csa share – week 9 {july 19}

Welcome to the 9th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Turnips w/ Greens
  • Head Lettuce
  • Fava Beans
  • Small Summer Squash
  • Basil – just a handful this week of either sweet or Thai basil
  • Cilantro
  • Small Beets w/ Greens
  • Spring Onions – from Persephone Farm
  • Blueberries – two pints from Minto Island Growers’ U-pick field!

When I was a kid summers meant freedom from school and schedules, wonderfully long days and warm nights, and summer camp.  Every summer I spent at least a week at a camp outside of Falls City in the foothills of the Coast Range.  It was classic summer camp with hiking, canoeing, camp songs around the camp fire.  But of course summer camp in Oregon can mean rainy days once in awhile, as we’re all too familiar with this year.  At camp the fun would go on, rain or no rain; hikes in the rain, marshmallow roasting in the rain, swimming in the rain, singing in the rain.  And the same is true with farming.

This week’s summer rains have had us appreciating indoor tasks, like trellising tomatoes in the field houses, and pulling out the raingear when fieldwork was necessary.  Sunday morning we harvested blueberries at Minto Island Growers’ u-pick blueberry field in something more than a drizzle.  The blueberries are tasty as ever though and they’re certainly worth a soggy morning in the field.  Of course there’ve been a lot of jokes about the lovely April weather, but in reality it’s not been such a bad week.  We’ve certainly had less pipe to move thanks to the precipitation.

Within the last week we saw the first few red cherry tomatoes and a single full-size slicing cucumber, suggesting that this summer isn’t going to be a total bust afterall.  We’re even including a handful of basil, a bundle of cilantro, and the very first of the summer squash of the season.  We’re also including the first beets of the season, which have taken their time getting to the size they are thanks to a general lack of sunshine.  But along with the glimpse of summer thanks to the herbs and squash, we’re very thankful for the beets and beet greens we tend to take for granted in other years.  We had some delicious roasted turnips and turnip greens when visiting friends this week, and suggest that with a summer like this, perhaps roasted beets and turnips isn’t totally out of season.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Payment Reminder:

If you’ve chosen to pay in two installments, the second half of your CSA payment is due August 1st.  Feel free to mail us a cheque or bring it to the pick-up.  Thanks!

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Fava Beans

1 pound of fresh fava beans, still in their pods
a couple glugs of olive oil
a few pinches of salt

optional: crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and or chopped fresh herbs.

In a large bowl toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt.

Arrange them in a single layer on a grill over medium-high heat. If you’re using a grill pan, you may need to cook them in batches. If I’m using an outdoor grill I don’t bother covering the favas, but when I use a grill pan, I typically cover the pan with a flat baking sheet to keep more of the heat in the pan and circulating.

Grill until blistered on one side – 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side. If you aren’t sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans. You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins – not undercooked. But keep in mind that they’ll keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill, unless you eat them as soon as you can handle the pods without singing your fingers – which is what I encourage you to do 🙂

Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt (if needed) and any herbs or lemon zest if you like. To eat: tear open the puffy green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time and be sure to lick your fingers.

Serves 2 – 4

From 101 Cookbooks; http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/grilled-fava-beans-recipe.html

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Beet and Greens Pasta

1 bunch beets, with greens

2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil

shallot, diced

~ Pinch of dried red pepper flakes

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

~ Zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, cilantro, and dill

~ Salt ½ lb. angel-hair pasta

~ Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Peel and dice the beets. Dry and chop the beet greens; set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente and drain.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, coat the bottom of a cast-iron skillet or sauté pan with olive oil. Over medium heat, cook the diced beets, shallot, and red pepper flakes, stirring often, until the beets are almost tender. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute, then add the broth and lemon juice.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beets are tender and the broth is reduced to a syrup-like consistency. If necessary, add more broth or water. Add the reserved, chopped beet greens, lemon zest, and chopped herbs. Stir and cover.
  5. Once the beet greens have wilted, season to taste with salt, then toss the beet mixture with the drained pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

From Culinate via Carie Floyd; http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Culinate+Kitchen/Vegetarian+Main+Dishes/Beet+and+Greens+Pasta

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Taqlieh (Cilantro-Garlic Paste)

1  head garlic, peeled and smashed (about 3 Tbsp. mashed)
1  tsp. coarse sea salt
1  bunch cilantro, thick stems removed, roughly chopped (about 1½ cups)
  1. Pound the garlic and salt in a mortar with a pestle into a paste. Add the cilantro and mash them together until you get a chunky, fragrant pesto.

From Culinate via the book Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo; http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/day_of_honey/taqlieh_cilantro-garlic_paste

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Poached Halibut with Cilantro Cream and Oranges

4 halibut fillets without skin (6 to 8 ounces each)

1 cup fish stock or water (plus more as needed)

½ cup dry white wine (plus more as needed)

1 Tbsp. butter at room temperature (plus more for buttering parchment paper)

1 Tbsp. flour ¼ cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

2 blood or navel oranges, sectioned

~ Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Set an oven-proof skillet that is just large enough to hold the fillets in one layer over high heat. Add enough fish stock and wine so that the liquid is ¾-inch deep (use the ratio of 2 parts stock to 1 part wine). When the liquid comes to a boil, turn down the heat so that it simmers gently.
  3. Cut out a circle of parchment paper the size of your skillet and heavily butter one side.
  4. Season the halibut with salt and pepper on both sides and add it to the simmering liquid. Cover with buttered parchment paper, and tuck the paper inside the skillet so that it touches the liquid and forms a bubble around the fish. This will keep the fish moist, but will let enough steam escape so that the liquid stays at a bare simmer.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven and cook fish for 8 minutes per inch of thickness. To check for doneness, separate the flakes with a fork. Fish is done if the flakes separate without much resistance even if some parts still look translucent.
  6. Remove the fish to warm serving plates with a spatula and a spoon. Cover with foil to keep warm while finishing the sauce.
  7. Pour the poaching liquid into a measuring cup. Discard all but 1 cup of liquid. Pour it back into the skillet and set it over high heat. Reduce the liquid for 3 to 5 minutes, down to roughly two-thirds of a cup.
  8. While the liquid is reducing, mash 1 Tbsp butter with 1 Tbsp flour in a small bowl using a fork until they form a smooth paste (beurre manié).
  9. Turn down the heat under the poaching liquid to medium and whisk in the flour-butter paste. Whisk vigorously until no lumps remain and the sauce thickens slightly. Whisk in cream and herbs. As soon as the sauce comes to a simmer, take it off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  10. Pour the sauce over the fish. Top with the orange sections and serve with good bread for dipping.

Notes

Good fish substitutions include sole, flounder, cod, haddock, hake, or any other mild white fish. If using thin fillets (like sole or flounder), fold them in half.

From Culinate via Helen Rennie; http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Contributors/Helen+Rennie/Poached+Halibut+with+Cilantro+Cream+and+Oranges

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