Large share: beets, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, cucumber, cilantro, green beans, ruby streaks mustard greens
Small share: beets, carrots, lettuce, snow peas, new potatoes, Tokyo turnips, purplette onions, basil
Greens share: chard, lettuce, cilantro, ruby streaks mustard greens
Roots share: carrots, Tokyo turnips, new potatoes, yellow onion
Juicing share: 5lb carrot seconds, beets, green cabbage, lacinato kale, cucumbers, cilantro
Dear CSA members,
We are finally facing a bit of a heat wave this week! With temperatures projected to reach the 100’s Wednesday and Thursday we are trying to work a 5 am to 12 noon schedule, and only do the essentials until things cool down. When temperatures get this hot not only is it a challenge for us physically, it can be very challenging on the crops as well. Our tomatoes tend to get sunburned and must be covered with row cover or shade cloth, lettuces start to get tip burn, other greens bolt ( try to go to flower) , and keeping up with irrigation – especially in the green houses- is very challenging. Temperatures in the greenhouses will easily soar into the 110’s to 120 at times even with the shade cloths on.
Harvest becomes very challenging as we must cut crops and get them moved to the cooler as quickly as possible. Our fields are a couple of miles from the cooler so regular truck runs are essential! Otherwise product quality will suffer greatly. We can’t even think about transplanting new seedlings either, it must wait until next week. Hopefully, our shares going out today will weather the heat in their tote boxes – not a great week to get to the drop site late!
New crops this week:
Tokyo turnips are a mild, tender and juicy variety of turnip. They taste like a cross between a radish and a turnip and you can enjoy both the greens and the roots. Most if not all root vegetables will store better if you separate the roots from the greens before wrapping and placing in the crisper drawer. Tokyo turnips are delicious raw in salads, sliced to eat with dips as well as cooked in miso soups, stir fries, and marinated in vinegar and salt for quick pickles. The greens are tender and spicy and can be prepared as other cooking greens.
We have harvested our first Yellow Finn new potatoes this week! New potatoes have thin, wispy skins and a crisp, waxy texture. They are young potatoes and unlike their fully-grown counterparts, they keep their shape once cooked and cut. They are also sweeter because their sugar has not yet converted into starch, and are therefore particularly suited to salads.
You don’t need to peel new potatoes; just rinse to remove any dirt and cook whole. To boil, place potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, simmer until tender (about 10 minutes) and drain. Dress new potatoes as soon as they are cooked to help them absorb the flavor of the butter or oil. This would be an excellent week for a cold potato salad with green beans! Store new potatoes in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use up within a few days.
Mustard greens: These Ruby streaks mustard greens are very young and tender and can add a wonderful peppery dimension to many dishes. You can temper the pungency of mustard greens use a combination of heat, salt and fat to cook them. Mustard greens are found in Southern American, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and African cuisines. The link below has an in depth write up on the many health benefits of eating mustard greens.
Enjoy and have a great week,
Wilted greens: Cook in a large skillet until crisp 4 to 5 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels, cool and crumble. Pour all but 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings out of the pan. Reheat and add ¼ cup cider vinegar, 2 to 3 tsp sugar, the bacon and 2 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp minced onion. Mean while place in a salad bowl al large bunch turnip or mustard greens, coarsely chopped. Pour the hot dressing over the greens and toss. Serve at once garnised with 2 sliced hard boiled eggs.
Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).
Lemon Potato Soup with Feta: in a 4 quart dutch oven heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat, add 1 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups chopped potatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups chopped kale or spinach and 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until kale is wilted. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice and zest of one lemon and an additional tbsp of olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with 2 oz crumbled feta cheese and additional lemon zest if desired. Serves 4.
Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Olive Dressing: Place 1 lb tiny new potatoes (halved or quartered if large) in a 4 qt dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 lb thin green beans, stem ends trimmed. Cover, simmer 5 minutes or more or until potatoes and beans are just tender. Drain well. Meanwhile for Olive dressing; place ½ cup pimento stuffed green olives, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender. Blend until smooth. Drizzle dressing over potatoes, green beans, and 1 12oz can solid white Albacore tuna, drained and broken into large chunks. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh thyme, and additional olives. Serve with lemon wedges.
Refrigerator Dilly Beans: place 2 pint sized canning jars and their lids in a pot of boiling water and heat for 1 minute. Lift out, drain and place on the counter. Divide 1 bunch fresh dill, 2 garlic cloves, peeled, 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp dill seeds, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, and 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed between the 2 jars, packing beans in lengthwise. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 tbsp sugar and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour boiling liquid over the green beans and seal. Cool on a wire rack and refrigerate for 2 days before serving.
Braised pearl onions: remove tops from pearl onion bunch and drop into boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and cool slightly, then trim off ends and slip off skins.
Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large heavy saucepan and sautee the onions in one layer until slightly browned. Then add chicken or vegetable stock , until it comes halfway up the onions in the pan, add salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and boil off excess liquid, add 1 more tbsp butter if desired.
Late Summer Vegetables with Aioli: Preheat oven to 450. Blanch ½ lb green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, plunge into a bowl of ice and water, then drain again and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Toss 1 lb of new potatoes, halved lengthwise, and 3 small summer squash, sliced diagonally, separately with 2 tbsp olive oil each, some sea salt, and about 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast separately in a single layer on rimmed baking sheets until just tender, 7 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 20 to 25 for potatoes. Make aioli: in a bowl whisk egg with a pinch of fine sea salt and 2 tsp champagne vinegar or fresh lemon juice until thick. Whisk in 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil gradually, drop by drop for the first ¼ cup or so (until the mixture is emulsified) and then in a thin stream until aioli is nice and thick; you may not need all the oil. Sprinkle 2 to 4 garlic cloves with ½ tsp fine sea salt. Mince with a chef’s knife, then use the side of the blade to crush garlic into a paste. Stir garlic paste into the mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or vinegar if you like. Arrange cooked vegetables as well as lettuce leaves, thin wedges of fennel, and halved cherry tomatoes on a large platter or ling board, top with more fresh thyme sprigs, and serve with aioli. (from August 2013 issue of Sunset Magzine).
Thai Cucumber Salad: in a strainer, allow 3 thinly sliced cucumbers and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt to sit for 1 hour while water drains. Combine ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ cup sesame oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 2 T fresh basil, finely chopped, and ½ tbsp fresh ginger, minced with the cucumbers in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Basil Vinaigrette: Mash to a paste 1 small peeled garlic clove and 2 to 3 pinches of sea salt. In a small bowl add 1/8 tsp black pepper, ¼ cup red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp minced fresh shallot, ¼ to ½ tsp Dijon mustard. Whisk until blended and then add gradually and whisk constantly after each addition ¾ cup olive or walnut oil. Then add in 12 cup thinly sliced basil and whisk again.
Three pea salad: Prepare the dressing: whisk together 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 ½ tsp sugar, 4 tsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar, 4 tsp soy sauce, and 4 tsp toasted sesame seeds. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water 1 cup sugar snap peas, add: ½ cup snow peas and ½ cup fresh or frozen shell peas. Cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Toss the peas in a a bowl with the dressing and 6 cups pea shoots or bean sprouts. (both recipes from the Joy of Cooking)