Summer CSA Share – #21

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!
  • Broccoli
  • 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!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett

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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

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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

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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

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Summer CSA Share – #20

Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Salad Mix – A mix of lettuces and spinach this week.
  • Collards
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Rose Finn Apple Fingerling Potatoes – An heirloom fingerling variety that is tasty boiled, roasted, or baked.
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Mixed Onions – More torpedoes or yellow storage onions.
  • Carnival Acorn Winter Squash
  • Hot Peppers – Choose from mild Habaneros or Czech Black this week.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer or Cherry Tomatoes
Collards!

We were talking with a CSA member at last week’s pick-up about their favorite seasons. It seems she’s making an effort to embrace autumn this year, though she prefers summer. She made a case for the sunshine and warmth and swimming that summer affords. Fair points all. But I think Jeff and I both agree that autumn has a lot more going for it.

We welcome the return of the rain (the end of irrigation season!), the foggy mornings, and the hearty vegetables that mark the transition from summer to winter. The weather is certainly more unpredictable for working outside but adding a layer or two is generally preferable to trying to stay cool through summer heat. And though we love long summer nights as much as the next person, the earlier sunsets this time of year make for a good excuse to head in for dinner before 9pm.

Perhaps, like enjoying eating seasonally, we can enjoy each new season for what it has to offer. Here on the farm above all this is the season of big harvests, something we always fully embrace and appreciate.

Potato harvest (left), a blustery day (top right), and time to crack seed garlic (bottom right).

After a couple days of dedicated potato harvesting last week we managed to clear the potato field ahead of the rain. The potato harvest becomes much more of a chore once mud season arrives and we’re glad to have them out of the ground ahead of it. We had a good harvest this year and now one of our walk-in coolers is full of spuds for future CSA shares. Filling up the barn with food for the future is a highlight of the fall harvest season. The unknowns of the winter ahead aren’t quite so scary with storage vegetables already harvested. There will be potatoes!

Luckily it looks like we’ll have another chance at some time in the field before the rain sets in for good. Hopefully things dry out enough for a last round of tillage and final bed prep. We’ve got garlic and overwintering onions to plant this week. And fava beans too. And we also scored 1500 bare root strawberry plants from another farm that ended up with too many that need to find a spot in the field for spring berries!

The seasonal shift is upon us as we begin wrapping up the growing season. We’re already making the long winter To Do list and thinking ahead to what’s next.

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:

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved down the middle, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups tightly packed torn kale (or Collards!)
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

From Epicurious.com via SELF by Larraine Perri, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/acorn-squash-with-kale-and-sausage-51203850

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Peanut Rice Noodles with Pork and Collard Greens

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 oz. regular-width rice stick noodles
  • 1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 (1 1/2″) piece ginger, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch collard greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Remove from heat; add noodles. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 4 minutes (time may vary by brand). Drain and rinse under cold running water.

Meanwhile, whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup water in a medium bowl. (Sauce will look a little broken and lumpy.)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook pork, breaking up with 2 forks, until nearly cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add collard greens and cook, stirring occasionally, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add sauce and noodles and bring to a simmer; cook, tossing occasionally, until sauce is reduced by half and coats noodles, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Chris Morocco, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/peanut-rice-noodles-with-pork-and-collard-greens

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Cauliflower and Feta Omelet

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch-wide florets (3 cups)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

Beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté cauliflower until browned and tender, 5 to 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and sauté 1 minute.

Pour eggs over cauliflower. Cook, lifting edges to let uncooked egg run underneath and shaking skillet occasionally to loosen omelet, until almost set, 4 to 5 minutes. Slide out onto a large plate. Put skillet over omelet and, using pot holders, firmly hold plate and skillet together, then invert omelet back into skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Slide out onto plate and sprinkle with feta and parsley.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Ruth Cousineau, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cauliflower-and-feta-omelet-241479

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Summer CSA Share – #19

Welcome to the 19th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Mixed Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Torpedo Onion
  • Kabocha Winter Squash – Choose from orange-skinned ‘Sunshine’ or green-skinned ‘Sweet Mama’ kabocha types. With a drier flesh than pumpkins and other squashes, kabocha squash is great roasted, in soups, and makes great pie!
  • Tomatillos – One last chance for salsa verde!
  • Hot Peppers – Choose from Jalapenos and Czech Black
  • Mixed Sweet Pepper
  • Slicer Tomato
  • Cherry Tomatoes
As usual I didn’t manage to snap many photos from the CSA farm event, but there were pumpkins! And a self-guided tour with accompanying map for members to explore the farm.

Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm this past Saturday for our CSA pumpkin patch and open farm event! It was great to see so many members (and so many kids!) enjoying the farm on what turned out to be a beautiful fall day. We appreciate everyone respecting the physical distancing and masking needs that COVID-19 has wrought. Although it was an abbreviated event as compared to past years, it was great to see so many pumpkins find homes. Hopefully we’ll be back to potlucking and apple cidering in the future.

