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.

CSA Week 8

In your share week 8:

Potatoes
Fennel
Onion
Eggplant
Zucchini
Cucumber
Cherry Tomato
Kale
Beets or cauliflower

Full shares only:

Green Onion
Baby Turnips

This is the point in the season where I don’t have a whole lot to share in the share notes.  We are just staying the course here at the farm, harvesting and bringing the vegetables to the people just about every day. There’s no new crops right now, but there’s lots of all our favorites.  We finally had a bigger pick of cucumbers today, cauliflower is still going strong, we’re about to mow down half the zucchini because we have way too much, and the kale just keeps on pumping.

There is actually one new crop for half shares, so I’ll write about it again!  Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite vegetables, and I love its 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.  Last night we made eggplant and cabbage crepes with fresh tomatoes and basil, and they were delicious.  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 cut them into cubes.  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 so.

Pretty soon we’ll be switching from the fresh onions with green tops to the more familiar cured type.  I love the fresh ones, though, so I’ll keep putting them in the shares for as long as we’ve got them.  A lot of our onions have laid down their tops and are starting the curing process, if we see a big rain in the forecast we’ll pull them out and let them finish curing in the greenhouse.  Hopefully there will be rain soon…

Right now we’re mostly focused on harvests and sales, but I’m getting everything lined up for cover cropping and winter plantings.  I just ordered lots of flower bulbs to plant for blooms next spring; my flower experiment has been a lot of fun and I’m planning to expand on it for next year.  I’m even planning to offer a bouquet add-on for the CSA so you can get fresh, local, organic flowers with your veggies next year.  I’ve also ordered shallots to plant in the greenhouse for early harvests, and I’m working on ordering cover crop seed.  We just pulled down the pea trellis and I tilled them in today, and we’re trying to stay ahead of the weeds so we don’t build up a seed bank for next year.


Warm Cauliflower & Kale Salad with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Sauce Meunière

From Blue Apron, this is a salad that is a full meal by itself.  The combination of browned butter, lemon juice and parsley is known as meunière—a classic French sauce that turns tonight’s simple roasted cauliflower into sophisticated fare.

2 Eggs
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 bunch Kale, stems removed and chopped
1 bunch Parsley, finely chopped
3 Tbsps Roasted Almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsps Butter
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp Caper, roughly chopped
⅓ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 475°F. Roast the cauliflower: Place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste; toss to coat. Roast 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender. Remove from the oven, transfer to a large bowl.

 

Meanwhile, in a medium pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium-high. Add breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper. Toast, stirring frequently, 2 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese. Wipe out the pan.

 

Boil a small pot of water. Add the eggs whole. Cook for exactly 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, carefully peel the cooked eggs and set aside.

 

In the bread crumb pan, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium-high. Add shallot and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened. Add kale and ¼ cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until kale has wilted and water has cooked off. Turn off the heat; stir in lemon zest. Add to cauliflower. Toss to combine. Wipe out the pan.

 

In the same pan, melt the butter on medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the butter is deep golden brown and nuttily fragrant. (Be careful not to overcook, as the butter can burn easily.) Turn off the heat. Stir in capers, parsley and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Divide the cauliflower and kale between 2 bowls. Top with parmesan, breadcrumbs, almonds, peeled eggs and sauce. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Eggplant and Cauliflower with Tahini

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve been pretty smitten with tahini recently. I made this all vegan dish over the weekend and it was oh so tasty.  Served with quinoa it makes a pretty filling meal.

1/2 onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 scallions, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 tomato, diced
2 -3 eggplant (about 3/4 pound), cut into 3/4″ cubes

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Saute onion, scallions, garlic, and salt to taste until soft, 4 minutes.  Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to stick, 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato and 2 Tbsp water and continue to cook until almost tender, 8-10 more minutes.  Add the eggplant and 1 Tbsp olive oil, continue to cook until eggplant is tender, 8-10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together:

1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tahini

As mixture thickens, whisk in 1 – 2 Tbsp cold water to thin it out.

Add tahini mixture to vegetables.  Stir and cook for another minute or two and serve hot.

Optional: add parsley, basil, or cilantro to the cooked veggies.

 

CSA Week 7

In your share week 7:

Carrots
Broccoli
Green Onion
Parsley
Tomatoes and/or cherry tomatoes
Green beans
Zucchini
Romaine Lettuce
Kale

Full shares only:

Cauliflower
Cipollini Onion
Cabbage

Well, I thought the share size was going to be more under control this week, but I was wrong!  We could barely fit it all into the full shares, and half shares are pretty bursting as well.  Half shares got a week off from cauliflower, but full shares are experiencing the true meaning of CSA!  Every year there’s a crop or two that doesn’t stop giving, and this year it’s cauliflower.  I’ve sure been eating it every week, hopefully you’re enjoying it!

 

Part of the fun of the farm and the CSA is the abundance that it gives us.  Eating off the farm is such a different mentality than shopping at the grocery store.  I plan carefully and work hard to keep a consistent supply for you all, but there’s a lot that’s out of my control.  A produce buyer at a store can order exactly what they think they can use from a large national supplier.  We have to work with what nature gives us, so there’s always some losses, but there’s always some great surprises.  It’s really such a short season that we can enjoy the overflowing food, I try to take advantage of it as much as I can!

