CSA 2017 – Week 6: The Life of a GTF Tomato

 

CSA Newsletter – Week 6


The Life of a GTF Tomato

Before I worked at this farm I had no idea why organic produce was more expensive than conventional. Conventional herbicides and pesticides are really expensive, so to me it seemed like it should balance out that organic doesn’t spend money on expensive chemicals but spends more on labor. What I have come to understand is that the issue is so much more than just a question of organic vs. inorganic. Methods of production is a huge factor in differentiating our farm from others. As an example, this is an extremely abbreviated list of all the work that goes into producing a GTF tomato. The full version is available on our blog.

  • Seed selection—takes years of farming knowledge
  • Seeding—make compost, make potting mix from that compost, seed the tomatoes, graft them, up-pot them, and plan for disease rotation in the fields.
  • Grafting—grow disease-resistant rootstock and splice desired varieties on top and let graft union heal.
  • House preparation—soil testing, ground tillage, irrigation installation, plastic mulch installation, trellising installation
  • Transplanting—we transplant all our tomatoes by hand. Hundreds and hundreds
  • Trellising & Pruning—as the plants grow we twist them around hanging strings and prune them as we would a perennial.
  • Greenhouse Mudding—Either by hand or via a mud-cannon, we throw mud onto our hoop houses so the temps don’t get to crazy high for the plants in the summer.
  • Weeding—regularly throughout the growing season.
  • Pest & Disease Monitoring—throughout season
  • Irrigation—constant vigilance!
  • Harvest—It’s really hard to walk through a greenhouse packed 10 feet tall with tomato plants while carrying a flat that weighs 30 pounds!
  • Grading—every tomato we harvest gets sorted by quality by hand, depending on where it’s destined to end up.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Eggplant—“Eggplant may be the trickiest vegetable to cook, and therefore it can inspire some ambivalence. But when handled correctly, it is sublime.”—Joshua McFadden
  • Jalapeño—They’re a little milder than they will be later in the season, which can be nice for certain dishes especially.
  • Fennel—Use both the fronds and the bulb! The bulb is great grilled or roasted, or even slice thinly raw on top of meat. The fronds can make a delicious addition to pesto, salad, or soup.
  • Chard—Chard, spinach, and beets are all cousins in the same plant family, and all can be used in similar ways.
  • Carrots—sweet and wonderful raw or roasted with a little crunch still maintained.
  • 2 Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing, and they’re great roughly chopped in Pico de Gallo.
  • Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
  • Summer Squash—Though there are many types of squash that are great for different dishes, all can be used interchangeably.
  • 5 lbs New PotatoesThis week we have Nicola potatoes.
  • Lettuce—Various varieties
  • Tomatoes—Sweet & fresh!

Recipes

Print

Peak-of-Summer Roasted Ratatouille

From The CSA Cookbook.  Though this dish is traditionally sautéed, roasting the vegetables brings out a richness and sweetness that you just don’t get from the stove top. Little more is needed than a generous glug of olive oil, a fresh sprig of rosemary, and some salt and pepper to marry the flavors while they caramelize. You can serve ratatouille as a side dish or make it a full meal with a loaf of crusty bread and a glass of red wine. Leftovers go great on a bed of mixed greens the next day.

Author Linda Ly

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 lb summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, cut lengthwise into eighths
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed with a knife
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 rosemary sprig (or another herb of choice)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

  2. As you prepare all the vegetables, cut the tomatoes first and let them drain in a colander while you break down the remaining ingredients.

  3. In a large bowl, gently toss all the vegetables with the garlic, oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.

  4. Strip the leaves off the rosemary sprigs and scatter them on top.

  5. Spread the vegetables across two large rimmed baking sheets in a  single layer, with the  tomatoes cut-side up. You want the vegetables packed in tightly, but not piled on top of each other.

  6. Roast until most of the vegetables are soft, shriveled, and slightly browned, about 45 minutes. If your baking sheets are on two separate racks, swap their positions halfway through the roasting time for even cooking.

