Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CSA Share Week 8

We wouldn’t be surprised if members have seen an occasional ladybug, cabbage looper (light green “caterpillars” that cling to the undersides of broccoli), or other insect amidst the produce at distribution. But frogs ?! Gulp.
Somehow a frog snuck into one of the farm’s produce totes and made it on the truck to New York City. (Sounds like the beginning of a classic children’s adventure story.) Fortunately, a CSA member was kind enough to set it free in a nearby park. One of our CSA organizers in the city wrote, “I love it! Does it get any more “farm fresh” than that.” We should hope not. A wild rabbit would have a harder time snuggling into a bin of lettuce without notice (though we wouldn’t mind one less rabbit around here). Our neighbor once had a chicken ride on the axle of his truck into town…
We wish the frog well!

Other farm happenings:
We just wrapped up our garlic harvest. This is usually a big feat to squeeze in with everything else we never have enough time to do. But this year’s field crew works like World Cup champions in the (veggie) field--incredibly team spirited. One day they got an early start at 6 a.m.—without our even asking. The harvest was wrapped in less than a week (versus the usual 10 to 14 days). Hooray.

We’re anxiously waiting to see our tomato crop ripen. A grower friend who is all about his tomatoes assures us that his crop seems to be taking its time too. So it could be a few more weeks before we’re really picking tomatoes. Other classic summer crops, like eggplant and peppers, should be arriving within the next few weeks too.

Feedback. One of our original CSA members from up in the Adirondacks recently wrote: “I just made a big pot of veggie and split pea soup with our leftover CSA veggies. The kids even asked for seconds! I froze some onion greens and for dinner I am making roasted beets with candied ginger and brook trout that my husband and kids caught yesterday. I needed a day like today! It feels so good to cook with fresh veggies and ingredients on hand.”

We love this kind of correspondence. It’s great to hear how members are using their produce.
We’d like to hear from you too: Use the farm's e-mail address to share with us what you’ve been doing with the items in your share. It doesn’t need to be in recipe form, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A simple idea is great; the simpler the better. Something we can then share with everyone else. We can all benefit from others’ inspirations/creations.
Or send us a question! We’d love to include a Q&A section to the weekly blog (or, if your CSA group has its own newsletter, to that too).

1 bunch carrots
1 Napa cabbage
¾ lb. (12 oz.) green beans
2 jalapeño peppers
1 bunch curly-leaf kale
1 head cauliflower
2 cucumbers
2 lbs. summer squash (mix of green zucchini, golden zucchini and/or crookneck summer squash)
1 bunch fresh red onions




Serves 6
Toss with peeled, cooked shrimp to make a complete meal.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch thick half moons
3 tablespoons finely diced red onion
Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed for 1 minute under running water
2 1/2 cups water
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or green onion tops
Finely chopped parsley (optional)
Crumbled feta (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini in a single layer. Season with salt and cook, flipping once the zucchini is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the onion, stir with a spatula to blend, and remove from the heat. In a large saucepan, add the quinoa, water and a large pinch of Kosher salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender but still chewy and a white spiral-like germ appears around each grain, about 15 minutes.

Add the quinoa to the zucchini, zest, lemon juice, onion tops and parsley (if using) and toss. Serve warm or room temperature, topped with feta cheese and a wedge of lemon if you like.

Per serving (about 6oz/184g-wt.): 170 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 25g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 6g protein
Adapted from the Whole Foods’ web site


This is a riff off of a recipe for sticky rice pancakes published in “Simple to Spectacular” by Jean-Gorges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman (Broadway Books, 2000). The salty-tart sauce might be a little unexpected but works particularly nicely with the cabbage.

1 ½ cups sticky or sweet rice
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion or fresh green onion tops
Minced jalapeño (to your liking)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons peanut or other neutral oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup chopped peanuts

Soak the rice in water to cover for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight. Bring a pot of water to boil (use a wok or pasta pot). Drain the soaked rice in a mesh colander and set the colander over the pot of boiling water (the rice should not be immersed in the water). Cover and steam for about 8 minutes, until all traces of chalkiness are gone and the rice is fully tender.