 

Last year’s overflow was green beans, so I overcompensated a bit by planting way less.  But they’ve finally arrived, and they are so wonderful!  We won’t have nearly so many as last year, but we have 2 beautiful beds that we’re just beginning to pick so we should have plenty to share with you.

 

We grow 2 types, a French filet variety called Maxibel (these are long, round, and slender) and a Romano type (these are large and flat and often called Italian green beans).  The Maxibels are more sweet and tender and are especially good raw, while the Romanos have a wonderful, robust beany flavor that holds up well to grilling and cooking.  You can use both in just about any recipe calling for green beans.  I love to grill beans whole, especially the Romanos.  Toss them in olive oil and cook them over medium low heat for a few minutes a side: yum!  You can also eat them raw, slice them into salads, steam them with butter, use them in stir fries, pickle them, or whatever you like.  We are careful in our picking, so all the beans you get from me should be at prime eating stage without starchiness or bitterness.

 

We’ve been lighter than usual on kale for you this summer, partially because we got hit early with aphids and partially because we’ve had so many other things to share.  But our fall rotation has just come into production and our spring bed is going strong, so expect to see a little more of it going forward.  We have to plant the fall kale earlier than we need it so that it’s strong enough to continue producing once the days get short and cold. On the farm, you always have to be a couple of steps ahead.

 

Full shares have another head of green cabbage and a yummy cipollini onion.  These are particularly sweet and flavorful onions, which are especially good roasted or caramelized.  Everybody has more green onions, since that’s another crop we have in abundance.  And they are so versatile…if you haven’t tried grilling them, that’s the easiest way I’ve found to use the bunch.  I just leave them whole, toss with a bit of oil and salt, and grill for a few minutes on each side.  The grilled onions are good on their own or added to burgers or salads.


Green Bean, Potato, and Kale Puree

This recipe, recommended by my aunt, is adapted from Start Fresh by Tyler Florence. It makes a lovely green puree, with a flavor “like something an Italian grandmother might make”. Makes eight 1/2-cup servings or four 1-cup servings.

1/2 pound green beans

2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

8 large kale leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped

2 cup organic chicken stock

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a saucepan, combine beans, potato, kale, and stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.

Transfer contents of saucepan to a blender and add Parmesan and olive oil.

Puree until as smooth as you prefer.

Serve warm.


Broccoli Braised with Fresh Herbs and Toasted Walnuts

From The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay, this simple recipe makes a great side dish. You can cook other vegetables, especially leafy greens, in a similar way. Serves 4.

 

In a small bowl, combine:

2 Tbsp dry sherry

            2 Tbsp water

Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a skillet that has a tight fitting lid. Add:

            1 clove garlic, minced

Saute for about 1 minute. Add:

1 pound broccoli, chopped into uniform bite size pieces

            Salt

Stir briefly, then add the sherry mixture. Immediately cover the pan, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the broccoli is lightly browned and fork-tender. If the liquid dries our before the broccoli is tender, add a little water and replace the lid. If the broccoli is cooked but there is still liquid, cook it uncovered for a minute to dry it out.

Toss the broccoli in a serving bowl along with:

            2 tsp minced fresh marjoram, oregano, or thyme, or a combination

            Black pepper

            3 Tbsp chopped walnuts

Serve with a wedge of lemon.

CSA Week 6

In your share week 6:

Austrian Crescent Potatoes
Zucchini
Cucumber
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Onion
Green Onion
Basil
Romaine Lettuce
Tomatoes and/or cherry tomatoes

Full shares only:

Italian Parsley
Eggplant

We have SO. MUCH. PRODUCE. coming off the farm right now.  And that’s reflected in your shares, which are again full to the brim.  We’re unusually light on leafy greens, with just a head of romaine lettuce and a bunch of basil (and parsley for some).  The consistently warm, dry weather has been great for most of our crops, except for the salad mix.  We’re working through a couple weeks worth of stressed greens, but hopefully we’ll be back into some nicer rotations by the end of the month.  In the mean time, we have lovely heads of romaine lettuce, which I’d rather use for salad in the summer anyway!

Our cauliflower is the most prolific it’s ever been, so we’re giving it to you for the 3rd week in a row.  Personally, I’d love that, since it’s one of my favorite vegetables and I eat it several times a week.  But I’ll try to give you a break next week if I can.  If you haven’t tried roasting it yet, that’s my favorite use for it.  I also used a huge head in a tuna casserole this week, and a few members have suggested cauliflower purees, kind of like mashed potatoes.  I’ve also meant to try making fermented pickles, I’m told it’s easy (just add salt and water and wait), but I haven’t done it yet.  There’s lots of instructions on the internet for making ferments with things you already have in your kitchen.  Here’s one.

This week’s broccoli is our more standard hybrid type.  These are beautiful, fresh heads great for all kinds of things.  We’ve got lots of other well loved veggies this week, including zucchini, cucumbers, a lovely fresh yellow onion, and basil.  We’re also getting into bigger picks of tomatoes, so we’re including more of them for everyone this week.

