Welcome to the 20th share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Lettuce Mix
- Italian or Thai Basil
- Red Onion
- “Sweetness” Sweet Corn
- Zucchini – Including green zucchini and “Mexicana” zucchini. We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer squash/zucchini season. Enjoy them while you can!
- Mixed Cucumbers – Including green cukes, ‘Silver Slicer’ yellow cukes, and lemon cukes. Cucumbers are on the way out!
- Mixed Sweet Peppers
- Aji Marchant Hot Peppers – These peppers have an intriguing history that you can read about here. Though spicy when yellow and under-ripe they get hotter as they mature to red.
- Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
- Slicer Tomato
- Mixed Eggplant
Jeff mentioned yesterday that it felt like the months were off this season. June felt like May, October feels like September. We’re thankful for the extended weather window while we attempt to get the remaining storage crops out of the field. We’re kind of over the 80 degree days though and would welcome shift to the 60s or 70s. Can we stop irrigating please?
We did get all of the flour corn harvested and now it’s drying down in the prop house. The onions that were drying down there are now boxed and being stored in the germ chamber where we can regulate the temperature until we’re ready to use them. Luckily we’re done using the germ chamber for germinating seeds for the moment. It’s nice to be able to use these spaces for multiple uses throughout the season, even if it takes some planning ahead.
Many thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm this past Saturday. Tractor rides were taken, farm tours happened, and pumpkins were picked from the patch. It was great to be able to show many of you around the farm and get to chat about what’s going on out here. If you missed the event but want to take a walk around the farm just let us know. We’d love to show you around. Also, we’ll have extra carving pumpkins at both pick-ups for anyone that needs more pumpkins.
As we begin to think about wrapping this CSA season up we know there’s still a lot to do before we make it to the end. With six weeks remaining in the summer season, and an expectation that the rain and/or frost will make an appearance sooner or later, it’s time to squeeze as much as we can from this growing season.
Our seed garlic arrived this past weekend and soon I’ll be cracking open the heads, getting ready to plant next year’s garlic crop. We’re also about to get serious about harvesting potatoes, sweet potatoes, and dry beans. One step at a time. Eventually we’ll get through these big harvests, hopefully before it starts to rain too much. In the meantime summer shares will start to look more like fall shares soon as we get into leek and kale weather soon.
Enjoy the extended summer via extended summer crops! Happy eating this week!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Curried Cauliflower Soup
- 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 pounds), cut into florets, or about 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 onions, sliced 1-inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup yogurt or labnne (optional; adjust to suit tastes)
Preheat oven to 450° F. On a baking sheet, toss cauliflower with vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Spread out and roast until the florets turn brown, about 25 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of the crispiest florets for garnish.
Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices, cauliflower, water, and broth; cover, and bring to a boil. Uncover, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until a desired consistency is reached. Stir in yogurt or labne if using. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls, garnishing with the reserved cauliflower florets.
From Food52.com by KMartinelli, https://food52.com/recipes/11855-curried-cauliflower-soup
Unfussy Eggplant Parm
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 medium globe eggplant
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Get the tomato sauce going. Add the olive oil to a pot and set over medium heat. When it’s shimmery, add the tomatoes and their juices. Smush with a spoon to break up a bit. Add the salt and stir. Cook—somewhere between a simmer and boil, stirring every so often—for about 30 minutes, or until thick and jammy.
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise—so, from stem to tush. Now, cut a diagonal crosshatch pattern in each: sort of like a duck breast. Figure 1/2-inch deep, 3/4-inch diamonds. Line a rimmed sheet tray with parchment or foil or a silicone mat. Place the eggplant haves on top, cut side facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub both into the eggplant with your hands.
Roast for about 28 minutes or until tender. During the last couple minutes, add the breadcrumbs to the sheet pan to toast a little. Pull from the oven and raise the temperature to 475° F. Mix the mozzarella and parm in a small bowl to combine. Top each eggplant half with 6 tablespoons tomato sauce, spreading evenly with a spoon. Now top each with roughly a quarter of the cheese. Then each with half the breadcrumbs. Finish with the remaining cheese.
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and browned, about 4 minutes.
Let cool a little before serving. Serve with a fork and very sharp, steak-worthy knife.
From Food52.com by Emma Laperruque, https://food52.com/recipes/77386-unfussy-eggplant-parm
Genius Ratatouille From Alice Waters
- 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 bunch basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 pinch dried chile flakes
- 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Salt to taste
Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.
Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.
From Food52.com by Genius Recipes, https://food52.com/recipes/14155-alice-waters-ratatouille