CSA Week 19

Final week!  Thank you for being a member of our CSA.  Please bring back any extra bags…

In your share week 19:

Winter Luxury Pumpkin
Kale
Salad
Parsley
Tomatoes or Broccoli

Full shares only:

Beets
Cilantro

We finally made it: the last share of the season!  I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed our CSA.  We work hard to give you freshness, variety, and deliciousness every week, and your support keeps us going.  Thank you to those of you who have already filled out our survey.  If you haven’t yet, please do so here.  We’d love to know what you thought and anything we could do to improve it in the future.

This was an odd season for us in some respects.  Every year there are ups and downs, bumper crops and failures.  This year started fast and furious with dry warm weather in the spring.  Our shares started off large and stayed that way straight through the summer.  And then this fall has been a total change of pace, most of our poorer crops were ones that we usually count on in October and November, like carrots and potatoes.

I ran some numbers and thought you might enjoy seeing some totals.  Not counting the Flex shares (I didn’t track items, just total value), the CSA got:

225 pounds broccoli
450 pounds cauliflower
250 pints cherry tomatoes
267 bunches of cilantro
433 bunches of green onions (we’re going to skip a rotation or two next year!)
518 bunches of kale
355 bags of salad
480 pounds zucchini

In total, your shares were worth about 15% more than what you paid for them, which is probably the best value we’ve given yet.  At the end of the day, though, we hope that the CSA is more about the relationship you develop with the farm, with fresh seasonal eating, and with all these wonderful veggies our land produces.  We are happy to have shared the abundance with you!  CSA members eat like a farmer: we eat what’s abundant, and lots of it (I eat a lot of green onions too).  I get all the funkiest veggies, but I also get some of the best.  We end up composting some of what we bring inside because we can’t get to it all, but it goes back to the worms and the soil and makes more crops next year.

I think the prize for me this summer was the cauliflower. This cool weather crop is one of my favorite vegetables, and this year’s heads were just gorgeous.  I was also really ripping through the cilantro, I eat a lot of herbs and usually basil is my summer go to.  But the basil never really took off this year and the cilantro did, so I just ate it all year long.  I also ate a lot of those delicious heads of romaine, with some cheese and nuts they are one of my favorite summer lunches.

We are already working on things for next year: you have to always be several steps ahead in this game!  I’ve been collecting perennial ornamentals from friends and nursery bargain corners, and I’m working on some propagation projects for our own nursery.  I’ve started to prep the site for the new greenhouse going in this winter, and I’m hoping to get to work on that by the end of January.  Today we planted shallots in the greenhouse for next spring’s crop, and later this week we’ll be planting bulbs for early flowers.  We’ll also be trellising the new raspberry planting in the hopes of having raspberries to sell next July.

I hope to see you at our final farm stand, Tuesday November 20 from 9 to 2 at the farm.  We should have salad, brussels sprouts, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, kale, herbs, and more.  If you already signed up for a Thanksgiving share you can pick it up there (unless you signed up for home delivery).  And I hope you will be back for another year of CSA in 2019: we should send out registration information by early February.

Have a great winter and thank you for your support!


Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti with Garlic Kale

I love using pumpkin to make risotto or pasta sauce.  I usually roast my whole pumpkin, make puree, and then use that throughout the week in pasta sauces, soups, and baking.  From Pinch of Yum blog.

For the Pumpkin Sauce

  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sage leaves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup tomato puree or tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half
  • teeny tiny pinch of cinnamon

For the Pasta

  • 8 ounces bucatini, perciatelli, or spaghetti (I used DeLallo perciatelli)
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For the Garlic Kale

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
  • Manchego or Parmesan cheese for topping
  1. Sauce: In a large pot over medium high heat, add the sun dried tomatoes and a few tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and sage with the sun dried tomatoes and saute until soft and fragrant. Add the pumpkin puree, tomato puree, chicken broth, basil, and cinnamon. Simmer for 15 minutes or so, adding more water or broth as needed to keep the sauce from getting too thick. Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender directly in the pot until mostly smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes for heat.
  2. Pasta: Boil the pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is boiling, brown the turkey in a large skillet with the onion, chili powder, and garlic powder. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary to keep everything moist.
  3. Kale: Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and kale and saute until wilted.
  4. Toss the turkey, sauce, and pasta together. Serve with the kale. Top everything with the cheese.

Parsley Kale Walnut Pesto

From Veggie Inspired This healthy vegan pesto is great on crackers, pasta, mixed into salad dressing, and more.  I would suggest adding a spoonful of tahini, it adds an umami boost to vegan foods!
  • 1 packed cup chopped kale
  • 1 packed cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 4-6 tbsp vegetable broth (or water)
  • Drizzle extra virgin olive oil (optional) (omit to keep this pesto oil-free)
  1. Place kale, parsley, walnuts, pepitas, garlic, lemon juice, salt and 4 tbsp vegetable broth in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  2. If it needs more liquid, add more vegetable broth 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. (I used 5 tbsp).
  3. Drizzle with a scant tsp of extra virgin olive oil, if using, before serving.

CSA Week 18

***One more week to go!  Please bring back any extra bags.  Final share is November 6 or 8***

In your share week 18:

Carrots
Gill’s Golden Pippin Acorn Squash
Leeks
Beets
Red cabbage
Romaine Lettuce
Broccoli (some sites only)

Full shares only:

Kale
Salad Mix

How about that rain?  We got 6.5″ at the farm between Thursday and Sunday, and the river is the highest it’s been since at least April.  Today’s was a muddy harvest; most of the paths were solid enough but in some areas we were really sinking in.  We had to do a lot of extra washing today: the roots were extra muddy, and rain actually makes the lettuces dirtier because it splashes soil onto the leaves.  But in spite of that it was a welcome change: the sky has been an incredible play of light and dark and I think I really relaxed for the first time in 6 months.