Our potatoes this year are not the prettiest.  They have a lot of scab and scurf, which cause the black spots and brown scarring on the skin.  These don’t usually go more than skin deep, and they can be easily peeled off if you like.  They are fine to eat, though the texture can be unappealing.  Unfortunately, all of our potatoes so far seem to be affected, and we’re having to cull out a lot of ugly ones.  The ones you’re getting are the prettiest we have, and at least they are delicious.

Full shares have an extra delicious treat: eggplant!  Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite vegetables, and I love its 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.  Last night we made eggplant and cabbage crepes with fresh tomatoes and basil, and they were delicious.  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 cut them into cubes.  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.


Savory Crepes

I love crepes, both sweet and savory.  I like to make a batch of batter and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days to make crepes with whatever I have around.  This is a simple savory crepe recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking, and you can fill it with whatever you like!  I make mine by putting all the ingredients in a large jar and using the immersion blender, but you can whisk them in a bowl too.

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup lukewarm water
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To cook, heat a large flat pan over medium heat and add 1/2 tsp butter (or use the stick to lightly coat the pan).  Using a ladle or small measuring cup, pour in about 1/4 cup batter.  Quickly tilt and rotate the pan to spread a thin, even coating of the batter, then return it to the heat and cook until the crepe bubbles and the bottom in lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.  Turn the crepe with a spatula, your fingers, or with a butter knife.  Cook the second side until browned, another minute or 2.  Serve immediately, or store in a stack on a plate wrapped tightly in plastic.

Filling ideas:

  • Eggplant, cabbage, basil, and tomato
  • Roasted zucchini, caramelized onion, and goat cheese
  • Bacon, lettuce, and tomato
  • Chimichurri, Manchego cheese, and grilled broccoli

Cauliflower Tuna Casserole

Albacore tuna is in season right now and available fresh!  I canned some last weekend, and a few jars didn’t seal.  I combined them and some fresh tuna with cauliflower and other veggies to make a super tasty casserole.  You could make this with canned or fresh tuna.  This is enough for a very large dish, you could cut it down if you like.  The sauce recipe is a simple white sauce from The Joy of Cooking.

Chop and combine in an 11 x 17 baking dish:

1 large head cauliflower
1 large fresh onion (including the tops)
1 bunch Italian parsley
5 cloves garlic
1/2 pound crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds tuna, fresh or canned
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375.  Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Melt 1 stick butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.

Whisk in 1/2 cup all purpose flour until smooth and well blended, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 1 quart (4 cups) milk.

Return the pan to the heat and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Continue to cook, whisking, until the sauce is smooth and hot and has thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the veggies and tuna in the baking dish.  Stir until everything is evenly distributed.  Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.  Remove the casserole from the oven, top with 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese and return to the oven.  Bake until veggies are soft and cheese is browned, another 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve hot.

CSA Week 5

In Your share week 5:

Carrots or Beets
Baby Turnips
Cauliflower
Onion
Zucchini
Dill
Cilantro
Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
Cabbage or Baby Bok Choy

Full shares only:

Green onion
Sugar Snap Peas
Kale
Cucumber

The farm is fully into high gear now!  We had our biggest harvest ever of zucchini: Maria picked 108 pounds today, just edging out our 107 pounds of cauliflower.  The zucchini are a bit on the big side but they are gorgeous and delicious.  I like them large, I usually grill or roast slabs and the larger zucchini make for less cutting and easier flipping.  Cauliflower are also on the big side, with some heads approaching 6 pounds!  Since it’s one of my favorite veggies, I was pretty excited to harvest those.

Since we have so many zucchini, so do you.  If you’re not sure what to do with them, you can try making zucchini noodles or try the zucchini dessert bar recipe below.  They also freeze well.  You can freeze them shredded or sliced raw, but I prefer them roasted or grilled about halfway and then frozen.  I find they are much tastier once they’re thawed, maybe because the roasting removes some of the water and they hold up better in the freezer.  Lots more coming your way: zucchini are a bit hit or miss for us and this year they are ON.

This is the first week we have some kind of tomato for everyone, which I know most of you will be excited about.  You may have gotten cherry tomatoes, which are like candy and so yummy just to snack on.  Or else you got some of our first slicers, mostly a Siberian heirloom called Aurora.  These are a rich flavored, small sized red tomato that I love.  We sell a lot of them as plants because they are the earliest, hardiest tomato we’ve found and tend to do well even in cool coastal gardens.  They are great for snacking, sandwiches, or tossed with pasta, and I used some to make a nectarine salsa for tuna tacos this weekend.

Another new item is a gorgeous fresh onion.  Yours might be red or it might be yellow, both can be used the same.  Especially if you are new to the CSA, you may have never seen onions at this stage before.  They start off growing the leafy greens, and then the stem begins to swell.  As the season progresses, the greens will die back, the outer layers will turn dry and papery, and they will become the onions we are all familiar with.  I love them harvested young like this, they have a wonderful fresh flavor, they don’t need to be peeled, and I love to use onion greens.  I find they aren’t quite as pungent at this stage.  Keep your onion in a bag in the fridge and be sure to use the greens, I prefer them cooked and use them the same way I use the bulbs.

