Welcome to the 19th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Salad Mix
- Sweet Onions
- Shishito Peppers – Deborah Madison’s Sauteed Shishito Recipe is just what we’d do with them!
- Tomatillos – one more round of salsa verde anyone?
- Prize Choi
- Spaghetti Squash – This is a new one for us and we’re hoping to try out this Spaghetti Squash with Sausage Filling recipe soon!
Farming is humbling and difficult and awe inspiring, and I can’t imagine choosing different work. Having transitioned from the world of cubicles and spreadsheets, I’ve experienced the stability and comfort an office job affords. When folks ask me if I miss that life, it gives me pause. I don’t miss the long hours stuck in front of a computer or the commuting or the constant demand. I don’t really even miss the paycheck now. What do I miss then? Stability.
Another farmer mentioned once that farming is like doing magic. I think that’s true to an extent. We put tiny seeds in the ground and they grow into amazing amounts of food! What could be more magical? Perhaps expecting magic to be more stable is asking too much. After all, we’re working alongside nature and she has many different ideas about how things are going to unfold in any given season. As we learn and gain new skills and improve this land, I think we’ll also find more stability in this work and confidence in ourselves as we do it. In the meantime, I find that although the defeats can feel crushing, the victories are sweeter for it, and we’re finding some semblance of balance between the two.
In the fall of 2013 we direct seeded a row of cilantro. Some of that cilantro went into CSA shares. Some of it went to seed and re-sprouted in the early winter of this year. As that 2nd round was flowering, it made an appearance in an early CSA share this season. Then it went to seed again. We ignored it all summer. In August we had an empty bed next to the seed and Jeff came up with the idea to shake the seeds into the empty bed, effectively broadcast seeding the cilantro. Weeds sprouted. Jeff cursed and re-tilled the bed. Finally cilantro sprouted. And we celebrated victory!
This week we brought in the last of the winter squash from the field. A seeding mix-up in the spring (my fault!) has resulted in a plethora of spaghetti squash in the mix. This is our first time growing spaghetti squash, so what was meant to be a trial run has turned into a glut of sorts. We’ve got our fingers crossed that this is the next big thing in winter squash circles. Or at least amongst CSA members. Now who were those folks that requested this variety in the past? Let us know your favorite spaghetti squash recipes!
As we work to wrap up another season of farming, I can point to many successes and many failures. When you’re this close to something, it’s hard not to see it all. Happening upon the marigolds planted in the far corner of the the farthest field is a win. Realizing there’s a leak in a pipe you didn’t know existed, not so much. I can say for certain that I never had such strong connections to a spreadsheet back at the office job. Not a single one.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Oven-Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro, and Lime
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus small sprigs for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
- 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound baby bok choy (2-3 bunches), cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
- 4 4-ounce fillets flounder or other delicate white fish (up to 1/2″ thick)
Arrange a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Combine scallion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt and pepper; set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch. Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat. Add sake. Season flounder fillets with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
Spoon sake sauce from skillet into the bottom of 4 shallow bowls, dividing evenly. Add bok choy to each bowl, dividing evenly; top each bowl with 1 fish fillet. Spoon some cilantro-lime sauce over fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve remaining cilantro-lime sauce alongside for drizzling.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Oven-Roasted-Flounder-with-Bok-Choy-Cilantro-and-Lime-51133820
Lettuce and Beet Salad with Sour Cream Dressing
- 2 medium beets (about 8 ounces)
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 5 cups (packed) mixed torn lettuces (such as romaine, red leaf and butter lettuce)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets tightly in foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool; peel beets. Coarsely shred beets.
Whisk sour cream, onion, vinegar, sugar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Place lettuces in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top each with beets, dividing equally.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lettuce-and-Beet-Salad-with-Sour-Cream-Dressing-846
- 2 bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Coarse kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.
medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.
Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Tasha de Serio, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Radishes-with-Brown-Butter-Lemon-and-Radish-Tops-364609