Welcome to the 10th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Lemon Cucumbers
- Red Butterhead Lettuce
- Bunching Onions
- Rainbow Chard
- Mixed Summer Squash – choose from Dark Star zucchini, Magda cousa, and yellow straightneck summer squash
- Sweet Corn – This week’s corn isn’t quite as sweet as the past week’s has been. I think it would be best turned into corn chowder.
- Poblano Peppers – Poblanos are often stuffed for chile rellenos but they can bring a mild chile flavor to other dishes too.
- Tomatoes – slicers and cherries!
- Yellow Transparent Apples – An early apple variety that turns almost white and very soft at peak ripeness. Difficult for storage but excellent for applesauce. Jeff made a couple of pies out of these last week before they softened up and they were delicious!
The reprieve in 90 degree days was short-lived last week, but those couple of days with highs in the low 80s were welcome here on the farm. The heatwave has returned, and it doesn’t look like it will be letting up anytime soon. Can we just skip ahead to September? The hot weather has certainly brought on the summer crops though. Peppers, eggplants, tomatoes: it’s nightshade week! I should have thrown in some potatoes just to round out the family.
As we settle into August the work here on the farm continues with irrigation, planting for fall and winter harvests, and constant weeding and cultivation. Jeff has been tinkering with our 1947 Farmall Cub cultivating tractor some more this past week, even splitting it in half to replace the clutch. It looks like we may be back in working order and ready to get back to tractor cultivation, though somewhere along the way the starter has decided to stop working. Luckily it’s got a hand crank that works like a charm at the moment. It’s been all hand weeding and hoeing for me this week and I welcome the return of the tractor for weeding!
Enjoy the vegetables!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Sweet Italian Sausage Casserole
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) eggplant
- 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) zucchini
- 1 cup diced (1/2-inch) red or green bell pepper (or use poblanos for a little extra spice)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
- Cayenne or black pepper, to taste
- 2 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
1. Melt the margarine with the oil in a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add the sausage meat and cook for 10 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon; reserve.
2. To the same pot, add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved sausage, the tomatoes, parsley, basil and cayenne. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Spoon the mixture into an 8×9-inch, oven-to-table baking dish to fit and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 350°F preheated oven until the cheese melts, about 15 to 20 minutes.
From Epicurious.com via Parade, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sweet-italian-sausage-casserole-107343
Pita Sandwiches with Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes and Cucumber
- 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
- 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- Fresh breadcrumbs made from French bread
- All purpose flour
- 1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), unpeeled, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 6 pita bread rounds
- 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cucumber, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, cut into strips
Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, peppers, basil and garlic in medium bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 2 heavy large baking sheets with vegetable oil spray. Whisk olive oil, vinegar and oregano in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs and 2 tablespoons water in medium bowl to blend. Place breadcrumbs in shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. Lightly dust each eggplant slice with flour; dip eggplant into egg mixture and then into breadcrumbs, coating completely. Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil mixture. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake until brown on both sides and tender, turning occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool eggplant on baking sheets.
Place 2 or 3 eggplant slices in each pita. Stuff each pita equally with tomatoes, cucumber and red pepper strips. Drizzle 1/3 cup sauce over filling in each pita and serve.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Jill Browning, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pita-sandwiches-with-eggplant-peppers-tomatoes-and-cucumber-103259
Poblano Corn Chowder with Shrimp
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 large poblano chilies, seeded, chopped
- 2 14 3/4- to 15-ounce cans cream-style corn
- 1 16-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed (or use this week’s corn)
- 2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Mix 2 tablespoons butter and flour in small bowl to blend; set aside.
Finely chop onion and celery in processor. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion-celery mixture and chilies; sauté until soft, about 6 minutes. Add creamed corn and next 5 ingredients; bring to boil. Reduce heat. Whisk in butter-flour mixture and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Add shrimp and 4 tablespoons cilantro; simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle chowder into bowls. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/poblano-corn-chowder-with-shrimp-107062