Everybody gets double herbs today, with fresh bunches of cilantro and dill.  Dill is a new crop for us.  It’s not an herb I use much in my kitchen, but I’ve been so taken with its heady aroma when I harvest it that I’ve started to cook with it more and more.  Dill is typically used in salad dressings, potato salad, and to season salmon.  I’ve also been using it to make a kind of salsa verde, blending it up with parsley and a little cilantro, olive oil, lemon, and garlic.  Dill is also a classic pickle seasoning, but typically people use the seed heads rather than the fresh herb.  Store it in a bag in the fridge, and use the whole bunch: stems, leaves and all.

Our peas are already slowing down, we’ll get a few more small picks but we won’t see much more of them.  We love them so much, and we’re always sad the season is so short.  The warm weather this year condensed the harvest, causing the plants to die back earlier than usual.  We’ll have green beans coming on soon to take their place.

I finally have beets for half shares, and cabbage for those who didn’t get it the first time.  The CSA does even out, sometimes it just takes me a few weeks to get around to everyone!  Check back to earlier share notes if you’re not sure how to use these delicious vegetables.  And make sure to eat your beet and turnip greens, they are both so yummy and extra nutritious.


Zucchini Dessert Bars

My friend Linda at Winter Green Farm used to make these. She got the recipe from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables. I didn’t believe her the first time she told me it was made with zucchini: I would have sworn the topping was made with spiced apples. But zucchini they are. This is a similar recipe I found on the internet: enjoy!

 

Crust:

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups cold butter

 

Filling:

8 to 10 cups zucchini, sliced paper thin

2/3 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly; reserve 3 cups. Pat remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine zucchini and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cover and simmer for 5 minutes (mixture will be thin).

Spoon the zucchini mixture over the crust; sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until golden. Yield: 16-20 servings.


 

Lemon Roasted Cauliflower With Dill

From Genius Kitchen.

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or more to taste)

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 lemons, juice of

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 -2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

Fresh ground black pepper

 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine all other ingredients to make a sauce, whisking until blended. Include generous amounts of fresh ground black pepper.
  • Pour marinade over the cauliflower and toss until coated. Spread on baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining marinade over the cauliflower.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Toss once, if desired, halfway through cooking. The cauliflower should have some browning around the edges.

 

 

CSA Week 4

In your share week 4:

New potatoes: Carola
Carrots
Radishes
Zucchini or Cucumber
Green Onion
Cauliflower
Lettuce
Basil
Peas

Full shares only:

Cherry tomatoes
Baby Turnips
Cilantro

I sure hope you enjoy today’s share, because it’s a beauty!  We have 3 new items that are 3 of my very favorite things we grow: cauliflower, basil, and new potatoes.  Full shares also have a special treat of early cherry tomatoes; our sungolds are unbelievably sweet and juicy, and they have become one of our most popular crops.  We’re growing more than ever this year to try to meet demand, so hopefully we’ll have lots more coming for you.  We won’t tell your family if you eat them all in the car on the way home…

The first potatoes of the year are extra special.  They are still growing, which means they are super creamy, the skins are almost nonexistent, and they are actually very high in protein and low in starch.  They are also a bit undersized, which means we get lower yields when we pull them this young, but they are worth it.  Our potatoes are one of my favorite crops, and unlike any other potatoes I’ve had.  They are incredibly flavorful and this week’s carolas have a lovely, creamy texture and buttery flavor that can’t be beat.  You can use them just like other potatoes, but expect them to be less starchy.  I love them roasted, or carolas make great mashed potatoes.  Or add them to soup, or make a potato salad with fresh basil.  But however you use them, make sure you can taste them because they are so delicious.

Note that new potatoes have very thin skins and should be stored in the fridge in a bag.  Later in the season, we’ll have your more standard cured potatoes that can be stored at room temp, but for now they do much better cold.

In my opinion, the prize today is a gorgeous head of cauliflower.  Our first rotation is usually a bit of a throwaway, with super small heads.  But not this year: the plants hit the ground running and are producing huge, beautiful heads!  I love our cauliflower, especially roasted (cut into florets, tossed in olive oil and salt, and roasted at 400 until it’s soft with crispy edges).  It’s also great raw, made into soup, or steamed and used in salad.  As cauliflower cooks, different flavor profiles emerge.  Raw cauliflower has more of the sulfurous cabbagey flavor, but as it cooks those compounds denature and other, nuttier flavors appear.  So if you (or someone in your family) don’t like cauliflower, you might try roasting it: it’s actually a very different flavor.  Mike never used to like it until he tried it roasted, and now he loves it!

The extra warm, dry season has mostly been great for our crops, but its also been great for the bugs.  We’re seeing more insect pressure than usual for our cool coast climate, especially with early infestations of aphids on our brassicas (the family that includes broccoli and cauliflower).  The cauliflower heads are pretty clean, but a few had some aphids on them.  If you see some, or are concerned, one of our members suggests soaking it in salt water for 20 minutes before preparing it.  You’ll season the cauliflower and also get the aphids off.  I’d suggest soaking it when you are about to use it, since cauliflower doesn’t store well wet.

