CSA 2016 – Week 16

CSA Pickups: September 27 & 29
 
fall-greens_3

 
In your share this week:

  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli Greens
  • Turnip
  • Radish
  • Flowers/Herbs
  • Winter Squash

 
Let’s talk about Winter Squash
spaghetti squash
 
With the cooler weather come some wonderful delights in our CSA – a variety of winter squash. While they are all fruits that belong to the same curcurbit family, there big differences between these beauties and their summer counterparts. The first has to do with when they are harvested. Summer squash are picked while still relatively immature, the skin, flesh and seeds are all edible, and they can be eaten raw; they should be stored in your fridge and eaten with a couple of days. In contrast, winter squash ripen later in the season, they’re picked when more mature, so they have hard seeds and outer rinds, and need to be cooked. Winter squash should be stored on your counter, not refrigerated. They will keep for weeks, and if kept at around 50 degrees, they can keep for months!

Choose winter squash that are heavy for their size, and avoid those with blemishes and soft spots. In general, winter squash are very versatile and can be roasted, steamed, sautéed, stuffed, or cooked in the microwave. The flavors of most varieties are somewhat mild, and can be paired with just about anything, sweet or savory. Get creative and you will be pleasantly surprised!

These are the varieties of winter squash you are most likely to see in your CSA share this year:

Acorn squash are relatively small for winter squash, and – surprise! – acorn-shaped. They have yellow-orange flesh, and their outer skin is dark green and edible. Their flavor is sweet, nutty, and relatively mild, and their texture is somewhat fibrous. Their size makes acorn squash particularly fun to stuff and bake.

Black Futsu squash are very special, and a new variety for me. This is an heirloom variety of Japanese pumpkin, about the size of a grapefruit or a little larger. The black futsu goes through quite a transformation as it grows (check out this link for some great pictures of its different phases). I’ve read that they are best when the outer skin is a brownish/ruddy color, and that the flesh ends up with a rich and creamy texture, and nutty flavor. I can’t wait to taste them!

Delicata squash (aka sweet potato squash, peanut squash, or Bohemian squash) are lovely little guys whose flavor is similar to sweet potatoes. Their skin is lightly colored with green stripes, and is edible. The flesh is pulpy and somewhat sweet.

Spaghetti squash may be more familiar, as they have been all the rage in recent years with the advent of the Vegeti. When cooked, scraping out the flesh forms strands that look like spaghetti, and you can serve it up like you would spaghetti pasta (tomato sauce, pesto, etc.). They tend to be large and yellow, and the more yellow the skin, the riper the fruit and sweeter the flesh tends to be. (That said, this is not one of the sweeter-tasting winter squash varieties, so we tend to stick with savory preparations.) I learned recently that although it may sound counterintuitive, the larger spaghetti squash are likely to be more tender and sweet than the smaller ones.

 
Fettuccine with Balsamic Delicata Squash & Greens
Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

1 lb fresh or dried fettuccine
2 Delicata squash (1 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 sweet yellow onion, such as Vidalia, sliced
1/4 lb pancetta, diced (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 tsp dried red chile flakes
10 oz greens of your choice (choose any from your CSA share!), washed, stem removed, chopped crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons
freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick crescents, discarding the root and stem ends. Grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange the squash slices in one layer and sprinkle with the vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven and roast, agitating every ten minutes, for 25-30 minutes until squash skin shows some wrinkling. Remove from oven and set aside.

Set 4 quarts of water with 1 tablespoon salt to boil in a stockpot. While the water is heating, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion slices and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until onions caramelize to a light brown color, about 10 to 12 minutes. Scrape from the pan and set aside. In the same pan over medium heat, cook the pancetta and chile flakes, stirring frequently, until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high and add the greens, stirring until wilted.

When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water, and add that water to the pan with the greens. In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta, greens, roasted squash, and caramelized onions. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper and Parmesan.
 
acorn squash_2 
Acorn Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine D’Avila Latourrette

2 large acorn squash
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cups water
2 cups milk
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
pinch sugar
salt and white pepper to taste
chopped parsley

Peel the squash and cut it into chunks. Place them in a soup pot and add the chopped onion, rice, chopped celery, and water. Cook the soup, covered, over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Strain the soup through a sieve or blend it in a blender. Reheat the soup and add the milk, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. If you find that the soup is too thick, add some more water, little by little. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving, hot.

 
Roasted Black Futsu with Jasmine Rice & Kale
Recipe adapted from greengirleats.com

One medium black futsu squash, quartered and sliced
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup brown jasmine rice or other fragrant variety, prepared according to instructions
2-3 whole cloves
2 Tbsp fennel seeds
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 cups of kale or other greens from your CSA, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Start by getting that squash in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and arrange your squash pieces (skin on) in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toss them in your olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne until evenly coated. Transfer to the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the squash has softened and easily peels away from the skin, rotating halfway through.

Meanwhile, get your rice started according to package instructions. Add your cloves, fennel seeds, salt and pepper to taste and just a touch of olive oil.

In a small skillet over low heat, add your (rinsed and dried) pumpkin seeds. These will toast up quickly and can burn if you don’t watch them closely. Stir them often until just barely browned, then remove from the pan and set aside. When the rice is just about done, stir in your chopped kale. You want to just wilt it down, not cook it, so wait until you’re just about ready to serve. Toss in your golden raisins. Serve alongside your beautiful slices of black futsu and top with your toasted pumpkin seeds.

