This week has really been hot! It makes the day seem so much longer, but we are managing to keep up with the harvesting. Now that the garden is larger with more CSA subscribers and wholesale accounts we have to harvest every day. If we don’t, the veggies get too big and the plants can stop producing. Even with our best efforts we miss some, especially those zucchinis, so you will find that some of the veggies in your share are not always perfect. I am sure you have heard that old saying that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, well I see perfection in every plant and the fruit that it produces. The nutritional value of your veggies has nothing to do with its appearance. I just read an article in a health magazine that stated the veggies that have been eaten on by bugs are more nutritious because the plant puts out more anti-oxidants to fight off the pests! So eat those “not so perfect” veggies!
More lettuce, spinach, radish, carrots, beets and greens were seeded this week, hoping for fall and early winter crops. I haven’t a sense of what the weather is going to do this fall, but I am hoping for a beautiful Indian Summer.
The cucumbers are going crazy and need to be preserved for the winter. I encourage you to try your hand at putting up some pickles this year. They are so easy to do and once you have tasted you own, you will never buy store bought again. I have lots of recipes for both refrigerator dills, refrigerator bread and butter pickles and canned dills. You can purchase a canners share (12-13#) for $25. You need to pre-order, but right now I have plenty. I also have dill. I saw a great idea for using those chard stems, too! Cut them in lengths to fit a canning jar and pickle them! Great on an appetizer plate and they look so pretty in the jar!
I finally have a few tomatoes for you this week. It is a little disappointing to say the least. This is the first year in forever that I have not had oodles of tomatoes. I always preserve allot of tomatoes, but I don’t know if there will be enough to do much this year.
Thank you again Lindsey for coming to help harvest beans today! An extra hand in the garden is always appreciated.
Besides the tomatoes, this weeks share will include a big head of cabbage, Swiss chard, red bunching onions, beets, green beans, cucumbers, yellow and green zucchini, patty pan squash and, of course some herbs.
Chard Stalk Hummus is a traditional Lebanese dish that resembles baba ghanoush in flavor and texture. It uses chard stalks in place of the chickpeas to make a rustic dip for raw veggies and pita. You can use any color of chard stalk. Each will add its own tint to the dip.
Makes 1 cup
2 cups chopped chard stalks
2 garlic cloves
¼ c tahini
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Swirl of extra virgin olive oil
Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the chard stalks and boil for 5-10 minutes depending and how thick they are, until they are very soft.
Drain well squeezing out any excess water, and add the stalks to a food processor, along with the garlic, tahini, salt and lemon juice. Pulse continuously until the dip is slightly chunky and still has some bite to it, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Serve with a generous swirl of oil on top and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.
Fresh green beans cut in half, tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, seasonings and aged balsamic vinegar then quick roasted in the oven til tender, slightly caramelized and crispy around the edges.
3/4 lb. of green beans, ends trimmed
2-3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt, to taste (I recommend Pink Himalayan, Celtic)
Homemade lemon pepper seasoning (or cracked black pepper), to taste
Granulated garlic, to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2-3 teaspoons of good quality, aged balsamic vinegar
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash, dry and trim the ends off the green beans. Line a large baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the green beans in a pile in the middle. Pour the olive oil over the beans and mix them around so they’re evenly coated. Season to taste with the salt, lemon pepper (or cracked black pepper), granulated garlic and crushed red pepper. Spread the beans out across the pan giving as much space between the individual beans as possible. Shake or measure out the balsamic vinegar over the beans. Bake for 10 minutes, stir the beans and then bake for another 5-10 minutes. If you like your beans more crisp tender, you’ll probably want to pull them out after 15 minutes. I cooked mine for 20 so they would carmelize more.
Notes & Tips
If you prefer fresh ingredients, toss in sliced onion and diced garlic with the beans.
I hope you are enjoying your CSA share. I always welcome your input and suggestions, so please don’t be shy about offering them. If you have any favorite recipes that you would like to share with the CSA members, please send them to me and I will include them in my newsletter.
See you soon, and don’t forget to call if you are not coming to pick up your share.
Hi everyone! What a storm we had here last evening! I had every intention of posting this blog last night, but I was outside buttoning down the greenhouse and shop and bringing things in that would blow away. I just now came in from harvesting for your CSA box. It is now almost 4 o’clock and I will be seeing you all soon. So, apologies for getting this out late. This is my life at Kate’s Garden. The garden is a stern mistress. I abide by her schedule….not mine.
It’s definitely not going to be a night shade year. The tomatoes are half the height and fullness that they were last year. Same for the peppers. The eggplants are not even flowering yet. Other growers are having the same problems, so I know it is not just me. Thankfully, the cucumbers and zucchini are doing well. I harvested over 50# of cucs over the last two days. If any of you are wanting to make fresh refrigerator pickles or dills, let me know. I can set some aside for you so that they will be harvested the day before you need them. I also have fresh dill and garlic. You will need to pre-order so that I can plan the harvest. I also have Italian basil that can be made into pesto and put into your freezer to use during the winter. Let me know if you need any. I can supply you with recipes, too. With all of the weather challenges going on all over the country, I have a feeling that the availability of many fruits and vegetable will be much less in the supermarket winter and the prices will be much higher. I encourage you to do a little canning, freezing and dehydrating with some of your CSA share. It’s a great way to reduce your trips to the grocery store and will certainly save you money. You will be eating healthy, organic food, too!
A zesty one-pot shrimp and pasta dish is complete after tossing with capers, basil, olive oil, and lemon juice. Serve with focaccia or crusty baguette.
3 quarts water
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups baby spinach
Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done and pasta is al dente. Drain. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Stir in basil and next 4 ingredients (through salt). Place 1/2 cup spinach on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture.
Serving Size: 3 Cups
…and here is a great, easy kale salad recipe. The lacinato kale you received in your share today is great, however, you can use any type of kale.
Overnight Kale Salad
3 tbsp champagne or other white wine vinegar
2 tbsp finely minced shallot
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 bunches dinosaur or curly kale (about 1 lb), center ribs and stems removed, leaves sliced into thin ribbons
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1. Whisk together vinegar, shallot, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
2. Toss kale in dressing to coat evenly. (The dressing will seem light, but the kale will wilt down to half its volume.)
3. Transfer kale to a lidded container and refrigerate overnight. To serve, divide kale among plates and top with pomegranate seeds, grated cheese, and pine nuts.