CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 16



Next CSA Pickups: September 16 & 18

In your share this week:

  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Mustard greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale




Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (about 2 small to medium)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped or julienned
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
Croutons, crostini, or more basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender. Take the soup off the heat, add the cream. Process the soup through a food mill (to remove the skin and seeds) or puree it in a powerful blender or food processor. Reheat the soup over low heat (if you heat it on high the cream may curdle), add more salt and pepper if needed, and serve with croutons, crostini, or chopped basil, if using. Makes 5 to 6 servings.


Stir-Fried Chicken and Chinese Cabbage
Adapted from Martha Stewart


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 Chinese cabbage
1 small red chile or jalapeño (optional)
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.


Vinegar Chiles
Adapted from The Farm by Ian Knauer

These peppers make a spicy addition to sandwiches, pizza, pasta, roasted meats, or sauces. They keep, chilled, for at least 6 months. They’re a great way to enjoy your farm chile peppers for months.

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 ounces of mixed hot chiles (such as banana chiles, habaneros, cayenne, and jalapeños)
1 small garlic clove, smashed

Heat the vinegar with the sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium-heat, stirring, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Slice the chiles and place them, along with the garlic, in a sealable glass or plastic container, then pour the vinegar solution over the chiles. Keep the vinegar chiles, covered, in the refrigerator.


Bitter Greens Salad with Roasted Pears or Apples
Adapted from Gourmet magazine via epicurious.com

For salad:
3 firm-ripe Bosc pears or apples, peeled, cored, and each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges

3/4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups mixed bitter greens (such as mustard greens, mizuna, escarole, radicchio, endive, and/or chicory), torn into bite-size pieces

For dressing:
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
Drizzle of honey
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F. Toss pears or apples with oil and spread in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, then season with salt and pepper. Roast pears or apples, stirring and turning over twice, until pears are tender and beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes, then cool about 15 minutes. While pears are roasting and cooling, toss torn greens in a large bowl. Whisk together shallot, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Just before serving, add roasted pears and dressing to greens and toss to combine well. Makes 4 to 5 servings.


Farro Salad with Roasted Beets & Feta
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit


6 to 8 medium-sized beets, tops trimmed
Vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled or quick-cooking farro or wheat berries
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, divided
1 garlic clove, pressed or chopped
2 cups thinly-sliced radicchio or kale, or chopped spinach or arugula
1/2 up finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange beets in a single layer on a small baking sheet. Drizzle with vegetable oil, cover with foil, and roast beets until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool, trim beets, and peel. Cut into wedges and set aside.

Cook faro in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes for semi-pearled farro or about 10-12 minutes for quick-cooking. If you use wheatberries, they will need longer–about 35 to 40 minutes until just tender. Drain and transfer to large bowl, Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and garlic into hot farro. Cool to room temperature.

Add beets, radicchio or other greens, onion, and parsley to faro, and toss to incorporate evenly. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil and 3 tablespoons vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad. Add feta and toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or cold.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Rigatoni with Eggplant Purée and Toasted Pine Nuts
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound plum tomatoes, quartered and seeded
3  whole cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the eggplant, tomatoes garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes. 2. While the vegetables are roasting, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish. Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables. Roast until golden, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.  Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the torn mint leaves and extra-virgin olive oil. Puree the vegetables. Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl with the pasta and add the Parmesan. Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta is saucy. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and serve. Makes 6 servings.


Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Everyday Food 

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in puree
1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat), minced
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves (2 whole, 1 minced)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 peppers such as bell, Italian, or poblano chiles, halved lengthwise (stems left intact), ribs and seeds removed
Preheat oven to 425. In a blender, combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeno, half the onions, and 2 whole garlic cloves; puree. Season with salt. Pour sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onions, minced garlic, cumin, and 3/4 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Dividing evenly, stuff pepper halves with bean mixture; place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle peppers with remaining 1/2 cup cheese; cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake until peppers are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes.
Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.


CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 15



Next CSA Pickups: September 9 & 11

In your share this week:

  • Potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Collard greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Fennel
  • Carrots



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

This is a great use for tomato “seconds.”


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.


Pasta with “Naked” Tomato Sauce
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman

Here’s another great use for tomatoes that are past their prime.


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.


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


2/3 cup panko or regular dried breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
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
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.


