2017 CSA – Week 3: Feasibly Delicious Foods

CSA Newsletter – Week 3


Feasibly Delicious Foods

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

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

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

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

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

-Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

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

Recipes

Print

Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

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

Servings 4 people
Author Joshua McFadden

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

  2. Grate the beets on the large holes of a box grater or cut into fine julienne. Yes, your hands will get stained, but the color fades quickly.

  3. Remove the garlic from the raisins and discard. 

  4. Add the beets, lemon juice, most of the parsley and mint (save the rest for finishing), and chili flakes. Season with 1.5 tsp salt and lots of black pepper and toss. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then taste—the slaw should be tart, spicy, peppery, and sweet. 

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


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

Print

Crispy Buttery Smashed Potatoes

From the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook by Ellen Jackson

Author Ellen Jackson

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover them with cold water by several inches. Generously salt the water and bring it to a boil over high heat.

  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until just before they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  4. Lightly coat a baking sheet with the oil. Evenly space the boiled potatoes out across the sheet and, using a small glass or a fork lightly coated with oil, gently flatten each potato by pressing down until it mashes into an oblong shape.

  5. Brush the potatoes generously with 2 Tbsp of the melted butter, sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and bake them for 10 minutes. 

  6. Add the garlic and herbs to the remaining 2 Tbsp butter, brush the potatoes again, and bake until they are golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes more.

Print

Simple Cucumber Salad

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

Author Laura Bennett

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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

2016 CSA – Week 10: Onion Harvest…Waiting for the Flop

CSA Week 10 Graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 10


Onion Harvest: Waiting for the Flop

In early spring, we seeded about 800 flats of onions and shallots in the greenhouse (that’s over 19,000 onions!). These guys have spent the summer growing in the fields and now the tops are beginning to flop. This is an indication that they are done growing. Once the majority of the onions have flopped, they are pulled, by hand, from the ground and laid on the soil surface for a few days. This allows the roots to dry, decreasing the chance of rot
during storage.

The onions are then loaded onto trucks and transported from the field into greenhouses for curing. Curing allows the onion to dry and for a protective skin to form. We typically let them cure for at least one week, sometimes longer if we are busy harvesting other crops! Once the onions have
dried, the tops and roots are trimmed and they are placed in wooden crates for storage. If the crop is healthy and the storage conditions are right, these onions will last through the beginning of next year. You can never have too many onions in my book!

Have a great week.

-Lily, CSA Coordinator

 

Table of Box Contents

☐ Lettuce ($2.00)
☐ 1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25)
☐ 1 Eggplant ($4.50) – See the recipes for a delicious eggplant sauce.
☐ 2 Colored Bell Peppers ($4.00) – Grill or broil and use in soups, sandwiches,
dips, or salad.
☐ 1 Red Cipollini onion ($1.00) – Cipollinis are lovely roasted or caramelized and can be used in any recipe calling for onion.
☐ 1 White Cipollini onion ($1.00)
☐ 2 Dried Sweet onions ($1.25) – Store in a cool, dry place.
☐ 1 Fennel Bulb ($2.00) – For fennel lovers, use the fronds as the greens in
your favorite pesto recipe.
☐ Bunched Carrots ($3.50)
☐ 2-3 Zucchini ($2.50)
☐ 1 lb Romano Beans ($4.00) – Substitute these beans for green beans in any
recipe. Delicious blanched or sautéed.
☐ 3 lbs Heirloom Tomatoes (3) ($12.00) – You can’t go wrong with these beautiful tomatoes. Sandwiches, caprese salad, pasta, or slice, salt, and eat with a knife and fork!
☐ 4 Ears of Corn ($4.00) – Picked by farmer John himself. Steam or grill
(with husk on) and eat with salt and butter. For a culinary adventure, make fresh polenta!

Box Market Value: $44.00

 

Recipes

Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Sauce

This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. The full recipe includes making a fresh corn polenta which is topped with this sauce. However, the sauce sounded so good it seems that it would be delicious on just about anything! Check out the full recipe at Food 52.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1/4cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 6 1/2tablespoons water
  • 1/4teaspoon salt
  • 1/4teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Preparation

  1. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and fry the eggplant on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until nicely brown.
  2. Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it — the safest way to do this is to scoop out the eggplant to a plate using a slotted spoon, then pour off the oil into a bowl before added the eggplant back in. You can save the oil to fry lamb chops or eggs in tomorrow.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce.
  6. Set aside; warm it up when needed.


Jalapeno Corn Fritters

This is not the type of thing that I would make regularly, but a good fritter sure is delicious! For a slightly lighter version, omit the bacon and cheese.

 Ingredients

  • 3 c. fresh corn
  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 1/4 c. shredded Cheddar
  • 1/4 c. cream cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • Juice of 1 lime, divided
  • Sour cream, for serving

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, combine corn, cornmeal, cheddar, cream cheese, scallions, bacon, eggs, the juice of half a lime, and jalapeño.
  2. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, form the mixture into small patties.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Working in batches, fry the patties until they’re golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per sidee.

Read More: Delish

2016 CSA – Week 7: Seed Selection: Growing Larger Grey Shallots

CSA Week 7 Graphic

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

 

Recipes

Romesco

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  1. Grind the nuts and garlic in a food processor until the mixture is fairly fine
  2. Add the peppers and a pinch of salt and process to combine
  3. 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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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)

Galette Tips:

-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
Read More: