Welcome to the 16th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Torpedo Onions
- Sweet Sunset Italian Mix Peppers
- Shiraz Beets
- Brussels Sprouts Tops – It’s time to top the Brussels so we’ll have fat sprouts later this fall. That means tasty greens now! Eat them up like kale or collards.
- Napa Cabbage
- Scarlet Runner Shelling Beans – Probably the prettiest shelling beans around! Shell the beans and use the greener pods to flavor a soup or stock. Alternatively, these could be really great on the grill.
- Pike Melons – this variety was bred in Monmouth, Oregon in the 1930s! I’m thinking cantaloupe sorbet. Recipe below.
This summer has been a whirlwind of work and heat and vegetables. Somehow we’ve ended up in the second week of September with a To Do list that includes harvesting many of the season-long crops like potatoes, winter squash, and dry beans. Weren’t we just planting those crops last week? My how time flies.
We came upon these two frogs in the photos above in the back orchard while we were harvesting apples this past weekend. Evidently the lush clover/grass mix of the orchard is good frog habitat. Seeing these little guys (or gals?) around the farm is always a good omen and helps us to take a moment to appreciate this place.
Work this week has continued as it does: irrigate, plant, weed, harvest. This week we transplanted a bed of lettuce, the second to last of the season. Again, with the time and the flying. We also spent some time during the height of the heat getting some notes down about how crops have done this year. Our winter planning session is usually well past the growing season’s end and often it’s difficult to remember how well the cucumbers varieties did in December for instance. We’ve learned some good lessons this year and getting those notes down now will save us time and hopefully improve next season’s plan.
Sunday evening we took a quick trip over the mountains to Bend. There was a promising Craigslist find that provided the reason for the trip, but I enjoyed the change in scenery along the way. Sometimes it’s difficult to walk away from that To Do list I mentioned earlier so we have a limited range these days. We hadn’t been over the pass in years and I very much appreciated seeing my favorite mountains in the distance, feeling the dry summer air, and enjoying a sunset from the east side. It’s a different world over there.
While I’m always happy to return to the farm, getting away can certainly provide much needed perspective and restoration. Hopefully you’re all enjoying the transition to fall and wringing out the last of the summer days before they’re only a memory.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Fettuccine with Ham and Napa Cabbage
- 1/2 pound fettuccine
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 pound cooked ham, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
In a large saucepan of salted boiling water cook the fettuccine until it is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta well. While the pasta is cooking, in a heavy skillet cook the onion and the cabbage in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are golden, stir in the ham and the caraway seeds, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Add the cream and simmer the mixture for 1 minute. In a large bowl toss together the fettuccine, the ham mixture, and salt and pepper to taste and add enough of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce to the desired consistency.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fettuccine-with-Ham-and-Napa-Cabbage-13300
Eggplant Rolls Filled with Basil ad Cheese
For the tomato sauce
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 pounds tomatoes, chopped coarse
- a pinch of sugar
For the eggplant rolls
- a 1-pound eggplant
- 1 cup grated mozzarella (about 1/4 pound)
- 3 1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) mild, soft goat cheese such as Montrachet, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
Make the tomato sauce:
In a heavy skillet cook the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes, stir in the garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, and salt to taste and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 20 minutes. Force the mixture through the fine disk of a food mill set over a saucepan and cook the sauce over moderately high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is thickened to the desired consistency.
Make the eggplant rolls:
With a hand-held slicing device or large sharp knife cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle the slices on both sides with salt and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes. In a bowl stir together the mozzarella, the goat cheese, and the shredded basil. Pat the eggplant dry, arrange one layer of it on the oiled rack of a broiler pan, and brush it with some of the oil. Broil the eggplant under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is golden. Turn the eggplant, brush it with some of the remaining oil, and broil it for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until it is golden. Transfer the eggplant to a large platter to cool and broil the remaining eggplant, brushing it with the remaining oil, in the same manner. Spread a mounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture lengthwise down the middle of each eggplant slice, leaving a 1-inch border at the wide end, and, beginning at the narrow end, roll up the eggplant jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the rolls, seam sides down, in an oiled flameproof shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and broil them for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted and bubbling.
Transfer the eggplant rolls with a spatula to serving plates, spoon the tomato sauce over them, and garnish the rolls with the basil leaves. Makes about 12 rolls.
From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Eggplant-Rolls-Filled-with-Basil-and-Cheese-12755
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded cantaloupe (about 1/2 cantaloupe)
Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Transfer to 11x7x2-inch glass dish and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
Puree cantaloupe in blender until smooth. Add to sugar syrup in dish and stir until well blended. Freeze until almost firm, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Transfer cantaloupe mixture to large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until fluffy. Return to freezer and freeze until firm (do not stir), at least 3 hours or overnight. (Sorbet can be prepared 3 days ahead.) Cover and keep frozen.
From Epicurious.com, via Bon Appetit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cantaloupe-Sorbet-4119