of cooking, then removed just before eating.  It has a lovely, piney flavor.  Just one leaf is enough for most dishes, and the rest of the leaves will keep dried and sealed for a year.

 

Finally, we have delicious greens.  The kale is mostly red Russian, my favorite variety.  It’s sweet and tender, especially so since we got a hard freeze on Saturday night.  It is wonderful cooked or raw, and I usually eat the stems along with the leaves.  You also have either salad mix or Brussels sprouts.  Our salad mix is very fresh and should keep well for a week.  It’s a mix of baby lettuce, nutty greens like mizuna and bok choy, and a bit of spicy mustard and arugula.  If you think you hate brussels sprouts, it might be because you’ve never had fresh ones cooked well or it might be genetic (some people have a gene that makes them taste like aspirin).  Ours are super fresh and nutty and delicious any way you make them.  I often roast them, either whole, halved, or shredded, and more recently I’ve gotten into sauteing them with leeks or shallots.  They’re also good raw, steamed, or braised.

 

Thanks for a great season and have a great holiday!


Grandma Ivah’s Pumpkin Pie

This recipe comes from the Seed Savers Exchange blog.  They describe our Winter Luxury pumpkins as “Pumpkin Pie’s Dreams Come True”.  

To make the pumpkin puree:
Roast the pumpkin whole or in half in a 350 oven, with a few holes cut in it as steam vents.  It is ready when it slumps and a fork pokes through easily.  Let it cool enough to handle, then scoop out the seed and guts and peel the skin away from the flesh.  Mash the flash or run it through a food processor to make a smooth puree.

To make the crust (enough for 2 pies):  
Using your fingers or a pastry blender, mix together 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter and 2 c all purpose flour until mixture is crumbly.  Chunks should be no bigger than a pea.  Gradually add up to 1/2 c ice water and gather dough until it just forms a cohesive ball.  You may not use all the water!  Divide into two balls, flatten slightly into disks, and chill for at least 2 hours.

To make the pie:

1 ½ cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 – 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ – 1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cloves
3 eggs
1 ½ cup milk (preferably whole)
2/3 cup (about 6 ounces) evaporated milk

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare pie plate with a single pie crust.

Mix pumpkin puree, sugar, salt, and spices.  In a separate bowl combine eggs, milk, and evaporated milk.

Blend milk mixture into pumpkin mixture (texture will be very thin).

Pour into pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes or until the center of the pie has begun to set.  The pie will continue to set as it cools to room temperature.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This is very easy and is my favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts. If you’ve never liked Brussels sprouts before, I suggest trying this while they are still very fresh and see if you change your mind. Serves 4.

 

Preheat the oven to 400.   Spread 1 lb Brussels sprouts in a baking dish so that they are one layer deep. Leave small ones whole and halve or quarter larger ones so all the pieces are a relatively uniform size. Stir together with:

3 Tbsp olive oil

            2 tsp balsamic vinegar

            Salt and pepper

            A sprig of rosemary

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender and the outsides have begun to caramelize, 20 to 35 minutes depending on the size. Remove the rosemary sprig and serve.


Wintergreen Farm Kale Salad

Kale is excellent raw, especially if nights have been frosty. The frost changes the chemistry of the leaf and makes it extra sweet. When I worked at Wintergreen Farm, this salad was a favorite among the crew. The dressing is strongly flavored, with raw garlic and lemon. If you don’t like raw garlic, you can try roasting it first, reduce the amount, or omit it altogether. Serves 3 to 6.

 

To make the dressing, mix together:

3 Tbsp olive oil

            Juice of 1 lemon

            2 cloves garlic, chopped finely or crushed

            salt and pepper

Remove the stems and rip into bite size pieces:

            1 bunch kale

Toss in a bowl with dressing and:

1 avocado, sliced

            ¼ c feta cheese, crumbled

CSA Week 20: Final Share!

***This is your final share.  Please return any bags you have remaining, and bring this bag back to your drop site within one week.  Thank you for being a member of the Corvus Landing CSA! ***

In your share week 20:

Potatoes
Carrots
Butternut Squash
Cabbage or Kohlrabi
Kale
Cilantro
Tomatoes (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Yacon

This is it, our final share for the season.  It’s been a good fall for growing things, but just this week we’re seeing a decline in several crops.  So that’s a good time to wrap up the CSA.  We will still be open Tuesdays 9 to 2 at the farm stand until November 21.  And we have great Thanksgiving shares planned for those of you who have signed up!  Those shares are still available here if you want to get in on the goodness: we will close sign up on Friday, November 17 (or earlier if we fill up).

The only new item today is a butternut squash.  Butternuts are lots of people’s favorites, but they are typically a longer season squash and more difficult to grow here than acorns or delicatas.  We’ve found a couple of good early varieties, but even so they are a little under ripe this year.  They will be a little less sweet than other butternuts you may have had, but they do have a wonderful nutty flavor and creamy texture.  I cook butternut squash like other squash, though I find the skin a little tough and don’t usually eat it.  I either cook them in halves and peel off the skin when they are cool, or I peel them with a knife or peeler, cube them up, and roast them like potatoes.  Butternut squash will store well at room temperature for several weeks.

Our yacon crop is lighter than last year’s, so only full shares get it today.  You can read more about yacon in last week’s share notes if you missed them, but here’s a reminder of the basics: eat them raw and store them in a bag in the fridge!

We have tomatoes for many of you today, and also our last field cilantro (our greenhouse rotation may or may not be ready in time for Thanksgiving).  It’s nice to still have these summery flavors, and to try using them in different ways with all the fall veggies.  I love using squash to make a creamy sauce for pasta or risotto, and adding a couple of tomatoes does a lot to boost the flavor and thin out the squash a bit.

I’m sure most of you aren’t keeping track, but I like to let you know that this year’s share was a great value.  Full shares saved nearly 15% on the retail value of the produce, and half shares saved about 10%.  And that was even with our late start and wet, wet spring!  We tried to make it up to you by including extra basil and tomatoes and adding an extra week at the end, and the numbers worked out to be a great deal for you.