We’re a little late, but we finally have basil for everyone.  This year will be lighter on basil, since one of our 2 beds is in the newest greenhouse and isn’t growing to its full potential.  Basil is wonderful in soups, added to roasted potatoes and cauliflower, made into pesto, or put on fresh pasta.  Pinch the leaves off the stems and add them at the very end of cooking: basil loses flavor quickly when exposed to heat.  We find it stores best in a plastic bag on the counter (not the fridge).  Others swear by trimming the stems and putting it in a jar of water.

Our radishes have been a bit slow on the uptake, but now we have lots!  They’re big, but they are very tasty with a crispy texture.  Big radishes plus warm weather makes them pretty spicy: if you don’t like the heat, try stir frying or roasting them to mellow them out.  Radish greens are also very nutritious and tasty.  I prefer them cooked, since their raw texture doesn’t appeal to me.  But I love adding them to a stir fry, noodle salad, or soup.


Carrot and Radish Salad

I made this very simple salad as a finger food appetizer. It could easily be made with more or different vegetables, including salad turnips, kohlrabi, peppers, zucchini, beets, and more. I do not peel my carrots, as I never notice the skin to be unappetizing.

 

In a medium sized bowl, mix together:

1 bunch carrots, sliced into 2 x ¼ inch matchsticks

            1 bunch radishes, quartered

            Juice of ½ lime

            Salt to taste

            1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.


Aloo Gobi

One take on a classic Indian dish of cauliflower and potatoes.  From Genius Kitchen.

14 cup vegetable oil

1 large onion, peeled and cut into small pieces

1 bunch cilantro, separated into stalks and leaves and roughly chopped

1 small green chili, chopped into small pieces (or one teaspoon chili powder)

1 large cauliflower, leaves removed and cut evenly into eighths

1 1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces

2 (8 ounce) cans diced tomatoes

fresh ginger, peeled and grated

fresh garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seed

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons garam masala

Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan.

Add the chopped onion and one teaspoon of cumin seeds to the oil.

Stir together and cook until onions become creamy, golden, and translucent.

Add chopped cilantro stalks, two teaspoons of turmeric, and one teaspoon of salt.

Add chopped chillis (according to taste) Stir tomatoes into onion mixture.

Add ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly.

Add potatoes and cauliflower to the sauce plus a few tablespoons of water (ensuring that the mixture doesn’t stick to the saucepan).

Ensure that the potatoes and cauliflower are coated with the curry sauce.

Cover and allow to simmer for twenty minutes (or until potatoes are cooked).

Add two teaspoons of Garam Masala and stir.

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top of the curry.

Turn off the heat, cover, and leave for as long as possible before serving.

 

CSA Week 3

In your share week 3:

Baby Turnips
Carrots
Cabbage (Tuesday pickup)
Green Onion
Kale
Baby Bok Choy
Sugar Snap Peas

Half shares only:
Lettuce
Zucchini or Cucumber

Full shares only:

Salad Mix
Broccoli
Kohlrabi

We’ve taken a sudden jump in share size this week, and we could barely fit the full shares into the bags!  I wasn’t really planning on giving you all the vegetables, but then we had a lot of broccoli, and more peas than I expected, and we finally had enough carrots and I knew you’d all revolt if I didn’t get them in the shares soon.  So the result is lovely abundant shares for everyone!

New today are our carrots, which most of you already know and love.  Nelson, our long time carrot variety, got discontinued last year, and we spent the whole summer trying to find a replacement.  We only found one that rivaled Nelson for flavor, so that’s become our main carrot this year.  But it grows a little slower than Nelson and is less consistent in size and shape, so we’re starting late and won’t have quite as many as we have in the past.  We’re still trying out a few other varieties to see if we can find something better, or at least fill in some of the gaps for our new carrots.  But in the mean time, these are sweet, tender, and delicious.  I never bother to peel them, and while I don’t usually eat the greens some folks like to make them into pesto, roast them in with other veggies, or add them to a salad.  Carrots (and all roots) keep best with the tops removed in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Also new are baby turnips, which have become one of our most popular vegetables.  These aren’t your grandma’s turnips: also called salad turnips, these are sweet and creamy rather than spicy and starchy.  I mostly eat them raw, with hummous or on a salad.  They’re also delicious roasted or in soup.  Turnip greens are especially delicious and especially nutritious, and can be used like spinach.  I prefer them cooked, especially lightly steamed or sauteed with a little white wine and garlic, but they can also be added raw to salads and sandwiches.

Tuesday folks get a beautiful head of heirloom cabbage (coming soon for Thursday shares).  This is a particularly tender, sweet cabbage, but the dense head will hold well for several weeks in the fridge if you can’t get to it right away.  It makes a great slaw or taco filling, and cooks up beautifully in braises, soups, and stir fries.  If you want to preserve it longer, try fermenting your own sauerkraut (you could probably include the kohlrabi greens too).  I’m not a big ferment fan, so I’ve never done it, but I know lots of people who do and they say it’s easy.  There are lots of recipes and instructions online.

