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.

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