ATHENS HILLS SUMMER CSA:
We need your boxes back! Here at the farm we’ve noticed that we haven’t had the rate of return on the share boxes as we had hoped, so I just wanted to gently remind all of you that we DO need to have the boxes back to make our endeavor to be more sustainable a success. We would love to reuse the boxes so if you could bring them with you on your next pick-up day that would be wonderful! If you would rather not deal with the hassle of hauling the boxes, feel free to bring your own bag to take your share home in instead of the box. We really appreciate your cooperation on this as Green Edge attempts to get greener!
WOW! We had a great Open Farm Day down here in the hills this past Sunday! The sun was shining, the air was cool, the food was fantastic, the goat was well-behaved, the music was lovely and the hayride was entertaining and informative! What more could one possibly ask for? All of us here at the farm really enjoyed visiting with those of you who could make it, and we hope you had a great time too. Thank you to all of you who joined us for the festivities, and for those of you that couldn’t be with us, we missed you.
I am almost beside myself with joy that we have our gorgeous heirloom tomatoes for you all this week. I returned to work from my trip late last week to find out that we had lost the carrots and much of the salad mix to rot. I was heartbroken. There are only a few things that could bring me out of such a funk, and one of them just happened to occur while I was gone as well—the tomatoes were ready! My palate and belly rejoiced with this news and I was quickly cheered up. I hope you all find as much joy in each tasty bite as I do! Happy eating this week!
ClaudiaP.S. We have included the names & pictures of our different tomato varieties in the post following (below) this newsletter -- be sure to check them out & see which ones you've received!
Micro Mix (a mix of sunflower, buckwheat, radish, cabbage and kogane (pac choi)).
Green Bell Peppers (These beauties are doing great this year! If you can enjoy them right away, think about slicing or chopping them, placing them in a Ziploc and storing them in your freezer for later.)
Eggplant (We grow an Asian variety that is long and slender—wonderful for slicing and sautéing with the summer squash, baking whole to use for baba ganoush, or chopping to add to your favorite slow-cooked tomato sauce.)
Garlic (I would certainly be lost in a kitchen without this staple! Since we are including it in your share so soon after harvesting, this green garlic has a tendency to rot since it hasn’t cured yet. To avoid such a catastrophe, store the heads in your fridge immediately. This way you can enjoy it for several weeks to come.)
Heirloom Tomatoes (A wonderful tasty selection from the many heirlooms that we’re growing this season. To appreciate them individually I would suggest trying a slice of each of them on their own. After that, go nuts using them in all of your favorite tomato recipes. They are truly the best tomatoes around!)
Sweet Basil (One of the true harbingers of summer and we are so happy to have it for you in this share, especially if it is your first. This is essential in your favorite pesto recipe.)
Summer Squash (Picker’s selection from our zucchini, yellow, sunburst or pattypan squashes.)
Beets (Sweet & tasty—enjoy them while you can.)
Recipe: Basil Lemon Syrup (Makes about 5 cups)
4 cups packed fresh basil sprigs (top 4 inches; from a ½ pound bunch)
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
9 (4- by 1-inch) strips lemon zest
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let stand at room temperature, covered, 1 hour, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until cold, about 1 hour. Strain syrup through a sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.
Cooks' note: Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 5 days.
Use this delicious syrup in fresh lemonade, iced tea, or other fun summertime beverages. It might also be tasty over some delicious vanilla or chocolate ice cream—experiment on your own and let us know what wonderful concoctions you come up with.
(Recipe courtesy of Gourmet, 2007 and epicurious.com)
Recipe: Eggplant Bruschette
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 garlic cloves, whole clove left unpeeled
1 small eggplant (1/2 lb) or equivalent of our eggplant (2-3)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon coarse gray sea salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut off and discard 1 end of baguette, then cut 12 (1/4-inch-thick) crosswise slices from baguette (reserve remainder for another use). Lightly brush 1 side of each slice with some oil (about 1 tablespoon total) and arrange, oiled sides up, on a baking sheet. Toast until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. While toasts are still warm, rub oiled sides with cut side of garlic clove half, then transfer to a rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Halve eggplant lengthwise and make shallow 1/2-inch-long incisions all over cut sides with tip of a paring knife. Arrange eggplant, cut sides up (without crowding), in a shallow baking dish and add unpeeled garlic clove. Sprinkle thyme, rosemary, oregano, sea salt, and pepper over eggplant, then drizzle eggplant and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil.
Bake until garlic is very tender, 30 to 35 minutes, then transfer garlic to a cutting board and continue to bake eggplant until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes more. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze flesh from peel onto cutting board.
Transfer eggplant to cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Scrape out flesh with a spoon onto cutting board, discarding peel. Finely chop eggplant and garlic together and transfer to a bowl. Add parsley and remaining tablespoon oil, then stir until combined well. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Top toasts with eggplant mixture and sprinkle with cheese.
• Toasts, without eggplant topping, can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Recrisp in a preheated 200°F oven 5 minutes.
• Eggplant mixture, without parsley, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, then stir in parsley.
(Recipe courtesy of Gourmet, 2006 and epicurious.com)