When we are out there harvesting a little of everything every day, it’s easy to forget the scale of what we do.  So I like to look at our aggregate numbers at the end of the season, and I thought you might enjoy sharing a few of those.  This year’s CSA got:

  • 414 pounds of green beans
  • Over 700 pounds of tomatoes
  • Over 300 pounds of salad mix
  • 430 pounds of winter squash
  • 350 pounds of zucchini
  • Over 1000 pounds of carrots
  • 646 bunches plus 40 pounds of basil
  • And so much more!

As a CSA member, you share the bounty and share the risk.  These numbers reflect the crops that were abundant and successful this year, while we unfortunately had fewer beets and onions and so did you.  I’m sure you found yourself occasionally overwhelmed by basil or green beans (believe me that I shared your feelings), but hopefully it inspired you to come up with new ways to eat them, or to share them with friends and family, or to find a good way to preserve what you didn’t use.  This is what eating seasonally is all about!

 

And speaking of risk, please know that the CSA was essential to us this spring.  Without your early season payments, this rainy spring would have been devastating for the farm.  Several of our early crops failed entirely and we had to back out of several markets since we had nothing to harvest.  The vast majority of our expenses occur up front, and it takes months before we can make that money back and save enough to get through to the next spring.  Losing our early harvests would have been much more stressful without the financial support and investment of our CSA members.  So I want to thank you for your commitment to us and for supporting local agriculture!

 

2018 CSA signup will begin probably in early February.  I hope you will come back for another season.  Buen salud!


Butternut-and-Boursin Shells

Herby, garlicky, creamy Boursin cheese amps up the flavor in this meatless pasta.  Did you know that Nestucca Bay Creamery now has a storefront in Cloverdale, open Fridays and Saturdays?  Try one of their fresh, local cheeses in this recipe!  Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2016

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using the large holes of a box grater, shred squash until you have 5 cups; cut remaining squash into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups). On a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash cubes with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast until tender and browned, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water. Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and shredded squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized in spots, 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender with reserved pasta water and half of cheese; blend until smooth.
  3. Return blended sauce to skillet; stir in pasta and roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with arugula, hazelnuts, small dollops of remaining cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Colcannon

From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. This dish, in its many variations, is traditionally eaten in Scotland and Ireland at Halloween. It is like a hearty, kale and leek filled mashed potato dish. To save butter and time, you can choose to omit the browned onions at the end. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Roughly chop

            1 ½ lb potatoes

into evenly sized pieces. Put in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash the potatoes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp butter in a frying pan and gently stew until tender

            1 c finely chopped leeks

Add:

            1 lb kale, stems removed and finely chopped

Saute over high heat, stirring to evaporate excess moisture. Turn the heat to low, add 2 Tbsp butter, and slowly cook the leeks and kale 5 to 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whip this mixture into the potatoes, along with ½ to ¾ cup milk or half and half.

In a small frying pan, heat 4 Tbsp butter and brown:

            ½ c finely chopped onions

Mound the potatoes on a dish and make a depression in the center. Pour the browned onions and butter into the well until they spill over the side.

CSA Week 19

*** 1 more week!  Final share is November 7 or 9.  Thanksgiving shares still available, price goes up after today!***

In your share week 19:

Yacon
Carrots
Leek
Kohlrabi
Kale

Full shares only:

Italian parsley
Tomatoes or Broccoli

 

We’re almost to the end of the season, with just 1 week left of the CSA.  But I’m happy to offer 2 new items today (3 for full shares): yacon, leeks, and parsley.  If you were in our CSA the last 2 years, you may remember yacon.  But if you are a new member, this may be a whole new vegetable for you.

 

Yacon (pronounced yah-CONE) is a member of the sunflower family from the Andes.  This is the tuberous vegetable that looks like a sweet potato, oblong with dark skin.  I strongly recommend eating it raw: it is sweet, tender, mild flavored, and juicy.  Think of jicama, asian pear, or even a cucumber.  We most often slice it up and eat it plain as a refreshing snack or side dish.  I like the flavor of the skin (it’s earthy and somewhat bitter), but you may prefer it peeled.  It will brown soon after cutting, you can toss it with a bit of lemon juice to keep it white.  It can also be cooked, but I honestly haven’t found a way to cook it that’s much good, and it’s so delicious raw that I gave up trying.  Some people like to juice it (we recommend peeling it first).  Store it in the fridge in a plastic bag, it will dry out and soften if left on the counter for long.

 

Here is a link to a more in depth article about yacon in Mother Earth News.  One thing worth noting is that yacon’s sweetness is from inulin, which makes it extremely low in calories and a better choice for diabetics.

 

New today are leeks, which are one of my favorites but aren’t our most productive crop.  Leeks are milder than onions and have a savory flavor all their own.  I love to use them in soups, sautes, and braises.  I use the whole leek, greens and all, and I don’t usually find ours to be too tough.  We have peeled and washed them, but leeks are notorious for catching soil in their many leaf bases.  You will probably want to give them a good rinse before using them.  Typically I slice them lengthwise, lay them cut side down, and slice them into thin half moons.  If you don’t want to cook with the greens, they are a great addition to stock.

 

Full shares have Italian parsley, which is usually a regular item in the CSA but just hasn’t pulled it together this year.  We had a lot of trouble getting it started, with birds eating nearly every seedling I planted.  But I have enough for a few folks today.  I prefer Italian parsley to the curly type: I think it is more tender and flavorful. It’s excellent in pasta dishes, salads, pesto, or tabouleh.  You can use the leaves and the stems.  Parsley is also particularly nutritious, so eat it up.

 

We have one last kohlrabi bulb for everyone today, and they are huge!  These are a fall storage variety, so they will keep well in the fridge if you don’t use them right away.  They tend to be a little less sweet and juicy than the quick-growing summer bulbs, so I generally prefer to cook them, though they are still good raw if you prefer.  I love kohlrabi in soup, like the kohlrabi-cheese soup below, or chicken noodle.  I also like it roasted, by itself or with cauliflower and potatoes.  Try substituting it for broccoli or cauliflower in a recipe you already know and love: it works pretty well!  Remember, it needs to be peeled, and you can also eat the greens.  To keep the bulb longer, remove the greens and store them separately.

 

Next week will be your final CSA share (unless you are signed up for a Thankgsiving box).  I hope you’ve enjoyed it and will be back next spring.


Yacon Grapefruit Salad

Okay, this recipe from Marthastewart.com originally called for jicama.  But it is delicious with yacon: the bittersweet grapefruit and sweet apple are a great complement to the mild crunchy yacon.