Japanese-Style Meat & Potatoes
Adapted from Keepers by Caroline Campion & Kathy Brennan


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, halved lengthwise and thickly sliced
2 large carrot, halved lengthwise and cut on diagonal in 1-inch chunks
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh peeled ginger root
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish; optional)

In a medium to large saucepan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat; add the beef and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat, until it’s just browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, and ginger, and cook, siring often, for a few minutes. Add the wine and briskly simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the potatoes, brown sugar, broth, water, and soy sauce and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Serve hot or warm, sprinkled with scallions, if using. Makes 4 servings.


Swiss Chard Pesto
Adapted from Keepers by Caroline Campion & Kathy Brennan

Serve with pasta, roasted chicken, and grilled/roasted meats.


3 packed cups green Swiss chard leaves, stems and ribs removed), chopped or torn
3 garlic cloves
1 lemon, grated zest and juice
1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
Handful of cilantro
2/3 cup olive oil, plus extra, if needed
1 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino

In a food processor, combine the Swiss chard, garlic, lemon zest, a big splash of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and some pepper. Pulse a few times, then add the sunflower seeds and cilantro and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil is  a slow stream and process until a paste develops. Add more oil, if needed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese. The pesto will keep, covered, in the fridge, for about a week or frozen for up to 1 month (don’t add cheese until after thawed).


Baked Carrot and Parsnip Fries with Rosemary
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine


2 1/2 pounds parsnips or carrots or a combo, peeled  and cut into 3-inch by 1/2-inch strips
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix parsnips and/or carrots, chopped rosemary, garlic, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer and scatter rosemary sprigs on top. Roast for 10 minutes, turn, and roast until tender and browned, about 10 to 15 minutes longer. Crumble leaves from rosemary sprigs oven, discard stems and toss to coat. Sprinkle cumin over. Season more to taste if needed.


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 14



Next CSA Pickups: September 2 & 4


In your share this week:
**Waiting for updated list from farmer Brett


SPOTLIGHT ON: Celeriac (aka Celery Root)

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 vegetable soups (use instead of celery). Or grate it raw and toss with salad greens or slaws (check out three very different ways to use celery root below). Celeriac is a wonderful source of calcium, iron, and vitamin C. To trim : Use a sharp paring knife and take off about a quarter inch of the surface to get past the divots of dirt.


Classic Celery Root Rémoulade
Adapted from Keepers by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion

The authors suggest pairing this classic french condiment with chicken, pork, or baked/grilled sausages or ham. It also goes well with pan-fried breaded fish fillets, shrimp, or crab cakes. You can also eat it as a sandwich filling or condiment!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijo mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
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.


Arugula & Celery Root Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark

Clark recommends serving grilled or broiled sausages with this delicious salad.

For the mustard vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus 1 small pinch
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (or red or white wine vinegar)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
1 medium celery root, trimmed and peeled
5 cups arugula or other salad green, torn into bite-size pieceds
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts or walnuts (optional)

1. To make the vinaigrette: Smash the garlic and sprinkle it with salt. Using the flat side of the knife, press it to make a garlic pasted. Add it to a small bowl with the mustard, vinegar, and remaining salt. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it’s incorporated. Season with pepper. 2. Using a food processor grating blade or a large box grater, grate the celery root. Transfer to a bowl and add the arugula and nuts, if using. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss well. Season with more salt, lemon juice, and/or olive oil if needed before serving. Makes 4 servings.


Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Carrots Two Ways (Roasted Carrots and Carrot Romesco)
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine


1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1  1/2 pounds small carrots, peeled (halve lengthwise if larger)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 small garlic clove, finely grated or chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
2 cups greens (baby spinach, arugula, watercress, mustard greens, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until softened and browned, about 15 to 20 inures. Let cool slightly. Pulse pine nuts, garlic, and 3 tablespoons oil in a food processor to a coarse paste. Add red pepper flakes, 1/4 of roasted carrots, 1 tablespoon each red wine vinegar and water. Process, adding more water as needed, to a coarse purée. Season wit salt, black pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.  Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in  a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and black pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast pork until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees in the thickest part, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Toss greens and roasted carrots with remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Serve pork with romesco and salad.


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. For a creamy component, add a little bit of goat cheese or blue cheese, which works nicely with the ingredients.