We’ve switched things up a bit for today’s share, trying to give you some variety in these last couple of weeks.  We have the first beets in a while, as you’ll see they have grown really well; they have gorgeous greens, thick stems, and very small roots.  I kept waiting for them to size up and gave up in favor of getting you beets before the CSA ends.  They are lovely little baby roots, great for roasting or steaming whole.  Some of you have chioggia beets today, which are ringed pink and white like a bullseye.  They are similar in flavor to the red beets, but are a favorite for many!  The greens on these beets are extra nice, and personally that’s my favorite part.  They can be used like chard or kale.  I’m on a bit of a bean kick so I’d probably saute them up with leeks, beans, and chipotle peppers.

You have a modest head of red cabbage, which we usually grow to add some variety to fall shares.  These are lovely and dense and are a good serving size.  They will store well in a bag in the fridge for several weeks, but are particularly good fresh. These cabbages are good for fresh eating in slaws and salads or for braising or roasting.

One more round of leeks today, you may have to trim the greens up a bit but the stalks are excellent.  One more round of acorn squash, they’ve been a hit at the stand and I’ve been hearing great reviews from many members.  We’ll get you another pumpkin next week.  The carrots are tiny, this is after we gave them an extra month to size up.  I’m going to move the carrots back to the home field next year, where I can keep a better eye on them, particularly the fall rotations that tend to fall out of attention as our harvests explode.

We are close to wrapping up, this will be our last week of regular, weekly farm stands.  We’ll just have one more week of CSA and then a final farm stand at Thanksgiving.  Please look around for any bags you still have at your house and bring them with you when you pick up your share! Consider bringing your own bag next week and transferring the contents when you pick up so you don’t have to return your final bag later.

If you pick up at the Lincoln City Hospital, you will pick up your final share from the hospital’s business office between 11 and 2 next Thursday.  Ask for your share from the cashier, the big window at what used to be the main entrance.

And I apologize for never posting recipes last week, our internet was down for several days and then it just got away from me.  I’ll post the pumpkin chili soup recipe I had written up for last week here, and a couple more for today.


Pumpkin Chili Soup

I make several variations on this theme. You can get whole dried ancho chilies at most local grocery stores. I use whole dried chipotles, but you could also use canned chipotles or chipotle powder (available at Trillium). This is spicy: substitute smoky paprika for the chipotles if you want it a little milder.

 

3 Tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

2-3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped (optional)

3-4 dried ancho chilies, seeded and deveined and torn into pieces

2 dried chipotle chilies, seeded, deveined, and torn into pieces, or 1 tsp chipotle powder or 1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 pound potatoes, coarsely chopped

¾ cup toasted hulless pumpkin seeds (optional)

4-6 cups pumpkin puree (see below)

Stock or water

Salt and pepper

 

To make pumpkin puree:

Heat oven to 375. Cut pumpkin in half and place in a large baking pan with ½ inch of water. Bake until a fork goes through it easily, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle. Remove skin, seeds, and pulp. Puree the pumpkin meat using an immersion blender, food processor, or potato masher.

 

For the soup:

In a stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium. Add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Sautee, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, 8 minutes or so.

 

Add chilies, tomatoes, and potatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add stock or water to cover, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Add pumpkin puree and more salt, and bring back to a simmer. Add pumpkin seeds, if using. Puree soup using an immersion blender or in batches in the food processor. If soup is too thick, add more stock or water. Serve with a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro or parsley, and a dash of olive oil.


Risotto with Beet Greens and Leeks

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; stir in greens. Add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next portion (about 25 minutes). Stir in cheese and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.


 Beet greens are Salt Solution Stars–they’re full of potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. You can use them in place of spinach or another leafy green.
 
1 tsp. olive oil
1 granny smith apple, cubed
1/2 bunch (8 ounces) beet greens, chopped
head red cabbage, shredded
3 tbsp. turbinado or brown sugar
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the apple for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of water, the beet greens, cabbage, sugar, vinegar, and allspice.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

CSA Week 17

***2 weeks to go! Final CSA is November 6 or 8***

In your share week 17:

Winter luxury pumpkin
Onion
Potato
Kale
Salad mix
Cilantro or Italian parsley
Broccoli (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Romaine Lettuce
Tomato

My internet is down, i have recipes for you this week but not on my phone! I really will try to post them asap…

 

We finally got all the winter squash and pumpkins in, the last week or so of warm days has really helped them ripen up.  This is when I am reminded how much later our climate is than the Willamette Valley; all my valley farmer friends brought in their squash weeks ago.

These pumpkins are an heirloom variety called Winter Luxury.  They make the most fantastic pumpkin puree: 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.  I cook them the same way I cook winter squash.  Cut it in half, put it in a pan with a bit of water, and roast it at 375 until a fork goes through it easily.  To puree it, I just scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin, and use my immersion blender (you can also use a food processor, a regular blender, or a potato masher).

If you have a large pumpkin and don’t want to use it all at once, the puree freezes well.  I’d roast the whole pumpkin, since it won’t keep for long once it’s cut open.  Left whole and uncooked, these pumpkins are sturdy but not terribly long keepers.  It should keep at room temperature at least until Thanksgiving and possibly until the end of the year.

We have less variety now that we are into the end of the season, but everything is still fresh and tasty.  I find that the greens and roots get sweeter and more tender with these frosty nights.  Today’s salad is mostly from the greenhouse and looks more like spring salad.  It is extra tender and succulent, and quite a bit milder than the field salad.  Our fall greenhouse salad is usually pretty weak, as the limited light and shortening days make it leggy.  It really shines when it starts to grow back as the days get longer in January and February.  But this bed was an exception: this is really perfect baby salad!

