Large shares: Red Russian Kale, red tomatoes, sungold cherry tomatoes, cipolinni onions, slicing cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, summer squash, bell peppers, basil, fingerling potatoes
Small shares: Red Russian or Lacinato kale, heirloom tomato, sungold cherry tomatoes, cipolinni onions, lemon cucumbers, eggplant, sweet peppers, basil, fingerling potatoes
Dear CSA members,
It’s been a bit damp and rainy around the farm, our days are getting noticeably shorter, and nights cooler. I’ve got the feeling our summer crops are on their way out! The forecast says we may get back into the eighties again soon, and I hope we do, but in the meantime we wanted to load you up with tomatoes, peppers and eggplants before we start to lose them to late blight.
Late blight of potatoes and tomatoes, the disease that was responsible for the Irish potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century, is caused by the fungus-like oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. It can infect and destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, and tubers of potato and tomato plants. Before the disease appeared in Ireland it caused a devastating epidemic in the early 1840s in the northeastern United States.
P. infestans was probably introduced to the United States from central Mexico, which is its center of origin. After appearing in North America and Europe during the 1840s, the disease spread throughout most of the rest of the world during subsequent decades and had a worldwide distribution by the beginning of the twentieth century.
Late blight is favored during moderate (60 degree) wet weather and the spores can travel on the wind for several miles. It reproduces rapidly and can completly devistate potato and tomato crops relatively quickly if conditions are right. Anyhoo… I think we’re in for it. Its always sad to see a crop that has been tended for months mercilessly and quickly taken down by disease. It is one of the difficult inevitablities of farming.
Luckily, we have plenty of excellent fall crops we can turn to once the summer ones are gone! I do love the seasonal shifts and how the farm and the way we eat must respond to them. As the days get colder I am certainly more drawn to root crops and hearty greens… just when they become at their best flavor and quality.
We have beautiful kale in the fields right now and both shares will get a bunch of it. This is a new variety called Red Ursa that is a Red Russian type, and it should be excellent cooked, made into kale chips, or wilted with lemon and sea salt for a fresh salad. I made a delicious salad for dinner last Monday by wilting the kale with Celtic sea salt, and then adding sliced heirloom tomatoes, grated Pecorino Romano cheese and a home made balsamic-Dijon vinaigrette.
Fingerling potatoes: Fingerlings are potato varieties that naturally grow long and narrow, they often have a firm, waxy texture and a rich, distinctive flavor.
Have a great week,
Garlic Roasted Root vegetables: Split 1 lb carrots in half lengthwise. Quarter 1 lb of peeled parsnips lengthwise. In a Dutch oven bring salted water to boiling. Add carrots and parsnips and simmer for 5 minutes; drain. In a very large skillet heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium heat. Add 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced and cook until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add carrots, parsnips, and 8 oz mini cipollini onions, peeled to skillet. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until coated in oil and beginning to soften. Sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes covered with foil at 350 degrees.
Rosemary Potatoes with Cipollini Onions: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice 3 lbs potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Skin 2 cups worth of Cipollini onions, cut into 1 inch chunks. Toss onions and potatoes with 3 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl. Add 2 tbp crushed fresh rosemary and sea salt and pepper to taste. Roast the potatoes until they are brown and crispy.
Pesto Potato Salad Serves 10
4 pounds fingerling potatoes, quarteredâ�¨
1 pound green beans, cut into one-inch segmentsâ�¨
1 to 2 small garlic cloves, peeledâ�¨
2 bunches of basil (about one ounce each)â�¨
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oilâ�¨6 tablespoons (or more to taste)
mild vinegar, such as champagne, white wine or a white balsamicâ�¨
1/4 cup chopped green onions (scallions)â�¨
1/2 cup pine nuts
toastedâ�¨Parmesan cheese to tasteâ�¨
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add beans; cook four minutes longer. Drain well and let cool, then transfer potatoes and beans to a large bowl.
wash and dry the basil. Puree in a food processor with garlic, drizzling in enough olive oil that it gets saucy. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
Toss the beans and potatoes with pesto. Stir in vinegar, green onions, pine nuts and season with salt, pepper and/or additional vinegar to taste. Finally, shave some parmesan over the salad
Serve immediately, or make this up to two hours in advance. It can be stored at room temperature.
Baked Kale Chips: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a non -insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems of one bunch of kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle the leaves with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Spread out on the cookie sheet in a single layer and bake until the edges are brown but not burnt, about 10 to 15 minutes. ( Like potato chips but way healthier!)
Cherry Tomato Pie: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet cook 6 strips bacon until just done but not crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon drippings in a skillet; set aside. Prepare or let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes 1 15 oz pkg rolled refrigerated unbaked piecrust. On a lightly floured surface, stack the two pie crusts. Roll from center to edges to form a 12 inch circle. Wrap pastry around the rolling pin; unroll into a 9 inch deep pie plate. Ease pastry into the pie plate allowing the edges to form a loose scalloped effect. Gently press into the bottom of the pie plate. Prick bottom of pastry. Line the pastry with a double thickness of foil; bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes more. Remove, reduce oven temp to 375. Sprinkle ½ cup finely shredded parmesan cheese over the pie crust. Place ½ the bacon around the edge of the crust. Set aside. Cook ¾ cup finely chopped sweet onion in the reserved bacon drippings over medium heat until tender. Drain drippings; set aside. Halve 2 cups cherry tomatoes, leaving the remaining 2 cups whole. Place halved and whole tomatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil, ½ tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper; stir to combine. In a separate bowl beat together 4 oz cream cheese, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 egg yolk, cooked onion, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp minced fresh basil, 1 tsp finely shredded lemon peel, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Spoon cream cheese mixture into piecrust. Top with tomato mixture. Nestle the remaining bacon slices among the tomatoes. Gently press tomatoes and bacon into cream cheese mixture. Bake pie until tomatoes just begin to brown, about 35 minutes. Loosely cover edges with foil if edges begin to brown too quickly. Let stand 60 minutes. Top with leaf lettuce and serve with lemon wedges.