CSA 2018 – Week 15: Keeping it Simple

CSA Newsletter – Week 15


Keeping it Simple

We all know by now that this modern world we live in is becoming faster and more complicated by the day, and it’s hard to not get caught up in it. It’s easy to become obsessed with perfection—the perfect response to an email, the perfect caption for your Instagram photo, the perfect meal to serve to impress your friends with. Whatever it is, it’s all too easy to let yourself get anxious about these things, as if life could possibly be less amazing just because you couldn’t find that one exotic ingredient for a dish you’re preparing for a dinner party.

I’m someone who falls into these modern-day traps regularly, so I find myself seeking out simplicity in order to balance myself out. One way that I like to rebell against productivity and content obsession is to make super simple food that doesn’t look particularly “pretty.” I love to stir fry onions and carrots together with tamari and eat it with fresh cilantro on top and nothing else. It’s a plate of brown mush and I love it. Sometimes for dinner I’ll just have roasted potatoes with butter with sauteed cabbage on the side. Simple. Maybe it’s a little burnt. Maybe it’s not salted properly. Who cares. We all do simple random little things when we’re in a rush or just don’t want to put in the time, but we rarely value those simple things as much as I think they deserve.

This life is too short to not enjoy even the simplest of things to the fullest. A baked potato with salt and butter is a beautiful thing. Slices of cucumber dipped into ranch (that’s right, ranch, not some artisanal aioli) is a beautiful thing. Staring blankly out the window while you pick at your teeth is a fine way to spend a few moments, or more. Respect!

Looked at another way, the complex things in this world that impress us so much are actually quite simple. And the simple things that we often shrug off are actually incredibly complex. It’s all perspective. So we might as well enjoy the beauty in things whichever way we happen to see them in the moment.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Purple Carrots—tis the season of roasted roots! I love roasting carrots whole, but roasting purple carrots whole is next level beautiful.
  • Red Shallot—don’t forget, shallots are a cross between garlic and onions, which is why their flavor is so much more potent than a regular onion, and why you can see shallots trying to clove up, growing in funny shapes. Use like an onion in any dish.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Purple Cabbage—In my opinion, purple cabbage is one of the most beautiful vegetables that we grow. Sure, from the outside it’s just a heavy purple ball. But slice that thing in half and boom! You’ve got a striking piece of art created from the folds of deep purple and bright white leaves. Plus it’s super-duper sweet! 😉
  • Swiss Chard—the oxalic nature of chard lends it to have somewhat of a mouth-drying effect when eaten raw. To combat this, I love to lightly braise chard with butter and garlic.
  • Pepper Party!
    • Sweet Orange Bell
    • Sweet Red Italian
    • Red Jalapeno
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Fresh Dill
  • Lettuce Surprise
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Recipes

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Cabbage Confetti Quinoa

“When my friend Kyra feels under the weather, her husband, Jason, whips up a batch of quinoa and cabbage as ‘comfort food’ to speed her healing (much more healthful than my comfort food, tapioca pudding). If you can, start with chilled cooked quinoa—leftovers from the fridge are perfect—since freshly cooked quinoa is a bit too moist here. Otherwise, cook a batch of quinoa and let it cool before adding it to the pan. This dish tastes amazing with just the vegetables and spices, too, so you can skip the quinoa altogether and enjoy the colorful ‘confetti’ by itself.” 

—Adapted from Laura Russell’s book on Brassicas.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Small Head Red Cabbage
  • 2 tbsp Butter/Vegetable Oil
  • 2 large cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 Sweet Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric (or fresh!)
  • Salt
  • 2 cups White Quinoa, cooked

Instructions

  1. To chop the cabbage, cut out the core with the tip of a knife and place the cabbage cut side down. Cut into about ¼-inch-thick slices, rotate the slices 90 degrees, and cut across the slices to create roughly ¼-inch pieces. You should have about 4 cups.

  2. Put the butter, garlic, and ginger in a large (12 inches or wider), deep frying pan over medium-high heat. When the garlic and ginger start to sizzle, add the bell pepper and cook, stir it occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the cabbage, turmeric, and a pinch or two of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, until the cabbage wilts. (The cabbage is perfectly delicious at this point. If you like skip the quinoa and eat the dish now.)

