2017 CSA – Week 15: The Brassica Family Trea

CSA Newsletter – Week 15


The Brassica Family Tree

Ever wonder what the heck is up with kohlrabi?? It’s this weird looking purple or green thing; people eat it I guess; but what is it exactly? To get to the bottom of this, it’s time to get to know the Brassica Family, one of the most prominent families of vegetables in the Northwest – especially in the fall.

If you can imagine the world thousands of years ago when humans were just starting to cultivate their own food, imagine one ancient brassica ancestor. From that plant, humans selected for different traits over the years. Breeding for larger flowers led to broccoli, cauliflower, and Romanesco; selecting for larger and more flavorful roots led to turnips, horseradish, radishes, and rutabagas; breeding for better leaves led to collard greens, arugula, bok choy, tatsoi, mizuna, and countless kales; flower buds got bigger and bigger until they became brussels sprouts and cabbages, and more recently kalettes; breeding for larger seeds led to canola, mustard seeds, and meadowfoam. And finally, when you breed for a larger and sweeter stem, you get kohlrabi, a wonderfully weird vegetable that sits right on top of the soil as it grows.

Isn’t it crazy to think that humans created all of these different vegetables that we have available to us today? Even sweet corn used to just be grass. I tend to get lost in thought about it every time I eat kohlrabi, romanesco, or other such funky cousins of the Brassica family tree. As the season progresses into fall, see if you can pick out the Brassicas as they debut in your CSA box.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Kohlrabi—Shave the skin off with a knife before eating. Dip spears into hummus, grate into a slaw, fry and dip into aioli (week 5 recipe), or slice thinly and sprinkle with salt and lemon and eat as is.
  • Sweet Italian Peppers
  • Nicola Potatoes—These potatoes are as buttery as can be, perfect for hash browns, mashed potatoes, and roasted with other veggies in the oven.
  • Red Cabbage—One cabbage can go a long way! Try using some to make a jar of kraut; I have a friend who makes purple kraut regularly and his kids call it Dragon Food (see week 8 recipe).
  • Fennel—Fennel is like a licorice-flavored dill, whose mild fronds are great as garnish, in stock, or in a salad. The bulb is the main attraction, often shaved thinly and served raw with steak or pork.
  • Bunched Carrots—With this rain it is officially sweater-wearing and stock-making season! Whenever you’ve got a pot of veggie or chicken stock going, make sure to throw in your carrot tops for a nice fresh flavor.
  • Shallot—Shallots are a cross between onions and garlic, which is why they often look like they’re trying to clove up a bit. Their flavor is also much more potent than a normal onion, you may need to tag out with a friend if you’re chopping for too long.
  • Chard—let raw leaves soak in vinegar before serving in a salad; this removes the mouth-drying, oxalic nature and allows you to taste the full chard flavor.
  • Sweet Onion
  • Red Onion—Nice acidic flavor, perfect raw on salads and sandwiches.
  • Sweet Corn
  • Jalapeño—End of season jalapeños are the hottest, beware!
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

Recipes

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Grilled Corn with Alla Diavola Butter and Parmesan Cheese

“Not quite a recipe, this dish is a reminder that when you have a fridge stocked with good condiments, such as my alla diavola butter, great meals are minutes away. The Italians have a few dishes they refer to as alla diavola, which means “devil style”—in other words, spicy as hell. In this butter, I bring together layers of not just heat but all kinds of good chile and pepper flavors. You can adjust up or down, depending on how intense you like your heat.”

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • Sweet corn, husked
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Alla Diavola Butter

  • 1/2 lb butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried chile flakes
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeno
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce of choice

Instructions

Alla Diavola Butter

  1. Fold all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and pile into whatever container you want to serve or save it in. chill the butter for at least 1 hour to firm up and to let the flavors marry and permeate the butter.

  2. A neat option is to spoon the butter in a line onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and roll it into a neat cylinder. Wrap that up well in plastic or pop into a freezer bag and freeze until ready to use it or slice some.

Grilled Corn

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high.

  2. Arrange the corn—un-oiled—on the grill and cook for only a couple minutes, turning so that all sides get exposed to the heat. You just want to warm the exterior and maybe give it a kiss of smoke and flame, but you want the interior of the kernels to stay juicy and almost raw.

