We are transitioning into fall, with some summer crops still going strong.
Delicata Squash. The yellow Zeppelin shaped squash with green streaks. This is a winter squash that you can halve, scoop out the seeds, and roast very easily. Delicata and Acorn squash do not need to be cured in order to sweeten up and store properly. They can be picked straight out of the field and cooked. The skins of these squashes are both edible, as well. I love them because they are such a simple to prepare and satisfying component to a meal.
My preferred winter squash roasting method: cut the squash in half and remove the seeds (toast like pumpkin seeds if you are going for the nose-to-tail approach). Place the cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy clean up. About ten minutes before it's finished cooking, turn the halves over so you have a little canoe for adding flavor to. I like to use butter or olive oil, fresh herbs (especially sage), salt, and pepper. Chris made a version with garlic and parmesan on top. You could go the sweet route with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey. You could jettison the squash to the star of the meal and make some sort of grain or meat stuffing. No limits here!
Winter squash can be used in soups, curries, burritos, etc. With the edible skin varieties, you can easily dice the squash up to throw into a broth, or a sautee pan, or a simmer sauce.
One Quart of Broccoli Florets. After you harvest the main head of the broccoli plant, side shoots start to form. They are easy to snap off the plant and require very little preparation on the cutting board!
We also had a take-it-or-leave-it, while-supplies-last, subpar broccoli bin for you to take a crown of broccoli from. There is a tiny window when broccoli is perfect (it is a flower whose buds are too tight one day, perfect the next, then bright yellow and covered with honey bees the next). Anyway, last Friday a ton of broccoli was ready - so we harvested, washed, and stored four crates of brocc in ventilated plastic bags in our walk-in cooler. We wanted to see what the storage possibilities were and had an outside hope we could use them for the Boxed CSA on Tuesday. The results were mixed and I was not willing to sell any crowns with brown spots between the florets. There was a ton of edible broccoli in there, though, so we put it out for you to take if you wanted - great for soups, I was thinking. It should be used right away and inspected for brown spots and since these have never been sprayed - keep your eye out for caterpillars too (a soak in salted water before cooking should render away any pests).
One Quart of Adirondack Red Potatoes. These have a pink skin AND pink flesh. Roasted rounds of these babies are fantastical, especially with some rosemary and thyme. So are simply boiled potatoes with salt and butter.
Sweet Peppers. A couple bells and a red pimiento type. What a colorful salad or shish kebab these will make! Dip in hummus or veggie dip for a raw crunchy treat.
One Zucchini and One Summer Squash. As the harvests dwindle, these seem more precious. If you can't face one more sauteed or grilled zucchini, here are two ideas. Raw Zucchini salad. I have a veggie peeler that makes tiny thin matchsticks, but you could use knife skills or a mandolin for the same effect. I peeled a large-ish zucchini from the outside, skin on, stopping when I got to the seed cavity, rotating it around til all that was left was a floppy seed mass for the chickens. I put the raw zucchini in a bowl, gave it a generous sprinkling of salt, the juice of one lemon (squeezed over a tiny sieve to prevent the lemon seed chasing game), chopped basil, a dash of garlic powder, fresh pepper, and crumbled feta cheese. yum! zucchini can also be grated on a box grater (or with a food processor attachment) and used in baking - classic or new age zucchini bread, muffins, coffee cake, etc. Search around for your fave. or use this recipe my mom got from an old-timer in Maine in the 70's. If you don't have time to bake now, portion the shredded zucchini into 2 cup pint containers or bags and freeze to use when zukes are long gone.
Two Heads of Lettuce. Our red-tinged stalwart, Magenta. and our tender treat, Panisse.
1 head of garlic. yippee!
1 Quart of Juliet Tomatoes. the small plums. These are equally delicious on a salad or in a cooked preparation. I have been dreaming about making a sweet corn and summer squash risotto with a fresh tomato, onion, basil "salsa" on top. The flavor of tomatoes intensifies when you roast them. Try halving these guys, salting, drizzling with olive oil and roasting.
1 Quart of Sauce Tomatoes. These would be good for a hand chopped salsa, or a bigger version of the roasted tomatoes described above. You could make a garlic and herbed bread crumb/parmesan mixture to spread on the halves before making for a sort of tomato gratin.