1 red grapefruit, peel and pith removed
1 navel orange, peel and pith removed
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
4 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for garnish
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, flakes
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large or 3 to 4 small yacon, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cut into 3/4-inch chunks

Working over a large bowl, carefully carve out sections of grapefruit and orange from membranes using a paring knife, letting sections fall into bowl and reserving membranes. Transfer juices to a small non-reactive bowl; squeeze membranes into bowl. Discard membranes.

Add lime juice, cilantro, red pepper flakes, and salt to the small bowl with the juices; stir to combine. Add jicama, apple, and cucumber to the large bowl with the fruit. Pour juice mixture over fruit mixture. Gently toss to coat. Let salad stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Kohlrabi Cheese Soup with Bacon

I had this at Hearth and Table, and it was delish.  I looked for a recipe online and found one at the CSA for Three blog.  She says: Kohlrabi tastes kind of like broccoli, so I thought, why not use a broccoli cheese soup recipe and sub in kohlrabi? I made some modifications, and I used both the bulbs and the greens in this recipe. It came out great!

4 slices bacon
1 cup chopped onions
fresh ground pepper
Pinch nutmeg
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 lb (ish) peeled and cubed kohlrabi bulbs
1 bunch kohlrabi greens, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup cream
1 1/4 cups shredded cheese – I used chihuahua
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter

Render the bacon in a dutch oven and remove and crumble the bacon. Saute the onions in the bacon fat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, season with pepper and nutmeg, and cook for another minute or so. Add the flour and stir until well-distributed and slightly browned. Slowly stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Allow to thicken just a little, then add the chopped kohlrabi root. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Add the greens and stir, cover again for a few more minutes until the root is soft and the greens wilt.

Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to pot and add cream, and add cheese and butter when hot enough to melt, stirring to distribute. Serve and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

End of Season, Bulk Carrots

One more week of the CSA! Your final share will be on November 7 or 9. Thank you for being a member, I hope that you will be back next spring. Please return all bags that you have at home. Next week, consider bringing a bag and transferring the contents of your final share at your drop site so that you don’t have to remember to return your bag.

We are offering a bulk carrot special for delivery with your final CSA share. You can order them by emailing me at carolina@corvuslanding.com or calling 541-418-2281. Carrots are sold in 5# bags.

 

  • 1 bag is $12.75, or 15% off our retail price
  • 2 bags $12 each, 20% off retail price
  • 3 or more bags $11.25 each, 25% off retail price

 

Thanksgiving shares are still available! The price is $45 for a box full of local veggies for your Thanksgiving table and storage crops to last into December. Visit our website or call for more information and to sign up.

 

Thank you for being a member of the Corvus Landing CSA!

CSA Week 18

*** 2 more weeks!  Final CSA is November 7 and 9.  Thanksgiving shares still available, price goes up at the end of the week.***

In your share week 18:

Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash
Yellow Finn Potatoes
Carrots
Shallot
Saute Mix

Full Shares Only:

Broccoli or Salad Mix
Cilantro or Beets

That was some rain this weekend.  Fortunately, our cover crop did its job and we had minimal erosion in spite of 9″ in 48 hours.  Our river was raging!  Monday’s harvest was a bit on the muddy side, but the sun this week should give all the crops a nice boost and some more fall growth.

We’re switching up your greens a bit today.  Instead of kale or salad, we’re including a bag of saute mix.  These are overgrown salad greens, including baby kale, mustard, mizuna, and komatsuna.  You can eat it as a robust salad (those mustards are pretty hot!) or cook it up like kale.  I think our saute mix has great flavor and adds some nice color to your meals.  I usually chop it coarsely before cooking, but you can also just use the leaves whole.  The mustards lose their heat when cooked, but still have a nice pungent flavor.

We have another kind of squash today, an old Oregon bred variety called Gill’s Golden Pippin.  We find it is more like a delicata in flavor than a typical acorn, and its small size makes it easy to portion.  The skins are tender and tasty, so I wouldn’t bother peeling them.  Typically I slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  I either roast the halves face down in a pan with a bit of water (375 until a fork goes through easily, about 30 minutes), or slice them into half moons, toss with oil, and roast them on a sheet pan until they are soft and caramelized. Store them at room temperature or use them as a decoration until you’re ready to eat them.

Otherwise we have more of our staple carrots and potatoes.  We have lots of good-looking fall carrots out there, so I hope to have bulk bags available for the last few weeks of farm stand.  We’re making progress on the mountain of potatoes in our garage, hopefully we won’t go into winter with too many.  We will also have them available in bulk at the last couple of farm stands.  I hope you enjoyed last week’s shallot, and here’s another for you.


Baked Acorn Squash with Bacon and Rosemary

This is a simple but flavorful way to cook squash. Originally made with Carnival Squash, but I’ve adapted it to work for our acorns.  From the blog Angie’s Recipes.

 

2 Acorn squash

Salt and black pepper to taste

¼ lb Smoked bacon, diced

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1/2 tsp Dried rosemary

2 Garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut carnival squash into halves, scoop out seeds and fibers, and cut each half into two chunks. Place them cut-side up on a shallow baking tray. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper.

 

Dice the bacon and combine with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, nutmeg and sugar in a bowl. Divide the mixture among the carnival chunks. Bake in the middle of the hot oven for 25-30 minutes.


Moroccan Carrot Salad with Ginger

Another gem from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food. She recommends giving the salad time to marinate and absorb the flavors of the spices before serving. Serves 4.

Julienne (matchstick):

            1 bunch carrots

Cook in salted boiling water until almost tender but still al dente. Drain and season with salt. In a small bowl, mix together:

½ tsp each ground cumin and coriander

            1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

            a pinch of cayenne

Pour over the warm carrots and toss gently. Marinate for a few hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Just before serving whisk together:

Juice of ½ lime

            2 Tbsp olive oil

            2 Tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley (or mint)

Pour over the carrots and toss gently.

CSA Week 17

In your share week 17:

Carrots
Shallot
Turnip or Radish
Cauliflower or Broccoli
Kale
Salad Mix
Tomatoes (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Beets or Cilantro

Frost has hit, with the last few nights getting down to 34 degrees.  At this point, it honestly doesn’t affect us too much.  We already abandoned the zucchini to powdery mildew, and all of our tomatoes and heat loving crops are in the greenhouses.  It has to get down to about 27 degrees before the plants inside get fried, which usually doesn’t happen here until later in the fall.  We still have tomatoes for some full shares this week, and we’ll hopefully get the rest of you next week.