We continued the harvest theme before and after Saturday’s CSA event by finishing up the winter squash harvest and digging three more beds of potatoes. It’s nice to have all the winter squash safely in the barn and that field finally mowed down. Adding up the squash harvest total now that the butternut is in, it looks we grew 5,350 individual squashes this season. That’s around 300 more than last year. Fingers crossed it’s enough to see us through the next two months of the Summer CSA and at least some of the following five months of the Winter CSA.

We’re about halfway through the potato harvest and we’ve been pleasantly surprised with the yields across all the varieties thus far. It’s been a weird year on the farm, but a good one for potatoes it would seem. We’re quickly filling up the walk-in coolers! We’ll endeavor to focus and finish it up this week before more rain comes this weekend. We’ll also be saying goodbye to the eggplant to make room for lettuce and more chicories in a high tunnel. It feels like we’re beginning the wrap-up of the season, though we have plenty more left to share with you. Seven more Summer CSA weeks to go!

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:

Spice-Roasted Cauliflower with Beet Emulsion

  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp crushed saffron threads
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed, cut into large pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup canned beets (or 1/2 cup fresh, cooked beets, pureed in a blender)
  • Juice of 1 lime

Heat butter and 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a medium sauté pan. Add all spices and season with salt. Cook about 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and honey and cook about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so on all sides. When cauliflower is tender, remove it; add beets and lime juice to pan and reduce liquid by half. Add remaining oil. Divide cauliflower among 4 plates and drizzle with beet emulsion. Serve hot.

From Epicurious.com via SELF, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spice-roasted-cauliflower-with-beet-emulsion-230322

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Colcannon

  • 1 1/4 pounds (about 2 large) russet (baking) potatoes
  • 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup milk, scalded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan cover the potatoes with salted water and simmer them, covered, for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. While the potatoes are simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the cabbage for 5 minutes, or until it is tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander, force them through a ricer or the medium disk of a food mill into a bowl, and stir in the milk, the butter, the cabbage, and salt and pepper to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/colcannon-11710

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Fish Taco Platter

  1. Pickled Red Onion and Jalapeños
    • 1 red onion (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise, cut thinly crosswise
    • 5 whole small jalapeños
    • 2 cups seasoned rice vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  2. Baja cream
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 teaspoon (packed) finely grated lime peel
    • Pinch of salt
  3. Tomatillo Salsa Verde
    • 12 ounces tomatillos,* husked, stemmed, divided
    • 4 green onions, white and green parts separated
    • 1 jalapeño chile
    • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
    • 1 1/4 cups (packed) fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
  4. Fish
    • 2 cups buttermilk
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
    • 3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 2 pounds skinless halibut, sea bass, or striped bass fillets, cut into 1/2×1/2-inch strips
    • 16 corn tortillas
    • 2 cups self-rising flour
    • Vegetable oil (for frying)
    • Fresh salsa
    • Guacamole

For pickled red onion and jalapeños:

Place onion and jalapeños in heatproof medium bowl. Mix vinegar, lime juice, and salt in small saucepan. Bring just to boil, stirring until salt dissolves. Pour over onion and jalapeños. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For baja cream:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For tomatillo salsa verde:

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil roasting pan. Char half of tomatillos, white parts of green onions, and jalapeño directly over gas flame or in broiler. Transfer charred vegetables to prepared roasting pan. Add remaining tomatillos and garlic cloves to pan. Roast until all vegetables are soft, about 12 minutes. Cool.

Stem and seed jalapeño. Place all roasted vegetables, green onion tops, cilantro, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in blender. Puree until smooth, stopping to push vegetables down into blades several times. Transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and more lime juice, if desired.

For fish:

Mix buttermilk, cilantro, pepper sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, and lime juice in large bowl. Add fish; toss. Cover; chill at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Wrap tortillas in foil; place in oven to warm. Whisk flour and remaining 2 teaspoons salt in medium bowl. Add enough oil to large skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Heat oil until thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, remove fish from marinade and dredge in flour. Carefully add fish to skillet, cover partially, and fry until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain, then transfer to oven to keep warm.

Set up buffet with all taco fixings, along with fresh salsa and guacamole.

*Green and tomato-like with a papery husk, tomatillos are available in the produce section of some supermarkets and Latin markets.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Bruce Aidells & Nancy Oakes, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fish-taco-platter-233703

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Summer CSA Share – #18

Welcome to the 18th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Basil
  • Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi is great shaved into salads or roasted with other root vegetables. And don’t forget about kohlrabi sticks and peanut butter! Plus, check out the kohlrabi fritter recipe I’ve included down below.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Large Bunching Onions
  • Mixed Onions
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Mixed Snap Beans
  • Mixed Hot Peppers – Choose from mild habaneros and hot Carrot peppers this week.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomato

CSA Members! It’s time to take a visit to the pumpkin patch! We’re inviting you out to the farm for an abbreviated fall farm visit. Come see your food growing in the field and snag some pumpkins! Check you member email for the details.