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)


Collards with Red Onions & Bacon
Recipe adapted from Gourmet

This isn’t the prettiest of side dishes, but these collards make a delicious and hearty side to grilled meats.


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


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 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).


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 dark green variety with crinkly leaves and happens to be the best choice for kale salad because it’s mild and more tender than curly kale .


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.


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


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.


CSA Newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead





Next CSA Pickups: August 26 & 28


In your share this week:
**Waiting for updated list from farmer Brett

  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Shallots




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!


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.
Chicken Fajitas with Peppers & Onions
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman
For the chicken, peppers, and onions:
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
2 large or 4 small bell peppers, cut into think strips
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Coarse salt
For serving (choose your favorite toppings):
8 (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas, charred on the stovetop or wrapped in foil and heated in a 250 degree oven until warm
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salsa or pico de gallo
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Chopped cilantro
Hot Sauce
Lime Wedges
For the chicken, peppers, and onions: Slice chicken into thin strips, place in a bowl or freezer bag and add lime juice, spices, and garlic. Mix together and let marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days in the fridge. Heat your largest skilled on high heat. When very hot, drizzle in some olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Then add the peppers in a single layer. Try to get them charred before moving them around. Once they’ve begun to brown, add the onions, plus some salt. Wait for them to get some color before moving. Cook until the onions have softened and then scrape mixture into a bowl. Add more olive oil, then spread the chicken in an even layer. Cook until browned and cooked-through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Return peppers and onions to the skillet and toss. Spoon mixture onto warm tortillas and pile on your favorite toppings.


Japanese Restaurant-Style Carrot Ginger Dressing
Adapted from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow


2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 small shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet white miso paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons raw light honey (optional–I didn’t think it needed any sweetener)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil (like canola)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon coarse Kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
Puree everything together in a blender or food processor until totally smooth. Spoon over lettuce and veggies of choice.


Pasta with Sungold Tomatoes

Adapted from Mario Batali via Bon Appétit

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces Sungold or cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
6 ounces capellini, spaghetti, or bucatini
3/4 cup finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan
8 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Toasted breadcrumbs (for garnish; optional)

 1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook, covered slightly and swirling pan often, until tomatoes blister and burst, 10-12 minutes. Press down on tomatoes to release their juices. Remove pan from heat and set aside. 2. Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5 quart pot. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water. 3.Transfer pasta to skillet with tomatoes; set over high heat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water. Cook, stirring and tossing often, until sauce thickens and begins to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining oil, cheese, and half the basil and toss until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. (Add more pasta water if sauce seems dry.) Add remaining basil, season with salt, and serve with breadcrumbs, if desired.

Fingerling Potato Salad with Leeks
Adapted from Bon Appétit
3 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthwise if small or cut into 1-inch pieces if larger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
9 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
3 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 tablespoon (or more) white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large dish or baking sheet to cool slightly.  Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a skilled over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to pop (be careful of popping seeds and oil). Pour oil with seeds into a large serving bowl.  Return skillet to stove, add 2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium heat. Add leeks, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside. Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard into reserved mustard-seed oil. Add potatoes and leeks and toss to coat. Season with more salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Makes 8 servings.
Watermelon Salad with Arugula & Feta
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 2-pound piece watermelon, rind and seeds removed, cut into cubes or chunks
4 ounces feta, crumbled or cut into cubes
1 cup arugula, watercress, or baby spinach
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a salad bowl, combine the watermelon, feta, arugula or other greens, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.

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


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.


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead 

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 12


Next CSA Pickups: August 19 & 21


In your share this week:

  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Shallots




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.




Grilled Potato & Yellow Squash Salad
Adapted from Bon Appétit


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 summer squash), cut on diagonal into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1 large 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 the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman


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.


Roasted Eggplant Caponata
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garden


1 large or 2 small eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup large green olives, pitted and chopped
1 onion (about 1 cup), chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Toasted pita triangles or baguette slices, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the whole eggplant on the pan, prick with a fork in a few places, and rub with  olive oil. Roast for 35 (for smaller eggplants) to 45  minutes (for large ones), until the eggplant is very soft when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, halve the eggplant and remove the skin. Place the eggplant, peppers, and olives in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour into a mixing bowl. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion is lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for a mother minute, then add the to the eggplant mixture. Add the parsley, pine nuts, lemon juice, capers, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and pepper and mix. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed, then serve with toasted bread or alongside your main course. Makes 8 appetizer serving or 4 meal servings.


