2019 CSA – Week 4: Solanaceous Siblings: Eggplant & Hierba Mora

CSA Newsletter – Week 4

Solanaceous Siblings: On Eggplant & Hierba Mora

Hi folks! These boxes are getting fuller and fuller by the week, a sure sign that summer is officially ramping into gear. For solanaceous plants, now is the time to shine. Solanaceae, otherwise known as the nightshade family, is home to a vast variety of sun-loving plants including three items in your box this week—eggplant, peppers, & potatoes.

But those aren’t the only nightshades in our fields! Hierba Mora, a leafy green, is regarded as a common weed on many PNW farms, a nuisance that can become dangerous if allowed to fruit out and produce their tiny toxic black berries. We’ve all weeded our weight in hierba mora, but only the Indigenous folks on the farm know hierba mora.

Hierba mora is one of many wild greens and herbs essential to native diets across the Americas, collectively called quelites. Quelites include hierba mora, verdolaga (purslane), and quintonil (wild amaranth) and so many more traditional foods that are now labeled as weeds, and they are all incredibly nutrient dense and delicious. For hierba mora, simply harvest just when the plant starts to flower, before those pesky little toxic primordial eggplants begin to form. Easy peasy.

After a major quelite harvest last week (aka, a crop weeding), I joined my coworkers after work for dinner. We sat around the table with piles of five different quelites scattered around us, a pot of all the native greens mixed together and stewed in stock until creamy, a jar of home-pickled jalapeños, and a stack of handmade tortillas. Together we ate and laughed at the bulky way the Mam names for the plants tried to escape my lips.

We hear stories of crops so often, we forget to listen for the stories of the weeds and the people who know them. Eggplant and hierba mora are so much more than just a crop and its weed cousin. They are bodacious solanaceous siblings, both beautiful and one in the same.

Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Eggplant— See recipe below for deliciousness >>>
  • Broccoli—What what!? Broccoli is in the house! As one of the most common (and often only) vegetables on tables in American households, broccoli can seem constantly abundant and available, as our globalized and industrialized food system provides it year-round. But broccoli is actually an incredibly seasonal gem, available locally in late spring/early summer and again in fall. Enjoy this tight bundle of fleeting brassica florets while we can!
  • Green Bell Pepper—If you’ve heard the rumors, they’re true—green bell peppers really are just unripe sweet colored bell peppers. We plant orange, red, and yellow bells and simply harvest both the ripe and unripe fruits. Green bells aren’t nearly as sweet as fully ripened colored bells, but they are firm, crisp, and mild, perfect for stuffing, frying, and munching raw with dip.
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash—This week you’ve got a couple of zukes and a rogue mixed squash or two. All summer squash can be cooked similarly, on the grill or in the pan.
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes—These have been our favorite down at the farm for the past couple of years. 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
  • Cucumbers
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Cilantro—Can be more than just garnish!
  • 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, and both are stupid good.
  • Bulb Onion, dried


Marinated Teriyaki Eggplant

“Sweet, sticky and salty marinated teriyaki eggplant! Grilled to perfection this vegan Japanese
recipe is quick and easy and tastier than take out!”—
Adapted from https://cupfulofkale.com/vegan-marinated-teriyaki-eggplant/


  • 2 Eggplants

Teriyaki Marinade

  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Mirin
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (or honey)
  • 1 inch Ginger Root, grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced

To Serve

  • Short Grain Rice
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Spring Onion


  1. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl, making sure the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Cut the eggplant into small chunks, place in a large bowl and then pour the marinade over the top. Stir and make sure it is all coated, set aside.

  3. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes, stirring a few times.

  4. Place a griddle pan on the hob over medium-high heat. Once hot place the marinated eggplant in.

  5. Pour over any excess marinade over the top whilst cooking. You may need to do it in two lots so you can keep the first lot on a low heat in the oven.

  6. Cook for a few minutes on each side until brown and starting to char from griddle lines.

  7. Serve straight away with rice or as a side and top with sesame seeds and sliced spring onion!

Recipe Notes

LB Note—It’s super easy to make this teriyaki marinade, but I just wanted to say, it’s totally okay to buy a teriyaki sauce if you’re short on time this week.


Simply Cilantro Vinaigrette


  • 1 huge bunch fresh Cilantro (2 cups packed)
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp White Vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Water, if needed


  1. Blend everything up for about a minute until smooth. Add the water if you need more valume in the blender to make it run smoothly. Season to taste!

  2. PUT ON EVERYTHING! I actually do mean everything. (Ex: Salad! Eggs! Crispy Potatoes! Etc.) So delicious.


Crispy Buttery Smashed Potatoes

Adapted from the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook by Ellen Jackson


  • 2 lbs Potatoes, unpeeled
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Butter, melted and divided
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Herbs of your liking, finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover them with cold water by several inches. Generously salt the water and bring it to a boil over high heat.

