CSA BLOG – WEEK 20

celeryroot

Next CSA Pickups: Week of October 6, 2013

Last week of this CSA! (Unless you’re doing the Fall one…)

 

In your share this week:

(Note: This is last week’s list; waiting for updated list from the farmers

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash & Pumpkins
  • Turnips
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: CELERY ROOT (AKA CELERIAC)

Don’t be scared to try this homely vegetable–it’s very easy to cook with and tastes great. Celeriac (or celery root) is just as its name claims: It’s the root of the celery plant. It has a mild celery flavor, but is somewhat starchy and similar to the texture of a potato, though you can eat it raw or cooked. It’s wonderful cooked and mixed in with mashed potatoes and apples, or grated raw and tossed with salad greens or slaws. Celeriac is a wonderful source of calcium, iron, and vitamin C. To trim celery root: Use a sharp paring knife and take off about a quarter inch of the surface to get past the divots of dirt. Check out some classic and some new ways to prepare it in the recipe collection below.

 

RECIPES

 

Classic Rémoulade
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

The authors suggest pairing this salad with chicken, pork, or baked ham. You can also eat it as a sandwich filling!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijo mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt 
Pepper
1 1/2 pounds celeriac, peeled and shredded (a food processor makes this task really easy, but you can also use a box grater–just try cutting it in half first for easier handling)
Handful of flat-leaf parsley (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper, then stir to combine. Add the celeriac and parsley (if using) and toss to combine. 

 

Celery Root & Apple Purée
Adapted from Ina Garten

 1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup large-diced fennel bulb, tops and core removed
1 pound celery root, peeled and (3/4-inch) diced
4 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and (3/4-inch) diced
1 large or 2 small Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and (3/4-inch) diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup good apple cider
2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a shallow pot or large saute pan. Add the fennel, celery root, potatoes, apples, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Saute the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 4 to 5 minutes. 2. Add the cider and tightly cover the pot. Simmer over low heat (I pull the pot halfway off the heat) for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft. If the vegetables begin to burn or they seem dry, add another few tablespoons of apple cider or some water. 3. When the vegetables are cooked, add the cream and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the mixture to a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade and process. (You can also use a food processor but the texture will be smoother than with the food mill.) Taste for salt and pepper and return to the pot to keep warm. Serve warm. Makes 2 to 3 servings.

 

Baked Stuffed Eggplant
Adapted from Michael Chiarello

stuffedeggplant

 4 small to medium eggplants 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 pound ground beef or turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, chopped
1 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Boil the scooped-out center part until very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add to the pan, break up into pieces, and saute until all of its liquid is evaporated and the meat begins to brown slightly. Drain, removing the extra, unnecessary fat. Let cool briefly. In another medium saute pan over medium heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions, peppers, and garlic together. In a bowl mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, cooked beef, herbs, 1 cup of the cheese, bread crumbs, and the egg. Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly among the 2 halves.

Top with chopped tomatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool briefly and serve. Makes 4 servings.

 

Broccoli Soup
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow

broccoli soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and roughly diced
1 1/3 pounds broccoli, cut into small florets (you can use some of tender stalks as well)
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup arugula or mizuna (or other spicy greens)
1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or sharp cheddar

Heat the olive oil in a  large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté for a minute or two, until fragrant. Add the broccoli and cook for 4 minutes. Add the stock, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for about 8 minutes until the broccoli is just tender (you don’t want to overcook it or the soup will be bitter). Carefully pour the soup into a blender and puree with arugula or mizuna. Pour the soup back in the pot, stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with extra cheese and a drizzle of your best olive oil. 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog – Week 19

broccolistill

 

Next CSA Pickups: Week of September 29, 2013

In your share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash & Pumpkins
  • Turnips
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions

 

Spotlight on: Broccoli

Broccoli  is in the cabbage family of vegetables and is a result of breeding cole crops in the northern Mediterranean in 6th Century BC. Since the Roman Empire, this vegetable has been widely used by the Italians and was introduced to the U.S by Italian immigrants, though it wasn’t very well known here until the 1920s. Broccoli is extremely nutritious, and everyone can benefit by adding more of it to their diet: It boasts vitamin C, fiber, and lutein, as well as several anti-cancer compounds. It also helps the body in the detoxification process and has anti-inflammatory benefits, which some research shows may lessen the affects of allergens in the body. Try it boiled, steamed, or roasted–just don’t overcook it. This broccoli pesto recipe is a great way to get broccoli-haters to try and like the vegetable!

 

RECIPES

 

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli
Adapted from Ina Garten

parmesanroastedbroccoli

1 head broccoli
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Few fresh basil leaves, julienned or chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with a drizzle of olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot. Serves 2 to 3.

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Roasted Winter Squash with Jalapeño-Lime Butter
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

jalapeno lime squash

2 small winter squashes (such as acorn, carnival, or delicata), halved lengthwise and seeded
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeño
Grated zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of crush red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Lightly coat the cut sides of the squash with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Put the squash cut-side down on the pan and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, stir together the butter, garlic, jalapeños, lime zest and juice, honey, red pepper flakes (if using) and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Check the seasonings and add more salt or other ingredients to suit your taste. Transfer the squashes cut-side up to a serving platter and smear each half with some of the butter. Serve. Makes 4 servings.

