Summer CSA Share #21

Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2021 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – We like to eat escarole as a salad green under some warm rice and baked salmon topped with creamy dressing. It can be more dense than some like as a straight lettuce substitute, but holds up well to a light wilting in soups or recipes like the grilled cheese down at the bottom of this post.
  • Mizuna – A mild mustard-like green, mizuna is great raw in salads, tossed with pasta or into hot soups, or blended into pesto.
  • Broccoli
  • Merlot Napa Cabbage
  • Green Coriander – Is it bolted cilantro gone to seed? Sure, but it’s also fresh coriander! It’s got a unique taste somewhere between cilantro leaves and dried coriander. Pop off the seeds and toss them in salads, roasted vegetables, etc.!
  • Carrots!
  • Shunkyo Semi-Long Pink Radishes – Fun hot and sweet Asian radishes with edible leaves too!
  • Yellow Onion
  • Garlic
  • Matchbox Thai Hot Peppers – Good fresh or dried to add heat to any dish.
  • Shishito Peppers – The roulette peppers we love to blister in hot oil and eat straight away as a pre-dinner snack, 1 in 10 may be hot.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Butternut Winter Squash
Photo of winter squash in the barn above a photo of long pink radishes and a photo of tomatoes.
A view over the winter squash in the barn (top), Shunkyo Semi-Long Pink radishes (bottom left), and some of the last of the tomatoes for this season from last week (bottom right).

The days are getting shorter as we transition further into the fall months. I’m sure you’ve all also noticed the fewer hours of daylight for your commute or just trying to squeeze in all the activities of life. Soon the weekly pick-ups will be finishing up in the dark. On the farm shorter days mean cooler temperatures and slower growing plants.

We’re finally able to outpace the weeds in new plantings but those plantings will be slow to size up as we head deeper into fall. Luckily we have space in high tunnels that will give the late-season planted crops of arugula, lettuce, spinach, and bok choy some protection from the elements. We’ll eventually close in the ends and/or cover the crops with floating row cover to help keep them a little warmer but it’s impressive how much happier a late-fall stand of lettuce is inside a house vs outside.

Photo of a greenhouse planted with lettuce, bok choy, and scallions above a photo of onion transplants and a photo of garlic and garlic cloves.
A fully planted house of spinach, winter lettuce, bok choy, and bunching onions (top), overwintering onions in the propagation house (bottom left), and cracking seed garlic (bottom right).

Our preparations for the upcoming late fall and winter continued this past week as we managed to get our garlic, overwintering onions, and fava beans in the ground before rains set in for good. These are all long term crops that will grow slowly over the winter and then take off next spring for harvest around the beginning of next summer’s CSA season. They also mark the official end to our outdoor plantings for this season! Our final bed of salad mix went into a high tunnel on Sunday, which left the propagation house empty of transplants for the first time since this past spring. Though it really isn’t so long until we’ll begin filling it up again for another growing season, it’s nice to have a pause in planting pressure to finish up the harvests on deck.

In the week ahead we’ll be focused on getting the last of our potatoes out of the ground and into storage. There are also fall radishes to harvest, the latest apples to pick, dry beans to finish threshing, flour corn to shell, cover crop to sow, a new high tunnel to plan for, tractor maintenance to undertake, and the list goes on.

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

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Chicken Fajitas with Crunchy Lime Cabbage and Avocado

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for griddle
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 large red onion, halved, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or perhaps smashed green coriander)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
  • 6 to 8 fajita-size flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, sliced

Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, and chili powder in large bowl. Add chicken, bell pepper, and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Let stand 1 hour at room temperature or chill up to 4 hours.

Toss red cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, lime peel, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place large griddle over 2 burners and heat over medium-high heat. Brush griddle with olive oil. Spread chicken on griddle and cook until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are browned, turning frequently with tongs, about 7 minutes Total.

Divide chicken among warm tortillas; top with cabbage mixture and avocado slices.

From Epicurious.com by Tina Miller, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chicken-fajitas-with-crunchy-lime-cabbage-and-avocado-241618

Broccoli Caesar

  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk or 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan, plus more shaved for serving
  • 2 medium heads of broccoli (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1/4 head of savoy or Napa cabbage
  • Finely grated lemon zest (for serving)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash anchovies, if using, and garlic on a cutting board until a smooth paste forms. Transfer paste to a large bowl and whisk in lemon juice, mustard, and a big pinch of salt. Add egg yolk (or mayonnaise) and whisk until smooth. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan.

Trim woody ends from broccoli stems, preserving as much stem as possible. Peel any thick stems to expose tender inner cores. Cut off florets as close to the dark green flowers as possible and break into bite-size pieces. Add to bowl with dressing. Starting at the floret ends of the stems, slice very thinly crosswise and add to bowl. Thinly slice cabbage crosswise (you should have about 2 cups) and add to bowl with broccoli. Toss until broccoli and cabbage are combined and evenly coated with dressing; season with salt. Let sit 10 minutes.

Top salad with shaved Parmesan, some lemon zest, and a few healthy grinds of pepper.

From Epicurious.com by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/broccoli-caesar-salad

Yam Makeua Yang

  • 1 1/2 pounds long narrow Asian eggplants (about 5 to 6 medium)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 large), separated into rings
  • 1/2 cup coarsely torn Vietnamese coriander leaves, or 1/4 cup coarsely torn regular fresh coriander leaves and 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (and or some green coriander seeds too)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (preferably naam pla)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 small fresh red or green Thai (bird) chile or serrano chili, minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • Accompaniment:1 head Bibb lettuce, separated into leaves, rinsed, and spun dry
  • Thai Sticky Rice or Thai Jasmine Rice

Preheat broiler.

Cut eggplants diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding stem ends. On a lightly oiled large baking sheet arrange slices in one layer and broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until golden, about 8 minutes. Turn slices over and broil until golden, about 8 minutes. Cool eggplant slices slightly and chop coarse. In a bowl combine eggplant, shallots, and Vietnamese coriander (or alternative).

In a small bowl stir together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili and pour dressing over eggplant. Toss mixture well and let stand 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Arrange lettuce on a plate, overlapping leaves, and mound eggplant on tip. Serve eggplant with rice. Lettuce leaves can be used to pick up some salad.

From Epicurious.com, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/yam-makeua-yang-14429

Grilled Cheese with Onion Jam, Taleggio, and Escarole

  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) center slices sourdough bread (from a 9- to 10-inch round)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons onion or fig jam
  • 12 to 14 ounces chilled Taleggio or Italian Fontina, sliced
  • 1/4 pound escarole, center ribs discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

Brush 1 side of bread slices with oil and arrange, oil sides down, on a work surface. Spread jam on 2 slices of bread and divide cheese between remaining 2 slices. Mound escarole on top of cheese and season with salt and pepper, then assemble sandwiches.

Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-low heat until hot. Cook sandwiches, turning once and pressing with a spatula to compact, until bread is golden-brown and cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes total.

From Epicurious.com by Andrea Albin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-cheese-with-onion-jam-taleggio-and-escarole-241531

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