Welcome to the 11th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Fennel – have you tried making pesto from the fennel fronds? Just mix with oil, cheese, and nuts as with other pestos.
- Bunching Onions
- Salad Mix
- Summer Squash – more squash abundance!
- Cherry Tomatoes/Tomatillos/Peppers – a pint of salsa waiting to happen
- Slicer Tomato
- Blackberries – 2 pints again!
It seems as though summer has arrived, finally! And we have a share filled with summer veggies to match the weather. The tomatoes are ripening, the squash are abundant, and the cucumbers are coming on too. We’re excited to be offering some new items this week, and to be putting the cold spring behind us for good.
One enjoyable part of this season thus far has been meeting so many new enthusiastic vegetable eaters! We’re grateful for all of the members who joined us this year, both new and old. We’re proud to call ourselves your farmers and we’ve been having a good time getting to know folks better at the pick-up each week.
Last week a member had arranged to pick-up their share a bit later than the general pick-up time and was confused by the directions to our house because it’s in a neighborhood and decidedly not a farm. The incident made me realize that perhaps we hadn’t properly described our current farming situation. So here’s the skinny:
In fact we don’t live on the farm, and we have a house here in West Salem. This is our third year farming and we’re currently leasing the land in Lebanon. We have the option to buy it if we can find financing. Jeff is working full-time on the farm this year, having had a job on another farm last year and worked as a special education teacher for five years prior to that. I (Carri) continue to work my full-time day job as a GIS analyst, making maps for a software company, and help Jeff with farming in the evenings and on the weekends. We don’t currently have employees and it’s just the two of us that run the farm.
So, that’s the short story. Perhaps it’s a glimpse into your farmers’ lives. We’re looking forward to getting to know folks better as the season progresses. Hopefully you’re planning on coming down to the farm for the potluck on August 21st and you can get to know some of the other fantastic CSA members as well as see the farm too.
Enjoy this week’s vegetables!Your farmers, Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Eggs in a Nest
2 cups uncooked brown rice
Olive oil – a few tbsp
1 medium onion, chopped, and garlic to taste
½ cup dried tomatoes
1 really large bunch of chard, coarsely chopped
Cook rice with 4 cups water in a covered pot while other ingredients are being prepared.
Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden.
Add carrots and dried tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes, adding just enough water to rehydrate the tomatoes.
Mix the chard with other vegetables and cover pan for a few minutes. Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock.
Break an egg into each depression, being careful to keep yolks whole. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice.
(This recipe makes dinner for a family of four, but can easily be cut in half.)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
Also available here: http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/Recipes.html
Late Summer Lasagna
1 lb. ground beef, crumbled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. chile flakes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini), sliced into half-moons
4 to 6 garlic cloves, diced
2 lb. fresh tomatoes, chopped
⅓ cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves, or 1 tsp. dried oregano
6 to 8 oz. fresh leafy greens, such as kale, chard, or spinach, stemmed and chopped
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
½ tsp. sugar
~ Salt and pepper
1 package (8 or 9 ounces) lasagna noodles, either fresh, dried (precooked and drained), or no-boil
½ lb. mozzarella, shredded or chopped
1 lb. ricotta
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded, for garnish (optional)
- Cook the meat: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef for a few minutes, until the meat is evenly browned. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Make the sauce: Put the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the chile flakes and onion for a few minutes, then add the bell pepper and zucchini for a few more minutes. Add the garlic, then add the tomatoes and oregano. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes have released their juices and the sauce is watery, then add the greens, if using. Cook until the greens have wilted, then add the tomato paste and cook until the sauce thickens, about five to 10 minutes. Add the browned meat, then stir in the sugar and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the lasagne: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then place one layer of noodles across the bottom of the dish. Start layering the sauce, mozzarella and ricotta, and remaining noodles in any order you like, so long as you finish with some sauce or cheese on top.
- Cook the lasagne: Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, depending upon the type of noodles, until the noodles are cooked through and the sauce is bubbling. Add the Parmesan at the very end, just as the dish is finishing cooking, so the cheese melts on contact with the hot dish.
- Serve the lasagne: Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Pass the chiffonaded basil at the table, along with extra Parmesan, salt, and pepper if desired.
From Culinate via the Culinate Kitchen collection, http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Culinate+Kitchen/Main+Dishes/late_summer_lasagne
Poached Eggs in Cilantro Parsley Butter
3 T butter
1 ½ T chopped cilantro
1 T chopped parsley
Fill a wide, shallow pot with enough water to come at least four inches up its sides. Bring water to a full boil. Turn off the heat and carefully crack eggs, one at a time, into the hot water, keeping eggs separate from each other as much as possible. Cover pot and set a timer for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a shallow pan with a couple inches of cold water. After the three minutes are up, us a slotted spoon to carefully transfer each egg to the cold water. When eggs are cool, remove them with a spatula to a cutting surface. Trim off any ragged edges from the eggs with a paring knife. Eggs may be held in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you want to serve them.
To finish, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat, add herbs and cook briefly. Adjust heat to low, add eggs, and heat through, basting them with hot herb butter. Serve immediately with toast.
From “From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce,” Madison Area CSA Coalition