We harvested the majority of the winter squash this week. Beginning the squash harvest always feels a little overwhelming but the progress is easy to see as beds empty and the colorful fruits begin to pile up.

The process entails one of us clipping the fruits and moving them into groups and the other coming behind and picking them up and piling them into pallet bins. As they’re picked up they’re also counted so we can compare harvest quantities to past and future harvests and know how many are available to be doled out in the coming weeks and months in CSA shares. We’re up to just over 4,000 fruits so far, with only the butternut left in the field for another week of ripening.

The piles of squash in the barn make us feel a little more secure as we come ever closer to the end of the growing season. There will be food this winter!

It was a week of harvesting as we also managed to bring in the dry beans for drying down, make some more progress in the potatoes, and harvest our meager apple/pear crops. This was not a great tree fruit year for us sadly. The quality of the fruit we did harvest makes it best for preserving, which is a good thing for dried apples this winter, but not so great for fall CSA shares.

We’re pretty happy to see the sunshine return this week! After weeks of smoke followed by rainy fall-like weather we’ll take some warm temperatures and sunny days. September has been a very weird month. Hopefully this week’s sun will help us eek out some more tomatoes for you.

This week we’ll be harvesting more potatoes, bringing in the butternut, and prepping for Saturday’s CSA pumpkin patch. We look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday! There are lots of pumpkins to choose from!

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:

Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken and Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 12 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 4 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 small Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken; stir 2 minutes. Add green beans and eggplant pieces; stir 1 minute. Add broth, coconut milk and fish sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in basil and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-red-curry-soup-with-chicken-and-vegetables-4260

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Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan

  • a 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, reserving one half for  another use, and the seeds discarded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves plus additional for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cherry tomatoes

In a glass baking dish arrange the squash half, cut side down, pour 1/4 cup water around it, and cover the dish tightly with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave the squash at high power (100%) for 12 minutes, or until it is soft when pressed, and let it stand, covered, for 3 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, 1/4 cup of the basil, the oregano, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, stir in the tomatoes, and season the mixture with salt and pepper. While the squash is still warm scrape it with a fork to form strands, add the strands to the tomato mixture, and toss the mixture until it is combined. Divide the mixture between 2 bowls, sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan over it, and garnish it with the additional basil.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spaghetti-squash-with-tomatoes-basil-and-parmesan-12841

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Kohlrabi Fritters

  • 2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped (about 16 oz.)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup (about 2 7/8 oz.) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Step 1

Using the grating disc attachment of a food processor, process kohlrabi until finely shredded. Squeeze grated kohlrabi between paper towels to remove excess liquid. Place squeezed kohlrabi in a medium bowl. Add egg, 2 tablespoons of the flour, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt to kohlrabi, and stir to combine.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Using floured hands, pat kohlrabi mixture into 12 (3-inch) flat discs. Sprinkle remaining flour on both sides of discs. Fry fritters in two batches until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with chives and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; serve with sour cream and applesauce for dipping.

From CookingLight.com by Ivy Odom, https://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/kohlrabi-fritters

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Summer CSA Share – #17

Welcome to the 17th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – We snap the tops off our Brussels sprouts to help the plants focus on making sprouts. At some point we realized these tops are really tasty and we should all be eating them. Treat them like kale in the kitchen.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Red Potatoes – Give these guys a scrub or peel them to get rid of the surface scab.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Torpedo Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mixed Snap Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Numex Suave Orange Mild Habanero Peppers – A mild habanero pepper that packs the fruitiness and aroma of a hot habanero with just a little of the heat.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomato
  • Cherry Tomatoes
Last Thursday’s big thunder and windstorm left us with some ripped plastic on a high tunnel and flattened corn stalks. Could have been worse! Luckily we were able to re-cover the high tunnel Saturday and plant it out Sunday. I was more excited about the planting than Leo.

After a week+ of living in the smoke we were really looking forward to the forecasted rain Thursday night. We weren’t quite expecting the lightning show that arrived at 1am along with a fierce windstorm that felt like it must be wreaking havoc outside. After 45 minutes of battering rain and wind, the storm had passed us over. Greenhouses and barns and our house all appeared to still be intact, though the electricity was out. Friday we assessed the minimal damage, mostly just wind-whipped crops, then got to work digging potatoes and planting out empty beds in high tunnels with fall and winter greens.

I finally made my way to our farthest high tunnel around 2pm, ready to finish planting, and realized the plastic had ripped along the whole east side. It looked fine from a distance but closer inspection showed the plastic wasn’t salvageable. I called Jeff and told him the news. Sudden change of plans. We quickly wrestled the 50’x100′ piece of torn plastic to the ground and got it folded up for storage.