In a small saucepan, combine the butter, soy sauce, and lime juice. Turn the heat to low to melt the butter. Season with pepper. Set aside.

In a wok or large fry pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and onion and cook, tossing frequently with tongs, until just wilted. Serve the cabbage mixture draped over the rice. Spoon some of sauce over the cabbage, sprinkle with the peanuts and serve.

If you wish to make the rice into crunchy pancakes: toss it while still hot with 1 tablespoon butter, some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in 1 lightly beaten egg, 2 minced scallions, and 2 tablespoons minced cilantro. Gently shape into 4 large or 8 small cakes. In a large fry pan heat 2 tablespoons of peanut or other mild oil over medium-high heat. Cook the cakes in the hot oil until lightly browned on both sides, a total of 4 to 6 minutes.


Macerating the grated zucchini—tossing it with sugar and
leaving it to sit—helps draw out excess moisture to avoid
the soggy, dense texture that typically plagues zucchini

Serves 8

4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan
9 ½ oz. (2 cups plus 2 Tbs.) all-purpose flour; more for the
¾ lb. zucchini (about 3 small), stem ends trimmed
¾ cup plus 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/3 cup strongly brewed coffee, cold or at room temperature
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt or buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 oz. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (1/3 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (1 oz.)
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the
oven to 375°F. Butter a 8 ½ x 4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan and
dust with flour; tapping out any excess.
Using the large grating disk on a food processor, pass
the zucchini vertically through the feed tube to grate. (If
the zucchini is too wide to fit, slice in half lengthwise.)
Discard any remaining ungrated portions wedged on top
of the disc. Transfer the grated zucchini to a colander or
sieve set over a bowl. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the sugar over the
grated zucchini and toss to distribute. Sprinkle another
1 Tbs. sugar over the zucchini and toss again. Set aside
for 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low
heat. Pour the butter into a medium bowl and let cool
slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup
sugar, coffee, yogurt or buttermilk, and eggs into the
In a large bowl, combine the flour, chocolate, walnuts,
baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Squeeze the zucchini by the fistful to thoroughly wring
out excess liquid. Add the zucchini to the wet ingredients
and stir to combine. Pour over the flour mixture, and using
a large wooden spoon, stir until just blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading
it evenly with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick
inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let
cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with
a knife and release the bread, turning upright onto the
rack until completely cooled.

Recipe by Maryellen Driscoll, Free Bird Farm


Napa cabbage has a more delicate flavor and tender texture than green or red cabbage, which makes it popular for use in cole slaw. We like it, too, in stir fries.

Purple carrots. If you can believe it, carrots were originally purple. We’ve been growing a particular purple variety of carrot, called Purple Haze, for a number of years now. It actually outsells orange carrots at one farmers’ market we attend, because our customers have come to know and love this variety well.
The carrots—purple or orange—are terrific as a fresh snack, but we also love to roast them as it concentrates their sweet flavor. Before roasting, wash the carrots but don’t bother peeling. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 425° F oven on a baking sheet with raised edges until they feel tender when skewered with a fork, 25 to 30 minutes. About halfway through cooking, do shake the baking pan back and forth so that the golden undersides of the carrots roll to face upwards.

Quick weeknight pasta with cauliflower Cauliflower is an easy veggie to add to a quick weeknight pasta. Cut into small florets and sauté or roast until golden brown and tender. Stir in some minced garlic at the end of cooking, and then toss with white, kidney or aduki beans, chopped capers, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pasta of choice (set aside a little pasta cooking water to add as needed; it helps moisten and bring everything together). If you eat meat, sausage or crisped prosciutto is a nice addition. Serve with grated parmigiano.

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