CSA Newsletter – Week 14
The Power of Raw
Somehow September is almost halfway gone already, but luckily our produce selection still thinks that it’s summer. So before summer really ends, it’s time to fully embrace eating vegetables raw! Because when we’re all eating roasted root vegetables morning, day, and night this fall, we’re going to miss how easy it was to take a bite out of something sweet and crisp.
This week’s recipes focus on celebrating the raw! One of my favorite ways to eat raw vegetables is to load them up in salads with at least ten ingredients—the more the better. I’ve struggled to incorporate salads into my diet for many years; they have just never been that enticing. But once I learned the cornerstones to a great salad, I was surprised that I actually started craving them! So if you’d like to start experimenting with raw salads, here are the following components that I focus on to get the full flavor and texture package that will have you coming back for seconds.
- Fruit—cherries, melons, grapes, nectarines, watermelon
- Soft Vegetables—Raw tomatoes or steamed beets
- Crisp Vegetables—cucumber, carrot, celery
- Crunch—toasted nuts, torn croutons, etc.
- Tang—vinegar-based dressing, raw onion.
- Plenty of herbs! Throw ‘em all in!
- Spice—mustard greens, minced jalapeno, or chili powder
- Dressed Greens—make sure to toss your greens in dressing thoroughly before serving. Simply pouring dressing over raw greens at the table doesn’t allow for the slight bit of softening that the dressing will do to the greens, making them tastier to eat.
-Laura Bennett, email@example.com
Table of Box Contents
- Specialty Melon
- Italian Peppers—red and yellow peppers, both sweet and crisp.
- Sweet Bell Pepper
- Purple Majesty Potatoes
- Black Kale—This is one of the first signs that fall is upon us!
- Napa Cabbage—If you’re interested in learning how to make kimchi, just watch Maangchi’s youtube video at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sX_wDCbeuU – I learned how to make kimchi from her & now make it for the farm; it’s easier than you’d think!
- Leeks—Ever imagined what it would be like to eat an onion that tasted like butter?? Leeks are here to quell your curiosities.
- Italian Parsley—Sweet and fragrant like its fennel cousin, parsley is wonderful paired with fruit in salads. I once had a parsley sorbet on cheesecake (never would have thought of that!) that is potentially the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
- Sweet Onion
- Summer Squash
- Cherry Tomatoes
Melon, Parsley, and Cherry Tomato Salad
- 1/4 cup Sweet Onion, cut into thin rounds
- 4 cups ice water
- About 8 cups salad greens --I suggest mixing your head lettuce and kale together. Black kale can be very tender raw when you slice it into very thin strips and let it sit in the vinegar dressing for 10-15 minutes before mixing it in.
- 1/2 - 1 small Cantaloupe or Honeydew Melon, cut into 1" cubes
- 1 cup salted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup packed fresh herbs, chopped finely --Italian parsley, basil, and mint if you have them
- 1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp cider vinegar
Combine onion and ice water and refrigerate 30 minutes. This takes the sharp edge off the onion taste.
Finely chop about half your bunch of kale into thin strips. Place in a large salad bowl and gently toss with enough oil to barely coat the greens. Toss in vinegar to taste, starting with 2 tbsp. Gently massage the dressing into the kale leaves with your hands and let sit while you prep everything else.
With your hands, tear your lettuce into bite-size pieces and place into another big salad bowl.
Drain the onions and path them dry. Sprinkle the greens with the melon, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, herbs, salt, pepper, and drained onions.
Purple Potato Leek Soup
Adapted from Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook by Mi Ae Lipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 cups Leeks, chopped (you can use as much of the green as you'd like; it'll all be edible
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
- 6 cups cubed Purple Potatoes, skins on!
- 1 Carrot, diced
- Parsley Stems, minced
- 7 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 cup milk, dairy or alternative
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil and butter in a medium soup pot. Stir in the leeks and onions. Cook on low heat, without browning, for 5 minutes.
Add the potatoes, carrot, stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
Let the soup cool slightly. Puree it in a blender or run it through a food mill.
Add the milk. Return the soup to the pot and gently reheat, Do not let it boil, as this will scald the milk. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve.
Napa Cabbage Slaw
I went and had breakfast at the Yachats Farmstore last week, and, among many other delicious things, they served a napa cabbage slaw that was AMAZING. Normally slaws call for sugar in the dressing, but napa cabbage is naturally so sweet that you don’t need to add any sugar, yet you still get the nice sweet flavor. Get creative! Add whatever herbs and spices you’d like!
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 head Napa Cabbage, shredded
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy fresh, and keep for easy leftovers.