Summer CSA Share – #9

Welcome to the 9th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mixed Head Lettuce – Mostly big romaines this week, with some iceberg and a few red butterheads to choose from too.
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro – Admittedly this round of cilantro is bolting, but it’s still tasty so we wanted to share it with you one more time. Chopped up into a bowl of salsa, you won’t even notice the bolting.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash – Zucchinis, yellow straight neck, yellow pattypans, and a new variety called Magda, a middle eastern kousa-type.
  • Iko Iko Sweet Peppers – The first of the peppers! These are equivalent to green bell peppers at this stage.
  • Czech Black Hot Peppers – We grew these back in 2010 and I recall them being prolific. Slightly less hot than most jalapenos, these are likely mildly hot at this ripening stage.
  • Torpedo Onions
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Polenta – We grow a dent corn that grinds partially into flour and partially into polenta when milled. Last week we gave you corn flour and this week we’re sending you home with the polenta. We recently purchased a new stone mill, so if you’ve gotten polenta from us in the past you may notice a slightly different coarseness level. No worries, it should cook up the same. We like to cook this polenta in our rice maker using the same 1 part polenta to 2 parts water ratio we use with rice. For a more traditional polenta recipe check down below.
Propagation house frog friend (left) and Jeff harvesting chard (right).

Over the last couple of days I’ve been listening to an audiobook called “Why Fish Don’t Exist”. It’s a complicated swirl of a book that describes the life of David Starr Jordan, a ‘discoverer’ of fish at the turn of the last century, and also includes a personal narrative from the author’s life. It touches on a lot of topics as Jordan was also a prolific writer, naturalist, the first president of Stanford University, and a stalwart believer in the pseudo-science theory of eugenics. The author has a lot to untangle, both on the subjects she has researched and personally.

I appreciate a good historical lesson and this book did not disappoint in laying out the messy history of Jordan’s life and times. Unexpectedly it was the wrap-up at the end that I’ve been contemplating since I finished listening. The author describes the modern shift in scientific thinking regarding animal classification which has resulted in the realization that fish are not a proper classification “if organisms are grouped based upon synapomorphies (shared derived characteristics) only, and not upon symplesiomorphies (shared ancestral characteristics)” (per Wikipedia). She uses the example that a lungfish is more closely related to a cow than a trout based on its organs and physical structure. I’ll leave you to read the book for more information, but it’s quite a twist.

In this time of so much uncertainty and angst, I found some comfort in learning about this re-classification. That we are, as humans, still learning new things about this world and that we’re willing to change our perceptions based on that new knowledge is refreshing. I’m not sure any of that has anything to do with the CSA or vegetables, but it’s been on my mind and I thought I’d share.

Flowers on the farm (left) and flowers in the woods (right).

We’ll be back next week with a riveting farm update I’m sure. We’ve been busy getting early starts and keeping cool in the afternoons. We’ve been irrigating and weeding and harvesting and trying to keep up. We’re on the cusp of August and we’re deep into the work of the growing season.

We did manage a quick overnight camping trip in the woods. It was a wonderful juxtaposition to farm life. The week ahead will be a fall/overwinter crop planting party. Also, we’re getting a new well pump installed tomorrow, so fingers crossed we’ve got upgraded irrigation capacity later this week. Game on!

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

  • 12 cups cauliflower florets (from about 4 pounds cauliflower)
  • 1 large onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets in large roasting pan. Pull apart onion quarters into separate layers; add to cauliflower. Stir coriander seeds and cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Crush coarsely in mortar with pestle. Place seeds in medium bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer. Sprinkle with pepper.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 450°F oven 10 minutes, if desired.)

Mound vegetables in large bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit from A.O.C. in Santa Monica, CA, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-curried-cauliflower-230653

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Grilled Polenta with Corn, Red Onion, and Cucumber

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) or yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 ears corn, husked
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped English hothouse cucumber
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

Bring 4 cups water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, whisking until boiling and smooth. Reduce heat to low. Cook until very thick, whisking often, about 25 minutes (about 15 minutes for yellow cornmeal). Whisk in cheese. Spread in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Cool slightly. Cover; chill at least 6 hours.

Whisk lime juice, oil and garlic in large bowl to blend. Set dressing aside.

Spray grill with oil spray; prepare barbecue (medium heat). Spray corn and onion slices with oil spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until vegetables are tender, turning often, about 8 minutes for corn and 15 minutes for onion. Cool. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Coarsely chop onion. Add corn, onion, tomatoes, cucumber and mint to dressing; toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut polenta into 4 squares. Cut each square diagonally into 2 triangles. Spray polenta with oil spray. Grill until heated through, about 5 minutes per side.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Place 2 polenta triangles alongside each salad.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-polenta-with-corn-red-onion-and-cucumber-salad-103608

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Broccoli and Cheese Quiche

  1. Crust:
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
    • 11 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  2. Filling and assembly:
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 small shallot, chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 1 small head of broccoli (about 8 ounces), halved lengthwise, chopped (about 3 cups)
    • 1 bunch small Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn (about 4 cups)
    • 4 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)
    • 2 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
    • 6 large eggs
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
    • 1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream or whole milk
    • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  3. Special Equipment
    • A 9-inch springform pan

Crust:

Whisk salt and 2 cups flour in a large bowl to combine. Work in butter with your fingers until largest pieces are pea-size. Drizzle in 1/4 cup ice water and rake with your fingers to combine. Turn dough out onto a work surface and lightly knead to work into a shaggy dough (no dry spots should remain). Flatten into a disk; wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days ahead.

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14″ round. Transfer dough to pan. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into pan, then pat into corners and up around the sides of pan. Smooth out dough so it doesn’t have any creases or folds and trim to just below the rim. (Save any scraps for patching.) Freeze until very firm, about 20 minutes.

Line dough with 2 layers of overlapping parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans (ideally right up to the rim; pillage the pantry for old dried beans and rice to get you there). Bake until crust is golden brown all the way around edges (peek below the parchment), 60–75 minutes. Carefully remove parchment and pie weights. If needed, patch any cracks with reserved dough trimmings and bake crust just until patches are opaque, about 5 minutes. Let crust cool.

Filling and assembly:

Reduce oven heat to 325°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add Swiss chard leaves and cook, tossing often, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Stir in feta and cheddar.

Whisk eggs, egg yolks, cream, and half-and-half in a medium bowl just to combine. Mix in chives and salt; season with pepper. Scrape vegetable mixture into crust, then carefully pour in egg mixture. Bake quiche until filling is lightly browned and set across the surface but slightly wobbly in the center inch or two, 75–90 minutes. Let quiche cool in pan before unmolding and slicing.

Do Ahead

Quiche can be baked 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit (Adapted from Everything I Want To Eat by Jessica Koslow), https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-and-cheese-quiche

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