Hot and Cold Summer Squash
Adapted from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali


2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 to 1 1/4 pounds zucchini or yellow summer squash, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
1/4 cup minced tender parsley stems
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (use a Microplane or rasp grater)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup strained tomatoes, simmered until reduced by half (Batali uses Pomi brand tomatoes)

1. Heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the zucchini in one layer (if it’s crowded, do this in two batches) and parsley, season well with salt, and sauté until the zucchini is softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the orange zest, red pepper flakes and transfer to a large bowl. 2. Add the reduced tomato sauce to the zucchini and mix gently. Add the remaining olive oil, mixing gently. Let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving. (This dish can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; serve chilled or at room temperature).


Pasta Salad with Roasted Summer Vegetables
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis 


For the pasta and veggies:
1 pound penne or your favorite pasta shape
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 large zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1-inch half-moon pieces (about 12 ounces)
3 medium summer squash, ends trimmed, cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1-inch half-moon pieces (about 12 ounces)
1/2 small cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)–optional
2 medium carrots, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey or agave
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped–optional
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. For the vegetables: Place an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Arrange the zucchini, summer squash, cauliflower, carrots and garlic in a single layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake until light golden and tender, 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. For the vinaigrette: Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth. To assemble: Place the vegetables in the bowl. Add the pasta on top. Add the Parmesan on top so it sticks to the pasta and helps everything else stick. Toss the vegetables and pasta. Pour the vinaigrette over the pasta and toss. Add the basil and prosciutto on top, if using, and do not toss until the pasta is cool. Serve warm or cold. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Eggplant Parmesan Rolls with Swiss Chard
Adapted from Bon Appétit

2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4 pounds total), trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Coarse kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed
2 large eggs
1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups marinara or tomato-basil sauce (homemade or your favorite jarred brand)
1 8-ounce ball fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained, thinly sliced

1. Cover bottom and sides of each of 2 large colanders with 1 layer of eggplant slices; sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Continue layering eggplant slices in each colander, sprinkling each layer with coarse salt, until all eggplant slices are used. Place each colander over large bowl; let stand at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. Rinse eggplant slices to remove excess salt; dry thoroughly with paper towels. 2. Position oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat source and preheat broiler. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on prepared baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil. Broil 1 sheet at a time until eggplant slices are tender and beginning to brown, watching closely and removing eggplant slices as needed if cooking too quickly, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove baking sheet from oven and cool eggplant while preparing filling. 3. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add chard to pot and boil just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Squeeze chard very dry, then chop coarsely. Squeeze chard dry again between paper towels. Whisk eggs and pinch of coarse salt in medium bowl. Stir in chopped chard, ricotta cheese, 1 cup Parmesan, mint or basil, and black pepper. 4. Lightly oil 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread half of tomato sauce evenly over bottom of dish. Divide chard-ricotta filling among eggplant slices, placing about 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of each. Starting at 1 short end of each, loosely roll up eggplant slices, enclosing filling. Arrange rolls, seam side down, atop sauce in baking dish. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over. Place mozzarella slices in single layer over rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil and chill.) 5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake eggplant Parmesan rolls, covered with foil, until heated through, about 30 minutes if freshly made or 40 minutes if refrigerated. Uncover and bake until brown in spots and sauce is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.


Kale with Pickled Onions & Avocado
Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach

1/2 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large bunch of kale, washed, stems removed, and chopped (about 8 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 avocado, cut into chunks

In a small saucepan, add the water, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Add the onion and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the onion from the pickling liquid with tongs and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, boil the kale for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove with tongs and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and preserve the green color. Drain and dry thoroughly on paper towels. Toss the onion and kale with the oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and avocado. Makes 4 servings.