Since our fall crops have been low yielding, we’ve decided to close our farm stands early.  Next week (October 30 and November 1) will be the final weeks for our farm stands, both here at the farm and at the Lincoln City Hospital.  We will reopen at the farm for one last hurrah on November 20, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Your CSA will go one week longer than the farm stands, until November 6 or 8.  Most pickups will remain the same.  For folks who pick up at the hospital we are working on finding a spot at the hospital where we can leave the shares for you.  I will get in touch next week and let you know where they will be.

This is the first year we will not go until Thanksgiving, and the fewest Thanksgiving shares we will pack I think since our first year.  It seems so strange, since over the summer we had more produce than we could handle and were donating a couple hundred pounds a week to the food pantries.  But it seems that all of our poorer crops decided to be the fall ones: carrots, potatoes, yacon, and brussels sprouts.  We are doing our best to keep your shares full and interesting up to the last week, though I know these last few have less variety.  That’s always true in the fall, and that’s how the CSA works: you get what’s abundant on the farm, when it’s abundant.


 

CSA Week 16

**Final share is November 6 or 8.  3 more weeks to go!**

In your share week 16:

Delicata Squash
Shallot
Leek
Radish
Kale
Salad Mix
Broccoli (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Cilantro
Carrots
Zucchini

Okay, they really are getting smaller now, and will continue to diminish over the next 3 weeks.  Harvest is getting harder out there: there’s been an upsurge in aphids with these warm days, growth is slowing drastically in the shadier areas of the farm, and last week’s rains brought mold into crops like zucchini.  Charlene also got injured over the weekend and is limited in helping with harvest this week (fortunately she’s improving quickly!).

But in spite of all that, we’ve pulled together a nice, if lighter, share for you.  We had poor germination in the delicata squash, so these will be the only ones you get (pumpkins coming soon!), but they are lovely.  You can use them just like the acorns we gave you last week: the skins are extra tender and in our taste tests last year the two were undistinguishable.  These had over a week to cure in the greenhouse and they colored up nicely, they should be ready to eat but will also keep for months at room temperature if you don’t get to them right away.

 

Carrots are probably the saddest story of the fall.  The final 2 rotations  (over 500 feet of carrots) just aren’t doing so well.  We gave them a couple of extra weeks to size up and they just aren’t doing it.  I managed to get bunches for full shares today, and will probably just go ahead and harvest what’s there sometime in the next couple of weeks.  But don’t expect to see many of these in your final shares.  A big part of the problem is that our long time carrot variety, Nelson, was discontinued last year.  We did lots of trials and found one whose flavor is on par with Nelson, but we didn’t have the opportunity to test it at all different parts of the season.  We’ve continued to trial new varieties this year and also planted a couple rows of a popular storage variety, but those ended up in a shady section of the field and didn’t germinate well.

 

While it feels like I should have a better handle on the production areas in our new field, I’m really still getting to know it.  This is only our 3rd year in production over there, and it takes a long time to understand the nuances of the growing space.  I’m coming to the conclusion that there are a few sections of that field that are just too shady for growing vegetables, and I’m planning to cut the beds short and plant some shade tolerant perennials for cut flowers there next year.  But for this year, it’s cut into our carrot production as the last 50 or 70 feet of each bed and one full 270 foot bed (we plant about 1500 feet of carrots) were too shady to grow well.  The plants were okay, but stayed small and just couldn’t compete with the more shade tolerant weeds.

 

I have to go set up farm stand, recipes and more coming soon…

Winter Eggs from Mama Tee’s Farm

***I finally added recipes to this week’s share notes, check them out below if you like!***

 

CSA is winding down, with just 4 more weeks to go: your final share will be November 6 or 8.  I know most of you will miss the fresh summer veggies, and we’ll look forward to growing them again next year.

 

In the mean time, I wanted to let you know of a good source for fresh pastured eggs all winter long.  My friend Carrie from Mama Tee’s Farm in Willamina is a vendor at the Neskowin Farmers Market.  She does an egg CSA here at the coast starting in mid-November, bringing fresh pasture raised eggs every other week to Neskowin.  (She’s interested in doing a drop in Lincoln City as well, so if you would consider hosting one get in touch with her.)  Carrie is one of the most environmentally conscious farmers I know, with a background in ecology and a deep comittment to sustainability.  Her birds and pasture are well cared for, and her eggs are delicious!

 

If you are interested, download her information and signup form here.  She delivers every other week to Neskowin from November 14 to April 17, with a season cost of $75.  Tell her we sent you!

Mama Tee’s Coastal Egg CSA Agreement 2018

CSA Week 15

In your share week 15:

Gill’s Golden Pippin acorn squash
Onion
Pepper
Purple Viking potatoes
Salad mix
Cilantro

Half shares only:

Radish
Cucumber or zucchini

Full shares only:

Kale
Fennel
Broccoli
Cauliflower

October is here and it’s time for squash.  Squash are not the easiest crop for us, they require a lot of hours above 70 degrees to ripen, and that’s just not something we can give them.  This summer, though mild, lacked those hotter days, and I was worried the squash wouldn’t ripen at all.  Up until 2 weeks ago they were still looking pretty green, but then we had several hot days and cold nights and they seem to have turned a corner!

We can only grow a few of the earliest varieties, but we’ve been really happy with this 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.

We’ve taken a few weeks off potatoes, but now that it’s soup season here are some more.  These are the last of the purple vikings, and believe me that these were the best of what we have.  They’re pretty scabby but still tasty, they’d be great in a pureed soup or peeled and then roasted.  We usually alternate between carrots and potatoes, but unfortunately we’re light on both going into this fall.  We’re giving the fall carrots a couple of extra weeks to size up, but we will have more for you hopefully next week.  We’ll have another serving or two of potatoes as well, these should be the worst of what we have left so hopefully the last couple of weeks will be a bit better!