 
Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts
Recipe adapted from thekitchn.com

2 lbs spaghetti squash
1 Tbsp olive oil
6-8 fresh sage leaves
3/4 cup ricotta
2 cloves garlic, mashed or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pierce the whole squash in several places with a knife or fork, place it in a baking dish, and bake until flesh is tender, about 1 hour. Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan. Quickly fry sage leaves until crispy but not burnt. Crumble sage leaves into a large bowl and combine with ricotta and garlic. Set aside. Cut the roasted squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Pull a fork through the flesh to separate and remove the strands from the shell. Add to the bowl with the ricotta mixture. Combine squash and ricotta mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 15

CSA Pickups: September 20 & 22
 
fall-flowers_2

 
In your share this week:

  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale/Broccoli Raab/Chard
  • Bok Choy
  • Yukina/Mizuna
  • Beets
  • Radish/Turnip
  • Flowers/Herbs

 
We have thoroughly enjoyed the selection of radishes in our share the past few weeks – even those super-pungent nero radishes! Have you tried any special recipes with the radish tops? See below for an interesting flavor combination, in a quick stir fry that takes under 5 minutes. Don’t forget that you can always sauté them simply in olive oil and garlic (my go to!), and feel free to combine the different types of greens in the same pot. We have found that the tops of radishes, turnips, and beets are all quite harmonious when cooked together. Give them a try!

As we’re getting into the cooler nights and moving into fall, our delicious produce lends itself to warmer dishes and comforting preparations. Check out the selections below and enjoy!

 
sweet-and-sour-stir-fried-radishes-and-greens

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fried Radishes With Their Greens
Recipe adapted from The New York Times

1 generous bunch large radishes, with greens (about 1 pound total), or 2 smaller bunches
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
2 Tbsp chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp peanut, canola, sunflower, or grape seed oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
1 bunch scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Cut away greens from radishes and trim off bottoms of the stems. Wash in 2 changes of water and spin dry. Chop coarsely. Trim away tips of radishes and quarter lengthwise if large, cut in half if small. In a small bowl or measuring cup combine soy sauce, vinegar, agave nectar or honey, and stock or water. Have all ingredients within arm’s length of your burner. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Add oil to wok or pan and swirl to coat sides, then add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add white parts of scallions and stir-fry for 30 seconds to a minute. Add radish greens, salt and pepper and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes more, until they wilt, and stir in radishes. Stir-fry for 1/2 minute and add soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for a minute more, then stir in cilantro and scallion greens, stir together for a few seconds, add cornstarch slurry and stir until vegetables are glazed (less than 30 seconds). Remove from heat and serve.

 
New Orleans Green Gumbo
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 32-oz carton vegetable broth, or equivalent homemade
1-1/2 lbs fresh greens (like collards, mustard greens, spinach, chard, Yukina savoy, or whichever you have on hand), cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and shredded
4 cups water
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
Hot sauce for serving

In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in broth until blended. Stir in greens, seasoning, salt, potato and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer until soup thickens slightly and greens are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remove from heat. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with hot sauce.

 
chard_6
 
Wait! Before you scroll right past this because the combination sounds too weird (as I might), give it a try! This is a simple and delicious way to make spinach or other greens. Experiment and see what you come up with!

Italian Spinach with Garbanzo Beans and Raisins
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 can (15-19 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 bunches (10-12 oz each) fresh spinach or other greens like chard or Yukina savoy, tough stems trimmed, washed and dried very well
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp salt

In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil with garlic clove over medium heat until the garlic is golden; discard the garlic clove. Add crushed red pepper and cook 15 seconds. Stir in garbanzo beans and cook until hot, about 2 minutes, stirring. Increase heat to high. Add spinach, raisins and salt. Cook just until spinach wilts, 2-4 minutes, stirring. Remove to bowl and drizzle with fresh olive oil before serving.

bok-choy_2
 
Chicken Bok Choy Noodle Bowls
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 Tbsp gochujang (Korean red chile paste)
1 Tbsp sugar
4 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup shallots, sliced
2 Tbsp white miso or doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp fish sauce
1 lb firm water-packed tofu, cubed
3 baby bok choy (about 6 ounces), chopped or halved
4 oz. thin brown rice noodles (mai fun)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup julienne-cut daikon radish
6 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 Tbsp sliced serrano or jalapeño pepper, if desired

Rub chicken thighs with the gochujang and sugar; grill over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side. Let stand 10 minutes; cut into large dice. Bring stock, 1 1/2 cups water, and next 4 ingredients (through fish sauce) to a boil in a Dutch oven. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Add tofu and bok choy; reduce heat to low. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Add noodles to pan; cook 4 minutes or until heated. Divide soup among 6 bowls; top with diced chicken, mushrooms, radish, onions, and Serrano (if using).

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 14

CSA Pickups: September 13 & 15
 
fall_radishes_2

 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale/Broccoli Raab/Chard (pick 2)
  • Asian Greens – Bok Choy/Mizuna/Yukina (pick 2)
  • Beets
  • Radish/Turnip
  • Herbs/Flowers

 
Let’s talk about Asian Greens:
asian-greens

As we transition into Fall, we are seeing wonderful bunches of greens in our shares. But what are they, and what do we do with them??

Mizuna:
Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green that has deeply-cut fringed, feathery leaves. It’s similar in taste and appearance to wild arugula and frisée and can be substituted for either of these greens in most recipes. Mizuna has a mild mustard flavor and adds a nice touch to salads, but you can also use it in stir fries and soups. If cooking, steam or sauté it as you would spinach. It is best to eat mizuna right away, but can last several days in your refrigerator if loosely packed in plastic.