Instead, we have some very happy and now extra sweet kale, salad, and carrots.  All of these crops actually benefit from a little frost: it causes them to increase the sugar concentration in their cells, lowering their freezing point.  It also does a lot to relieve our aphid pressure and slows down other pests.  The kale especially is thriving with the cold nights and sunny days, so enjoy!

Some “lasts” today: last cauliflower, last radishes and turnips, though perhaps not the last broccoli?  Some of the radishes are enormous; but they are still crunchy and are now extra flavorful!  Their greens are also particularly nice this week, and remember that they are especially nutritious.  The frost is good for radishes too, developing lots of flavor.

We are also keeping the “firsts” coming with a beautiful, delicious shallot.  These have been slow to bulb out this year; usually by now they’ve dropped their tops and died back.  Our shallots are much bigger than what you usually see in stores, but they are shallots nonetheless.  Most shallots are grown from overwintered bulbs (like garlic), but these are grown from seed with our onions.  Seed grown shallots get much larger, but still have tons of flavor and store extremely well.  If you’re not familiar with shallots, they are similar to onions but more savory and flavorful, and less sweet.  You can use them in place of onions in many recipes and can usually use less than the recipe calls for.  Some people describe their flavor as a cross between onions and garlic, but I just think they have a wonderful flavor all their own.  These should be kept in a bag in the fridge.  You can also use the greens!

This week’s carrots are some of the last we’ll see of our beloved “Nelson” variety.  Every farm I’ve been on has grown this excellent carrot, but the breeder has discontinued the seed and it will no longer be available.  I have been working through my stock of seed but the germination was getting worse and worse.  I finally gave up and our last few rotations will be a selection of different varieties we’re trying.  Nelson will be sorely missed.

But the good news is that we’ve finally found a carrot that twice beat Nelson in taste tests, and it’s an open pollinated carrot instead of a hybrid.  For hybrid varieties, pollination is controlled, with every seed being a specific mix of genetics that is proprietary to the breeder.  Open pollinated seed is produced by allowing a population to breed freely, though the genetics are controlled by environmental factors and plant selection.  Hybrid seeds can’t be reproduced at home, since the seeds produced by hybrid plants don’t come true to type.  However, open pollinated seeds can be reproduced and reselected to thrive in your own environment.  We will be selling some of the carrots of this new variety (called “Coral”) to our friends at Adaptive Seeds so that they can produce seed and hopefully add them to their catalog.  We don’t do a lot of seed saving at the farm, but it’s something that I care about and contribute to when I can.


Chanterelle Mushroom and Kale Salad with Lime-Tahini Sauce

This recipe comes from Andrea Bemis from Dishing Up the DirtShe is a farmer and chef, and has a great blog with tons of veggie-centric recipes.  I liked this one because chanterelles are popping right now and the kale is especially nice this week.  She calls it a salad, but it’s all cooked and served hot.  Try using shallot instead of onion!

  • 1/2 lb chanterelle mushrooms (or mushrooms of choice) finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, touch stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 small delecata squash, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds or half moons (you can leave the skin on it’s edible and delicious!)
  • grapeseed oil for cooking (or any oil you prefer)
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

For the Lime-Tahini Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1 TBS low sodium tamari
  • 2 TBS lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp honey or pure maple syrup
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the tahini sauce together in a blender or food processor. Taste test and add anything. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the sliced delicata squash with a little bit of grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. Place on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until fork tender (about 12-15 minutes) toss squash halfway through cooking time.
  3. Cook quinoa
  4. In a large skilled over medium heat add a little grapeseed oil. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 8 more minutes stirring often. Add kale and cook until kale is bright green and slightly wilted, about 3 more minutes. Add cooked quinoa and delicata squash to the pan. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat. Drizzle with tahini sauce and garnish with fresh parsley.

Carrot-Cake Thumbprint Cookies

Carrots make great dessert too!  Here’s a winner from Martha Stewart.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown and granulated sugars, and yolk. In another bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture to combine. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  2. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll balls in pecans to coat. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven; press an indentation into center of each cookie with the end of a wooden spoon. Bake until golden brown on bottoms, 10 to 12 minutes more. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
  3. In a bowl, beat remaining 1/2 stick butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium until smooth. Beat in goat cheese until just combined. Swirl in jam. Fill center of each cookie with goat-cheese mixture; serve.

Cook’s Notes

Piping makes fast work of filling the cookies; use a plastic bag with a corner snipped off. You can also simply spoon it in.

CSA Week 16

*** Thursday pickup change!  All Lincoln City shares will now be available beginning at 11 AM***

In Your Share Week 16:

Yellow Finn Potatoes
Delicata Squash
Cabbage
Eggplant
Broccoli or Basil
Kale
Tomatoes (Some sites only)

Full Shares Only:

Salad Mix
Kohlrabi

 

Sorry, share notes are a little late this week, it’s been surprisingly busy the last several days.  Today’s new and exciting item is Delicata squash, finally ready to head home to you!  These beautiful little winter squash are sweet and nutty, with a thin delicate skin and smooth texture.  Delicata are great roasted or stuffed, or I’m partial to them as a pizza topping. Typically I slice them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  I either roast the halves face down in a pan with a bit of water (375 until a fork goes through easily, about 30 minutes), or slice them into half moons, toss with oil, and roast them on a sheet pan until they are soft and caramelized.  I usually eat the skin; it’s tender and tasty.

 

Squash store in a cabinet, out on the counter, or as a centerpiece on your table: no need to refrigerate them!  Our squash have been behind the game on ripening this year, and these will sweeten up as they sit out.  We have several other varieties to include in the last few weeks of the CSA, but the delicata seemed the most mature and ready to eat.  We just pulled all the squash and pumpkins in on Monday, loading the tractor bucket with a couple hundred pounds at a time and taking several trips back and forth from the field to the greenhouse.  We now have heirloom pumpkins and acorn squash, early season butternuts, and delicatas curing in the greenhouse.  It’s looking very colorful!

