csa share – week 16 {september 6}

Welcome to the 16th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Artichokes
  • Summer Squash
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Beans – blue lake pole beans
  • Corn – a little more of Lucious sweet bicolor corn
  • Parsley – check out the tabbouleh recipe below!
  • Fennel
  • Salad Mix
  • Cauliflower or Broccoli or Cabbage – your choice of brassicas this week
  • Apples
  • Red Onions – beautiful onions from Minto Island Growers!

Labor Day has officially come and gone, and we know folks are starting to settle back into their fall routines.  The kids, and teachers, are headed back to school and the slow days of summer can give way to busy schedules for everyone.  The upside is that we’ve still got 11 weeks of CSA goodness so hopefully you don’t have to think too much about what veggies to pick up at the grocery store.

At this point in the season I’m guessing most folks have figured out a weekly rhythm to the CSA pick-up and are finding it easier to use up all of the vegetables in your share each week.  As schedules get busier you might find it even more beneficial to plan ahead to avoid wasting tasty veggies.  We find it helps to keep key ingredients on hand for quick meals at home.  These include items like pasta, eggs, flour, oils, and spices.  These types of staples lend themselves to quick and simple meals if you add veggies from your share.  And of course, we also try to cook extra portions for the next day’s lunch or for freezing and re-heating the next week.

We attempt to keep the share balanced each week, and don’t want to overwhelm you with vegetables.  We also want to make sure you’re getting a diverse selection of seasonal produce though.  If you are feeling like you’re getting too many veggies each week, you may want to think of preserving extras.  Many share items can be easily frozen and preserved for future meals.  Freeze zucchini and corn for winter soups and stews!  Make different types of pesto and freeze extra in ice cube trays for quick portion sizes to toss with pasta or top baguette pizzas.  We tend to can basics like tomato sauce and pickles for our winter supply.  We’d love to hear how you like to preserve the extra veggies from this bounteous part of the season.  And no matter how you’re choosing to use them, we hope you’re getting the most out of your CSA share!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

We’re new to cooking artichokes but we found these two websites really helpful:

http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke/

http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–944/all-about-artichokes.asp

Fabulous CSA member Melanie Jipping passed along this article from the New York Times about cooking with herbs, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/magazine/mark-bittman-letting-herbs-take-center-stage.html?_r=1&ref=markbittman, and I was inspired to share a parsley-centric Tabbouleh recipe!

Tabbouleh

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Serves 8

1 cup bulghur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch scallions, minced (white & green parts)
1 cup chopped mint leaves
1 cup chopped parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled & diced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Put the bulghur wheat in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over it, along with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
Stir, cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare all the other ingredients.
When the bulghur is cooked, add the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, & tomato. Season to taste with salt & freshy ground pepper. Toss to combine & serve.
It tastes even better made ahead of time. Let the salad rest for a few hours before serving, if possible.

From The Parsley Thief, http://www.theparsleythief.com/2009/06/tabbouleh.html

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National Farmers Market Week Candied Cherry Tomatoes and Farmers Market Pizza

Ingredients

Candied Cherry Tomatoes Ingredients:
1 pt. farm fresh cherry tomatoes, rinsed clean and dried with paper towel
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
~ Salt and pepper

Farmers Market Pizza Ingredients:
~ Your favorite veggies fresh from the farmers market, we used:
½ medium Vidalia onion, diced
2 ears of corn, remove husk and silk, cut kernels off cob
1 green bell pepper, rinse clean, diced
1 pastel bell pepper, rinse clean, diced
1 large red carrot, rinse clean, diced
2 celery stalks, rinse clean, diced
1 baguette, sliced into ¼ inch thin
~ All-natural pesto
~ Few pinches of salt
~ TOPPING: Candied Cherry Tomatoes

Use whatever veggies are in season. Broccoli, yellow squash and zucchini are very tasty to add into your veggie mix.

Steps

  1. For Candied Cherry Tomatoes, Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half and place into a bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and toss with tomatoes to coat.
  4. Place tomatoes onto a rimmed baking pan with a silpat liner on the bottom (makes for easier clean up).
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until roasted and carmelized.
  6. Note: Balsamic vinegar intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes and they taste sweet, almost like candy. Serve on crostinis, salads, etc. These tomatoes taste amazing as a topping on Farmers Market Pizza. Create your own topping for pizza using more Bluebird CSA farm fresh veggies including Vidalia onions, grilled squash & eggplant, colored bell peppers and more!
  7. For Farmers Market Pizza, Mix together all veggies in a bowl and add a few pinches of salt.
  8. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Cut baguette into ¼” slices and place onto rimmed baking pan with a silpat liner on the bottom (makes for easier clean up) and spread a thin layer of pesto onto each slice.
  10. Bake for 5 – 6 minutes until lightly toasted.
  11. Place baguette slices onto a serving platter.
  12. Top each slice with a spoonful of veggie mixture and place a few candied cherry tomatoes on top.
  13. Delish!

From Culinate via the Bluebird CSA collection, http://www.culinate.com/market/Bluebird+Market/recipes/kidsbox/national_farmers_market_week_candied_cherry_tomatoes_and_farmers_market_pizza

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Summer Corn Chowder with Bacon

  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels(cut from 6 to 8 ears)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb
  • 1 cup diced yellow zucchini or crookneck squash (about 2)
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled russet potatoes
  • 3 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Sauté bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add corn, fennel, zucchini, and potatoes to drippings in pot; sauté 5 minutes. Add 3 cups broth and simmer uncovered over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer 3 cups soup to blender. Holding blender top firmly, puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pot. Stir in cream and cayenne. Bring chowder to simmer, thinning with more broth if too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chowder into bowls and sprinkle with bacon and chives.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Summer-Corn-Chowder-with-Bacon-109569

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