CSA Week 10

In your share week 10:

Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Baby Bok Choy
Cauliflower
Cipollini or Red Onion
Salad Mix

Full shares only:

Zucchini
Carrots

Well, we made it through August and I’m breathing a bit of a sigh of relief.  It’s a tiring month, and while we still have a few more weeks of peak harvests (especially if this hot weather in the forecast comes to pass!), things will soon start to ease up on the farm.  Throughout September, we’ll focus on digging the rest of the potato crop, planting late season greenhouse crops, and getting cover crop in the ground and the field ready for winter.  But the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and fall is just around the corner.

But back to the present, cauliflower is finally here!  Normally we have this earlier in the summer, but I cut down on rotations this year and a gopher all but annihilated our first planting.  But it’s here now, looking beautiful, and more to come.  Our cauliflower is delicious: fresh, sweet, tender, and versatile.  Mike and I like it best roasted with olive oil and salt in a hot oven until it’s soft and starting to caramelize.  It’s also delicious raw, made into pizza crust, stirred into curry, or just about anything else.  To use it, I most often split the head in half with a knife then break apart the florets by hand, splitting larger ones with a knife.  It stores well in a plastic bag in the fridge, though it does bruise easily so handle it gently.

Another fun new item is a bunch of cipollini onions.  These are an Italian type of onion with lots of savory flavor!  I love them, and have found that whatever I make with them ends up being extra tasty.  Their smaller size and flattened shape make them great for grilling or roasting halved or whole.  You can also use them as the onions in just about any recipe, see how they make it pop.  Our onion crop isn’t stellar this year, so we didn’t have quite enough cipollinis to go around.  A few of you got some of the first of our gorgeous red onions, also delicious raw, sautéed, or grilled.

Tomatoes and cucumbers are still coming on strong, so we’re loading you up while we’ve got them.  I expect the cukes to slow down soon, we are starting to see a decline in the picks and they tend to lose heart in the fall.  The zucchini rallied a bit today, though, so hopefully we’ll continue to get some fruit from them into fall.  Tomatoes can produce for us into November, depending on weather, but their flavor is best in the hotter weather and longer days.  Remember, they freeze or dry beautifully if you have more than you can use.


Tumbled Tomatoes

A CSA member shared this easy recipe with me this week.  She says it’s one of her favorite summer recipes and she even served it at her daughter’s beach wedding. By Elizabeth Karmel, published 9/21/2011 Eugene Register Guard.

1 tablespoon herbs de Provence

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

½ teaspoon dehydrated garlic

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes

In a salt grinder, or using a mortar and pestle, grind or pulverize the herbs de Provence, salt and garlic. If you don’t have either a grinder or mortar and pestle, the ingredients can be mixed together instead. Set aside.

Wash the tomatoes in cold water, then remove all excess water but do not dry. In a large serving bowl, toss the tomatoes with the herb mixture until they are coated evenly.

Refrigerate the bowl, uncovered, until all water is evaporated, at least 3 hours and up to overnight. Toss or “tumble” the tomatoes in the bowl occasionally until the herb and salt mixture has formed a crust on the tomatoes.  Serve chilled.


Cauliflower-Tehina Puree

From Zahav by Michael Solomonov.  Tahini has been the magic ingredient in our kitchen for the last year or so.  This is kind of like a hummous and makes a great dipping sauce for other veggies or to put onto sandwiches or wraps.

1 Small head cauliflower, broken into florets, core chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 cup Basic tehina sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 250.  Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and salt on a baking sheet.  Bake until very tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the tehina sauce:

1 head garlic

3/4 c lemon juice (from 3 lemons)

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups tehina

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Break up the head of garlic but don’t peel.  Put the cloves in a blender with lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt.  Blend on high for a few seconds, then let stand for 10 minutes.  Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large mixing bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard the solids.  Add the tehina, cumin, and 1 tsp salt.

Whisk together until smooth, adding ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out.  Continue to whisk and add water until the sauce is smooth, thick, but easily spread.  Taste for salt.

Transfer the cauliflower florets to a blender, add the tehina sauce, and puree until very smooth.

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