  3. Arrange the corn on a platter and slather with the butter, turning the ears so they get entirely coated. Shower with grated pecorino and eat right away.

 

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Roasted Fennel with Apples, Taleggio Cheese, and Almonds

“I created this dish by accident. I was making dinner and realized I didn’t have enough fennel for the dish I had planned to make. But I had apples, and so in they went. It has been a go-to recipe ever since. That’s what good cooking is about: adapting, trusting your instincts, and being willing to fail."

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound fennel sausage (or Italian)
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 tsp dried chile flakes
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut lengthwise into eighths
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 ounces Taleggio cheese, torn into bits (or whatever cheese you fancy!)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tsp olive oil, then add the sausage. Cook until it’s no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking it up into pieces about the size of popcorn. Scoop it out of the pan and set aside.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add 1 tbsp oil and the smashed garlic, and cook slowly to toast the garlic so it’s very soft, fragrant, and nicely golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the chile flakes and toast for another few seconds, then add the sliced fennel. Pour 1/3 cup water into the pan and cover it, adjusting the heat so the fennel steams and simmers. Check the fennel every few minutes, adding more water as it evaporates.

  4. Continue cooking like this until the fennel is getting tender but not super soft, about 10 minutes. If there’s any remaining water when the fennel is cooked, increase the heat to evaporate it quickly.

  5. Return the sausage to the pan and add the apples, almonds, thyme, and half the Taleggio. Toss and then season generously with salt and pepper.

  6. Pile this into a 2-3 quart baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs, and dot with the butter. Bake until the ingredients are hot and all the way through the cheese is melting and starting to sizzle, 30-35 minutes.

  7. Let the casserole rest for about 5 minutes and serve hot.

2017 CSA – Week 14: The Power of Raw

CSA Newsletter – Week 14


The Power of Raw

Somehow September is almost halfway gone already, but luckily our produce selection still thinks that it’s summer. So before summer really ends, it’s time to fully embrace eating vegetables raw! Because when we’re all eating roasted root vegetables morning, day, and night this fall, we’re going to miss how easy it was to take a bite out of something sweet and crisp.

This week’s recipes focus on celebrating the raw! One of my favorite ways to eat raw vegetables is to load them up in salads with at least ten ingredients—the more the better. I’ve struggled to incorporate salads into my diet for many years; they have just never been that enticing. But once I learned the cornerstones to a great salad, I was surprised that I actually started craving them! So if you’d like to start experimenting with raw salads, here are the following components that I focus on to get the full flavor and texture package that will have you coming back for seconds.

  • Fruit—cherries, melons, grapes, nectarines, watermelon
  • Soft Vegetables—Raw tomatoes or steamed beets
  • Crisp Vegetables—cucumber, carrot, celery
  • Crunch—toasted nuts, torn croutons, etc.
  • Tang—vinegar-based dressing, raw onion.
  • Plenty of herbs! Throw ‘em all in!
  • Spice—mustard greens, minced jalapeno, or chili powder
  • Dressed Greens—make sure to toss your greens in dressing thoroughly before serving. Simply pouring dressing over raw greens at the table doesn’t allow for the slight bit of softening that the dressing will do to the greens, making them tastier to eat.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Specialty Melon
  • Italian Peppers—red and yellow peppers, both sweet and crisp.
  • Sweet Bell Pepper
  • Purple Majesty Potatoes
  • Black Kale—This is one of the first signs that fall is upon us!
  • Napa Cabbage—If you’re interested in learning how to make kimchi, just watch Maangchi’s youtube video at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sX_wDCbeuU – I learned how to make kimchi from her & now make it for the farm;  it’s easier than you’d think!
  • Carrots
  • Leeks—Ever imagined what it would be like to eat an onion that tasted like butter?? Leeks are here to quell your curiosities.
  • Italian Parsley—Sweet and fragrant like its fennel cousin, parsley is wonderful paired with fruit in salads. I once had a parsley sorbet on cheesecake (never would have thought of that!) that is potentially the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
  • Sweet Onion
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
Print

Melon, Parsley, and Cherry Tomato Salad

Author Adapted from Splendidtable.org

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Sweet Onion, cut into thin rounds
  • 4 cups ice water
  • About 8 cups salad greens --I suggest mixing your head lettuce and kale together. Black kale can be very tender raw when you slice it into very thin strips and let it sit in the vinegar dressing for 10-15 minutes before mixing it in.
  • 1/2 - 1 small Cantaloupe or Honeydew Melon, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 cup salted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup packed fresh herbs, chopped finely --Italian parsley, basil, and mint if you have them
  • 1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Combine onion and ice water and refrigerate 30 minutes. This takes the sharp edge off the onion taste.

  2. Finely chop about half your bunch of kale into thin strips. Place in a large salad bowl and gently toss with enough oil to barely coat the greens. Toss in vinegar to taste, starting with 2 tbsp. Gently massage the dressing into the kale leaves with your hands and let sit while you prep everything else.

  3. With your hands, tear your lettuce into bite-size pieces and place into another big salad bowl.

  4. Drain the onions and path them dry. Sprinkle the greens with the melon, cherry tomatoes, sunflower seeds, herbs, salt, pepper, and drained onions.

 

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Purple Potato Leek Soup

Adapted from Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook by Mi Ae Lipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups Leeks, chopped (you can use as much of the green as you'd like; it'll all be edible
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 6 cups cubed Purple Potatoes, skins on!
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • Parsley Stems, minced
  • 7 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup milk, dairy or alternative
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a medium soup pot. Stir in the leeks and onions. Cook on low heat, without browning, for 5 minutes.

  2. Add the potatoes, carrot, stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

  3. Let the soup cool slightly. Puree it in a blender or run it through a food mill.

  4. Add the milk. Return the soup to the pot and gently reheat, Do not let it boil, as this will scald the milk. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve.

 

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Napa Cabbage Slaw

I went and had breakfast at the Yachats Farmstore last week, and, among many other delicious things, they served a napa cabbage slaw that was AMAZING. Normally slaws call for sugar in the dressing, but napa cabbage is naturally so sweet that you don’t need to add any sugar, yet you still get the nice sweet flavor. Get creative! Add whatever herbs and spices you’d like!

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 head Napa Cabbage, shredded
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy fresh, and keep for easy leftovers.

CSA 2017 – Week 13: Preserving Produce

CSA Newsletter – Week 13


Preserving Produce

In addition to writing these newsletters and working our farmers markets, my main summer task is running food processing at the farm. We roast all of the tomatoes and peppers that don’t sell at market and freeze them for future use. The tomatoes get used to make our salsa, the pizza sauce in our restaurant, and even get sold to restaurants throughout the Portland and Corvallis areas. Our roasted peppers are even more of a delicacy, used to make Romesco sauce in our restaurant and sold to other restaurants as well. But we don’t stop there! We also blanch and freeze our sweet corn, turn cabbage into sauerkraut, and make pesto out of various greens (not just basil).

Watching food go to waste is a terrible sensation, one that we try our best to avoid. If you ever find yourself having a hard time using up the produce in your box during this peak of abundance, think about what you can put away for the winter. Roasting and freezing bags of sweet peppers allows you to make Romesco sauce in the dead of winter when there are no peppers in sight. If you’re into canning, you could roast up some tomatoes and make a marinara sauce.

I’m sure some of you are seasoned home-canners who know a whole lot more than I do. But if you’re new to food processing, look up some recipes on Ball Preserving Website. Just a few years ago I didn’t know how can at all, let alone even make a small batch of something, until I just started trying things out on my own—all I had was the Ball preservation book. And now I’m a professional food processor! Okay, so maybe that’s not your goal, but it makes my point nonetheless—anyone can learn how to do anything if they want to. So don’t miss out on the last few weeks of summer bounty, and see if you can preserve some to enjoy this winter.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

 

Table of Box Contents

  • Yellow Watermelon
  • Italian Pepper—sweet and crisp, great raw or sautéed.
  • Pimiento Pepper
  • Yellow Bell Pepper
  • Red Potatoes
  • Bunched Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Basil
  • Red Torpedo Onion
  • Sweet OnionThe high sugar content makes these perfect for caramelizing in a sauté.
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Recipes

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Roasted Beets, Avocado, and Sunflower Seed Salad

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Beets, with greens attached
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed roughly chopped flat-leaf basil leaves
  • 4 scallions, sliced at a sharp angle
  • 1/2 cup pickled peppers, lightly packed, seeded, and chopped such as pepperoncini
  • 2 firm-ripe avocados

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Trim the tops and bottoms off the beets. Wash the greens and let dry. Rinse and scrub the beets to remove any mud or grit. Cut up any larger beets so that they are all about the same size.

  3. Put the beets in a baking dish that’s large enough to accommodate all of them in a single layer. Season with salt, then pour ¼ cup water into the dish. Cover tightly with foil and steam roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Depending on the size, density, and age of the beets, this could take between 30-60 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, if you have beet greens to cook, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil, add the beet greens, and toss them until they are wilted and a bit stewed, about 5 minutes. Set aside until cool, then chop through them a few times.

  5. When the beets are tender, let them cool until you can handle them, then rub or pare away the skins. Cut into ½-inch wedges or chunks and pile into a bowl. Add the greens.

  6. While the beets are still warm, sprinkle with the vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and many twists of black pepper. Toss to distribute the seasonings and let the beets absorb the vinegar for a few minutes. Add a healthy glug of olive oil and toss again. Let the beets sit at room temp until you’re ready to serve.

  7. To assemble for serving, add the sunflower seeds, parsley, scallions, and pickled peppers and toss gently. Peel the avocados and cut them into neat chunks that are about the same size as the beet wedges, and add them to the beets, too. Toss thoroughly but very gently, so you don’t mash the avocado too much. Taste and adjust with more salt, pepper, vinegar, or oil. Serve right away.

Recipe Notes

Special Note—Always dress cooked roots and potatoes while they’re still warm. The acidic ingredients will be absorbed more deeply, making your final dish nicely bright.

 

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Romesco Sauce

Adapted from SunBasket.com

 - “The first time most people taste Romesco sauce, they proclaim that they want to eat it on absolutely everything. Spicy and a little sweet, nutty and smoky, chunky yet smooth — it’s a sauce that appeals to most of our taste buds and senses.

Most traditional recipes include roasted sweet peppers, tomatoes, almonds, stale bread, olive oil and a touch of sherry vinegar. But you can make any variety with the basic elements — mostly peppers, a tomato, a nut, an acid, an oil, and a thickener. Some of our favorite varieties include toasted hazelnuts, roasted garlic, lemon, and sunflower oil. Make it fancy by throwing in some smoked paprika and fennel or brighten it with a little basil and parsley." (I usually caramelize a sweet onion slowly in a frying pan and add that into the mix too—LB)

Author https://sunbasket.com/blog/post/124169959431/how-to-make-romesco-without-a-recipe

Ingredients

  • peppers
  • tomato
  • hazelnuts
  • roasted garlic
  • lemon juice
  • sunflower oil
  • smoked paprika optional
  • fennel optional
  • basil (to garnish)
  • parsley (to garnish)

Instructions

  1. To make, start by roasting your peppers and a tomato or two in a 375°F oven until just charred — this is what gives the base flavor. 

  2. Once the vegetables are done and have slightly cooled, remove the charred skins, seeds and cores from the peppers and discard. 

  3. Then throw everything in the blender with an oil and acid of choice and puree until mostly smooth with a few chunks. Stir in the spices and add salt and pepper to taste. Andale, get creative!


Recipe Notes

"With Roman origins and a claim to the Catalan region of Spain, Romesco is a sauce with as many variations as applications. It’s a perfect paring for grilled shrimp, fish and vegetables or as a spread for sandwiches and burgers. Some might even eat it alone with a spoon. At Sun Basket, we prefer it on a big, juicy steak.”

CSA 2017 – Week 12: At the Height of Abundance

CSA Newsletter – Week 12


At the Height of Abundance

There is simply no other time of year that can compare with the diverse bounty of fresh food that we have available right now. This past weekend we sent 90 different varieties of produce to market! That’s crazy! According to Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons, this abundance marks the final season of summer.

“The days begin to grow shorter. The sunlight takes on a more golden glow as it streams from a lower angle, hinting that our warm days are numbered. The fields have had months of sunshine and warmth. Just about everything is going crazy. We still have the vegetables that joined the party early in the season, but now we get the quintessential hot-weather delights: corn, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers. Shell beans are in season now, too, and while not as succulent as these other late-summer entries, they are a treat to enjoy when fresh, and perfect for harvesting and storing for the fall and winter to come.

Throughout the year, my cooking is influenced not simply by the vegetables I have available but by the vibe of the season as well. At this point of the summer, the vibe is “party.” The range of colors is full spectrum, and stone fruit, melons, and berries are on deck, too, great partners for the vibrant vegetables. I know the nights will soon begin to cool, making me even more appreciative of the crazy good opportunities for deliciousness.”

So eat up folks! This is the peak! Winter squash and kale are only a few short weeks away. It won’t be long before we’re all bundled up in sweaters again, cozying up with a warm cup of tea, watching that Oregon rain fall from the sky.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Golden Crown Watermelon—This is a red-fleshed watermelon with a bright yellow rind. Though watermelon doesn’t need to be refrigerated; I recommend chilling it for the crispest taste.
  • Sweet Italian Pepper—Italian peppers often are even sweeter than bell peppers, great fresh or in stir-fries.
  • Sweet Bell Pepper—I’ve been eating our peppers raw like apples, they’re just as sweet.
  • Nicola Potatoes—These creamy golden potatoes are buttery on their own, great for roasting, potato salads, and hash browns.
  • Poblano Peppers— Poblano peppers are one of the tastiest peppers on the planet. Their seeds are spicy, but once removed their flesh has a hint of heat with a full, mole-like flavor.
  • Sweet Corn—Bicolor Serendipity
  • Red Onion—Red onions are less sweet and more acidic, perfect used raw in salads, potato salads, slaws, and sandwiches.
  • Bunched Carrots
  • 1 lb. Green Beans—Crockett beans at their finest! Eat ‘em raw or cook ‘em up.
  • Sweet OnionThe high sugar content makes these perfect for caramelizing in a sauté.
  • Scallions—You can use everything except the top two inches of green.
  • Cucumber
  • Cocazelle Zucchini—This striped summer squash has thicker skins, perfect for holding up on the grill or in sautes.
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Recipes

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Green Beans & Tamari

Author Laura Bennett Original Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil
  • tamari
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-snap the stems off of your green beans. It takes a bit of time, so I prefer to do it before I turn on the pan. Either leave your beans long, or snap them in half, whichever you prefer. 

  2. Coat the pan in olive oil and heat up to medium high. Meanwhile, chop up your onion and add them into the oil once it’s up to temperature. 

  3. Add about 3-4 Tbsp tamari to the onions in the pan and let cook about 2 minutes. 

  4. Add in your snapped green beans and stir around to coat in oil, adding more if need be. Cover and let cook about 10 minutes, as the green beans take a while to cook through and will need the extra heat. Meanwhile, mince garlic. Stir a couple times during the cooking process, adding a splash of tamari each time. The tamari will reduce and make a thick glaze over the beans.

  5. Remove the lid from the pan and add in the garlic, 2-3 pinches of salt, and 2-3 more Tbsp of tamari. Let cook another 5-10 minutes to your preferred softness with the lid off.

  6. This is a great dish as it is so full of protein it can be eaten solo, but it is also wonderful served with a side of rice next to chicken or tofu. It’s also a great taco filling!

 

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Pepper, Potato, & Scallion Frittata

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter, salt, and epper
  • 2 sweet peppers and/or poblanos, seeded & cut into julienne strips
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly on a sharp angle
  • 4 oz prosciutto, sausage, or tofu, cut small
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, seasoned lightly with s & p
  • Handful of 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 degrees F.

  2. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet (nonstick if you have one, with an ovenproof handle) over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, scallions, 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, add a dollop of 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 top 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 2017 – Week 11: The Eclipse Box

CSA Newsletter – Week 11


The Eclipse Box

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. This week we tried to make your box as cosmic as can be! You’ve got a melon as white as the moon, potatoes that are as purple as the mountains during the eclipse, and otherworldly Barbarella eggplant, streaked with white and purple. Enjoy.

