Welcome to the 12th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Sweet Corn – this week we have the bicolor variety Luscious!
- Summer Squash
- Eggplant – mostly a mix of the Italian heirloom Violetta di Firenza and the Japanese variety Diamond
- Romano Beans – “The buttery flavor and hearty texture of this Romano bean will take your garden by storm!” so says the seed source. And it’s true!
- Jalapeno Peppers
If you haven’t noticed, we’re well into tomato season. It’s time to start thinking about preserving some of that summer tastiness for winter in jars on the shelf or in the freezer. What’s your favorite way to preserve the tomato bounty? Do you have a favorite sauce, chutney, or ketchup recipe? If so, we’d love to share it with the group.
Every winter when we’re putting together our planting plan we get a little overwhelmed with all the varieties of tomatoes available. Cherries, slicers, heirlooms, plums, paste: how do you choose? To simplify our decision making this season, we chose to trust the seed folks at Uprising Seeds and 11 of the 21 varieties that made it onto the plan came from their selections. Of course we have a few favorites from years past that we had to include as well, but narrowing our focus to Uprising’s selections seems to have been a good choice thus far. Hopefully you’re enjoying the variety of tomatoes available to choose from at the pick-ups too.
In week’s past we’ve been giving out a lot of the yellow shouldered pink heirloom tomatoes called German Johnson and the red Italian Heirloom as seen in the photo above. This week we’re bringing you a plethora of the other colors of heirlooms including the “sunset orange” Gold Medal and the darker Carbon and Paul Robeson. With so many varieties to choose from, you could have a tomato taste test at home!
Last week proved to be another hot one on the farm, and we tried to hunker down and get as much work done as possible through the heat. We continued our battle against the weeds, seeded the overwintering onions, and transplanted chicories for winter salads. As difficult as it is to be in the wintery mind frame these days, I’m sure we’ll appreciate the effort when we’re actually in the depths of the the cold weather. Just about that time we’ll also be appreciating the jars tomato sauce we’re planning to get put up as well.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Green Beans Braised with Tomatoes and Basil
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 2 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup water
Garlicky Eggplant, Tomato and Basil Bobolis
- 4 medium Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 1-pound Bobolis (baked cheese pizza crusts)
- 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
- 6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese (such as Montrachet), coarsely crumbled
- 15 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)
Preheat broiler. Arrange eggplant slices on large baking sheet. Brush oil over both sides of eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until eggplant is tender and begins to brown, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Cool.
Place 2 large baking sheets in oven on separate racks and preheat to 500°F. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese over each Boboli crust. Top with eggplant slices, chopped tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic slices and fresh basil. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over pizza. Transfer Bobolis to preheated baking sheets in oven. Bake until cheese melts and pizza edges are brown and crisp, about 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into wedges. Reassemble on platter and serve.
4 medium eggplant, globe or Italian (to yield 2 cups cooked eggplant)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
¼ cup tahini (see Note)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
~ Salt to taste
~ Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
~ Diced parsley for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Prick the eggplant with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes or until soft and squishy but not burned. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the roasted flesh; chop coarsely. Discard the skins.
4. Purée cooked eggplant to a smooth consistency in a blender or food processor. Add garlic, tahini, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and the juice of two lemons; mix until blended. Season to taste with extra salt and lemon juice.
5. Serve as a dip for raw sliced veggies or pita bread, or as a sandwich spread.
Tahini is a purée of roasted sesame seeds. Look for it in a jar or can at your grocery store; it’s usually housed with Middle Eastern foods or on the same shelf as other nut butters, such as peanut butter.
From Culinate via Carrie Floyd, http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Culinate+Kitchen/Basics/baba_ganoush_eggplant_dip