In your share week 7:
Tomatoes and/or cherry tomatoes
Full shares only:
Well, I thought the share size was going to be more under control this week, but I was wrong! We could barely fit it all into the full shares, and half shares are pretty bursting as well. Half shares got a week off from cauliflower, but full shares are experiencing the true meaning of CSA! Every year there’s a crop or two that doesn’t stop giving, and this year it’s cauliflower. I’ve sure been eating it every week, hopefully you’re enjoying it!
Part of the fun of the farm and the CSA is the abundance that it gives us. Eating off the farm is such a different mentality than shopping at the grocery store. I plan carefully and work hard to keep a consistent supply for you all, but there’s a lot that’s out of my control. A produce buyer at a store can order exactly what they think they can use from a large national supplier. We have to work with what nature gives us, so there’s always some losses, but there’s always some great surprises. It’s really such a short season that we can enjoy the overflowing food, I try to take advantage of it as much as I can!
Last year’s overflow was green beans, so I overcompensated a bit by planting way less. But they’ve finally arrived, and they are so wonderful! We won’t have nearly so many as last year, but we have 2 beautiful beds that we’re just beginning to pick so we should have plenty to share with you.
We grow 2 types, a French filet variety called Maxibel (these are long, round, and slender) and a Romano type (these are large and flat and often called Italian green beans). The Maxibels are more sweet and tender and are especially good raw, while the Romanos have a wonderful, robust beany flavor that holds up well to grilling and cooking. You can use both in just about any recipe calling for green beans. I love to grill beans whole, especially the Romanos. Toss them in olive oil and cook them over medium low heat for a few minutes a side: yum! You can also eat them raw, slice them into salads, steam them with butter, use them in stir fries, pickle them, or whatever you like. We are careful in our picking, so all the beans you get from me should be at prime eating stage without starchiness or bitterness.
We’ve been lighter than usual on kale for you this summer, partially because we got hit early with aphids and partially because we’ve had so many other things to share. But our fall rotation has just come into production and our spring bed is going strong, so expect to see a little more of it going forward. We have to plant the fall kale earlier than we need it so that it’s strong enough to continue producing once the days get short and cold. On the farm, you always have to be a couple of steps ahead.
Full shares have another head of green cabbage and a yummy cipollini onion. These are particularly sweet and flavorful onions, which are especially good roasted or caramelized. Everybody has more green onions, since that’s another crop we have in abundance. And they are so versatile…if you haven’t tried grilling them, that’s the easiest way I’ve found to use the bunch. I just leave them whole, toss with a bit of oil and salt, and grill for a few minutes on each side. The grilled onions are good on their own or added to burgers or salads.
Green Bean, Potato, and Kale Puree
This recipe, recommended by my aunt, is adapted from Start Fresh by Tyler Florence. It makes a lovely green puree, with a flavor “like something an Italian grandmother might make”. Makes eight 1/2-cup servings or four 1-cup servings.
1/2 pound green beans
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
8 large kale leaves, stems removed and coarsely chopped
2 cup organic chicken stock
6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
In a saucepan, combine beans, potato, kale, and stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat. Cook uncovered until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
Transfer contents of saucepan to a blender and add Parmesan and olive oil.
Puree until as smooth as you prefer.
Broccoli Braised with Fresh Herbs and Toasted Walnuts
From The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay, this simple recipe makes a great side dish. You can cook other vegetables, especially leafy greens, in a similar way. Serves 4.
In a small bowl, combine:
2 Tbsp dry sherry
2 Tbsp water
Set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a skillet that has a tight fitting lid. Add:
1 clove garlic, minced
Saute for about 1 minute. Add:
1 pound broccoli, chopped into uniform bite size pieces
Stir briefly, then add the sherry mixture. Immediately cover the pan, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the broccoli is lightly browned and fork-tender. If the liquid dries our before the broccoli is tender, add a little water and replace the lid. If the broccoli is cooked but there is still liquid, cook it uncovered for a minute to dry it out.
Toss the broccoli in a serving bowl along with:
2 tsp minced fresh marjoram, oregano, or thyme, or a combination
3 Tbsp chopped walnuts
Serve with a wedge of lemon.