Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Escarole – We’ve been eating big escarole salads or wilting it slightly with out go-to toppings of rice and salmon.
- Lacinato Kale
- Cauliflower – The cauliflower plan really worked this year!
- Sweet Corn – Our last round of corn was delayed in planting and then set-back by the wildfire smoke, but we found some tasty morsels to share with you. One last taste of summer.
- Yukon Gem Potatoes – Great for baking, boiling, and frying, these are a higher yielding and more disease resistant child of the well known Yukon Gold and an obscure but hearty Scottish variety.
- Bunching Onions
- Shallots – shallots can be subbed for their red or yellow onion cousins, though you’ll find them to be milder and denser.
- Butternut Winter Squash
- Eggplant – We couldn’t help but salvage the last of the eggplant as we flipped their high tunnel home for winter greens.
- Shishito Peppers – the roulette peppers make another appearance. You may find that one in ten is hotter than these otherwise mild frying peppers. We like them diced into eggs, or anything really, or traditionally blistered in hot oil.
- Mixed Sweet Pepper
- Slicer or Cherry Tomatoes
A glance at the weather forecast this morning suggests that we’re in for the first cold weather of the season this week. Wednesday night we’ll have a chance of the first frost followed by lows in the high 20s over the weekend. We think of October 15th as our average first frost date, so I guess it’s right on time. We’ll be pulling peppers tomorrow and saying good bye to the tomatoes for the season. Fall has arrived!
The field dried out just enough to plant garlic and overwintering onions last Friday. This is our last big planting of the season and it always feels like an epic task. Luckily I’d used rainy days the previous week to crack the garlic heads and count the cloves out, so we were ready to jump into planting as soon as possible. After the garlic was in the ground we went right into onion planting and now the first sweet onions of 2021 are also in the ground.
With the annual autumn allium planting done we shifted to strawberries on Saturday. I’d mentioned last week that we’d been able to buy 1500 bare root Seascape strawberry plants from another farm that had ended up with too many. It was the perfect nudge to get a fall strawberry planting in the ground, something we’d had on our To Do list for months but hadn’t managed to actually do yet.
We’ve taken to growing strawberries (and several other crops) on landscape fabric. The landscape cloth helps control the weeds and is reusable for many seasons. Beginning with a fresh piece of cloth means first burning the holes to match our planting spacing. Jeff made a plywood template a few years ago and, after stretching out the fabric the length of a 200′ bed, we move template along the fabric and use a hand held propane torch to burn holes through the plastic. We then stretch the fabric over the prepared bed, tack it down with ground staples, and plant through the holes.
Luckily there were extra plants and 1750 plants later, we now have a strawberry planting for next spring.
This week we will be dodging the frosts, finishing up a little field house planting, beginning the process of tomato trellis removal, sowing cover crop (though it’s a little late), and plenty of mowing. That sounds like enough to keep us busy.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Warm Escarole Salad with Goat Cheese, Hard-Boiled Eggs, and Bacon
- 1 head of escarole, torn into large bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
- 2 bacon slices
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Divide escarole among 6 plates. Cook bacon in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain; reserve skillet with bacon drippings. Finely chop bacon; set aside.
Whisk olive oil and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add olive oil mixture and whisk just until heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over escarole. Sprinkle with eggs, goat cheese, and bacon.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/warm-escarole-salad-with-goat-cheese-hard-boiled-eggs-and-bacon-354830
Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole
- 1 cauliflower head
- 1 large broccoli head
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, more to taste
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Using your hands, break the cauliflower and broccoli into very small florets. Place them in a steamer and steam them over simmering water until slightly tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Set them aside.
3. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stirring it into the onion mixture and cook it for a minute or so. Pour in the broth, stirring continuously, and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the cream cheese and stir until it melts completely. Then stir in the seasoned salt, kosher salt, pepper, and paprika. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
5. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter and blend with a fork.
6. To assemble, butter a small (2-quart) casserole and add half the broccoli-cauliflower mixture. Pour on half the sauce, top with half the cheese, and sprinkle on a little paprika. Repeat another round of the veggies, sauce, cheese, and paprika…then top the casserole with the buttery breadcrumbs.
7. Bake the casserole for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden and the casserole is bubbly around the edges. Serve it nice and piping hot!
From Epicurious.com via The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime by Ree Drummond, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-cauliflower-casserole
Pasta with Roasted Vegetables, Tomatoes, and Basil
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray large roasting pan with nonstick spray. Combine red bell peppers, eggplant, crookneck squash and butternut squash in prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Combine pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes and basil in large bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and garlic. Toss to combine. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten, if desired. Mound pasta on serving platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Lynda Hotch Balslev, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pasta-with-roasted-vegetables-tomatoes-and-basil-3041