Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BPF CSA Week 10: grateful for the rain, but what's with the 50-degree temps?

In Your Share This Week:

Basil! it's pesto time! See recipe below.
Garlic- still relatively fresh (not cured)-- will keep best in fridge.
Scallions OR Sweet Onions- YES you can use the whole scallion, white, green, all of it. Slice on the diagonal for extra elegance.
Cherry Tomatoes- starting to come in earnest, though they want more HEAT! Same for big slicers-- there are tons of green fruit on the plants. I predict next week's heat wave will push them over the edge, and we'll be awash in tomatoes soon.
Kale- "No one can imagine a CSA without kale" -David Hambleton, farmer at Sisters Hill Farm, Stanfordville, NY (and who would question this guy?) And btw, have you tried massaged kale?
Lettuce heads- romaine,  Batavian, red leaf, or butterhead-- these cool weather-loving beauties are happy for the temporary respite from heat (they may be the only ones, though)
Summer Squash and/or Zucchini- yes they are interchangeable; they are just all different shapes and colors
Cucumbers-Either Marketmore or Ministro (classic dark green slicing cukes) or Diva (super smooth, light green skin, can grow apparently huge without a hint of bitterness- one of my faves). See below for Sweet and Sour Cucumbers with Fresh Dill, esp if you still have dill left over from last week!
Fennel- a lovely licorice-ish flavored member of the Umbel family (related to celery, parsley, carrot, etc), fennel lends a sweet anise flavor to any dish. Use the bulb and stems cooked or fresh (see below for salad recipe); use fronds chopped in salad dressing or as a bed for fish (or anything!) on the grill

Three Recipes

1. Zee Besto Pesto that I've found: 
2 cups basil- leaves AND tender stems, but not woody/fibrous stems
1/2 c. toasted pine nuts and/or walnuts and/or sunflower seeds
2-3 fat cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional; can be added at serving time)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil- the more pungent the better
2 Tbsp lemon juice
generous pinch salt and pepper

Buzz everything in the food processor or blender til as smooth or chunky as you like. Freeze for months if you like, or refrigerate for a week or so. But really, how can you resist eating it all right now? Yes, with a spoon. Or your finger :)

2. Sweet-and-Sour Cucumbers with Fresh Dill compliments of farm member Dave Borton

2-3 cucumbers (1 1/2 pounds total), partially peeled, seeded and very thinly sliced
1-2 smaller Zucchini, similarly prepared to the cucumbers
2-3 small to mid-sized onions, sliced similar to above
10-12 or so grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Place vegetable pieces/slices in colander. Sprinkle 
with salt; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring 
Meanwhile, for dressing, stir vinegar, dill, sugar, and 
pepper in large bowl until sugar is dissolved. 
Drain vegetables well; pat dry. Add cucumbers to 
dressing and stir to blend. Refrigerate at least 15 
minutes and up to 2 hours; serve cold.

3. Fennel-Orange Salad  MF note: There are lots of variations on this classic combo. I like to make a version of this salad with thick shaved parmesan or asiago cheese, a little thinly sliced sweet onion, and/or a handful of arugula tossed in. The point is sweet orange, pungent-sweet fennel, and piquant onion and dressing. The cheese and/or arugula just up the ante with saltiness and nutty-bitterness. See what your palate and family prefer!

compliments of Martha: http://www.marthastewart.com/342465/fennel-and-orange-salad
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 5 navel oranges
  • 3 to 4 fennel bulbs (about 2 pounds total), ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced, crosswise, plus 1/4 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of each orange. Following the curve of the fruit, cut away the peel and white pith. Halve orange from top to bottom; thinly slice crosswise. Transfer oranges, along with any juices that have accumulated on work surface, to bowl with dressing. Add fennel and, if desired, fronds. Toss to combine

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