CSA 2017 – Week 10: Delicious Diversity

CSA Newsletter – Week 10

Delicious Diversity

I love the look on people’s faces when they see a watermelon for the first time that defies the red color they’ve come to know and love. What is this alien thing?! Along with puzzled looks I get many questions at the farmers’ market. “Are these genetically modified?” “What did they do to make them that color?” “Do the other colors even taste any good?” The truth is, the genetic diversity for nearly every color of melon in the rainbow is always present in each watermelon seed. Even as I type this, I’m looking at a poster of eggplant varieties up in the GTF office, vibrant with orange, white, red, pink, green, and of course purple eggplants of all shapes and sizes. At some point in time, red became the most popular variety of watermelon, purple became the most popular eggplant, and red became the most popular tomato. So no, these melons are not genetically modified; we didn’t do anything except breed for different colors over hundreds of years, and yes, they all taste delicious.

The most common question I get at market, however, is “how do I know if a melon is ripe?” followed by a series of deeply analytical melon tapping, knocking, sniffing, and probing. We are all used to needing to riffle through melons at the supermarket, hoping not to receive the highly disappointing experience of some unsweet, pithy unripe melon. We need to do this at supermarkets because all the watermelons are harvested in giant sweeps, specifically in an unripe state so that they can travel across vast distances. So it is a rare gem that you can actually find a ripe melon amidst the mounds of unripe melons. All of our melons are harvested by hand the day before they get to you. We pick through our fields daily and only harvest the ripe ones. We guarantee that all our melons are perfectly ripe, so despite how fun it is to tap a melon and listen for it to sing back to you, there is no need when you’re buying local. Each variety of melon has a different trick to know when it’s ripe and our melon master, Joelene, has the pulse on each variety and each field. While there’s no easy answer to tell when a melon is ripe, all you need to do is crack open your watermelon, slice, and enjoy.

Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Anaheim Pepper—These peppers can pack quite a punch, and this year they seem hotter than ever. They’re not as spicy as a jalapeno, but definitely spicier than the poblanos from last week.
    • Sweet Bell Pepper—I’ve been eating our peppers raw like apples, they’re just as sweet.
    • Fresh Cipollini Onions—High sugar content makes them perfect caramelizers.
    • Mountain Rose Potatoes
    • Red Beets—perfect shredded raw in salads or slaws; green are just like spinach and can be added into any salad or saute.
    • Watermelon—You’ll either be receiving a yellow or orange fleshed melon this week, enjoy!
    • Cilantro—Add a fresh burst to any dish you have going with some cilantro leaves on top. Make into a pesto if you have trouble using it up.
    • Purple Haze Carrots—Purple carrots are often less sweet than orange so try roasting them to bring out their full sweetness; try adding the greens into a stock or bone broth for an amazing flavor.
    • Red Torpedo Onion—red onions have a wonderful acidity making them perfect for enjoying raw; these torpedos are especially mild in their raw state.
    • Sweet OnionThe high sugar content makes these perfect for caramelizing in a sauté.
    • Pickling Cucumbers
    • Broccoli
    • Summer Squash
    • Lettuce
    • Tomatoes



Anaheim Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Author Adapted from Thug Kitchen


Anaheim Filling

  • 1 Anaheim Pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Sweet Pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch salt more to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion, chopped
  • corn tortillas (3-4 per person)

Lime and Cilantro Slaw

  • 3 Purple Carrots, sliced into matchsticks or grated
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Beet, sliced into matchsticks or grated
  • Beet Greens, sliced thinly

Quick Pico de Gallo

  • 2 Tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 Cipollini Onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, sliced thinly
  • salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste


  1. Crank your oven to 400 degrees F. Grab a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Chop your onion into thin slices, and chop the Anaheim and sweet pepper into ½ inch slices; set both aside.

  3. In a saucepan, warm the broth, lime juice, tamari, hot sauce, and garlic over medium heat. Add the onion and simmer for about 1-2 minutes, then add your peppers in and sauté about 3-5 minutes.

  4. Toss the spices, salt, and olive oil together in a large bowl. 

  5. Add the pepper mixture in and stir around until thoroughly mixed. 

  6. Dump it on a baking sheet and bake until browned, stirring half-way, about 20 minutes.

  7. To make the tacos, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave for a hot minute or heat each side gently in a cast iron pan, then pile them high with the pepper filling, slices of avocado, some of the slaw, and plenty pico de gallo.



Brined Pickles

You’ve all received enough pickling cukes this week for a quart jar of pickles, a perfect quantity for the beginning fermenter. Feel free to slice your cukes up in a salad, but if you feel like picklin’, here goes!

Author Adapted from Ball Canning Book


  • Enough Pickling Cukes to fill a mason jar (about what you have)
  • 1/3 bunch fresh dill (sorry it's not in your box, but it is available at market and at the Farmstand!)
  • 1/89 cup pickling spices, or better yet, your own spice concoction
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 1/3 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Anything else you'd like to throw in, such as turmeric, honey, sweet or hot peppers, etc.


