Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Asian Cukes and Still No Rain!

Little storms have been coming through here and there, but miss us by only a hair.  It's not a drought yet, and not quite as brutal as last summer's dry spell...but somebody, come out here and give us a rain dance soon!  For those of you out there with their lives not focused on farming (which is probably most of you), you're probably thinking "what's the big deal?  It's summer!  You don't want it raining at the beach."  But for us, it's a whole lot of time saved on irrigating, which we are currently spending a considerable chunk of time doing.

But we've been succeeding well!  Here's what we got for you this week:

  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Candy Onions
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Collards
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Asian Cucumbers
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Patty Pan Summer Squash
  • Gala Apples

Whew, that must be the biggest list of produce we've procured for you CSA'ers so far this season!   Doing a good job of pulling in the harvest in spite of this late dry heat, right?  The temperature drops back down to pleasant, dewy, cool levels have provided ourselves and the plants much relief; nights when there is a full moon, the reflected light still encourages plant and fruit growth, while the daytime rays encourage the ripeness of fruits like tomatoes and peppers!  Our fields of nightshades are still lush and green, peppered through with reds and yellows (and purples if you count the eggplants and Cherokee purples!)

This week you will be receiving apples again, which we have found out are the gala apple variety!  Galas were once voted the second-most favorite apple in the U.S., and are typically small in size and have a tendency towards bruise-resistance, as well as earlier dropping than other apples.

Official as our cooking green this week are kale and collards, both of which you have received before.  Particularly, you will be receiving our Red Russian variety, the kind of kale you might have already gotten in your box or as a selection at the CSA market table.  It is the big flat kind, with light purple veins, somewhat hand-shaped  or "oak-leaved" you could say.  Red Russian is unique not only because of it's appearance but also due to it's evident tenderness, which makes it an advisable addition to salads or even sandwiches!  (I much enjoy the latter).  Did you know....that kale and collards are the same species of plant?

Along with yet another plentiful heaping of tomatoes on your plate this week, our most peculiar yet tasty item are Asian Cucumbers!  To be truthful, these wiry cucumbers can be intimidating looking.  You wouldn't want to run into them in a dark alley, and when stumbling upon them in the cucumber patch, if you let your imagination run wild you could be facing off with some crazy, alien-looking viper from Mars slithering through your garden.  Ok, they're just vegetables, and they're not that scary.  It's as if they're the punk-rockers of the squash world; they refuse to grow straight but instead twist in windy, almost cork-screw fashions that defy your cucumber expectations.  They just don't conform.  They are completely covered in little spines, that fall out as they plump up to ripeness.  And they really like to listen to the Dead Kennedys.  But don't be intimidated....we'll be including recipes for this actually quite versatile, delicate-tasting vegetable!   Don't judge a cuke by it's cover.

With that said, we think you'll have a lot to look forward to at mealtimes this week!  See you at market!


Recipes

Asian Cucumber-Zucchini Salad (www.bettycrocker.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed
  • 1 medium seedless cucumber
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
 Directions
  • Spread sesame seed in 8-inch skillet; cook and stir over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove seed from skillet; set aside.
  • Quarter cucumber and zucchini lengthwise; cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  • In small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar and sugar; mix well. Add cucumbers and zucchini; toss gently until well coated. Sprinkle with sesame seed.

Expert Tips

If you don’t have rice vinegar, distilled white vinegar can be used instead. Enjoy this recipe using all cucumber or all zucchini instead of the combination.
This light Asian salad tastes great served with julienne carrots and sliced roast beef.



Red Russian Kale and Onion Savory Breakfast Squares (www.yummly.com)

Ingredients
  • 1 bunch red russian kale (chopped, or use any other variety of kale)
  • 1/2  onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced, 1/2 tsp. teaspoon minced garlic)
  • olive oil (1/2 tsp.)
  • tamari (1 tsp., or other soy sauce)
  • 1 low-fat cheese (c grated cheese, i used a blend of, called pizza cheese which has mozzarella, provolone, romano, and parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (100%, optional; i've made this successfully without the bread crumbs)
  • 6 eggs (beaten well)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and Spike seasoning. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray pen with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. (I was cooking it in my Oster Toaster Oven, and used a pan that's 11.5 X 7.5 inches.) Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa. - See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/08/red-russian-kale-and-red-onion-savory.html#sthash.I3fDCK0e.dpuf

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well.  (I used a salad spinner.)  Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square.  Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and sautee 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sautee about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and season as desired.  Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed.  Spray pan with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture.  Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned.  Serve hot.  This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa.