Next Jeff ran up to the nursery supply store just before closing and bought a new piece of plastic. Saturday morning Jeff reinforced the high tunnel with an extra channel for the wire that secures the plastic and fixed some structural pieces that had broken in the storm. We pulled the new piece of plastic in the afternoon. By Sunday things were back on track and I planted the planned Napa cabbage, chard, cialntro, tatsoi, arugula, kale, and fall radishes into the newly repaired house.

It’s officially fall! And right on time we’ve had to dust off the rain gear, the pumpkins are turning orange, and the flour/polenta corn is ready for harvest!

Sometime between the arrival of the smoke on Labor Day and Thursday’s storm, it would appear the seasonal switch flipped to autumn. Instead of working through an endless summer we’re suddenly experiencing foggy mornings and had to break out the rain gear to stay dry in the fields. And the mud season has arrived too. All right o schedule with today’s autumnal equinox.

It’s time to gather all the things we’ve been meaning to gather in. In between the high tunnel repair we brought in the 600 row feet of flour/polenta flint corn for drying and 400 row feet of potatoes for storage. That’s some progress, though there are 3000 row feet of potatoes to go. This week we’ll pick-up all the winter squash, and hopefully get to the apples and dry beans and more potatoes too depending on how the weather pans out. It’s harvest season!

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:

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced with the grain
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Lime wedges, for squeezing

Cook 1 tablespoon of the oil, the curry paste and onions in a large saute pan over medium heat, stirring often and letting sizzle, 5 to 6 minutes. Pat the chicken dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the remaining oil to the pan. Cook the chicken in the onion-curry mixture until golden on all sides. Add the broccoli, carrots, basil, garlic and lime zest and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Let the chicken simmer until cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Squeeze with lime juice before serving.

From FoodNetwork.com by Melissa D’Arabian, https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/melissa-darabian/easy-chicken-curry-with-vegetables-recipe-2107356

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Bistro French Fries with Parsley and Garlic

  • 4 medium russet potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices, then cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-wide strips. Pat potato strips dry with paper towels. Combine potatoes and oil in large bowl; toss to coat well. Divide potatoes between 2 large baking sheets; spread in single layer. Bake until potatoes are deep golden brown, turning and rearranging potatoes frequently, about 40 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to bowl. Toss with parsley, garlic and coarse salt.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bistro-french-fries-with-parsley-and-garlic-105558

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Green Bean, Corn, and Coconut Stir-Fry (Thoren)

  • 3/4 cup grated dried unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 small fresh green chile, such as serrano, Thai, or jalapeño, slit lengthwise with stem end intact
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 15 to 20 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 pound green beans, thinly sliced crosswise (1/4 inch)
  • 3 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs

Stir together coconut, cumin, coriander, cayenne, turmeric, chile, garlic, 1/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a wok or 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook mustard seeds and red pepper flakes until mustard seeds begin to pop and/or turn gray. Add curry leaves (if using), covering skillet immediately as they crackle for a few seconds.

Add green beans and corn and stir-fry 8 minutes. Add coconut mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. If mixture becomes dry and begins to stick to bottom of wok, add a few tablespoons water. Season with salt.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Maya Kaimal, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/green-bean-corn-and-coconut-stir-fry-em-thoren-em-394669

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Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets, including tender leaves
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss cauliflower and 4 tablespoons oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and top with lemon zest.

DO AHEAD: Lemon-parsley mixture can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Dawn Perry, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-cauliflower-with-lemon-parsley-dressing-51198450

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Summer CSA Share – #16

Welcome to the 16th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Mini Romaine Head Lettuce
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – We snap the tops off our Brussels sprouts to help the plants focus on making sprouts. At some point we realized these tops are really tasty and we should all be eating them. Treat them like kale in the kitchen.
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Mixed Small Onions
  • Mixed Eggplant – I heard a discussion of eggplant in the middle of this week’s Milk Street Radio podcast that seemed just right for the CSA. What’s the best way to cook eggplant? If you’re unsure, you might like to give it a listen by clicking here and skipping to 44:48 in the episode.
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Melon

CSA pick-ups are still happening this week! We know it’s smoky out there but we think it’s important for members to have access to their weekly share of the harvest if they can make it to the pick-up. Let us know if you’d like us to bring your share to your car so you can avoid the air.

Smoke on Thursday and Friday (top) vs the following Monday (below). It’s getting better!

What an unexpectedly strange week we’ve all had. Our thoughts have been with those evacuated and those who prepared to evacuate, and especially those who lost property and more in the last week due to these fires. We know these numbers include some of our CSA members and families of CSA members. We hope everyone is staying safe as things get sorted out and the smoke (literally) clears.

Much of last week the farm was in a thick cover of smoke. It made outdoor work unpleasant and we tried to hunker down inside as much as possible. But the work doesn’t stop just because of smoke and we pushed through, trying to make progress on fall projects. Though we didn’t make as much progress as hoped (it was a one step forward two steps back sort of week) we’re set up to really plough through things this week.