Yukina Savoy
Like many of the Asian greens in your share, Yukina Savoy is a member of the cabbage family. It is also known as Asian spinach, and you can use it in any recipe that calls for regular spinach such as soups, pastas, stir fries, and salads. Its leaves are a very dark green and they have lots of texture and body to them. Raw, the flavor has a slight bite but cooking it tames its flavor, resulting in a very mild-tasting green. Yukina savoy is full of vitamins A and C as well as fiber. It tends to keep its color and texture a little longer than its cousins, but still should be used within about a week.

Bok Choy / Bok Choi / Pak Choi / Chinese Chard
Known by any of these names, boy choy is also a member of the cabbage family. It is rich in vitamins A, C and folate. Boy choy is somewhat delicate and should be eaten relatively quickly after harvest. If you can’t get to it within a couple of days, blanch the green parts and freeze in zipper bags. (Note that the white bases of the leaves do not freeze well; they have a high water content, and when frozen, their cells break down resulting in a mushy mess.)

Since stir fries are such a popular preparation for Asian greens, I wanted to share this excellent primer from Early Morning Farms: How to Make a Stir Fry without a Recipe. Check it out and let me know what you think! In the meantime, here are some other ideas of what to do with all those luscious greens. What is your favorite preparation?

 
Wonton Soup
Easy Wonton Soup
Adapted from Nicole DeCoursy Mead

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, chopped
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small head of Asian greens such as yukina savoy or bok choy (spinach works too!), tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 package store-bought frozen wontons or potstickers (or make your own if you are feeling ambitious!)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 chopped scallions (for garnish)

In a soup pot, add oil and sauté ginger and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat. Add the broth and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, add greens, wontons, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Simmer until wontons are cooked (according to package directions) and greens are wilted. Serve and garnish with chopped scallions.

 
This recipe was originally shared several years ago by the Farm, but it’s worth repeating:

Yukina Savoy With Sweet Chili Shrimp
Adapted from original recipe posted at Access Atlanta

1 bunch Yukina Savoy or other greens, stems and leaves separated
1 bunch green garlic or green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce

Cut Yukina Savoy stems and green garlic or onion in 1/4-inch slices. Roughly chop the Yukina leaves. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add stems and garlic or onion. Reduce heat and sauté vegetables until tender, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and move vegetables to one side of the skillet. Add shrimp in one layer. Cook 3 minutes on one side, then turn and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in Yukina Savoy leaves and chili sauce and stir constantly, heating until leaves are wilted. Serve immediately. Serve with brown rice.

 
Cold Yukina Savoy with Cilantro
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables

2 shallots, finely chopped
white wine vinegar
1 bunch Yukina Savoy or other greens, washed, trimmed, dried and chopped into thin ribbons
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro (if not available, try using a little ground coriander instead)

In a large bowl, soak the chopped shallots in a little white wine vinegar for 15 minutes. Then toss in the Yukina Savoy with the shallots and vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper (sprinkle ground coriander if not using cilantro). Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes. Add fresh cilantro (if using) to taste. Adjust the seasonings to your liking by adding more vinegar, olive oil, salt and/or pepper.

 
Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Poached Egg
Adapted from thekitchn.com

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 whole star anise
1 stick whole cinnamon
4 large eggs
4 (7-ounce) packages fresh or frozen udon noodles
1 bunch bok choy or other Asian green, leaves sliced into ribbons
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
6-8 Tbsp soy sauce

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a large saucepan. (The broth should be about 2 inches deep in the pan.) Add the star anise and cinnamon and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to infuse the broth with the spices. When finished, use a slotted spoon to remove the spices. Crack the eggs into separate measuring cups and slip them into the simmering broth, one at a time. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the noodles and bok choy. Stir very gently to submerge the noodles and bok choy, but so as not to break the eggs. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are completely set but the yolks are still loose. (Cook for an additional minute if you like your yolks set.) Off the heat, gently stir in the soy sauce and the spring onions. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary. Divide the soup among 4 bowls and eat immediately.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 13

CSA Pickups: September 6 & 8
 
I couldn’t resist the amazing color palate of these tomatoes:

sungold varieties
 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Kale/Broccoli Raab/Chard (choice of 2)
  • Potatoes
  • Asian Greens – Bok Choy/Mizuna/Yukina
  • Beets
  • Herbs/Flowers

 
sausage&peppers
I’ve been wanting to make sausage and peppers all season and just never got around to it, until last night that is. It ended up being proportionally meat-heavy, though less so than it appears in the pic (I had just added the sausage back in). But still, all the veg was from our CSA and it was delicious!

Let’s talk about potatoes.
potatoes
It may be a little late because we’re nearing the end of potato growing season, but I hope this information will still be useful for you. One medium potato contains no fat, sodium, or cholesterol, and is around 110 calories. Potatoes are rich in several nutrients, including vitamins B6 and C, magnesium, potassium, and are a good source of dietary fiber. And while about half of the potato’s fiber is stored in the skin, I learned that most of its nutrients are contained within the potato itself.

Potatoes should be stored in a perforated plastic bag or paper bag, in a cool, dry place. The storage space should be as well-ventilated as possible, but away from direct sunlight. I learned this week that when potatoes turn green from being in too much light, that green color is actually a build-up of the natural chemical solanine (remember last week’s post about nightshades?). The solanine can give a bitter taste, and be aware eating too much of it can make you sick. Keep an eye (haha) on your potatoes and keep them out of direct light.

I have been hoarding our potato shares for several weeks, as I need quite a few to make something for our family of 6! Thankfully they have kept beautifully, and I look forward to preparing one of these recipes this week.

