CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 12

HEIRLOOMTOMATOES2ND  WATERMELON

Next CSA Pickups: August 19 & 21

 

In your share this week:

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

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: CARROTS

carrotsstillfarm

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

 

RECIPES

 

Grilled Potato & Yellow Squash Salad
Adapted from Bon Appétit

grilledpotatosquashsalad

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

ZUCCHINIBREAD

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

ROASTEDCAPONATADIP

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

HOTCOLDSQUASH

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

HUGETOMATOSTILL

 

Next CSA Pickups: August 12 & 14

In your share this week:

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

 

SPOTLIGHT ON:  Tomatoes

TOMATOESBARNSTILLSHOT

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)

 

RECIPES

 

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

tomatoscallionshortcakes

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

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

 

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

CHARDGARBANZOS

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

KALEGOATCHEESE

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

quinoaeggplantsalad

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

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

Classic Stuffed Peppers 
Adapted from Bon Appétit
greenpepperstill
6 large bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup cooked white rice, cooled
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce
1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 large egg

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

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

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 10

EGGPLANTALLVARIETIES HEIRLOOMTOMATOES2ND PEPPERSSTILLVARIETIES SHALLOTSSTILL

 

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

 

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

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: PEPPERS

greenpepperstill

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.

 

RECIPES

 

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

ZUCCHINIENCHILADAS

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

potatosquashtorte

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

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

 

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.

vicchysoisse

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (about 2 to 3 leeks)
2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
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

FIRSTTOMATOESSTILL

Next CSA Pickups: July 29 & 31

 

In your share this week:

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

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: EGGPLANT

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.

 

RECIPES

Spiced Eggplant and Peppers
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine

SPICEDEGGPLANTANDPEPPERS

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

ratatouilleveggiesphoto

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

CUKESSTILLPHOTO

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

sungoldtomatoes

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

GREENBEANSSTILL

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


eggplantfarmphoto

 

Next CSA Pickups: July 22 & 24

 

In your share this week:

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

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: Fennel
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.

 

RECIPES

Kale & Quinoa Salad
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Blog

KALEQUINOASALAD

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

pastaeggplantsausagepeppers

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 

pattypanphoto

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

CELERYWALNUTSALAD

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

 

CELERYSTILL ZUCCHINIPATTYPANSHOT

 

Next CSA pickups: July 15 & 17

 

In your share this week:

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

 

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: ONIONS

YOUNGONIONS

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.

 

 

RECIPES

 

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

STEWEDZUCCHINICHARD

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

CHARDSTILLWEEK1

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

cukesphotobarn

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

CSA BLOG 2014– WEEK 6

Next CSA Pickups: July 8 & 10

CSAzucchini2plantphoto

 

In your share this week:

  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Bok Choy

 

RECIPES

 

Easy Pickles
Recipe adapted from Old-School Comfort Food by Alex Guarnaschelli

easypickles

⅓ cup Maldon sea salt or flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 ½ cups water
¾ to 1 pound small Kirby cucumbers(about 4 or 5 small), throughly washed and dried
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Few sprigs of  dill
2 cloves peeled garlic, smashed (optional)
A pinch or two or red pepper flakes or 1 chile pepper (sliced in half lengthwise) (optional)

Make brine: In medium saucepan, mix salt, vinegar and water and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. To make pickles: Arrange cukes upright in a jar big enough to hold 3 cups of liquid (like a mason jar, but any container with fitted lid will do). The cukes should be tightly packed and come within ½ inch of top of container. Add fennel seeds, dill sprigs, and garlic and pepper flakes or chile (if using). Fill the container with brine and top and tap on flat surface to remove air bubbles. Top off with additional liquid if neede. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day. The pickles will last for up to a few weeks in the fridge.

 

Bread & Butter Pickles
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman

If you like a sweet pickle, try these bread and butter pickles!

1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Diamond Kosher Salt (if using Morton’s, use a little bit less as it’s saltier than Diamond)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

In a small bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion, and salt. Mix well. Cover the mixture with ice cubes and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. In a pot, bring the sugar, vinegar, and spices to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions throughly (discard any ice that hasn’t melted). Add to the vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. You can store the pickles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. They’ll be ready for eating after just a few hours!