Most folks got the last of our cipollini onions today (a couple of you got yellow onions).  These are a bit sweeter than the yellow onions and are great roasted or grilled, but they can be used in any dish calling for an onion.

These are really the last of the fennel (full shares only).  I usually wouldn’t do 2 weeks in a row like this, but honestly these are so perfect and I wanted to get them out of the field before gophers got them or they started to flower.  If you still have last week’s, you can use them together in soup or a roast.


Herb-Roasted Parmesan Acorn Squash

From The Real Food DietitiansMany folks know to cook acorn squash with brown sugar and raisins, but I prefer a more savory preparation like this.  They call for ghee, but I usually use olive oil.

1 large acorn squash (or 2 small)

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

2-3 Tbsp. fresh herbs or 1 tsp. dried (suggest: thyme, sage, rosemary, or oregano)

1 Tbsp. ghee, melted, or olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt + more to taste

1/8 tsp. black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Then slice each half into ½ inch half moon slices.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Transfer to a large sheet pan and bake 25 minutes or until squash is cooked through and parmesan cheese is crispy and slightly brown.

Portuguese Potato and Cilantro Soup Recipe

These potatoes are better used in a pureed soup, since their flavor is good but the scabby skin isn’t the best.  Here’s a recipe that also uses this week’s fabulous cilantro, one of my favorite greens!  From Genius Kitchen.

4 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 cups vegetables or 6 cups chicken stock

salt

14 teaspoon cayenne

34 cup chopped cilantro

  1. In a large saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in 3 Tablespoons of oil for 5 minutes, until limp, then add the last Tablespoon of oil and the potatoes and stir-fry for a minute.
  2. Add the stock, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, until the potatoes are mushy.
  3. Remove from heat and puree.
  4. Return the soup to the pot, season with salt and cayenne, and stir in the chopped cilantro.
  5. You can serve the soup cold–or reheat by slowly bringing it to a simmer.
  6. Ladle into soup plates and top with a sprinkling of cilantro or chives.

CSA Week 14

In your share week 14:

Onion
Zucchini
Leek
Green Onion
Kale
Napa Cabbage (half shares) or peppers (full shares)
Italian Parsley
Salad Mix
Fennel

Full Shares Only:

Radish

I thought the shares were going to be getting smaller, but this week’s is pretty full again.  This is a greens and allium (onion family) heavy share, which I personally love.  Today’s fennel are probably the last and are definitely the nicest of the year: they are huge and simply stunning!  If you still aren’t sure what to do with fennel, try using it with your napa cabbage to make slaw or roast it and make it into soup (recipe below).

 

New today are leeks.  We have never had great luck with these, but we have a much larger crop than usual.  Hopefully plenty more coming your way!  Leeks can be used similarly to onions, but are less sweet and have a more vegetal, green flavor.  I love them in soups, roasted, braised, or used in stir fries.  Most people just use the white and light green part, reserving the outer parts of the leaves for stock.  I usually find that ours are tender enough to use the entire leek, and that’s what I usually do.  To prepare leeks, trim off the leaves (if you don’t want to use them), split the stalk in half lengthwise, and then slice across each half into thin half moons.

 

This has been en excellent allium year on the farm, and we have lots more leeks, shallots, and onions for you.  We are finally nearing the end of our green onions, which I’m sure some of you are sick of!  (Remember, they are great roasted or grilled whole for easy prep.)  Maybe because onions are so ubiquitous, its easy to forget that they are actually extremely nutritious.  According to The Fruit Guys magazine,

A wide array of sulfur compounds gives onions, garlic, and other alliums their characteristic taste, smell, and tear-inducing pungency as well as their many health benefits, including cardiovascular protection, anti-cancer activity, lowering blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, lowering blood pressure, and providing anti-clotting benefits. Alliums also contain polyphenols, including the flavonoid quercetin, which along with many of the sulfur compounds have important anti-inflammatory effects.

To get the greatest health benefits from your alliums, either eat them raw or allow them to sit for about 10 minutes after being cut but before being cooked or acidified.  According to the article above, “This allows the enzymes released when the alliums’ cells are broken to more completely react with sulfur-containing molecules and convert them to beneficial forms.”  In addition to cancer fighting antioxidants, alliums are rich in Vitamin C, several B complex vitamins, chromium, and magnanese.

 


Roasted Fennel Soup

From Fresh Fork Market.

1 large or two small bulb fennel (fronds removed, but keep for garnish)
 5-6 small potatoes
 1 bulb kohlrabi
 1 large leek
 Oil for tossing veggies
 salt and pepper
 4 cups stock
 Juice from 1 whole lemon
 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
 1 tbsp fresh thyme minced

Preheat oven to 375 and get out two baking sheets.

Rinse and chop your leeks and fennel and toss with just a little oil, salt and pepper. Place on one baking sheet. On the other, scrub and cut up your potatoes and kohlrabi to roughly the same size (about half the size of your fennel pieces), and also toss with oil, salt and pepper.

Roast for 15 minutes, with the potatoes on bottom and fennel in middle of the oven, then toss. Roast for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and add to large soup pot.

Turn heat up on soup pot and add stock. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and purée.  Stir in lemon juice first, and then cream (or additional water to thin it to desired consistency). Optional to pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove solids. Serve garnished with minced thyme and minced fennel fronds.

