This week you’ll find in your share:
Beans (green, purple, and yellow!)
Hot Peppers* (the thin peppers with the eggplant)
Chives, Garlic Chives
Next week you might find in your share:
• Chard or Collard
• Herb or Cut Flower
From Your Farmers…
This week marks the half way part of this year’s CSA term. We hope we’ve satisfied everyone so far. If there is anything you’d like to see done differently, let us know, now’s the time! The same goes for questions and concerns. Please call with your thoughts.
For ideas on how to use some of these crops, see the recipe section below.
*Hot peppers- the hottest part of the pepper is the meniscus, the white fleshy interior holding the seeds. Be careful when handling hot peppers. Thoroughly wash hands, utensils, and cutting board after contact with hot peppers, or you could find a burning surprise later on. If food containing hot peppers is too spicy, curb the heat with milk.
* Cucumbers- the long, giant ones are Armenians, truly melon, but fun, beautiful, and delicious. If one is too much to use fresh, remember the refrigerator pickle option for a quick storage method. The other cucumbers are Nationals, normally used for pickling, but are great raw too.
*Eggplant- basically a vehicle for picking up flavors. Whatever you cook it with, it will soak up. Garlic is a favorite. Also note that eggplant will soak up lots of oil- much like mushrooms, so be generous.
*Chives/Garlic Chives- like other alliums, garlic and onion, just milder, and best used raw, or cooked only for a moment. True chives are round like leaves of onions, the garlic, or Chinese leeks, are flat, like the leaves of garlic.
***Melons- we’re back to phasing a couple of crops through. Not everyone will get a melon this week, but we’re tracking who does, so one should be coming your way in the next couple weeks. If not, we have a second planting in that should produce in about 4 weeks.
We will REUSE the cherry tomato boxes from previous weeks. Please return them with your share bags.
Food For Thought..keep it inside
This week we were picking green beans, something pleasurable for a bit, and dreaded for any longer. Picking the beautiful purple beans that some of you received helped break the chore. The purples are easier to see, and are so vibrant. While we were talking about cooking beans, and how the purple beans lose their color. Whitney pointed out that this is a sign… if something loses its vibrance, it is also losing its nutritional value. Maybe save yourself some time and hassle, enjoy the full benefit of these beans, and have them raw. I find they taste best raw anyway.
This Week’s Recipes…and recipe ideas
Chives and Garlic Chives– dip a sliced cucumber into a dip made of plain yogurt topped with chives. Then again, there’s always cream cheese. Stuff a pepper with cream cheese and chives. Give a salad some zing, potato salad that is. They’re good over greens too. Of course, you can always use them to top your baked potato.
And since you are getting a whole 2 lbs of beans this week…..
Raw Bean Salad – from Helen Nearing’s Simple Food for the Good Life
I always go back to Helen for good, simple recipes that are based on natural flavors of the food. Her recipes are whole, unadulterated, and don’t depend on process. I usually feel the most satisfied after these simple, tasty recipes that let the food guide our taste buds, then our bodies, to how we really want to feel.
2 cups uncooked, finely sliced green beans
1 carrot, thinly sliced (shredded would also work)
½ cup raw cauliflower buds
1 small onion, sliced (you could substitute chives here)
¼ cup oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine the green beans, carrots, cauliflower, and onion. Add the oil and lemon juice, tossing to coat the ingredients well.
Eggplant- from Randy Cut eggplant and squash or zucchini into ¾ inch chunks, slice some peppers, add in some diced or minced garlic and/or onion, coat heavily with oil, lay onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet, bake until softened. Salt and pepper to taste. (you could leave out garlic and or onions, and top with chives or garlic chives after baking. )
Eggplant- from Gabriel Slice eggplant into 1/4-1/3 in slices, brush heavily with olive oil and garlic, and grill until soft. Salt. Eat. Eggplant is great in sautés, eggplant parmesan, or can be slipped into a veggie lasagna, along with some Swiss chard.
Baba Ganoush from about.com
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 can chickpeas, drained (garbanzo beans)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp tahini
- dash sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Slice eggplant in half, and roast in 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until soft.
Allow to cool slightly, then scoop out inside of eggplant, leaving skin behind.
In a blender or food processor, combine eggplant and remaining ingredients, except oil and parsley, until smooth. Mixture will be somewhat thick. Slowly incorporate olive oil until well mixed. Mix in chopped parsley by hand. Serves eight.
Enjoy with veggies, pita, or as a sandwich spread. I like to spread some baba ghanoush in a flour tortilla and add lettuce, tomatoes and veggies for a sandwich wrap.
The next CSA dinner and cooking class will be Tuesday, August 27. There will likely be some local meat, like bacon on the table. RSVP to me, or sign up when picking up your share. and bring the family.