 

Lemon Herb Potatoes
Adapted from United States Potato Board

2 lbs white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, dill or oregano are all great choices)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
4 herb sprigs, for garnish

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes or until onions are soft but not colored. Add potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and crushing potatoes with a spatula, about 5 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned. Garnish each serving with 1 lemon wedge and 1 fresh sprig of the herb(s) you chose.

 

Grilled Potato Salad With Feta Vinaigrette
Recipe adapted from cookinglsl.com

3 lb potatoes
salt and black pepper to taste
vegetable oil for pan-grilling the potatoes
2 cups mixed greens

For the dressing:
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
green onions and parsley for garnishing

Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover them. Add 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked, but not too soft. Drain potatoes. Let them cool down. Peel potatoes, if you’d like, I prefer them peeled. Slice potatoes into 1/8-inch rounds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush or spray with vegetable oil. Prepare your grill (or a ribbed skillet), spray lightly with vegetable oil. Heat the grill to medium heat. Grill potatoes for 4-5 minutes per side, until browned, turning once. Set the potatoes aside and allow them cool a bit.

For the dressing:
Add all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk to combine.

To assemble:
Place mixed greens on a large plate, and place cooled potatoes on greens. Pour dressing over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and parsley.

 

Here’s a great idea for combining the potatoes and peppers in your share.

Potato Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Sandra’s Easy Cooking

6 bell peppers (or any on hand)
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Filling:
8-10 small potatoes from your CSA share, shredded
1 yellow onion, shredded
Salt to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
Few sprinkles of chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil

Topping:
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven on 375 degrees. Wash peppers and cut in halves; remove all the seeds. Place them in a baking pan large enough to hold them all; sprinkle with a little salt and just lightly spray or oil them. Place in the oven and bake for about 6-10 minutes (depending on thickness) or until you are finished with the filling. Meanwhile peel and shred the potatoes and onion. Add salt to taste, ground black pepper, chili powder and oil. Mix the filling until it is fully combined. Take the peppers out of the oven and stuff them with the filling mixture until each half is full. Once you’re done stuffing all the peppers, cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and return to the oven. After the first 15 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are done. Top with a dollop of sour cream (if using) and serve immediately.

Author’s note: This can be stored in the airtight container for a few days. Just reheat and eat, however it’s better if served right away.

 
Bacon-Potato Smash Hash
Recipe adapted from Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien

20 oz (about 18) baby red potatoes
4 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon
1 cup chopped red and green bell peppers
1 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
4 dashes smoked paprika
olive oil

Place potatoes in a microwave-safe dish with 2 Tbsp water. Cover and microwave for 6-8 minutes, or until mostly softened. Meanwhile, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Chop or crumble bacon. On a large cutting board, gently smash potatoes with a spatula (or other flat utensil), breaking them into bite-sized pieces. (Roughly chop, if needed.) Discard excess bacon grease from skillet. Add 1-2 tsp olive oil to the skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until veggies have slightly softened and browned, about 6 minutes. Raise heat to high. Add smashed potatoes, chopped/crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until potatoes are lightly browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with a dash of paprika, and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 12

CSA Pickups: August 30 & September 1
 
peppers_2016
 
In your share this week:

  • Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Herbs
  • Chard
  • Potato
  • Garlic
  • Beets

 
Let’s talk about nightshades.
peppers & eggplant_2 potatoes heirloomtomatoesstill
The principal edible members of the nightshade family are eggplant, almost all peppers, white potatoes (not sweet), and tomatoes – all abundant in our shares at this time of year. Nightshades are part of the Solanaceae family of over 2,500 different species (including tobacco), but most members of this family are in fact toxic to humans if eaten. Many do, however, have extensive medicinal properties. Some people are sensitive to the compound found in all nightshades, solanine, which can contribute to joint pain and inflammation. However, the vast majority of people does not have this sensitivity, and should be able to enjoy nightshades as much as they like, actually reaping benefits from their antioxidants which may reduce inflammation in the body. If you are concerned that you may have this sensitivity due to joint pain or other symptoms of inflammation, try giving up nightshades for 14 days or more, and observe whether there is any effect on your symptoms.

Now on to this week’s recipes:

 
D.I.Y. Cooked Tomato Salsa
Adapted from thekitchn.com

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 jalapenos, chopped*
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
4 tomatoes, (seeded and) chopped
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

In a large pot, heat the oil and add the jalapenos, cubanelle, pepper garlic and onion. Sauté gently until everything is soft – about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and simmer for about 10 minutes to allow it to boil down.

Add salt to taste and chill until ready to serve.

*Note: With this preparation, it is recommended that you leave the seeds and membranes in the jalapenos, as they cooking process greatly reduces the spice.

 
Spicy Stewed Sausages with Three Peppers
Adapted from Mario Batali

2 lbs sweet Italian sausage, pricked all over with a fork
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb—trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
4 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
1 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
Salt
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese (3 ounces)
Crusty bread, for serving

Light a grill. Brush the sausages lightly with oil and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked through, about 16 minutes total. Set a large cast-iron skillet on the grill and add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the peppers, onion, fennel and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Add the sausages and wine to the skillet and simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and sprinkle half of the pecorino cheese over the sausage and peppers. Serve with bread, passing the remaining pecorino at the table.

 

Greek Herb Ratatouille

Adapted from Taste of Home

The author says he was inspired by the movie Ratatouille – who could resist that?

1 small eggplant
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow summer squash
4 plum tomatoes
1 large sweet onion
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each dried thyme, oregano, tarragon and basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup (4 oz) crumbled feta, or shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cut vegetables into 1/4-in. thick slices. In a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish, layer the eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and onion. In a small bowl, combine the butter, parsley, garlic and seasonings; pour over vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 13 servings (3/4 cup each).