CSA Week 13

In your share week 13:

Shallots
Green onion
Kale
Romaine lettuce
Basil or cilantro
Green tomatoes
CSA mystery item

Half shares only:
Eggplant

Full shares only:

Onion
Napa cabbage
Cherry tomatoes or tomatoes

This is the last full week of September, and I think the shares will be getting smaller from here on out.  We usually have a lot of production still going into the fall, but this year for some reason our fall crops seem light.  There’s always a lot of variation in which crops are super abundant and which are light, but this year it seems that they really concentrated in the summer months.  I’m sure some of you will be glad for a bit of respite: the shares have been pretty over the top this year.  And we still have lots of goodies out there in the field, so we’ll continue to pack you shares until early November.

Those aren’t red onions in your bag today, they’re shallots! They are a particular favorite of mine. 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.

Also a little different today are green tomatoes.  We pulled out a row of our tomatoes to make room for winter salad.  We’ve only been getting a few pounds a week from that row so it was time for it to go, but it did have lots of green tomatoes on it.  We get people asking for them sometimes, so I thought you might enjoy trying them.  Green tomatoes aren’t so sweet and juicy as the ripe ones, but they are tangy and tasty.  Being more firm, they hold together well during cooking.  The classic fried green tomatoes are breaded and fried, but you can also use them for soups, salsas, pickles, and more.  Keep these out on the counter like you would for ripe tomatoes.  Some of them may start to turn red, and that’s fine too.

Today’s half shares have what is almost certainly the last basil.  It just hasn’t pumped like it usually does this year, and today’s already has some browning leaves from the cold.  It’s still got great flavor, but it won’t hold.  I’d use it up right away!

Today’s lettuce are big beautiful heads of romaine, but unfortunately the birds have pecked at them a bit so they have a lacy look.  They’ve been triple washed and the bird pecks are healed over so there shouldn’t be any mold, but if it bothers you cut off the outer green part and just eat the center ribs and leaves.  We were going to do cauliflower for everyone today but don’t have enough, so some folks got cauliflower, some got beets, and some will get something else.  This time of year we’ll probably have to do a little more mix and match like that, but you all are vegetable pros at this point.


Fried Green Tomatoes

There’s lots of fried green tomato recipes out there, here’s an easy gluten free one from recipetips.com.

  • medium to large tomatoes.
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons canola or other mild-flavored oil
  • tablespoon chopped basil and/or parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper

 

Slice, but don’t peel (the skin holds them together) the tomatoes about 1/2 -3/4 inch thick. Take very thin slices from the top and bottom and discard or reserve for another use.

Mix the cornmeal and salt together on a plate. In a small bowl, thoroughly beat the egg.

Melt butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Dip a slice of tomato into the egg, let excess egg drip back into the bowl, and dip quickly into the cornmeal on each side and put immediately into the hot pan. Repeat until the skillet is full, but not crowded. Fry until lightly browned, turn, and fry the other side. Remove to a warmed plate and fry remaining batches.

Serve warm, adding salt and papper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs, if using (if you wish, the herbs can be added to the beaten egg.).


Kale with Golden Raisins, Shallots and Walnuts

A perfect side dish for grilled or roasted meats, or serve with brown rice for a healthy vegetarian meal!  From Garlic and Zest blog.

  • 4-5 cups fresh kale tough stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion peeled and sliced lengthwise from tip to root
  • 2 shallots peeled, sliced into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pat butter optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Bake walnuts on a baking sheet for 15 minutes, until fragrant and toasty.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a 3-quart saucepan about halfway full, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. Blanch the kale for 4 minutes in the boiling water until tender. With a colander or sieve drain the kale and set aside.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium heat.
  5. Add the onions and shallots and cook, stirring about 2-3 minutes, until crisp-tender.
  6. Add raisins to onion mixture and stir, cooking an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Add kale to onion mixture. Stir to combine and heat through — about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, butter (if using) and salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Toss in the toasted walnuts to combine. Serve.

CSA Week 12

In your share week 12:

Yellow finn potatoes
Onion
Green onion
Baby turnips
Peppers
Kale
Cherry tomato

Full shares only:

Cauliflower
Dill
Salad mix

Half shares only:

Zucchini

Peppers are here!  These are one of the most difficult crops for us in our cool climate.  They are very difficult to get started in the spring, grow slowly, and take a long time to ripen.  This is pretty early for us to have them, typically they are an October/November crop here at the coast.  This year we added a lot more heated space in our propagation house and even installed grow lights just for the peppers, but in the end the mild weather this spring and summer had a lot more to do with them being ready so early.

 

We are very limited in the types that we can grow to full ripeness.  We’ve found that some of the extra early, thin walled bell peppers do the best and have the best flavor for us, so that’s what you’ll see in your share.  Today’s are a mix of all 3 kinds we grow: Sweet Chocolate is a brown pepper, and Shepherd’s Ramshorn and Gypsy Bells are both red.  All of our peppers have a long, pointed shape, but they aren’t hot.  They are sweet and crunchy with excellent, rich flavor.  You can eat them raw or cooked, store them in a bag in the fridge.

 

Charlene finished digging all the potatoes last week, which is a huge job!  She’s been our main potato harvester, and she has spent many hours digging through the soil to pull them all by hand.  Our crop is extra small this year, often it takes us well into October to get all the potatoes out and we’ll have a couple pallets of boxes sitting in the garage for fall and winter use.  But today’s yellow finns were the best looking potatoes out there, and that’s most of what we’ll have for the rest of the year.  Yellow finns are similar to yukon golds, and they store extremely well.  They’re a good, all-purpose potato.  You also have the first of our cured onions today: they and the potoates can both be stored at room temperature.  The onion can just be left on the counter, but make sure to keep the potatoes in a paper bag or cabinet, out of the light, so they don’t sprout.