 

Sausage, Spinach & White Bean Gratin
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

sausagespinachwhitebeangratin

 

2/3 cup panko or regular dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 scant tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 scant teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (15 oz) cans white beans, such as cannellini
Pepper
2 to 3 cups chopped fresh spinach, chard, kale, or other greens

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, combine the panko and butter, season with salt, and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat and then add sausages and cook until browned, stirring often, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a medium bowl, leaving the oil in the pan, and set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onions and garlic, stirring often, for about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste and thyme and stir for 30 seconds, then add the wine and simmer, scraping up any browed bits from pan, until almost evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, then add beans and sausage. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until some of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. The mixture should be wet but not too liquify. Transfer to a 3-quart baking or gratin dish, top with panko mixture, and bake until the top is golden, about 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

 

Stir-Fried Chicken and Bok Choy
Adapted from Martha Stewart

chickenandbokchoystirfry

 

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
4 teaspoons corn starch
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola or grapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
4 cups sliced bok choy (from 1 large head)
1 small red chile or jalapeño
Cooked white or brown rice, for serving

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and 3 tablespoons water. Slice chicken into thin strips. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch. In a large wok or skillet, heat oil, garlic, and ginger over medium-high until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken in a single layer, pressing against pan to sear. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bok choy and chile and cook, stirring, until bok choy slightly wilts, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce mixture and cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Newsletter – Week 18

yukinasavoy1

 

Next CSA Pickups: Week of September 22nd, 2013

In your share this week:

  • Bok Choy
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Scallions
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli Rabe

**** Last week’s list–waiting for an updated list from farmers

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: Yukina Savoy

yukinasavoy2

 

This green is also called Asian spinach, and you can use it in any recipe that calls for regular spinach such as soups, pastas, stir-fries, and salads. If you don’t like the slight bite of raw yukina savoy, try cooking with it–the heat tames the flavor and you’re left with a very mild-tasting green. Yukina savoy is full of vitamins A and C as well as fiber.

For more information including storage and prep tips and recipe ideas on tons of different vegetables (including Yukina Savoy), visit The Sunset Park CSA website here.

 

RECIPES

 

Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Toast
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog

roastedtomatosoupwcheddar

3 pounds plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise or other heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, cut into wedges

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon (or more to taste) dried crushed red pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 1-inch slices from a large loaf of rye bread, whole wheat ,sourdough, or bread of your choice (or 16 1-inch slices from a baguette), toasted until hard and lightly buttered on one side
1 tablespoon grated raw onion
1 cup coarsely grated cheddar (or more to taste)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap garlic cloves in a tight foil packet. Place tomatoes, cut side up, on large baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Add foil packet of garlic to tray. Roast until tomatoes are brown and tender (garlic will be very tender), about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Unwrap garlic packet and peel cloves. Transfer cloves, tomatoes and any accumulated juices to a blender or food processor and pulse machine on and off until tomatoes are a chunky puree. Transfer tomatoes to medium pot and add thyme, crushed red pepper, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings to taste.

For cheddar toast: Preheat oven to 350. Arrange four ovenproof soup bowls, crocks or large mugs on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. Stir grated onion into the warm soup. Float toast slice(s) in each bowl, buttered side up and divide grated cheese generously over top. Bake soups on tray for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese on top is bubbling and brown at the edges. If you’d like it even more browned on top, preheat your broiler and finish soups for a minute or two under it. Serve immediately.

 

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Sausage, and Tomatoes
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten

orecchiettebroccolirabe

 

1/2 pound sweet or hot Italian pork sausage or a combo
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound dried orecchiette pasta
1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prick sausage with a fork and place on a sheet pan. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until just cooked through. Cool slightly and then slice  1/2-inch thick and set aside. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy pan. Add sausage slices, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. add tomatoes and juices, red wine, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, and freshly ground black pepper and let the mixture simmer while you prepare pasta and broccoli rage.

Bring a very large pot half filled with water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the pasta and cook for 9 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, trim the broccoli rabe to just belwo the leaves and discard tough stems. Cut into 2-inch pieces. When pasta has cooked for 9 minutes, add broccoli rabe and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a large colander, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Add pasta and broccoli to the sausage and tomato mixture. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and more salt and pepper to taste. If the pasta seems dry, add reserved cooking liquid. Serve with extra cheese on the side. Serves 3 to 4.

 

Provençal Bok Choy
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Yes, bok choy is an Asian green but you can prepare it many different ways. Here, it gets mixed with French flavors. Enjoy it as a side or as a main over rice.

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 (3-by 1-inch) strips orange zest
1 1/2 pounds bok choy (1 to 2 heads), cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
1/2 pound tomatoes (about 2 small to medium tomatoes), chopped
3 tablespoons Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat oil in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté garlic with thyme, bay leaf, and zest until garlic is pale golden and mixture is very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bok choy, tomatoes, olives, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bok choy is crisp-tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard bay leaf and stir in parsley. Serves 3 to 4 as a side or 2 as a main course.

 

Weekly CSA Newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

 

 

CSA Blog 2013 – Week 17

 

carnivalsquash

Next CSA Pickups: Week of September 15th, 2013

 

In your share this week:

  • Bok Choy
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Scallions
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli Rabe

**** For more information including storage and prep tips and recipe ideas on tons of different vegetables, visit The Sunset Park CSA website here.

 

VEGGIE OF THE WEEK: WINTER SQUASH

wintersquashstill

Here, some of the varieties you’ll find at the farm:

Carnival Squash: These small green and yellow squashes–as seen in the photo above–are a type of acorn squash, and are actually a cross between the acorn and sweet dumpling squashes. Their golden flesh is smooth, nutty, and sweet. The flavor is sort of reminiscent of a sweet potato. You can use the carnival squashes as you would any other orange-fleshed winter squash like butternut or kabocha. You can also try roasting the whole squashes in the oven as an edible vessel for stuffing, soup, rice, and more.

Delicata Squash: This heirloom variety has a creamy pulp that tastes a bit similar to corn and sweet potatoes. It’s commonly baked, but you can also sauté or steam it. You can also eat the seeds toasted, as you would pumpkin seeds. Delicata squash isn’t as high in beta carotene as some other winter squashes, but it’s a great source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B, and magnesium.

Sweet Dumpling Squash: This small squash looks like a baby pumpkin, but has cream-colored skin with green specks. It’s great for stuffing! It also makes a wonderful base for squash soup. Sweet Dumplings are very high in beta-carotene thanks to their orange flesh.