This is the first week we’ve given you a LOT of food, but try not to feel overwhelmed!  The carrots, peas, turnips, and kohlrabi can all be eaten raw, if you take a little time to separate them from their tops and cut them up into spears now, you’ll have easy snacks all week right in the fridge.  The broccoli, bok choy, and green onions can all be grilled or stir fried together, and there’s got to be at least one day you’ll be making rice or eggs and you can just throw the kale in with it.  If you have some kind of sauce on hand (peanut, tahini, pesto, chimichurri) that makes for easy flavoring and dipping.  Make a salad or two with the lettuce and some of those raw veggies you cut up earlier in the week, and make sauerkraut or do a roast with the cabbage.


Alice Waters’ Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup

Baby turnips are a wonderful cool-season treat. They have a delightful creamy texture and just a little bite. The greens are also both delicious and nutritious. I usually just use them raw on salad, but found this recipe in Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food to share with you. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Remove the greens from:

            2 bunches young turnips with greens

Trim and discard the stems from the greens and cut into ½ inch strips.

Slice the turnips thinly.

Heat 3 Tbsp butter or olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat and Add:

            1 onion, sliced thin

Cook until soft, about 12 minutes. Add the sliced turnips with:

1 bay leaf

            2 thyme sprigs

            salt

            2 strips bacon or prosciutto, chopped (optional)

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover with:

            6 c chicken or vegetable stock

Bring to a boil, the reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the turnip greens and cook for another 10 minutes or until the greens are tender.


 

Kale and Cabbage Slaw With Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

By Diana Rattray for The Spruce Eats.  Still have parsley, cilantro, or fennel from last week’s shareThrow that in too!

4-6 medium leaves kale (lacinato)
1/2 medium head cabbage (green)
1/4 cup walnuts (pecans, or slivered or sliced almonds)
Salt to taste (kosher)
Pepper to taste (freshly ground)

For the Dijon Mustard Dressing:
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (grainy, or more, to taste)

1 clove garlic (minced)
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/3 cup olive oil (good quality extra virgin)

  1. Toast the nuts, if desired. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake whole, chopped, or slivered nuts in a preheated 350 F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, checking and turning them frequently. Sliced almonds will take about half the time. Watch closely.
  2. Cut the middle rib out of each lacinato kale leaf. Roll the leaves up into a tight roll and slice them chiffonade-style into thin strips. Put the strips of kale in a large bowl. You should have about 2 to 3 cups.
  3. Cut the core out of the cabbage half and shred or chop the cabbage. Transfer the cabbage to the bowl with the kale.
  4. Toss the chopped nuts with the kale and cabbage.

Prepare the Dressing

  1. In a canning jar or bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, minced garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk or shake well. Add a dash of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  2. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Dijon mustard vinaigrette over the salad. Toss the salad. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  3. Serve with the extra dressing on the side.

Variations:

  • A cabbage salad benefits from an hour or so in the refrigerator. The extra time adds flavor and moisture.
  • Add some thinly sliced fennel to the salad, if desired.
  • For extra color and flavor, add finely shredded carrot or Italian parsley to the salad.
  • Cook a few strips of bacon until crisp. Drain and add to the salad along with the nuts. Toss and dress the salad.

 

CSA Week 2

In your share week 2:

Beets or Broccoli
Fennel
Sugar Snap Peas
Italian Parsley
Salad Mix
Green Onions

Full shares only:

Cilantro
Kale
Lettuce
Zucchini or Cucumber

Hopefully you enjoyed your first share and are ready for more!  There’s some repeats and a few new items this week (still no carrots, sorry!).  You’ve got more salad mix and green onions, and for most of you there are more sugar snap peas (if you didn’t get any last week, you got 2 this week).  Our peas are taking off fast, we went from 0 pints, to 20, to 50 in just a few days.  The plants are 8 feet tall and still growing, covered in peas and flowers, and ready to keep us all healthy and happy for weeks to come.  Unless downy mildew or enation take them over: in farming you have to enjoy the crops when you have them because you never know what’s coming next.

A new veggie today is fennel (coming to our markets next week), which I’m guessing is unfamiliar to many new members.  Fennel has a refreshing, sweet anise flavor and can be used just about anywhere you’d use celery.  I think of it as an aromatic vegetable, and it’s a great addition to soups, stuffings, and braises or roasted with potatoes and other veggies.  It’s also lovely raw, especially shaved on a salad, added to coleslaw, or made into a salad with orange and cinnamon.  The best part is the white bulb at the bottom, the stalks have good flavor but can be tough.  The leaves add color and contrast to a salad, but don’t have a lot of flavor in themselves.   Keep it in the fridge in a bag.

