In Your Share:
Cucumber and/or Zucchini
CSA Secret Surprise
Full shares only:
Eggplant or Tomato
We made it through August! August is a tough time on a farm, with long days, huge harvests, busy markets, and not a lot of energy. This year has been especially challenging with all the new infrastructure we added in the spring, so I’m feeling pretty relieved to be on this side of Labor Day. Fortunately for you, September has some of our biggest harvests and the most crop diversity, so you’ve got some great shares coming.
Half shares don’t have anything new today, but there are some lovely heads of baby bok choy, a nice bag of green beans, and a full bag of salad mix for everyone. I know we’ve been a bit slim on salad mix for the CSA this summer, but I’m hoping to step it up a bit for the next few weeks. By October the mix (and everything else) starts to slow down, but we have some lovely rotations coming up and plan to give you several bags in the next 6 weeks.
You get some different and pretty potatoes today, a mix of pink and purple beauties. These are 2 new varieties for us, which are lovely and tasty but which I probably won’t grow again because of low yields. Both are gold fleshed and good for roasting, mashing, or home fries. I haven’t tried boiling them to see if they hold their shape well, but if you want to try it you might add a bit of vinegar to the water to help keep them from overcooking.
The new item for full shares today (hopefully next week for half shares) is napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage. Napa 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.
I also decided to give you all a break from green onions so you could catch up. More next week (don’t worry, there’s only 2 more rotations to go). Cucumbers are still coming on strong, but we pulled out one rotation to make room for fall salad and lettuce, so I expect that the yields will be dropping off soon. Zucchini are definitely on the decline, though the fruits we’re getting are still beautiful. This rain will probably do a lot to send them into mold land.
Crispy Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes
From Bon Apetit May 2014. A nice alternative to roasted potatoes (which we love but get a bit overused in our house).
2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved, quartered if large
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Flaky sea salt
Combine potatoes, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan; add water to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 20–25 minutes; drain and pat dry.
Heat butter in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add potatoes; season with kosher salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Serve topped with chives and sea salt.
Tacos of Napa Cabbage, Corn, and Tempeh Chorizo
Yes, you read that right. I prefer napa cabbage to the European style, and I think it makes a great filling for Mexican food. I also use this as an enchilada filling. Try it! Makes lots of tacos.
Crumble 6 oz tempeh into a bowl. Stir together with:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp ground ancho chile (or add a bit of cayenne and double the paprika)
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
pinch each cinnamon, cloves and ground coriander
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Let sit at least 20 minutes.
Add to this mixture:
3 c chopped napa cabbage
Kernels from 3 ears corn
½ bunch cilantro
Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a skillet. Add the mixture and stir and fry about 12 minutes, until the napa cabbage is tender and the tempeh browned. Add more oil if necessary. Serve with warm corn tortillas, a twist of lime, and your favorite salsa (salsa verde is especially good.) You can also add cheese, sweet peppers, and more fresh cilantro.