 

Zucchini & Ricotta Galette
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

zucchinitart

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

Filling:
1 medium to large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 minced garlic clove
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
Several slivered basil leaves

Glaze:
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water

To make the dough, whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits over butter over and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice, and water. Add to the flour-butter mixture and with your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat into a ball (do not overwork dough). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Alternately,  you can make the dough in the food processor or use store-bought puff pastry or flaky pie dough.
To make filling, spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let drain for about 30 minutes. Gently blot the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, mix garlic and olive oil together. In a separate bowl, mix all the cheeses with 1 teaspoon of garlic oil and season with salt and pepper.
To prepare the galette, Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (you can line with parchment if you want). (If using store-bought pastry, prick dough with tines of fork first). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom leaving a 2-inch border. Layer the zucchini on top. Drizzle with remaining garlic oil mixture. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edges to make it fit neatly. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze. Bake the galette until lightly browned and puffed, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil. Let sit for 5 minutes and then slide onto a serving plate. Serve hot, warm, or at room temp. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

Grilled Zucchini with Feta and Olives
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh from the publishers of Fine Cooking

4 small to medium green or yellow zucchini (about 1 pound total)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 teaspoons basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
3 ounces pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
3 ounces feta, crumbled

Cut a small slice off both long sides of a zucchini to create two flat spots to allow the zucchini to sit flat. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and scoop out the seeds leaving a pocket down the length. Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, also heat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush the flat side of the squash with olive oil and place down on the hot pan. Cook until nicely browned and softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Season the squash lightly with salt and pepper and spread with a thin layer of pesto. Lay the sliced olives down the length of the cavity and dot with the cheese. Roast in the oven until the squash is tender and the cheese starts to lightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.

 

Cucumber Lime Cooler
Adapted from Farmstand Fresh from the publishers of Fine Cooking

1 large cucumber, chilled, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice, chilled
3 tablespoons honey or stevia
6 large fresh mint leaves
10 ice cubes
2 lime wedges, for garnish

Put the cucumber in a food processor or blender with the lime juice,  honey, and mint. Add the iced cubes and process until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Pour into chilled glasses and garnish with lime wedges. Serves 2.

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 5

Next CSA Pickups: July 1 & 3

summersquashphoto

 

In your share this week:

  • Zucchini/Summer Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Turnips
  • Dill
  • Scallions
  • Bok Choy
  • Mizuna
  • Sugar Snap & Snow Peas (U-PICK)

SNAPPEASFIELDPHOTO

 

 

Spotlight on: Cucumbers

cukesphotobarn

This crisp veggie–which is actually botanically a fruit–is more than 90 percent water! Even though they’re mostly water, cucumbers do contain vitamin C as well as caffein acid, both of which can help reduce swelling and soothe skin irritations. That’s why they’re such a great, natural remedy for tired, puffy eyes! And don’t peel the skins from your cukes: The dark green outer layer is a good source of  fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Keep your cucumbers refrigerated and use them within a few days; they lose moisture and a crunchy texture quickly.

 

RECIPES

 

Dilled Potato Salad with Pickled Cucumbers
Adapted from Bon Appétit

A perfect potato salad for the 4th of July.

dilledpotatocukesalad

6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
4 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
3 or 4 medium-size cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold or small yellow potatoes, unpeeled
Additional coarse kosher salt
1 cup very thinly sliced white onion
8 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
Small radishes with green tops, for garnish (optional)

Stir vinegar and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small bowl until salt dissolves. Place cucumbers and 1/2 cup dill in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add vinegar mixture; seal bag. Turn several times to coat. Refrigerate cucumbers overnight, turning bag occasionally. Pour cucumber mixture into large sieve set over bowl. Drain at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Discard brine.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes then peel and quarter lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in large bowl and sprinkle generously with coarse salt and pepper. Add drained cucumbers, onions, sliced radishes, and remaining 3 tablespoons dill; toss to blend. Let stand 1 hour. Stir mayonnaise into salad. Season generously with salt and pepper, if desired. Mound salad in bowl; garnish with whole radishes. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

 

Pasta Salad with Fried Zucchini, Basil, and Mozzarella
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog by Deb Perelman and Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi

FRIEDZUCCHINISALAD

Salt and black pepper
2/3 cup grapeseed oil or other neutral oil like canola or sunflower
3 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup peas or edamame or fava beans, fresh or frozen
2 cups basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
9 ounces pasta, penne or fusilli are good choices for this salad
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons capers, drained
7 ounces fresh mozzarella or buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, in  a medium to large skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Fry zucchini in batches, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. If they’re not browning, crank up the heat until they do. Drain zucchini on several layers of paper towels and sprinkle with a bit of salt Transfer to a bowl and pour vinegar on the top. Set aside.

