Summer 2015 week 16

Summer 2015 – October, Week 16

What’s in the Box:

Green cabbage, Carnival squash, Delicata squash, corn, red potatoes, gold turnip, kohlrabi, purple carrots, red chard, broccoli

This week’s boxes are a bit heavy, reflecting the beginnings of the storage season.  Please lift with your legs when you pick up your share!  Next week’s boxes will be even heavier, so you might want to bring a cloth bag or two to help distribute the weight.
This week’s corn is the last of the season, and although it’s quite yummy, it didn’t get the heat that it should have to help it pollinate fully.  Please enjoy it in all its November local-corn glory anyway.  We’ve never had corn in November before, and may never again!

Just a reminder: the Winter share is available now-sign up soon to receive your prepayment discount!  http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2016-january-through-march-only-C6854
I haven’t left much room to wax poetic about the weather or on-farm happenings, but I have yummy recipes to share, so perhaps that’s even better!

Enjoy!

Heidi

 

 

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted from AllRecipes.com

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1 large Carnival squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
14 ounces low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked couscous

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, or until tender. Dissolve the sugar in the melted butter. Brush squash with the butter mixture, and keep squash warm while preparing the stuffing.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the celery and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute, until fragrant.  Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.

Pour broth into the skillet, and mix in the couscous. Cover skillet, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 10-15 minutes or until cooked.  Fluff with fork and stuff squash halves with the skillet mixture to serve.

Swiss Chard with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Adapted from: http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2014/02/swiss-chard-with-spicy-peanut-sauce.html

1 Tablespoon safflower oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 large onion
1 bunch Swiss chard
1/4 cup water (or as needed)
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon honey or sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger powder
Salt to taste
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Chop onion and sauté in oil until soft and translucent.
Chop up the stems of the Swiss chard and add them to the onion. Cook until they start to soften.
Chop up the leaves of the chard and add them to the pot. Cover, and cook, mixing occasionally, until wilted.
Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well, and cook a few more minutes.

Enjoy!

Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw
Adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-kohlrabi-and-carrot-slaw-recipes-from-the-kitchn-46627

1 large kohlrabi, peeled, stems trimmed off, grated
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, scrubbed and grated
1/2 onion, grated
4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the kohlrabi, cabbage, carrots, onion, cilantro, and raisins (if using) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour the dressing over the slaw, and mix until fully coated. Chill for several hours before serving.

2015_summerweek15 copy

Summer 2015 – October, Week 15

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli
Bunched beets
Corn
Carrots
Sweet onions
Bell pepper
Purple kale
Italian parsley

 

November certainly brought some Autumn weather with it!  It rained about 4 ½ inches here over the weekend, making our field roads muddy and our poor crew soaked.  I’m ever grateful for every one of our farm family every day, but especially this time of year, when each set of hands makes the work just a little bit lighter.

I have added a few veggies to the website for add-on purchase; specifically, carrots, beets, and kraut cabbage.  Additional quantities for eating, juicing, or preserving can be ordered with any of your share deliveries.  Please remember to order 72 hours in advance of your delivery day!

And while you’re on there…Winter shares are live on the web site! By signing up early, you help us to plan for our Winter, and save on your share cost.  As a current member, you should have received a promo code to use at checkout.  Let us know if you haven’t received yours.  The Winter share sign up can be found at: http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2016-january-through-march-only-C6854

Enjoy!
Heidi

 

 

Creamy Corn Chowder

1 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 boullion cube (with no added salt)
4 ears corn kernels and cobs, kernels removed
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in butter until tender.  Add garlic and parsley and sauté until garlic is fragrant but not browning.

Add the flour, stirring well, to make a pasty mixture. Whisk in the broth. Add the corn, the carrot, the boullion cube, and two of the corn cobs and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the milk and heat until just barely simmering.  Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.  Serve hot.


Kale Sautéed with Apple and Onion

Adapted from Gourmet, December 2000

1 medium apple, peeled, quartered, and cored, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, choppped
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Heat oil in a 5-quart pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add apple and curry powder and sauté, stirring, until apple is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

Add kale and broth to the pan and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Return apple and onion to the pan and cook until just heated through.


Carrot and Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

Adapted from Bon Appétit, September 2013
Recipe by Joshua McFadden

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/carrot-and-beet-slaw-with-pistachios-and-raisins

2 garlic cloves, crushed
¾ cup golden raisins
¼ cup white wine vinegar
About 1 lb medium carrots (any color), scrubbed, julienned
About 1 lb medium beets (any color), peeled, julienned
½ cup (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out pistachios on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Combine garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl; let sit 1 hour.

Remove garlic from raisin mixture and discard. Add carrots, beets, pistachios, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add oil; toss gently.

2015_summerweek14

Summer 2015 – October, Week 14

What’s in the Box:

Corn! Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Celery root (celeriac), Leeks, Sweet Onions, Purple beans, Italian zucchini, Thyme

Our preparation for Winter continues!  Mike has begun cover cropping the fields, we have tucked the last of the Winter squash into storage (expect some in your shares soon!), and we are making the most of the daylight as the darkness creeps into our work time.  We still have a few high Summer vegetables this week, but the rain and cold will finish them off in a hurry.

We are excited to finally send you some corn!  Initially dubbed “Christmas Corn” by Mike (as we jokingly hoped it would be mature by December), we are pleased to have it before Hallowe’en.  Enjoy it right away-it’s sweetest when fresh picked.

This is most likely the last of the fresh beans for this season (fresh beans being green, purple, yellow, and Roma).  Rain generally diminishes their crispness and makes them harder to keep.  Please eat your purple beans quickly this week!

I have added a few veggies to the website for add-on purchase; specifically, carrots, beets, and kraut cabbage.  Additional quantities for eating, juicing, or preserving can be ordered with any of your share deliveries.  Please remember to order 72 hours in advance of the delivery day!

We anticipate having our full Winter shares available for sign up on the web site by the end of this week.  This season we have elected to shorten the Winter/Spring season, to highlight more of our own produce and minimize outside purchasing if at all possible.  Deliveries will be twice monthly through the end of March.  We will include local ‘extras’ as we have in seasons past, such as cheeses, coffee, kraut, in addition to our dry beans and farm honey.  I’ll send out a notice when the share goes live!

I’m making a LOT of soup lately, to help combat the dampness creeping into my bones.  Here are a couple recipes for you to try out.

Enjoy,
Heidi

 

 

Carrot, Celery, and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings
Adapted from recipe found at: OChef.com, From 300 Sensational Soups, by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

For Soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
3 leeks, stem thinly sliced and rinsed to remove any soil
6 carrots (about 12 oz, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 sprigs thyme
Pinch each freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper
2 vegetable bouillion cubes (no salt added)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

For Cornbread Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt
pinch of garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use plain Greek yogurt and water instead, since I rarely have buttermilk)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup corn kernels

In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, garlic, black pepper and cayenne; sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add stock, cream, thyme (as whole sprigs-just remove stems from soup before serving) and parsley; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, while you assemble the dumplings.

Prepare the dumplings: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour over dry ingredients, along with corn. Using a large spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until mixed. (Don’t overmix, or the dumplings will be heavy and tough.) Drop dumpling batter by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender and dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Double Celery and Potato Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2003

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium-sized potatoes (about 12 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1- inch cubes
1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
5 celery stalks with leaves, stalks thinly sliced, leaves reserved
1/3 cup whipping cream

Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and onion and sauté until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, celery roots, thyme, and bay leaf. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Add celery stalks and simmer until all vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Using handheld blender, puree soup in pot. Stir cream into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with reserved celery leaves and serve.

 

2015_summerweek13

Summer 2015 – October, Week 13

At a Glance:

Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Sweet Onions, Savoy Cabbage, Cucumbers,
Italian Zucchini, Green Beans, Yellow Beans, Bell Pepper,
Dandelion, Yellow Chard

 

 

Dear Friends,
There is a saying among firefighters:

Firefighting is easy; it’s like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire, and…well, you get the picture.

I feel that way about farming sometimes, it’s easy, like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire.  Then, it’s October.

October for me is all about cleaning up. I would like to simply say it’s easy, like cleaning your kitchen, except your kitchen is 70 acres and you need trucks and loaders and your help is already working full time and then some and if you’re lucky you’ll get everything in before the mud makes the fields impassible. But then all the pipe and pumps are in the barn, and the fields are covered with rye and vetch and clover.

This year, barring early rain, I have just enough time to get all the open areas cover-cropped before it gets too cold for a solid stand of rye. A well orchestrated Fall plan is a work of art in early spring. Lush green fields passively creating tons of material to add tilth to next year’s soil, feed next year’s crops, retain nutrients, prevent erosion, and feed pollinators.

Wish me luck!

Mike

We harvested an abundance of Italian zucchini this week (truly surprising this time of year!), so I have included my favorite zucchini bread recipe.  Give it a try and freeze what you don’t eat!

 

Zucchini Bread

Julie Sochacki, One United Harvest
Makes two large loaves
3 eggs

1-3/4 cups sugar

1 cup light vegetable oil

2-1/2 cups peeled, grated zucchini

2-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 c walnut or hazelnut oil
Beat the eggs, then add sugar, mixing well. Add the oil, zucchini and vanilla, mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and slowly add to sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. Add the nut oil and stir.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55-60 minutes in two greased (9x5x3) loaf pans.

Cool on wire racks and freeze or refrigerate.

Hot and Sour Cabbage Salad
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2001

1 lb Savoy cabbage, thinly shredded

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pepper, very thinly sliced

Put cabbage and scallion in a large bowl.

Bring vinegar, ginger, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot dressing over cabbage, peppers, and onion, tossing to combine.
Dandelion Greens with a Kick

Adapted from recipe by TTV78
Recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222744/dandelion-greens-with-a-kick/

1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch dandelion greens, stems trimmed, washed well, torn into 4-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Soak dandelion greens in a large bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook greens until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and red pepper flakes until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle greens with Parmesan cheese to serve.

2015_summerweek12

Summer 2015 – October, Week 12

At A Glance:

Spinach
Green Beans
Purple Beans
Yellow Beans
Green and Purple Kohlrabi
Edamame (edible soybeans)
Red Russian Kale
Purple Carrots
2lbs Rose Finn Potatoes
Leeks

Greetings Friends,

The weather today was perfect. There was a fog so thick you could cut it early this morning, which gave way to a beautiful afternoon. I watched most of it go by through the office window as I diligently took care of all the odds and ends, big and small, which go along with any business. I am always grateful for fair weather even if I do not get to enjoy it firsthand. When I am warm and cozy and it is blustery out there I cannot help but feel the sting of guilt, knowing that our field crew is braving the elements to harvest produce for delivery. On a day like today I can almost enjoy the envy I feel, knowing that this same crew is working under reasonable conditions and without the headache that comes with muddy vegetables and stuck field trucks.

As promised, the contents of this delivery are beginning to represent the more savory vegetables that Fall has to offer. Nothing says stew or roast like a combination of leeks and potatoes. Edamame make an appearance this week as well. The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and they grow in clusters on bushy plants which deer LOVE. In East Asia the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. We can barely get them to finish this far north, and it was quite a feat considering the late start we got this year. If not for this long dry season it would not have been possible. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers-the pods themselves are not edible. If you have not tried them before, you are in for a treat. I think them the pretzel of vegetables; simple preparation instructions follow.

A quick word too on the purple carrots. Purple Haze by name, they are the best purple carrots we have ever grown. They do have an orange core unlike some others, but they also have a great carrot taste, and they grow to maturity without bolting (going to seed), which is saying something if you have ever tried to grow them. We trialed at least three other varieties of purple carrots, unsuccessfully, before finding this one. We just love them, and hope you will too.

Mike

 

 

 

Edamame
Gourmet  | August 1998

Soybeans in the Pod

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add the beans and boil over high heat for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, toss edamame with salt to taste.

Or for a little more zing-
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, some lime juice and salt

Coax the beans out as you would eat an artichoke, by gently scraping the pod with your teeth


Simple Stew

You’ll be surprised how savory and satisfying this simple vegetable stew is! Serve with quinoa, millet, or steamed rice.

3 to 4 servings

1 large bunch of kale
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek (white and pale green), thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4-5 fingerling potatoes, cut into ½- to ¾- inch cubes
1 low sodium bouillion cube (we like Rapunzel brand)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip the thick stems off the kale leaves. Cut the leaves crosswise into ¼-inch strips.
In a medium stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the kale in 2 or 3 handfuls, stirring to wilt. Add the broth and bouillion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove and blend in a blender about ½ the stew then return it to the pot. Stir.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Adapted from The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Thomas Rau, MD, with Susan Wyler. Berkeley Books 2009.

 

2015summer_week11

Summer 2015 – October, Week 11

What’s in the Box:

Celery, Cucumbers, Yellow & Purple beans, Bell pepper,
Baby bok choy, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Cameo apples,
Dried Lavender (not intended for eating)

Dear Members,

What do farmers do when they take a weekend trip out of town? Visit other farms of course. It kind of sounds silly reading it, but that is exactly what Heidi and Nat and I did this past weekend. We pointed the Ford f-350 north and headed up to the Skagit Valley to check out some farms and ranches during their two day ‘Festival of Family Farms’. We visited Cascadian Farm outside Rockport and checked out their blueberry harvester and had ice cream and actually picked a few pumpkins. We spent a few hours painting baby pumpkins and shopping for a variety of unique plants at Cloud Mountain outside Everson. We had brisket and corn on the cob, and visited with cattle and draft horses at Ovenell’s Double O Ranch outside Concrete. In short, we had a whirlwind tour of some great farms in the Skagit Valley and left with a deep appreciation for the farms themselves and what they are doing, as well as a lot of respect for the way Whatcom county has supported them and created an atmosphere where the contribution these agricultural businesses make to the community and the region are highlighted and acknowledged. Are you listening Lewis County?

This week’s delivery continues the trend into fall and includes some cool weather loving Bok Choy, some fresh crop apples, and our first celery. Also included in this delivery is two bunches of dried lavender. It was harvested this Summer and was hung in the barn to dry.  What to do with a bunch of dried lavender? Put it into a vase to enjoy as a dry bouquet, or make a lavender sachet to place in a drawer or somewhere you would like a fresh scent.

What you’ll need for a lavender sachet:

A square of pretty fabric (Heidi recommends at least an 8″ square)

A ribbon to tie it with-long enough to make a bow
Remove the lavender flowers from their stems with your fingertips over a large cookie sheet or bowl. Place the flowers in the center of the cloth, fold the fabric on the diagonal and gather the fabric edges together.  Tie at least an inch below the fabric edges and trim any long edges. Easy!

Please enjoy this week’s delivery and stay tuned as we continue our journey into Fall.

Mike

2015 Summer CSA Share

Summer 2015 – September, Week 10

What’s in the Box:

Green, Yellow, and Roma Italian beans
Austrian Crescent potatoes
Swiss Chard
Beets
Cucumbers
Crookneck Squash
Sweet onions
Cherry tomatoes
Thyme

 

Greetings Friends,
Mike here! In the office by dim light hustling to finish the notes I promised to write this morning then promptly forgot about. Ooops.

Fall is officially here and we will soon be saying good bye to the summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We have bumper crops of all the fall favorites, and frankly this is my favorite time of year to eat out of the field. You can still have a ripe tomato, or scrounge a little basil, and the cabbage and other cole crops are huge and lush. The greens are not stressed by hot days, and the potatoes have been in storage just long enough to sweeten up a bit.

On the subject of Fall, please remember that because of our late start this season, if you purchased the summer share, you will be receiving the two holiday deliveries; one in late November, the other in late December. These are usually offered separately. We will be marketing these ‘holiday’ shares to others outside our Summer membership. So, if you receive an offer to purchase them, kindly disregard it. You are in like Flynn. These two deliveries are among my favorites. They are a bit larger than our usual weekly deliveries, and the fall and winter vegetables are soooooo sweet after a frost.

When I looked over the contents of this week’s box I got hungry for pasta. I have included a recipe for Pasta Primavera, I cannot stress strongly enough what a great catch-all dish this is. You can use nearly any vegetables that are in the fridge. I love a plate of Pasta Primavera especially with a good sharp cheese; and it’s easy, and it’s fast, and if you do it right you only have two pots to wash! I enjoy cooking, especially for friends and family, and few recipes garner so much praise for so little effort.

Enjoy!
Mike

 

Pasta Primavera
A few things you should know:

Water and Salt: Always add a big pinch of salt to the pasta water and do not skimp on the amount of water used to cook pasta. I use about a gallon/pound and probably a big tablespoon of salt. Heat the water to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook UNCOVERED. Use tongs to stir it occasionally and after about 7 minutes start checking it by pulling a strand out and cutting it. In cross section you will see a white core indicating that it is not quite done, as this core vanishes your pasta is ready. Al dente pasta will have just a hint of white in the center. For this dish, because you are going to cook the pasta a bit more, you will want a noticeable but barely so white core.

Sautee: Vegetables while the pasta cooks. Have them all prepped and ready to go before you drop the pasta in the water. If you are sharp and focused you can do this while the water heats. I have used just about every vegetable imaginable, but this week’s box has some of my favorites.

Slice one of the onions paper thin. Snap the stems from the beans and cut into bite size pieces. I especially like the Roma beans for this dish. Cut summer squash into bite size chunks. Thinly slice a good handful of chard leaves. Strip about 3 tablespoons of thyme from its stems. You can use anything that sounds good… anything. I have used beets, rutabaga, turnip, you name it. The traditional Italian vegetables are always a hit.

Sautee: the vegetables in olive oil in a large cast pan while the pasta is cooking; when they are tender turn off the heat.

Scoop: And here is the secret… scoop a mug full of the starchy pasta water off before draining the pasta. Pour this into the pan of vegetables and simmer to create a light sauce. At this point add the thyme and thinly sliced chard and sauté until the chard is just wilted.

Toss: Add the pasta to the pan of vegetables and toss as you would a salad using the tongs over medium heat for a few minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary. You can also toss this all in a large bowl if your pan isn’t large enough.

Stir: In some butter or olive oil and a generous handful of grated sharp cheese; quality counts on the cheese.

Toss again and you are ready for the plate. When you serve this dish serve it hot. Grab a healthy tong-full, hold it over the plate and lower it slowly as you turn the plate and the tongs in opposite directions. This will leave a pyramid of pasta Primavera.

Throw: A few grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved, on top of each plate.

Serve with grated cheese and coarse salt.

2015summer_week9

Summer 2015 – September, Week 9

What’s in the Box:

Cauliflower
Carrots
Broccoli
Pearl onions
Cucumbers
Kale
Arugula
Treviso radicchio
Pears
Flowers

Dear Members,

Happy Equinox!  In my book it has already been Autumn, as evidenced by foggy mornings, early sunsets, and apples dropping by the bucketful from our old trees.  These apples make the best juice and applesauce, but aren’t the scabless, beautiful, shiny apples that you find in every grocery store and most farmers markets.  These are a bit more humble in appearance, with their scars, bites, and bruises telling the story of the season.

The apples remind me that it’s time to get canning, storing, freezing, pickling for the Winter months.  It’s tricky to do when the season is so full, but I have managed a couple batches of applesauce, and usually talk my mom into freezing some vegetables for us, and making some fruit leather for Natty’s lunches.  I will often undertake just a little extra while I’m cooking dinner.  It doesn’t take much time to steam a couple handfuls of green beans and toss them on a cookie sheet in the freezer.  In the dead of Winter, when I’m browsing in the produce aisle, I’m glad for that extra little bit of work to put our fresh veggies in the freezer.

In today’s boxes, you’ll find our first cauliflower of the season.  We have tried for years to produce pest-free cauliflower, and have reduced our growing season to Autumn only, when the aphid pressure is generally lower.  Alas, the aphids are still with us.  If your cauliflower has pests, cut it into florets and soak it in room temperature salted water for about 20 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and prepare.

The Treviso is a type of radicchio, and radicchio is indeed bitter.  Mike has insisted for many years that we grow it, along with a few other Italian vegetables, because it reminds him of his childhood and how all his complaining about things he didn’t like to eat turned into a rather earnest liking of them.  If you absolutely cannot handle bitter greens, try roasting it!  It becomes milder and sweeter with cooking.

Enjoy!
Heidi

2015 Summer, week 8

Summer 2015 – September, Week 8

What’s in the Box:

Red & White potatoes, Italian zucchini, Crookneck squash.
Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet onion, Bell Pepper, Cucumbers,
Escarole, Spinach, Apples, Flowers

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BUNCH OF SUNFLOWERS

Thank you to those of you who said hello at the Tilth Fair.  It was a great chance for Mike and I to see so many familiar faces and connect with new people too.  Natty focused her good time on running everywhere and climbing trees.

Please note that the potatoes are unwashed. White potatoes particularly seem to bruise with handling, so we have elected to send them unwashed so that they keep better for you.

I went a little crazy on recipes this week.  Hopefully this will inspire you in the kitchen.  I’m also hoping it will inspire me!  So many ideas, so little time…

Yours,

Heidi
Zucchini Latkes
Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/zucchini-latkes/print

3 medium zucchini, shredded (about 4-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, grated (be careful with grating if you have sensitivity to onions-I usually cry)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Oil for frying

Sour cream and basil, optional

Toss the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze zucchini dry. Stir in the eggs, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, pepper and remaining salt.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil; press lightly to flatten. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and garnish with a sprig of basil. Yield: 16 latkes.

Sautéed Potatoes and Sweet PeppersAdapted from: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7633-sauteed-potatoes-with-sweet-red-peppers

Farmer’s note: this recipe originally calls for a non-stick skillet.  I don’t own one, as I’m a fan of cast iron, but you may need more oil if using a cast iron skillet-the potatoes will definitely want to stick.

1 ¼ pounds potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large sweet red pepper, seeds and veins removed, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Add potatoes to a saucepan with just enough water to cover.  Add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the skillet and stirring occasionally so that the potatoes cook evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown.

Add the pepper, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring until the potatoes are nicely browned.

Add the butter. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the skillet and/or stirring. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Escarole and Beans
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/82078/escarole-and-beans/

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large head escarole, roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces cannellini beans, undrained
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Apple Spinach Salad
Adapted from: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spinach-apple-walnut-salad

1 medium apple, cored, cut into large dice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Toss apples with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Place spinach in a large bowl; remove long stems and bruised leaves. Whisk together remaining juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and ground pepper to taste. Toss spinach with apples and dressing. Divide between four bowls. Top with cheese and walnuts.

 

2015summer_week7

Summer 2015 – September, Week 7

What’s in the Box:

Roma beans, Red Cabbage, Sweet onion
Garlic, Green Kohlrabi
Zucchini & Summer squash
Cucumbers, Gold Chard
Arugula, Mizuna, Basil, Peaches
Flowers

Dear Members,

Please take one bouquet of flowers

As I sit down to write to you all this morning, I can’t see a thing outside the window.  It stays dark a bit later each morning, and makes it a little more difficult to roll out of bed and greet the day… or the almost day, as it were.  The rain seems to have slowed us down and delivered Autumn all at once, making for an unusually quick shift in our mental state.

If you haven’t noticed yet, we farmers loooove to talk about the weather. It’s not just that we’re boring, or that we don’t seem to have any hobbies because all we manage to do is farm mostly (although I’m not saying either of those things is necessarily untrue).  Honestly, weather dictates so much of our business that we just can’t get around talking about it.

I’ll spare you my diatribe on Spring, and how rain can slow us down, or drought, and what that means for us, and focus on rain right now.

Rain means certain veggies are happy, and others mold.  It means we shift the harvest to get the most sensitive things in before they get wet (or we harvest them later to deliver them extra fresh), we take longer to harvest, wash, and pack the veggies, we contend with a different set of circumstances.

Autumn means that we often work on the edges of day, and sometimes in darkness.  We have to be more careful about plans for each day, and we try to spread out tasks so that we aren’t working until 8pm. By necessity, we start later.  You can’t see much in the field in total or even semi-darkness.

All this to say that weather means a lot around here.

And that your veggies soaked up all that beautiful rain, and might not last quite as long as they did when they didn’t get rained on.  Specifically, please forgive us if the Roma beans don’t hold up as well as they should.

Now, for those of you who made it through all that, (or maybe you just skipped it) come see us at the Tilth Harvest Fair this weekend!  The fair is this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Meridian Park in Seattle (behind the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103).  Find more information about the fair and what’s on the schedule here:http://www.seattletilth.org/special_events/harvestfair2015

Yours,

Heidi