A pie pumpkin growing in the flour corn (left) and a frog friend in the broccoli patch (right).

Harvesting this week’s share has been an interesting process of checking in on crops and seeing how they’ve handled the smoke cover. Growth has definitely been slow this week, which isn’t surprising as the sun has been hidden and we’ve been plunged into much cooler temperatures. The cooler temps have been good for germinating our overwintering lettuce and onion crops in the propagation house though!

This is a tricky time of year to see a slowing of plant growth. We depend on the final warm days of September to give fall and winter crops a boost as we transition to cooler weather and shorter days ahead. We’d been preparing for days in the high 80s and 90s when the smoke inversion hit and slowed things down. Time will tell how this plays out in the long term. It looks like the powdery mildew that had already begun to set in has really found purchase and we may be seeing the end of the season’s summer squash and cucumbers. Luckily there are vegetables this week to eat!

Getting in a bed of spinach this weekend!

The week ahead will be much more productive than last week. Fingers crossed we’ll be actually harvesting and planting and harvesting some more! We’ve also got our annual organic inspection via Zoom tomorrow thanks to COVID-19 precautions. Turns out our inspector was evacuated from his farm east of Eugene this past week. What a strange year!

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:

Herb-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Feta

  • 1 1 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, cored, quartered lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place eggplant and tomatoes on rimmed baking sheet; toss with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons oregano, salt, and pepper. Roast until eggplant is tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Transfer eggplant and tomatoes to platter. Sprinkle with feta and 2 teaspoons oregano and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Sara Foster, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herb-roasted-eggplant-with-tomatoes-and-feta-240367

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Corn & Salmon Chowder

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium fennel bulb with fronds, trimmed, bulb halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons fronds chopped and reserved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups canned vegetable broth
  • 1 8-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen yellow corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 12-ounce piece skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, sliced fennel, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables are light golden, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth and potato and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potato is tender, about 12 minutes.

Purée milk and 1 cup corn in blender. Add corn purée, remaining 1/2 cup corn and salmon to pot. Simmer uncovered over medium heat just until salmon is opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/corn-and-salmon-chowder-104175

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Roasted Eggplant and Crispy Kale with Yogurt

  • 2 medium Italian eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds total), quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mango powder (amchoor; optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 Tuscan kale leaves, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely torn
  • 1 medium Persian cucumber
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss eggplants with vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast, tossing halfway through, until eggplants are charred in spots and tender, 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with mango powder (if using) and cumin, and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, heat a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Add kale, arranging to fit in a single even layer (work in batches if needed), and cook, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp, about 4 minutes.

Grate cucumber on the medium holes of a box grater; squeeze out excess liquid with your hands and transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic; season with salt.

Toss tomatoes with a good pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil in a medium bowl. Spoon yogurt mixture onto a platter and layer eggplants, kale, and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with more olive oil.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit from Gunpowder, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-eggplant-and-crispy-kale-with-yogurt

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Summer CSA Share – #15

Welcome to the 15th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Lettuce Mix
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro
  • Mixed Beets
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Onions
  • TomatillosLooking for recipes beyond salsa verde? Check out the gazpacho recipe below!
  • Cucumbers – choose from slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons

Winter CSA Sign-up is Happening! Many thanks to everyone who has already jumped into the upcoming 2020/2021 Winter CSA. After just two weeks of accepting memberships we’re already 85% full for the Winter season that begins in December. We appreciate the enthusiasm for winter vegetables! If you haven’t yet sign-up you can get all the details and a link to the sign-up form right here.

Man things can change quickly! One minute we’re harvesting tomatillos on a beautiful summer evening and the next we’re harvesting tomatillos in what feels like a camp fire’s direct smoke. As you’ve all likely experienced, the wind picked up in the trees and the smoke thickened quickly last night. It was hard to believe that it wasn’t our neighbor’s timber on fire, but smoke from the fires in the mountains.

I suppose we’ve been lucky to not experience smoke in past summers. Fingers crossed it doesn’t hang around too long. Our thoughts are with the firefighters up there working to contain these things and with those folks being evacuated.

We’re going ahead with today’s CSA pick-up as scheduled. Please don’t come to the pick-up if you feel the air quality will impact your health significantly. Jut shoot us an email (farmers@pitchforkandcrow.com) and we’ll make alternative arrangements with you. If you do come, but want to stay in your car, just let us know and we’ll bag up your share for you. Also, you’re always welcome to skip the Salem pick-up and come to tomorrow’s on-farm pick-up, though it is a bit of a drive. Just give us a head’s up and we’ll make sure to have a share here for you.

Let’s all make the choices that will keep us safe and healthy. Just let us know if you don’t feel it’s a good idea to come out today and we’ll work together to find the best solution.