 

These will probably be the last baby turnips in the CSA, we are in our last rotation and I picked it pretty hard.  The greens on these fall turnips have been excellent, and the roots get sweeter in the cool weather.  The zucchini are finally slowing down, the cold and rain are starting to catch up with them.  We actually had a touch of frost on our lettuce this morning, which is really a welcome sight this time of year.  The only crop that is really frost sensitive in the field is the zucchini, all of our other warm weather crops are protected in the greenhouses.  And frost actually makes many cold tolerant crops sweeter.  They increase their sugar concentration to lower the freezing points inside their bodies, preventing frost damage.  A little frost makes for delicious kale and carrots!

 

Note that there are just 2 more weeks of the Neskowin Farmers Market, the final day is September 29.  If you pick up your share at the market, I will get in touch about changing your pickup location to the farm for the remainder of the season (CSA goes until November 8).  On October 6, the Saturday after the market ends, we will be vending at the Neskowin Valley School’s Harvest Festival.  This annual fundraiser is an all day event featuring live music (I’ll be playing on the stage at 1), kids activities, a silent auction, fresh pressed cider, hot food and baked goods, and more.  It’s always a lot of fun and supports a great school, I hope we see you there!


Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta

Tender pasta tossed with garlic’d roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. This easy dish is the perfect weeknight pasta and takes just minutes to prepare!  From Spend with Pennies blog.

6 cups halved cherry tomatoes

4 cloves garlic minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 lb refrigerated pasta or use boxed if you prefer

GARNISH

1/4 cup sliced fresh basil

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Gently toss all ingredients (except the pasta).
  3. Place on a foil lined pan and roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until softened. Broil 1-2 minutes to add a little bit of char/color once softened.
  4. Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until tender but firm. Drain (do not rinse) and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add tomatoes (and any pan juices) to the pasta and toss to combine.
  6. Serve and garnish with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.

Potatoes with Green Onion & Dill

From Homemade & Yummy blog.  Potatoes with Green Onion & Dill have been a summer favourite for years. Fresh from the garden potatoes smothered in a green onion, dill & butter sauce.

2 1/2 – 3 pounds new potatoes

2 tbsp fresh dill chopped

3 green onions finely diced

1/4 cup butter

Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.

  2. Wash, dry and prick potatoes.

  3. Place in a baking dish and cook until done (about 1 hour).

  4. When done, remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

For the Sauce:

  1. Finely chop the green onion and dill.

  2. Heat butter in a small pan.

  3. When hot, add green onion and cook for 2 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and mix in dill.

  5. Cut potatoes into chunks (while they are warm) and place in serving bowl.

  6. Pour sauce over top.

  7. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. ENJOY!!

CSA Week 11

Important notice: Next week’s Tuesday pickup/delivery will be switched to Thursday, September 20.  You can get your share at the usual hours and place.

In your share week 11:

Carrots
Napa Cabbage
Cauliflower or green beans
Beets or baby turnips
Zucchini
Romaine Lettuce
Basil or Cilantro
Kale
Cherry tomato (Some sites)

Full shares only:
Eggplant
Green Onion

 

Another beautiful September share today!  We have a new veggie for you, one of my fall favorites. Napa cabbage, also called Chinese 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.

We gave you a week off from zucchini, but it’s still pumping and we’ve given you another helping today.  The fall rains usually start it into a decline, but the plants are still looking good at this point.  I tried making a zucchini hummous last night, and it was delicious.  I made a simple tahini sauce with lemon and garlic, roasted and pureed a large zucchini, and mixed it all together.  I garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and some smoky papprika, and we ate it with lamb, salad, and fresh pitas.  Another great way to use up lots of zucchini is to make “zoodles”, or zucchini noodles.  Many people do it with a spiralizer, but you can also use a vegetable peeler or a box grater, or just slice them into noodle shape with a knife.  I’ve copied a zoodle recipe below, and a quick search on the internet gives lots of tips for how to make them with or without special tools.

We’ve been light on the herbs recently, since we just haven’t had enough for everyone, so I’ve gotten either basil or cilantro for you today.  Since we can’t use a whole bed at a time of cilantro or dill, I’ve been experimenting with some different combinations.  I tried putting them in with the baby turnips, but they’ve been getting choked out by the larger plants.  And our basil just hasn’t been as productive as it sometimes is, some years we’re overloaded and some years we are light.

This will probably be your final helping of green beans: if you don’t have them this week, I’ll try to get them for you next week, but I can’t promise!  The picks are getting smaller and the rain will encourage mold on the plants.  We had a surplus last year, and they take a huge amount of time to pick, so I overcompensated and planted less this year.

No onions this week, we’ve brought in all the fresh ones from the field, and I’m giving them an extra week to cure in the greenhouse before we include them in your shares again.  There will be lots more coming…


Shoyu Cabbage Soup

Napa cabbage takes center stage in this vegetarian ramen-inspired cabbage soup.  By Alison Roman for Bon Appetit, March 2014.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups cooked ramen or soba noodles
  • Hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek) and fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)

Ingredient info

  • Shoyu and hot chili paste can be found at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets.
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 10–12 minutes. Add cabbage, broth, shoyu, vinegar, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially with a lid, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 15–20 minutes; season to taste with more shoyu if desired. Serve over noodles topped with hot chili paste and cilantro.

Guilt-Free Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles Pasta Recipe

From Inspired Taste blog. Make this with 100% zucchini noodles or swap half of the zucchini for regular spaghetti for a heartier meal.  Makes 4 Servings.

4 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like the pasta

2 medium tomatoes, chopped, see note (about 12 ounces)

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons cold water

Salt, to taste

Prepare Noodles:

Trim and spiralize the zucchini, or you can use a julienne vegetable peeler, regular vegetable peeler, mandoline, or a box grater on its side. Cut extra long noodles so that they are about the length of spaghetti.