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 11



Next CSA Pickups: August 12 & 14

In your share this week:

  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Shallots




Here are some of the cherry, heirloom, and beefsteak varieties available at the farm this year:

  • Sungold These small, golden-orange cherry tomatoes are a staff favorite and for good reason: they’re just about the sweetest you can find! They’re best used in salads, but you can also roast or sauté them and toss with pasta.
  • Cherokee Purple 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 (pictured in photo at the top of this post)–with marbled red  and yellow stripes throughout this dense, sweet, complex, and juicy fruit. Stunning in Caprese (tomato and mozzarella) salads!
  • Black Trifele A small to medium (about the same size and shape of a small pear) with a purplish color–black trifele tomatoes are known for their meaty texture and complex, rich tomato flavor. They’re known as one of the best-tasting “black” tomatoes and are delicious in salads and sandwiches.
  • Moskovich A small to medium round, deep red tomato with rich taste. It’s smaller size makes it a great slicer for sandwiches and burgers.

TOMATO TIPS: Store your tomatoes on the counter stem side down–this prevents the bottom of the fruit from bruising and getting mushy–and away from direct sunlight! Many people make the mistake of putting them on a sunny windowsill, but this will only toughen the skin. Once picked, tomatoes don’t need the sun anymore to ripen so they’ll do best on a non-sunny spot on your counter. If your tomatoes are not-quite-ripe, they’ll be ready for eating in just a few days. And never store tomatoes in the fridge–the cool temps destroy that wonderful tomato flavor.


Tomato Time! 3 Delicious 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, whole grain, or baguette) with a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. Layer on tomato slices and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Top with slices of  feta cheese (try flavorful Greek or Israeli feta here) and fresh oregano leaves. Drizzle with more olive oil and eat. 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)




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.


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


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.


Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard (or Kale)
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine and chef Michael Psilatkis


For the beans:
2 (15.5-oz.) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
10 small or 4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 shallots
3 small bay leaves
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/4 cups olive oil
For the chard:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 small bay leaves
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 large or 2 small bunches Swiss chard or kale, center stem cut out, leaves coarsely chopped
For the beans: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the first 5 ingredients in an 8×8 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour oil over; cover dish with foil and roast until the garlic is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the garbanzo beans, reserving the oil.  Meanwhile, for the chard: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, bay leaves, and shallots. Cover and cook until the shallots are tender, about 2 minutes. Add the chards in two batches, waiting for the first batch to wilt before adding the second. Toss until the chard volume is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the drained garbanzo beans, garlic, and shallots and  2 tablespoons of the reserved oil. Toss over medium heat until warmed through. Add more oil if necessary, and use the remaining oil for bread or other uses. Season the dish with salt and pepper and serve. Makes 6 servings.


Kale with Smoked Salt and Goat Cheese
Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison


1  bunch kale
Sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Smoked salt (you can find smoked salt at Trader Joe’s, Williams Sonoma, and some supermarkets)
Crumbled goat cheese
Fresh or store-bought bread crumbs, crisped with olive oil in a pan
Apple cider vinegar, to finish

Pull or slice the leaves of the kale from their stems and discard the stems. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add sea salt and kale. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain thoroughly and coarsely chop the leaves. Heat the oil in a skilled over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic during the last minute, then add the kale. Toss well and continue cooking until heated through. Season to taste with smoked salt and lots of pepper. Put the kale in a serving bowl and top with crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle smokde salt over top. Cover with bread crumbs and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar. Serve. Makes 2 modest servings


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


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.

Classic Stuffed Peppers 
Adapted from Bon Appétit
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 Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 10



Next CSA Pickups: August 5 & 7

In your share this week:
*waiting for updated list from farmer Brett

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


Get the most out of your CSA share!  Food writer and cook Melissa Clark offers some great tips here.




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 red 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.




Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean, and Goat Cheese Enchiladas
Adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen blog by Sara Forte


3 large zucchini/summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 4 cups chopped)
3 tsp. olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 small red onion or 4 green onions/scallions, finely chopped
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
5 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
10-12 corn tortillas
1 12 oz. bottle enchilada sauce (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
For serving (all optional):
Chopped cilantro leaves
Diced Avocado
Lime Wedges
Sour Cream
Hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the zucchini on a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Toss everything together and spread in an even layer (use 2 pans if it’s too crowded). Roast for about 30 minutes until the edges of zucchini are browned. Remove to cool. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the onions, black beans, and 4 ounces of the goat cheese (reserving the remaining goat cheese for topping). Add the cooled zucchini and toss together gently. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Over a burner or in a cast-iron pan, lightly char both sides of the tortillas. Spray an ovenproof baking dish (about 9×13) with nonstick spray and pour 1/2 cup on the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Use more to cover the bottom, if needed. Working with one tortilla at a time, fill with heaping 1/4 cup of the filling and roll up like a taquito. Lay in the dish seam side down. Continue with remaining tortillas, squeezing them snuggly into the pan. Brush the tops of the tortillas with remaining oil, and then pour the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with reserved goat cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until warmed through and the top is just crisp. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with optional serving ideas above. Makes 4 servings.


