CSA Week 7

Reminder: Please return your bags if you have a stockpile going at home! You can also return any clean blue pint or quart boxes, just put them right in your bag and we will reuse them. Thank you!

In your share this week:

Romano Green Beans
Salad Mix
Red Onion

Full shares only:

Cherry Tomato

It’s mid August and the farm is officially in peak production. I’m happy to see the tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers really hitting their stride. Sadly, though, the peas are leaving us as quickly as they came. It’s bittersweet, since picking them has eaten up hours of crew time every day. We’re happy to have a little more breathing room in the harvest schedule, but sad to see those tasty treats fading until next year.

Speaking of cucumbers, many of you have lemon cucumbers today. These are the baseball sized, round yellow fruits in the bottom of your bag. They’re called lemon because they look like a lemon, not because of their flavor. They are sweet, juicy, burpless cukes in a convenient size, and you can use them in place of the green ones in just about any recipe. One note: we don’t grow pickling cukes, just slicers. You can make quick refrigerator pickles out of our cucumbers, but they will get mushy if you can them.

By now you may have gotten any of our 3 colors of zucchini: green, striped, or yellow. In my opinion, they all taste and cook the same, but the different colors lend a lot of character to any zucchini dish.

The beans are coming in strong, with lots more in the weeks ahead. I like them best grilled whole: it’s easy, quick, and oh so delicious. I toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and cook them over a low flame for about 10 minutes, flipping once, until both sides are browned and the inside is juicy and tender. These also make a great pickle if you’re looking for something a little different to do with them.

The basil is looking beautiful, and full shares have double basil today so you can make some pesto. If you want to make a lot of pesto, we will continue to have bulk basil available to order at least through the month of August. For our pesto recipe, check out our last post about bulk basil here. Not sure what else to do with basil? I eat it most mornings for breakfast, with eggs and potatoes or quinoa. I love added to salads or dressings, put into a Thai curry, or eaten with those lovely fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. I mean, what DOESN’T basil go well in?

Pickled Green Beans

From NY Times Cooking, by Martha Rose Shulman. Don’t have or like all the seasonings in the recipe? As long as you have beans and brine, you can season it however you like.

  • 6 to 7 ounces green beans
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon raw brown (turbinado) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, quartered
  1. Rinse green beans and break off stem ends. Put them into a pint jar, standing them up and squeezing as many into the jar as you can. There should be 1/2 inch of head space in the jar, so you may have to trim down some of the beans. Once you’ve cut them down to fit, take them out of the jar and sterilize the jar in a boiling water bath for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a jar grip, carefully remove the jar from the water and tip out all water.
  2. Place coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf in jar and fill with beans, standing them up in the jar. Push dill sprigs down into the jar.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegars, water, sugar, salt and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer 2 minutes. Pour into jar with green beans. The beans should be covered but there should still be 1/4 to 1/2 inch head space. Push garlic down into the jar. Seal jar and allow to cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 months. For best results wait 2 days before eating.

Penne with Zucchini, Lemon, and Cherry Tomato

Easy and quick, this is especially good when the zucchini is fresh and sweet.  Serves 4.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 1 lb penne and salt generously.  Cook until al dente, then drain and toss with a little olive oil.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat.  Add:

         1 onion, cut into thin slices

         2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried

         salt and pepper

         ½ tsp freshly grated lemon zest

Sautee until the onions are transparent, then add:

         6 or 8 small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds

Cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini begins to soften.  Add:

         1 c cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook a few more minutes until zucchini are tender.  Squeeze in:

         juice of ½ lemon

Toss with the pasta and:

         2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or parsley

Sprinkle generously with parmesan and serve.

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