this week in your csa share {september 4}

Welcome to week 14 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Red Bottle Torpedo Onion
  • Collards
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Corn – Double Standard is the variety this week, click over for a description
  • Cauliflower – this variety is Amazing!  No really, that’s the variety name and we think it lives up to it.
  • Basil
  • Zucchini
  • Green Peppers – these should be sweet and not hot, just like bell peppers
  • Tomatoes – a pint of peacevine cherries (high in vitamin C!) and a couple of moscovich slicers
  • Garlic

Now that we’re seeing the tomatoes coming on in force our thoughts are turning towards preserving the bounty.  For several years before starting the farm we were avid food preservationists during the summer months.  We spent our weekends at u-pick farms around town, harvesting anything we could get our hands on to supplement the CSA share we were then receiving instead of creating.  We picked bush beans and pole beans, corn, tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, eggplant and peppers.  We even dug potatoes to store through the winter.  Our freezer was full of veggies and pesto and our cupboard shelves were stocked with jars of sauces and dried goodness.  Last year we were bringing in our own harvest rather than going out to other farms and it was market leftovers that found their way into the glass jars on our shelves.  This weekend we’ll be putting up tomatoes and tomatillos for the coming months.  The work is always most worth it in mid-January when we’re able to pull out something tasty for a quick meal or a slow-cooker soup.

Our first introduction to canning was several years back and it included crates of gifted tomatoes, peaches, pears, and apples from my brother, who ran a large fruit stand in Washington at the time, and a copy of the Ball Blue Book of Preserving and a water-bath canner kit from my mom.  The experience proved successful and the book is now a go-to reference whenever we’re looking to can, freeze or dehydrate something.  The Ball company also maintains a helpful website with instructions and recipes.

The OSU Extension Service is another go-to resource.  Their website lists helpful food specific pamphlets with canning and preserving instructions, recipes, safety guidelines.  They also have a food safety/preservation hotline you can call when you’re in a jam (or if you’ve just got questions about your jam!).  The Extension Service also offers preservation classes.  The Friends of the Salem Saturday Market often invites the local extension agent to the market for preserving classes.  Check out their website for upcoming classes and materials from past classes.

There are of course many, many books, websites, and articles with information and recipes for preserving fruits and vegetables out there.  We’d love to hear about your favorite food preservation resources!

Note – We’ll have tomatoes available for bulk purchase if anyone is interested.  Currently we’ve got a lot of an early variety we’ve given out in the CSA boxes for several weeks called Stupice (stu-PEECH-ka).  They’re on the small side, but are fairly dense for sauce and salsa.  We’re offering them at bulk pricing for 10# for $15 or 25# for $30.  Send us an e-mail by Thursday and we’ll bring your order to market next Saturday.

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Indian-Spiced-Cauliflower-and-Potatoes-109118

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Cauliflower “Couscous” with Basil-Lemon Sauce

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 medium head of cauliflower, stalks and stems discarded, florets finely diced
~ Kosher salt
~ Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Basil-Lemon Sauce (see recipe below)
2 Tbsp. fresh basil chiffonade

  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a chef’s pan or wok large enough to hold all the cauliflower over high heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion softens, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, stir thoroughly, salt and pepper liberally, and cook until the cauliflower softens, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the sauce and cook until tender and fragrant, another 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sauce, mix thoroughly, and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the basil chiffonade.

Basil-Lemon Sauce

10 large fresh basil leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed)

~ Zest and juice of 2 lemons, preferably Meyer

½ cup fruity extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

  1. Combine the basil, lemon zest and juice, oil, and maple syrup in a blender. Puree and transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keeps in the refrigerator for about 7-10 days.

From Culinate via The Breakaway Cook by Eric Gower, http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/the_breakaway_cook/cauliflower_couscous_with_basil-lemon_sauce

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Grilled Corn, Tomato, and Red Potato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

FOR THE SALAD

4 Ears Corn on the Cob
½ pt. Cherry Tomatoes Halved 4 oz.
Small Red Potatoes Quartered
6 leaves Basil Chiffonade for garnish

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE

4 oz. Fresh Basil
½ tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 oz. Champagne Vinegar
4 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~ Salt
~ Pepper

  1. Clean Corn cobs and rub with Olive Oil, Salt, and Pepper.
  2. Place on grill over indirect heat, turning occasionally until slightly colored. If grill is unavailable, roast in a hot oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until slightly colored.
  3. Remove from heat and cut kernels off husk and place in mixing bowl.
  4. Place potatoes in a small pot of cold water. Bring to boil and boil for about 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender but not mushy. Drain and add to mixing bowl with corn.
  5. Add cherry tomatoes to mixing bowl and basil chiffonade
  6. Add vinaigrette a little at a time and toss to coat.
  7. Loosely cover and place bowl in refrigerator to cool completely 1-2 hours before serving.
  8. Do not hold for more than 48 hours
  9. Pairs well with grilled chicken, pork chops, or broiled fish

From Culinate via Williamsburg Farmers Market Recipes, http://www.culinate.com/market/WilliamsburgFarmersMarket/recipes/wfm_recipes/grilled_corn_tomato_and_red_potato_salad_with_basil_vinaigrette

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