Spaghetti Squash: This yellow variety has a mild, almost nut-like flavor. The flesh resembles spaghetti strands when it’s baked. It makes a healthy alternative to pasta as it’s low in calories–only 42 calories per 1-cup serving. Spaghetti Squash is also a wonderful source of folic acid, potassium, and vitamin A.

Did you know? You can toast winter squash seeds as you would pumpkin seeds. On an oiled baking sheet, spread out cleaned seeds (it’s ok if they’re damp) and sprinkle generously with chili powder and a few pinches of fine salt. Roast at 375 for 7 to 10 minutes, tossing halfway through so they toast evenly. Source: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

 

 

RECIPES

 

Spaghetti Squash & Black Bean Tacos
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

  spaghettisquashtacos

1 medium to large spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 large lime)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
16 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained very well
4 ounces crumbled queso fresco, feta, or Cojita cheese
1/2 cup finely diced onion (red, white, or yellow)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (or you can sub flat-leaf parsley if you don’t care for cilantro)
Hot sauce
Lime wedges

To cook squash in microwave: Pierce squash an inch deep all over with a small sharp knife. Cook on high for 6 to 7 minutes, turn over and cook about 8 to 10 minutes more, until the squash feels slightly soft when pressed. Cool for 5 minutes. To cook squash in oven: Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and roast face-down on an oiled baking sheet for about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Cool slightly.

Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork loosening and separating the strands from the skin. Discard skin. In a small dish, whisk lime juice with chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pour over the squash strands, and gently toss. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Assemble tacos: Heat a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat. Warm and slightly blister each tortilla, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a platter and sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons black beans, 2 tablespoons squash mixture, 2 teaspoons crumbled cheese of your choice, and a couple pinches on onion and cilantro. Dash with hot sauce if desired. Serve with lime wedges and extra hot sauce. Serves 4 generously or 8 modestly.

 

Shrimp Scampi with Green Onions and Orzo
Adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine

shrimpscampiscallions

3/4 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped or squeeze through a garlic press
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
4 green onions (aka scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken or vegetable broth

Cook orzo in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in garlic; stir 10 seconds. Add shrimp and sauté 2 minutes. Add green onions and toss until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 1 minute longer. Add wine or broth and toss until liquid boils, about 1 minute. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain pasta; transfer to large bowl. Top with shrimp and onion-garlic butter. Serves 3 to 4.

 

Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
from The Smitten Kitchen blog

1 pound chunky pasta of your choice
1 bundle broccoli rabe, stems and leaves cut into 1-inch segments
1 pound Italian sausage (sweet or spicy pork or chicken), casings removed
2/3 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
6 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes

Bechamel
2 cups milk, full fat is ideal
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Few gratings fresh nutmeg

Cook the pasta and rabe: Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain the broccoli rabe and pasta together and place in a large bowl. Brown the sausage: Meanwhile, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide saucepan (you will use this for the bechamel in a few minutes; you could also use your pasta pot, once it is drained) over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes. Remove with slotted spoon or spatula, leaving any fat behind. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Make the bechamel: Melt your butter in same saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add your flour and stir it into the butter until smooth. Cook the mixture together for a minute, stirring constantly. Pour in a small drizzle of your milk, whisking constantly into the butter-flour mixture until smooth. Continue to drizzle a very small amount at a time, whisking constantly. Once you’ve added a little over half of your milk, you’ll find that you have more of a thick sauce or batter, and you can start adding the milk in larger splashes, being sure to keep mixing. Once all of the milk is added, add the salt, garlic, nutmeg, and few grinds of black pepper, and bring the mixture to a lower simmer and cook it, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Assemble and bake: Add the sausage and bechamel to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli rabe. Stir in mozzarella and half of grated parmesan or pecorino until combined. Pour into a lasagna pan, deep 9×13-inch baking dish or 3-quart casserole dish and coat with remaining parmesan or pecorino. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the edges and craggy points are nicely bronzed. Makes 6 servings.

 

Weekly CSA newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog 2013 – Week 16

jimmynardellopeppers

 

Next CSA Pickup: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

 

In your share this week:

Waiting for list from the farmers

 

NEWS FROM THE FARM

Check out HHF’s A Walk On The Farm photo series here for a sneak peak at some of the Fall crops and what the farmers have been harvesting from the fields.

And don’t miss out on Thanksgiving Baskets! It’s not too soon to start thinking about the holidays. We are offering CSA members the opportunity to pre-order a Thanksgiving Vegetable Box before we offer it for general sale. Order forms and information will be available at CSA pick-up. See below for more info:

thanksgiving13.001 copy

Creating a seasonal, local Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to mean running around to many markets for your ingredients. Save yourself some trips and get all the vegetables you need in one place!  Hilltop Hanover Farm grows your seasonal favorites using organic methods and will have enough veggies for side dishes to amply serve four people, together with a small book of recipes chosen by the staff and volunteers. Your vegetables, presented in Hilltop Hanover totes, will be ready for pick-up on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving.

 Vegetables may include:  Brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, carrots, leeks, salad fixings (lettuce and mesclun mixes), cabbage, turnip, beets, radishes, celeriac, fennel, braising greens (such as kale or collards), Herbs (such as parsley and sage), and more.

Limited availability, reserve early!

Cost: $45
Pick up: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 between 12:00pm and 6:00pm.
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SPOTLIGHT ON: COLLARD GREENS
Collards are a nonheading type of cabbage known as a colewart. You may think collard greens are tough and bitter, but they’re actually mild tasting and you can cook them or eat them raw–check out the salad recipe below. As for their nutritional profile, collards have no calories and are high in fiber. They’re also a great source of vitamins A, B6, B12, E, and K, plus full of calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. In other words, they’re really good for you so don’t let them go to waste!