Before we were inundated with smoke, you know, before 6pm yesterday, we made some good progress in the fall/winter vegetable arena last week. We seeded mustards and onions and lettuce! We transplanted more lettuce. Jeff cultivated a block of seed crops that will be with us through the winter months. I’m sure there was a lot more that I’m forgetting at the moment. This week we’ll be getting on the harvest train: pears, apples, potatoes… Hopefully this smoke clears out eventually and we’ll be able to see what we’re harvesting!

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:

Tomato and Tomatillo Gazpacho

  • 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion, divided
  • 1 fresh serrano chile, coarsely chopped, including seeds (or how about a jalapeno or even a sweet pepper for less spice).
  • 1 garlic clove, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Puree tomatillos, half of tomatoes, and half of onion with chile, garlic, vinegar, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a blender until smooth.

Force through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.

Stir in remaining tomatoes and onion, water, oil, and cilantro. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet by Andrea Albin, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tomato-and-tomatillo-gazpacho-354967

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Roasted Beet Salad with Beet Greens and Feta

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 7 medium-large beets (about 3 inches in diameter) with greens
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped drained capers
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing generously with salt and pepper.

Cut green tops off beets; reserve tops. Arrange beets in single layer in 13x9x2-inch baking dish; add 1 cup water. Cover; bake until beets are tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Peel beets while warm. Cut beets in half and slice thinly. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in capers and 1/4 cup dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut stems off beet greens; discard stems. Wash greens. Transfer greens, with some water still clinging to leaves, to large pot. Stir over high heat until just wilted but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain greens; squeeze out excess moisture. Cool; chop coarsely.

Transfer greens to medium bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange beets in center of platter. Surround with greens; sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with any remaining dressing.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-beet-salad-with-beet-greens-and-feta-3188

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Cabbage and Corn Slaw with Cilantro and Orange Dressing

  • 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 (8-ounce) bags coleslaw mix (but you’ll shred your own cabbage)
  • 4 ears of fresh corn, shucked, kernels cut from cob
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, cut into thin strips
  • 6 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk orange juice concentrate, rice vinegar, and canola oil in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Combine slaw mix, corn kernels, carrots, red bell pepper strips, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss again and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit by Pam Anderson, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/cabbage-and-corn-slaw-with-cilantro-and-orange-dressing-238803

Summer CSA Share – #14

Welcome to the 14th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – a lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking though we’ve had some epic salads with it this past week too.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Basil
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes
  • Sweet Corn
  • Desert Sunrise Red Onions
  • Mixed Snap Beans – more mixed dragon’s tongue and maxibel haricot vert beans this week.
  • Cucumbers – choose from slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Thai Hot Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers – These long red peppers look hot, but they’re not!
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Watermelons

Winter CSA Sign-up is Happening! Many thanks to everyone who has already jumped into the upcoming 2020/2021 Winter CSA. After just a week of accepting memberships we’re already 65% full for the Winter season that begins in December. We appreciate the enthusiasm for winter vegetables! If you haven’t yet sign-up you can get all the details and a link to the sign-up form right here.

It’s watermelon week!

I remember sitting at our kitchen table last December and dreaming of summer melons. We’d roughly outlined bed quantities of each crop type that we planned to grow for the upcoming season and it was time to choose varieties. I’d made it to “M” and the 2020 melons were up next. Over the years we’ve found a handful of melon varieties that have fit our needs well. Our top two stalwarts include a Tuscan cantaloupe called Tirreno and an orange honeydew called Honey Orange. They’re both dependable and forgiving and delicious and I sure hope neither of them disappear from the seed catalogs anytime soon.

As I searched through melon varieties I was hoping to round out our melon offerings a bit more than just those two superstars. There had to be more options worth adding to the must-grow list. I think we’ve stumbled upon some winners this year. We’ve brought back the yellow and green mottled Lambkin, a unique Piel de Sapo (aka Christmas melon) variety, and added in Brilliant, a yellow canary type. Both have sweet white flesh and they’ve added a new depth to our melon offerings.

This week we’re bringing you all the ripe watermelons we could find in the patch. (At least my thumping and general intuition suggests that they’re ripe.) The cold/rainy June didn’t give the watermelons a great start but we’ve still managed a good diversity of some mighty melons to share with you. Here’s a list of the five watermelon varieties that made the list this season:

  • Starlight F1 – round, red flesh, green with black stripes
  • Sweet Dakota Rose – round, pink flesh, light green with black stripes
  • Janosik – round, yellow flesh, dark green rind
  • Klondike Blue – oblong, red flesh, light green with dark green stripes
  • Fantasy F1 – oblong, red flesh, dark green with light green stripes

Hopefully that will give you an idea of which watermelon type you’re cutting into at home. Hurrah for melon season! We find it’s fast and fleeting and we hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are this season.

Colorful cauliflower (left) and digging potatoes (right).

The big summer harvests continue this week, beyond melons. It’s a good week for cauliflower and broccoli lovers and we’re bringing you the first of the freshly dug main season 2020 potatoes. And we’ve got more delicious sweet corn headed your way. It’s starting to feel like fall is slipping in the back door. Corn chowder is definitely on the menu here.