Everyone has either beets or broccoli today.  Beets have been a perpetually challenging crop for us, and we get lots of beautiful ones but also not so much.  This year, our first bed is looking like our best one, so I’m trying to get them in your shares right out of the gate.  Our beets don’t need peeling as the skins are very tender.  You can eat them raw, roasted, boiled, or grilled.  Beet greens are a real winner, too; they are extra nutritious with a fruity, earthy flavor.  I’m honestly not a huge beet fan, but I love the greens.  Cook them like kale or spinach, sauteed, steamed, or in soup.  Store beets in a bag in the fridge, if you won’t use them right away remove the tops and store them separately.

Our broccoli looks a little different than the hybrid types you see in the store, but in my opinion it is far better!  Broccoli’s flavor declines quickly after harvesting, so farm fresh is a world of difference from store bought (kind of like corn).  Most of the broccoli we grow is a variety called Piracicaba, which has much larger beads and a more open head than standard hybrids.  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.

Everyone has Italian parsley today, so I’ll repeat my tutorial from last week.  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 (as are turnip greens and bok choy), so eat it up.

Full shares have heads of lettuce in addition to salad mix this week.  Most of you got some of our baby bibb heads, they are like tiny, dark red heads of romaine.  Some folks got red butter lettuce, with extra tender leaves and a butter center.  Both can be used in salads, sandwiches, wraps, or rolls; I’ve been making wraps with tempeh, kale, cilantro pesto, and fresh lettuce that are rocking my world.  I’ll include a recipe below for the tempeh!


Tempeh and Kale with Tahini Sauce

I started making this over the winter and it’s like a delicious umami bomb.  I can’t get enough!  I eat it with rice or quinoa or use it as a filling for wraps with lettuce and a fresh herb sauce, like the chimichurri below.  If you’ve never used tempeh, you can get it at Trillium and probably most other grocery stores in town. 

Cut into 1/2 inch cubes:

1 12 oz package tempeh (I like Surata’s mulitgrain tempeh)

Toss with:
1 1/2  Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika

Heat 3 Tbsp canola or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add seasoned tempeh and:

1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

Cook, stirring frequently, until onions and tempeh are starting to brown, about 10 minutes.  Add:
1 bunch kale, cut into thin ribbons
2 tsp soy sauce

Continue to cook until kale is tender and tempeh is browned, another 6 to 8 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, whisk together:

2 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp tahini

As mixture thickens, whisk in 1 – 2 Tbsp cold water to thin it out.

Add tahini mixture to tempeh and kale.  Stir and cook for another minute or two and serve hot.


Chimichurri

This is a popular Argentine sauce that’s great with everything.  If you still have parsley or cilantro left from last week, this is a great way to use them!  This goes well with my tempeh and kale above.

1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients in processor. Transfer to bowl. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)


Braised Fennel with Pomegranate

This recipe is from Martha Stewart.  She has an incredible slideshow of fennel preparations with accompanying recipes, I suggest you check it out here!  In fact, Martha Stewart has great suggestions for all kinds of vegetables, which is a great resource for using your CSA share.  A chef friend told me that her recipes are extremely well vetted and written, and they always look great to me.

1. Heat a large skillet over high; add olive oil and fennel in a single layer (work in batches, if needed). Season with salt and pepper; cook until browned, 2 minutes a side. Add garlic, orange juice, broth, and pomegranate juice. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer, turning once, until tender, 8 minutes. Uncover; cook on high until liquid is syrupy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool 5 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with mint, fennel fronds, hazelnuts, and pomegranate seeds.

CSA Week 1

Hi folks and welcome to your first share notes!  Since we have a few new share types this year, I may switch up the format of the notes a bit.  For folks with the flex share, we’ll be listing the contents of the classic share below.  Your choices will vary, but this will give you a good idea of what’s new, what’s abundant, and what’s fading out as the season goes on.

In your CSA week 1:

Kohlrabi
Green Onion
Baby bok choy
Salad Mix
Kale
Cilantro

Full shares only:

Radish
Italian Parsley

Some shares only:

Sugar snap peas
Cucumber

So many delicious greens!  It has felt like summer and the farm is moving fast, but it’s still early for our coastal crops.  We’ve got lots of delicious fresh green vegetables, which really are my favorite kind.

This spring has been amazing.  The warm, dry weather has warmed up the soils faster than ever, allowing our crops to take off.  Our new field is now in its 3rd year of production and is really coming into its own.  It takes years to transition soil from perennial meadow to annual vegetables, and it’s finally starting to be consistently productive.  We’ve invested in additional greenhouse space and more heated surfaces for seed starting, and that’s paying off in earlier harvests.  But the lack of rain is worrying, for our fields and for the forests and wildlife surrounding us.  The river is extremely low for this time of year, and fire risk is a real worry.

But more about the vegetables! The salad is all in the new field, and it’s been productive and beautiful this spring.  We should have lots for you in these first few weeks (and throughout the summer). If you haven’t had our salad mix before, it’s a blend of baby lettuce, nutty greens like bok choy, and some spicy mustards.  Unlike salad mix you buy in the store, it keeps well for a week or more.  Just keep it in its plastic bag in the fridge and eat it by itself, with your favorite dressing, or in sandwiches or wraps.  In fact, keep store everything in today’s share (and more vegetables we give you) in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Baby bok choy has been especially abundant, and you have either a lovely head or a bag of loose leaves.  I would probably grill or stir fry it with soy sauce and ginger:  make sure to eat the succulent stems.  You could also eat it raw, try slicing it up and mixing it into a cold noodle dish.

