Summer CSA: Week Twelve

 Bad news this week on the tomato front; late blight, a rapidly spreading fungal plant disease has overtaken the tomatoes.  It comes in on the damp air and causes the plants to blacken and then the fruit to blacken and then the whole plant to die.

 I am so sad that we are not getting to enjoy the last few weeks of those wonderful tasty tomatoes. If we’re lucky though, there may be some tomatoes available in the next few weeks for your shares from Whetstone Ledges farm in Marlboro. 

Veggies this week:

·      Cantaloupe, Honeydew or Watermelon 

·      Beets, Broccoli or Zucchini 

·      Salad Mix     

·      Cucumbers or Tomatillos

·      Filet Beans 

·      Eggplant or Peppers 

·      Rainbow Chard

RECIPES

I found these recipes at the Huffington Post website.  Again they have compiled some creative ideas for what to do with unusual veggies:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/15/beet-recipe-recipes-photos_n_4597961.html. Beet brownies; weird or great? Let me know what you think. 

Beets and Herbs Salad

from 'food52' 

           Serves 4 to 6

      1 1/2pound baby beets (weighed after trimming)

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons each chopped basil, tarragon, chives and mint

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

            1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper 

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay a large sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Scrub the beets and lay them on one end of the foil. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt. Fold the foil over the beets to make a packet and roll the edges to seal. Bake until the beets are tender, about 30 minutes. Let sit on the baking sheet until warm but not hot.
  2. While the beets are still warm, peel them (I find that pressing against the sides of the beets with your thumb loosens the skins) and slice into 1/2-inch wedges. Add the wedges to a serving bowl as you go. 
  3. Whisk together the mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, until the dressing is emulsified. (You can also just throw everything into a jar, screw on the lid tightly and shake until emulsified.)
  4. Pour about half the dressing over the beets. Sprinkle in the herbs. Season generously with pepper. Toss well, then taste and adjust seasoning, adding more dressing or salt as needed. Let sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Beet Brownies

From ‘The Way to My Family’s Heart’

 

2 large beets, peeled

3 large eggs

2/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Hershey's makes a dark chocolate cocoa powder that I like to use in these brownies)

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt

1 cup chocolate chips, at least 60% cocao

 

In a medium saucepan, cover the beets with water by an inch.  Place the pot over medium high heat and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the beets until they are soft enough to easily be pierced through the center with a knife, about 25 minutes.  Drain the beets and puree them.  You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to the beets to get them to puree smoothly, Add only what you need.  Set the beet puree aside to cool.

 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

 In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, oil, and sugars.  Add the vanilla extract and beet puree and whisk to fully combine.  Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into the wet ingredients.  Stir in the chocolate chips. 

 Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lined with foil or parchment.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean but still moist.  Cool the brownies completely before cutting.  They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days.

 

 

Summer CSA: Week Six

This week we welcome the UVM Extension Growing Skills program to the farm.   The program connects teens and young adults with opportunities on organic farms as a means to learn valuable job and life skills.  We welcome too another farmhand whom has joined us this week through the program!

It sure is good timing to have another hand on board, since the summer crops are just starting up.  Green beans have come on this week and the peas are still going strong.  Eggplants and zucchinis have quietly started fruiting behind their wall of buckwheat cover crop, and the tomatoes are just beginning to blush red.  We are, like always anticipating the summer bounty with excitement and disbelief.  We are so glad to have all of you to share it with!

 

Veggies this week:

·             Japanese or Italian Eggplant

·      Zucchini, Costata Romanesca, Yellow or Green

·      Beets, Early Wonder, Touchstone Gold and Chioggia

·      Head Lettuce, New Red Fire or Buttercrunch

·      Green Beans

·      Fresh Onions

·      Peas

·      Basil or Parsley

 

RECIPES

Simple Sautéed Eggplant

              1 or two medium sized eggplants, cut into half inch cubes

              Salt and black pepper to taste

              1 1/2 TBS olive oil           

              1 Tsp minced garlic or more to taste

              Chopped fresh parsley or basil

 

In a medium sized pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the eggplant and garlic. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender and lightly browned.  Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in parsley or basil, turn off the heat, and call it done.  Try an Indian style flavor by popping some mustard and cumin seeds in the oil, adding diced onion and minced jalapeño, cooking for three minutes, and then adding the eggplant.  Omit the parsley or basil and add a little cilantro and a pinch of turmeric powder instead.

 

Grilled Beet Slices with Maple Teriyaki Sauce

            12 small or 6 medium beets scrubbed and trimmed

¼ cup butter

            2 TBS maple syrup

            1TBS minced garlic

1 TBS finely chopped or grated ginger

1TBS Tamari

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the rest of the ingredients except the beets.  Slice the beets thinly and place them on a piece of tin foil large enough to wrap around them and make a nice package.  Before wrapping them up though, pour the sauce over them and stir them around until they are well covered (but not soupy).  Then you can wrap them up and put them on the grill!  Start them grilling before pretty much anything else, they take quite a while to cook.