In your share week 8:
Purple Viking Potatoes
Zucchini and/or Cucumbers
Baby Bibb Lettuce
Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes
Full shares only:
We finally have tomatoes! We have over twice as many planted as last year, and overall the plants are looking fantastic. But here at the coast, and especially this year, we really have to wait for them to ripen up and be delicious. Monday’s pick was the largest we’ve ever done at the farm, over 100 pounds! So where possible, we’re including extras for all of you who have been so patient.
We grow a mix of heirloom tomatoes and a few newer varieties bred for northern climes. This year we have started to grow more determinate (or bush) varieties, since they are easier to care for and produce more reliably here at the coast. Our cherry tomatoes are hybrid Sungolds, super sweet orange tomatoes that are unmatched in flavor! We do our best to pick the tomatoes ripe to maximize their flavor, though we try to pick them so they’ll last at least a few days on the counter. Don’t refrigerate your tomatoes! They keep best in a bowl on the counter. Several of today’s pick had cracks in them, so I’d recommend eating those first.
Our tomatoes are all great for fresh eating as well as adding to your favorite recipes. We don’t have a lot of roma/sauce types, so they make an extra juicy salsa or sauce (it works anyway!). I love to add them to beans, salads, pastas, and really everything I make. I’m sure you’ve got a favorite way to use your tomatoes.
In other news, we picked over 300 pounds of green beans in 8 days!! And there are still lots more coming… Everyone gets another fat bag today, try grilling them if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to use them up. Pickling and canning green beans is another great way to take advantage of the summer bounty, I’ll include a recipe below. If you want to do a big batch of pickled beans, we are offering a special bulk price of $4 per pound for orders over 5 pounds. Email me if you want to order some extras for canning!
Other new items today include zucchini or cucumbers, depending if you have a full or half share. These are also finally taking off, though it’s starting to look like we won’t have the abundant harvests we sometimes get. Your cucumbers today are a standard American slicing type, good for snacking, cucumber salads, tabouleh, or whatever you like to do with them. These can be pickled, though I don’t recommend canning them as they get soft.
Everyone also gets one of my personal favorite veggies, a head or two of baby bibb lettuce. These make a wonderful salad: they are a perfect mix of sweet, crunchy, buttery, and just a bit bitter. They are similar to a mini romaine, but a bit more buttery. Yum! Today’s potatoes are Purple Viking, a particularly striking variety. Though purple outside, they are white on the inside and have a fluffier, more starchy texture than our other varieties. They are the best baking potato that we grow, but they are also wonderful roasted, put in soup, or made into hash.
Pickled Green Beans
From Marthastewart.com, this is a simple recipe for refrigerator pickles, which last for months in the refrigerator. Canned, they will store indefinitely in the cupboard. I’ll include canning instructions from the Simple Bites blog by Shaina Olmanson at the end.
- 3/4 pound trimmed green beans
- 4 thinly sliced cloves garlic
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 dried red chiles
For refrigerator pickles:
Arrange green beans and garlic in clean glass jars. In a saucepan, bring vinegar, salt, peppercorns, sugar, and chiles to a boil. Carefully pour mixture into jars, secure lids, and let cool to room temperature.
For canned pickles:
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring vinegar, water and salt to a boil. Stir and boil until salt is dissolved. Keep warm over medium-low heat.
- Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by boiling in a large pot of boiling water. Leave the lids and rings in the water, but remove the jars and pack tightly with green beans. Move quickly so the jars stay warm.
- Ladle the vinegar mix over the green beans until it comes within a 1/4″ of the lip. If you run out of the vinegar mix, make a second batch. Wipe down the rims, cover with a lid and lightly screw on the rings.
- Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes for above 6,000 feet altitude). Remove the jars to a clean, dry towel. Be sure none are touching. Allow to cool.
- The jars will pop and seal as they cool. Any unsealed jars can be refrigerated and used promptly.
Tempeh and Potato Hash
Adapted from The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susan Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay. I made this for Sunday breakfast this week when we ran out of eggs, and it was delicious. The original recipe calls for tofu, but I prefer tempeh, available at Trillium.
6 oz tempeh, cut into 1/4″ cubes
2 1/2 Tbsp Canola oil
1 onion or 1 bunch green onions, diced
1 pound potatoes, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Toss the tempeh in a bowl with the sugar, paprika, 1/2 Tbsp of the canola oil, and 1/2 tsp of the soy sauce. Set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a large deep skillet and add the onion. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes, then add the potatoes and carrots and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/3 cup water to the pan, along with the oregano and soy sauce, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
Add the tomatoes, salt and tempeh. Cook, stirring frequently, until the hash is lightly browned and crusty, about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve immediately.