 

RECIPES

 

Shredded Collard Greens Salad with Pickled Apples & Toasted Walnuts
Adapted from Gourmet magazine via epicurious.com

Yes, you can eat collards raw! They are delicious in this Fall-inspired salad with sweet pickled apples and crunchy walnuts. I like to add a little bit of blue cheese, which works nicely with the ingredients, but you can leave it out.

shreddedcollardsalad

2  red apples (preferably local apples) such as Gala or Idared
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pickling spice
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large bunch collard greens (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese (optional)

To make pickled apples: Quarter and core apples, then cut each quarter lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Boil vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pickling spice in a saucepan, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Add apples and return to a boil. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool. Chill, uncovered, until cold, about 1 hour. Meanwhile prepare nuts while apples chill: Toast walnuts in oil in a small skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until a shade darker. Watch them closely so they don’t burn. Cool nuts in oil. Transfer nuts to a cutting board with a slotted spoon, reserving oil. Coarsely chop 1 tablespoon nuts and finely chop remaining nuts. Prepare collard greens: Halve each collard leaf lengthwise with kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cutting out and discarding center ribs. Stack leaves, roll up like a cigar, and thinly slice crosswise into shreds. Transfer to a large bowl. Transfer all nuts and oil from skillet to collards and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Add apple slices, discarding pickling liquid and spices, and toss again. Add cheese if using. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the greens to soften a bit.

Serves 6 (you can half the ingredients to make a smaller amount, which is what I did)

 

Pasta alla Norma
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

This classic Sicilian pasta, supposedly named after the opera Norma by Vincenzo Bellini, is made with eggplant, tomatoes, and ricotta salata cheese, and basil–all southern Italian staples. Perfect for the end of summer!

pastaallanorma

2 medium eggplants
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
a large bunch of fresh basil, stems finely chopped, leaves reserved
1 teaspoon good herb or white wine vinegar
2 14-ounce cans of good-quality chopped plum tomatoes, or 3 1/2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes (remove skin and seeds before chopping)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces pasta (I used cassarecce–a Sicilian shape–above)
6 ounces salted ricotta, pecorino, or Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat a large nonstick pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot and add a little oil. Fry the eggplants in two batches, adding a little extra oil if you need to. Give the eggplants a toss so the oil coats every single piece and then sprinkle with some of the dried oregano. Turn the pieces of eggplant until golden on all sides, being careful they don’t burn. Remove to a plate and do the same with the second batch. When the eggplants are all cooked, add the first batch back to the pan with chili flakes (if using). Turn the heat down to medium and add a little oil, the garlic, and the basil stems. Stir so everything gets evenly cooked, then add a swig of herb vinegar and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Tear up half the basil leaves, add to the sauce, and toss around. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to the package instructions. When it’s al dente, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water, and put it back into the pan. Add the Norma sauce and a little of the reserved cooking water and toss together back on the heat. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, then divide between your plates or put into one large serving bowl. Any sauce left in the pan can be spooned over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining eggplant, basil, grated cheese, and oil. Makes 4 servings
.
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Classic Stuffed Peppers 
Adapted from Bon Appétit
greenpepperstill
6 large bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup cooked white rice, cooled
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 large egg

Cut off top 1/2 inch of peppers and reserve. Scoop seeds from cavities. Discard stems and chop pepper tops. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, garlic, and chopped pepper pieces. Sauté until onions soften, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in rice, paprika, salt, pepper, and allspice. Cool 10 minutes. Mix in 1/2 cup tomato sauce, then beef and egg.

Fill pepper cavities with beef mixture. Stand filled peppers in single layer in heavy large pot. Pour remaining 2 cups tomato sauce around peppers. Bring sauce to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer 20 minutes. Spoon some sauce over each pepper. Cover; cook until peppers are tender and filling is cooked through and firm, about 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover and chill. Rewarm covered over low heat.) Serves 4 to 6

Weekly CSA Newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog 2013 – Week 15

scallionsstill2

Next CSA Pickup: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 

NEWS FROM THE FARM

Check out farmer Brett’s new post here.

Thanksgiving Baskets! It’s not too soon to start thinking about the holidays. We are offering CSA members the opportunity to pre-order a Thanksgiving Vegetable Box before we offer it for general sale. Order forms and information will be available at CSA pick-up. See below for more info:

thanksgiving13.001 copy

Creating a seasonal, local Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to mean running around to many markets for your ingredients. Save yourself some trips and get all the vegetables you need in one place!  Hilltop Hanover Farm grows your seasonal favorites using organic methods and will have enough veggies for side dishes to amply serve four people, together with a small book of recipes chosen by the staff and volunteers. Your vegetables, presented in Hilltop Hanover totes, will be ready for pick-up on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving.

 Vegetables may include:  Brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, carrots, leeks, salad fixings (lettuce and mesclun mixes), cabbage, turnip, beets, radishes, celeriac, fennel, braising greens (such as kale or collards), Herbs (such as parsley and sage), and more.

Limited availability, reserve early!

Cost: $45
Pick up: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 between 12:00pm and 6:00pm.

 

In your share this week: 

**Waiting for a list from the farmers, but there will likely be some of the following:

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Collards
  • Garlic
  • Shallots

 

RECIPES

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Peaches, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette
Adapted from Kelsey Nixon

peachtomatosalad

1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped or sliced into wedges
to 5 ripe peaches (preferably local peaches), sliced into wedges (you can remove the skin if you want)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing: Combine the basil, olive oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon, and shallots in a blender or food processor until the dressing emulsifies and the basil is pureed. Season with salt and pepper. To assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes and peaches in a bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Top with the feta cheese. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

Collards with Red Onions & Bacon
Recipe adapted from Gourmet

These greens make a delicious and hearty side to grilled meats.

collardsbaconredonion

3 slices of bacon
1 medium red onions, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons firmly packed dark brown sugar, or to taste
Pinch dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 bunch collard greens , coarse stems and ribs discarded and leaves and thin stems washed well, drained, and coarsely chopped

In a large skillet, cook bacon  over moderate heat until crisp and transfer to paper towels to drain and when cool enough to handle, crumble the pieces. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of drippings and then add the onions, stirring occasionally, until browned slightly and softened. Transfer onions with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

To the skillet, add broth or water, vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and about half of bacon, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add the collards and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes. Stir in onions and simmer, covered, 5 to 10 minutes more, or until collards are very tender and the liquid has been absorbed. If the mixture gets too dry, add additional broth or a splash of vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and additional vinegar if needed. Serve topped with the remaining bacon. Makes 3 to 4 side servings.

