CSA Week 6

Welcome to week 6 of CSA. In your share this week is:

Carola Potato
Sugar Snap Peas
Romano Beans
Cherry Tomatoes

Full Shares Only:
Red Russian Kale

We harvested 80 cabbages today, a potato that weighs 2.2 pounds, almost 60lbs. of beans and are nearing the end of the peas. All the crew are breaking for lunch before packing all the shares. Its a chilly day on the farm and I’m already thinking of a warm hearty supper for the evening. Perhaps some Romano beans and potatoes?

In everyone’s share today you have Romano beans, an Italian flat bean in the same family as garden variety string beans. They’re broad and flat, as if someone accidentally sat on a giant string bean, with a juicy, sweet flavor and great crunch. You can eat these snappy beans raw, but I think they taste best when they’re cooked, whether quickly blanched for crudités, charred on the grill and dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, or slow-braised in a tasty broth so they plump up and soak up all that flavor. You can use them in virtually any recipe that calls for snap beans or other similarly crunchy veg like sugar snap peas. Check out the recipe below to use your beans, potatoes and onion greens.

Thats right, you can use the tops of your onions the same as you would green onions. I often use them in my breakfast or whenever I don’t want to chop a whole onion. Of course, the actual onion is the star!

The Carola potatoes are my favorite! One of the tastiest potatoes you can find. So creamy when mashed, excellent for a potato salad or for something more elaborate, try this gnocchi recipe below. One lucky member will get our giant potato!

You also have cukes, zukes, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, plus slicers and peas. The start of a salad there. I like to thinly slice cabbage for the extra crunch, add in some other salad greens, cukes and tomatoes, maybe saute onions and peas as a topping and serve with your favorite dressing.

Full shares have the beautiful and delicious Red Russian kale. If you need something to warm you up on a misty PNW day, try this lightly spicy soup – Red Russian kale and chorizo soup, see below.

Everything will store best in bags/containers in your fridge. Enjoy your veggies!

Romano Beans with Tomatoes and Pancetta

2 oz. pancetta, chopped
● 1 Tbs. olive oil
● 3 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
● 1/2 lb. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 can (14 oz.) chopped plum tomatoes with juices
● 1 lb. romano beans or green beans, ends trimmed
● Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
● 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

In a saucepan large enough to hold the beans, cook the pancetta over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain.

Add the olive oil to the fat remaining in the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the green onions and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until they reduce slightly, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the beans and sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 15 minutes. Check often and add a few tablespoonfuls of hot water if the sauce looks dry. (The dish can be prepared up to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated, and then reheated gently the next day. It will taste even better the second day.)

Stir in the pancetta, transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Carola Potato Gnocchi

5 pounds small-to-medium sized Carola potatoes, all similar in size
● 2 eggs, beaten
● 2 cups all purpose flour*
● 1 tsp salt

*You may not use all this flour depending on how moist the potatoes are. It also depends on weather conditions like humidity—humidity will affect not only the moisture in the potatoes but also the moisture in the flour.

  1. In a stock pot, cover the potatoes well with water, season the water with salt and bring the water to a simmer.
  2. Watch the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until you see the first of the spuds rupture; the skins should have just burst open.
  3. Remove that potato to a warm area near the stove and allow to steam (giving off water) until the rest are done. Continue to remove potatoes from the pot as they become done.
  4. Once all the potatoes have cooked thoroughly and have been allowed to steam for 5 minutes, use a paring knife to remove the thin skins. Place the peeled potatoes, in batches, in a food mill fitted with a fine blade and process them directly onto your countertop.
  5. Season the pulp with salt and pour the beaten egg over the top.
  6. Now sift about 1/2 cup of flour over the top of the potatoes and eggs and blend the flour in using a bench scraper.
  7. Spread the mixture out again with the scraper and sift in another 1/2 cup of flour. Blend in with the scraper and knead lightly to see how moist or dry the dough has become. More likely than not, the dough is quite tacky and needs at least another 1/4 Cup of flour. Sift that over the dough and combine well. Feel for moisture—you want a smooth, not too sticky dough—and if necessary add a little more flour. (The good thing about the Carola gnocchi – and this is because of the intrinsic richness and sweetness of the potatoes – they can take more flour and egg than russets.)
  8. Once you have added JUST ENOUGH flour to make a smooth, non-sticky dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes, then return it to the counter.
  9. You may find that as the dough has rested it has become more sticky and now needs more flour kneaded into it. If so, do so.
  10. If no additional flour is needed, cut the dough in 8 pieces and roll them out, one at a time, into logs 1/2″ in diameter.
  11. Use the bench scraper to cut the logs into 1″ lengths.
  12. Dust them in flour and roll them across either the tines of a fork or a gnocchi tool to form ridges on one side and a small depression on the other.
  13. Place on a floured baking sheet.
  14. Boil in salted water just until they float; gnocchi are self timing. Remove to an oiled baking sheet.
    Serving Suggestions
    You may either serve them immediately or chill and reserve for later service. I like to reheat them in brown butter and salt, until they are browned well on both sides. They are delicious with a little sage leaf and grated aged sheep’s milk cheese.

Red Russian Kale and Chorizo Soup (Caldo Verde)

8 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced crosswise
● 1 tablespoon olive oil
● 1 large onion, chopped
● 2 large garlic cloves, minced
● ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
● ½ teaspoon pepper
● 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
● ¾ pound russet potato, peeled and chopped
● 12 ounces Red Russian or other kale, stems removed and leaves cut into slender ribbons
Kosher salt (optional)

Cook chorizo in oil in a pot over medium-high heat, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer chorizo to a paper towel with a slotted spoon.
Add onion to fat in pot and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chile flakes, and pepper; cook about 1 minute. Add broth and potato; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato is tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in kale and chorizo; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until kale is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt.

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