Summer CSA Share – #17

Welcome to the 17th share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Savoy Cabbage – A crinkly leaved green cabbage that can be used in any recipe calling for green cabbage.
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Mixed Summer Squash & Zucchini – The summer squash is not long for this world as the powdery mildew has set in just as summer has officially ended. Enjoy it while you can.
  • Cucumbers
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Frying Peppers – I know, they look hot, but they aren’t!
  • Poblano Peppers – The classic chile relleno stuffing pepper, also great in any dish calling for peppers and a mild kick.
  • Aji Marchant Chile Peppers – A rare variety of pepper with an intriguing history you can read about here. Historically the immature peppers were used for pickling and the mature peppers for dried pepper powder. We shared these in their yellow stage a while back, now here they are a little more mature. They’re a hot one, and can be added to any dish for your hot pepper needs.
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Italian Prune Plums
  • Bartlett Pears
Late fall/winter greens are beginning to make an appearance. Good lettuce germination thanks to the recent cool weather (left) and cultivating in the field houses before the weeds get a jump (right).

Happy Autumnal Equinox! We’ve been feeling fall for weeks but now it’s officially arrived. This particular fall is shaping up to be a wet one, making progress on field work slower than we might like. With an eye on the weather forecast we plan out the days, knowing our plans might need to shift with the rain. Of course there’s still plenty of work to do in field houses, in the barn, in the propagation house etc. Unlike in recent years we’re fortunate to be free of the majority of the irrigation chores though. That, I suppose, is the upside to early rains.

Sweet peppers in the various stages of making and canning a red pepper spread.

I took some time during the rain this past week to preserve a little more of this summer bounty. More basil pesto, tomato sauce, and tomato juice got jarred up alongside a red pepper spread that is pure sweet pepper goodness.

Generally I like to keep things simple when it comes to canning. For instance I find unseasoned tomato sauce more versatile for future meals, so the canning process is straightforward. Just get the tomatoes into the jars. This red pepper spread is a little more involved as the peppers are roasted on a grill or under a broiler, then seeded and skinned, then pureed with roasted tomatoes and garlic. It can sound like too many steps, but the resulting pepper essence is worth the work. It’s delicious on pizzas and flatbreads, over pasta, and with crackers and cheese and salami!

Fresh peppers may be a thing of summer, but they can be enjoyed through winter too given a little forethought. Even if you’re not up to canning some peppers, don’t forget you can toss your extra peppers into the freezer for winter pepper goodness! As we head deeper into fall the summer crops will soon be only a memory.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Feta Cheese

  • 1 12- to 14-ounce eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch-thick rounds
  • 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 6 strips
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons purchased garlic-flavored olive oil
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper and onion on baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; turn to coat. Grill vegetables until tender and tinged with brown, turning frequently, about 6 minutes for eggplant and zucchini and about 10 minutes for red bell pepper and onion.

Divide vegetables between 2 plates; drizzle with vinegar. Sprinkle cheese and basil over and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit , https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-ratatouille-salad-with-feta-cheese-103770

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Potato, Green Cabbage, and Leek Soup with Lemon Crème Fraîche

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups diced green cabbage (1/2-inch dice; from about 1/2 medium head)
  • 3 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; 3 to 4 large)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 2 x 2-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1 Turkish bay leaf
  • 6 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth

Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon peel in small bowl to blend. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; sprinkle lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sauté until cabbage is almost tender but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer 1 cup cabbage to small bowl and reserve for garnish.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to pot with cabbage; add leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until leeks soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes, Parmesan rind, if desired, and bay leaf. Add 6 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Discard Parmesan rind, if using, and bay leaf. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with some of reserved sautéed cabbage. Drizzle crème fraîche mixture over soup; sprinkle with chives and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Maria Helm Sinskey, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-green-cabbage-and-leek-soup-with-lemon-creme-fraiche-364109

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Oatmeal, Almond, Pear, and Plum Crisp

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 3 medium pears (about 18 ounces), peeled, cored, thinly sliced
  • 3 large plums (about 10 ounces), halved, pitted, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Nonfat frozen yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 3 ingredients in bowl. Add oil; mix with fork until coarse crumbs form. Mix in almonds.

Combine fruit in 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Sprinkle sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg over. Sprinkle with oats. Bake until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serve with frozen yogurt.

From Epicurious.com via Epicurious, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/oatmeal-almond-pear-and-plum-crisp-102207

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