CSA 2017 – Week 8: Fermentation for the Soul

CSA Newsletter – Week 8


Fermentation for the Soul

This week I’m including a recipe for sauerkraut since you all have a cabbage in your box. In addition to writing these newsletters and coordinating our farmers markets, I also run fermentation here at the farm and am quite passionate about helping people incorporate more fermented foods into their lives. Many people love sauerkraut for its flavor and texture, however eating fermented products is so incredibly beneficial to your body and mind as well. I never ate fermented foods as a kid, and I’ve still been able to develop a taste for them and now even crave them, so it’s never too late!

As many of you know, we have bacteria and other microbes living in our gut that aid in our digestion of specific nutrients and minerals. These little creatures produce dopamine and serotonin, among other compounds, which travel to our brain and alter our moods. We all know that when we drink alcohol, the compounds within it travel to our brain and make us feel inebriated. What we don’t often realize, however, is that everything we consume does this, just often to a much less perceptible extent. So when we eat fermented foods, you might feel a little chiller, a little more upbeat, and maybe like you have more energy in your body.

Incorporating fermented foods into your diet is more important now than ever, as we are consuming many products that contain herbicides and pesticides. Even those of us who eat primarily organic are still absorbing these synthetic chemicals from the environment in other ways. Before they can be released, these chemicals must be classified as being non-toxic to mammals, but what is so important to note is that our bodies are made up of mostly non-mammalian cells. We are more bacteria than we are human, and all of those bacteria are what really keeps us in balance. Because these chemicals enter our body and kill the bacteria that keep us healthy, it has become imperative to foster their growth by eating fermented foods. The easiest way to do that is to experiment with your own ferments, so have fun and try it out!

Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Green Beans—Crockett is hands down the best variety of green beans we have yet to find.
  • Fresh Sweet Corn—Our first corn of the season is a bi-color variety called Temptation. Farmer John steamed us all up the first pick for lunch last week, and it was pure summer perfection!
  • Leeks—First dig of the season! Leeks can be used to replace any onion in any dish. They have a very mild, buttery onion-like flavor.
  • Bunched Carrots—Sweet roots perfect for raw munching or savory roasting; try adding the greens into a stock or bone broth for an amazing flavor.
  • Cabbage—At this time of year when most greens are wilting in the heat, it’s nice to have raw cabbage around to fill the need for something sweet, leafy, and crisp.
  • Moss Parsley—I love making pesto out of any herb I can lay my hands on. A parsley pesto is especially delicious; try a dollop on top of eggs or potatoes or pasta.
  • Superstar OnionThis white onion, also known as a Spanish onion, is low in sugars, high in acidity, and great for soups and roasts.
  • Garlic
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • 5 lbs Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

    Recipes

    Print

    Summer Pad Thai

    Normally I don’t like to repeat recipes, however green beans are SOOOOOO good in pad thai, I just couldn’t resist.

    Ingredients

    Veggie Sauté

    • 1 lb Green Beans (de-stemmed and left long)
    • 1 bunch Moss Parsley (roots in sauté, leaves raw as garnish)
    • 1 bunch Leeks (1/2 in sauté, 1/2 raw as garnish)
    • 1/2 bunch Carrots, sliced long and thin
    • 1/2 head Garlic, roughly minced
    • 1 Zucchini, sliced long and thin
    • 1 Superstar Onion, sliced thin
    • Oil (I use coconut)
    • Fish Sauce, Tamari, Garlic, or whatever you'd like

    Pad Thai Sauce and Noodles

    • 2/3 cup Stock (pork, chicken, or veggie)
    • 6 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
    • 6-8 tbsp Brown Sugar Sugar (it may sound strange, but you can substitute the sugar with strawberry jam and it’s delicious!)
    • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
    • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce/Tamari (use 4 tbsp if you don't use fish sauce)
    • 1 tbsp Hot Sauce/Chili Oil
    • 1 cup Nut Butter (I use peanut or sunflower seed)
    • 8 oz Pad Thai Noodles (or if you have a spiralizer, you can make carrot and zucchini noodles!)

    Instructions

    1. Chop all your veggies up beforehand. With Pad Thai, I have found that taking care to slice things thin and long really affects the final product’s taste and beauty! Set aside.

    2. Put all sauce ingredients together in a pot (omit nut butter) and bring up to a simmer. Once it’s hot, add in your nut butter and stir around to dissolve into the sauce. You can control the thickness of the sauce depending on how much you add.

