CSA Week 9

In your share week 9:

Cherry Tomato
Tomato
Broccoli
Cucumber
Onion
Basil

Half shares only:

Zucchini
Beans

Full shares only:

Salad Mix
Cilantro

We are now at the halfway point for the CSA, and we’re fully into summer shares! The tomatoes are continuing to pump out fruit, so we’re loading you up with both cherries and slicers. Can’t use all those tomatoes right away? It’s easy to freeze them for later! Both cherries and slicers freeze well just as is. We remove the calyx (green stem) and put them in a ziploc bag, either whole or quartered. That’s all it takes. Thawed, they are great for cooking into pastas, curries, soups, or sauces. Thawed cherry tomatoes are also delicious roasted and put onto pizzas or pasta.

We were hitting the basil pretty hard, so we backed off it for a couple of weeks and gave it some nutritive sprays to help it thrive for the rest of the season. It’s looking great again, and we know that tomatoes and basil are a classic summer combination, not to be missed. I made a simple quinoa salad with tomatoes, basil, toasted pecans, and just a bit of olive oil and vinegar, that I could eat all day. This is a perfect week for panzanella or caprese salad.

Broccoli is looking strong out there finally, and full shares get double. The first rotations of our broccolini type were a bit weak, so we haven’t had enough for the CSA. But the next rotation is healthy and huge and just coming on. It happened to coincide with the next of our hybrid broccoli heads, so we had a bumper broccoli pick this week. Enjoy!

Those cucumbers just keep coming in, as fast as we can get them out the door. Enjoy them while they’re here! The zucchini seemed to be rallying, but the rain set them back, so we didn’t have enough for everyone today. Same goes for beans, though we have a few more rotations to go and should have them into September.

Not much more to share with you today, we’re just diligently working to keep everything harvested and moving out to our members. When the harvests are done, the crew and I are working on getting the last of the fall crops planted and ready to go, including turning over greenhouse beds for late rotations of salad mix, turnips, radishes, and cilantro. Come September and October we should have several new crops for you, including peppers, beets, red cabbage, chicory, and more. Lots to look forward to!


Tomato Sorbet

This recipe comes from NPR’s food blog, The Salt.  I like seeing recipes for unusual desserts, and though I haven’t tried this one, I’ll bet it’s delicious.   Makes one quart.

2 pounds tomatoes (try cherry tomatoes!)

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Place the whole tomatoes and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatoes are completely broken down, about 1 hour. Strain the tomatoes through a fine mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Return the liquid to the pan and add the sugar and lemon juice. Reheat just enough to melt in the sugar. Chill the mixture and then freeze in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


Spaghetti with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Roasted Broccoli Spears

This is a quick and filling meal.  You can use a canned tomato sauce, or make a simple one like in the recipe below.  This works best with the smaller side shoots of the broccoli, as they cook quickly and require no preparation.  Serves 4.

For the sauce, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Add:

            4 cloves garlic, chopped (or use garlic scapes in season)

            1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

            Salt and black pepper

Sautee for a couple of minutes, then add:

            2 pounds coarsely chopped tomatoes

Stir to coat the tomatoes in the oil and garlic.  Within a few minutes, the tomatoes should start to release their juice.  I also add a splash of red or white wine.  Bring to a simmer and continue to stir occasionally for 20 to 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency.  Add ½ c chopped basil or parsley.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.  If necessary, slice one bunch broccoli lengthwise into thin spears, or use whole if already thin.  Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, using tongs to turn the spears once.  They are done when the florets start to get crispy and the stems are tender.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously.  Add 1 pound spaghetti and cook until al dente.  Toss with the sauce and top with broccoli spears and a sprinkle of parmesan.


Pizza!

Pizza is actually quite easy.  You can buy pizza dough, or you can make your own with this simple recipe.  Use anything in your CSA box on top.  Pizza is best made at high heat on a baking stone, but is also great in a regular cookie sheet or cast iron pan. 

Stir together in a mixing bowl:

2 tsp (one packet) instant dry yeast

            1 ¼ c lukewarm water

            2 c unbleached white flour

            1 ¾ c whole wheat flour

            1 tsp salt

            ¼ c olive oil

Mix with a stand mixer, the plastic dough blade on a food processor, or your hands until all ingredients are incorporated.  It should be soft and pliable but not too sticky; add a bit of flour if necessary.  Knead until the dough is soft and elastic, about 8 or 10 minutes (half that in a mixer or food processor).  Put in a large plastic bag and leave out until doubled in size, about 2 hours.  Or put it in the refrigerator and leave it all day. 

Preheat an oven to 400 (475 with a pizza stone).  To shape the dough, flour a counter and turn out the ball of dough.  Using a rolling pin or your hands, flatten it into a circle.  Keep spreading it until you reach the desired size.  Transfer it to a cookie sheet, cast iron pan, or, if using a stone, parchment paper on a cutting board.  Top with sauce, grated cheese, and your choice of toppings.  Put the pizza in the oven and cook about 8 minutes with a stone, 15 to 20 without. 

Suggested toppings:  roasted garlic, pesto and cherry tomato

                                    Sweet pepper, broccoli, and onion

                                    Kale (or turnip greens), roasted potatoes, and leeks

                                    Fennel, zucchini, and brie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.