  7. Transfer the vegetables and all their juices to a serving bowl and toss with the basil. Serve warm or chilled.

Print

Caramelized Fennel and Onion

—Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly.  Many people shy away from fennel, which they describe as having too strong of a licorice-like flavor. When you put that same fennel in the oven under high heat, however, its love-it-or-hate-it aroma mellows out into a warm slice of sweetness. Fennel bulb caramelizes beautifully the way onion does, turning soft and fragrant with only the slightest hint of anise. After a long roast, the sumptuous flavors of fennel and onion marry and make a deep, rich, and smoky sweet side to a savory steak.

Ingredients

  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.

  2. In a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the fennel and onion with the oil, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated.

  3. Scatter the vegetables across the baking sheet in a single layer and roast until golden brown and slightly charred on the edges, 35-45 minutes. Halfway through the roast, give the fennel and onion a quick stir for even caramelization on all sides.

 

Print

Chard, Basil, and Boysenberry Salad w/ Hazelnuts

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • Onion
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard
  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil
  • Boysenberries
  • Hazelnuts

Instructions

  1. First, mince up some onion and smash with the back of a spoon in a large bowl with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. This changes the flavor of the dressing and you can smell this change almost instantly. 

  2. Then finely chop up your chard and basil (an entire bunch of each) and toss in the salad dressing. The longer the greens sit in the dressing the more soft and delicate they will become; I recommend serving at least twenty minutes after you finish making the salad.

  3. Top with sliced up boysenberries (or any fruit, really!) and some chopped up hazelnuts. This is a wonderful salad to bring to parties as it only gets better with time.

CSA 2017 – Week 5: The Next Village Square

CSA Newsletter – Week 5


The Next Village Square

For the first time at market this weekend we had tomatillos, eggplant, jalapeños, and tomatoes overflowing from our stands, and I was filled with a warmth that only a bustling summer farmers’ market can provide. Across our five weekend markets our crews woke up before the sun and rushed to set up tents and tables, followed by beautiful veggie displays. Throughout the day the community absorbed our produce and all you lovely people picked up your CSA boxes.

Looking up from my register out at the whole market scene on Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel like there was something so beautifully human happening, something that before I started working at this farm I personally had missing in my modern, suburban, millennial life.

In this world we no longer know our neighbors and we no longer gather in village squares. But it’s plain to see that through farmers’ markets we are successfully rebuilding our communities. Vendors and customers alike know each other by name and genuinely care about each other. The farmers’ market is our village square, a place where we can all gather together, share in food, and watch the seasons roll by. It could seem like the marketplace is first and foremost a place of commerce, where we come to buy food to sustain our bodies, but it is providing so much more than that. Families come and spend the day at market. There’s live music, often fountains to play in, grassy knolls on which to picnic, and an endless stream of fresh, local goods that you get to take home and enjoy with your friends and family. So thanks for being a part of our community, for taking joy in the food we have to offer, and for making the time to read these letters.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Green Bell Pepper—You know it’s summer when peppers start rolling in. Enjoy these sliced raw as a snack
  • Napa Cabbage—Napa is known for its crisp bok choy-like stems and especially sweet flavor. This is the main ingredient in Kimchi.
  • Basil—Cut the bottom of the stems off and place in a glass of water on the counter as a functional bouquet.
  • Kohlrabi—Great raw in slaws.
  • Carrots—“When you think “carrot,” you may think orange, but I also think green. Early in the year, carrots come with lacy tops that are delicious,”—Joshua McFadden
  • 2 Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing, and they’re great roughly chopped in Pico de Gallo.
  • Spinach—succulent leaves perfect raw in salads or lightly braised to become melt-in-your-mouth tender.
  • 4 Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
  • 2-3 Zucchini—Great for grilling, just slice lengthwise into spears. Or spiralize into zoodles. Or stir-fry with onion and egg to make a frittata. Zucchini does it all.
  • 5 lbs New PotatoesThis week we have Nicola potatoes.
  • Lettuce—Various varieties
  • Siletz Tomato!!!!

Recipes

Print

Kohlrabi Home Fries w/ Thyme Aioli

—The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly

Author Linda Ly

Ingredients

For the Fries

  • 2 lbs kohlrabi, peeled & cut into 3" spears
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

For the Aioli

  • 1 egg
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the kohlrabi with the oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Scatter the kohlrabi across the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned, shaking them up halfway through to evenly brown all sides.

  3. Meanwhile, make the aioli by adding the egg, garlic, thyme, lemon juice, and salt to a blender. Blend on medium speed for a few seconds until well combined. 

  4. While the blender is running, add the oil in a very slow, steady, and thin (think needle-size) stream until the mixture emulsifies. Don’t try to rush the stream of oil; the emulsification starts slowly, but you’ll hear the sound of the motor change as the aioli thickens and starts slapping the sides of the blender. When the aioli turns opaque and smooth transfer to a small bowl.

 

Print

Spinach Basil Salad w/ Balsamic Dressing

A simple salad I make all the time

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1/2-1 bunch basil
  • 1/4 sweet onion, minced
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

  1. First mince up your onion and place in a large bowl. Pour a good amount of balsamic vinegar into the bowl and smash the onion into the liquid with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle some salt into your mixture.

  2. With a sharp knife slice your spinach into very thin strips, and do the same with your basil. Add them both into the bowl with the dressing and toss. The longer the leaves sit, the more the vinegar will break them down making them become melt-in-your mouth soft. Add fresh berries and toasted nuts of any kind to make the salad even brighter.

 

Print

Simple Cole Slaw (serve with tacos!)

—Make it up!

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • Napa cabbage
  • green bell pepper
  • kohlrabi
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • basil (and parsley and any other herbs!)

Instructions

  1. Mix up the veggies, sliced or shredded into fine strips, and dress up the slaw with whatever you’d like. I make a mixture of mayo, vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and random spices. If you’re into putting this on a taco, make some chicken mole or tempeh.

 

Print

Zucchini Scramble with Garlic Chévre, Tomato and Basil

My personal breakfast of the week.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • onion
  • garlic
  • oil
  • zucchini
  • 4-6 eggs
  • tomato, sliced
  • basil
  • garlic Chevre cheese
  • bread, sliced and toasted optional

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop an onion and a head of garlic and heat up a pan with oil in it. 

  2. Let sauté for a few minutes while you slice 3-4 zucchini into discs. Add the zucchini into the pan and toss to coat with oil. Cover and let cook a couple minutes, remove the lid, stir, and then let continue to sauté until the zucchini is nicely done. 

  3. Wait to add salt until the very end of the cooking process! That’s the magic zucchini secret! If you add salt early on it will make the zucchini all mushified, and you don’t want that, no no.

  4. Then whisk up 4-6 eggs, add some salt to the eggs, and dump them over the veggies in the pan and scramble around until done. 

  5. Divvy out onto plates and top with raw slices of tomato and basil, and a plentiful heap of garlic Chévre if you can find some at your local farmers market. 

  6. I also top that with a dollop of spicy chilis and oil. Even better, get some of our Altamura loaves or bread from a local bakery and serve some toast on the side. Enjoy!

 

CSA 2017 – Week 4: Words to Cook By

CSA Newsletter – Week 4


Words to Cook By

Hello everyone! So, I may have gone overboard and splurged on a bunch of new cookbooks in preparation for writing these newsletters. No regrets! But one of my new favorites is Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, the head chef at Ava Gene’s up in Portland (they serve our veggies on their menu). You’ll see many recipes and other knowledge nuggets from this book throughout the season, including the following guidelines entitled Words to Cook By:

  • Visit farmers’ markets often and always ask questions.
  • Things that grow together in a season go very well together in a dish.
  • Start with raw vegetables. Take a bite so that you understand their flavors before you begin making your dish. Do this as each season progresses to learn how vegetables change.
  • Don’t be a slave to a recipe. Add different herbs, use a new spice, omit something you don’t like—you’re in charge.
  • Be organized. Read the whole recipe first, gather all the ingredients, do the messy prep first. Clean as you go. Your food will really taste better, I promise.
  • Eyeball it. Get comfortable cooking without measuring cups and spoons. Your mouth, nose, eyes, and hands will tell you the right amounts.
  • Cooking times are simply guidelines. Use your senses, including common sense.
  • Build layers into your dish, like you’re making nachos. Hide things on the bottom. Sprinkle things on top.
  • Leave fresh herb leaves whole most of the time.
  • Texture is king. Use dried breadcrumbs, nuts, and seed liberally.
  • Make mistakes. Oversalt, use too much vinegar, make something too spicy, burn something—and then don’t do it again. That’s how you learn.
  • Don’t be scared. Find the freedom and fun in cooking.