Combine half of the basil and all of the parsley and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and then season with salt and pepper.

In the hot water, cook peas or edamame for 2 to 3 minutes, until just done but not mushy. Drain and run under cool water and set aside. Leave pot boiling and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer the pasta back to the empty pot and add the zucchini and any juices, basil-parsley oil, peas or edamame, lemon zest, capers, and mozzarella. Stir together gently and add more salt and pepper to taste. Right before you serve it, add the remaining basil. Serve at room temperature or cold; the salad will keep for at least 1 day in the fridge. Serves 4 as a main course; more as a side.

 

Leafy Greens Cornbread
Recipe and photo courtesy of Maria Reina, of Bella Cucina Maria and the Seasonal Chef for the Small Bites blog
Leafy Market Greens Cornbread
 This is a great way to use up leafy greens and greens from the tops of vegetables. Consider mixing things up like mizuna, kale, rainbow chard, turnips tops and radish tops.

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided
2-3 young leeks, about 1 cup, white and pale green parts sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
4-5 cups chopped mixed greens, feel free to mix them up!
1 cup coarse grind corn meal, I used: Wild Hive Farm corn meal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup milk, whole or 2% (not skim)
2 eggs, I used: Wright’s Farm eggs
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup sliced scallions, green part

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In an 8″ cast iron skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add the greens and another good pinch of salt and pepper. Using tongs toss the greens and let them cook over medium low heat. While they are cooking melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and place in a mixing bowl. Set aside to cool. Once the greens are nice and wilted, and slightly soft, about 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pan cool slightly. Add the dry ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and the parsley to a separate mixing bowl and combine well with a whisk. To the cooled butter add the milk and whisk in the eggs. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and with a spatula combine. Pour the batter over the cooked greens in the pan and with a fork gently pull the greens up into the batter. The batter will fall though the wilted greens, and will look pretty with it speckled throughout. Top with the feta and scallions. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, until the cornbread is set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

 

Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Pancetta & Pecorino
Adapted from Ina Garten and the Union Square Café in New York City

Sugar snap peas are only around for a short while; this is my absolute favorite way to enjoy them!

Kosher salt
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed (the easiest way is to snap the top off and pull down gently to remove the strings)
1/4 pound pancetta, sliced, or bacon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup minced red onion
5 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 1 tablespoon salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and have a sieve or colander ready in the sink. Put the snap peas in the boiling water for only 15-20 seconds, drain, and put immediately into ice water. Cool completely, and drain throughly (so you don’t have a watery dressing). Cut each snap pea in half lengthwise and put in a large bowl. 2. Meanwhile, place the pancetta and 1 tablespoon water in a medium sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the pancetta is browned and crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain oil and cool. 3. To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Pour enough vinaigrette over the snap peas to coat and moisten (you may not need to use all the dressing). Add the red onion, crumbled pancetta, Pecorino, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Toss well, season to taste, and serve. Serves 4 to 5 as a side.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

 

CSA BLOG 2014 – WEEK 4

Next CSA Pickups: June 24 & 26

 

SUNFLOWERS

In your share this week:

  • Cabbage
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Turnips

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: SUMMER SQUASH

CSAzucchini2plantphoto

Zucchini is a type of summer squash and probably the most recognized variety. Other kinds of summer squash  include crookneck and straight neck yellow varieties as well as pattypan squashes, small roundish squashes which can be green or yellow or a combo. All summer squash are a great source of antioxidants including the cartenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. They’ll also provide you with manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A. But be sure not to peel off the antioxidant-rich skin when cooking with summer squash as that’s where many of the disease-fighting nutrients reside. Steaming summer squash–rather than boiling–also helps to retain these vitamins. Summer squash is very fragile and should be stored unwashed in the refrigerator crisper drawer in a plastic bag or airtight container for about four days to a week. I’m looking forward to trying this new recipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog for pasta salad with zucchini.  Check out some other uses for zucchini and summer squash in the recipe collection below.

 

RECIPES

 

Crushed Beet Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine

beetsstill

Here’s a new take on the beet salad: You cook the beets twice for more depth of flavor.

1 pound small to medium beets, scrubbed

Olive oil, for cooking and for vinaigrette
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Flaky sea salt

Preheat oven to 400°. Place beets on 1 large sheet of foil. Drizzle beets with 1/2 tablespoon oil; season with kosher salt and pepper and wrap up foil around beets. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 40-50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then, using a paper towel, rub skins from beets (they should slip off easily). Crush beets with the bottom of a small bowl (it’s alright if they fall apart). Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl; set vinaigrette aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beets, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette, add mint and 2 dill, and toss to coat. Serve beets and dollops of yogurt drizzled with more oil, topped with more herbs, and seasoned with pepper and sea salt.