1 Quart of Shishito Peppers. This is a trendy Japanese frying pepper that you may run into at fancy restaurants, and quite possibly, in Japan. They are not hot even though they look all wrinkly and small like a hot pepp. I believe these are meant to be blistered in a hot fry pan with oil and served salted for snacking. Chris roasted japanese eggplant sliced on the bias and shishitos on a baking sheet and served grilled steak tips with a chimichurri/pesto sort of sauce on top. fab.
There was a black crate of hot peppers at the display share table for you to take up to 3 hot pepps for whatever culinary wonders you'd like. The Cayennes will dry nicely and you can chop the dried peppers to throw in with your garlic and olive oil for a quick pasta or to season meat for a chilli, etc.
Golden Beets. No fuss, no muss. these tasty treats will not stain your hands and are tasty as red beets! Sort through the tops and cook up the nice ones like chard or spinach. Use the greens soon, but you can store the roots for quite some time in a plastic bag in the fridge - just cut the tops off at the crown. I love a good old roasted beet and goat cheese salad.
Eggplant Mania! These are not counting towards your share, but you could take up to four eggplants. If you can set aside an evening to make fried eggplant slices to freeze you will be delighted to see them in the winter. I like to slice rounds, toss with salt in a giant stainless bowl, dust with flour, then eggwash, then a nice seasoned (salt, pepper, fresh herbs, garlic powder) breadcrumb mix (panko is always a winner) with parmesan - the powdery style does work well for this application. You can then pan fry or roast on a baking sheet, flipping once one side is golden brown. When cooled, put into freezer ziplocks. During the winter you can make eggplant parm, eggplant parm sandwiches, pizza, lasagna, etc with your prepared eggplant slices. Just add tomato sauce and cheese.
Don't overlook Thai or Indian curries for your eggplant. And they are still good on the grill!
Hi Everybody! Second Share of September already. wow! Hope you all navigated the last share okay. Last week's email was a victim of the back-to-school craziness that gobbles up all of our farm workers. We hustled through and managed to get a share together and stock the farmstand each day, but I never saw the screen of this computer. You will still be seeing Erin, Zach, Sarah, and Karen at the farmstand and behind the scenes. Dan, Jacob, Colleen, and Cam have all gone to college. Two new faces have arrived on the scene: Derek and Kelly will be joining us for the fall after finishing at a summer camp and before they head to Jay Peak to teach skiing. Thank goodness for that! Yesterday our super sitter/office manager, Caroline, jetted off to Italy to study for a semester! She did a fabulous job all summer making the business run and getting the email started each week, we are reeling a little bit without her! Anyway, here goes my attempt to tell you about this week's share:
Zucchini and Summer Squash really responded to last week's heat wave! You have a couple zucchini AND a couple summer squash in your share. I love an egg scramble with sauteed zucchini and fresh herbs - I've been buying grocery store basil :( - add some cheese (cheddar, chevre, or feta are great), and serve on seven grain toast with butter - mmm. The yellow squash naturally has a kind of buttery flavor profile that you can take advantage of by making it the star of a creamy soup (perhaps thickened by some creamy textured white beans and seasoned with sage) or a gratin.
Yellow Onions are in the share this week. These have been properly cured and should do fine in a basket at room temperature. Cool, dry and dark conditions are best for long term storage, but you should be able to find a use for these babies within the week!
Yummy Peppers. These are the pint of little orange peppers whose variety name is "yummy." The name will not lead you astray! These peppers are also known as lunchbox or snack peppers. Their seed cavity is very small which makes them super easy to work with.
Specialty Sweet Peppers. Larger Red, Orange, and Yellow sweet peppers. These are shaped like pimiento peppers rather than bells. It turns out the weeds had been shrouding a couple beds of these peppers just enough to protect them from sunburn and excessive damage from pests. Sometimes weeds can serve a purpose! These sweet and crunchy treats are great raw in a salad, as veggie sticks, diced in a pasta salad, stewed with tomatoes and chicken drumsticks over some rice, in a stir fry, on a pizza, on the grill, roasted under the broiler or right in a flame. enjoy this harvest of fruits that are tough to ripen successfully in an organic system.
