2019 CSA – Week 7: Summer Ripens from the Bottom Up

CSA Newsletter – Week 7


Summer Ripens from the Bottom Up

Hello veggie lovers! Welcome to week 7 of your CSA. Suddenly it’s almost August and just about everything is ripening up fast.

For heat-loving crops such as tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and tomatillos, the first fruits of the season always ripen from the bottom of the plant up. That means that all the early season summer veg that you’ll find in the box and at farmers markets this time of year was cut almost at ground level, by someone who was bent aaaall the way over almost aaaall day long in order to do so.

As we weave our way through tomato houses with teenage vines getting cocky and overgrowing their trellising, we maintain a permanent downward bend, held strong by the legs (not the back), eyes peeled for any sign of color that isn’t green. We may walk five or ten feet, crouch down, approach the rare eagerly ripe tomato cautiously with scissors, and snip it so that it falls gently into the palm of the hand, flipping it over and placing it into the flat on its strong shoulders. Then we pick up our flat again and continue to walk bent down the row on the search for the next hidden gem. Each tomato is cut this way.

For tomatillos, the only full lanterns are dangling far beneath the tangle of stems shooting up. These fruits are so low that you must get down on your knees and search below the tomatillo jungle like you’re looking under your bed for your long-lost sock, scootching the flat along the ground as you go.

As the season progresses, so will the angle at which we get to stand as we harvest. There’s such human embedded energy in the food we eat. So this week, take a moment to appreciate the hands that harvest and the backs that bend! A big thanks!

Best,
LB

Table of Box Contents

  • Tomatoes
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1 bunch Beets—One of my favorite things to do with beets is to make bright pink beet hummus! Make hummus as you normally do, adding in 2-3 beets (that you’ve steamed & peeled) into the food processer at the end for a sweet, earthier flavor, as well as a bright pink color! Also, for a delicious raw way to appreciate beets, see Beet & Kohlrabi Slaw with Pistachios & Craisins recipe from Week 3.N
  • 1 bunch Chard
  • 2 Fresh OnionsOnions are seen as so common, but onion harvest also requires a significant amount of handling similar to tomatoes. We scatter somewhat evenly into the field and search for the biggest onions to harvest. With the humble sound of  ripping roots we pull the onions out of the soil, slice off the remaining roots nice and flat, and peel the outermost dirty skins off. We place the onions in stacks of ten, and eventually a few people break away to start carrying the stacks over to a flat bad to stack them in a washable pattern. On they go to be washed & packed into this box!
  • Moss Parsley
  • Summer Squash
  • Nicola PotatoesSee Week 1 recipe, Smashed Potato Salad w/ Herb Vinaigrette
  • Cucumbers
  • 1 head Lettuce

Recipes

Swiss Chard & Garden Frittata

“This is the perfect brunch to serve guest because it tastes just as good at room
temperature. -@lorindabreeze
“. Adapted from https://thefeedfeed.com/lorindabreeze/swiss-chard-garden-tomato-frittata

Ingredients

  • 8 large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • a few twists freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 cups Swiss Chard, cut into pieces
  • 2 ripe garden Tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 3/4 cup Aged Gouda Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Herbs, minced (any or all of oregano, thyme, parsley, chives)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  2. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt & pepper together in a bowl.

  3. Lightly sauté the chard, tomatoes & half the herbs in the olive oil (in a large ovenproof
    skillet) for a few minutes until softened.

  4. Remove 1 cup of the cooked vegetables and set aside.

  5. Pour the whisked "egg mixture" over the sautéed vegetables.

  6. Sprinkle the grated cheese over this and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

  7. Remove from the stove top and place the remaining vegetables on top.

  8. Put the skillet into the preheated oven for 16 - 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

  9. Add a little more salt & fresh ground pepper and toss the last bit of herbs over the top before serving.

  10. Cut into wedges and serve with some warm crusty bread - enjoy!

 

Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini with Tahini-Parsley Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

Tahini Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 handful Parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Tomatoes, diced or halved cherry tomatoes
  • Parsley, for garnish

Grilled Veg

  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 2 Summer Squash
  • 3-6 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove both ends of eggplant & squash & slice into 1/2 inch slices.

  2. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and then lightly season with sea salt
    and ground black pepper.

  3. Heat either an outdoor grill or a cast iron indoor grill to medium-high and grill the eggplant until dark golden-brown grill marks form. This should take approx. 3 to 4 minutes per side
    - we’re looking for the inside to be grayish and soft, not white and hard. Summer squash timing may differ but can be roasted all the same.

  4. To make the tahini yogurt sauce, combine the plain yogurt, ground cumin, minced garlic, minced parsley, fresh lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice, tahini, sea salt,
    and black pepper in a mixing bowl. (I like to refrigerate this sauce for about 15-20 minutes to chill.)

  5. To serve, place a dollop of the tahini yogurt sauce over the grilled eggplant & squash, followed by a handful of sliced grape tomatoes and fresh parsley.