Of course we didn’t make it through our ambitious to-do list this past week. Do we ever? We’re seeing Labor Day on the calendar and that always means it’s time to harvest pears. There’s some planting and cultivating and irrigating too of course. Somehow it’s time to seed the winter lettuce and onions. And all while dodging the upcoming return to temps in the 90s. Should be a busy week on the farm.

It’s possible that one reason we didn’t make it through all the things last week is because we prioritized a quick trip to the wilderness. We dodged most of the other hikers with a Thursday overnight to say hello to Mount Jefferson. Luckily we’ve got this week to catch up on the farm work.

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:

Southwestern Corn and Potato Soup

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb large yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold (about 2)
  • 3 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (26 fl oz)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-oz) package frozen corn (not thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, jalapeño, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until onion is pale golden, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Add broth, water, and potatoes to onion mixture and cover pot, then bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender, 12 to 14 minutes.

Coarsely mash potatoes in pot with a potato masher. Stir in corn and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes.

Stir in lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/southwestern-corn-and-potato-soup-234264

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Tomato and Watermelon Salad

  • 3 or 4 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors, cored and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 small English or regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup 3/4-inch-cubed yellow or red seedless watermelon flesh
  • 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: basil, tarragon, chives, and cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and herbs. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a fine powder. Add the ground coriander to the tomato mixture and toss gently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

From Epicurious.com via Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition by Gerald Hirigoyen & Lisa Weiss, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/tomato-and-watermelon-salad-352389

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Angel Hair Pasta with Broccoli and Herb Butter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted European-style butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Mix first 4 ingredients in small bowl.

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add pasta and cook until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli and boil until pasta is tender but still firm to bite and broccoli is crisp-tender, about 1 minute longer. Drain pasta and broccoli; transfer to large serving bowl. Add herb butter and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing Parmesan cheese separately if desired.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/angel-hair-pasta-with-broccoli-and-herb-butter-108539

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Summer CSA Share – #13

Welcome to the 13th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Escarole – a lettuce-like green that’s slightly hardier and can hold up to grilling or cooking. Check out the soup recipe down below.
  • Cabbage – Choose red or green.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Purple Bunching Onions
  • Garlic – We’re still making our way through that earliest ripening, least storage friendly, and sometimes fairly open garlic variety. Still tasty though!
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Shishito Peppers – The Japanese “roulette” pepper where 1 in 10 might be mildly hot. They’re tasty in any dish but delicious quickly blistered in hot oil, tossed with a little salt, and eaten as a snack just like that.
  • Mixed Sweet Peppers
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mixed Melons – Lots of melons to choose from this week.
August field scenes!

This past week I was focused on the upcoming Winter CSA: reviewing past seasons, getting this season’s details set, updating the website etc. We’re always thinking a season ahead with sowing and planting too and it’s easy to overlook the highlights of the season at hand. This week we’re passing the halfway mark of the Summer CSA. What?! It’s true, this is the 13th week of the 26 week season. We’re at the height of summer fruits (so many melons and tomatoes!) and there’s a lot of summery goodness still to come out of the fields.

August is definitely the transition season between the constant planting of spring and the big harvests of fall. Here at the end of August we’re shifting gears, and also coming up for a breather. It’s time to make some notes about the season so that we remember the details come planning time in December, and it’s time to savor the fleeting summer season before it passes us by.

This week on the farm we’ll be doing a little planting, lots of irrigating, and of course there’s plenty of weeding and cultivating to be done. We’ll likely start the potato harvest later this week. There are pears to pick and some apples to bring in. We’ve got seed to clean and a greenhouse to clean out. And maybe even a day off the farm in the woods. I hear it’s huckleberry season out there!

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:

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small dice
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
  • 3 cups (packed) 1-inch pieces escarole (about 1/2 large head)
  • 4 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth or low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 1/4 cups cooked Great Northern beans or two 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • 1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until onion is golden and tender, about 7 minutes. Discard garlic. Add escarole; stir 3 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, beans and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until escarole is tender and flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Thin with more broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/white-bean-and-escarole-soup-with-garlic-1537

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Thai Noodles with Chicken

  • 1 package (2 ounces) rice noodles
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, quartered and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 cups chopped skinless roasted chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian chile paste
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot; cook noodles 3 minutes. Place cabbage in a colander and drain noodles over cabbage; immediately rinse with cold water. Drain again. Toss cabbage and noodles in a bowl with carrots, cucumber, pepper, scallions and chicken. Whisk basil, mint, juice, vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, chile paste and oil in another bowl; drizzle over noodle mixture; toss and divide among 4 bowls.

