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.

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