  1. Wash and drain cucumbers. Place half the pickling spices and one layer of dill in a clean pickling container. 

  2. Add cucumbers to within 4 inches of top. 

  3. Combine salt, vinegar and water in a pot; lade over cucumbers.

  4.  Place a layer of dill and remaining pickling spices over the top. Add garlic, if desired. Weight cucumbers under brine.

  5. Store container in a cool place. Let cucumbers ferment until well flavored with dill and clear throughout. Pickles should be ready to can (or in the case of this small batch, to be eaten!) in about 2 to 3 weeks.

Lunch Menu: Week of August 15, 2017

Fresh orrechiette with summer squash, cherry tomatoes, herbed ricotta and hazelnuts


chad fell’s bread & olives   5

emily’s farm fresh pickle plate    4

chilled corn soup, served with bread   5

blush potato and leek soup, served with bread   5

mixed greens with balsamic    6.5

goat cheese and roasted pepper crostini   4

GTF salad – tomatoes, caramelized shallots, croutons, and a lemon-cherry tomato vinaigrette 9.5



Pizze Rosse

garlic and basil    13

bacon and bleu cheese    13

anaheim peppers, roasted onions  13




Pizze Bianche

kalamata and chard  13

zukes, cherry tomato, goat cheese  13


add an egg or anchovies   1



fresh orrechiette with summer squash, cherry tomatoes, herbed ricotta and hazelnuts   13

shrimp-n-grits with sweet corn, roasted shishito peppers, garlic and tomatoes   14

grilled quails on german potato salad with green beans   12

GTF burger on a brioche bun with bacon, pickle, tomato, mustard aioli,* and a mixed salad  12

Dinner Menu: August 10-12, 2017


chad fell’s bread & marinated olives  5

roasted bone marrow, gremolata, crostini  7

country pork terrine, seasonal accompaniments  9

baked local chevre, roasted onions, garlic, pears and crostini  9

mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette  6.5

GTF salad, sweet corn,  green beans, cucumber, tomato, toasted hazelnuts, buttermilk dill dressing  9.5

chilled beet soup, feta, mint  6


Pizze Rosse

garlic, basil   13

bacon &caramel onion 13

anaheim pepper & potato  13


Pizze Bianche

ham & leek   13

kale, tomato & kalamata  13


add an egg or anchovies 1


Summer Risotto with grilled Barbaraella eggplant, tomato, leek, chard, chermoula, corn butter 19

Chinook Salmon with pesto couscous, tomato, corn, purslane, meyer lemon buerre blanc   22

Grilled Flank Steak with buttermilk mashed potato, mushroom, green bean & hazelnut, horseradish aioli     23

GTF Chicken Breast with polenta, carrot, fennel, chard, blueberry gastrique   21

Braised Pork Ragu with fettuccini, eggplant, mushroom, carrot, kale, poblano puree    20


To Finish

Strawberry Pear Crisp with ice cream  8

Carrot Cantelope Sorbet  7

Layered Chocolate Mousse with blackberry sauce   7

CSA 2017 – Week 9: From Seed to Table – The Story

CSA Newsletter – Week 9

From Seed to Table – The Story 

This week you have some specialty varieties in your box, such as Masquerade potatoes and Jimmy Nardello sweet peppers. It’s common to think that peppers are one vegetable, tomatoes are another, and so on, but in reality a term as general as the word “pepper” represents thousands of distinctly different varieties, and each has its own story.

Jimmy Nardello was one of 11 children from an Italian family, and was the only one of his siblings to inherit his mother’s love of peppers. Though he was the first in the family to be born in America, he built terraces in Naugatuck, Connecticut just as his family had built on the hillsides in Italy for generations. There he continued saving seeds and breeding his favorite peppers until the end of his days.

Until recently in human history, every family saved their own seeds to plant again every year, and so every family had its own unique line of plant varieties. The diversity in colors and flavors was like patchwork across the lands, and each person was able to use their own varieties as currency. The Nardello’s were just one of millions of families who had their own beloved varieties, but their seed happened to make it all the way to farmers markets in the United States, and their peppers are now loved by all.

Before Jimmy Nardello died in the eighties he donated his pepper seeds to the Seed Savers Exchange, who have been stewards of the pepper for nearly forty years. Despite their popularity, Jimmy Nardello peppers are still listed on the vegetable version of the endangered species list by the US Ark of Taste.

The Seed Savers Exchange’s goal is to collect, grow, and share heirloom seeds, keeping genetic diversity alive and food property rights in the public domain. Seeds have always belonged to the people, not to corporate stake-holders, and because of organizations like SSE hopefully they can stay that way.

So the next time you’re getting ready to cook up some vegetables, take a moment to appreciate that each one has a history as rich as your own family’s. Share a meal with your loved ones and know that the food you’re enjoying is only there because of the thousands of years of shared seeds and shared meals that came before us. Have a great week everyone!