From Epicurious.com via SELF, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/thai-noodles-with-chicken-237572

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Chipotle Chicken and Cauliflower Tacos

  • 215g (7½ oz.) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chilies finely chopped and sauce reserved
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g (1 lb. 2 oz.) chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and quartered
  • 500g (1 lb. 2 oz.) cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 12 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted
  • 3⅓ cups (300g/10 oz.) finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup (12g/½oz) cilantro sprigs
  • Pickled red onions, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 oven trays with non-stick baking paper.

Place the chopped chilies and reserved adobo sauce in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, garlic and oil and mix to combine.

Place the chicken in a separate large bowl and top with half the chipotle mixture. Toss to coat. Add the cauliflower to the remaining chipotle mixture and toss to coat.

Transfer the chicken and cauliflower to the trays and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is just charred on the edges, the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

To make the lime dressing, place the yogurt, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Fill the warm tortillas with the cabbage, chicken, cauliflower and coriander. Drizzle with the lime dressing and serve with pickled onion and lime wedges.

From Epicurious.com via Week Light by Donna Hay, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chipotle-chicken-and-cauliflower-tacos

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Summer CSA Share – #12

Welcome to the 12th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2020 Summer CSA!  Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Collards – The mild start to the summer has resulted in some of our most beautiful collards ever. I’ve included a very basic recipe for collards and bacon below, but I’d also like to remind you that extra greens can always benefit from the pesto treatment.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Onions
  • Mixed Snap Beans – Green slender haricot verts and the purple striped dragon’s tongue this week. Unfortunately those purple stripes will turn green when cooked.
  • Cucumbers – choose from green and white slicers, lemons, and picklers too.
  • Zucchini & Summer Squash
  • Czech Black Hot Peppers – A mild “hot” peppers, these guys have less heat than a jalapeno.
  • Mixed Eggplant
  • Slicer Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Milan Tuscan Melon – A type of muskmelon and cantaloupe with thicker ribbing but the same sweet interior.
  • Honey Orange Melon – Technically a honeydew, but it’s orange and is sweet like a cantaloupe.
Harvest day! Snap beans, cauliflower, and some giant tomatoes.

I know there will be a time in December or January when we’re planning harvests around freezing temperatures and going outside means layering up and rain gear and warm hats. There might even be snow or ice on the ground. The sun will come up a little later and in the mornings we’ll linger over a cup of hot coffee while we wait for it to thaw things out a bit. We might then think back to those seemingly endless warm August days when the only mud was from irrigated ground and we were awash in summer fruits.

Here in August though, it just feels hot and a little exhausting. I’m still trying to savor it despite the exhaustion.

The big onion harvest!

As mentioned previously it was time to get the storage onions out of the field. Every season has its highs and lows. Some crops do better, others not so much. This year I think is the year of the onion. We managed to grow our best onion crop to date! We’ve been trying for over a decade to nail this crop and this was the year it finally happened. Good news for everyone, there will be plenty of onions to go around this fall and winter!

We start the onion harvest with a little tractor work. In the past we would use a digging fork to loosen the ground around the onions. This was a tedious and time-sucking step. Now we use our undercutter bar (as seen in the top left photo above) on the back of the tractor to pop the onions out of the ground instead. The undercutter bar digs down beneath the onions and cuts the roots of the onions and loosens the soil all in one pass of the tractor down the bed.

The dry weather has allowed us to field cure the onions, meaning they’ve dried down in the field and can head straight into storage. Once all of the beds have been undercut we box the onions and label them by variety so we know which ones to use up sooner and which will store longer. The boxes are then picked up and tractored to the barn for storage.

Jeff was a go-getter in the heat this week, prepping ground for transplanting (there he is hooking up our tiller up above) and direct sowing after the onions were out.

Once the onions were out of the way it was time to flip the beds for new crops waiting in the wings. Jeff fertilized and tilled the ground and on Sunday afternoon we transplanted some kale and chicories for seed production next spring and direct sowed some fall radishes and turnips and our last succession of snap beans. And so it continues. This week will be more cultivating and irrigating and seed sowing and weeding.

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:

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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Collard Greens Miniera

  • 1 1/4 lb collard greens, halved lengthwise and stems and center ribs discarded
  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped

Stack collard-leaf halves and roll crosswise into a cigar shape. Cut crosswise into very thin slices (no thicker than 3/4 inch) with a sharp knife.

Cook bacon in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Add collards, tossing to coat, and cook until just bright green, about 1 minute. Season with salt and serve immediately.

From Epicurious.com via Gourmet, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/collard-greens-miniera-104567

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Grilled Tuna Steaks with Cantaloupe Salsa

  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cantaloupe
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeño chili (or, you know, a Czech Black pepper)

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix cantaloupe, onion, cilantro, 2 teaspoons oil, lime juice and jalapeño chili in small bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush tuna steaks on both sides with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill tuna until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side.

Transfer tuna to plates. Spoon salsa alongside and serve.

From Epicurious.com via Bon Appétit, https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-tuna-steaks-with-cantaloupe-salsa-4107

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