CSA Newsletter – Week 7
Seed Selection: Growing Larger Grey Shallots
Most of the seed that we use at our farm comes from seed companies around the country from Johnny’s Select Seeds in Maine to Osborne Seed Company in Washington and everywhere in-between. Sometimes our seeds are even sourced from companies in Europe. Specialty crops such as potatoes and ginger, that are cultivated vegetatively, are often source from specific farms that grow specific varieties for seed.
While we typically leave seed selection and saving up to seed companies sometimes, we do some seed saving of our own. Several years ago, we acquired some grey shallot seed from a farmer in Southern Oregon. Grey Shallots are a true shallot which means they only reproduce vegetatively. Grey shallot seed is simply a grey shallot that is planted in the ground to grow and reproduce more. Since then, we have been selecting the largest, best-looking shallots each year as seed for next year’s crop.
This week, I had the opportunity to be a part of the grey shallot seed selection process. We set aside 1,000 of the biggest shallots from this year’s harvest. This year’s seed is about three times larger than the seed that we started with initially! I am certainly looking forward to even larger grey shallots next year.
Have a great week and enjoy those veggies.
-Lily, CSA Coordinator
Table of Box Contents
☐ Lettuce ($2.00)
☐1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Store in dry, cool, darkness. Don’t scrub until you’re ready to eat them.
☐ 2 Anaheim Peppers ($2.00) – This versatile, mild chili pepper can be used in chili rellenos, salsa, or in any recipe that calls for peppers.
☐ Fresh Cipollini Onions ($2.50) – Delicious in eggs, salad, or grilled
☐1 Fresh Sweet Onion ($1.50)
☐1 Colored Bell Pepper ($2.00)
☐Bunched Purple Carrots ($3.50)
☐ 1 Bunch Basil ($3.00) – Make pesto or caprese salad with your heirloom tomato and some fresh mozzarella.
☐ 2 Leeks ($3.00) – Delicious and very versatile. Enjoy them grilled, sautéed, in soup, or in a savory galette or frittata.
☐1 Bunch Swiss Chard ($3.00) – Sauté and put in a savory galette and make a dip with the stems. See recipes!
☐2 Cucumbers ($2.00)
☐ 1 Heirloom Tomato ($4.50)
☐ 1 Pint Strawberries ($4.00)
Box Market Value: $35.25
Romesco is a delicious Catalonian roasted pepper sauce that can be used as a dip, dressing, or eaten all by itself. I first had it in our very own Farmstand and was blown away by its rich, smoky flavor.
There are many variations of romesco. This simple recipe comes from my friend Lisa, the person who introduced me to this wonderful sauce.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 peeled, roasted bell peppers
- (roast on the grill or in the oven)
- ½ cup olive oil (more to taste)
- ½ cup roasted almonds
- lemon juice to taste
- salt to taste
- Grind the nuts and garlic in a food processor until the mixture is fairly fine
- Add the peppers and a pinch of salt and process to combine
- While processor is running, slowly add the olive oil. Add salt, lemon juice, and olive oil to taste.
What to Do with Those Stems?
I always use the stems of my chard. I either add them to my sauté before the leaves or set them aside for use in making stock. However, I haven’t ventured to make any dishes that feature the chard stems themselves.
Once I started looking, I found recipes for chard stems. I love this NYT Cooking recipe for Swiss chard stem dip but the recipes for pickled Swiss chard stems, Chard Stems with Sesame-Yogurt Sauce and Black Sesame Seeds, Baked Swiss Chard Stems Recipe with Olive Oil and Parmesan sound delicious too!
- 1 pound Swiss chard stalks, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 4garlic cloves (to taste), peeled, green shoots removed
- ½cup sesame tahini, stirred if the oil has separated
- ¼ to ½cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
- 1tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Steam the chard stalks about 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain well, and allow to cool. Place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree, stopping the machine from time to time to scrape down the sides.
In a mortar, mash the garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt until you have a smooth paste (you can also do this in the food processor). Add to the chard stalks. Process until smooth. Add the tahini, and again process until smooth. With the machine running, add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Stop the machine, taste and adjust seasonings.
Read More: Swiss Chard Stalk and Tahini Dip
Galette: The Sweet and Savory Catchall
Galettes are one of my favorite things to make. Take whatever is in season (or in your fridge), fold it up in your favorite pie crust, and it is guaranteed to be delicious. I typically make sweet galettes (because I have a terrible sweet tooth) but savory ones are equally delicious.
If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, use that. Recently, I have been making an all butter crust from the NYT Cooking section that is simple and delicious. I typically bake my galettes in a hot oven (375-400) until the crust is golden brown and the filling has set (40-50 minutes)
-Sauté greens, onions, mushrooms, etc, before baking
-Drain excess liquid from ingredients before filling crust to prevent a soggy bottom
-Add cheese, herbs, mustard, pesto, etc as a base before adding filling
-Toss fruit with a bit of cornstarch or flour absorb excess moisture
-Leave room around the edges to fold over the crust, about 2-3 inches
-Brush crust with egg for a golden brown sheen and sprinkle with sugar or cheese