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Honey Orange Melon—Before working for GTF, I had never seen or tasted a melon like this one. It looks like a white alien egg, is actually a honeydew type melon, but is as orange and sweet as a cantaloupe inside. They are simply to die for, slice and enjoy!
  • Sweet Italian Pepper—Italian peppers often are even sweeter than bell peppers, great fresh or in stir-fries.
  • Sweet Bell Pepper—I’ve been eating our peppers raw like apples, they’re just as sweet.
  • Purple Majesty Potatoes— These potatoes are purple outside and inside, with a creamy flesh similar to Nicola yellow.
  • Barbarella Eggplant—This bodaciously bulbous eggplant remains sweet at all times, without as much has a whisper of bitterness. It was developed from an heirloom variety native to Sicily, and is the perfect variety to make you fall in love with eggplant.
  • White Sweet Corn
  • Jalapeno—The hotter it gets outside, the hotter the jalapenos get!
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Sweet OnionsThe high sugar content makes these perfect for caramelizing in a sauté.
  • Cucumber
  • Summer Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

Recipes

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Pepper, Corn & Black Bean Quesadillas


Author Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Barbarella eggplant, minced (minced eggplant is just like minced mushrooms, it'll act as a meat substitute)
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • butter for greasing
  • 4 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheese of your choice
  • sour cream for garnish
  • Pico de Gallo for garnish (rough chop some tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, add salt and lemon juice and you're good to go!)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. 

  2. Add the oil, onions and garlic and cook until tender and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. 

  3. Stir in the eggplant, jalapeno, sweet peppers, salt, and pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. 

  4. Add the beans and corn and heat through for 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

  5. Heat another large skillet over medium heat. Grease the surface with butter, and place a tortilla in the skillet. 

  6. Layer the cheese (a heaping ¼ cup, or more if you’d like) and vegetables (a heaping cup) over half of the tortilla, then top with more cheese. Fold the tortilla in half, press down lightly with a spatula, and toast for about 2 minutes per side until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melted. 

  7. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings. (If you can’t load up the tortilla that fast, you can assemble it on a plate before transferring it to the hot skillet.) 

  8. To serve, slice each quesadilla into halves or quarters and add sour cream and pico de gallo on top.

 

Print

Zucchini & Corn Fritters

When you’re frying the fritters, be sure not to add too many at once to the oil or it will lower the temperature and make the fritters soggy. Fry them in batches and let them sit in a warm oven on a baking sheet lines with paper towels until all are cooked—makes about 24 fritters

Author Adapted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp fast-acting yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine cornmeal
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 2 cups grated zucchini & carrots
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup parmigiana cheese
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the yeast, flour, cornmeal, 1 ½ tsp salt, and many twists of black pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in the yogurt and water to make a mostly smooth batter (a few lumps are okay; add more water if the dry ingredients aren’t fully moistened).

  2. Cover the bowl and keep in a warm place for at least 1 hour and up to overnight (if for more than 2 hours, put it in the refrigerator, and then let it warm at room temp for about 30 min before continuing).

  3. When the batter is bubbling and puffed up a bit, slice off the corn kernels, and add them to the batter. Then, with the back of a table knife, scrape the milky juice from the cobs into the batter too. Gently fold in the zucchini, carrot, jalapeno, onions, and parmigiana.

  4. Arrange a double layer of paper towels on a tray. Pour at least 2 inches of oil into a large pan (with tall sides, so that the oil can’t bubble over when you add the batter). Slowly bring the oil up to 375 degrees F on a thermometer. (Or fry a small piece of bread: When it takes 60 seconds to get nicely crisp and brown, but not burnt, your oil is just about right.)

  5. Using two tablespoons, scoop up some batter and carefully lower it into the oil. Continue until you have added enough fritters to fill the pan but not crowd it. Cook the fritters, turning with your spoon in order for all sides to get nicely browned. When puffy and a rich brown, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain on the paper towels. Season lightly with salt.

  6. Serve the fritters warm (not piping hot), with butter, if desired. Or top with a fried egg for breakfast! Or top with pico de gallo!