CSA Newsletter – Week 5
In the Life of a GTF Tomato
So much happened before this tomato made its way to you. Way back in December, we ordered seed for the season, weighing the pros and cons of dozens of varieties and their qualities. After the seeds arrived in the mail in January, seeds that were already the result of thousands of years of coevolution, they were tucked into bed in our propagation soil mix, which we made from our own compost that had been cooking for months.
Once germinated in February, we took the little tomato seedlings, and with the trained flick of a blade, we grafted delicious tomato varieties onto disease-resistant rootstock, we placed a clip around the graft, and we put the precious flats in our humidity-controlled grafting chamber to heal.
Eventually, the seedlings healed, grew, were up-potted, grew some more, and then each of the hundreds of tomato plants we grow were hand transplanted with the same trowels you use in your garden. Before that could happen, an immense amount of work had to be done to prep the field, such as soil testing, amendment applications, tillage, irrigation installation, plastic mulch installation, trellis setup, & so much more.
Once in the ground those little tomato babes grew grew grew, and we walked through every row for months, pruning suckers off each plant and trellising what remained as the vines tried to twine out of control, giving an annual the love only a perennial usually gets. Once it gets hotter, we’ll have to mix up mud and toss it onto the greenhouses one Nancy’s yogurt cup at a time to shade the tomato jungles from reaching harmful temperatures. Then we’ll weave our bodies through the rows almost every day, holding a twenty-pound flat of fruits against our hips as tall tomato goddesses wrap their arms around us as we pass, harvesting only those who are ripe and ready. From our farm to you, enjoy.
Table of Box Contents
- Siletz Tomato—Boom. There it is folks, the first tomato has hit the CSA boxes. Siletz tomatoes are always the first tomato of the season on our farm, and in my opinion, they have the best flavor of all our red slicers.
- Basil—don’t be afraid to use basil on everything and in large quantities. Chopped roughly into a salad, on top of eggs in the morning, or really on anything, basil is one of the best herbs summer has to offer.
- Garlic—Many of us grew up thinking that every sauté should start with onions and garlic, yet garlic is really better added toward the end of the cooking process in order to preserve its powerful flavor that you worked so hard peeling all those little skins off to get. >>
- Boysenberries—These are a unique cross between raspberries, dewberries, and loganberries, and they’re the only type of black berry we grow. We grow two varieties, one shiny, one fuzzy, & both are delicious.
- Summer Squash—All summer squash can be cooked similarly, on the grill or in the pan. To avoid your squash turning to mush when sautéing in the pan, be sure to wait to salt until you’ve turned off the pan! That pretty much goes for all veggie sautés.
- Huckleberry Gold Potatoes—These have been our favorite down at the farm. You get all the fun purple color of the skin and the antioxidants that go with them, in addition to the buttery & waxy yellow flesh of a Yukon Gold. Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew!
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- Green Cabbage
- Bulb Onion, dried
Bright Cabbage Slaw
“I know that some people hate coleslaw. But I’ve converted even the most fervent among them with
this version, which bears no resemblance to the cloying stuff many of us grew up eating. Light and clean, it’ll lend crunch and brightness to any plate… And remember, the richer the food you plan to serve with it, the more acidic the slaw should be.”—Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat (the Netflix star and next Michael Pollan)
- 1/2 medium head Red or Green Cabbage
- 1/2 small Onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- 1/2 cup Basil Leaves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 6 tbsp Olive Oil
Quarter the cabbage through the core. Use a sharp knife to cut the core out at an angle. Thinly slice the cabbage crosswise and place in a colander set inside a large salad bowl. Season with two generous pinches of salt to help draw out water, toss the slices, and set
In a small bowl, toss the sliced onion with the lemon juice and let it sit for 20 minutes to macerate. Set aside.
After 20 minutes, drain any water the cabbage may have given off (it’s fine if there’s nothing to drain—sometimes cabbage isn’t very watery [but often in the early summer it is quite juicy]). Place the cabbage in the bowl and add the basil and the macerated onions (but
not their lemony juices, yet). Dress the slaw with the vinegar and olive oil. Toss very well to combine.
Taste and adjust, adding the remaining macerated lemon juice and salt as needed. When your plate zings with pleasure, it’s ready. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Store leftover slaw covered, in the fridge, for two-ish days.
Garlic Basil Mayonnaise w/ Roasted Carrots & Potatoes
Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, by Samin Nosrat
- 3/4 cup stiff Basic Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 4 tbsp Basil, finely chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, finely grated, minced, or pounded
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup oil (use a smidge of olive oil for flavor and the rest a neutral-tasting oil)
Make the Basic Mayonnaise (or buy it, it’s okay, you’re human)
Dissolve a generous pinch of salt in the lemon juice. Stir into the mayonnaise and add basil and garlic. Taste and adjust salt and acid as needed. Cover and chill until serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
Roast carrots & potatoes and dip in garlic basil mayo! Slice veg, toss in oil and S&P, roast @425 covered until a bit steamed, remove cover and finish roasted until caramelized-looking.
Place the egg yolk in a deep, medium metal or ceramic bowl. Dampen a hand towel and roll it up into a long log, then form it into a ring on the counter. Place the bowl inside the ring—this will hold the bowl in place while you whisk. (And if whisking by hand is simply out of the question, feel free to use a blender, food processor, or an immersion blender in a quart jar.)
Use a ladle or bottle with a nozzle to drip in the oil a drop at a time, while whisking the oil into the yolk. Go. Really. Slowly. And don’t stop whisking. Once you’ve added about half of the oil, you can start adding a little more oil at once. If the mayonnaise thickens so much that it’s impossible to whisk, add a tsp or so of water—or whichever acid you’re planning on adding later on—to help thin it out.
Zucchini Garlic Egg Scramble Topped with Tomatoes, Basil, & Chevre
Adapted from: the breakfast I made myself yesterday that was the best!!! –LB
- Zucchini, sliced into rounds
- 3+ cloves Garlic, minced
- 2-3 Eggs, beaten
- Salt & Pepper
- Tomato, diced
- Basil, minced
- Chevre or favorite cheese, crumbled
Slice zucchini into thin rounds, but not too much for your pan size, as too many will steam rather than saute.
Warm an oiled pan to medium high, toss in zukes, and saute, stirring often until golden brown.
Add minced garlic (3 cloves at least) in a few minutes before the zucchini is done.
Pour in the eggs, seasoned with salt and pepper, and turn the pan on low.
Stir constantly to cook eggs evenly until just barely done, but still creamy.
Serve topped with diced tomato, minced basil, and crumbles of chevre or a favorite cheese of your choice.