In your share:
New Potatoes: Austrian Crescent
Zucchini or Cucumber
Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes or Green Beans
Full shares only:
This is another beautiful summer share! We’re getting to some of my favorite veggies today, including cauliflower. A few of you got some already, but it’s been a bit slow to come on this year. And now we have 3 rotations coming on at once, so I expect there will be quite a bit in the next couple of weeks. I love our cauliflower, especially roasted (cut into florets, tossed in olive oil and salt, and roasted at 400 until it’s soft with crispy edges). It’s also great raw, made into soup, or steamed and used in salad. As cauliflower cooks, different flavor profiles emerge. Raw cauliflower has more of the sulfurous cabbagey flavor, but as it cooks those compounds denature and other, nuttier flavors appear. So if you (or someone in your family) don’t like cauliflower, you might try roasting it: it’s actually a very different flavor. Mike never used to like it until he tried it roasted, and now he loves it!
We’re into our first bulb onions today, and I’ve given each of you a bunch of a variety called purplette. These are a mini red onion that are extra savory, I love them roasted in with potatoes, or last week I sliced them in half and put them on the grill. You’ll have fresh onions for the next few weeks, so they should be stored in the fridge in a bag. You can eat the greens still, or use them in stock. I thought I’d give you all a break from green onions today, although we have hundreds more out there so next week we’re back on.
But you’re probably most excited about the tomatoes and green beans! Our tomato picks are getting bigger, but we still don’t have enough for the entire CSA. I will give cherry tomatoes or some of our heirloom slicers to as many of you as possible (especially if you haven’t gotten any yet). This is shaping up to be our best tomato year in a while, and within a couple of weeks our second rotation should be into full production. In the mean time, they’re also the highest quality tomatoes we’ve grown in a while, so enjoy them! Remember to keep them on the counter, tomatoes don’t do well in the fridge.
And fortunately, if you don’t get tomatoes this week, our green beans are just coming on. 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 lots of starchiness or bitterness.
Today’s new potatoes are Austrian Crescent fingerlings. These have a lovely flavor, a dense waxy texture, and are easy to prep. I’ve been eating potatoes just about every day, I can’t get enough of them when they are fresh out of the ground like this. So enjoy!
Farro Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Tomato, and Basil
I made this for a potluck this weekend, and it was quick, easy, hearty, and tasty! If you don’t have tomatoes today, you could add some wine vinegar and thinly sliced green beans instead. Farro is a nutty, delicious relative of wheat, available at Trillium.
To cook the farro, bring 5 c water to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1 1/2 c whole farro reduce heat to medium, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes (less if using pearled farro), until tender but al dente. Drain excess water.
Meanwhile, roast the cauliflower. Cut 1 medium head cauliflower into small florets, toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast at 400, stirring occasionally, until florets are tender and the edges are browned. (Optional: add 1 c chopped onion about halfway through cooking).
To make the salad, mix together cooked farro and roasted cauliflower with:
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch basil, leaves picked and sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve at room temperature.
Home Fermented Vegetables
Fermentation is a great way to preserve vegetables and add great nutrition. CSA member Hollis Baley is a nutritionist in Pacific City who firmly believes in the health benefits of fermentation. She’s posted a few recipes for homemade sauerkraut and fermented carrots and basil that sound amazing. For today’s recipe, I’m going to refer you to her. Follow the links to see some great instructions for home fermentation: