Week 15; September 13, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

Broccoli!

oregano

lacinato (dinosaur) kale

yellow onions

acorn squash

heirloom tomato

garlic

red bell and red sweet peppers

(not pictured) eggplant OR green beans

Single Share

same as above, but lesser amounts and no eggplant or green beans

Notes on the box…

There’s a whole heck of a lot of broccoli in this weeks box.  This box is a good example of what I was referring to when talking about how everything came ready at once with the warm weather.  Three different plantings of broccoli are ready to harvest all at once.  There were several hundred pounds that we couldn’t fit into the CSA boxes.  It will be going to the foodshelf.  It’s kind of a bummer to have a week that is so broccoli heavy.  We are missing the beets, carrots, salad mix, and spinach that we seeded in July that didn’t germinate because of the excessive heat.  We are happy that at least the boxes are full, but the variety of produce isn’t what we would prefer.  Anyway, hope you enjoy all this broccoli and the red peppers!

The best way to store the broccoli is in a plastic bag in the crisper.  You can eat the stalk!  Simply peel the outer layer of skin and chop the stalk and cook it with the rest of the broccoli.  If it’s more broccoli than you can eat in a week, chop it, steam or blanche it, allow it to cool, and then put in freezer bags in your freezer.  Red peppers can be seeded, diced, and frozen for use in winter soups and stir fry!  Or you can roast them and then freeze them.  Either way… don’t compost it, preserve it!  It only takes a few minutes!

Store your Acorn Squash on the counter or anyplace out of your fridge.  It will last for several months.  Our favorite way to cook the squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and place face down in a baking pan with a little water and oil in the bottom of the pan.  Roast in a 400 degree oven until you can poke a fork into the squash through the skin.  At this point, you can flip it over and put some butter and brown sugar into the squash and broil until the sugar gets dark and bubbly.  Or you can just add butter and maple syrup or honey and serve right away.  I love it with some fresh thyme or oregano, butter, and honey.

If you got eggplant in your box, you should try to use it right away unless you have someplace to store it at around 50 degrees.  The fridge is too cold and the counter is too warm.  It also become bitter with age, so the best thing to do it cook it up right away! It was just harvested, so you don’t have to worry about salting it to expel any bitterness.  However, I have soaked eggplant slices in milk for a few hours before cooking and the texture becomes very silky, almost like custard.  If you aren’t a fan of the firm texture, a nice milk bath really does wonders!

Heirloom tomatoes are really winding down!  The field tomatoes, as explained in a previous blog post, are finished producing.  Such a bummer.  Too many degree days (a measurement of heat units that fruits and vegetables need to ripen) too soon!  We usually have tomatoes up until frost, but not this year.  The last few seasons we’ve had a succession of tomatoes with no ripe fruit at the frost.  That was a big waste of time and money, so this season we cut out that succession.  Now we are kicking ourselves for it!  All we can do now is hope that the heavy quantity of tomatoes in the previous boxes would have satisfied your tomato cravings for the season, and add that succession of tomatoes back to the planting schedule in case we have more seasons like this one.

Recipes

Roasting weather is back!  Now, have you tried roasted broccoli yet??  It’s so very good.  If you think you don’t like broccoli, try this!

Steamed Broccoli with Miso PeanutButter Sauce

Some really great vegetarian and vegan recipes at the post-punk kitchen!  Including this recipe for Seitan with Broccoli and Pantry BBQ Sauce.

Broccoli Beef Stir Fry that you could easily substitute chicken, seitan, or tempeh for the beef.

I’d add a nice handful of fresh oregano leaves to this Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata recipe.

This is where I saw the trick about soaking the eggplant in milk.  This recipe for Eggplant, Thyme, and Honey was a hit with the crew!

Broccoli and Red Pepper Melts from Martha Stewart.  Recipe calls for portabella mushrooms, but it’s tasty even if you have no mushrooms.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 8 roasted red bell peppers
  • fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley, or ???) optional
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
Pulse the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times to break up any large pieces.  Add the roasted red peppers and herbs and process, streaming in the oil as you go, until all the ingredients are well combined and as coarse or as smooth as you want them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately with toasts, crudities, or spread on sandwiches or toss with pasta. Store in a covered airtight container in the fridge, or freeze. NOTE: I think that if you didn’t want to go through the trouble of roasting and peeling the red peppers, you could probably slice them, roast them with some olive oil till tender, slightly carmelized, and fragrant and then put them right into the food processor.  You may have little flecks of the skin, but I don’t think it would matter much.

On the farm…

HARVEST PARTY THIS SATURDAY!!!  Starting at 2 PM and going till sundown, though you are welcome to stay longer for a bonfire and camping, if you like!  It’s a potluck, so bring a dish to pass, and we will have the pizza oven fired up as well.  So if you couldn’t make it to the pizza party, here’s another chance to eat some great wood-fired pizza!  The Stillwater lift bridge is closed, so take I-94 across the St. Croix if you are coming from the Twin Cities.

We would also like to mention that we will have meat chickens that you can pick up at the harvest party.  I will post them for ordering on the web store early next week for delivery to your home on Friday, September 21.  I’ll send an email when they are ready to order.

We had a fun time on Wednesday when our new friends from the show “Around the Farm Table” came out to Turnip Rock to shoot an episode.  We met Inga Witscher through with her dad, Rick.  Rick and Rama have been working on their apprentice hours for cheese making together.  They share a love of small herds of Jersey cows on pasture and raw milk cheese made by hand in small batches.  Rick,  Inga, and her husband Joe have recently started producing “Around the Farm Table” which is a cooking show that focuses on local and sustainable agriculture.  They are really fun to be around and we really admire them as farmers.  It was a great time and we can’t wait to see the Turnip Rock episode when it comes out!  We will let you know when it’s ready to see.  In the mean time, enjoy these pictures we took of the making of the Turnip Rock episode of “Around the Farm Table.”  I forgot to photograph my plate, but it was beautiful and the lunch was so tasty!  Thanks for cooking for us, Inga!

Inga getting ready to cook a red pepper and chard frittata!

Look at the kale in the bouquet! Lauren loving broccoli!

Derek and another lovely edible bouquet

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