  3. Stir in the quinoa and another pinch or two of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes more, until hot. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Crispy, Buttery Smashed Potatoes

“Joe Rossi… and his daughter Gabrielle co-manage Rossi Farms, where they grow eighteen varieties of handpicked heirloom potatoes. The power of potatoes to satisfy deeply and completely should not be underestimated. The essence of this humble ingredient is most successfully captured with the simplest of preparations. Here, high heat, butter, and herbs transform fingerling potatoes into a crunchy, wildly addictive cross between a French fry and a baked potato.”

—Recipe adapted from Gabrielle Rossi of Rossi Farms, from the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Potatoes, unpeeled
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp finely chopped Herbs, such as Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Chives, or a combination

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. 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.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

  3. Lightly coat a baking sheet with 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. Brush the potatoes generously with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and bake them for 10 minutes. And the garlic and herbs to the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, brush the potatoes again, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes more.

CSA 2018 – Week 14: Dropping Knowledge Word by Word

CSA Newsletter – Week 14


Dropping Knowledge Word by Word  Dropping Knowledge Word by Word  

Whenever I sit down to write this newsletter, the conversations that took place while we harvested your produce starts flittering through my mind. More than any one particular conversation, I wanted to draw attention to the amazing language immersion experience that one has on our harvest crew. While we’re sharing immense amounts of knowledge about how to harvest vegetables properly, in doing so we are also exchanging immense amounts of language in order to get the job done.

Our 2018 harvest crew is an incredibly diverse bunch of folks, all of whom speak different combinations of languages. There are those who speak Spanish and English to varying degrees, those who speak either Spanish or English, and then there are Spanish speakers who speak indigenous languages, including Mixteco from Mexico, and Mam and Kanjobal, both Mayan languages from Guatemala. Some people have been farming their whole lives, some for the past decade, and others are experiencing farm life for the first time.

At the beginning of the season, it felt like the language barrier hindered efficiency, but the barrier has since been broken. Over this season, everyone has learned so much English and Spanish, and a few select language buffs have even taken to learning the differences and similarities between the indigenous languages. For me, I have honed my Spanish abilities to a whole new level that is simply not possible in a classroom. But what’s more important than the words we’ve learned has been the relationships that we’ve built with each other as we laughed and grumbled our way through communication breakdowns and successes, just as any good learning process should be.

As you eat your way through your box this week, remember the diversity of words that passed through the air as we harvested, the words that made possible the logistics of assuring quality control and efficiency as we moved from field to field, the words that maybe didn’t make sense the first time and had to be laughed off and said again before they got the message across. As we have spent our days working our bodies in the fields, our minds have been far from dormant. It’s been one stimulating season of knowledge exchange, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Green Beans—green beans sautéed with tamari and garlic is still my favorite easy dinner!
  • Grapes
  • Pepper Party!
    • Red Ruffle Pimento
    • 2 Jimmy Nardello
    • Colored Bell
  • Cilantro
  • Purple Majesty Potatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Mixed Summer Squash
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Lettuce Surprise

    Recipes

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    Carrot & Sweet Onions w/ Tamari & Cilantro

    This is a super simple sauté that I love to make and serve with rice. 

    Author Laura Bennett

    Ingredients

    • About 1/3 bunch Carrots, sliced long and thin
    • 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thinly
    • 1/3-1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped roughly
    • Tamari
    • Garlic
    • Salt

    Instructions

    1. Slice up your onion and set aside.

    2. There are many ways to slice carrots long and thin. You could use a mandolin if you have one, but I just use a knife. I slice the ends of the carrots, slice them in half lengthwise, and then with the flat side down on the cutting board, I simply slice as thinly as I can at a diagonal angle all the way down. You end up with long and flat carrot strips that are perfect for this dish.

    3. Heat up some oil in a pan, throw your onions in and stir around.

    4. After a minute or two add in the carrots and stir them in evenly.

    5. Pour a good splash of tamari or soy sauce into the pan and cover with a lid for a few minutes.

    6. Meanwhile, mince a few cloves of garlic and add them in once you’re done chopping.

    7. Remove the lid for the remainder of the cooking process and continue to cook on medium-high. Add more tamari as more liquid is needed. Cook just until carrots are done, but not so long that they become mushy. Once you turn off the pan, salt to taste.

