csa share – week 20 {october 2}

Welcome to the 20th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Basil
  • Small Red Torpedo Onions
  • Red and Yellow Sweet Peppers
  • Jalapeno Hot Peppers
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Purple and Yellow Snap Beans
  • Tomatoes – big heirloom tomato week!
  • Bartlett Pears

Can you believe it’s October already?  I think I’ve asked that question with each turn of the calendar this year, but October is serious.  Earlier in the year we can continue to sow seeds and transplant crops out to make up for past mistakes or to add to our fall and winter supplies, but things change in October.  The sunlight is noticeably limited compared to the long days of summer and we begin to race against the first frost and the inevitable rains that will quickly bring a halt to our extended summer luck.

Thanks to that luck we’ve already gotten our flour corn harvested, shucked, and in storage with less loss due to wet husks than in the past.  This weekend we also finished our onion harvest (better than last year, though not what we’d hoped for in the beginning of the season) and finished picking the plums before losing them to the birds.  And we also made a small dent in the Bartlett pears, which are making an appearance in this week’s share, and another new-to-us unknown apple variety that you’ll get to taste in the near future.  Sunday was a big day for fruit picking!

In the midst of this harvest race, we’ve also listed our house for sale this week.  If you’ve ever sold a house, you’re surely familiar with the packing, moving, cleaning, and staging that is required.  Our house is becoming emptier by the day, and our barn is getting fuller.  However, given our limited time, we’re hoping prospective buyers will look beyond our remaining stranded belongings and see the great things we love about this house.  In the meantime any free time we manage to scrape together is now getting quickly devoted to the big move.  Wish us good luck as we push ahead in this final step of the transition!

Enjoy this week’s vegetables!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
.

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Spinach, Pear, and Green Bean Salad with Riesling Dressing

  • 1/2 cup diced peeled cored ripe Bartlett pear
  • 6 tablespoons medium-dry Riesling
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound haricots verts or small green beans, trimmed
  • 6 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves (about 6 ounces)
  • 3 ripe Bartlett pears, quartered, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted

Purée diced pear, Riesling, lemon juice, shallot and Dijon mustard in food processor until smooth. With machine still running, gradually add vegetable oil through feed tube and blend mixture until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook green beans in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain well. Transfer beans to medium bowl filled with ice water and cool thoroughly. Drain well. (Dressing and beans can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Toss green beans, spinach and sliced pears in large bowl with enough Riesling dressing to coat. Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts.

.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Basil

  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, quartered if small or cut into 1/4-inch-wide wedges if larger
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb very small mozzarella balls (1/4 inch; sometimes called perlini) or 1 lb lightly salted mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed small basil leaves or torn large leaves

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until dressing is emulsified. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooks’ notes: •Salad, without vinaigrette, can be assembled 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Salad can be dressed 1 hour ahead and kept at room temperature, covered.
•Vinaigrette keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.

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