CSA Week 9

In Your Share:

IMG_0265
Wall of Cucumbers

Cipollini Onions
Cucumber or Zucchini
Beets or Beans
Basil
New Potatoes: Purple Viking or Fingerling
Carrots
Green Onion
Salad Mix (Half Shares only)

Full shares only:

Cauliflower
Cilantro
Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes

 

Harvest days are getting long.  I tried to write these notes after finishing up the harvest Monday night (because I still have to pick tomatoes this morning), and I was falling asleep at the computer.  It’s exciting to see all the expanded production coming into its own, though; yesterday we harvested a huge special order on top of our usual CSA and farm stand harvest, the last couple weeks have been the biggest markets we’ve ever done, and your shares are still chock full of goodies!

 

New today for many of you are beets.  Our beets are very sweet and delicious, but they struggle a bit growing here.  They are finally sizing up, though, and we have lots more planted, so hopefully you’ll be seeing more of them in the months to come.  Our beets don’t need peeling as the skins are very tender.  You can eat them raw, roasted, boiled, or grilled.  Beet greens are a real winner, too; they are extra nutritious with a fruity, earthy flavor.  I’m honestly not a huge beet fan, but I love the greens.  Cook them like kale or spinach, sauteed, steamed, or in soup.  Store beets in a bag in the fridge, if you won’t use them right away remove the tops and store them separately.

 

Another fun new item is a bunch of cipollini onions.  These are an Italian type of onion with lots of savory flavor!  I love them, and have found that whatever I make with them ends up being extra tasty.  Their smaller size and flattened shape make them great for grilling or roasting halved or whole.  You can also use them as the onions in just about any recipe, see how they make it pop.

 

Some folks have a new potato today called Purple Viking.  These are beautiful purple skinned, white fleshed potatoes.  They have a drier, more powdery texture than the other potatoes you’ve gotten so far and would be good for baking (some are enormous!) or roasting.  I used one this weekend to help thicken a pureed cauliflower soup, and it worked well for that.  While some of these potatoes are huge, there weren’t many per plant and I will probably leave most in the ground to keep on sizing up, so if you are in the later part of the week you’ll probably get some of our delicious austrian crescent fingerlings.

 

Cucumbers are really hitting their stride, we picked 85 pounds on Monday and should get another 40 or so on Wednesday and Friday!  The lemon cucumbers are finally getting going, so most of you will have a few of them.  Many people (including me) like them best, they are sweet and juicy and a perfect shape and size for snacking.  Lemon cucumbers get their name from their appearance, not their taste.

 


Raita

My sister in law is from Bombay and is a fantastic cook. One visit we spent an evening making an Indian feast, including vegetable biryani served with raita, a simple cucumber yogurt condiment. The raita only takes a few minutes to make, and I found myself wanting to eat it more than anything else!

 

Stir together in a small bowl:

2 c plain yogurt

            2 c cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

            1 green chili pepper, minced

            1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

            1 clove garlic, grated

            1 tsp salt

Set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.


Marinated Beet salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

First Alternative Coop in Corvallis makes a salad like this that I love. This doesn’t use the beet greens, but you could lightly steam them and include them in the salad, maybe with a little more marinade. A refreshing summer dish. Serves 4.

 

Cut off the greens and cut the roots into bite-size chunks from:

            1 bunch beets

Place in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam 25 to 35 minutes, or until very tender. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, whisk together:

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

            ½ tsp salt, or to taste

            ¼ c olive oil

            1 garlic clove, crushed

            1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Toss with the beets once they are cool and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, toss in

¼ c crumbled goat cheese

            ½ c toasted walnuts