Peak of the Season

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Greetings readers and CSA'ers!

As summer begins winding down to a close, the introduction of new summer veggies into our CSA cast and crew isn't over!  We are at the peak of the season, and the heat continues to ripen even fresher fruits off the vine:

  • Garlic
  • Onions (Alisa Craig variety)
  • Kale
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Zephyr Summer Squash
  • Patty Pan Summer Squash
  • Potatoes (Kennebecs)
  • Tomatoes
  • Leeks
  • Eggplants
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers

This week you will be receiving Alisa Craig yellow onions, a "Spanish-type" onion which is much like Candy except it is more elliptical in shape somewhat.....these are one of our "fresh" types of onions,  they are not "storage" types, the ones that you dry and hold onto for a while.  So eat them up quick!  Candies, though a bit more well-known, are the same way and are not meant for long-term storage, but taste great.  Alisa Craigs taste delicious too, though!  Soon we will be opening up to our CSA members our storage type onion varieties that we have on hand....it will only be a matter of time!

Patty Pans in action
We also have for you a new, unique, and somewhat strange-looking variety of summer squash that you may have encountered and taken for your share last week at the farmer's market: Patty Pan summer squash!  They are also called Sunburst squash, or Cajun French squash (although if I were to have named the variety, I would have called them "elf nipples").  Some say they look like flying saucers.  Picking the squash from the plant is interesting, as the plant releases an intriguing, appetizing variety of smells when you pull off the fruits, breaking the stem and releasing the juices....one of them was quite similar to a less-sweet banana.  We'll be including a recipe to accompany this interesting fruit!  (yes....squash are technically fruits.)

They look pretty devilish.

As part of your tomato share this week you will be reaping the harvest of our San Marzano Roma tomato crop!  And boy, do we have a lot of them!  San Marzanos are unique Romas in that they are somewhat longer than the average, with a more distinct point at their bottom tip.  Talk to any well-traveled, knowledgeable chef....San Marzanos are almost unanimously considered to be the best sauce or paste tomato in the world!  So, we will of course be including a catchy sauce recipe for you to enjoy!

And last but not least, we've got for you sweet peppers and hot peppers aplenty!  Our pepper, eggplant, and tomato field looks simply elegant this year, meticulously trellised and cared for by a limited handful of our farmers here at the Echollective: namely Randall, Louie, and Derek.  Biggest thanks for the beautiful peppers you'll receive is due to them!

We hope you enjoy the fresh produce this week, and we'll see you at market!


Recipes
  
Pretty-in-the-Pan Stuffed Patty Pan Squash (ohsheglows.com)

If you can find some Patty Pan Squash you will love this dish, perfect for the summer months! It is extremely flavourful, has a great texture, and is very light. You will not feel loaded down after eating this meal! I purposely made it tonight because I am going for a run later and didn’t want to be weighed down.

Inspired by Susan’s PP Squash Stuffed with Cajun White Beans.

Ingredients:
  • 10-11 Patty Pan Squash
  • 1 zucchini (sliced in half with one half scooped out)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large green onion stalk (or 1/2 sm. sweet onion will work)
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 2 cups (or a bit more if necessary) vegetable bouillon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, poked with a fork
  • 3 tbsp (approx) tomato paste
  • 1.5 tbsp Earth Balance (or margarine/butter of choice)
  • Pinch or two of sea salt
  • Freshly Ground black pepper
  • Dried or fresh parsley, to garnish
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to garnish

Directions: (Please don’t be intimidated by the long directions, I just wanted to be detailed! It was actually very easy and took under 45 minutes start to finish).
1) Take a medium sized pot and bring 2 cups of vegetable bouillon + sea salt + poked garlic cloves to a boil on high. Add 1 cup short grain brown rice and stir well, checking often. Add more bouillon if it gets too dry. After about 10 minutes reduce to medium heat. Cook for about 20-25 more minutes over medium heat. Check it often as it can burn easily. [By ‘infusing’ the garlic in the rice, I was able to add a bit of garlic flavour without actually having the raw garlic in the dish!].
2) While the rice is cooking, take a large pot and fill it with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place patty pan squash in the pot and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and allow to cool.
3) While the above is cooking, prepare the stuffing. yes, you are a multi-tasking goddess for this recipe! Take the carrot, 1/2 a zucchini (plus insides from other half), and green onion and process in a food processor until fine.
4) In a small bowl, mix the sauce for the rice. Take the earth balance in a small bowl and heat until soft. Now mix in the tomato paste until smooth.
5) When the rice is done cooking remove garlic cloves, add the tomato paste + Earth Balance mixture, and stir very well. Taste. Add salt and black pepper if necessary. This rice + tomato mixture BLEW MY MIND. It tasted so good!!! Addicting.
6) Take your cooled squash and chop off the heads and remove the insides carefully with a spoon. Take the flesh that you remove and add it to the processed mixture of carrots, onion, and zucchini.
7) Take the processed mixture (carrots, zucchini, onion + squash insides) and dump it into the rice pot. Stir well and taste for any adjustments you need to make.
8) Stuff the Patty Pan squash with your rice + veggie mixture. Take any remaining leftover rice mixture and scoop it onto the pan around the squash. Bake in the oven at 375F for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, serve and enjoy!
Serves about 3.
This rice + tomato paste + Earth Balance + sea salt + fresh ground pepper mixture will blow your taste buds away. It is SO good it hurts.


Organic Fresh San Marzano Tomato Sauce (www.blackgirlchefswhites.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds fresh San Marzano tomatoes, or other ripe summer tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil over over medium heat in a large, deep skillet or pot.
  2. Cook the onion 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, salt, basil, oregano, thyme and pepper. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is very fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes and wine, stirring to mix well.
  5. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and let cook for 50 minutes to one hour. Stir the sauce occasionally to make sure the sauce is not reducing too quickly.
  6. Pass the tomato sauce through a food mill, or puree in a food processor. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)
Makes 3 cups of tomato sauce.


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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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