30 Sep

Garden News – September 30, 2015

The weather these last few days has been absolutely incredible, hasn’t it?  Such a difference from the 90 degrees we had last week.  I know this will be coming to a screaming halt within the next couple of weeks, as fall is here.  Did you get to watch the eclipse/blood moon on Sunday?  The clouds parted just in time for me to see the full eclipse.  It was beautiful and so very powerful.

Last week I was fortunate enough be invited to attend the 100 mile dinner at “Ten” in the Northern Hotel.  Tim, the executive chef, featured veggies grown here at Kate’s Garden, as well as beef from White Deer Ranch out of Fishtail, buffalo from Ted Turner’s ranch out of Livingston, coffee from Rock Creek Coffee Roasters, and a different beer was featured at each course (all 7 of them) from Uberbrew.  The food was over the top and as we all sat at long tables there was much lively conversation going on.  Such fun, and I was certainly honored and delighted to be included.  Tim is really wanting to work with local producers, so I hope the community supports him in his endeavors.

The nights have been quite chilly, which is prompting the tomatoes to ripen at an unbelievable pace.  I have so many that I am over-run!  There will be help yourself boxes full of gorgeous heirlooms, cherries and saladettes for you to take.  The summer squash are done, but the cucumbers are still producing.  Take advantage of the bounty, as when the season is over, you will have to purchase at the grocers again, and  the quality, flavor and prices will not be the same.

A word on the winter squash.  Winter squash need a light frost to gain sweetness in it’s flavor.  I do not harvest my squash until after we have that frost.  There are certain other crops that do well in a colder environment, too.  Broccoli, Cauliflower, Beets, Radish, Carrots, Lettuce, Spinach and the other greens can take a frost….just not a hard freeze.  I an in a conundrum …I really don’t want it to frost, as it will kill everything else in the garden, but I think we are all a little tired of tomatoes and cucumbers, right?  But the peppers and eggplants are just needing more heat and time to get bigger fruit and ripen and the winter squash need a frost!  What to do???  I guess I will just have to let Mother Nature take care of it for me.  Whatever happens, I am not in control.

There are only  two more share days after this week.  Because the majority of you are half shares, we would need to run an extra week for those half share subscribers, but we will have to see what the weather is like that final week.  I may have to have all of you, (both the full shares and the half shares) come on October 15th.  I will let you  all know how it will work out.

This weeks share will include the last of the radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, braising greens, beets, swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes.  I am including these tomato recipes so that you have some ideas for using them up.  The soup freezes well.

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Tart


Yield: 2 tarts sliced into 8 pieces

Serving Size: 2 slices

A gorgeous side or appetizer for any meal. Heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella and flaky puff pastry all drizzled with balsamic reduction.

Ingredients

1 package frozen puff pastry dough, defrosted and rolled out, then cut in 2.
Heirloom tomatoes
Marinated Mozzarella
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar

Instructions

In a small sauce pan over medium high heat cook the balsamic vinegar until reduced by 1/2, about 3-5 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to thicken.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice (not going all the way through the dough!) a border about 1/4-1/2″ around the dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and lightly press down the middle to make it flat and even. Sprinkle with a little of the olive oil marinade from the mozzarella, mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

Simple Roast Tomato Soup

This one has big tomato flavor with smoky notes and hints of fragrant herbs. It’s exactly what you want to be eating as the first leaves of fall flutter by.

4 large tomatoes, halved
1 yellow onion, quartered
5 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (I am partial to white peppercorns)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, or you can also use chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Scoop the seeds out of the halved tomatoes with your finger. Tuck the garlic into the tomatoes, and lay them, and the onions, out on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and turn everything to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 30 – 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are bubbly and the edges are brown.
Combine the broth, roasted tomatoes and onions in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the herbs. Puree with an immersion blender or regular blender so that you maintain some of the texture. Add the balsamic, check salt and acid levels, and serve with an herb garnish and a piece of toast slathered with goat cheese.

Tomato Chips
Ingredients

Tomatoes (Can use others)
Kosher or Sea Salt
Dried Basil

Instructions

  1. Cut tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange on dehydrator trays.
  2. Sprinkle very lightly with salt and basil.
  3. Dry on vegetable setting for 8-12 hours, or until crispy.

Cauliflower & Broccoli Salad

Ingredients

1 head of broccoli cut into small florets
1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
1 small red onion finely diced
1 cup of dried raisins
1 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of real bacon bits

Dressing

1 cup of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salad.
Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and poor over the salad.
Toss until blended.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

~~~This is a gentle reminder to please let me know if you are not going to be able to pick up your share.  Just call me and if I do not answer the phone, leave a message.  There is hardly a week that goes by that I do not have shares that have not been picked up.  I understand that sometimes things happen, but I can always leave your box out in front if you are going to be late, and if I know ahead of time,  I can leave it in the front on Friday morning.  Otherwise I have to find new homes for the shares.  Thank you for your consideration.

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