          -Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Green Cabbage—Fresh spring cabbage is sweet and succulent, perfect for salads and slaws.
  • 5 lbs New PotatoesThis week we have Colorado Rose potatoes in the box for you; they have a lovely rose red skin with a white flesh.
  • Italian Parsley—Add parsley into a pesto or into a salad.
  • Sugarloaf Chicory—Chicory greens are lettuce’s bitter cousins. Sugarloaf is one of the few that is quite sweet. Their shape makes them perfect for cutting in half lengthwise and grilling for a hot salad. Try balancing out the bitterness with other ingredients, like vinegar, garlic, or cheese.
  • Garlic—Enjoy the fresh garlic while it lasts! In just a week it’ll all be dried.
  • Lettuce—Various varieties
  • 2 Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing.
  • Pearl Onions—Perfect for grilling, high in sugar content, overall extremely delicious.
  • Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
  • Zucchini—Great for grilling, just slice lengthwise into spears. Or spiralize into zoodles. Or stir-fry with onion and egg to make a frittata. Zucchini does it all.

Recipes

A Note on Grilling Vegetables

Since so many of the veggies in this week’s box are great on the grill, and because we are officially in the grilling season, I thought it would be nice to include a very important lesson on grilling from Six Seasons.

“when grilling or charring, skip the oil. Cook your vegetables naked, which will allow the sugars to nicely caramelize and avoid the awful taste of burnt oil.”

Then add oil and salt to your grilled veggies before serving.

Print

Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Sugarloaf Chicory & Caramelized Onion

Whenever I make grilled cheese, I always add caramelized onions, mushrooms, and whatever greens I have on hand. This recipe is also great in that all your sammies are done at the same time, without the first getting cold by the time the last ones are done. I wish you could see the mouthwatering picture of these morsels. Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly.

Author Lindy Ly

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 crimini mushrooms, finely chopped (or shitakes, or whatever ya got!)
  • 1 head sugarloaf chicory, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • 8 slices grainy bread -if you're in Corvallis, pick up freshly baked loaf from our Farmstand or market booth!
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (or whatever ya got!)

Instructions

  1. Place two large rimmed baking sheets inside the oven and preheat to 425F. If your baking sheets cannot fit side by side, place on sheet on the center rack and another sheet on whichever rack remains.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbsp of oil and get up to heat.

  3. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. 

  4. Add the other Tbsp of oil, the mushrooms, sugarloaf, and salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender and wilted, about five minutes. Keep stirring them around to let any excess liquid cook off.

  5. To assemble the sandwiches, thoroughly butter all the bread on one side. Turn half the slices over, buttered side down, and spread mustard over them. Layer equal amounts of the cheese and veggie sauté on each slice, then top with the remaining slices of bread, buttered sides up.

  6. Transfer the sandwiches to the hot baking sheet in the center of the oven and place the other hot baking sheet on top, pressing down lightly. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the bread is toasted on the outside and the cheese is melted on the inside.

Print

Braised Cabbage w/ Fried Potatoes, Feta, & Parsley

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

You could steam the potatoes and skip the frying, but the chewiness that comes from a turn in olive oil or ghee makes this simple dish a much more interesting one. When I make these potatoes, they barely make it to the dish—they’re that good.

Author Deborah Madison

Ingredients

  • olive oil or ghee, for frying
  • 4+ red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced ~1/4 inch thick
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Braised Summer Cabbage (slice cabbage into ribbons and stir-fry until wilted with butter and salt)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or dill, or a mixture
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat enough oil to cover a 10 inch cast-iton pan with a light film over medium heat. 

  2. Add the potatoes and cook, turning them occasionally, until golden and just tender, about 20 minutes. They won’t necessarily be cooked evenly, but that’s fine. You’ll have crisp pieces next to meatier ones and all should be a little chewy. 

  3. Season them with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

  4. Meanwhile, cook the cabbage until just tender, 10 min or less. Put the cabbage in a bowl and add butter or not, as you wish. Add the potatoes and parsley and toss well. Finish w/ feta & serve.

2017 CSA – Week 3: Feasibly Delicious Foods

CSA Newsletter – Week 3


Feasibly Delicious Foods

Hello everyone, it’s the official first CSA box of summer, woo! With all this sunshine production is really picking up. Your boxes will be fuller by the week until you can hardly carry them home.

I wanted to take a moment to let you all know what my intentions are with the CSA Newsletters this season. Though my life revolves around vegetables, it certainly has not always been that way. Pretty much the only vegetable that I ate growing up was baby carrots, and the rest of my diet was processed food either from a box or from a drive through (there’s nothing quite like instant mashed potatoes, is there?). Needless to say, this city girl had no idea what she was doing when she started working at a farm!

Throughout my years with this farm, I have gotten to know and fallen in love with the vast variety of vegetables that can be grown in the Willamette Valley, most of which I had never laid eyes on let alone tasted. Many of you are experienced cooks and for you I will be sure to include some more intricate recipes that will wow your guests and offer more complex flavor combinations.

But what I intend to focus on is what I like to call feasible deliciousness. Even as a farmer, it nearly impossible to find the time to cook a meal at home these days, and so if we want to eat lots of veggies and stay healthy, the simpler the better. I want to help you all learn more about the lesser known veggies, learn easy and quick ways to make them delicious and filling, and hopefully inspire you all to love and appreciate vegetables as much as I have come to.

First and foremost, never feel like you have to follow a recipe exactly. I encourage you to eyeball measurements, replace ingredients with whatever you have on hand, and use a spice not listed if it calls to you. Always have fun, and don’t take anything too seriously. Feel free to contact me with cooking or farming questions any time! But please remember to send all logistical CSA questions to csa@gatheringtogetherfarm.com , thank you!

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Beets—Sweet, earthy, and beautifully bright. If you or some of your family members are in the I-hate-beets club, look into different ways to prepare them. It’s rare that we actually don’t like something, we often just don’t like the way we’ve had it before.
  • 5 lbs New PotatoesNewly dug potatoes are very high in water content, so make sure if you’re making a crispy potato dish that you find a way to remove some of the water, either via pre-boiling, pre-baking, or by pressing with a cloth.
  • Dill—A little dill goes a long way, and provides such a delicate freshness and texture to any dish.
  • Spinach—Our spinach is at its prime right now; it doesn’t like the heat of summer much, so it’s just in the edges of summer that it is particularly beautiful.
  • Lettuce—Various varieties
  • 2 Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing.
  • 4 Cucumbers—Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch. We have two varieties coming this week, you can taste and decide which is your favorite!
  • 2-3 Zucchini—Make sure when you cook zucchini to salt at the end of the cooking process so it doesn’t turn to mush!

Recipes

Print

Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

This recipe is from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden, head chef at Ava Gene’s in Portland, a wonderful restaurant that our farm sells produce too. Enjoy! The pistachio butter underneath the slaw is like an Asian peanut sauce, bringing a much fuller nut flavor than the pistachios could offer alone. As you eat the dish, the juices from the slaw dissolve the pistachio butter and make a crazy good sort of vinaigrette.

Servings 4 people
Author Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 lb beets use a mix of colors if you can
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, lightly packed (substitute dill since that's what you have)
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • pistachio butter

Instructions

  1. Combine the garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour.

  2. Grate the beets 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. Remove the garlic from the raisins and discard. 

  4. Add the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley and 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. 

  5. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, then add ¼ cup olive oil. Toss and taste again.


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

Print

Crispy Buttery Smashed Potatoes

From the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook by Ellen Jackson

Author Ellen Jackson

Ingredients

  • 5 2-lb-potatoes, unpeeled
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted and divided
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, dill, etc.)

Instructions

  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.

Print

Simple Cucumber Salad

I make this all the time at home for munching, usually to get me through to my next big meal. This cucumber salad takes hardly five minutes to prepare, and is a wonderful snack or side dish on a hot summer day.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cucumbers, sliced into discs
  • 1/3 bunch dill, finely chopped
  • lemon juice to taste (I often use vinegar if I don't have any lemons on hand)
  • salt to taste (2-3 pinches)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients, and add more of anything to taste.