 

Farro with Tomatoes & Onions
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman

farrowtomatoes

2 cups water
1 cup semi-pearled farro (you can also try this with other grains, just follow the water amount for that particular grain)
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
9 ounces cherry tomatoes, such as Sun Golds (or 12 ounces heirloom or plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped–this will give you a saucier dish)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Few basil leaves, torn or cut into thin ribbons
Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, for serving

Place water and farro in a medium saucepan to presoak (I find just 5 to 10 minutes sufficient) while you prepare the other ingredients. Adding each ingredient to the pot as you finish preparing it, cut onion in half again, and very thinly slice it into quarter-moons. Thinly slice garlic cloves as well. Halve or quarter tomatoes. Add salt, pepper flakes (to taste) and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Bring uncovered pan (no lid necessary) up to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the farro is perfectly cooked (tender but with a meaty chew), seasoned and the cooking water should be almost completely absorbed. If needed, cook it for 5 additional minutes, until farro is more tender. Transfer to a wide serving bowl. If there’s enough leftover cooking liquid to be bothersome, simply use a slotted spoon to leave the amount you wish to behind. Drizzle farro lightly with additional olive oil, scatter with basil, and parmesan. Eat immediately. Makes 2 servings (as a full meal) or 4 servings (as a side).

 

Swiss Chard Rolls with Brown Rice, Lentils, and Goat Cheese
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

   

This is one of my favorite recipes that I discovered last year–I had to share it again. Colorful chard leaves get rolled around a creamy mix of brown rice, lentils, and goat cheese and baked into tomato sauce until bubbly and lightly browned. The flavor combo is unique and extremely satisfying and healthy for a vegetarian meal. If you don’t like goat cheese (I know there are some haters out there), feel free to substitute a mixture of ricotta and Parmesan in the filling. The fresh mint adds a fresh and bright flavor, but basil or parsley can be subbed for the mint if you want. This is a time consuming recipe, but if you cook the brown rice and lentils ahead of time it’s a snap to prepare on a hectic weeknight.

Butter, for greasing

6 to 8 large Swiss chard leaves, about 1 1/4 pounds
2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice
1 cup chopped baby arugula or baby spinach leaves (I like the peppery bite of arugula)
1 cup room-temperature soft goat cheese
1 cup cooked green or brown lentils
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for extra seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for extra seasoning
3 1/4 cups homemade marinara sauce or your favorite jarred brand (my favorite jarred is Rao’s marinara or tomato basil sauce)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter cut into pieces

1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish; set aside. 2. Remove the thick stem from the center of each chard leaf. Cut each chard leaf in half lengthwise. (I recommend doing a few extra chard leaves because some will break or tear.) Trim any ragged ends from the leaves so each leaf is about 7 inches long and 5 inches wide. (Don’t worry if it’s not this size, I had some smaller ones and they worked just fine. The rolls were just smaller.) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves and cook for 10 seconds. Gently remove leaves and run under cold water. Drain on paper towels and set aside. 3. For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice, arugula, lentils, softened goat cheese, mint, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Taste; season with additional salt and pepper to taste if needed. 4. Spoon about 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of prepared baking dish. 5. Place about 1/3 cup of brown rice filling onto the end of each chard roll and roll up like a jellyroll. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce on top, sprinkle with Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil or dot with butter. Bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

 Weekly CSA Newsletter written, edited, and photographed by Nicole DeCoursy Mead. 

CSA Blog – Week 14

eggplantfarmphoto

Next CSA Pickup: Tuesday, August 27th

 

NEWS FROM THE FARM

Check out farmer Brett’s new post here.

Thanksgiving Baskets! It’s not too soon to start thinking about the holidays. We are offering CSA members the opportunity to pre-order a Thanksgiving Vegetable Box before we offer it for general sale. Order forms and information will be available at CSA pick-up starting this Tuesday. See below for more info:

thanksgiving13.001 copy

Creating a seasonal, local Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to mean running around to many markets for your ingredients. Save yourself some trips and get all the vegetables you need in one place!  Hilltop Hanover Farm grows your seasonal favorites using organic methods and will have enough veggies for side dishes to amply serve four people, together with a small book of recipes chosen by the staff and volunteers. Your vegetables, presented in Hilltop Hanover totes, will be ready for pick-up on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving.

 Vegetables may include:  Brussels sprouts, squash, potatoes, carrots, leeks, salad fixings (lettuce and mesclun mixes), cabbage, turnip, beets, radishes, celeriac, fennel, braising greens (such as kale or collards), Herbs (such as parsley and sage), and more.

Limited availability, reserve early!

Cost: $45
Pick up: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 between 12:00pm and 6:00pm.

 

In your share this week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Collards
  • Garlic
  • Shallots

 

Spotlight on: Carrots

carrotsstillfarm

Carrots are a part of the Umbelliferae family of vegetables–other members of the clan include parsnips, fennel, parsley, and dill. One 10-year study found that eating yellow/orange vegetables like carrots offer the most protection from cardiovascular disease–more than other vegetable color group. Carrots are loaded with good-for-you nutrients and antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K as well as fiber. For a quick dinner side, roast carrots tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a 425 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Then make a quick yogurt sauce to dollop on top, whisk greek yogurt with your favorite herbs, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and some spices like cumin or garam masala blend. Done.

 

 

RECIPES

 

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

tomatoscallionshortcakes

For the scallion biscuits:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup whole milk
For the tomato salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
1/2 pound cherry or grape tomatoes such as Sun Gold tomatoes (as shown above)
For the topping:
3 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 scallions, thinly sliced (you can just use the green parts or the whole scallion)

To make the biscuits, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it with nonstick cooking spray. Pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the mix resembles a coarse meal. (you can also do this with your hands or a pastry blender). Add the scallion and whole milk and pulse a few times until dough is evenly moistened. Pat out the dough to 3/4 to 1 inch thickness with your hands and cut six 3-inch rounds (I used a glass rim for this, which was approximately 3 inches), reform scraps as needed. Arrange the biscuits on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. To make the tomato salad, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Halve or quarter the tomatoes and add them to the dressing, tossing gently to coat all the tomatoes. For the whipped goat cheese, use an electric mixer or beat heavy cream with a whisk until peaks form. Add the softened goat cheese and beat until the cheese topping is light and fluffy. To assemble, Split each warm biscuit in half and generously spoon each half with tomato salad and dressing. Dollop on whipped goat cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Makes 6 to 8 shortcakes.

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Kale Salad with Pecorino, Walnuts, and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman
I was excited to see Tuscan kale (aka lacinato or black or dinosuar kale) at last week’s CSA pickup–it’s the one all the way to the right in the first photo below. Tuscan kale is dark green with crinkly leaves and happens to be the best choice for kale salad because it’s mild and more tender than curly kale.

tuscankalefarm kalesalad

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted in a pan or in the oven until lightly brown
1/4 cup golden raisins or currants, dried cherries or cranberries
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup panko or slightly coarse homemade breadcrumbs (from a thin slice of hearty bread)
1 tiny clove garlic, minced or pressed
Coarse or kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale, preferably Tuscan kale, washed and patted dry
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste

In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer white wine vinegar, water and raisins for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in liquid. Toast bread crumbs, garlic, and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside. Trim heavy stems off kale and remove ribs. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise. Put kale in a large bowl. Add pecorino, walnuts and raisins (leaving any leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar mixture from the raisins, if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving as it helps the ingredients come together. Just before serving, toss with breadcrumbs and, if needed, another drizzle of olive oil.

 

Pasta with Eggplant, Sausage, and Peppers
Inspired by a dish at the Union Square Café in NYC and a recipe in Redbook magazine

pastaeggplantsausagepeppers

 

1/2 to 3/4 pound of pasta, any shape or variety (I used cavatappi above)
1 large eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 bell peppers (any color, I used green), diced into chunks (about same size as eggplant) or sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, such as Sun Golds
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed if they’re in casing
1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Splash of white wine (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss eggplant and peppers on a large sheet pan coated with nonstick spray. Add a few tablespoons oil and some salt and pepper and toss again, spread out so vegetables are in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes, and roast for about 10 minutes longer until the vegetables are lightly browned in spots and tomatoes have burst. Set aside. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water until al dente and drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. In a large saute pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and sausage over medium-high heat. Cook until sausage is lightly browned. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute. Add roasted vegetables, pasta, and enough pasta water to coat and make a light sauce. Add cheese and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

 

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman

rice-stuffed tomatoes

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or Kosher salt
6 medium-to-large (about 3 inches across, or about 8 ounces each) tomatoes
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
9 tablespoons arborio or another short-grained risotto-type starchy rice
3 tablespoons chopped parsley, oregano or slivered basil (or a mix)
Handful breadcrumbs (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an ovenproof baking dish with olive oil. To prep the tomatoes: Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out tomato juices, seeds and flesh into a bowl. Salt the cavities of the tomatoes and turn them upside down on a plate to drain. Prepare reserve: Run scooped-out tomato flesh and juices through a food mill or pulse in a blender or food processor until coarsely pureed. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking them together until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook them together for about 3 minutes, or until rice toasts a bit. Add the reserved tomato puree and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, then cover skillet with a lid, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is par-cooked. Adjust seasoning if needed. To stuff tomatoes: Stir fresh herbs into tomato-rice mixture. Arrange tomatoes right-side-up in baking pan then spoon mixture into tomatoes, filling them just 7/8 of the way. Coat with breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of cheese, if you want. Then drizzle tomatoes lightly with olive oil or you can replace the tomato lid on each. Bake uncovered until tomato walls are soft and the rice inside has finished cooking, about 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of your tomatoes. Serve hot. Serves 2 to 3 as a main course, 6 as a side.

 

 

Weekly CSA Newsletter written, edited, and photographed by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog – Week 13

 

tomatoesstill

Next CSA Pickup: Tuesday, August 20th

 

In your share this week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Carrots

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: ONIONS

scallionsfarm

Leeks, green onions (aka scallions–shown in the photo above), shallots, and chives, as well as red, white, and yellow onions are all part of the allium  family.  These flavorful kitchen staples boast impressive health benefits: Adding more of them to your diet can help prevent certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, cataracts, and more. They’re also a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese. Aim to eat a 1/2 cup of alliums per day to reap the health rewards.