Baby Tomatoes. A two-bite cherry tomato or a small plum. These were the two quarts of mixed small tomatoes: Juliet is the small red plum that holds up really well, tastes like a real tomato rather than a supersweet cherry tomato, and dries beautifully. Golden Rave is the bright yellow plum. Sweet Treats is the fat pink orb that has a sort of Brandywine flavor profile in a mini. Mountain Magic is the bright red round one. You can definitely quarter these raw into a green salad or any sort of pasta or grain salad. Another way to use them would be to halve them, arrange cut side up on a cookie sheet (lined w/ parchment or sprayed with cooking spray for easier clean up), salt, pepper and roast in the oven. The flavors will get richer and the assortment of colors will make a beautiful display. The product could be used as a side on its own, on a bruschetta, in a pasta, with fish or chicken, use your imagination!
Carrots. 2 lb bag of delicious carrots. Shred onto your lettuce for a confetti of sweet crunchy goodness. Roast. Steam til just tender then toss with a honey glaze, butter and fresh sage, a soy glaze, whatever. You could cut these into matchsticks for a stir fry with onions, peppers, and broccoli.
Broccoli. Everyone seems to know what to do with broccoli. See if you can taste the difference between shipped grocery store brocc and our broccoli picked at optimum maturity. Chris roasted broccoli florets with some red onion and sliced mushrooms tossed with salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. The lemon was so good! If you usually throw away the stalk, try peeling it and slicing into matchsticks for raw snacking or your stir fry.
Lettuce. One head of Panisse lettuce, a green oakleaf type with a very tender texture similar to Boston.
Slicing Tomatoes. 2.5 lbs Keep slicing. so good on a sandwich. any sandwich. even a mayo lettuce only sandwich.
Box 14: Here's a little breakdown of what was in (and outside of) the box.
Bunch of Carrots. Who doesn't love carrots? Grate into a salad or sandwich, eat as just a snack or roast along with some other veggies. If you're looking for something more creative to do with your carrots, try this recipe for Honey-Glazed Carrots. Yum!
2 heads of lettuce - the heads of lettuce are getting big and luscious again - a sign of last week's cooler weather.
pint of cherry tomatoes
10 lbs tomatoes. These tomatoes are ready to use! Cute them up, discarding any blemishes, and cook down in a heavy pot or roast them in baking dishes in the oven for a richer flavor. One CSA member shared that he just puts them in the Ninja blender before cooking down and then never worries about the skins. At this point in the tomato season, I hope you have been making some awesome recipes with all these tomatoes. Share with us your favorites! If you need more ideas, check out the recipe catalog on Whitebarnfarm.org. For a cool, summer lunch, how about some stuffed tomatoes with tuna fish or chicken salad? So fast and simple. Gazpacho is another great way to use your tomatoes. It makes a perfect meal during these dwindling hot summer days!
Green beans. I love them sautéed with scallions or onions and olive oil or butter. Snap and eat raw, steamed, sautéed, or grilled. Try this Orzo Salad and you can use your tomatoes, too!
Ringmaster onions. These are the same large, white onions you saw in the share last week. Known for their single centers, and large crisp rings, they are perfect for onion rings. Use them just how you'd use any onion! Add them to salads, sandwiches, stir-fries, burgers, salsas, veggies on the grill, pasta, etc.
Italian eggplant. Try making this Baba Ghanouj (similar to hummus, but with eggplant instead of chickpeas). It makes a perfect dip for veggies and pita, or you can use it as a spread on a sandwich! Looking for more ways to use your tomatoes with other veggies? Try these delicious Grilled Eggplant and Tomato Stacks.
2 green bell peppers. Slice these up and use them with your favorite veggie dip. Add them to salsa, pizza, salad, or stir-fry, or roast them on the grill. The possibilities are endless.
We hope you all have been enjoying our veggies this summer. It sure has been crazy lately with the tomato invasion. Crazy, but nevertheless, tasty! The crew here at White Barn Farm would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!
