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:

CSA 2011 – Week 6: Water, Water Everywhere…

In the Willamette Valley, most of the time we are spoiled with beautiful, warm, and dry summers. That is really most of the allure of living here. The summers are phenomenal; they warm your soul up enough to last the six rainy months of the year. This past weekend was not the summer that I know. It is interesting to think about how the rain really affects all of the vegetables in the fields. It doesn’t affect them all in a negative way, as it does my personal vitamin D level.

One vegetable that is affected in a negative way is garlic. Our garlic that is trying to dry has a hard time drying in rain, even if it’s covered or under a tarp. The moisture in the air and ground can easily seep its way into that freshly harvested garlic. Luckily the crew is on top of making sure the garlic is covered before rains, but like I said that doesn’t always keep it dry. The tomatoes are not so fond of downpours either. Of course they need water to grow well, but when it pours and then warms up that causes the skins of tomatoes to split. This type of occurrence has the same effect on cherries as well. Some crops thrive in cool rain, for example potatoes and most brassicas (such as kale and cabbage). Lucky for us we grow such a variety of crops that when one crop has a difficult season, there is another crop booming. I guess this goes along with the saying,…

…‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket.’

*CSA Tour and Tasting: Sunday August 28th 2-5pm *
Join us for a farm tour, melon and tomato tasting!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Nicola and fingerling) – These are best steamed, fried, or boiled.
Purple Carrots, bunched – They are great raw, on salad, slaw or stir fried.
1 bunch baby Walla Walla onions – chop the onions and eat raw on salads or soups. The top green part goes well with eggs, cheese, stir fries, or pasta.
1 red cabbage – make slaw, braise it, or use it in a stir fry
2 Leeks – They go great with eggs in a scramble, omelet, in soup, or stir fried.
1 pint sugar snap peas – Eat them raw or do a quick sauté with olive oil and salt.
Summer squash (1lb) – Try them sautéed, grilled, grated raw, soup or stir fried.
Red or Green Leaf lettuce – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches.
2 cucumbers – Eat raw, on salad, or marinate them.
1 bunch dill – Yummy addition to potato salad, cucumber salad, or slaw!
1 Siletz tomato – Chop raw on salad, eat plain like an apple!
1 pint of cherries – picked from the trees down the road at Fritz and Beverley Lonsway’s house.

Recipes:

Stir-fried Sugar Snap Peas

1 pint sugar snap peas, ends and strings removed
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch baby Walla Walla onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir fry onions and peas in olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add sesame seeds and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil. Season to taste.

Vegetable Leek Medley

2 medium leeks
2 summer squash
2 carrots
4 Tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut top and root end off the leeks and set aside. Cut the leeks in half length wise and chop into 1/4 inch size slices. Rinse the chopped leeks and set aside. Finely chop carrots and zucchini. Sauté carrots and leeks in butter. When they are almost cooked all the way through (5-10 minutes) add the zucchini and cook for another 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Zucchini Cakes

4 cups grated zucchini
1 Tablespoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups bread crumbs
Sea salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix zucchini with salt and let stand 1/2 hour. Rinse well with water and squeeze dry in a tea towel. Mix with eggs, onion, bread crumbs, cheese, and cayenne pepper and season to taste. Form into cakes and sauté a few at a time in butter and olive oil.
Variations: You could add chopped or roasted garlic, sautéed leeks, shredded carrots, chopped onion tops, or even dill to this recipe!