2017 CSA – Week 1: Greetings from Your Farmers

CSA Newsletter – Week 1


Greetings from Your Farmers

Welcome to our 20th CSA season, everyone! This year also happens to be our 30th year growing vegetables in the Willamette Valley, and it is an honor to continue providing quality produce to our community. Your contribution as a CSA member provided a much needed kick start to our off-season allowing us to do things such as purchase seed and prep ground. As many of you may know, it’s been a particularly rough winter and spring for farming with all the rain we’ve had, so we appreciate your support that much more. The next 21 weeks of vegetables is our way of saying thank you.

This year we have a new system for CSA where rather than having one coordinator who does everything, we have a small crew of people devoted to bringing you your box. Marina, who has been a part of our farming family her whole life, will be managing box packing and produce selection. Will, who you’ve all been communicating with already, is new to the farm this year and is the official CSA Coordinator. And I am the Farmers’ Market Coordinator and self-proclaimed Vegecator, ready to spread the love of vegetables with you all through this newsletter. I invite you all to view your CSA box not just as a box full of fresh, organic produce at a discounted rate, but also as an educational opportunity to learn about where your food comes from and easy ways to enjoy it. It’s going to be a journey through the seasons!

The CSA Newsletter is a way for me to share a little bit about the contents of each box, let you in on what’s going on at the farm, and share ideas about ways to prepare your weekly supply of veggies in a feasibly delicious way. We would also love to hear from you! Share your favorite recipes or preparation methods, pictures, or questions. If you are social media savvy, you can find us on Facebook and Instagram at @gatheringtogetherfarm and hashtag your pictures and comments with #gtfcsa so that we can find you! I will be sure to share tips, and recipes in future newsletters.

Thanks again for all your support. It’s going to be a delicious year!

– Laura Bennett
markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • 1 bunch Basil ($3.00)
  • Fresh Garlic ($1.50) – Enjoy the savory wonder of garlic without having to peel it! It’s a game changer, folks.
  • 5 lbs New Potatoes ($5.25) – This week’s variety is Harvest Moon, a rich, yellow-fleshed potato with purple skin. Store in a cool, dry place & don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.
  • Kohlrabi ($1.50) – Remove skin with a knife or peeler. You can add thin slices or grated kohlrabi to salads, or cut spears to dip into hummus. Kohlrabi is also a great addition to coleslaws.
  • Black Kale ($3.00) – Remove stems, slice leaves thinly and sauté with garlic and onion. Top with fried eggs for a quick, delicious, and hearty breakfast.
  • 1 Sweet Onion ($1.50) – The high sugar content in these onions makes them perfect for caramelizing.
  • 2 Cucumbers ($3.00) – Eat fresh like an apple or slice into salads for a nice, sweet crunch.
  • 1 bunch Pearl Onion ($2.50) – These are delicious roasted or grilled and eaten whole.
  • 2 heads Lettuce ($4.00)
  • 1 pint Strawberries ($4.00)

Box value at the farmers’ market: $29.25

Recipes

 Roasted Potatoes & Pearl Onions

Our Eclipse pearl onions are incredibly sweet! Your CSA Coordinator Will loves them so much that he’s even been eating them raw at lunch lately. If you’re not quite that hardcore (he might be the only one) then one of the best ways to maximize their sweetness is to roast them. Mixed up with purple potatoes they will be both beautiful and delicious. There’s nothing quite like that first bite of warm, creamy, sweet onion, mixed with crispy, savory potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds new potatoes
  • 1 bunch pearl onions, peeled
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients. Spread the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes and onions are golden brown and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately or cool and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, reheating the next day in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Adapted from http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/potatoes-and-onions-recipe-1916966

Spring Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 head lettuce, sliced thinly
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepperDirections
  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, kohlrabi, cheese, onion and basil. Stir in couscous.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Pour over couscous mixture; toss to coat. Add more of anything to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Adapted from http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/summer-garden-couscous-salad

My Favorite Breakfast

 Ingredients

  • ¼ Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1 head Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 1 bu. Black Kale, thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & cooking oil of choice
  • Your hot sauce of choice

Directions

Chop everything up, heat up some oil in a frying pan, and start onions on their own first. After a couple minutes, add in the garlic, and after another couple minutes add in the kale. Toss around for a minute or so to wilt the kale sufficiently, sprinkle with salt and plate.

In the same pan, fry up a couple eggs however you like them. When done, place on top of your garlic & greens sauté and finish with a drizzle of hot sauce. This is such an easy breakfast to make you guys!

Adapted from: my mind…