I hope you are all excited for some tomatoes! The CSA members are really reaping the bounty of the tomato frenzy this year. We are calling this share the "Sauce Share." You are getting lots of tomatoes and other veggies that will be perfect for making a delicious tomato sauce. The list is as follows:
10 lbs tomatoes. That's right, 10 pounds! As I said above, this would be a great week to make a tomato sauce with your share items. Sautee all of the veggies and then cook down the tomatoes. If you don't want to stir a pot, try roasting down a batch in shallow baking dishes in the oven - let the flavors of a sprig of rosemary and a few whole cloves of garlic infuse right in there. Once your tomatoes have cooked down a bit what you do with them is up to you! There A hearty onion, peppers, eggplant sauce is an easy choice considering this week's box. You can even add some ground meat to make it a meat tomato sauce. If you can't finish all of your tomatoes now, we recommend freezing or canning them. That way you can enjoy White Barn Farm throughout the winter! Here are our instructions on how to can and freeze tomatoes and freeze your sauce.
If you don't feel like making a sauce, here are some other uses for these items of your share:
Spanish Ringmaster onions. These large white onions are known for their firm and mild flesh. You might be wondering why they are called "ringmaster onions" - They are perfect for onion rings because of their single centers, and large, crisp rings. At a restaurant I used to work at, they would soak these onions in buttermilk to make them tender before adding the batter to make onion rings. So delicious! You could also try baking the onion rings instead of frying them to make for a healthier snack! You can use this onion just like you would any other onion- put it on a sandwich, dice it for a salad or salsa, sautee it with vegetable, etc!
Garlic. Garlic is great for adding some flavor to veggies, pasta, pizza, sauces, etc! Here is a fun and easy recipe for making excellent Italian hummus-style dip for bread or veggies. Infuse some olive oil w/ thick slices of this garlic, rosemary leaves, and some diced fresh fennel. Add that to a food processor already filled w/ a couple cans of cannellini beans (drained w/ liquid reserved if needed for texture adjusting). The add the juice of a lemon, all the contents of the pan w/ the oil, garlic, etc, and hit go. Adjust for salt and pepper and ta da: white bean puree.
Peppers. these peppers would be good sauteed with onions at the base of your tomato sauce or grilled in big slabs or on skewers along with eggplant - just toss w/ salt, pepper, and oil beforehand. You can always dice them and throw them on a green salad.
Eggplant. Maybe some roasted or fried eggplant could be the main course you are dressing with your beautiful tomato sauce. You can make a casserole of roasted eggplants, slices of fresh mozzarella, tomato slices or sauce or both, and parmesan. maybe pick up some grocery store basil :( or just use our hearty friend . . .
Parsley. prezzemolo! that's Italian for Parsley! i hear my own voice loudly shouting this name whenever i go to harvest it.
2 ears of corn. Here is a little tasting of our corn. Chris had the idea to use this corn for a corn and tomato salad. It is sort of a delicious tuscan salsa - finely diced red onion, chunks of tomato, corn cut off the cob (raw or cooked), basil or parsley, balsamic and olive oil. to elevate it to a heartier hearthrob of an Al Forno inspired salad, toss with a freshly grilled butter brushed day old piece of bread, cut into croutons. If you cut the kernels off the cob raw, those cobs still have a lot of flavor - throw them in a pot and cover with water, add your onion ends and peels (the ones w/out dirt), parsley stems, some celery tops and carrot scraps, a bay leaf, some peppercorns - stockpot stuff. bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer for a few hours. when it looks like all the life of the ingredients has been transferred into the water, turn it off and let it cool. strain and use for a delicious risotto or delicate corn/seafood chowder. you can freeze it in a couple quart containers for that time to arrive if you like.
2 heads of lettuce. I love a crunchy salad. and it is always a diabetes friendly part of the meal.
Hello CSA Members!!! Hope you are enjoying tomato time! The farmstand is closed today (8/13) due to bad weather. If you forgot to pick up your share yesterday (six of you!!) feel free to come by the farm and get it today. We are here, we're just not putting one of our employees under the tent during lightning strikes! Just park in front of the white barn (across the street from the farmstand) and give me a call or text when you get here (774-210-0359). I'll run and grab your box for you. We can sell seconds tomatoes (10 lb minimum) and Iggy's bread, too.
Here is what you had in your box this week:
5 lbs slicing tomatoes. These are top notch slicing tomatoes. I like mine on top of a slice of toast with cream cheese or a nice baguette and goat cheese. I always finish a slice of tomato with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Chris is a tomato and mayo sandwich monster. My brother, Will, is a Caprese Salad die hard. That is just fresh mozzarella slices, fresh tomato slices, sprigs of basil, salt, pepper, and tasty olive oil on top. Sometimes I jazz it up with some finely diced red onion or shallot and balsamic vinegar as well. *Just as a note, Late Blight has been found in the area, which will probably affect our tomato crops. Although this will make our tomato season a bit shorter, the short season will be extremely plentiful!