Laura Bennett, markets@gatheringtogetherfarm.com

Table of Box Contents

  • Poblano Pepper—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.
  • Fresh Sweet Corn
  • Jimmy Nardello—quite a nice fellow! Jimmies are a very sweet and flavorful specialty pepper, great added into a sauté or eaten raw like an Italian pepper.
  • Eggplant—Although eggplant can be tricky to cook at times, it can also be a perfect meat substitute when done right.
  • Masquerade Potatoes—These are gorgeous purple potatoes with yellow spots surrounding the eyes, as well as a buttery yellow flesh similar to Nicolas.
  • 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.
  • Red Onion—Red onions have a crisp texture, with more of an acidic bite than sweet flavor; great for using raw in salads.
  • Sweet OnionThe high sugar content makes these perfect for caramelizing in a sauté.
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes



Poblanos & Potatoes w/ Fried Eggs

Author LB original recipe


  • ½ sweet onion chopped finely
  • 3-5 potatoes: slice each potato in half then slice in half again before making thin slices down the length of the potato (thin slices are the goal)
  • 1-3 poblano peppers roughly chopped
  • 1 Jimmy Nardello sliced into discs (it’ll brighten up the dish visually and in flavor!)
  • 1 head garlic chopped finely
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Eggs fried
  • Optional: cheese of some kind


  1. I like to chop everything in this dish before I even turn on the pan, because the timing needs to be right so that the potatoes and peppers finish at the same time. I often have trouble burning potatoes when cooking them with other vegetables, but I’ve found a little trick that takes away most of that risk. After you chop your potatoes thinly, spread them out on the cutting board and place a cloth or paper towel over them. Press down on the potatoes to remove as much water from them as you can. It makes a big difference! (And it works perfectly for hash browns.)

  2. Note that the poblano seeds are often very spicy, so you’ll want to wash your hands well after removing them. 

  3. Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil and heat it up to medium high temperature; if a piece of onion sizzles in the oil it’s up to temp.

  4. Add in the onions and let cook about 2 minutes.

  5. Add in the poblanos next, as they will take longer to cook than the thinly sliced potatoes. Cover and let cook 7-10 minutes.

  6. The peppers should be about halfway done at this point; add in the potatoes and the garlic and let cook with the lid on another 5 minutes.

  7. Remove the lid and add in 3-4 pinches of salt; stir. Let cook another 2-5 minutes with the lid off until the veggies are done to your satisfaction. I usually take out a sample to taste before deciding when a dish is done.

  8. I always make this dish for breakfast, and on top I always add cheese, fried eggs, and hot sauce to tie everything together, and I highly recommend it. I even freeze bags of raw poblano slices so that I can make this all winter long. You can throw frozen raw peppers straight into the frying pan in the morning and have a delicious warm, summery breakfast in the middle of winter.


Tasty Eggplant Filling

Stuff some tortellini with it (which is what I did yesterday and highly recommend), or stuff squash or a pepper with it, or just straight up put it on top of pasta or roasted veggies, it’s good everywhere.
Author LB original recipe


  • 1 sweet onion chopped finely
  • 1 head garlic chopped finely
  • 1 eggplant diced finely
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped finely
  • 1/3 bunch basil finely chopped.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup soft cheese chevre is great!


  1. Finely chop your onion and garlic and add them into a sauté pan once your oil is up to temp. Cook slow and low to draw out sugars and deeper flavors.
  2. Meanwhile, mince up your eggplant. I do it by chopping it into discs and then stack the discs in little piles to slice into matchsticks, then I finally mince them up. Add the eggplant into the pan as soon as you’re done chopping.
  3. Let cook another 5-8 minutes, finally adding the basil, walnuts, salt, and pepper. After stirring around to combine flavors thoroughly for a minute or two, turn off the pan.
  4. Add in the hefty dollop of chevre and stir around to mix evenly, and you’ve got yourself a tasty filling.

Dinner Menu: August 3-5, 2017


chad fell’s bread & marinated olives   5

country pork terrine, seasonal accompaniments  9

baked local chevre, roasted onions, garlic, pears and crostini  9

mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette  6.5

farmstand cobb, egg, duck, bacon, tomato, cucumber, blue cheese, red wine vinaigrette  8.5

GTF salad, roast shallot, string bean, pumpkin & sunflower seed, cucumber, orange, citrus herb dressing  9.5

carrot & ginger soup, chermoula  7

chilled beet soup, cardamom cream  7

Pizze Rosse

garlic & basil  12

bacon, bleu   13

anaheim pepper, cherry tomato  13


Pizze Bianche

ham, leek 13

zukes, kalamata, mushroom  13

-add an egg or anchovies  1




Potato Gnocchi with mushroom, tomato, squash, chard, corn nage  19

Chinook Salmon with quinoa, bacon, tomato, corn, purslane, caper brown butter  21.5

Braised Short Ribs with mashed potato, carrot, patty pan squash, red wine reduction, horseradish aioli  23

Duck Breast with creamy polenta, grilled radicchio, mushroom, strawberry balsamic reduction   22

Pork Loin with buttermilk spaetzli, eggplant, rainbow chard, mustard jus  21


To Finish

Grapefruit Mimosa Sorbet  7

Strawberry Ice Cream with shortbread stars  7

Almond-Hazelnut Brownie Tart  7