 

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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!

What You'll Need: 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 1 large (1-1/2 pound) eggplant, chopped 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 or 3 dashes hot pepper sauce What To Do: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the eggplant, onion, garlic powder, and salt; saute for about 5 minutes, until the eggplant begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 30 more minutes, until the vegetables are cooked well and begin to get mushy. Serve warm, or let cool then store covered in the refrigerator for a few days before serving (see Notes). Notes If your eggplant is bitter, you may want to add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar while it's cooking. And I like to make this in advance, since that allows the flavors to blend well and the taste to become really rich.
Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Appetizers/Spicy-Caponata#wKxUlWoOTwPKJ7cA.9
What You'll Need: 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 1 large (1-1/2 pound) eggplant, chopped 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 or 3 dashes hot pepper sauce What To Do: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the eggplant, onion, garlic powder, and salt; saute for about 5 minutes, until the eggplant begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 30 more minutes, until the vegetables are cooked well and begin to get mushy. Serve warm, or let cool then store covered in the refrigerator for a few days before serving (see Notes). Notes If your eggplant is bitter, you may want to add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar while it's cooking. And I like to make this in advance, since that allows the flavors to blend well and the taste to become really rich.
Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Appetizers/Spicy-Caponata#wKxUlWoOTwPKJ7cA.99
What You'll Need: 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 1 large (1-1/2 pound) eggplant, chopped 1 medium-sized onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 1/4 cup white vinegar 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 2 or 3 dashes hot pepper sauce What To Do: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the eggplant, onion, garlic powder, and salt; saute for about 5 minutes, until the eggplant begins to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 30 more minutes, until the vegetables are cooked well and begin to get mushy. Serve warm, or let cool then store covered in the refrigerator for a few days before serving (see Notes). Notes If your eggplant is bitter, you may want to add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar while it's cooking. And I like to make this in advance, since that allows the flavors to blend well and the taste to become really rich.
Read more at http://www.mrfood.com/Appetizers/Spicy-Caponata#wKxUlWoOTwPKJ7cA.99
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and Spike seasoning. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray pen with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. (I was cooking it in my Oster Toaster Oven, and used a pan that's 11.5 X 7.5 inches.) Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa. - See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/08/red-russian-kale-and-red-onion-savory.html#sthash.I3fDCK0e.dpu
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and Spike seasoning. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray pen with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. (I was cooking it in my Oster Toaster Oven, and used a pan that's 11.5 X 7.5 inches.) Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa. - See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/08/red-russian-kale-and-red-onion-savory.html#sthash.I3fDCK0e.dpuf
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and Spike seasoning. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray pen with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. (I was cooking it in my Oster Toaster Oven, and used a pan that's 11.5 X 7.5 inches.) Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa. - See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/08/red-russian-kale-and-red-onion-savory.html#sthash.I3fDCK0e.dpuf
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut off kale stems and discard, then wash kale leaves and dry well. (I used a salad spinner.) Pile kale leaves up on top of each other and cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide, then turn cutting board the other way and cut again so you have squares just under an inch square. Chop onion into pieces about 1/2 inch.

Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 2 more minutes, then add kale, turning over as it wilts and sauteeing about 5 minutes, or until kale is significantly wilted and softened.

Put sauteed vegetables into large bowl and add Tamari, cheese, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, and Spike seasoning. Stir gently until ingredients are well distributed. Spray pen with olive oil or nonstick spray and pour in egg mixture. (I was cooking it in my Oster Toaster Oven, and used a pan that's 11.5 X 7.5 inches.) Bake 20-25 minutes until eggs are well set and the top is lightly browned. Serve hot. This is good with low-fat sour cream or salsa. - See more at: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2008/08/red-russian-kale-and-red-onion-savory.html#sthash.I3fDCK0e.dpuf

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