CSA Week 8

In your share week 8:

Carrots
Cucumber
Onion
Kale
Tatsoi
Salad Mix
Heirloom Tomatoes
Green Chili Pepper

Full shares only:

Cherry Tomato
Parsley
Zucchini

Heat wave! It’s been hot on the farm the last few days, without our usual cooling ocean breeze. We’ve been working hard to keep everything watered and happy, and only in a coastal CSA will you get all kinds of greens even after a few extra hot days. If this weather persisted for weeks, the greens would get stressed. But between our cool nights and regular watering, we’re keeping the greens from stressing out.

Oddly enough, I was most worried about the tomatoes in the heat. We grow all of our tomatoes in the greenhouses, and on extra hot days it can get hot enough in there to cook the fruit on the vine. We did lose some fruits, but the damage wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected and we actually had a huge pick of slicers yesterday. We’re including a nice serving of tomatoes for everyone today, I hope you enjoy them!

Over the years we’ve figured out varieties and techniques that give us good success with tomatoes. We grow mostly early season varieties from cold places, including Russian, Quebecois, and Swiss heirlooms. We have pink tomatoes that tend to be more sweet, red tomatoes with a robust flavor, and milder orange tomatoes. All are juicy and good for fresh eating. They can be cooked as well and add a lot of flavor to dishes; they are juicy though so be ready to cook them down! Store tomatoes on the counter, preferably out of direct sunlight. Some are fully ripe, some we pick a little early to give you better shelf life, and these will ripen as they sit. I recommend eating them within a few days.

The heat was also good for the cucumbers, which gave us over 100 pounds yesterday. I have included extras again, this would be a good week for refrigerator pickles. The zucchini also seemed to like the heat, we got our biggest pick yet yesterday and I am hoping that they will pick up the pace so we can include them more in your shares before the fall knocks them back.

Along with the summery fruits we also included several kinds of greens (this is a coastal CSA after all!). Kale and salad mix you’ll be familiar with, but tatsoi may be new to you. We grow tatsoi for our salad mix, but it is delicious on its own when it gets larger. It is similar to bok choy, with a tender leaf and succulent stem. It would make a great salad, or is good in stir fries or curries. It cooks quickly and should be stored in a bag in the fridge.

Also new today are the first of our onions. Fresh onions are a real treat, and only available for a short part of the year. I love to use the greens as well as the bulb, and they can both be used in any recipe calling for onions. Store them in the fridge in a bag, you may want to separate the greens first so the bulb keeps better. These are a standard yellow onion variety, a bit pungent and a bit sweet, with great fresh flavor.

Yet another new item today is green chilis. Peppers are a challenge here, but we have a great looking crop this year (another one that loved the heat). Most we save for fully ripe red and yellow peppers later, but I’ve increased our green chili production for earlier harvests. Today you have either a jalapeno or a small pint of padron peppers. Jalapenos are hot and can be used in salsas, curries, stir fries, tacos, or whatever you want to add a kick to. Padrons are typically used as frying peppers, cooked whole in olive oil and eaten as a tapa. The padrons can be pretty hot though too, and I often chop them up into dishes to add heat just like a jalapeno.


Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a tangy and delicious middle eastern salad with lots of variations.  There are many tabbouleh recipes out there, this one from food.com is a good simple one that makes a family size portion.  I usually add cucumber to my tabbouleh as well.  To speed things up, you can chop the parsley and onions together in a food processor.  Gluten free?  Make it with quinoa instead of the bulgur.

  • 150 g flat leaf parsley (This is about 2 bunches)
  • 6 spring onions (About 1 bunch) or 6 green onions, finely chopped (About 1 bunch)
  • 4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 lemons, juice of (Freshly Squeeze)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup water, boiled
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt

Add one cup of boiled water and one cup of bulgur in a small bowl and mix. Place a tea towel over the bowl so the steam is unable to escape. Set aside until cool.

Finely chop the parsley, spring onions and tomatoes and place them into your separate large salad bowl.

Juice all the fresh lemons and pour it over the salad mixture. Add olive oil, black pepper and salt in the salad mixture. Mix well.

Place over the cool bulgur and mix well. Serve.


Tatsoi Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

By Ashley Covelli of Big Flavor from a Tiny Kitchen blog.

Salad:
1 head tatsoi, cleaned and chopped
3 radishes, thinly sliced
3 small carrots, thinly sliced
1/3 English cucumber, chopped
1 tomato, chopped

Dressing:
1 T peanut butter
1 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 t chili garlic sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 t ground ginger
1 t toasted sesame seeds

Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Toss.

In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together, adjusting chili garlic sauce to your desired degree of spiciness.

Top salad with dressing and enjoy!

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