Add olive oil, garlic, and the red pepper flakes to a large, deep skillet. Turn to medium heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles with pasta tongs and cook until al dente — they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Do not let the noodles cook any longer or else they will become mushy. As they cook, keep tossing so that all the zucchini noodles have a chance to hit the bottom of the skillet.

Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Cook for one minute.

Use pasta tongs to transfer the noodles, tomatoes, and basil to a serving dish. Leave the liquid in the skillet.

To Finish

Bring the liquid to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, while whisking, until the liquid thickens to a sauce; about 1 minute. Taste the sauce and season with salt.

Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top and serve immediately.

CSA Week 10

Important notice: Tuesday pickup/delivery for September 18 will be switched to Thursday, September 20.  You can get your share at the usual hours and place.

In your share week 10:

Purple Viking Potatoes
Red onions
Green onions
Broccoli
Romano beans
Lemon Cucumbers
Salad mix
Kohlrabi
Cherry tomatoes or tomatoes

Full shares only:

Cauliflower
Kale

We made it through August!  Getting to September is a big milestone on the farm.  We still have big harvests and lots more crops in the field, but we have passed the peak of the bell curve and are on our way back down.  Soon some of our heat loving crops will begin to fade, and the fall crops will begin to shine.

 

This week’s share has some new varieties to keep things interesting for you.  One of my favorites are the romano beans, also called Italian green beans.  These are meant to be picked at a larger size than the French filet type you’ve been getting.  They are meaty and succulent with a rich beany flavor.  They’re tasty raw, but I like them best cooked.  My favorite is grilling them whole, the insides get hot and juicy and the outside gets caramelized and sweet.  They’re also delicious sliced up and sauteed, alone or with other vegetables (romanos and cauliflower is a favorite combination of mine).  I’ve found romano beans to be particularly prized by the chefs we work with, and I frequently see them on menus.  They’re a real treat.

 

We’ve also included lemon cucumbers for everyone today.  Some of you have gotten these in past weeks but I think I’ve forgotten to write about them.  Lemon cucumbers are small, round, yellow cucumbers that are named for their looks (not their taste).  They are extra sweet, juicy cucumbers, and they can be used interchangeably with the more common green varieties.  Some folks don’t like them, and I think that maybe they’ve had ones picked too late.  We pick ours as they are just starting to turn yellow so they are still sweet and the seeds are tender and just forming.  I find the skin to be thin and I don’t bother peeling them: they are burpless cucumbers, meaning they lack bitter components in the skin.

 

Today’s potatoes are the Purple Viking variety.  These have purple skin and white flesh, and they have a fluffier, more powdery texture and fruitier flavor than our other varieties.  Unfortunately, this year’s crop has the worst scab I’ve ever seen, so they are pretty disfigured and marred.  Because potatoes left in the field will turn into weeds in future years, we still have to dig them all out.  This is a “share the risk” situation for you CSA members: these potatoes aren’t pretty but it’s what we’ve got.  They’re completely fine inside, they just need peeling (I’d probably use a knife and trim off a couple millimeters all around).

 

Unfortunately, as you’ve probably noticed, all of our potatoes have scab this year.  They are in the newest and least productive section of the field, and they just didn’t grow as healthy and strong as we like our plants to be.  We’ve purchased a big load of aged compost from Tillamook that we will use to amend that part of the field, hopefully some extra nutrients and a microbial kick start will make that area more productive for future years.  We actually don’t add a lot of compost to our fields, since we have extremely high organic matter already.  We use cover crops and leave crop residue in place to add organic matter and feed the soil biome.  But some areas need a little extra help to be productive.

 

I’m sure a lot of you have been missing the salad mix, and I finally have enough for you today!  Summer is not salad’s favorite time of year, and we had a few sketchy plantings.  It’s a big part of our restaurant business so we found ourselves stretched a little too thin to include it in the CSA.  But we have it for you today, and it’s usually a lot happier in the fall.  Romaine lettuce is a more reliable producer for the summer months, and we have more of that coming your way soon too.

 

And last but not least, I’ve included some more kohlrabi today since it looked too pretty not to harvest.  Remember, kohlrabi is especially good eaten raw.  Cut off the tough base and peel the fibrous green skin.  The inside is similar to broccoli or cabbage in flavor, and has a lovely juicy, creamy texture.  It’s also great on the grill, added to soups, or pickled.


Charred Green beans with Bagna Cauda.

Bagna Cauda, if unfamiliar originates from Italy – and is made with warm olive oil, minced anchovies, garlic, pepper and chili flakes-  and is traditionally used as a warm pungent dipping sauce for veggies and crusty bread. Bagna Cauda literally means “hot bath”.  By Sylvia Fountaine, Feasting AT Home, February 8, 2014.

1 lb Thin Green Beans
1 large bunch scallions, cut to the same length of the beans
—-
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
½ of a 2 oz tin of anchovies (about 4-5 anchovies) very finely minced
6 Cloves garlic- finely minced
Generous pinch chili flakes or chili threads
Zest of one small lemon- divided
Black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425F. Cut scallions into 3-4 inch pieces. Place in a bowl with the green beans.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, minced garlic, minced anchovies, chili flakes and ½ of the lemon zest. Toss with beans and scallions.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast 15-20 minutes mixing halfway through, until green beans are crispy and tender. For added char, broil for a few minutes. Garnish with remaining zest and more chili threads.


Roasted Broccoli + Kohlrabi Salad with Cashew-Ginger Sauce

From Dishing up the Dirt blog, by Andrea Bemis.  This is a cooking blog written by a CSA farmer, and she has tons of great veggie centric recipes designed for CSA members.  Take a look!

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 1 pound of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1-2 medium-sized kohlrabi, tough stems removed and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro or parsley for serving

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (no need to soak)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on spice preference)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons water

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the veggies with the sesame oil and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender and browned on all sides. About 20 minutes. Toss veggies halfway through cooking.
  2. Prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients (expect the water) into a high speed blender. Whirl away until smooth. Add water as needed to reach a desired consistency.  Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Serve salad with toasted cashews, cilantro and dressing to taste.

CSA Week 9

In your share week 9:

Carrots
Cipollini Onion
Green Onion
Zucchini
Kale
Green beans
Fennel (some shares only)
Broccoli
Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

Full shares only:

Cilantro
Cucumber

Week 9 puts us about halfway through the CSA season.  I’ve had several members asking recently, so I’ll remind you that your share goes until November 6 or 8 (depending on your pick up location).  We then take a week to regroup and get ready for our Thanksgiving shares.  You can still sign up for them here at our website, these are one time shares with lots of goodies for your Thanksgiving table and beyond.  We typically pack them with lots of store-able crops to hold you after the CSA season ends.  These shares are a real deal, usually 15 – 25% off retail value.  The price is going up in a few weeks, so sign up now if you want one!

And speaking of deals, you should know that this year’s CSA has been a steal!  The farm has been so abundant and I’ve wanted to get you as many of the popular crops as I can (tomatoes! broccoli!), so each week’s share has been a major discount.  You’ve been getting as much as 30% more than what you paid for each week.  So if you’ve had to compost a few zucchini or kale here or there, don’t feel too bad.  We compost a lot of veggies here too, and you’re still getting a great value!

The farm has been so abundant this year that we’ve been able to donate more fresh produce to the local food pantries than ever before.  We’ve brought in over 300 pounds of fresh organic produce to the Lincoln City and Tillamook food pantries, and I have a couple more boxes in the cooler for this week.  We care about getting fresh healthy produce to as many people as we can, and while we have to make a living ourselves, we also recognize that not everyone can afford the full price of our produce.  We try to make it more accessible by offering half priced CSA shares, giving extra value to folks using SNAP and other assistance programs, and donating what produce we can to our local food pantries so their clients have access to healthier choices.

I’m sure some of you are getting overwhelmed by the sheer amount of veggies.  I encourage you to consider doing some preserving: that’s a big part of eating seasonally!  We preserve lots of fruit and some veggies, mostly by canning, freezing, and drying.  Zucchini, eggplant, and fennel freeze beautifully grilled or roasted (I usually pull them out of the oven about 75% done, let them cool, and then portion them into freezer bags).  I think cauliflower (and green onions?) would work well this way too but I haven’t actually tried it.  Kale, beans, and broccoli can all be blanched, cooled, and frozen.  Tomatoes can be packed raw into ziploc bags and frozen.  Most vegetables can be made into pickles, either fermented or vinegar brined and canned.  Cilantro and other green herbs can be ground up with oil in the food processor or made into pesto.  Lots of people freeze them in ice cube trays for convenient servings: transfer the frozen cubes to a freezer bag or jar.  Kale can be made into kale chips, and tomatoes and onions can be dehydrated.  Dry onions (or onions tops) and then grind them in the coffee grinder for your own onion powder!

There’s nothing totally new today but a few variations.  Everyone gets a couple of cipollini onions.  These are particularly sweet and flavorful onions, which are especially good roasted or caramelized. Our bean picks are getting bigger, and I finally didn’t put any cauliflower in the CSA (more coming, but I’m giving you a chance to catch up).

Today’s broccoli pick was one of the biggest we’ve ever had from our non-heading Piracicaba variety.  You’ve mostly gotten the more standard hybrids in the CSA this year, but the Piracicaba has much larger beads and a more open head.  The stems are tender and delicious so they require very little prep time, and I absolutely love it.  Many of my customers compare it to broccolini.  I usually grill or roast it: if you have smaller pieces you can leave them whole, larger heads can be split lengthwise into spears.  Toss it with olive oil and salt and cook it at 400 degrees for 6 or 8 minutes.  It’s also great raw or steamed.

We had a big pick of roma tomatoes today, so Tuesday folks are getting them (not sure what Thursday will get yet).  Romas are sauce tomatoes, which are less juicy than the usual slicers.  They are just fine for fresh eating, but are especially good for sauces, salsas, and roasting.  They all came on at once, so I’m not sure how many more we’ll have.


Garlic Lemon Broccoli and Green Beans

From The PKP Way blog, this is a simple but delicious way to eat some green veggies.  Yields 4 servings.
  • 2 broccoli bunches, stalks removed, florets separated
  • 4 ounces fresh or frozen green beans, not thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Fill a large pot about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Lower to a gentle simmer and add the broccoli florets and green beans. Let simmer for 2 – 3 minutes, until bright green. Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove the greens and place in the prepared ice bath for 2 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook until just beginning to golden (do not let brown). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens from the ice bath to the skillet. Add the zest and sauté for 2 minutes. Off the heat and sprinkle with cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cipollini Onion Hummus

By Leah Koenig for Saveur: “Gently browned cipollini onions add an unexpected hint of caramel sweetness to hummus, deepening its earthy flavors.”

1⁄3 cup plus 2 Tbs olive oil, divided
3 small cipollini onions (about half a pound), thinly sliced or chopped
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lemon (approx 14 cup)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
4 tbsp. tahini
12 tsp. salt
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 12-15 minutes. Remove onions from heat.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, tahini, salt, remaining 13 cup olive oil, and 23 of the browned onions. Process until smooth and creamy. (If the hummus seems dry, add additional tahini one teaspoon at a time, reprocessing between teaspoons.) Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. Serve topped with remaining browned onions and drizzled with additional olive oil.