Pint cherry tomatoes. yum. snack em. or slice in half with a serrated knife and put on a green salad or with diced, peeled cukes, feta, herbs (like mint, basil, or parsley), s&p, oil & vinegar
3 Italian Eggplants. – These are great cubed, tossed with oil and roasted, or for Eggplant Parmesan. For some good comfort food, I recommend dusting slices in flour, then beaten egg, then a tasty mixture of breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs. Line them up on a baking sheet prepared with a layer of oil (I usually do some organic canola, some olive oil) and bake at 375 or so, turning once, until golden brown and delicious. If you do not use all of the slices right away for eggplant stacks (with ricotta and tomato sauce), on a pizza, or for an eggplant parm casserole or sandwich - they freeze very well. To freeze just wait until cool and freeze on a baking sheet (just so they don't stick together). Then put them in a freezer grade plastic ziplock and you have an excellent commodity for a quick meal
2 bell peppers. Bell peppers can be used for so many different things. Get creative with stuffed peppers, use it for soups, make a pepper slaw, grill them and add to a cheesesteak sandwich, sprinkle on a pizza, make a salsa with them, throw it in a stir-fry, the list is endless!
1 silver slicing cucumber, 1 regular slicing cucumber. This silver slicer is characterized by its excellent, mild flavor, its juicy texture, and its smooth, thin skin. You'll be able to tell the difference from its creamy, white color!
2 heads lettuce.
Specialty sweet peppers. we love to slice these in rings on our salads with some tomatoes, cukes, and red onion. add some feta and yummy olives for a homemade greek salad. also great grilled, in strips for straight snacking, on a pizza, in a stir fry or base for rice and beans. taste, compare, and enjoy!
Couple hot peppers. Here is my friend Sonya's recipe for some delicious salsa. It features a few of the veggies that you'll find in your share this week!
This can either be made chunky by chopping all ingredients, or smooth by processing them in the food processor. You need 2lbs Tomatoes , 1-3 Hot Peppers (how much depends on how hot you want it!), 1 bunch Cilantro, 1 Sweet pepper, 1 small Onion, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1-2 TBSP Lime or Lemon juice (or vinegar), Salt+ Pepper. Its recommended to add the hot peppers slowly so you don’t overdo it!
and a sunflower
Although this is a much needed rain spell, heavy thunderstorms and flooding are predicted for the remainder of the day. We don't mind rain, but Lightning - ay ay ay! In order to make sure our employees and shoppers are safe, we are going to keep the farmstand closed today, Wednesday, August 13th. We apologize for any inconvenience.
I got a text this morning from a customer asking if we had seconds tomatoes to sell since it is such a great day for cooking! The answer is yes! We will have our "seconds" available for sale by appointment - call or text me (Christy) at 774-210-0359. There is a ten pound minimum and the price is $1/lb. With the quantity of tomatoes coming out of the field right now, the seconds are actually quite beautiful and can easily be hacked to perfection for a chopped salsa, tomato sauce, soup, or jam, gazpacho, even an heirloom tomato caprese salad. We also got our Iggy's bread delivery as usual, so that would be available if you were coming for tomatoes anyway. The "tomato rummage sale" is packed into the little red pickup truck parked safely in the right bay of the barn. Make an appointment if you'd like to get some processing tomatoes. Get your serrated knife and wooden spoon ready, clear some space in the freezer or sterilize those jars!
Thank you for understanding!
Christy and Chris at White Barn Farm
Tomato Time! the frenzy has begun! Get in on the goods!
Summer Crops are in full swing at White Barn Farm!
Cucumbers and Zucchini/Summer Squash are $2/lb ($3/lb for lemon cukes)
Large Italian Eggplants are $2.50/lb ($4.50/lb for specialty eggplants)
Onions and Fresh-Dug Potatoes are $2/lb
Tomatoes are $3/lb
Sauce-type Tomatoes (Roma, Amish Paste, etc.) are $2/lb
Seconds Tomatoes - soft, cracked, or otherwise damaged 'maters that you are willing to cut off imperfections and use immediately for roasted tomato sauce, tomato soup, a big tomato salsa or salad are $1/lb (10 lb minimum). I like to think of this as the tomato rummage sale. Ask the farmstand person for a box to fill!
