Mini-Autumn at Echollective

6:27 PM Adrian 0 Comments

This past week, with its eerily cool temperatures, has felt a lot like it should be September.  What is the deal?  We've all been feeling a little less like throwing ourselves in the nearest cold body of water....but regardless, it has been wonderful!  Fall is one of my favorite parts of the farming season, when the temperatures dip to that pleasant, perfect sweet spot and the air is clear and crisp.  There is so much room to grow a lot of crops in the fall with those ideal temperatures.  It really feels like we're having a mini-Autumn here at the Echollective....but with the added benefit of a delicious line-up of classic summer vegetables this week!
 
What to expect:
  • Collard greens
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Red Onions
  • Candy Onions (white)
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Summer Squash (Yellow Zephyrs)
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes (either Roma, heirloom, or Washington cherries)

A couple returning products to the share this week that we haven't seen in a while are leeks, collards and potatoes!  Our leeks are getting pretty big and we're ready to pull some up and dole them out....we'll have a special leek recipe for you!

We also wish to announce our special offer this week of surplus Viletta Rose potatoes!  While you are selecting your share veggies at the farmer's market table, you are welcome to take extra, as many as you'll need to stock up for a bit.  We will also be giving extra to those of you who receive pre-packed boxes in Cedar Rapids or at Kirkwood School for Children....so expect a little bit more potatoes!   Why?  Well, we wanted to give you a little forewarning about something that happens to strictly organic (fungicide free!) potatoes from time to time....they get something known as early blight.  This basically means that their capability for long-term storage is greatly, greatly reduced and one or two could start going real bad (and getting real mushy) real soon....and when that happens, it effects the others, and they begin to go bad also.

SO....we recommend that you keep a good eye on your potatoes!  Do not worry....potatoes with the potential for blight are not dangerous for eating!  In fact, we've been eating a lot of them here at the farm.  What it basically means is that you should eat those potatoes right up as soon as you can to avoid the possibility of imminent spoilage!  Their shelf life is a lot shorter than most potatoes should be.  To aid you with this, we'll try and find you some recipes that require LOTS of potatoes so you gobble them up quickly....like French Fries and Potato Curry!  Yummers!  We want you all to get the most out of our organic potatoes this year, and it's hard for us to announce that these pest problems and disease (which wouldn't be a problem for a conventional farmers) are a problem we must deal with!

Another potential problem to this blight issue is that we are trying to get as many potatoes to as many mouths as we can, before they potentially go bad.  So far, we haven't seen too many go off in our refrigerator, so that's good....however, this may mean that this is the time to get your stock of organic potatoes in, because we may not be able to store as many for the future through the fall and on into the winter for our CSA members.  So get them while you can eat 'em!

The Great Garlic Pull continues!  We have had an excellent and consistent crew out here so far, made up of our farmers, interns, CSA Work-Traders and folks that have also come out of the woodwork just to help.  We really appreciate it, and we are happy to see a truckload full of crates of garlic headed towards the barn at sunset almost every night.  We're really getting it done!  Like to help?  Contact Us to join the party!  We could use any extra hands!  We're out there every day pulling, clipping and curing, and you can learn a LOT about the garlic process, from start to finish.  The rewards are present and they are many!

We hope you are enjoying this lovely, calming pre-autumn weather.  Hopefully it's not too soon until the fall colors begin to emerge, and the leaves start dropping....I'm not quite ready for autumn this soon! 

We'll see you at market!


Recipes

Creamy Zucchini and Ricotta Spread (www.marthastewart.com)

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add zucchini, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender and golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature (or refrigerate, up to overnight; bring to room temperature before continuing). Add ricotta, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.


Spicy Vegan Potato Curry (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients  

  •  4 Potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

  • 4 teaspoons curry powder

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 (1inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

  • 1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained

  • 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk 

Directions

  1. Place potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, ginger, and salt; cook for 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, and potatoes. Pour in the coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.


Perfect French Fries Recipe (www.foodnetwork.com from Emeril Lagasse!)   (BAM!)

Ingredients
  • 4 large russet or kinnebec potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 by 1/4-inch thick batons  (*The Echollective equivalent: 8-10 Viletta Rose organic potatoes!)
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Rinse cut potatoes in a large bowl with lots of cold running water until water becomes clear. Cover with water by 1-inch and cover with ice. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.

In a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven fitted with a candy or deep-frying thermometer, (or in an electric deep fryer), heat oil over medium-low heat until the thermometer registers 325 degrees F. Make sure that you have at least 3 inches of space between the top of the oil and the top of the pan, as fries will bubble up when they are added.

Drain ice water from cut fries and wrap potato pieces in a clean dishcloth or tea towel and thoroughly pat dry. Increase the heat to medium-high and add fries, a handful at a time, to the hot oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and limp and begin to turn a blond color, about 6 to 8 minutes. Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, carefully remove fries from the oil and set aside to drain on paper towels. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.

When ready to serve the French fries, reheat the oil to 350 degrees F. Transfer the blanched potatoes to the hot oil and fry again, stirring frequently, until golden brown and puffed, about 1 minute. Transfer to paper lined platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.



Keftes De Prasa/Sephardic-Style Leek Fritters (www.seriouseats.com)
 
"Not much more than leeks, eggs, and breadcrumbs, they are deceptively delicious and addictive. Almost like latkes but with leeks instead of potatoes.  Like latkes, they are great fun at a celebration, but after sitting out for too long, they lose that perfect crispness that makes fried food really special. If you make them for a small group and serve them fresh from the pan, I guarantee your guests will be begging for a return invitation." -Micheal Natkin

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise, sliced thinly and washed in 3 changes of water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (for Passover, use matzo meal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or Aleppo pepper if you have it) (optional)
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying

Procedures

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over a medium-high flame. (You can use the same skillet to finish the fritters.) Add the leeks and salt and saute for about 5 minutes, until quite wilted.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sauteed leeks, salt, eggs, breadcrumbs and the Syrian spices if you are using them. Mix thoroughly. You should have a rather wet batter, not something that you could form into a ball, but with some body. If it is too thin, add a bit more breadcrumbs; or if it is too dry, add another beaten egg. If you are in doubt, fry a test fritter in step 3, then adjust.
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Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!  
 

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