 

With the colder nights of the last week or two, several summer crops are officially throwing in the towel.  This is the last basil of the year, and while I did my best to remove any questionable leaves, I’d recommend using it up quickly.  Cukes and zukes are officially done, but our tomatoes are still looking surprisingly good!  We had a late rotation of determinates that are just now ripening, including lots of roma-type sauce tomatoes.  We’ll continue to rotate them through the different sites and shares as long as we can.

 

Another summer crop that is still doing surprisingly well is our eggplant.  We were able to get a nice serving for everyone today, and I can tell you they are still extremely tasty.  We’re doing “Tactober” in our house, with tacos on the menu not every day but pretty frequently.  I’ve been using eggplants as filling, as well as ground elk, turnip greens, fresh salsas, and potatoes.  Everyone got a head of red, green, or napa cabbage this week, which I’ve also been using either in or alongside my tacos.  Our fall cabbage isn’t super abundant this year, so this will likely be the only head you get.

 

Today’s potatoes are yellow finns, which are our storage potatoes and Mike’s favorite.  They are golden and buttery, great for roasting, mashing, frying, or anything you want.  They unfortunately have damage from potato scab, which makes them a bit ugly, but it is entirely superficial and is fine to eat.  If you don’t like it, just peel them and you won’t even know they had a problem.

 

Just a reminder that the final CSA pickup will be November 7 or 9 (depending on your pickup day).  Our farm stand continues until Thanksgiving (Tuesdays 9 to 2), and our hospital farm stand goes on Tuesdays from 11 to 2 through October 31.  We still have Thanksgiving shares available, they are $40 and will be ready on Tuesday, November 21.  Click here to sign up, or just send me an email or stop by the stand.


Roasted Delicata Squash Kale & Sausage Pizza

This is easy to adapt, cut the sausage if you like, or use brie or different cheese, or switch up the veggies.  By Tracy Benjamin of Shutterbean blog. 

1 delicata squash, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch circles

extra virgin olive oil

2 Italian sausages, casings removed

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper

1 1lb. pizza dough (buy pre-made, or try making your own!)

2 cups kale, torn into pieces

2 cups shredded mozzarella

3 tablespoons goat cheese

2 tablespoons chopped candied walnuts

Preheat oven to 400F

Place delicata squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and toss the squash to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 15-18 minutes, or until squash has become tender; set aside.

Meanwhile heat a glug of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Stir in onions and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add sausage to the pan and break into smaller pieces with a spoon. You want cook the sausage thoroughly and brown the onions.  Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.  Season with salt & pepper to taste and set aside.

To make the pizza, adjust oven to 450F. Stretch pizza dough into a 14 inch circle onto a pizza bake or baking sheet.  Top with 1/2 cup cheese and add the kale to the top. Nestle the delicata squash on top, followed by another 1/2 cup cheese and the sausage and onion mixture. Place dollops of goat cheese on top and finish with the remaining cheese and candied walnuts. Bake in the oven until crust is nicely browned, about 15-18 minutes. Serve hot.


Aloo Baingan: Easy Indian spiced Eggplants and Potatoes

By Richa Hingle of the Vegan Richa blog.  Serve with flatbread/rice and Dal. Vegan gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free.

1 tsp oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

6 curry leaves, chopped (optional)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

½ inch ginger, minced

1 hot green chile, finely chopped

1 tsp coriander powder

½ tsp turmeric

1 large potato, cubed small

1 medium eggplant, chopped small, or 8 or more small eggplants, quartered

1 large tomato, crushed, finely chopped or about 1 cup diced canned tomato

¾ cup water

¾ tsp salt

cayenne (pure red chili powder) or garam masala to taste

cilantro for garnish

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add cumin and mustard seeds and cook them until cumin seeds change color and get fragrant. A few seconds or a minute depending on how hot the plan and oil are.
  2. Add curry leaves carefully. Add garlic ginger and chili and cook for a minute or until the garlic is golden.
  3. Add the coriander powder and turmeric and mix in. Add potatoes and eggplants and mix in.
  4. Add the tomatoes, salt and water and mix in. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the eggplants and potatoes are tender to preference. about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and spice and mix in.
  5. Garnish with a good sprinkle of cayenne or garam masala or both, and cilantro and serve.
Notes
Add a cup or more of cooked chickpeas and another chopped tomato to make this into a 1 pot meal.
Add a dash of liquid smoke for a bharta(mashed eggplant) flavor profile.

CSA Week 15

In Your Share Week 15:

Carrots
Onion
Broccoli or Cauliflower
Cucumber or Zucchini
Fennel
Cilantro
Salad Mix
Tomatoes (some sites only)

Full shares only:

Kale
Baby Turnips

 

Not much new today, but lots of our usual favorites.  We haven’t had much fennel for you this year, but this week we have a beautiful rotation sized up.  Remember you can use fennel most places you’d use celery: it’s great raw, roasted, or used as an aromatic in soups and stuffings.  I particularly like it with potatoes.  Mostly use the white part of the bulb, the stalks have nice flavor but tend to be tough.

We are pulling from our final rotations of cauliflower and broccoli, so these will be some of the last you’ll see of them.  They tend to peter out as the rains begin, and our final rotations are a little weak this year.  I think I’m ready to pull the plug on zucchini as well, since the plants have gotten moldy and production is dropping fast.  The cucumbers, though, are still putting out a surprising amount of fruit, so hopefully we’ll have those for another week or two.

 

Our fall salad has been especially nice this year, as is the cilantro.  We’ve been getting back on a Mexican food kick, with lots of tacos and enchiladas around our house recently.  We’ve been making lots of our own sauces with our tomatoes, cilantro, and dried chiles, then making fillings out of eggplant, turnip greens, zucchini, and whatever other veggies we have in the fridge.  Usually we make our own tortillas (it’s easy and they’re soooo delicious) but this time of year we are tired and also use store bought ones.

 

We have one last onion for you today; as I’ve said, our onion crop was a disappointment but we do have some beauties today.  These were a new variety I tried this year that turned out to be a longer season one, so they still have fresh green tops even though it’s October.  Keep them in the fridge and use the whole thing: I use the tops along with the bulbs, but they also make good stock.  We’ll have a few shallots and maybe leeks for you in the weeks to come, but these will be your last onions for the season.

 

Remember to come to the Neskowin Valley School Harvest Festival this Saturday!  Say hi to us, support the school, and enjoy fresh pressed cider, fresh food, and music all day.  I’ll be playing on the stage around 2:45; I’d love for you to come hear me sing.  10 to 5, this Saturday October 7.