 
Roasted Swiss Chard and Potato Cake
Adapted from Whole Foods

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch Swiss chard, thick stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Jarlsberg or Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat butter and oil in a (10-inch) seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Spread out onions evenly in the bottom of the skillet and remove skillet from heat.

Arrange a third of the potatoes in a single layer on top of the onions in the bottom of the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with a third of the chard and scatter a third of the cheese over the top. Repeat the process to layer the ingredients two more times, ending with the cheese.

Cover skillet tightly with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil and bake until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 1 1/4 hours. Gently remove foil then return skillet to the oven and bake until cheese is bubbling and browned on top, about 15 minutes more. Set aside to let rest briefly, then slice into wedges and serve.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 11

CSA Pickups: August 23 & 25
 
Did you choose a melon or sungold last week?
mini watermelons

In your share this week:

  • Herbs
  • Flowers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Tomato
  • Sungold/Blueberry Pint
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Eggplant

 
How are you making with all your late summer produce?

Now that tomatoes are here, let’s review some basics. Picked tomatoes do best at room temperature, 55-80 degrees. Tomatoes are best when stored on your counter, stem side down and out of direct sunlight (not the refrigerator!). This helps to preserve freshness and taste. The cold temperature of the fridge will toughen the skin and takes its toll on the fresh flavor. Refrigerated tomatoes should be brought back to room temperature before use.

I looked for the whackiest tomatoes I could find last week, and these are the ones I chose:
heirloom tomatoes_1

I decided to make a quick tomato sauce with them, as I thought the colors would mix in an interesting way, especially with the fresh basil. So I sautéed some garlic in olive oil, chopped up the tomatoes, and just put them directly into the oil. As they started to cook, I chopped in the fresh basil and some salt. I stirred from time to time, but basically let them cook gently on medium-ish heat. This is what happened over about 20 minutes:
 
sauce_1 sauce_2 sauce_3 sauce_4 sauce_5 sauce_6
 
It’s so simple and was so incredibly delicious. I was chatting with my sister while I was chopping the tomatoes. She explained she prepares her fresh tomato sauce by throwing the cored tomatoes into her food processor, then she cooks that down. She says the puree is very watery when you take it out of the food processor, but you just cook it down until it’s the consistency you want. Or, if you’re short on time, just get it started, freeze it, and cook it down when you’re ready to use it.

Now, I personally prefer a chunky sauce with lots of texture, but that is not so for everyone in my house. How do you like your tomato sauce? And what about your soup?
 
tomatochilegazpacho

Gazpacho Andaluz (Andalusian Cold Tomato Soup)
Recipe adapted from Saveur

1 slice country-style bread, about 1″ thick, crusts removed
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 lb. very ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt

Optional Garnishes
1/2 green pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 cup (1/2″) croutons
1/2 small white onion, peeled and finely diced
1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced

Soak bread for 1/2 hour in a small bowl in water to cover. Squeeze out moisture with your hands. Purée bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, and 1 cup water in a food processor until very smooth. Season to taste with salt. Chill gazpacho in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Adjust seasoning. Serve in individual glasses, or in soup bowls with garnishes on the side.
 
Herb, Chard, and Feta Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb Swiss chard leaves (center ribs and stems removed) or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 Tbsp dried mint
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes
5 oz plain Greek-style yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and mint), divided
4 oz feta, crumbled, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Olive oil (optional)

To make the soup, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft (do not brown), 7–8 minutes. Stir in chard, broth, parsley, cilantro, fresh and dried mint, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing.

Optional: If you are looking for a smoother soup, simply purée it. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan.

Garnishes
Place 1/3 of yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm soup; whisk until smooth. Repeat process twice more, adding a total of 1 cup more soup. Whisk yogurt mixture into soup in saucepan. Stir 1/4 cup herbs and half of feta into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining 1/4 cup herbs and 2 oz. feta. Drizzle with oil, if desired.

 
Summer Garden Soup
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups water
3 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
sliced fresh basil leaves for garnish

In a 5-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add water, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove 4 cups of soup from the pot. In a blender with the center part of the lid removed to allow steam to escape, blend the 4 cups soup in small batches, until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot. Reheat the soup to serve hot, or refrigerate to serve cold later. Garnish with basil.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 10

CSA Pickups: August 16 & 18
 
The tomatoes are here! The tomatoes are here!

FIRSTTOMATOESSTILL

In your share this week:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Chard
  • Shallots
  • Celery
  • Herbs

 
Remember all those warnings I shared about making sure to wear gloves when cutting hot peppers? And how I said this is a mistake you only make once? Well, apparently, it is a mistake I make more than once. I cut several hot peppers yesterday afternoon to include in a chopped pepper salad. I didn’t have gloves, so I just decided to be very careful: I would only touch the peppers with my left hand; I had a wet paper towel on hand to use on my face with my right hand; and I was very, very careful while removing the seeds and white membranes from inside the peppers. I even washed my hands with dish soap, knowing that the oil-based pepper juice is the real troublemaker. I think I was feeling a little self-righteous about the whole exercise, to be honest. Within about 20 minutes, however, that was the last thing I felt. It was more like a whining, crying, pity party for myself. My left hand literally felt like it was being held over flames. It was a horrible tingling burn, and guess what? It’s about 24 hours later and it still hasn’t stopped burning!! It eased a little last night, and was ok this morning until I got out of the shower, then the fire was back.