    3. Meanwhile, heat up some oil in a big pan and get your veggie stir fry going. First add in your sweet onion, and after a minute or two add in some tamari or soy sauce and let sauté another few minutes more.

    4. Then add your green beans, carrots, scallion, and zucchini. Let sauté about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a sprinkle of salt, and don’t let the veggies lose their fresh crunch!

    5. Boil some water and cook your noodles, careful not to overcook them. Drain noodles, mix into sauce to coat them.

    6. Plate noodles, put veggies on top, and garnish with raw cilantro and scallions. Enjoy!

     

    Print

    Easy Sauerkraut

    A head of cabbage goes a long way, so even if you make a slaw, and add some into your pad thai, you still may have half a head left over. Try making your own fresh summer kraut with whatever you have left! Try using the salt: cabbage ratio in this recipe, and always feel free to add other veggies in, like garlic and chilis.

    Ingredients

    • 1 head Green Cabbage, shredded or sliced thinly
    • 1 tbsp Salt
    • 1 Clean Quart Jar
    • If you need extra brine (our cabbage this time of year should be plenty juicy) use 1 additional tbsp salt and 4 cups non-chlorinated water

    Instructions

    1. Shred up all your cabbage into a large bowl, sprinkle the salt and mix with your hands to incorporate evenly. 

    2. Let sit about 15 minutes to let the cabbage start releasing water (making its own brine). Then use your hands to firmly massage the cabbage to get the juices flowing. 

    3. Once you’re happy with your mashing dance, start packing the kraut into a jar, packing it down with a spoon to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible. 

    4. Leave about 1-2” headspace before closing up the jar, and let sit on your counter out of direct sunlight for at least a week. It’ll leak a bit, so put a tray underneath and burp the jar regularly. 

    5. Taste the kraut after a week and if you like the tang level, put it in the fridge and start eating! If you want it tangier, leave it out a while longer.

    Recipe Notes

    Jar Method – The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz.  “A jar filled with any raw food submerged under liquid will ferment… Many ferments, such as sauerkraut or cultured milks, do not require either oxygen or microbes from the air. These may be fermented in sealed jars. However, in many cases, if you seal a jar containing an active ferment, be aware that pressure may build from the production of CO2. You usually need to release pressure, or it can build to the point where jars explode. Leave the jar on the kitchen counter, where you will see it daily, gauge pressure by the bulging top, and release pressure by loosening the lid, as needed. Alternatively, you can place the lid loosely on the jar so that pressure will be released.”

CSA 2017 – Week 7: “Don’t Spoil Them Rotten”

CSA 2017 – Week 7


“Don’t Spoil Them Rotten”

Even I am guilty of just tossing a bunch of beets in my fridge completely unprotected, only to find the greens wilted and roots shriveled the next day. It’s a fast-paced world we live in, so hopefully the following excerpt from The CSA Cookbook will help everyone eat more of the food that they’re bringing home.

“Did you know that vegetables are composed of primarily water? Even something as solid as zucchini is made up of 95% water, and white potatoes—which have the lowest water content—are still 79%. When a vegetable is pulled out of the soil or picked from a plant, depriving it of precious water, the cell walls start to lose moisture and eventually collapse, causing wilting.

The key to preventing vegetables from going limp is to create a breathable barrier between the moist vegetables and the dry air of your fridge; that means creating an environment that ‘s airy and damp, but not stifling and wet. Plastic bags and kitchen towels work wonders for this; I like to reuse produce bags and repurpose clean rags, as they are thrifty, take up little space, and can be tucked into any available nook in the fridge. I tend to store all my vegetables this way on the shelves, where I can see them (forgetting what you have is often the first cause of wilted produce).

If you are anti-plastic, you can also roll up your vegetables in flower sack towels or linen tea towels before storing them in your crisper drawers. In general, keep vegetables and fruits in separate drawers, and keep leafy greens in their own drawer if you can. The tender greens are most susceptible to wilting if kept in close proximity to ethylene-emitting produce.

A good rule of thumb for determining how to store a vegetable is to visit the produce section of a supermarket. Vegetables that are kept chilled and damp with overhead misters need cold and humidity. Vegetables that are kept dry in the middle of the produce section thrive in the same environment as your kitchen.”

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Fresh Shallots—Shallots are a cross between garlic and onions, which you can see from the way they often bulb up in twos or threes. Their flavor is a perfect balance, much stronger than onion, yet not tricky to peel like garlic. I use them in everything!
  • Gold Beets—Gold beets are lovely because they have a much milder beet flavor with the extra added bonus of not turning everything red in your dish.
  • Purple Haze Carrots—Absolutely gorgeous and delicious sliced lengthwise and roasted.
  • Radicchio—Radicchio is 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.
  • Green Bell Pepper—I recently thinly sliced little stars of green bell pepper fried in a cornmeal flour, and it was AMAZING.
  • Mint—Mojitos!!! Or, try out adding mint into your everyday salads and beverages.
  • Sweet OnionsHigh sugar content that makes them perfect for caramelizing, and they’re great roughly chopped in Pico de Gallo.
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • New Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes

Recipes

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Perfect Crisp Roasted Potatoes

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, by Francisco J. Robert. “After weeks of testing, we discovered the secrets to the crispiest, creamiest roasted potatoes: the right spud, the right shape, and—surprisingly—a not-so-delicate touch.”

Ingredients

  • Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • Cold Water
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

Roast

  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450F. 

  2. Place potatoes and 1 Tbsp salt in dutch oven and add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to boil over high heat. 

  3. Reduce heat and gently simmer until exteriors of potatoes have softened but centers offer resistance when pierced with paring knife, about five minutes. Drain potatoes well and transfer to large bowl. 

  4. Drizzle potatoes with 2 Tbsp oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt. Using rubber spatula, toss to combine. Drizzle with another 2 Tbsp oil and ½ tsp salt. Continue to toss until exteriors of potato slices are coated with starchy pate, 1 to 2 minutes.

  5. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp oil oven surface. Carefully transfer potatoes to baking sheet and spread into even layer (skin side up if end piece). Bake until bottoms of potatoes are golden grown and crisp, 15-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet after 10 minutes.

  6. Remove baking sheet from oven and, using spatula and tongs, loosen potatoes from pan carefully flipping each slice. Continue to roast until second side is golden and crisp, 10-20 minutes longer, rotating pan as needed to ensure that potatoes brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Perfect Potato Principles

Disks, Not Chunks—half-inch rounds require only one flip, making it far easier to ensure that each side gets equal time face-down in the pan.

Parcook—Simmering the potatoes brings the starch to the surface, jump-starting the crisping process. The potatoes should be just under-cooked when they are removed from the boiling water to ensure that they don’t overcook while baking.

Preheat—A hot, rimmed baking sheet gives the potatoes a head start when placed in the oven, a step that guarantees crispier results.

Toss Vigorously—Roughing up the parboiled potatoes with salt and oil damages the surface cells, which speeds up evaporation. This creates a layer of fluffy potato goodness that keeps the outside crispy and the inside creamy.

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Shaved Raw Beet Salad w/ Warm Pecan Dressing

Adapted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • pinch salt & pepper
  • 2 gold beets, thinly sliced or matchsticks
  • 2 purple carrots, thinly sliced at an angle
  • 2 cups beet greens, thinly sliced
  • feta cheese, crumbled for serving

Instructions

  1. To make the dressing, combine the oil, shallot, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar and honey until well blended, then add the pecans, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and keep warm. 

  2. In a large serving bowl, toss the beets and beet greens with the warm dressing. Serve with a sprinkle of feta on top.


Recipe Notes

*Beet greens are right in between chard and spinach and should always be enjoyed when you have them! They’re great on sandwiches too.

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Chicory Greens with Cheesy Pasta

Here's hat to do if you want to get kids on board w/ chicory greens—pair them with cheesy pasta!

Because I grew up on boxed pastas and have only found a love for vegetables in the past five years, I used to make some pretty wacky dishes during my transition to farming. Those who love veggies may think that dish is a disgrace to the vegetables in it, and those who don’t know vegetables well yet tend to be put off by the veggies that are in it. So if you happen to be in a middle ground like I was, try out sautéing your chicory greens and mixing it in with cheesy pasta! It’s a great way to fall for chicories.

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

  • radicchio
  • garlic
  • shallot
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • box of cheesy pasta

Instructions

  1. Prepare packaged pasta per box instructions. 

  2. Sauté shallot, garlic, and radicchio with olive oil and salt.

  3. Mix veggiesd together with prepared pasta. Serve. 

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

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.