CSA Week 4

In your share week 4:

Raspberries
Sugar Snap Peas
Salad Mix
New potatoes: Harvest Moon
Basil
Radish or baby turnip

Full shares only:

Kale
Cilantro

The sun finally came out, and the farm has turned the corner! This was the first week it was easy to find enough for the CSA shares. I know July seems late to start, but those first few shares are always a stretch for us! It’s actually not until now that growth really takes off. It was such a relief to walk the fields and see things growing the way I expect them to; the parsley and kale are finally growing quickly, peas are ripening as fast as we can pick them, and now it’s a race to keep up with it all!

We are doing a lot of picking right now: both the peas and the raspberries are peaking. We had a huge pea pick yesterday, so full shares get double. Remember, these are snap peas that can be eaten pod and all. We mostly just eat them raw and whole, but you can also cook them if you prefer, or chop them up and add them to a salad. We should be picking peas for a few more weeks, but the raspberries come and go very quickly and I don’t know if we’ll have more for your shares. So enjoy them while they are here, and I’d recommend eating them up quickly since they don’t hold well after picking.

This week’s share, especially the half share, is a lot of fresh goodies that are best eaten raw. We’ve been doing lots of salads, or making hummous and pestos/herb sauces to dip the veggies in. Everything is so fresh this time of year!

But we did include more new potaotes, today’s are a purple skinned, gold flesh variety called Harvest Moon. They are a waxy, all purpose potato, great for roasting or potato salad. We are going a bit heavy on the new potatoes in these early shares, since they are so good this time of year. New potatoes are thin skinned and higher in protein, giving them a lovely creamy texture. Soon the plants will start to die back: the potatoes will turn more starchy and the skins will thicken and dry for storage. We’ll probably back off the potatoes as they die back and other crops come on (beans! Broccoli! Tomatoes!), and bring them back to your shares in the fall. Remember, I recommend keeping new potatoes in a bag in the fridge.

Many of you are getting the first baby turnips (we’ll soon get them to everyone, but they’re just now sizing up). Returning members will remember these, but if you haven’t yet tried baby turnips, you’re in for a treat. For better or worse, everything loves baby turnips, and there is some insect damage on them even though we kept them under cover. The damage is pretty much all on the surface, they can be peeled if you like.

These are a whole different animal than your grandma’s turnips: they are sweet and creamy and the greens are some of my favorites. I like the roots best raw, either sliced into a salad, eaten plain, or dipped in hummus. You can also roast, grill, or saute the roots, but I’d at least try them raw before cooking them! I typically do a light steam or saute with the greens, and they are especially good finished with a splash of white wine. They are also good in a salad, or used as a bed for a hot steak or piece of fish. Pretty much anything you would do with spinach will work with these lovelies.


Hummous

While this doesn’t contain any of our vegetables, it sure goes well with our vegetables! This recipe comes from Zahav by Michael Salomonov and is a staple in our kitchen.

First, make tehina sauce:

  • 1/2 head garlic
  • 1/3 c lemon juice (from 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

Break up the head of garlic but don’t peel.  Put the cloves in a blender with lemon juice and 1/4 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 1/2 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.

Make the hummous:

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can)
  • 1 1/2 cups tahini sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Paprika
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Combine the chickpeas, tahini sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Puree for several minutes, until it is smooth and uber-creamy.

To serve, spread in a shallow bowl, dust with paprika, top with parsley, and drizzle generously with oil.


Roasted New Potatoes, Onions, and Basil

This is another rotating kitchen staple.  It is easy to make and absolutely delicious when made with potatoes fresh out of the ground.  Makes a hearty meal by itself or a tasty side dish when served with grilled or roasted meat and a salad.  (Serves 3 as a main dish or 6 as a side)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Chop into large pieces and place in a roasting pan or large pyrex baking dish:

            2 pounds new potatoes

            1 onion

Toss in:

            3 Tbsp olive oil

            Salt and pepper

Bake at 425, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fully soft, about 25 to 35 minutes depending on the freshness of the potatoes and size of the pieces.

Trim the leaves from, chop and stir in:

            ½ bunch of basil

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