I decided to check out online resources to see what could be done for other cocky wimps like me, and I came across this informative piece by (who else?) Cayenne Diane. The information and tips all make sense and I wanted to pass them along so that we can all have more fun and less suffering with these fabulous hot peppers from the Farm! Stay safe and wear gloves!

But now let’s move on to a happier theme: this week’s recipes! Our first comes from CSA member Ilene in Yorktown Heights. She shares a delicious recipe that she has tried and enjoyed, and which fits perfectly with this week’s share. Tell us what you think!

ZucchiniBoats-700
Jersey Fresh Zucchini Boats
Recipe from Jersey Fresh, submitted by Ilene M. from Yorktown Heights.

2 medium Jersey Fresh zucchini
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and pepper
10 Jersey Fresh grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/8 cup of Italian bread crumbs
16 mozzarella balls
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Jersey Fresh Basil, julienned

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise (if needed, trim bottom so it sits still in baking dish). Scoop out the center where the seeds are with a spoon. Mix the crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush surface of zucchini with the mixture. Arrange the tomato halves into the grooves, sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove and place 4 mozzarella balls in between the tomatoes of each zucchini boat, place in broiler until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese then top with basil.

 

zucchini ravioli
Ilene’s recipe reminded me of another one I received from my friend Diane (not a CSA member, but a great cook!). You can always use some meat in the filling to appease your carnivores, as I must often do, but the below preparation is vegetarian. Enjoy!

Chard & Ricotta-stuffed Zucchini Ravioli
Adapted from The Healthy Maven.

3 large zucchini
4 cups chard leaves, washed and chopped, or baby spinach
1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 container (475 grams) light ricotta
1/2 cup tomato sauce of choice
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a peeler, peel zucchini into strips. Discard ones that are too thin. In a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté chard or spinach in olive oil until wilted. Add in garlic and sauté for one more minute. Stir in dried basil. Take two pieces of zucchini and place one on top of the other to create a “T”. Add 1 tablespoon of ricotta to the center of the “T” and top with 1 teaspoon of spinach. Take one side of the bottom strip and fold over center. Take the other side of the bottom strip and fold over the other piece covering the center. Take one side of the top piece and fold over the center (tucking in if possible) and then fold the other side of the top piece and fold it over the other side covering the center (tucking in if possible). Repeat until all zucchini, ricotta and spinach has been used (mine made 20 ravioli). Place zucchini in a large oven-proof pan and top with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and top with tomato sauce or sauce of choice.
 

grilled eggplant with heirlooms
Grilled Eggplant with Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Pesto Vinaigrette
Adapted from Salad for Dinner: Complete Meals for all Seasons by Jeanne Kelley

1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds
Extra virgin olive oil
4 cups mixed greens
4 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds), sliced
12 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin rounds
Pesto Vinaigrette (see below)

Preheat a grill or stovetop grill pan to medium heat. Brush both sides of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant until browned and tender, turning once, about 8 minutes. Let the eggplant cool to room temperature. Line a platter or 4 individual plates with the greens. Arrange the eggplant, tomato, and mozzarella slices attractively over the greens. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and serve.

Pesto Vinaigrette
2/3 cup Pesto (homemade or store bought)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp white balsamic dressing

Whisk the ingredients to blend in a small bowl. Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 9

CSA Pickups: August 9 & 11
 
I love the look of the white and pale purple eggplant.
pale eggplant

In your share this week:

  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Hot Peppers
  • Chard
  • Purslane
  • Flowers/Herbs

 
A word about squash…
summer squash variety
 
Around this time of year, many people begin developing what has now come to be known as squash-o-phobia or zucchini-itis. Rest assured that for some, this is a perfectly normal response to the overabundance of summer squash in our gardens (or our neighbors’ gardens!), and it is completely treatable… with great recipes!

Remember, when it comes to the summer varieties, the different types of squash are all interchangeable. Even the adorable pattypan squash can be chopped and used in your recipes in the place of any of its other summer cousins. Summer squash is so versatile and absorbs other flavors so well, the options are limited only by your imagination and willingness to experiment. So chop, shred, roast, and sauté any or all of them to your heart’s content. You may find that the shape or coloring of each type offers the particular thing you’re looking for in a specific recipe, and that’s great! It’s all part of the fun. But if you find you only have yellow or pale green squash on hand when the recipe calls for zucchini, never fear – you have exactly what you need. Enjoy the variety and let us know how you’re putting all the bounty to good use!

Here are a couple of preparations that highlight the sweeter side of summer squash:

Zucchini Cobbler
Adapted from Taste of Home

Will your guests be able to tell it’s not apple?

8 cups chopped, seeded, peeled zucchini (from about 3 lbs)
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Crust:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir zucchini with lemon juice for about 15-20 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat and set aside. For the crust, combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup into the zucchini mixture. Press half of the remaining crust mixture into a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread the zucchini mixture over the top and crumble the remaining crust mixture over the zucchini. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

 
Zucchini Chocolate Cake with Orange Glaze
Adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup fat-free milk
3 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp grated orange peel

GLAZE:
1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-in. fluted tube pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in the zucchini, walnuts and orange peel. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cake. Yield: 16 servings.

 
Soft Zucchini Spice Cookies
Adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 cups grated zucchini, squeezed dry
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar; add the egg and mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Stir in zucchini, nuts, raisins and orange peel. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies are set. Yield: about 4 dozen.

 
summer squash boxes
This soup uses many of the ingredients in this week’s share – go for it!