 

RECIPES

 

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman

plumtomatoesstill

3 pounds tomatoes (plum or any heirloom or beefsteak variety)
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Small handful of basil, most left whole, a few leaves slivered for garnish
1/4 cup olive oil
12 ounces dried spaghetti (or your favorite pasta shape)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a small x at the bottom of each tomato. Blanch the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then shock in a bath of ice water. Peel tomatoes and discard the skin. Keep the pot of boiling water–you can use it again to cook the spaghetti. 2. Halve or quarter the tomatoes (depending on how big they are) and scoop out the seeds with your fingertips into a small strainer set over a bowl. Ditch the seeds, reserve the juices. Add the tomatoes and salt to a large saucepan (you’ll be adding the pasta later so err on the big side) and turn the heat to medium-high. Break down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, potato masher, your hands, or an immersion blender to your desired level of chunkiness or smoothness of the sauce. Once the sauce has begun to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and gently simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, mashing more as needed. If it begins to look dry, add your strained and reserved tomato juices. 3. While the tomato sauce cooks, combine garlic, a few whole basil leaves, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat them slowly, over the lowest heat so that they take a long time to come to a simmer. Once it does, immediately remove it from the heat and strain the oil into a small bowl. You’ll need it shortly. 4.When the tomato sauce has been simmering for about 25 minutes, bring your water back to a boil, add a small handful of salt and pasta. Cook until your spaghetti is al dente and reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water and drain the rest. Once your sauce is cooked to your desired consistency, stir in the olive oil and add more salt and pepper, to taste. Add the spaghetti and half the reserved pasta water; simmer the pasta and tomato sauce together for a minute or two. Add remaining pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed. Stir in the butter and serve immediately with basil for garnish. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Vichyssoise with Zucchini & Fennel
Adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
This updated chilled potato-leek soup (known as vichyssoise) uses zucchini and fresh fennel for more flavor.

vicchysoisse

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (about 2 to 3 leeks)
2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes (if using white or yellow potatoes–keep the skin on)
2 cups chopped zucchini (about 1 large)
1 chopped fresh fennel bulb (optional)
3 cups canned chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon heavy cream, half and half, or whole milk
Fresh chives or julienned zucchini, for garnish

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot, add the leeks and sauté over medium-low for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, zucchini, fennel (if using), chicken or vegetable stock, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes than purée using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food mill (fitted with the medium disk). Add the cream and add more salt and pepper, to taste. Serve either cold or hot, garnished with chopped chives and/or zucchini. Makes 3 to 4 servings
Greek Panzanella Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten
greekpanzanella
Good olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
Kosher salt
1 large or two small cucumbers, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 bell peppers, large diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or 3 medium to large heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted
For the vinaigrette:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides. Add more olive oil as needed. Place the cucumber, peppers, tomatoes, and red onion in a large bowl.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a small bowl. While still whisking, add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives, and bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Weekly CSA blog written and photographed by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA Blog 2013 – Week 12

 

hotpeppersphoto

 

Next CSA Pickup: Tuesday, August 13th

 

In your share this week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Summer Squash
  • Onions
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • And more….

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: PEPPERS

Some like it hot! And some like it not. Here are some of the pepper varieties–both spicy and sweet–that you’ll find at the farm.

California Wonder: These are hybrid bell peppers, which mature from green to red. They’re known for their crispness, and mild-sweet flavor. Add them raw to salads, or stuff and cook them.

Carmen: This is an Italian frying (or cubanelle) horn-shaped pepper. Carmen’s are sweet when green or mature red. They’re the perfect pepper to stuff or pair with sweet or spicy Italian sausage.

Jalapeno: This medium-sized green chili has a mild-medium heat level. Use them to add some zing to salsa and sauces.

Hungarian Hot Wax: This canary-colored pepper turns red when fully ripe. The heat level is about the same as a jalapeno. They’re delicious pickled, or cooked up with meat and/or veggies.

Cayenne:  This long, skinny chili is hot and spicy! Cayenne peppers are the key ingredient in many hot sauces. You can also dry them out and grind them up for cayenne pepper powder all year long!

PEPPER POINTER: You can lessen the heat of any hot chili by removing its seeds and ribs. Wear gloves so you don’t burn your fingers!

 

RECIPES

 

Potatoes Vinaigrette with Sieved Eggs and Pickled Celery
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

potatoesvinaigrette

For the pickled celery:

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 to 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced on an angle
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
For the salad:
1 pound fingerling or small red potatoes, boiled until fork tender and fully cooked (though not mushy!)
2 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled and cut into quarters
Crumbled bacon, minced fresh herbs, handful of arugula (optional garnishes)

To pickle the celery: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Add the celery, and set the mixture aside for about an hour in the fridge. To make the dressing: Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste, and set aside. To assemble the salad: Halve the potatoes lengthwise (or quarter if larger), and arrange them on a platter cut-side up. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the potatoes. Press each chunk of egg through a fine-mesh sieve, yolk first, so that all the potatoes are coated with pieces of egg. You can also just finely chop the eggs and sprinkle over potatoes. Garnish with pickled celery and optional garnishes if using.

 

Pasta Salad with Green Olivada and Sun Gold Tomatoes
Adapted from Bon Appétit

pastasaladolivada

1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound gemelli, fusilli, or rotelle pasta
1 pints Sun gold cherry tomatoes or other grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces small (cherry-size) fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

With machine running, add garlic clove to processor through feed tube and process until finely chopped; turn off machine. Add 1/2 cup chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy paste, mustard, and crushed red pepper. Using 6 on/off turns, process to chop coarsely. With machine running, gradually add 1/4 cup olive oil, forming coarse puree. Transfer to bowl; stir in remaining 1/2 cup olives. Season olivada to taste with salt and pepper (you may not need any additional salt if your olives are very salty as mine were). Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer drained pasta to large bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over pasta; toss to coat. Cool pasta, stirring occasionally. Add olivada, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to pasta; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. MAKES 4 SERVINGS. You can easily double the salad if you want to serve a crowd!

 

Potato & Yellow Squash Torte
Adapted from Bon Appétit

potatosquashtorte

1 bunch scallions (about 4 to 6), thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
12 ounces yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
6 teaspoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend. 2. Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture. 3. Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are cooked through and tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.) Carefully slide the tortes to a serving platter or plate (or you can leave in the pan). Cut each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup reserved green onions and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Apples, and Cumin Vinaigrette
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

quinoaeggplantsalad

For the vinaigrette:
2 teaspoons cumin seeds or 1 to 2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
For the Salad:
1 (14.5-ounce) can vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups quinoa
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
One 1 1/4-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large apple, unpeeled, cored, and quartered
3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted, or 1/3 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large bunch watercress, arugula, or baby spinach, for serving (optional)

For the vinaigrette: If using cumin seeds, toast them over medium heat in a heavy medium skillet, stirring occasionally, until the seeds darken in color and become fragrant, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes. Place the seeds on a plate; cool for 1 minute. Grind the seeds finely in a small food mill or grinder.Whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and the toasted seeds (or ground cumin) until thick and blended in a small bowl. Stir in the shallots. Set the vinaigrette aside. For the salad: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium-high heat in a heavy medium saucepan. Mix in the quinoa. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa stand, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool. Meanwhile, spray a large rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper on the sheet. Roast until tender and browned, stirring once, about 30 minutes. To assemble the salad: Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Add the vinaigrette, eggplant, apples, walnuts and cranberries. Toss to blend. To serve, cover the bottom of a shallow platter with the watercress, arugula, or baby spinach (if using). Spoon the salad on top and serve. Makes 6 servings.

CSA Blog 2013 – Week 11

heirloomtomatoesstill

 

Next CSA Pickup: August 6, 2013

 

NEWS FROM THE FARM

Check out farmer Brett’s latest farm update here.

Be sure to take a look at our Facebook photo series.

 

In your share this week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Shallots
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Scallions

 

SPOTLIGHT ON:  Tomatoes

sungoldtomatoes

It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for–tomato time! Here are some of the cherry, heirloom, and beefsteak varieties available at the farm this year:

  • Sungold These small, golden-orange cherry tomatoes (as shown in the photo above) are a favorite and for good reason: they’re just about the sweetest you can find!
  • Cherokee Purple Another favorite! These tomatoes have a deep reddish-purple hue. They’re big, dense, juicy, and have small seeds.
  • Red Brandywine  One of the most popular and best-tasting tomatoes, this Amish heirloom dates back to 1885. Thin-skinned, pinkish-red fruits have an old-fashioned, full-bodied tomato flavor and tend not to be very acidic.
  • Striped German A large heirloom–usually weighing over a pound–with red  and yellow stripes throughout this dense, sweet, complex, and juicy fruit. Beautiful and delicious!
  • Sunkist  A medium to large orange tomato with a very sweet flavor.
  • Rutgers A tomato variety originating in New Jersey that’s perfect for slicing or cooking!

Some other varieties at the farm this year include Cosmonaut Volkov, Lola, Arbason, and Toronjina.

TOMATO TIPS: Store your tomatoes on the counter–away from direct sunlight–stem side down. This prevents the bottom of the fruit from bruising and getting mushy. And trying to ripen them on a sunny windowsill will make the skin tough–tomatoes don’t need the sun anymore to ripen. If you’re tomatoes are not-quite-ripe, they’ll be ready for eating in just a few days. Never store tomatoes in the fridge–the cool temps destroy that wonderful tomato flavor.

 

3 Takes on the Tomato Sandwich

Open-faced tomato, feta, and fresh oregano sandwich

Open-faced tomato, feta, and fresh oregano sandwich

Open-faced Tomato, Feta, and Oregano: Drizzle a thick slice of toasted bread (ciabbata, Pullman, sourdough, baguette) with olive oil. Layer on tomato slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with slices of good-quality feta cheese (try Greek or Israeli or French feta). Drizzle with more olive oil. Eat. It’s messy, but so, so good! Sandwich shown above. (Recipe from Bon Appétit)

Tomato, Avocado, and Mayo: Toast two slices of bread of your choice, then rub with a garlic clove that’s been cut in half. Spread with mayo (or you can sub olive oil or butter for the mayo). Layer slices of avocado and tomato, and drizzle with lemon juice, salt, and lots of black pepper. (Recipe from Melissa Clark)

Tomato with Basil Mayo: Whisk some mayo, chopped basil, lemon juice, salt. and pepper in a small bowl. Spread mayo on 2 slices of country bread (or your favorite bread). Place sliced tomatoes on one slice, and top with the other slice. (Recipe from Ina Garten)

 

RECIPES

 

Grilled Potato & Yellow Squash Salad
Adapted from Bon Appétit

grilledpotatosquashsalad

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram or fresh oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound small red or yellow potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise or sliced 1/2-inch thick (for larger potatoes–as shown above)
1 pound assorted summer squash (such as zucchini and yellow crookneck), cut on diagonal into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch-wide strips (optional)

Whisk lemon juice, shallot or onion, 1 tablespoon marjoram or oregano, and lemon peel in small bowl. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Prepare barbecue to medium heat. Place potatoes in large saucepan; add enough cold salted water to cover. Boil just until almost tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Transfer potatoes to medium bowl. Add 1 teaspoon marjoram or and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Combine squash and bell pepper (if using) in large bowl; add remaining 1 teaspoon marjoram and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in single layer in grill basket. Or grill carefully directly on grill grates. Grill until tender, 5 minutes per side. Transfer to large bowl. Grill squash and bell pepper (if using) until tender, turning occasionally, 10 minutes. Transfer squash to bowl with potatoes. Cut bell pepper into 1-inch pieces; add to vegetables. Add vinaigrette; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6 as a side.

 

Zucchini Bread
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

3 eggs
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combo (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans. Or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using. Stir dry mixture into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans. Bake loaves for  50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will take only 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 2 loaves or 24 muffins.

 

Summer Corn and Tomato Salad with Fresh Cilantro
Adapted from Bon Appétit

cornandtomatosalad

10 ears fresh corn, husked
2 pounds tomatoes (any color), seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small red onion, chopped or bunch of scallions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or basil if you don’t like cilantro)
1/4 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil (or canola or grapeseed oil)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (you can sub lime or sherry vinegar)

Cook corn in large pot  of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain; cool to room temperature. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Transfer corn to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally. Add another drizzle of vinegar and sprinkling of salt before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings (you can easily halve this recipe to serve less…)

Weekly CSA Newsletter written and photographed by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.