CSA Newsletter – Week 5
The Next Village Square
For the first time at market this weekend we had tomatillos, eggplant, jalapeños, and tomatoes overflowing from our stands, and I was filled with a warmth that only a bustling summer farmers’ market can provide. Across our five weekend markets our crews woke up before the sun and rushed to set up tents and tables, followed by beautiful veggie displays. Throughout the day the community absorbed our produce and all you lovely people picked up your CSA boxes.
Looking up from my register out at the whole market scene on Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something so beautifully human happening, something that before I started working at this farm I personally had missing in my modern, suburban, millennial life.
In this world we no longer know our neighbors and we no longer gather in village squares. But it’s plain to see that through farmers’ markets we are successfully rebuilding our communities. Vendors and customers alike know each other by name and genuinely care about each other. The farmers’ market is our village square, a place where we can all gather together, share in food, and watch the seasons roll by. It could seem like the marketplace is first and foremost a place of commerce, where we come to buy food to sustain our bodies, but it is providing so much more than that. Families come and spend the day at market. There’s live music, often fountains to play in, grassy knolls on which to picnic, and an endless stream of fresh, local goods that you get to take home and enjoy with your friends and family. So thanks for being a part of our community, for taking joy in the food we have to offer, and for making the time to read these letters.
-Laura Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Box Contents
- Green Bell Pepper—You know it’s summer when peppers start rolling in. Enjoy these sliced raw as a snack
- Napa Cabbage—Napa is known for its crisp bok choy-like stems and especially sweet flavor. This is the main ingredient in Kimchi.
- Basil—Cut the bottom of the stems off and place in a glass of water on the counter as a functional bouquet.
- Kohlrabi—Great raw in slaws.
- Carrots—“When you think “carrot,” you may think orange, but I also think green. Early in the year, carrots come with lacy tops that are delicious,”—Joshua McFadden
- 2 Sweet Onions—High sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing, and they’re great roughly chopped in Pico de Gallo.
- Spinach—succulent leaves perfect raw in salads or lightly braised to become melt-in-your-mouth tender.
- 4 Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
- 2-3 Zucchini—Great for grilling, just slice lengthwise into spears. Or spiralize into zoodles. Or stir-fry with onion and egg to make a frittata. Zucchini does it all.
- 5 lbs New Potatoes—This week we have Nicola potatoes.
- Lettuce—Various varieties
- Siletz Tomato!!!!
Kohlrabi Home Fries w/ Thyme Aioli
—The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly
For the Fries
- 2 lbs kohlrabi, peeled & cut into 3" spears
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
For the Aioli
- 1 egg
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup sunflower oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the kohlrabi with the oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Scatter the kohlrabi across the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned, shaking them up halfway through to evenly brown all sides.
Meanwhile, make the aioli by adding the egg, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and salt to a blender. Blend on medium speed for a few seconds until well combined.
While the blender is running, add the oil in a very slow, steady, and thin (think needle-size) stream until the mixture emulsifies. Don’t try to rush the stream of oil; the emulsification starts slowly, but you’ll hear the sound of the motor change as the aioli thickens and starts slapping the sides of the blender. When the aioli turns opaque and smooth transfer to a small bowl.
Spinach Basil Salad w/ Balsamic Dressing
A simple salad I make all the time
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1/2-1 bunch basil
- 1/4 sweet onion, minced
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
First mince up your onion and place in a large bowl. Pour a good amount of balsamic vinegar into the bowl and smash the onion into the liquid with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle some salt into your mixture.
With a sharp knife slice your spinach into very thin strips, and do the same with your basil. Add them both into the bowl with the dressing and toss. The longer the leaves sit, the more the vinegar will break them down making them become melt-in-your mouth soft. Add fresh berries and toasted nuts of any kind to make the salad even brighter.
Simple Cole Slaw (serve with tacos!)
—Make it up!
- Napa cabbage
- green bell pepper
- basil (and parsley and any other herbs!)
Mix up the veggies, sliced or shredded into fine strips, and dress up the slaw with whatever you’d like. I make a mixture of mayo, vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and random spices. If you’re into putting this on a taco, make some chicken mole or tempeh.
Zucchini Scramble with Garlic Chévre, Tomato and Basil
My personal breakfast of the week.
- 4-6 eggs
- tomato, sliced
- garlic Chevre cheese
- bread, sliced and toasted optional
Roughly chop an onion and a head of garlic and heat up a pan with oil in it.
Let sauté for a few minutes while you slice 3-4 zucchini into discs. Add the zucchini into the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cover and let cook a couple minutes, remove the lid, stir, and then let continue to sauté until the zucchini is nicely done.
Wait to add salt until the very end of the cooking process! That’s the magic zucchini secret! If you add salt early on it will make the zucchini all mushified, and you don’t want that, no no.
Then whisk up 4-6 eggs, add some salt to the eggs, and dump them over the veggies in the pan and scramble around until done.
Divvy out onto plates and top with raw slices of tomato and basil, and a plentiful heap of garlic Chévre if you can find some at your local farmers market.
I also top that with a dollop of spicy chilis and oil. Even better, get some of our Altamura loaves or bread from a local bakery and serve some toast on the side. Enjoy!