Grilled Fairytale Eggplant with Rosemary-Garlic Oil
Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine

Adorable Fairytale Eggplant

Adorable Fairytale Eggplant

1 pound fairytale eggplant, halved lengthwise, stems intact
Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. chopped rosemary leaves
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill. Lightly season the eggplant halves with salt and let sit while grill is heating. In a small saucepan, cook the oil and garlic over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly golden, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the rosemary, and set aside. Brush the eggplant with some of the oil mixture. Place them on the grill, cut side down. Grill, covered, until grill marks appear 1 to 5 mnutes. Using tongs, carefully flip the eggplant and continue grilling until completely tender, a few minutes more. Arrange cut-side-up on a platter. Whisk the lemon juice into the remaining oil mixture and drizzle over the eggplant. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and serve.


Potato & Yellow Squash Torte
Adapted from Bon Appétit


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.


Caponata (Sicilian Eggplant Relish)
Adapted from Gourmet magazine

This Sicilian eggplant relish is delicious on sandwiches (with some fresh mozzarella or provolone cheese), tossed with pasta, or alongside proteins like chicken or fish. This recipe takes a bit of effort, but it’s the best-tasting recipe for caponata that I’ve tried. Caponata will last in your fridge for up to a week.

2 lb eggplant
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups olive oil
11 garlic cloves (from 2 heads), chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-oz) can whole Italian tomatoes, finely chopped and juice reserved
5 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup large green Sicilian olives (6 oz), pitted and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup drained bottled capers, rinsed
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer

1. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes and transfer to a colander. Toss with 2 tablespoons sea salt. Let drain 1 hour. 2. While eggplant drains, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté three fourths of garlic, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with their juice, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. 3. Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan, then cook celery until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. 4. Gently squeeze eggplant to remove excess moisture and pat dry. Heat 1/4 inch oil (about 2 cups) in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until it registers 360°F on thermometer, then fry eggplant in 4 batches, stirring and turning constantly with a slotted spoon, until browned and tender, 3 to 5 minutes per batch. (Return oil to 360°F between batches.) Transfer to paper towels. 5. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from skillet, then reduce heat to moderate and cook onion, bell pepper, and remaining garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce, eggplant, celery, olives, capers, vinegar, sugar, pepper, and remaining teaspoon sea salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, uncovered, then chill, covered, at least 8 hours. Just before serving, stir in parsley and basil. Serve cold or at room temperature.


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.


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
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. Chill and serve garnished with chopped chives and/or zucchini. Makes 3 to 4 servings


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 9


Next CSA Pickups: July 29 & 31


In your share this week:

  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes (maybe)
  • Onions
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Shallots



Adorable Fairytale Eggplant

Adorable Fairytale Eggplant

Did you know that eggplant is one of very few vegetables that’s inedible raw? Fortunately there’s so many diverse and delicious ways to cook it. Eggplant is part of the “nightshade” group of vegetables–tomatoes and potatoes are also part of the clan–and is native to India, but was introduced to the Mediterranean region by the Arabs during the Middle Ages. Today, it’s a huge part of Asian, Mediterranean (especially Italian and Greek), and American cooking. When preparing eggplant, be sure not to peel off all the skin because that’s where most of the nutrients and antioxidants are found. And there is no need to salt just-picked eggplant as fresh eggplant is rarely bitter.  Eggplant is a great source of fiber, manganese, potassium and folate. Here at Hilltop Hanover Farm, you’ll find several different varieties of eggplant including the diminutive fairytale eggplant (as shown in the picture above)–it’s very pretty and delicious eaten whole or halved–check out the spiced eggplant and peppers recipe below. There’s also the traditional black eggplant, a perfect choice when you want big slices such as in a gratin, and slender Asian eggplants, which are usually very tender.  Eggplant likes to be stored at about 50 degrees F, which is well above the temperature in most refrigerators. If you can’t use the eggplant right away, wrap it well, place it in the vegetable drawer, and use within a couple of days. Eggplant’s texture changes if it’s refrigerated for too long.



