Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Summer CSA Saga Continues....

It's that part of every great, epic chapter-book story were the plot gets a little plodding.  Yep...it's the summer doldrums.

Not just at Echollective, but at organic farms all over the area.  We talked to our good farm friends over at Dirty Face Creek/Muddy Miss Farms (we like to endearingly call them Dirty Miss Muddy-Face Farm), and they say the heat and dryness is such that it is discouraging to any new life.  Peter Flynn and Shanti Sellz, the farm's operators, state that it is quite difficult to keep any young seedlings with their sights set on fall alive in this weather, since it is anything but the opposite of good for them.  At the end of summer, it is time to plant cool-weather crops, like greens, turnips, radishes.  But if the summer refuses to end, and keeps giving us these 100 degree days?  Then fall planting will have to wait.  Fall babies are much too susceptible to these extremes when they are just sprouts.  We here at Echollective have yet to plant anything, waiting patiently for cooler and wetter times to get our next round started.  In the meantime we toil to keep the parched land watered and baby the mature plants we still have alive, namely our kale, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and squashes.....which are continuously pulling in quite the harvest.

We still fancy the idea of Fall (and even Winter) CSA, and we are hard at work getting the farm prepared for season extension during these upcoming cold months to house and protect our vegetables.  So stay tuned....we're working on it!

In the meantime, enjoy these Summer tidbits before they fade:

  • Braising Greens Mix
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mixed Greens (Collards, Red Russian Kale, Lacinato Kale, or Chard)
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • Juliet Tomatoes
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Patty Pan Summer Squash
  • Apples

We still have more delicious tomatoes for you all, and this week we are giving you special in your shares our Juliet variety tomatoes.  Juliets are a mini-Roma, you could almost say they are a "Cherry Roma."  They are the Roma's star-crossed lover (Roma and Juliet; get it?).  Juliets are highly adored for a wide array of reasons: they are split-resistant (a common problem with cherry tomatoes, getting juice all over), rot/disease resistant, they produce vigorously, and they are an eclectic tomato you can use on or in almost anything.  You can snack on them plain, slice them up and put them in a salad, put them on your sandwich/burger, cook them up, and even take the extra step of canning a few or blending them into your favorite sauce!  Some have claimed that they are at their best roasted!  (Think shish-kebab style.)  Many state that they are perfect for a canning sauce just after being roasted, the unique flavors are simply to die for.  They are truly quite amazing, and we hope you enjoy experimenting with them this week!  Recipes will be included of course.

Stay cool, and we'll see you at market!


Recipes

Slow-Roasted Juliet Tomatoes (beyondtoast.blogspot.com)

  • 1 quarts Juliet (or Roma) tomatoes
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Wash the tomatoes, and cut in half lengthwise. Toss with the olive oil. Arrange cut side up on a cookie sheet. Mix together the salt, pepper, and coriander, and using your fingers to take a pinch at a time, sprinkle over the tomato halves. Roast for about six hours, until tomatoes are wrinkled and shrunken. Cool. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, they will keep for up to two weeks.


 

Honey-Glazed Patty Pan Squashes (www.marthastewart.com)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds small patty pan squashes, trimmed
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons mild honey, such as clover or tupelo
  • Freshly cracked green peppercorns

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add squashes, and stir to coat with oil. Season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until squashes are slightly browned and tender, about 7 minutes.
     
  2. Add 2 tablespoons honey, and toss to combine. Let cool slightly. Drizzle squash with remaining tablespoon honey, and season with salt and green peppercorns. Serve immediately.


  

Sweet Pepper Poppers (www.cookingchanneltv.com)

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, keeping the stem intact. Remove the ribs and seeds and discard, hollowing out each of the peppers. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and place in an 8- by 8-inch baking dish.

Whip the goat cheese and ricotta together until light and airy in a mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, about 2 minutes. Stir in the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Fill each pepper halfway with 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture and level off with a small offset spatula.

Place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Pour the butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Sprinkle each pepper with the buttered breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.



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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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