 

Polenta Squares with Kale & Bacon
Adapted from Whole Grain Mornings

KALEPOLENTASQUARES  KALEPOLENTASQUARESFIN

These squares are great for breakfast–top with a fried egg, or as a dinner side. 

Butter, for greasing
5 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 3/4 cup water
1 cup milk
3/4 cup polenta or coarse cornmeal
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small or 1/2 large bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Butter an 8-inch square pan; set aside. Over medium-hight heat, bring water and milk to a boil. Add polenta and salt, store to combine and decrease heat to low. Simmer uncovered until the polenta is thick and creamy, 25-30 minutes, stirring often. Taste and add seasoning. Add kale and bacon to polenta and stir until the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Scoop polenta into prepared pan and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Slice polenta into 6 large rectangles or 9 smaller squares. In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, warm olive oil. Panfry polenta squares until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Finish with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.

 

Swiss Chard and Leek Tart
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pie plate
2-3 large leeks (white and light green parts only), coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, spinach or a combo of greens; ribs removed
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, half and half, or whole milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Roll out pastry on floured work surface to approximately a 12-inch square. Lightly grease the pie plate with butter. Transfer and lightly press pastry into to a 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch, fold under and crimp edges. Lightly prick pastry with a fork. Cover; chill. 2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large skillet, over medium-low heat. Add leeks. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard, sauté until wilted about 2 minutes (if using kale, you may need a few more minutes). Remove from heat; cool.3. Position rack in bottom third of oven (this is a very important step for getting a browned bottom crust); preheat to 425 degrees F. 4. Whisk cream and all remaining ingredients in large bowl. Fold in the cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until filling is puffed up and set in the center, about 15-17 minutes longer (if using half and half or whole milk you’ll probably need to bake it a few minutes longer for the filling to set). Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 6-8.

 

Stuffed Zucchini
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

turkeystuffedzucchini
2 slices country style white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup  milk
5-6 medium to large zucchini or summer squash, trimmed, halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the filling:
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/3 cup white wine, such as pinot grigio, or chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound ground turkey or ground beef
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 heavy baking sheets with vegetable oil cooking spray.In a small bowl, combine the bread and milk. Set aside to allow the bread to absorb the milk, about 15 minutes.
For the zucchini: Using a melon baller, remove the flesh from the zucchini, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Reserve the flesh. Place the zucchini, hollowed-out sides up, on the prepared baking sheets. Season with the salt and pepper.
For the filling: Place the zucchini flesh in a food processor. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, shallot, oregano, salt and pepper. Blend until all the vegetables are finely chopped. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the blended vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked vegetables, turkey, egg, 1 cup Parmesan, the bread mixture, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until well combined. Spoon the filling into the hollowed-out zucchini. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top of the filling. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until the vegetables are tender and the tops are golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and serve.

 

Spaghetti with Fried Zucchini, Parmesan & Basil
Adapted from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow

zucchinipasta

12 ounces spaghetti
Coarse salt
3 zucchini and/or summer squash, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, plus extra for serving
1/4 cup pasta water, to think
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until just al dente. Meanwhile, toss the zucchini with the flour. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large frying pan over high heat and add as much zucchini as will fit in a single later. Cook, flipping ocassionally, until well-browned and crispy, about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Meanwhile, whisk the cheese with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large mixing bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup pasta water and whisk until you get a creamy consistency. Drain the spaghetti and add to the bowl with the Parmesan mixture. Toss, season with salt and pepper, and fold in 2/3rds of the zucchini and all of the basil. To serve, portion pasta into 4 bowls and evenly distribute the rest of the zucchini on top. Add more cheese, if you want.

 

Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Cabbage and Feta Slaw
Adapted from Bon Appétit

cabbagestill  blackbeantacos

1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Mexican or regular oregano
5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups shredded  cabbage
2 scallions, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 to 6 yellow or white corn tortillas
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Hot sauce, for serving

Place beans and spices (you can vary the spices to your liking) in small bowl; partially mash beans with a fork or spoon. Mix 2 teaspoons olive oil and lime juice in medium bowl; add cabbage, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lime juice or salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside.

Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortillas in single layer or do it in batches if your pan isn’t large enough. Spoon a few tablespoons of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla; cook 1 minute. Carefully fold tacos in half. Cook until golden brown, a few minutes per side. Transfer to platter. (I sometimes stick the tacos in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to get the tortillas really crispy).  Fill tacos with feta and slaw. Serve with hot sauce if desired. Serves 2 to 3. The recipe can be easily doubled.

 

Weekly CSA blog prodded by Nicole DeCoursy Mead.

2014 CSA BLOG – WEEK 3

Next CSA Pickups: June 17 & 19, 2014

 

KALESTILL

 

In your share this week: 

  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Chard
  • Scallions
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce

*Please note that this is an anticipated list from the farmers, but may change due to availability/field conditions the day of harvest.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON: KALE

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian Kale

Kale–like cauliflower, collards, and broccoli–is a descendant of wild cabbage, which originated in Asia Minor and was brought to Europe  in 600 B.C. This cruciferous veggie is one of the healthiest veggies around–brimming with vitamins A, C, and K. At the farm, you’ll find curly green kale as well as red Russian kale, which is one of the more tender and mild varieties. Check out some delicious ways to use it below.

 

RECIPES

Kale & White Bean Salad
Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach

KALEWHITEBEANSALAD

1 (15-oz) can rinsed and drained canned white beans (cannellini or Great Northerns)
1 small bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped or shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add kale and sauté until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add beans, red onion, cheese, remaining olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chill. Makes 3 to 4 side-dish servings.

 

Pasta with Greens & Garbanzo Beans
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

pastagreensbeans

The great thing about this pasta is you can use pretty much any greens you have including beet greens or turnip greens–don’t let them go to waste!

1 pound orecchiette or other short-cut pasta (I used fiore pasta above)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
12 ounces Swiss chard, beet greens, or kale,  or a combo, stemmed and chopped (I used beet greens–and they were fantastic in this!)
12 ounces spinach leaves or other greens, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or left whole
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest (don’t skip this–it really makes the dish!)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add greens in batches and cook until wilted. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the pasta, 1/2 of the cheese, and the lemon zest. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Makes 6 serving–you can easily halve this recipe if you want to serve fewer.

 

Swiss Chard Rolls with Brown Rice, Lentils, and Ricotta Cheese
Adapted from Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis

CHARDROLLS

Butter or olive oil, for greasing

6  to 8 large Swiss chard leaves,
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chopped arugula, mizuna or spinach
1/2 cup room-temperature ricotta or soft goat cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked brown or green lentils or 1 (15 oz.) can, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for extra seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for extra seasoning
3  cups homemade marinara sauce or 1 (26-oz) jar of your favorite jarred marinara or tomato basil sauce
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter cut into pieces

1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a 8×8 glass baking dish; set aside. 2. Remove the thick stem from the center of each chard leaf. Cut each chard leaf in half lengthwise. (I recommend doing a few extra chard leaves because some will break or tear.) Trim any ragged ends from the leaves so each leaf is about 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. (Don’t worry if it’s not this size, I had some smaller ones and they worked just fine. The rolls were just smaller.) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves and cook for 10 seconds. Gently remove leaves and run under cold water. Drain on paper towels and set aside. 3. For the filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the brown rice, arugula, lentils, softened goat cheese or ricotta, mint, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Taste; season with additional salt and pepper to taste if needed. 4. Spoon about 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom of prepared baking dish. 5. Place about 1/3 cup of brown rice filling onto the end of each chard roll and roll up like a jellyroll. Arrange the rolls, seam-side down, on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce on top, sprinkle with Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil or dot with butter. Bake until the cheese begins to brown and the rolls are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

Chopped Broccoli & Chickpea Salad
Adapted from Whole Living magazine

BROCCOLICHICKSALAD

2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 1/2 of a 15-oz. can)
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive  oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Steam or boil broccoli until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Place in an ice bath or run under cold water to stop cooking. Drain water thoroughly. Once cool, chop and combine with chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and pine nuts. In a bowl, combine garlic, mustard, and lemon zest and juice. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle broccoli mixture with dressing and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Makes 2 to 3 servings. You can refrigerate the salad in an airtight container for up to two days.

 

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

farrobeetsalad

6 to 8 medium-sized beets, tops trimmed
Vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups semi-pearled or quick-cooking farro or wheat berries (the 10-minute farro from Trader Joe’s is super fast)
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, arugula, or mizuna
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 farro, 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.

 

Weekly CSA Newsletter produced by Nicole DeCoursy Mead