CSA Newsletter – Week 11
The Case of the Spicy Jimmy Nardello Peppers
Twice now, I have prepared what I thought were Jimmy Nardello Sweet Frying Peppers only to find out that they were not sweet, but very spicy!
The first time, I thought it was my error. That I just grabbed what I thought were Nardellos but were actually cayenne or another hot pepper. The second time, I began to wonder if something else might be going on, if this was not an isolated incident.
As it turns out, we planted contaminated seed. These off type plants are interspersed throughout our planting of Jimmy Nardello Peppers. Jolene, the farm manager, says that this is common with open pollinated varieties, pollinated by natural mechanisms such as air, wind, insects, such as the Jimmy Nardello Peppers.
For seed contamination to occur the Jimmy Nardello pepper seed could have been grown near a hot pepper variety or it is possible that it was contaminated by a pollinator or a person that had pollen on them before visiting the Jimmy Nardello patch.
Sometimes these off types or crosses can make for some very interesting and exciting vegetables—a happy accident! However, in the case of the Jimmy Nardello peppers, expecting a sweet pepper and getting a very hot pepper is not my idea of a happy accident. I’ll continue to eat these delicious peppers this season but from now on, I’m going to sample each one before eating!
Have a great week.
-Lily, CSA Coordinator
Table of Box Contents
☐ Lettuce ($2.00)
☐ 1½ lbs Purple Potatoes ($2.25) – These beautiful potatoes are purple inside and out.
☐ 2 Anaheim Peppers ($2.25) – Make chili rellenos, stuff them, fry them, or use them in place of lieu of jalapeno
☐ 2 Colored Bell Peppers ($2.25) – Grill or broil and use in soups, sandwiches, dips, or salad.
☐ 1 lb Green Beans ($4.00) – Delicious tossed in olive oil and salt and grilled or sautéed with caramelized onions, see recipe.
☐ 1 Watermelon ($6.75)
☐ 1 Shallot ($1.75) – A close relative to onions, shallots tend to have a milder flavor and less of a bite than onions. They are delicious sliced raw or sautéed.
☐ 2 Dried Onions ($1.25) – Store in a cool, dry place
☐ Chioggia Bunched Beets ($3.50)
☐ 3 Heirloom Tomatoes ($8.00)
☐ 4 Ears of Corn ($4.00) – Steam or grill (with husk on) and eat with salt and butter.
Box Market Value: $38.00
Corn Salad with Tomatoes, Feta and Mint
Fresh raw corn is ideal in this recipe. The juice from the tomatoes delivers just the right amount of acidity, so there’s no need for vinegar. Eat this by the bowl as is or toss it with cooked rice or beans for a more filling salad.
- 2 to 3 cups raw or cooked corn kernels (from 4 to 6 ears)
- 1 large or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into fairly small pieces
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the corn, tomatoes, and cheese in a medium salad bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss.
- Add the mint leaves and toss again. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve.
Read More: NYTimes Cooking
Sautéed Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Cipollini Onions
Sautéing green beans with caramelized onions is my favorite way to prepare green beans. You can really use any onion and you certainly don’t have to use whole cipollinis. The essentials of this recipe are to caramelize the onions and to blanch the green beans before sautéing.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound cipollini onions, trimmed and peeled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 pound button mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and cut into quarters
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter (or heat olive oil) in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Add cipollini onions, season well with salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and cook, turning occasionally, until onions are a deep, caramel brown, about 45 minutes total.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain and run under cool running water until at cold. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat until lightly smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve released all their liquid and are browned, about 10 minutes total, reducing heat if oil starts to smoke excessively. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add shallots, garlic, thyme, and remaining tablespoon butter (or olive oil) and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and toss to combine.
- Add green beans, onions, and lemon juice to mushrooms and toss to reheat and combine. Serve immediately.