  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just before they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with the oil. Evenly space the boiled potatoes out across the sheet and, using a small glass or a fork lightly coated with oil, gently flatten each potato by pressing down until it mashes into an oblong shape.

  5. Brush the potatoes generously with 2 Tbsp of the melted butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and bake them for 10 minutes. 

  6. Add the garlic and herbs to the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, brush the potatoes again, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes more.

Lunch Menu: Week of July 2, 2019

*All items and prices are subject to change


Salads & Small Plates

Simple salad and champagne vinaigrette 7-

Mixed green salad with spring vegetables, hazelnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette 9-

Plate of farm pickled vegetables   6-

GTF chicken liver mousse with pickled rhubarb, dijon, mizuna and toasted baguette 10-

Sourdough bread with olive oil and balsamic 6-

Salad of butter lettuce, tomatoes, grilled scallions, egg mimosa and anchovy vinaigrette 10-

Cucumber gazpacho with yogurt, cilantro and almonds 6-



Plate of grilled spring vegetables with romesco and almonds 15-

Pan seared chinook salmon with a salad of siletz tomatoes, sweet onions, spicy greens, cucumbers and lemon dill vinaigrette   21-

Fettuccine pasta with summer vegetable confit, pecorino romano and bread crumbs 16-


Community Cow beef pastrami on rye with farm sauerkraut, emmentaler cheese and thousand island*  13-

 Community Cow beef burger on a brioche bun with aged cheddar, sweet onions, tomato, butter lettuce and garlic aioli13-

Grilled spring vegetables and herbs with whipped chevre on grilled flatbread 12-


Wood-Fired Pizzas

Pizza Bianca with fresh herbs 13-

Pizza Margarita 13-        

Sage sausage, gruyere, scallions and fresh jalapenos  15-   

White kale with garlic confit, onions, fermented red chili sauce and Alsea Acres chevre 15-

Demi-glace caramelized onions, charred escarole, kalamata olives and anchovies  14-

Dinner Menu: Week of June 26, 2019

Salads & Small Plates

Simple salad and champagne vinaigrette 7-

Mixed green salad with summer vegetables, hazelnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette 9-

Plate of farm pickled vegetables 6-

Marinated summer squashes and kohlrabi with mizuna and pecorino  8-

Sourdough bread with olive oil, balsamic and basil 6-

Salad of butter lettuce, tomatoes, grilled scallions, egg mimosa and anchovy vinaigrette 10-

Cucumber gazpacho with yogurt, basil, and almonds 6-

Chilled Community Cow beef tongue with sour carrot puree and a salad of fava beans onions and herbs 11-


Plate of grilled spring vegetables with romesco and toasted almonds 15-

Pinci pasta with summer vegetable confit, pecorino romano and bread crumbs 19-

Olive oil poached halibut with romano beans, tomatoes, poached new potatoes, olives and lemon dill vinaigrette 26- 

Grilled Comunity Cow beef tenderloin with grilled little gems, smoked tomatoes, garlic anchovy croutons, and buttermilk dill dressing 26-

Grilled za’atar spiced GTF chicken with smoky eggplant puree, isreali couscous, and grilled summer vegetables 22-

Wood-Fired Pizzas

Pizza Bianca 13-

Pizza Margarita 13-        

Fennel sausage, gruyere, scallions and spicy honey 15-   

White kale, kalamata olives, onions, fermented red chili sauce and Alsea Acres chevre 15-

Basil pesto, new potatoes, garlic confit, and anchovies 14-

CSA 2019 – Week 3: Summertime Salad Seduction

CSA Newsletter – Week 3

Summertime Salad Seduction

Many of us grow up thinking that salads are one thing. I grew up thinking salads were crunchy iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and croutons. They may have been served with the occasional red onion crescent, or perhaps a sliced bell pepper, but aside from this, they didn’t stray far.

But salads can be so much more than just lettuce and tomatoes! Salads exist on a spectrum. Anything can be a salad really. It’s a big bowl of stuff mixed together. You’ve just got to figure out what stuff you like to mix together.

For me, I love salads with cheese and nuts. I’ll mix together apples, turnips, cheese chunks, crumbly cheese, walnuts, sunflower seeds, craisins, avocado, salami, and lastly, I’ll toss in some greens and a ton of fresh herbs. I do buy dressings sometimes, but I try to make my own when I can, which isn’t as hard as it seems. I just mix together an oil with an acid and some salt & seasonings in the big salad bowl before adding all the stuff in and tossing it around. It’s always good and it’s a one bowl meal. That’s the dream! Yes, salads can be meals! At a time of year when nobody wants to spend time inside cooking on a
hot day, salads are the perfect meal to make. By adding a protein—beans, meats, cheeses, and/or nuts—to any combination of vegetables (both
roasted & raw), greens, and fruits, you can create incredibly filling and diverse, nutritious meals.