    8. Serve with tons of raw cilantro on top!

     

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    Purple Potato & Sweet Pepper Frittata

    Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 lb Purple Potatoes
    • 2 tbsp Butter
    • Salt & Pepper
    • 2-3 Sweet Peppers, seeded & cut into julienne strips
    • 4 oz Prosciutto, or sausage, or tofu, cut small
    • 6 Eggs
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
    • 1/2 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, seasoned lightly with salt & pepper
    • Handful Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters

    Instructions

    1. Put the potatoes in a large pan of water and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Bring to boil and cook until they are tender but not mushy, 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. Drain. When cool enough to handle, cut into small chunks. Heat the oven to 400F.

    2. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet (nonstick if you have one, with and ovenproof handle) over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers and prosciutto, season lightly with salt and black pepper, and cook until fragrant and the bell peppers are softening but not browning, 5-7 minutes. Add the potatoes.

    3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add 1 tsp salt, many twists of black pepper, and the parmesan. Whisk until the eggs are nicely blended. Pour the eggs over the ingredients in the skillet, scraping everything out of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

    4. Reduce the heat to medium and let the eggs sit peacefully for about 2 minutes. Then carefully slip the spatula around the edges of the eggs, releasing them from the pan, allowing more liquid egg to flow underneath. Let that new layer of egg set up a bit and then repeat the process. You are building layers of cooked egg, which will help the frittata have a lighter texture.

    5. After most of the liquid egg has cooked, but the top is still runny, a dollop the ricotta over the top of the frittata in 8 blobs, evenly spaced so each slice will get some ricotta. Transfer the pan to the oven and finish cooking the frittata all the way through, about 5 minutes. It should puff a bit and the op will get lightly browned.

    6. Let the frittata sit in the pan for a couple minutes, then run the spatula around the edge and as far under the center as you can. Slide the frittata onto a cutting board or cooling rack. If a bit sticks to the pan and rips, don’t worry, just piece it back together.

    7. Serve the frittata on the warm side of room temperature, cut into wedges. Top with cherry tomatoes. It’s delicious the next day too.

     

CSA 2018- Week 13: Como una Flor—The Art of Making Beautiful Bunches

 

CSA Newsletter- Week 13


Welcome to the first week of September! With the cold nights that we’ve been having, things like tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash that we would harvest every single day are now growing so slowly that we can only harvest a small amount every two or three days. Picking all of these bulk items is most definitely a summer task, whereas making bunches of greens and roots is more of a spring and fall gig.

The gold beets in your box reminded me of a day earlier this season out in the field, bunching—you guessed it—gold beets. On this particular day, we had a lot of new people on the crew and we spent our day learning and teaching how to make beautiful, even bunches. For beets and other round roots, we are told to make bunches como una flor, like a flower, with one beet in the center and an array of beets around it. As we harvest, we make sure to gently pull the beets from the soil so as not to damage the delicate greens of the smaller beets that we leave behind to keep growing. On that day, we found a gold beet that was uniquely light in color, and we made an exemplary bunch that more than any other was como una flor.

The gold beets in your box reminded me of a day earlier this season out in the field, bunching—you guessed it—gold beets. On this particular day, we had a lot of new people on the crew and we spent our day learning and teaching how to make beautiful, even bunches. For beets and other round roots, we are told to make bunches como una flor, like a flower, with one beet in the center and an array of beets around it. As we harvest, we make sure to gently pull the beets from the soil so as not to damage the delicate greens of the smaller beets that we leave behind to keep growing. On that day, we found a gold beet that was uniquely light in color, and we made an exemplary bunch that more than any other was como una flor.

But that’s just beets! Every single item that we bunch has its own science and art to it. To bunch chard, we wade through the field of bright, rainbow leaves, try to find leaves that are of similar size, and then stack them one on top of the other with a little slap that keeps them from being a floppy mess. To bunch moss parsley, we make sure to rotate the bunch as we make it, forming a perfect little pom pom as we go. To bunch basil, we snap a few stems at a basal node with one hand, always placing the new stems in the center of the bunch so as not to bruise the soft leaves. Carrots fall easily off the bunch, so we always have to make sure to twist the tie around the bunch twice super tight. For cilantro we slip a long knife under the soil to cut under the root, remove the weeds, and bunch from there.

Whatever bunch you’re making, your twist tie can’t be too low or too high, too tight or too loose; the orientation of the leaves and roots must be just so, so that it turns out beautiful every time. Over the next few weeks as more and more bunched items make it into your box, remember that somebody worked hard to make sure that that one bunch was perfect and beautiful, como una flor.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Gold Beets
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Jalapeño
  • Tomatoes
  • Scallions
  • Mixed Summer Squash
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Lettuce Surprise

Print

Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

“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. Serves 4—adapted from Six Seasons https://www.instagram.com/p/BkQfq1hjxrf/?hl=en&taken-by=jj__mc 

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar (or any acid)
  • 1 1/4 lb gold beets; mix of colors if you can
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, basil leaves, or any herb of choice
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • Pistachio butter (or any nut butter)
  • Suggested Additions: cabbage & fennel, sliced thinly

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. And 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. 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.

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Alice Waters’ Ratatouille

A genius recipe from Alice Waters' 2007 cookbook The Art of Simple Food: ratatouille that fusses only where it needs to fuss (over the eggplant), and adds a few smart, modern details -- red chile flakes, a basil bouquet -- that improve on a well-worn classic. Note: All vegetables conveniently work out to about a pound. Serves 6-8, Prep Time: 20 min, Cook Time: 50 min —Adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/14155-alice-waters-ratatouille

Ingredients

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ bunch basil, tied in a bouquet + 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pinch dried chile flakes
  • 2 sweet peppers, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 medium summer squash, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.

  3. In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.

  4. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.

  5. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.

  6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.

CSA 2018 – Week 12: A Time of Transitions

CSA Newsletter- Week 12


A Time of Transitions

With August coming to an end, our summer produce is beginning its descent away from the apex of abundance. As we make our way through the fields, plants that were once loaded with fruits are beginning to brown and wither as the final energy reserves are reallocated into the final harvest. Lush rows of cucumbers are now skritchy and dusty to walk through. You may have noticed the nights getting colder and longer, or maybe you’ve got kids heading back to school. The signs of transition are all around us.

For Oregonians, we know all too well that the next eight months of rain and mud are awaiting us, and it can feel like a sad thing for the sunshine to leave us. But for Oregonian farmers, oh boy is this seasonal transition a blessing. Summer is the farming season, for sure. Gotta make hay while the sun shines! It’s the time of year when we have the biggest selection of produce available, at the highest quantities of the year, and there is a ridiculous amount of work to do. You don’t get any breaks, but you stay sane by knowing that fall and winter are nigh. As the dusty sweat rolls down my face in the fields, I daydream about the fall, of sitting under a blanket by the fire with a cup of tea as I look out the window at the rainy world.

Sure, we will miss eating watermelon and the fresh tomatoes. We’ll miss grilling zucchini and peppers for a quick dinner. We will definitely miss the refreshing sensation of jumping into the river after a long day’s work in the sun. But we don’t have to say goodbye to these things just yet! We have just a few more weeks of summer left, and even though for many of us on the farm, winter can’t really come soon enough, it is time to relish the sun and its fruits before they are gone.

Best, Laura Bennett


 Table of Box Contents

  • Broccoli
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Italian Peppers
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Serendipity Sweet Corn
  • Leeks—first digs of the season!
  • Shallot
  • Persian Cucumbers
  • Red Onion
  • Huckleberry Gold Potatoes
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce Surprise

Recipes

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Pasta Salad with Roasted Peppers

Adapted from the Vegetarian Bible, p. 92

Ingredients

  • 1 Green Bell Pepper
  • 2 Sweet Italian Peppers, multiple colors preferably
  • 1 ear Corn, boiled, w/ kernels sliced off
  • 10 oz dried Shell Pasta (also known as conchiglie)
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Green Pesto (any herb'll do)
  • 1-3 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Basil, shredded
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • I would add crumbly cheese on top too! Like feta. I would also add fresh tomato.

Instructions

  1. There are many different ways to roast a pepper, and no need to be specific about it. You can turn on your broiler and put them straight onto the rack in the oven, turning frequently with tongs to char each side a bit. You can also use an outdoor grill, or your gas stove top. Either way, the peppers will not take more than 5-10 minutes to cook through. Italians will take significantly less time than the bells.

  2. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until tender but still firm to the bite. 

  3. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, pesto, and garlic in a bowl, whisking well to mix. Drain the pasta, add it to the pesto mixture while still hot, and toss well. Reserve until required.

  4. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins, then cut open and remove the seeds. Chop the flesh coarsely and add to the pasta with the basil and the corn kernels. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss well. Serve.

 

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Thai Broccoli Salad with Spicy Almond Dressing

Adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/63440-thai-broccoli-salad-with-spicy-almond-dressing 

Author Food52

Ingredients

Salad

  • 6 cups Broccoli Florets
  • 3 Carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Frozen Shelled Edamame, thawed (I would substitute fresh sweet corn or green beans over something frozen)
  • 4-5 Scallions, sliced
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Peanuts, finely chopped
  • Sesame Seeds, to garnish

Dressing

  • 4 tsp Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 4 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 4 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely minced

Instructions

  1. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.

  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss thoroughly to combine. I like to use clean hands to really work the dressing into the florets. Just take a couple minutes and make sure the veggies are totally coated. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.

  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. I think it's best the next day!

 

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Potato Fritters w/ Onion & Tomato Relish

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 12 oz Potatoes
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Corn Kernels
  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Relish

  • 1 Onion, peeled
  • 8 oz Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Mint
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Roasted Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • pinch Cayenne Pepper

Instructions

  1. To make the relish, dice the onion and tomatoes and place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix together and let stand ~15 minutes before serving to let the flavors marry.

  2. Place the flour in a bowl, stir in the spices and salt, and make a well in the center. Add the egg and milk and mix to form a fairly thick batter.

  3. Coarsely grate the potatoes, place them in a sieve, and rinse well under cold running water. Drain and squeeze dry, then stir them into the batter with the garlic, scallions, and corn. Mix to combine thoroughly.

  4. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet and add a few spoons of the mixture at a time, flattening each one to form a thin fritter. Cook over low heat, turning frequently, for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

  5. Drain fritters on paper towels and keep them hot while cooking the remaining mixture. Serve hot with relish.

CSA 2018 – Week 11: Hazy Days & Heavy Harvest – Revisiting Gratitude

CSA Newsletter – Week 11


Hazy Days & Heavy Harvest – Revisiting Gratitude

Watermelon. Cantaloupe. Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes. Corn. Green beans. Bell peppers. Shishitos. Summer squash. Cucumbers. Salad mix hand-cut from nearly fifteen different greens. Carrots. Beets. Herbs. Chard. Potatoes. The list goes on to include just over a hundred different items that we are currently harvesting, which just goes to show how abundance is surely a double-edged sword. On top of that, the smoke in the air feels stagnant, heavy, and slow, and at times it’s difficult to breathe.

But these feelings are not new. In fact, they burbled to the surface this exact time last year. I am constantly reminded of exactly how cyclical the farming season is. This time last year we were uplifted by the 2017 full solar eclipse. I want to take you all back to that time, to the lessons that peak season had for us then that still remain true. Here goes:

There isn’t much of anything that can stop farmers from farming in the dead of August, but this celestial event sure did it. Just as the moon started peaking over the sun, we all dropped our hoes and harvest totes, grabbed some breakfast and eclipse shades, loaded into a couple flatbeds, and went out into our most expansive field to watch day turn to night and back. As I sat on the truck munching on some cantaloupe, I was overcome with a deep sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the beautiful fields of produce being showered by irrigation, for the darkening purple mountains surrounding this valley, for the hardworking fellow farmers sitting on the back of the truck with me, and for the amazing fact that the sun and the moon happen to look like they’re the same size when viewed from our planet.

This is the time of year when we are all working 60 hours a week or more; the only thing on the menu is farming with a small serving of sleep on the side. We are all exhausted and winter is still far off on the horizon, but it’s moments of gratitude that keep us going. Yes, we’re tired. Yes, it’s hot out. And yes, we still love what we do. We get to spend our days in the gorgeous Willamette Valley, growing, eating, and sharing good food together. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but I surely can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

Though you may not be working on a farm, I’m sure life still tries its hardest to exhaust you. Hopefully this box can provide you with something to be grateful for, something to make you feel—even for just a minute—like you have everything you need in this world. We’ve all got clean drinking water, access to some of the finest fresh produce in the world, and lovely people to eat it with. Enjoy.

Best, Laura Bennett


Table of Box Contents

  • Poblano Pepper
  • Sweet Italian Pepper
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Pepper
  • Serendipity Sweet Corn
  • Basil
  • Mixed Summer Squash
  • Green Cabbage
  • Willamette Sweet Onions
  • Colorado Rose Potatoes
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Tomatoes – Our $30/20 lbs. canning tomato deal is still running! Contact our office to make a special order for your home preservation needs.
  • Romaine Lettuce – Often times I will use the outer leaves from romaine for a salad, and will retain the inner leaves, otherwise known as the heart, to dip into hummus or herbed cream cheese. 

Recipes

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One-Skillet Sausage, Peppers, Potatoes, & Onions

Author Notes: Don’t you love when the recipe title is also the ingredient list? I do. This one-skillet dish is as easy (and delicious) as a weeknight dinner gets. If spicy Italian sausages aren’t your favorite, sub in any other fresh sausage link; I bet chorizo would be great. —Emma Laperruque—adapted from https://food52.com/recipes/77606-one-skillet-sausage-peppers-potatoes-and-onions

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 spicy Italian Sausages
  • 1 lb Potatoes, cut into large bite-sized chunks
  • 2 pinches Salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 Bell Peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 large Onion, roughly chopped
  • Suggested Addition: Sweet Corn Kernels

Instructions

  1. Set a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. After it gets good and hot, add the olive oil, then the sausages. Brown all over—about 2 minutes per side—then remove to a waiting plate. We’re not trying to cook them through, just sear ’em!

  2. Add another tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, followed by the potatoes, cut side facing down. Season with a big pinch of salt. Cook these for 5 minutes until browned, then flip and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer these to the plate with the sausages.

  3. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil, then the peppers and onion. Season with a big pinch of salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender—about 10 minutes. Add the sausages and potatoes back to the skillet. Pour 1/3 cup water evenly over the top and cover the pan with a lid.

  4. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the sausage is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, lifting the lid for the last few minutes. Taste and adjust the salt accordingly.

  5. This dish could also be a great breakfast served with eggs on the side.

 

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Zucchini & Basil Risotto

Adapted from the Vegetarian Bible, p. 94

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • 4 Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Sweet Bell Pepper, seeded & diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large Onion, finely chopped
  • 3-5 cups Risotta Rice
  • 4 tbsp Dry White Vermouth
  • scant 7 cups Vegetable Stock, simmering
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • large handful Fresh Basil, torn
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over high heat. When very hot, but not smoking, add the squash and bell pepper and stir-fry for 3 minutes, until lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  2. Heat 2 more Tbsp of oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes, until the rice is translucent and well coated with olive oil.

  3. Pour in the vermouth; it will bubble and steam rapidly and evaporate almost immediately. Add a ladleful (about ½ cup) of the simmering stock and cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is completely absorbed.

  4. Continue adding the stock, about half a ladleful at a time, letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next. This should take 20-25 minutes. The risotto should have a creamy consistency and the rice should be tender, but still firm to the bite.

  5. Stir in the zucchini mixture with any juices, and the butter, basil, and grated parmesan. Drizzle with a little oil and garnish with basil. Serve hot. Tomato would be a great addition on top as well.

 

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Chicken Salad w/ Garlic Basil Aioli

At GTF we serve crew lunch to nearly 70 employees in the heat of the season. I had the very challenging but extremely rewarding opportunity to cook for everyone a few weeks ago, and this dish was a big hit. I loved it because it was an easy way to feed a ton of people something that was delicious and healthy, and everyone else loved it because it is full of protein but is nice and cool, perfect for farmers to get through a day in the heat. Many people think of aioli or mayonnaise as unhealthy because it is high in fat, but fat is not the enemy—sugar is.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cabbage, grated or sliced thinly
  • 1/2 Chicken, roasted whole, cooled, and shredded
  • Walnuts
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Raw Veg Additions: Sweet Corn, Sweet Peppers, Grated Carrot
  • Aioli/Mayo

If you feel like making aioli from scratch, get an egg and some oil and a blender and emulsify away! If not, buy some mayonnaise from the store—no shame! Either way, mix in the following:

  • minced Raw Garlic
  • half bunch of Basil, finely chopped
  • lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Mix together all ingredients