Quinoa Salad with Apples, Pears, Fennel, and Walnuts

From The One Dish Vegetarian by Mia Robbins, this hearty salad can stand alone as a meal or be served as a side. I particularly like fennel raw, and it pairs very well with fruit as in this dish.

In a saucepan, bring 4 c water to a boil. Add 2 c quinoa, turn the heat to low, and simmer until the grains become translucent, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine:

2 apples, cored, diced, and sprinkled with lemon juice

2 ripe pears, cored, diced, and sprinkled with lemon juice

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and diced

½ c dried currants

2 shallots, finely minced

In a separate bowl, whisk together:

½ c fresh orange juice

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

Mix quinoa together with fruit mixture, then pour dressing over the top. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with ½ toasted walnuts and serve.


Carrot Fennel Soup

From Gourmet November 2008, by Ruth Cousineau. 

 

2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds

1 pound carrots, quartered lengthwise

1 medium onion, quartered

1 garlic clove

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

 

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position.

 

Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve. Discard stalks and remaining fronds. Slice bulbs 1/4 inch thick and toss with carrots, onion, garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

 

Blend half of vegetables in a blender with broth until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Repeat with remaining vegetables and water. Thin to desired consistency with extra water and simmer 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Meanwhile, finely grind fennel seeds in grinder and stir into remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Serve soup drizzled with fennel oil and sprinkled with reserved fronds.

CSA Week 14

In your share week 14:

Potatoes
Radish
Turnip Greens
Kale
Basil
Salad Mix
(Some shares only) Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes

Full shares only:

Napa Cabbage or Cabbage
Zucchini or Cucumber

Market Schedule updates:

  • Gleneden Harvest Market is now over!  Thanks for a great season.  CSA members can continue to pick up your shares inside of Eden Hall until the season ends November 9.
  • Neskowin Farmers Market ends this Saturday, September 30.  CSA members will have to pick up their shares at the farm after this week.  I’ll contact you with more details.
  • Tuesday Farm Stand continues 9 to 2 until Thanksgiving.
  • Hospital Farm Stand now has extended hours!  11 to 2 into October (end date TBA)
  • Find us at Neskowin Valley School’s Harvest Festival (and come hear Carolina sing in the afternoon):

September is almost over, and we have one more week of a full schedule before things begin to ease up for us.  I’m working to get as much of the field cover cropped before the end of the month and finish digging the potatoes.  Crewmember (and yoga teacher) Tanner decided to put in a full day of digging on Friday and pulled in over 500 pounds of our yellow finn storage potatoes.  That was a single day record for the farm, but there’s still just a few more to go.  This year we have more potatoes than ever before, so you’ll continue to see lots of them in your shares going forward!

 

We are also planning to harvest our winter squash soon, but they just aren’t quite ripe.  We have lots of beautiful squash sitting in the field, and I’m hoping we get at least a few more warm sunny days to sweeten them up.  They will continue to ripen more after harvesting, but it would be better to let them sweeten on the vine more before pulling them.  Looks like more rain coming next week, so maybe we’ll try to squeeze that in next Monday.

 

Instead, today you get double basil for another batch of pesto before it all goes moldy.  Usually our basil doesn’t last past September, and we are already starting to see more browning leaves and mold in the patch.  But there’s still loads of fresh green leaves, and I thought you might enjoy a little extra.

 

There are lots of greens in today’s share, with salad mix, kale, and some turnip greens.  This is one of our last rotations of baby turnips, and they were just too close together to size up the roots properly.  The greens, however, are perfect, so everyone gets turnip greens with tiny baby turnips on them!  I haven’t had good turnip greens in a while, and today I made my standard lunch of rice and steamed turnip greens, complete with the tiny roots.  They really are one of my favorite vegetables, delicious steamed, sauteed, or in soups or curries.  They are also one of the most nutrient dense veggies out there.  My rule of thumb is that anything you can do with spinach you can do with turnip greens: enjoy!

 

Turnip greens can also be fermented into kimchi, which is well timed since full shares have some of the largest heads of napa cabbage we’ve ever grown!  I’m not sure how they got this big, but some are about the size of my cat.  Fortunately, napa cabbage keeps well in the fridge and ferments well into kimchi.  We will hopefully have heads for half shares soon, but they are heading up unevenly and only part of the patch is ready to harvest.  I like to use napa cabbage for coleslaw, salad, stir fries, and tacos.  It’s more tender than green or red cabbage and I love it’s flavor and light, crunchy texture.  If you don’t plan to use the whole head at once, you can either peel off the outer leaves to use and leave the rest of the head in a bag (stores best this way), or you can chop through the whole head from the top (you may just have to trim the browned edges when you go to use more).  Make sure to eat the wide white ribs as well as the outer leafy part.

 

All of the summer fruits are slowing down, and we are trying to adjust our picking schedule to reflect that.  We still have tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini, but less of them and a little less often.  We will continue to include them in your shares, but you won’t be getting them every week any more.  However, this coincides with our market schedule slowing down, so the CSA gets more of what we do harvest going forward.  Fortunately, our tomatoes are in the greenhouses and so have more protection from rain and mold.  We still have lots of green fruit on the vine, so expect to see tomatoes at least into October.


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.

 


Spanish Potato, Chard, and Bean Soup

From Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian, this is an easy and nutritious soup. Particularly good served with good crusty bread. It also keeps well, it is a good one to double or triple the recipe and eat it all week.  Try it with turnip greens instead of the chard!

 

In a medium pot, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add:

2 small onions, diced

            1 garlic clove, chopped

            2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried

            3 medium potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces

            Salt and pepper

Sautee 7 or 8 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add

            1 bunch chard or turnip greens with stems, chopped

Sautee another couple of minutes until chard has wilted. Add:

3 c vegetable or chicken stock

            1 ½ c cooked (or 1 can) garbanzo or cannellini beans

Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down the heat. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing some of the beans and potato chunks against the side of the pan.

Serve with a dribble of olive oil over each bowl.