Thai Mushroom, Eggplant & Zucchini Soup
Adapted from Vegetables by James Peterson

1/2 lb very small mushrooms
1 medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant, preferably the long, pale purple Chinese variety

Basic Broth:
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 shallots or 1 medium red onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 Thai or jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
4 cups water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2-4 Tbsp Thai fish sauce, or more to taste
2, 2×1/2-inch strips lime zest
4-inch length lemongrass, finely sliced (optional)
3 1/8-inch slices fresh ginger (optional)
14-oz can coconut milk (optional)
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (optional)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

If the mushrooms are larger than 1/2 inch across, cut them into quarters vertically. Cut the ends off the zucchini, and cut it into quarters lengthwise, then cut the quarters into 1/2-inch pieces. Peel the eggplant and cut into chunks in the same way as the zucchini.

To make the basic broth, heat the oil in a 4-quart, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in the shallots, garlic and chiles. Stir the mixture every couple of minutes for about 10 minutes, until you smell the fragrance of the onion and garlic. Add the water to the onion mixture and bring to a slow simmer. Add the lime juice and chopped tomatoes to the broth and add the minimum amount of fish sauce, lime zest, lemongrass and ginger. Add the vegetables to the soup and simmer gently until they are soft when poked with a knife, about 10 minutes. About 1 minute before serving, stir the herbs and coconut milk (if using) into the soup. Taste the soup; if it needs more salt, add a little more fish sauce (go slowly!). If it isn’t sour enough, add a little lime juice. Serve immediately.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 8

CSA Pickups: August 2 & 4

corn

In your share this week:

  • Shallots
  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Chard
  • Hot Peppers
  • Purslane
  • Herbs/Flowers

 
Let’s talk about hot peppers!
hot peppers colorful peppers hot_peppers_3 hot_peppers_2 hot_peppers

The farm offers a wide variety of peppers, from mild to hot. Check out the posted signs for each variety when you pick up your share; they offer helpful information about each specific type of pepper, including how hot they are and how best to use them. Peppers are part of the Capsicum family, and the degree of hotness depends on how much capsaicin is contained within the pepper. Keep in mind that the seeds and internal white membranes are where most of the capsaicin resides. Removing some or all of these parts from the pepper gives you some control over the degree of heat. If you’re wary about hot peppers, this is a great opportunity to give them a try (baby steps!) but please **BE CAREFUL** when handling hot peppers! Wear gloves if you can, and do not touch your eyes or face. From my experience, this is a mistake you only make once… capsaicin is the active ingredient in pepper spray, and you don’t want to accidentally do that to yourself or a loved one!

 
Baked Jalapeño Poppers
Adapted from All Recipes

I love that these are baked, not fried. The preparation is easy, and really lets the flavor of the pepper shine through. Enjoy!

cooking spray
12 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 oz shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Fill each jalapeno pepper half, with cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and bread crumbs, respectively, and arrange peppers on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the bread crumbs with a little more cooking spray (to create a yummy crunch). Bake in the preheated oven until jalapenos are tender and cheese melts, about 20 minutes. If you wish to brown them a little more, broil for 30-60 seconds at the end – but keep an eye on them!

 

Summer Garden Soup
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping

Note: The original recipe calls for 4 cups of the soup to be removed and pureed in a blender; I do not do this as I prefer a very chunky texture, but I include the instructions here in brackets so you will have the option. Enjoy!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups water
3 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, coarsely chopped
2 red and/or yellow bell peppers, coarsely chopped
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
sliced fresh basil leaves for garnish

In a 5-quart stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add water, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. [Remove 4 cups of soup from the pot. In a blender with the center part of the lid removed to allow steam to escape, blend the 4 cups soup in small batches, until smooth. Return pureed soup to the pot.] Reheat the soup to serve hot, or refrigerate to serve cold later. Garnish with basil.

squash6
 
Zucchini Halves with Couscous and Corn
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping

Cooking spray
3 tsp olive oil
4 small zucchini, stems trimmed and each cut lengthwise in half
2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups corn kernels, cut from 3 medium ears of corn
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1-1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
diced tomatoes and sage sprigs for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray broiler pan with cooking spray. With spoon, scoop out flesh from each zucchini half, leaving the shell about 1/4-inch thick. Coarsely chop the zucchini flesh and set aside. Place zucchini halves, cut side down, in broiler pan; set aside. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tsp of oil over medium heat until hot. Add shallots and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Increase heat to medium-high; add reserved chopped zucchini and salt, and cook until liquid evaporates and zucchini begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add corn and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Transfer mixture to small bowl. To same skillet, add couscous and remaining 1 tsp oil. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add cumin and cook 1 minute longer, stirring. Add broth and water; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, place zucchini halves in the oven and roast until tender and edges are browned, about 15 minutes. Return corn mixture to skillet with couscous, stir in parsley and heat through. Place zucchini halves on platter; fill with couscous and corn mixture. Sprinkle with tomato and garnish with sage sprigs.

 
Chorizo and Kale-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Zucchini-Arugula Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Here’s a fun recipe, which includes instructions to make your own (lighter) chorizo! Enjoy.

4 (8-ounce) sweet potatoes
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 tsp black pepper, divided
10 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb ground turkey breast
1/2 lb ground pork
6 cups torn curly kale
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
3 cups baby arugula
8 oz zucchini, shaved into long ribbons

Scrub sweet potatoes under cold running water, and pierce them all over with a fork. Place the 4 potatoes in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for about 5-6 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Test for doneness by poking them again with a fork. If needed, microwave for an additional 1-3 minutes, 1 minute at a time. (Alternatively, you can bake the sweet potatoes at 400° for 1 hour). When they are finished and your desired tenderness, remove potatoes from the microwave and allow to rest and cool for about 5-10 minutes. Combine vinegar, 2 tablespoons oil, paprika, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and garlic in a bowl. Combine turkey and pork in a bowl, mixing well with hands. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey mixture to pan; cook 7 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble. Drain any excess liquid from meat mixture in pan; return to medium-high heat. Stir in vinegar mixture; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Place chorizo in a bowl. (NOTE: According to the original recipe, you will have an extra 3 2/3 cups chorizo left over, which can be saved for another use. Try it in the Frittata with Chard and Chorizo from Week 5!)

