csa share – week 19 {september 25}

Welcome to the 19th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Summer Squash
  • Garlic
  • Jimmy Nardello Peppers – we think these may be the best sweet peppers around!
  • Carrots – bunches of yellow carrots this week – great for cooking!
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Prize Choi
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes – a quart of colorful saladettes, including the dark indigo rose variety
  • Plums – not especially sweet but excellent dried, we think these are Italian drying plums

Whoa, sorry for the late post this week!  We hope you’re enjoying the tasty veggies this week already.  And what a colorful share it is: red peppers, orange tomatoes, yellow carrots, green broccoli, blue plums, and purple striped garlic!

It’s always an interesting task to pull the share together each week.  We aim for a mix of roots, fruits, greens, and alliums.  You probably recall that the early shares were more focused on the greens and then we shifted into the fruits of summers.  We’ve learned to eat the summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers when they;re straight off the vine because they don’t last forever.  You’re lucky if you have a few jars of that summer taste stored in the pantry for rainy winter nights.  Although the weather has been fantastic the last couple of weeks, we can definitely feel the shift towards fall and the seasonal shift in produce can’t be too far behind.

This past weekend we finally set enough time aside to construct our storage cooler.  The cooler panels had been stacked in a corner of the barn for a couple of years, since we purchased the panels for our current walk-in cooler back in 2010.  Now that we have the space in the barn, we were able to use the extra panels to double our cooler space.  Although the panels are insulated already, we’ve added more insulation and built a sliding door for easy access.  We purchased an ingenious computerized device that tricks a regular air conditioned into cooling down to refrigerator temperatures.  It’s worked well for us so far and we’re excited to have storage space dedicated to the winter squash, potatoes, and apples destined for future CSA shares.

Speaking of storage crops, the remaining plums from this week’s share are headed into the cooler.  Let us know if your interested in a bulk purchase of them and we’ll bring them to next week’s pick-up.

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spiced Plum Chutney

  • 1 whole star anise*
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 2-inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds red, black, green, or blue plums (tart or sweet; about 5 large),quartered, pitted

Finely grind star anise, clove, and cinnamon stick in spice mill or coffee grinder.

Combine spice mixture, vinegar, sugar, ginger, mustard seeds, and pepper in heavy large saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and bring to boil. Add plums; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chutney thickens and chunky sauce forms, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool. Season to taste with salt.

*Available in the spice section of some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Asian markets.

.

Szechuan Noodles with Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (or more) canned vegetable broth
  • 1 cup super-chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce*
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces dried chow mein udon (Asian-style noodles)*
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 large bok choy leaves
  • 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

*Available at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets.

Mix 1/2 cup vegetable broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chili-garlic sauce and minced garlic in medium bowl to blend well (sauce will be thick). Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, about 6 minutes. Drain. Rinse noodles under cold water and cool. Cut noodles into 4- to 5-inch lengths. Transfer noodles to very large bowl. Toss with oil to coat.

Cut bok choy, peppers, carrots and onions into matchstick-size strips. (Sauce, noodles and vegetables can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover separately; chill. Bring sauce to room temperature before continuing, thinning with additional broth if necessary.)

Add shredded cabbage and vegetable strips to noodles. Toss with enough peanut sauce to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

.

Roasted Red Peppers

  • 5 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, discarding stems and seeds
  • Olive oil for rubbing

Rub outsides of peppers with oil, then arrange peppers, cut sides down, in 1 layer in a large shallow baking pan.

Preheat broiler

Broil peppers 4 to 5 inches from heat until well charred (peppers will not char evenly, especially at ends), 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, then let stand about 20 minutes.

When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off skin. Chop peppers and reserve 1/4 cup for saffron rouille (if making) or for another use.

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