Salads embrace diversity. They are one of the few dishes that allow you to get away with mixing a ton of different ingredients together without losing their individual uniqueness in both flavor and texture, but rather all playing off each other like an orchestra. Forest Gump said life was like a box of chocolates, but I like to think of mine as a bowl of salad. Eat well, veggie lovers!

Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Lacinato Kale—also known as black kale, is our bestseller at markets. It has a rich nutty flavor, its round leaves are particularly easy to chop, and its rumply leaves form the perfect nooks and crannies for oils and salts to snuggle up in. These rumples are what make Lacinato Lacinato and are a result of breeding savoy cabbage with kale through decades of meticulous selection. >>>
  • Red Beets—Beets tend to be everyone’s favorite vegetable to hate. I know, I used to be a beet-hater myself. But I’ve been exposed to some pretty
    amazing beetsperiences over the years that have changed my mind. They’re amazing roasted/steamed & added to salads with cherries, crumbly cheese, & nuts! Blend a few roasted/steamed beats into any hummus for a bright pink magic dip. And they’re delicious in a slaw! Also, beet greens are like chardy spinach, so good! >>>
  • Italian Parsley—We don’t tend to use parsley on a regular basis, but it’s quite the delicious versatile herb. Make it tangy alongside lemon juice over roasted
    red potatoes. Make it sweet in a slaw or dressing. And as it gets warmer and salads become the perfect dish, I always encourage people to chop up a solid 1/3-1/2 bunch of an herb into every salad—parsley’s great for that too.
    Its sweet flavor also marries quite with balsamic. >>>
  • Summer Squash—Grill ‘em, roast ‘em, fry ‘em, slice ‘em up raw and enjoy ‘em in a salad! >>>
  • Dark Red Norland Potatoes—Potato salad!
  • Cucumbers—Cucumber salad!
  • Red or Green Oak Lettuce—Lettuce salad 🙂
  • Green Kohlrabi >>>
  • Scallions—A pungent punch for any salad
  • Romano Beans—well, for most of you! The rest of you will get a surprise this week, and beans later.


Beet & Kohlrabi Slaw with Pistachios & Raisins/Craisins

Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (chef & owner of Portland’s own Ava Gene’s and Tusk)


  • 2 cloves Garlic, smashed & peeled
  • 1/2 cup Golden Raises (or Craisins/any fruit)
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar (or any acid)
  • 1 bunch Beets; mix of colors if you can
  • 1 Kohlrabi, peeled (if skin seems tough)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 1/3-1/2 bunch Italian Parsley, stems included!
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed Mint (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Pistachio Butter (or any nut butter)


  1. Combine the garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour (or just mix it up and keep going).

  2. Grate the beets & kohlrabi on the large holes of a box grater or cut into fine julienne. Yes, your hands will get stained, but the color fades quickly.

  3. To the garlic-raisin, vinegar mixture, add the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley & mint (save the rest for finishing), and chili flakes. Season with 1.5 tsp salt and lots of black pepper and toss. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then taste—the slaw should be tart, spicy, peppery, and sweet. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add ¼ cup olive oil. Toss and taste again.

  4. To serve, plate and top with the slaw. Finish with reserved fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Remember! Feel things out as you cook, don't fret about specific measurements. 🙂


Zucchini Ribbon Salad

“These are some zucchini ribbons & radicchio over ricotta and they’re topped with a warm garlic scape oil, feta, toasted breadcrumbs, and a squeeze of lemon. Cooking in the summer is fun and easy!!!”

—Adapted from @saratane, food editor at @thefeedfeed


Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Parm Chickpeas

Adapted from http://studiobaked.com/2018/12/kale-caesar-saladwith- roasted-garlic-parmesan-chickpeas


Caesar Dressing (follow link above for recipe)

For the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Chickpeas

  • 1 can (15oz) Chickpeas, drained, rinsed in colander in sink, & pat-dried on paper towel
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

For the Kale Salad

  • 1 large bunch Kale
  • Caesar Salad Dressing
  • Roasted Garlic Parm Chickpeas
  • Extra Parmesan for topping
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper


  1. Wash & dry chickpeas, toss w/ oil, garlic, salt, pepper, & cayenne. Add parm, drizzle more oil if needed, & bake on tray 30- 40 min on 400. Shake pan regularly to avoid sticking. Set aside.

  2. Either tear kale leaves into bite-sized pieces or squeeze the bunch up and slice into thin strips for easy chewing. In a bowl, toss the kale w/ the dressing & massage into the leaves to tenderize them. Add the roasted chickpeas & top with grated parmesan. Yum!

We’d love to see what you’re doing with your CSA box! Tag us on social media @gatheringtogetherfarm!
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