Wipe pan clean with a paper towel. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat; swirl to coat. Add kale; cover and cook 4 minutes. Stir in 1 1/3 cups chorizo, 1/4 teaspoon salt, raisins, and 1 1/2 teaspoons juice. Cut a lengthwise slit in each potato; gently squeeze at both ends to open. Spoon about 3/4 cup kale mixture onto each potato; top each with 2 tablespoons cheese. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and remaining 1 tablespoon juice in a large bowl. Add arugula and zucchini; toss. Serve with potatoes.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer

 

CSA 2016 – Week 7

CSA Pickups: July 26 & 28

purple&green peppers

In your share this week:

  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Celery
  • Purslane
  • Herbs or Flowers

 

Our family reunion was a great success this past weekend, filled with lots of laughter and wonderful food. Over the past couple of years, we’ve incorporated grilled vegetables into the menu (which previously was definitely carnivore-centric). This year I was thrilled to include a variety of items from the farm, which we found in our CSA share last Thursday. Along with the mushrooms, broccoli, and red peppers I bought at the store, you may spot in this colorful pic the fairytale eggplant, striped summer squash, and wonderful purple peppers from your share:

grilled veg

The marinade was a simple combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chopped fresh garlic, sage, rosemary from the farm, plus some basil from my own plant. I wish I could share measurements, but we were just eyeballing it this time. Give it a try with whatever herbs you may have on hand. The grilled veggies were divine, and you will not be disappointed!

This week I’m sharing a couple of great ideas for the grill, including a recipe from Good Housekeeping that gives more precise instructions for grilled vegetables:
 
Grilled Vegetables Vinaigrette
Adapted from Good Housekeeping

2 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon, sage, rosemary, basil, or other fresh herbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 medium yellow peppers
2 medium red peppers
4 small zucchini (6 ounces each), sliced lengthwise in half
4 baby eggplants (4 ounces each), sliced lengthwise in half, OR 8-10 fairytale eggplant, whole
2 medium-size portobello mushrooms (4 ounces each) or 8 jumbo mushrooms, tough stem ends trimmed
Tarragon and/or rosemary sprigs, for garnish

In large bowl, mix olive oil and all remaining ingredients except vegetables and garnish. Once well-mixed, add the vegetables and toss thoroughly to coat. Grill the vegetables over medium heat (use a grill basket, if you have one), turning occasionally, brushing with some vinaigrette remaining in bowl, until vegetables are browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs.

 
Grilled Eggplant with Feta and Fresh Mint
Adapted from Good Housekeeping

1 large eggplant
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges

Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices; brush each slice with olive oil. Place on hot, ridged grill pan over medium-high heat; cook eggplant slices 4 to 6 minutes per side or until tender. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with feta cheese, mint, and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Garnish with lemon wedges.

 
Grilled Portabellos with Potato and Swiss Chard
Adapted from Family Vegetarian Cooking by Good Housekeeping.

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
2 large all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 shallot
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems diced small and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In 3-quart saucepan, place potatoes with enough water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Remove 1/2 cup potato cooking water; reserve. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan; add pepper, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and reserved potato cooking water. With potato masher, mash potatoes until almost smooth. While potatoes are cooking, in nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot. Add shallot and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add half of the crushed garlic, and cook 30 seconds, stirring. Increase heat to medium high; add Swiss chard stems and cook about 5 minutes until stems are crisp-tender, then add the leaves and cook until they wilt, stirring occasionally. Stir in mashed potatoes.

To prepare the mushrooms, in a cup, mix remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the remaining garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place portobello caps on a plate, stemmed side up. Brush inside of mushrooms with oil mixture, and grill over high heat for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Spoon one-fourth of potato mixture into each portobello cap; sprinkle with Parmesan.

 
And in case you missed it in your email, check out this note and recipe from Michelle Graham, Retail Manager at the Farm:

purslane_2
“You may have seen the above pictured plant growing alongside your house or in your garden, you may have always viewed it as a pesty weed, but it is actually a super food: purslane. It is rich in dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals. The fresh leaves contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable plant and has one of the highest amounts of Vitamin A among leafy green vegetables. Please enjoy this healthful, tasty vegetable in your CSA bounty this week!”

Purslane Salad with Grilled Corn, Red Onion, and a Creamy Avocado Dressing
Adapted from Brooklyn Supper

Ingredients for Salad Dressing:
1 avocado
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
1 tablespoon Italian parsley or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (optional)

Preparation:
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Check salt and acid levels and adjust as needed. Refrigerated, dressing will keep for several days.

Ingredients for Salad
1 bunch purslane
2 ear corn, grilled
1/2 red onion, sliced paper thin
pinch of sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Wash the purslane, and trim of any large stems. Tear the stems into bite-sized lengths.
2. Meanwhile, husk the grilled corn, if needed, and cut the kernels off the cob.
3. Toss the purslane, corn, and red onion together with a pinch of sea salt in a large salad bowl.
4. Drizzle with dressing, and turn to coat. Drizzle a bit more on top, and finish with lots and lots of fresh ground pepper.

 

Weekly CSA Blog produced by Chris Marmora Palmer