ATHENS HILLS SUMMER CSA:
Wow, week ten--only the halfway point of the Summer CSA! That's great news for you, as you still have ten weeks of vegetables to look forward to. For us at the farm, it seems like we have been at it for longer than ten weeks with all of the planning and planting that goes on before the season officially begins.
While these cool nights remind us that fall is just around the corner, the never-ending "To Do" list brings us back to summer every morning. Last week Kip planted the East field with a mixture of Cowpeas and Rye as cover crops, and the West field will be getting the same later this week. We are also expecting to begin harvesting potatoes very soon---we can't wait to see what gets turned up!
The fall transplants of Swiss Chard, Collard Greens and Kale have all moved from the start house into the fields. The farm crew also directly seeded beds of Arugula, Spinach and Mustard Greens this week. And yet they still found the time and energy to tackle the monstrous task of weeding the sweet potato field!
This is the last week for our intern Becky Winstead to be working with us. We'll certainly miss her help in the field and packing room, and even more so her upbeat personality and readiness to laugh at any moment. (She is going to miss the fresh salad components that she enjoys nearly every day for lunch.) Fortunately, we have a new intern, Steve, arriving this week all the way from Washington. We can definitely use another body to get us through the late summer grind, and transition us to the new crops and tasks that await us in the fall.
Thanks so much for your support!
Rob (on behalf of Kip & Becky, Dan, John, Cale, Claudia, Penny, Eric, and our interns: Corey, Becky, & Julia)
Check out the previous newsletters (on our blog) for serving suggestions, storage advice, etc. for each of these vegetables.
Tomatoes: You're receiving a combination of our slicer and heirloom tomatoes this week. After a few weeks of relishing the fresh taste of raw tomatoes, maybe you're ready to cook with this batch?
Cherry Tomatoes: A mixture of the sweetest ‘Sungold’ and ‘Sweet 100’s. As tasty as they are versatile, we ‘re convinced they are absolutely the best summer candy!
Green Peppers: Crunchy and juicy, these green vessels are just waiting to hold your latest stuffing ideas – meat or veggie; you won’t be disappointed!
Summer Squash: Zucchini and Patty pans coming your way this week. Try stuffing them with the other veggies, cheese, breadcrumbs, etc.
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers: These summer beauties come in shades of orange, yellow, red and every hue in between. A true hot pepper, though not the hottest. If you want less heat, remove the seeds. (warning: Use rubber gloves when processing the hot peppers. Don’t touch your eyes after using them.)
Beets: For easy peeling, just boil whole root, minus the leaves, for about 10 minutes, drain, rinse and rub the peel right off.
Green Beans: If you want to freeze beans, don’t forget to blanch them first and allow to cool before placing in a freezer bag—they don’t freeze well if you don’t cook them just a little first.
Basil: Try it in marinades, pasta sauces and with your morning eggs. Always add just before serving, so the flavor doesn't get cooked out.
The two Tomato Soup recipes below come from Helen Nearing's Simple Food for the Good Life. It is an interesting "cookbook" to say the least. She rarely gives details on what temperature to cook or bake dishes, and believes that food should be prepared in as simple a form as possible. Responding to the adage that there are good cooks and there are people who wish they were good cooks, Helen writes "I hold there is a third category: those who are not good cooks and who couldn't care less." We hope you embrace this spirit and feel free to experiment with the delicious, fresh ingredients you receive in your share.
2-3 Tablespoons butter or oil
2 onions, chopped
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
2 quarts water
1 bay leaf
½ cup chopped green pepper
pinch of salt
Heat the butter/oil in a large skillet, and saute the onions until soft. Add tomatoes and continue cooking.
Meanwhile, boil the water in a large kettle. Add the tomato mixture, along with the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf just before serving.
Raw Tomato Soup
6 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 green onion, chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
fresh basil leaves to taste
chopped chives or parsley
Blend all ingredients, half at a time, in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve chilled. Garnish with chopped chives or parsley.
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 large or 4 small zucchini or summer squash,
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese (1 cup or more, to taste)
1)Preheat broiler. Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet or pan with an ovenproof handle. Add garlic and sauté over medium-low heat for several minutes, but don't let garlic brown.
2) Place zucchini halves facedown in garlic butter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until zucchini are just slightly tender when poked gently with a fork.
3) Turn zucchini over and sprinkle generously with cheese. (Don't worry if cheese spills into the pan. It will melt into a delicious crust.) Cook for just a minute or 2 more, then transfer skillet to broiler. Broil for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve hot.
Grilled Tomatoes Marinated
In Basil Vinaigrette
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
3 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tomatoes halved horizontally
oil for greasing the pan
1. Preheat broiler or grill
2. Combine olive oil, vinegar, basil, bay leaves, garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Stir until well combined.
3. Place tomato halves cut-sides down directly on greased broiler pan or grill rack. Broil until they start to char and blister (or shrivel and show good grill marks if on the grill), about 4 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula and spoon, carefully turn tomatoes over and broil or grill 2 minutes more.
5. Remove cooked tomatoes from heat and place cut-sides up in the dish with oil and vinegar mixture. Spoon some of the mixture over tomatoes. Set aside to marinate at least 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, 2006