Today’s kale is the first of many bunches to come: kale is a constant friend throughout the season.  We grow two types: red Russian has wide, frilly leaves with purple stems, and the Tuscan is dark blue green with bumpy texture.  I find the red Russian is more sweet and tender and better suited for salads and quicker cooking.  The Tuscan has a bit more body and holds up better in a soup or casserole, and its bumpy texture is great for catching sauce.  But both are versatile and can be used in all kinds of ways!

A new vegetable for many is kohlrabi: the funny looking bulb with big green leaves.  I love kohlrabi, and I usually slice it raw and eat it sprinkled with salt, dipped in hummus, or wrapped in a sushi roll.  It needs to be peeled and the tough bottom part cut off, the fleshy part of the bulb is the part you want.  Kohlrabi has a sweet flavor like a broccoli stem, and it’s crunchy and juicy.  If you don’t want to snack on it, you can include it in a stir fry, grill or roast it with olive oil and salt, or pickle it.

You can also use kohlrabi greens, they will be closer in texture to cabbage and benefit from slower cooking methods like braising.  You can also eat your radish greens, they could be stewed in with kohlrabi greens, or I more often throw them in a stir fry or cook them with rice.  I don’t like them raw so much because of their prickly texture.

  This week’s cilantro I think is the nicest we’ve ever grown.  I use the stems as well as the leaves.  Add cilantro to raw dishes or at the end of cooking to preserve its aromatic flavor.  Full shares also have Italian parsley, which looks a lot like cilantro.  If you’re not sure which is which, smell or taste them!  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 (as are turnip greens and bok choy), so eat it up.

Lots of crops are just on the verge but we don’t have quite enough for everyone.  We picked our peas for the first time today and included them in some shares, but there’s lots more coming!  They are now about 8 feet tall and completely covered in flowers and fruits.  These are sugar snaps, the kind you eat whole (no shelling).  They are extra sweet and one of our favorite crops.  Other crops coming soon are zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, and basil.  Carrots, unfortunately, will be a little late this year, don’t expect to see them in your share until later in July.  We were a little late getting them in because of April rains, and we our new variety is a bit slower than our old one (which was discontinued).  But we have lots planted and they’ll be worth the wait!


Savory Herb Salad Dressing

I always have some variation of this in my fridge.  This one is inspired by the flavors of chimichurri.  I make my salad dressing in a quart mason jar with an immersion blender, but you could also do it with a whisk or in a food processor.  If mixing by hand, chop the herbs finely!  I like this dressing on a salad with sharp cheese, pecans, and fresh or thawed blueberries.

Put in a wide mouth quart sized mason jar:

1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 green chili, seeded, or 1/2 tsp powdered green chili (optional)

Blend with the immersion blender until smooth and emulsified.  Stores for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Variations:
Pesto dressing: Replace the parsley and cilantro with 1/2 bunch of basil and replace the green chili with 2 Tbsp grated parmesan
Sage Caesar: Omit the chili, replace the parsley and cilantro with sage.  Add 2 Tbsp grated parmesan and a few anchovies.
Cilantro dressing: Replace the parsley with cilantro and replace half the lemon juice with lime.


Kohlrabi Pickle Chips

I like kohlrabi raw so much that I have yet to actually make anything with it that I like more. These easy pickles would maintain the appealing texture of kohlrabi, but dress it up a little. This recipe can also be used with cucumbers.

Peel and thinly slice:

1 ½ to 2 lb kohlrabi

            3 small onions

Mix together:

¼ cup pickling salt

            1 quart ice water

Pour this over the vegetables and soak them for 3 hours.

Drain them, rinse them, and place them in a bowl. Bring to a boil:

2 c vinegar

            2/3 c sugar

            1 Tbsp mustard seeds

            1 tsp celery seeds

            ¼ tsp turmeric

Cook for 3 minutes and pour it over the vegetables. Cool, cover, and refrigerate for 3 days.


Miso Soup with Kohlrabi, Greens, and Scallions

This is light and nutritious. I like barley (red) miso, but this would also be good with chickpea (white) miso. You can also add some fresh or dried seaweed to make the soup even healthier. Serves 2 to 4.

 

Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a medium saucepan. Add:

            ½ bunch scallions, chopped

Sautee 3 or 4 minutes, until the scallions begin to wilt, and add:

            1 kohlrabi bulb, diced (cut off the bottom bit first)

Sautee about 5 or 6 minutes, then add:

            4 cups water or vegetable stock

            2 cups greens, chopped (turnip greens, komatsuna, kale, radish greens, bok choy…)

 

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer a few minutes until the kohlrabi is tender. Remove from the heat.

 

Put about ¼ cup of the hot water into a mug and stir in 3 Tbsp red miso (or 4 if using white miso), until all the chunks have mixed into the water. Add this paste back into the soup, stir, and taste. Add a little more miso or water if necessary. Mix in ½ cup scallions, chopped, and serve.