September 10, 2013

CSA News for the Week of September 9th

Reminder: This week we are distributing vegetables and fruit. Next week we will be distributing vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy, meat and trout.
This Week's Vegetable Share:
  • Red Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Bok Choy
  • Sweet Italian Peppers
  • Spicy Poblano Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Beauty Heart Radishes
  • Garlic 
 This Week's Fruit Share:
  • Red Grapes
  • Italian Plums
  • Asian Pears
  • Nectarines

Thank You, CSA Members!
Thanks to all the members who visited the farm this weekend for the farm tour and tomato picking. It was great to see so many new faces in the group. We hope you enjoyed learning about the crops and getting to meet some of our critters. CSA member Maryanne Natarajan shared these photos from Saturday.

Picnic under the trees

Adults and kids had fun picking tomatoes.

Some kids even decided they wanted to dig potatoes, too!

The potato treasure hunt seemed to be a big hit!

In the Farm Kitchen: Tips for Making the Most of Your Share

Unlike European pear varieties, the flesh of Asian pears doesn't become soft after harvest. The texture of an Asian pear remains crisp and juicy when ripe, much like that of an apple. In fact, Asian pears are sometimes called "apple pears", both for there crisp texture and for their round shape. They will store for a couple of months in the refrigerator.

With their tart skins and sweet flesh, Stanley plums make a delicious snack when eaten fresh. They are also a wonderful late-summer fruit for use in baked goods such as cakes and tarts. In addition, they can be made into savory sauces and condiments such as pickled plums and plum sauce.

Beauty Heart Radishes, also known as Watermelon Radishes, are rather ugly in the outside but beautiful on the inside. They got their name because of the brilliant pink color of the interior. Beauty hearts are in a class of radishes called storage radishes. They are meant to grow to a much larger size than spring radishes. When stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator they will keep for months. I use beauty heart radishes much like traditional spring radishes. They can be peeled and grated or sliced for use on sandwiches, in salads and on crudité platters.

As far as hot peppers go, poblano peppers are somewhere in the middle of the heat index scale. They are not as hot as a jalapeno or a serrano. Roasting poblano peppers before using them improves their flavor and allows you to remove their waxy skin. Once you've roasted them you can put them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for months. Poblanos can be used in many different Mexican-inspired dishes from rice dishes to casseroles to the well-known chiles rellenos. To roast them you can either put them under the broil, use a skewer to hold them over an open flame on your stove top, or stick them in a very hot toaster oven. You should roast them until the skin starts to bubble and the bubbles start to blacken. Once this starts to happen, flip them over and do the same to the other side. Allow them to cool before pulling the skin off with your fingers. Finally, make a slit in each one and remove the seeds.

This Week's Featured Recipes

Arroz Verde with Poblano, Cilantro and Green Onions
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
3/4 cup chopped green onion 
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 cup long-grain white rice
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chiles and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cilantro, green onion and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender with 1/2 cup of the stock. Process on high speed until smooth.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until translucent, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the puree and cook, stirring, to evaporate most of the liquid, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining stock, stir and cover, and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer without stirring, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without stirring for 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with additional cilantro.

Avocado & Radish Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 large or 2 small beauty heart radishes, peeled and chopped fine
1 firm-ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

In a bowl whisk together lime juice, oil, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  In a medium bowl, combine cabbage and radishes and toss with dressing enough dressing to coat. Add avocado and toss gently. Garnish with additional cilantro.             
Stir-Fried Chicken with Bok Choy and Red Pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons light-brown sugar
1 lb sliced chicken breast meat
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
4 cups sliced bok choy (from 1 head)
1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips
Cooked rice, for serving
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons water. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with cornstarch until coated. In a large wok or skillet, heat oil, garlic, and ginger over medium-high until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken in a single layer, pressing against pan to sear. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bok choy and pepper and cook, stirring, until bok choy slightly wilts, about 1 minute. Add soy sauce mixture and cook until sauce thickens slightly, 2 minutes. Serve over rice.

Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... leeks, parsley, potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, yellow onions, tomatoes, peppers, baby turnips, honey crisp apples, pears and more!