CSA Week 13

In your share week 13:

Carrots
Beets
Zucchini or Cucumber
Onion or Romaine Lettuce
Kale
Cilantro
Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

Full shares only:

Eggplant
Radish
Salad Mix

The rain has arrived!  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever recover from last winter, but I have to say I’m loving the change in the weather.  Zack and I worked hard last week to get as much of the field cover cropped as possible, and this rain is just perfect timing to get it all up and growing.

Cover cropping is a key element of our organic practices.  We plant a mix of cereals (oats, triticale) and legumes (peas, vetch, fava beans, and crimson clover) to keep our field covered over the winter.  It’s essential here to prevent erosion and reduce nutrient leaching, but cover crops have lots of other benefits as well.  They fix nitrogen, reducing the need for added fertilizer.  They also add organic matter, which feeds our soil’s microbiology, feed pollinators, and create habitat for many beings that inhabit our fields.  They compete with weeds and keep our soil healthy!  I try to plant cover crop in as much of the field as possible by the end of September.  I was starting to worry that we weren’t going to get a good rain early enough to get it going, but with 3″ in the last 36 hours we’re off to a good start.  I’ve got a little over half the field cover cropped and ready for winter, and hopefully will get the rest of it done before the end of the month.

With all those preparations, plus a couple of crewmember absences, I didn’t get around to writing share notes last week.  I apologize, but I figured there was nothing you hadn’t had before and hopefully you figured it all out without me.  Those were the last of the beans, which came on fast and furious and are now basically finished.  We harvested nearly 800 pounds of beans in the last 6 weeks, double the amount we’ve ever had on the farm before!  They seemed to be particularly heavy setters this year, with just a couple of big picks per rotation.

With the rain, colder nights, and shorter days, we’ll be seeing the variety taper off.  Picks are getting smaller on all of the heat loving summer crops, and I expect that we’ll have just a couple more weeks of zucchini and cucumbers.  Our tomatoes should continue into the fall, though we will have fewer of them for you.  On the flip side, the cooler weather crops will get sweeter as it gets colder, so expect extra delicious carrots, kale, beets, and more going forward.  I gave you a break from basil this week, and by October it generally is unhappy and ready to be removed to make room for other things.  We’ve started to pull our potatoes for fall storage, and there’s already 500 pounds sitting in my garage with hundreds more waiting in the field to be harvested.  We’ll be offering bulk discounts on potatoes this fall, as they store very well into the winter.

This week’s share would be wonderful for a fall roast or some delicious enchiladas.  Full shares have more eggplant than we’ve been able to rustle up for you, which would be great roasted with carrots and beets (they cook faster so add them near the end!) or as a filling for enchiladas with zucchini and cilantro.  Mike and I had a quick tomato sauce pasta topped with grilled eggplant last week, which is an easy and delicious way to use it.  I slice it 1/4″ thick, toss with olive oil and salt, and roast it at 400 until it is soft and lightly browned.  For enchiladas, I’d probably cube it along with the zucchini, toss all with olive oil and salt, and roast them together to make a filling.  So many delicious ways to use eggplant…

The cilantro today is wonderfully flavorful and aromatic, but some of it may look different than you are used to because it is getting ready to flower.  I find that it is equally delicious when it’s flowering, but the stalk can get tough so I pick off the leaves and finer stems and discard the thick, round, central stalk.  We actually grow our own cilantro seed, which we mostly use for planting but sometimes use in cooking.  Cilantro seeds are commonly known as coriander.


Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Enchiladas

I love enchiladas, and I make a totally unorthodox vegetarian American version.  But they are satisfying and delicious and make great leftovers.  I like to use the Sweet Creek enchilada sauce available at Trillium if I’m too pressed for time to make my own, but there’s lots of options out there.

1 pound eggplant, diced into 1/4” pieces

1 pound zucchini, diced into 1/4” pieces

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/4 tsp salt

Black pepper, to taste

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

12 corn tortillas

12 oz. red enchilada sauce

1/2 cup grated cheese (queso oaxaca is best, or use cheddar or Monterey Jack)

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place the eggplant, zucchini, and onion on a rimmed baking tray lined with parchment paper and toss with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Roast in an even layer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft and lightly caramelized. Remove from oven and let cool. Lower oven to 375.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of an 11 x 17 baking pan. Place one tortilla in the pan, drop a couple spoonfuls of filling in the center, and fold it in half so that the fold is on the bottom of the pan (like a taco shell). Lay the next tortilla against the first to hold it in place and repeat.  Repeat with all of the remaining tortillas, squeezing the enchiladas in tight.  I usually fit 10 or 12 to a pan.  If there is remaining filling, I add it to the pan around the enchiladas.
  3. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until warmed through. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Top with cilantro.  Also great with diced avocado, pico de gallo, or fresh diced tomato.

Mrs. Kostyra’s Borscht

From Marthastewart.com.  Borscht is a classic use of beets and soup season is here!

  • 4 medium beets, scrubbed well
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 dried mushrooms (morels and porcini; about 1/2 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • Homemade Vegetable Stock
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice or citric acid, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beets on a piece of parchment paper — lined aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold up edges of foil and parchment to enclose beets. Place on a small baking sheet, and bake until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 hour. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel, and coarsely grate; set aside.

  2. Soak mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms; set aside.

  3. In a medium stockpot, combine stock, beets, mushrooms, mushroom liquid, celery leaves, parsley, garlic, sugar, a large pinch of salt, and a large pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.

  4. Add lemon juice or citric acid. Taste, and adjust for seasoning. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and flour, stirring until no lumps remain. Whisk in a ladleful of soup, then whisk the sour-cream mixture into the soup. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in dill just before serving.

CSA Week 12

In your share week 12:

Potatoes
Green Onion
Broccoli and/or Cauliflower
Green Beans
Zucchini
Kale
Salad Mix
Cherry Tomatoes and/or Tomatoes
Basil

Full Shares Only:

Cucumber

Notes coming soon…


Hummous

So this isn’t made with vegetables, but it sure is good with vegetables.  I make a lot of hummous.  I like it best made with white beans (cannellini or navy) instead of chickpeas.  You can vary the flavor by adding different herbs and spices.  I use an immersion blender to make mine, or you can use a food processor, blender, or mortar and pestle.

3 c (or 2 cans) cooked white beans or chickpeas
1/4 c tahini
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil
1/3 bunch parsley (substitute other herbs or spices as available or desired)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Water to make the blades turn and get the right texture, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Optional: 1 jalapeno pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, blender, or large straight sided bowl if using an immersion blender.  Process until smooth, add salt or water if necessary.  Serve cold with a drizzle of olive oil and smoked paprika.