Bulk (10 lbs or more): Heirlooms $2.50/lb ($25/10lb box) and Red Slicers $2/lb ($20/10lb box)
Now is definitely time to make:
Gazpacho. Here is a link to Ina Garten's recipe. Gazpacho can be infinitely varied by varieties of sweet peppers, colors of tomatoes, quantities of cucumber, etc. Use this recipe as a basic guide if you've got something beautiful inspiring you!
Eggplant Caponata. This will keep in your fridge for several rounds of antipasto.
BLT's, Tomato-Mayo Sandwiches, Crostini spread with goat cheese and topped with a slice of delicious tomato. Don't forget the pinch of salt and grind of black pepper for each slice!
It's the perfect season to taste test all of the different tomato varieties - colors, shapes, and sizes - with your kids, your friends, etc. You could even have guessing contests, scientific style blind taste tests - have fun! Tell us about your results!
one sad note: Tomato's best friend, Basil, has been taken out by Basil Downy Mildew at our farm this year. You will have to source your basil elsewhere!!!
We hope you have been enjoying all the veggie productivity this year!!! What a beautiful summer. As you all race around trying to squeeze in all the summer fun you can, remember to stop by for some healthy and freshly harvested veggies grown right here in Wrentham using organic methods. This week we will actually have more of those delicious carrots coming over from Dover, too. Their farmer, at Vanguarden CSA, is also dedicated to organic growing.
Thank you for all of the continued support! Special thanks to those who donated some canning jars in response to the last email and to those of you who brought back your old-fashioned jars for flowers. Hey! That reminds me - Sunflowers are in, too! Dress up your Place with some Sunnies!!!
See you Soon!
Christy, Chris, Graham and the Crew at White Barn Farm
CSA Box 11: the halfway point.
Summer produce is at its peak and I hope you're enjoying it!
2 heads of Lettuce.
Bell Peppers. Peppers and onions are a classsic combo for pizza topping, accompanying grilled sausage, as a base to a stir fry, or rice and beans. Veggie burritos are a great easy meal at this time of year. Just cook some rice, open a can of beans, and sautee some veggies. Shred some cheese. finish with fresh herbs sour cream, and hot sauce. I've also just added some new recipes to the website that can use your peppers. Check out the Eggplant dip recipe at the end of the email or the Greek Salad with Cherry Tomatoes.
Cucumbers. If you didn't read my "Cucumber and Canning Jar" email, check it out for some great new cucumber recipes. If you didn't receive the email, you can check it out at the "What's New" section on our website at whitebarnfarm.org.
Hot Pepper. Use for fresh salsa or if you want a spicy veggie mix for your burritos. Or throw some spicy rings on top of a tray of nachos. yum. discard the seeds if you want less heat. and for goodness sakes do not touch your eyes without washing your hands after you've handled hot pepper seeds
Candy-striped beets. These pink-skinned beets are candy-striped inside when you slice them. I recommend, as usual, roasting these beets (especially if you have the oven on anyway - just make a little foil pack and put them in on a baking sheet to catch any drips) The stripes blend together after cooking to make a pretty rose colored beet. The nice part is that you will not stain your hands, cutting board, dish towel, tablecloth, etc when peeling them. Roasted beets and goat cheese are a splendid combo.
Italian Pole beans. These are the large flat beans that are known for their great flavor! They are also characterized by stringless pods and their tenderness.
Cherry Tomatoes. These small, sweet tomatoes are perfect for slicing in half and adding to a salad. Or eat them as a healthy and delicious snack with your favorite veggie dip or hummus!
New Potatoes. Scrub if necessary. Boil and eat with butter and salt. These potatoes are sublime. Usually potatoes are a storage crop that we consider a staple. These potatoes, dug before the tops have died back and the skins hardened, are more of a fresh vegetable. Once dry, they will store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. These would be terrific for a warm potato salad. Just boil them whole until tender (not until totally blown out and waterlogged), drain and return to their pot with the lid open a crack to let the steam escape. Once they are cool enough to touch, quarter or halve them so they are a good size for potato salad. Meanwhile sautee your fresh onions and chop some fresh herbs as well(parsley or fennel tops, perhaps?). A few strips of bacon diced up never hurts, if you like that sort of thing. Once the onions are to desired tenderness, throw in the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, add the herbs, and drizzle with some tasty olive oil and the juice of one lemon. You can add mayo or butter or really whatever your heart desires at this point. Snap peas are a wonderful addition to the party and kale has proven delicious as well. Be creative and enjoy the taste of a fresh potato.