Spiced Eggplant and Peppers
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine


1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
4 peppers (about 1 pound), any color, cut into 2-inch strips
1/2 pound fairytale eggplant, halved, or other eggplant cut into 2×1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, and saffron (if using); cook stirring often until the garlic is softened, about 4 minutes. Be careful to not let the garlic cloves burn. Add the peppers and eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally until the vegetables are tender and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Just before serving, toss in the basil. Makes 4 servings.


Roasted Ratatouille
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh from the publishers of Fine Cooking


8 cups of summer vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, and tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/3 cup olive oil
2-3 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Toss the vegetables and herbs with the olive oil and spread on a large baking sheet. You want the vegetables to be in a single layer so they roast rather than steam. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, then sprinkle garlic on vegetables, toss, and continue roasting for another 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover to let vegetables steam for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and fold in the vinegar. Makes 4 servings.


Lazy Cucumber & Onion Pickles
Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison


3/4 pound cucumbers, unpeeled
1 sweet onion
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sugar or 1 teaspoon agave syrup
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Slice the cucumbers thinly crosswise and slice the onion into thin rounds. Put 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the sugar in a bowl big enough to hold the vegetables. Add the vinegar and 1 cup of water and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the cucumbers, onions, mustard seeds, celery seeds, and turmeric. Press on the vegetables to immerse them in liquid. A plate set over the vegetables can help weigh them down. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 2 weeks. Makes 3 cups of pickles.


Shredded Kale with Sungold Tomatoes, Feta, and Mint
Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison


8 ounces kale leaves, stems removed and leaves thinly shredded
2 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon roubust olive oil
Sea salt
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard
2 pinches red pepper flakes
2 ounces feta cheese
Handful of Sungold tomatoes or other small cherry tomatoes, halved
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh mint or 2 teaspoons dried

Put the kale ribbons in a salad bowl. Pour in 1 teaspoon oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the squeeze and massage the leaves until they glisten. Pound the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt to make a paste. Add to a small bowl and then add in the vinegar and mustard. Whisk in the remaining oil. Toss the greens with the dressing until thoroughly coated, then crumble in the feta. Add the tomatoes, green onions, and mint and toss. Taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or vinegar if needed. Makes 2 to 3 servings.


BBQ Green Beans
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh from the publishers of Fine Cooking


2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup onions, chopped
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 tablespoon Worchestire sauce
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the bacon and onions in a small pan over medium heat and cook until the fat has rendered from the bacon and it’s starting to brown and the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Drain off excess fat, then add the ketchup, sugar, and Worchestire sauce. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture slightly thickens. Place the green beans in a baking dish and pour all the sauce over the beans, toss to coat. Bake until the beans are completely tender and the sauce is bubbling slightly, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let cook 5 minutes before serving. Make 4 servings.


Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 8



Next CSA Pickups: July 22 & 24


In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Celery


This beautiful vegetable has been prized for years and years as a digestif, meaning it can help alleviate stomach distress. The compound that gives fennel its licorice flavor has anti-inflammatory properties, which can benefit your whole body. Fennel is also an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. If you’ve never tried fennel before, raw fennel is crunchy like celery but without the stringiness. It’s very clean tasting with a hint of licorice. Cooked fennel is way more mellow with a softer, sweeter flavor. Some ideas for fennel: thinly slice fennel bulb and add it to salads, munch on it raw as a crudité, roast it in the oven with olive oil and parmesan cheese for a unique side dish, or sauté it and then toss with pasta, crispy bacon, and Parmesan (check out this recipe). You can also use the fennel fronds as an herb or for garnish.



Kale & Quinoa Salad
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Blog


For the salad:
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (use 1/2 cup dry and cook according to package directions to yield this amount)
8 ounces kale, finely shredded or chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 ounces feta or ricotta salata, crumbled
Zest of 1/2 lemon

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

If the quinoa is hot spread on a plate to cool and then add to a large bowl. Then add the kale and remaining salad ingredients and toss. Whisk the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.


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


1/2 to 3/4 pound of pasta, any shape or variety
1 large eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 bell peppers (any color), diced into chunks (about same size as eggplant) or sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
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.


Olive-Oil Roasted Fennel and Tomatoes with White Beans
Adapted from Bon Appétit

1 large fennel bulbs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
2 large fresh oregano sprigs
2  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed drained

Preheat oven to 425°F. Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically. Cut the bulb into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, leaving some core attached to each wedge.

Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Add fennel wedges in single layer; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Fold together gently.

Transfer skillet to oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Mix in beans and bake 5 minutes longer to heat through. Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 2 to 3 servings.


Stuffed and Baked Pattypan Squash with Prosciutto & Parmesan
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh 


4 oz. prosciutto, very finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup coarse fresh or store-bought breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 medium pattypan squash, as shown in the photo above (about 5 oz. each)

Toss the prosciutto, cheese, breadcrumbs, olives, and olive oil in a large bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat your oven to 400. Cut the squash horizontally in half to make 2 disks, then cut a small slice on the underside so the squash disk sits flat. Scoop out some of the center. Arrange the squash on a lightly greased baking sheet cut side down. Roast 10 minutes. Turn over and spoon some of the filling into the center of each squash disk mounding it a bit. Continue roasting for 8 to 10 minutes until the filling is hot and the cheese has started to melt. Makes 4 servings


Celery Salad with Walnuts & Shaved Parmesan
Adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark


1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil
8 large celery stalks with leaves, thinly sliced
2 ounces good Parmesan or Manchego, shaved

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, and pepper; whisk in the oil slowly. Combine the walnuts, celery and leaves, and cheese in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Makes 4 servings. Serve by itself for a healthy lunch or with some crusty bread, sliced sausages, and/or hard-cooked eggs.

 Weekly CSA Blog Produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead 

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 7




Next CSA pickups: July 15 & 17


In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Zucchini/Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Garlic





Leeks, green onions, shallots, and chives, as well as purple, 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. Store onions in a cool, dark place with good ventilation and away from potatoes, which will make both spoil faster. Scallions, leeks, and the like can be stored in your crisper drawer loosely wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel.





Zucchini Logs Stewed in Olive Oil with Onions & Chard
Adapted from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison


3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for finishing

1 onion, sliced a scant 1/2-inch thick
1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
1 1/2 pounds zucchini or summer squash, cut into logs about 2 inches long (larger zucchini you can halve lengthwise first)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 chard or kale leaves, stems removed and leaves chopped
1/2 cup water or stock
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
Lemon wedges, for serving

Choose a wide pan with a tight-fitting lid. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and half of the oregano. Cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, stir to coat with the oil and season with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Layer the chard over the squash and season with more salt. Add the water, cover the pan, and lower the heat. Cook gently until the zucchini is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the lid, and gently stir the chard into the squash (be careful not to smash the zucchini) and add the tomatoes, if using. Re-cover and cook for another few minutes. Season with more salt and pepper and accompany with lemon wedges. You can also serve this over pasta, rice, or quinoa or alongside crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.


Eggplant Gratin
Adapted from Ina Garten

Olive oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, unpeeled sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half or whole milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce (homemade, or your favorite jarred brand)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place eggplant on a baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake about 15 to 18 minutes, turning once halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside. Then crank oven up to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, eggs, half-and-half or milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Butter a large baking or gratin dish, and place a layer of eggplant slices on the bottom, then sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon marinara sauce on top. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, ricotta mixture, and remaining Parmesan on top. Bake gratin for 10 minutes, then lower oven to 375 degrees and bake for another 20 to  25 minutes, until the custard sets and the top is browned. Makes 4 servings.


Fennel, Celery, and Apple Slaw
Adapted from Bon Appetit

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally, plus 1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves
2 small (or 1 large) fennel bulbs, very thinly slice crosswise, plus 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
1 firm, crisp apple (such as Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Gala), julienned
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add celery and celery leaves, sliced fennel, chopped fronds, and apple; toss to coat. Season liberally, or to taste, with salt and pepper. The slaw will keep–and stay remarkably crunchy–in the fridge for up to one day.


Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan
Adapted from AllRecipes.com and submitted by CSA member Terry Mason


2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and chopped and leaves chopped and kept separate
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Thenstir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt and fresh pepper.


Asian-Style Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark


1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 pound cucumbers, trimmed
2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint or basil or a combo of the two
Flaky sea salt, to taste

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise; cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half-moons. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime juice. Toss the cucumbers with the dressing and the almonds. Sprinkle with herby and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Hilltop Hanover Farm CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead