this week in your csa share {july 10}

Welcome to week 6 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • New Potatoes – The first of the Yukon Gold’s.
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Lettuce – A variety called ‘Outstanding’, a red romaine that hopefully you agree lives up to its name!
  • Baby Carrots – They may still be on the small side, but they’re tasty as ever.
  • Summer Squash – A variety of yellow straightneck and zucchini
  • Fava Beans – Check out the recipes below.  These are like butter!
  • Cauliflower – Granted the sun did get a little close to some of these heads, but we hope you enjoy it while it lasts because there may not be more for some time.
  • Blueberries – Our friends over at Minto Island Growers mentioned they had extra blueberries in their field and we jumped at the chance to get out to pick them for you.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  Please note that these are considered transitional organic, as the field will be officially certified organic in 2011.

Farming has turned out not to be a solitary endeavor, but instead a very social undertaking.  In addition to the community of eaters we’re building around our own farm, we often cross paths with other local farmers.  As we’ve mentioned, we rent our ground from a family farm serving McMinnville, and thus simply being there is admittedly partly luck and also partly due to the relationship we’ve built with those farmers over several years.

The world of farming is as diverse as any industry.  Big, small, organic, conventional, established, and fledgling, one farm rarely looks like the farm next door.  Over the past year we’ve been fortunate to meet many farmers from across the state at conferences and various farm gatherings and ultimately we’ve been impressed with how open and sharing these folks are.  Competition is rarely the topic of conversation; most often farmers just want to hear about other farms and discuss solutions to shared issues.

This past Thursday evening we headed to south Salem to Minto Island Grower’s farm to see our friends Elizabeth and Chris and to pick the fantastic blueberries starring in this week’s share.  We’re always intrigued to catch up with these two perhaps because they’re young farmers just getting established as well. When compared on paper, our farms look somewhat different but we always seem to have more in common than we first might suspect.

As we continue to grow our farm, we hope to make it a system that works well for us but also contributes to this greater community of farms and eaters too.  That in mind, we’ll continue to welcome advice from the more experienced folks we meet along the way, and remember that our situation will always be unique but we can learn from farmers old and young alike.

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

For those of you who are new to the world of fresh fava beans, welcome!  These beans are a little work as you have to shuck them, blanche them, and then pop off the outer covering before you get to the bean proper, but they are worth the effort!  Check out the recipes below for a couple of suggestions.  We’d also love to hear what you come up with for them!

Taste of Spring: Young Root Vegetable Braise

4 slender leeks, including a little of pale green
6 carrots, yellow and/or orange, 3-4 inchs long
12 little turnips with their greens
1 bunch radishes with 1/2 inch of their stems
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound Fava beans shucked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Slice the leeks crosswise about 1/4-inch wide, then rinse them in a bowl of water and drain.  Cut all but 1/2 inch of the carrot greens off, peel the carrots, and slice them in half lengthwise.  Leave 1/2 inch of the turnip greens attached. Peel with a paring knife up to the shoulders. Leave smaller ones whole and cut larger ones into halves or quarters.  Halve the radishes lengthwise, soak them briefly in a bowl of water, then rinse, especially the stems.

2. Bring 6 cups water to a boil and add 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Blanch the carrots, turnips, and radishes for 7 minutes, then scoop out and set aside (there is no need to rinse them). Drop the fava beans into the water for 1 minute, then scoop them out, saving the cooking water, and rinse to cool.  Pop them out of their skins.

3. Melt half the butter in an 8- or 10-inch sauté pan. Add the leeks and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup of the vegetable cooking water, the blanched vegetables, half the herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until the vegetables are fully tender, 10 to 15 minutes, adding water in 1/3 cup increments so that the pan doesn’t dry out. There should be a little sauce.

4. Add the fava beans, remaining butter, and lemon juice. Raise the heat and swirl the pan back and forth until the butter has melted into the juice.  Remove from the heat, add the rest of the herbs, season with pepper and serve.

From Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets, Deborah Madison

(Shared by Patty Holt, CSA member!)

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Fava Bean Dip aka Fake Guacamole

Fava beans
1 tsp. olive oil
Garlic, 2 cloves, diced
Lime juice
Cilantro
Salt
Pepper
2 Tbsp. plain goat cheese

Blanche fava beans. Shell beans from the large pod. Peel off the second layer of skin, revealing a tiny, bright green bean.

In a food processor, combine beans, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and goat cheese. Add more water if needed to make it creamy.

Serve as a dip, or as filling between grilled corn tortillas.

From The Veg Table, Mary Altman

Also available here: http://www.culinate.com/user/marybethSF/recipes/the_veg_table/fava_bean_dip_aka_fake_guacamole

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Summer Zucchini Pasta

5 qt. salted water in a 6-quart pot
1 lb. small zucchini (about 4 or 5)
1 lb. imported penne
4 Tbsp. good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved, or 2 cups other fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 to 1½ cup (6 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled
⅓ tight-packed cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

1. Bring the salted water to a boil.

2. Trim off the ends of the zucchini. Cut the squash into sticks about the size of the penne.

3. Drop the pasta into the boiling water. In the last 3 minutes of boiling (check pasta package for timing), drop the zucchini into the pot. Boil, stirring often, until the penne are tender but still have a little bite. Scoop out 1 cup of the pasta water and reserve it. Immediately drain the pasta and zucchini in a colander.

4. Return the pasta pot to the heat, turning it down to low. Film the bottom of the pot with the olive oil. Add the red-pepper flakes and garlic, and gently sauté just until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

5. Remove the pot from the heat, and add the drained pasta and zucchini, the tomatoes, feta, basil, and as much of the reserved pasta water as necessary to lightly coat the pasta. Toss gently, taste for seasoning, and serve.

From The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Also available here: http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/the_splendid_tables_how_to_eat_supper/summer_zucchini_pasta

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The Quintessential Pesto

1 large garlic clove (remove any green center)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 tight-packed cup fresh young basil leaves
2 heaping tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Fiore Sardo sheep cheese or American Stella Fontinella, or 3 tablespoons fresh-grated Locatelli Romano
1/2 cup fresh-grated Parminigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 tablespoons good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil

You can prepare the pesto in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor with the motor running.  Start by pureeing the garlic and salt.  Gradually add the basil and then the pine nuts, crushing or processing everything into a tough paste.

From The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper, Lynne Rossetto Kasper

{note: Toss pesto with pasta, serve with salmon, or add to risotto!  Experiment with local nuts.  We make big batches of pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays for quick fall and winter meals.  Above all, enjoy! }

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2 thoughts on “this week in your csa share {july 10}

  1. Patty Holt says:

    Enjoying a wonderful stir fry tonight with so many of your fresh veggies. We look forward to every meal made created with the treasures from our CSA.

    Like

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