Ailsa Craig Onions. Use these fresh onions with your peppers to make delicious fajitas! There are plenty of fajita recipes out there but here is one of our favorites- Classic Fajitas. Top a pizza, salad, sandwich, salsa etc with these!
Asian Eggplant. Longer and thinner than the Italian type – also earlier to ripen. It is a nice tender type of eggplant with very small seeds. I've never salted and drained Asian Eggplant before cooking with it as some might do with large Italian eggplants. The easiest way to prepare this veggie is to marinate and grill it, right alongside your halved onions, squash and zucchini, perhaps. You can either whisk together a quick vinaigrette (tsp dijon, fine diced onion or garlic, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil, and olive oil, for example) to throw the veggies into or use a bottled dressing (Italian is always good) or maybe go asian style with some diced garlic, ginger, soy sauce, canola oil, and maybe a squeeze of siracha (hot sauce). You could drizzle with a little toasted sesame oil after grilling for a tasty finishing touch. Or try this Eggplant Dip that will use your pepper, tomatoes, and onions, too!
If you have one of those old-fashioned quart mason jars that our mason jar sized flower bouquets come in, bring it back to the farmstand! You will get your deposit back and we will get our jars back to put more flowers in!!! If you happen to have been amassing old fashioned quart mason jars and still haven't found a use for them all - bring those too. We'll still give you $2 per jar (that's the refund when you return them). Just the old fashioned ones with the wire bail.
If you have dozens of modern mason jars you have no idea what to do with - bring those by and we will put them to good use (no refund for those, just the intangible reward of knowing your farmers will fill them with pickles). We just used nearly every jar in the house to fill with bread and butter pickles!!!
That brings me to my next point: Are you ready to PICKLE?
You can get a half bushel box of slicing cukes for $20 (that's about a buck a pound)
This is the time to do it. The abundance is now!
Here's a bread and butter pickle recipe. We even have the onions and green peppers!
If you're not into sealing the jars in the hot water bath so they can be shelf stable, just close the lid and put them in the fridge. Bring them out every time you make a sandwich or serve pulled pork sandwiches. They'll be gone in no time.
If you're not the pickling type, how about some other cucumber-centric preparations:
cucumber water. now that was easy. just put some slices in cool water and let rest in the fridge for a bit. how refreshing.
chilled cucumber soup an elegant make-ahead starter for a dinner party
pita crisps w/ cucumber dip. perfect appetizer to bring to a friend's Cookout (or Cook-in if we really get some of these scattered thunderstorms)
crisp cucumber salsa our hot peppers are here, too!
Green Zebra-Cucumber-Avocado Gazpacho. Since our Green Zebra tomatoes aren't ripe yet, try orange blossom or golden rave or any other yellow or orange tomato at the farmstand.
Greek Salad with Cherry Tomatoes Our cherry tomatoes are beginning to ripen in earnest!
Harms Family Farm delivered Chard, Kale, Lettuce, and Basil again this week. Thanks to sweet Sonya for making the delivery all the way from Brookfield, MA. AND for keeping the greens coming! All you juicing and green smoothie fans don't need to skip a beat. But you should definitely add some cucumbers . . .
See y'all soon!!!
Hooray double digits! We can't believe we are already in our 10th week of the CSA, the summer is really flying! We received a deluge of much needed water on Monday morning, so some newly transplanted crops got a drink and the soil has enough moisture for us to start seeding some cover crops, fall turnips, and cool weather fast growing crops like arugula, radishes, and cilantro. For the next little bit, however, you will be experiencing truly summer boxes. onions, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. even a taste of organic sweet corn this week!