LEBANESE LAMB & CAULIFLOWER STEW

I adapted this from an Epicurious recipe.  It made for a rich and delicious stew with a great palate of flavors.  It was a little odd at first taste, but I found myself thinking about it and eagerly coming back for leftovers all week!

2 lbs lamb stew meat: I use the kebab meat from Walker Farms

1 large cauliflower, coarsely chopped

3/4 pound green beans (I used Romanos), coarsely chopped

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound of potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1/2 cup Tahini

1 tsp cinnamon

Salt to taste

Coarse ground pepper to taste

4 Tbs olive oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 375.  Toss the cauliflower and beans with 3 Tbsp of the oil and salt to taste, then spread on a baking sheat.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Brown the lamb pieces briefly on all sides, then remove to a plate. Using the same pan and oil, saute onions and garlic until soft and transluscent.  Add the potatoes, cinnamon, salt & pepper, and saute briefly.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, then add the lamb back to the pot.  Continue to simmer until potatoes are fork tender and lamb is just cooked through.  Add extra water or stock if pan gets too dry.

Mix the tahini and lemon juice in a bowl; the tahini will thicken and fluff up rapidly.  Stir into the stew along with the roasted vegetables.  Serve hot.

 

CSA Week 11

In your share week 11:

Carrots
Turnips or Radishes
Green Beans
Zucchini
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Romaine lettuce or Onion
Basil
Tomato and/or cherry tomato

Full shares only:
Beets
Fennel
Cilantro

 

Well, we made it to September and we are getting tired!  Harvests are still going strong, which is a good thing but means lots of work for me and the crew.  I keep looking around the farm for crops I can eliminate or put to bed, but I think it will be a few more weeks before we see the work load start to back off.  At least we seem to be past the enormous, 100-plus pound green bean harvests; we still have more coming but shouldn’t have to spend 8 hours picking anymore!  I’m finally recovered enough from last winter to be looking forward to some fall weather, or at least enough rain to get my cover crop germinated and growing.  I’ll be relieved once I have at least part of our field winterized.

 

Not much new today, except eggplant for some of you.  I will repeat what I wrote a couple weeks ago here, since eggplant is a mystery for many.  I love eggplant’s succulent texture.  I tend to like it roasted or grilled and eaten on top of or beside just about anything, but it’s also lovely in stir fries and curries or turned into baba ganouj.  Ours are the long slender Japanese type, and I always eat the skin.  To prepare them, cut off the stem end and either slice them into slabs or chunks.  Eggplant absorb quite a bit of oil in cooking, so some people like to salt them and let them sit for 15 or 20 minutes to cut down on that.  Store eggplant in a bag in the fridge, though they’ll be all right on the counter for a day or two.

 

You have either a savory, yummy red onion or a beautiful head of romaine lettuce.  This is a new variety of romaine, and it seems to be bolting (flowering) more readily than our usual.  I will probably switch back next year, but in the meantime your lettuce might have a few flower buds starting at the center of the heart.  Lettuce flowers are fine to eat, though they do tend to be a bit bitter.  These romaine will still make a lovely salad, though, especially since we haven’t included any salad greens for a few weeks.  We’ve been too busy picking tomatoes and green beans and cucumbers and all those good summery things to focus so much on salad greens.  They are also a little less happy with all this heat, so haven’t been as abundant as they were earlier in the season.

 

Our cucumber harvests are finally picking up, largely because the lemon cucumbers are finally hitting full production.  If you aren’t familiar with lemon cukes, they are round and yellow and typically around baseball size.  They are called lemon because of looks, not flavor.  Their flavor is that of a sweet, delicious cucumber and they can be used interchangeably with the other green slicers we grow.  You can even pickle them, though I wouldn’t recommend canning them because they will become mushy.  Our lemon cukes are bigger than you usually see them, and this is because of the way we prune and trellis them.  Pruning the cukes makes them have better pollination and fruit quality, easier harvests, and higher yields overall.  I used to hate growing cucumbers, but since we switched to growing them this way I love them!  Pruning the cucumbers in the greenhouse is a job I’ll save for an evening by myself, a treat at the end of the day where I get to spend some quality time with these beautiful plants.  And you benefit by getting to eat the results!

 

I know we’ve been giving lots of basil, but it really is the most beautiful I’ve ever harvested right now.  And I used to harvest 600 pounds a week!  On Sunday, I used about 4 pounds to make and freeze lots of pesto.  It’s not too late to order bulk basil if you want to do the same!  We have lots, and it really couldn’t be any more perfect.  Soon, colder nights will slow it down and decrease the quality, but for now we’ve still got lots of heat and perfect basil.  Contact me if you want to order bulk basil: $15 per pound.

 


Caesar Salad

A classic that will be delicious with our fresh heads of romaine.  This version comes from Bon Apetit’s May 2013 issue.

 

6 anchovy fillets packed in oil

1 small garlic clove

2 large egg yolks*

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

3 cups torn 1″ pieces country bread

Leaves from 1 head romaine lettuce

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper



To make the dressing, chop together the anchovy, garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt. Use the side of a knife blade to mash into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil, then 1/2 cup vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
Toss 3 cups torn 1″ pieces country bread with 3 tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 375°F, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10-15 minutes.
Use your hands to gently toss the lettuce, croutons, and dressing, then top off with the shaved Parmesan.


Radish and Cucumber Salad with Fresh Mint

This is from The Complete Vegan Cookbook, by Susann Geipskoff-Hadler and Mindy Toomay. The original recipe calls for soy milk, but I would recommend coconut milk or else adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of water. A crisp and refreshing summer salad.  Also works great with turnips!  Serves 4.

 

Whisk together:

2 Tbsp coconut milk (or 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp water, or 2 Tbsp soy milk)

            1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

            1 Tbsp olive oil

            1 clove garlic, minced

            ½ tsp honey or agave syrup

            Salt and pepper

Combine in a bowl:

1 bunch radishes or turnips, thinly sliced

            1 ½ c thinly sliced cucumber

            1 medium tomato or 1 c cherry tomatoes, finely diced

Toss dressing with vegetables and

            ¼ c minced fresh mint (or basil)

Serve at room temperature.