CSA Week 13

In your share week 13:

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

Half shares only:
Eggplant

Full shares only:

Onion
Napa cabbage
Cherry tomatoes or tomatoes

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

Those aren’t red onions in your bag today, they’re shallots! They are a particular favorite of mine. Our shallots are much bigger than what you usually see in stores, but they are shallots nonetheless.  Most shallots are grown from overwintered bulbs (like garlic), but these are grown from seed with our onions.  Seed grown shallots get much larger, but still have tons of flavor and store extremely well.  If you’re not familiar with shallots, they are similar to onions but more savory and flavorful, and less sweet.  You can use them in place of onions in many recipes and can usually use less than the recipe calls for.  Some people describe their flavor as a cross between onions and garlic, but I just think they have a wonderful flavor all their own.

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

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

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


Fried Green Tomatoes

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


Kale with Golden Raisins, Shallots and Walnuts

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

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

Instructions

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

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