Celery. If you are a true celery diehard you may enjoy celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese on our celery, but mostly this celery is about adding flavor to cooked dishes. If you are making any chowders or soups or stews or braised meats or stir fries, this celery is the perfect base. I made a delicious potato salad the other day using finely diced celery and red onion with some lemon juice, mustard, and mayo tossed with leftover new potatoes that had been boiled and mashed with a little butter and parsley the night before. You could also make a cream of celery soup, using potatoes to give it body, and chicken stock and a little cream for richness. You can even chop the leaves as a fresh herb, add them to your stockpot, or bunch and hang upside down out of the sun to dry. When crinkly dry, crumble into an airtight container and use all winter to season soups and whatnot. You could also blend the dried celery fine with kosher salt to make your own celery salt (Chicago’s secret ingredient to a great hot dog)
Torpedo Onions. Torpedo Onions are the small, purplish, elongated onions you will find in the quart container. This is a fresh onion with sweet flavor and tender flesh. It's often mistaken for a large shallot and indeed you can use it in a similar way - diced up fine for a salad dressing. You'll notice sets of translucent purple and white colored rings once you peel or cut the onion. Because of it's sweet flavor, you can definitely enjoy this raw. They are also great to sautee or roast with some veggies!
Purple Potatoes. I guess purple is the color of the week! Here are some more purple items in your mystery box. Purple potatoes are usually dry, starchy, and earthy - you might notice a hint of a nutty flavor. These extra nutritious potatoes contain the antioxidant anthocyanin which boosts your immune system and is good for cancer prevention. Just like any other potato, purple potatoes can be roasted, boiled, baked, and fried. They pair well with poultry, savory herbs, and cheeses. Last night one of our incredibly hardworking field crew guys, Dan, pan fried onions, thin sliced potatoes and once they were tener threw in some cheese and a couple eggs to make it a complete meal. Add some chopped parsley and you have the perfect one dish meal with endless variations possible.
1 zucchini, 1 summer squash.
2 bell peppers, 1 cubanelle pepper. The cubanelle pepper is the lighter green elongated pepper you found in your box. It is known for it's sweet and mild taste. It also has a thinner flesh compared to the bell peppers. They are great cooked or raw. Slice it up to add to a salad or a salsa. I've also seen a lot of recipes out there for making stuffed cubanelle peppers. Bell peppers have more of a crunchy texture, but are great for all the same uses! They are so nutritious, too! Bell pepper slices are great in bread and butter pickles . . . .
Parsley. I just can't get enough of this parsley. There are so many different uses for it! You can use it in a marinade, add it to homemade (or store-bought) hummus, add it to salad dressing, use it on potatoes (in any form), add to salsa, store it, dry it out, etc! Get creative and discover your favorite way to use this delicious and nutritious parsley.
3 heads of lettuce.
1 red tomato, 1 heirloom. You'll find two varieties of tomatoes in your box this week- one heirloom and one red tomato. And they sure are delicious! Slice them up for your sandwich, to top a salad, or just as an afternoon snack. Our little guy Graham has been loving tomato and cheese to go with his lunch! He also loves helping to pick the cherry tomatoes in the green house. We're getting more and more each day so you can expect more soon!
4 ears of corn. This corn is probably much much smaller than what you'd find in a grocery store. This variety is an organic seed variety called Spring Treat - its main feature is earliness not enormous size or super enhanced sugary explosions. We know that we're not a big corn farm, so this is just a treat! Hope you enjoy it! If you have more than four people at the table and corn on the cob is not a good idea try making a red onion, corn cut off the cob, and diced tomato salad - dress with some balsamic and olive oil, finish with basil or parsley and some fresh grilled croutons if you want to follow in Al Forno's footsteps :)
4 Cucumbers. And the cucumbers continue! What a year it's been for cucumbers - this is our best yield in 6 years. Yesterday we had our annual "Pickle Party" which consisted of enlisting any workers, babysitters, friends, or relatives who happened to walk by the kitchen to join the fun! Through our day-long process, we turned hundreds of pounds of cucumbers into tasty bread and butter pickles. It was a long process, but it sure is worth having homemade pickles for the rest of the year. We hope everyone is enjoying this years harvest as much as we are! If you are starting to feel all cucumbered out, remember to enjoy them now before they are gone! I added lots of new cucumber recipes to the website today - so make sure to browse the recipe page. Don't forget to go there regularly and search by veggie.
Thanks for coming along during our fabulous veggie journey. Tune up and tune in for tomatoes very soon!!!