CSA Newsletter Week #6, June 29th

Farm Notes

We have had some great weather this week. Perfect for weeding, harvesting (garlic!) and prepping beds for direct seeding and transplanting fall crops. Everything is coming along nicely and the summer staples are about to really kick in. Be prepared for lots more summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes coming your way in the next few weeks!

Garlic harvest! Coming soon to your CSA shares…

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Farm Stand

The CSA Farm Stand (which is for purchasing “extras”) will be set up at both the campus (from 4-6pm) and farm (from 3:30-6:30pm) locations. Items available will be on a first come, first served basis. For the campus location, we will be set up a little differently this year. The Farm Stand will be located all the way to the right of the pick-up line with it’s own tent and table. So please do not go through the regular pick-up line to buy a la carte. At the farm, the Farm Stand table will also be set up separately from the regular pick-up line. We accept cash or check only please.

Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Summer Squash
+ Cucumbers
+ Green Cabbage
+ Green Onions
+ Banana Peppers
+ Broccoli
+ Kale
+ Tomatoes
+ Basil

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Yellow Squash
+ Zucchini
+ Cucumbers
+ Green Cabbage
+ Green Onions
+ Banana Pepper
+ Broccoli
+ Cauliflower
+ Eggplant (Campus only since Farm got it last week)
+ Kale
+ Basil

The buckwheat is doing its thing…attracting pollinators!

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You-Pick

The You-Pick field is now open! Before you start picking, here are a couple of ground rules:
+ We ask that you bring your own scissors or pruners and your own bag/box/bin.
+ You-Pick is open whenever the farm is open which is Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4pm, with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open until 6:30pm.
+ Please park in the parking lot. We ask that you do not drive your vehicle on the grass in the fields.
+ There will be signs that say “you-pick”. Please only pick from the beds that have signs. This year’s field is the very first field on the north side (fields closest to the parking lot). If you have questions about anything or where the field is, please find a staff person and we will gladly help you!

Items available for you-pick:
+ Kale
The field with the kale in it is the 5th field on the south side (the row of fields closest to the fence and Waveland Rd.) The beds you can pick kale from will be marked with a wooden “You-Pick” sign. This is the last week for you-pick kale!
+ Flowers: There are several flowers blooming, but please be mindful of the plants as they are still growing and if they get cut too short, they won’t grow back again.
+ Herbs: As with the flowers, there are herbs out there, but again, be mindful that you do not cut whole plants down as they are still growing.
+ Hot Peppers: There are lots of hot peppers!
+ Okra

We will have signs posted, but please ask a farm staff member if you have any questions at all. FYI, the peas are done for the year and are no longer on you-pick.

Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ Summer squash is stored best in plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the fridge for about a week. See the preservation section below for some tips on freezing and saving summer squash.
+  Store unwashed greens (kale) in moist paper towels and place in sealed plastic bags in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep about three to four days.
+  Don’t be overwhelmed with your cabbage! Green Cabbage will last for several weeks in the fridge. Store in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic and put in the fridge.
+ Cucumbers can either be stored in a cool spot (55F) in the kitchen or in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator.
+ Green Onions can be kept wrapped in a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. But check out this blog post for 3 more ways to help your green onions last longer!
+ Peppers (banana peppers included) will last about 1 week in the refrigerator. They will keep even better if kept dry.
+ Broccoli is best stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for just a few days. The longer it is kept, the lower the vitamin content.
+ Eggplant does not like being cold. It is best to use them quickly, but if you need to store it, wrap in plastic and it will keep in the refrigerator for a couple days.
+ The Cauliflower may have a purple color to it which is due to the heat.  This was our first attempt at spring cauliflower and the hot temperatures resulted in heads that are less than beautiful, but they taste just fine. You can store your cauliflower in a plastic bag for up to a week in the refrigerator.
+ Basil leaves will deteriorate quickly once they get wet, so store unwashed at room temperature. They may last longer if ends are trimmed and placed in an inch of water in a mason jar.

Preservation

How to freeze summer squash:
Sliced: Choose young squash with tender skin. Wash, slice or cube; blanch* three minutes. Cool immediately in cold water, drain. To avoid big chunks of frozen squash, lay flat on a tray and freeze first. Then put into freezer containers and back into the freezer.

*Blanching is bringing water to a boil and slightly cooking the squash to stop the enzymes from breaking down cell walls. This prevents the squash from completely getting mushy when thawed, although it will be softer than fresh squash.

Mashed: Wash, slice and cook in a very small amount of water until just tender. Mash. Pour into a bowl, set in ice water to cool quickly. Package and freeze. Frozen summer squash works best in baked goods recipes.

Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:
If you don’t used your zucchinis in a baked good or preserve it for later, try it in a meatloaf! Additionally, if you aren’t going to use your kale for something like kale chips, you can simply roughly chop it and sauté in the skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper to go as a side with the zucchini meatloaf.

Zucchini Meatloaf
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground beef
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup milk
1 cup bread or cracker crumbs (or oats)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Pack into a loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 1 1/4 hours.

Friday:

If you still have beets leftover from the last couple of weeks, you can use them in this salad.

Broccoli Beet Salad
Submitted by Elizabeth Bishop
From Love Beets

Ingredients:
about half pound broccoli, stems cut in half
about 3 oz. mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
1 tbsp soy sauce
about half pound cooked beets, cut into wedges
Small bunch fresh chives, snipped (or green onions)

For the Dressing:
2 tbsp olive oil
Juice 1/2-1 lemon, to taste
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt

Directions
Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Season with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Set aside. Steam or boil the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until just tender but with a little bite. While the broccoli is cooking, toast the seeds by tipping them into a small frying pan. Add soy sauce and cook over medium heat, tossing regularly to coat all over, for about 3 minutes until the seeds are crisp and golden. Take care not to burn them or they will taste bitter. Arrange the cooked broccoli and beet wedges on your prettiest plate, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle the toasted seeds. Serve immediately.

Saturday:

If you liked the BBQ cabbage from the potluck last Saturday, have it again!

BBQ Cabbage
As Chef Bob Perry’s recipe is for an extremely large quantity, here is a recipe that is similar but makes about 2 1/2 cups of sauce.

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses (sorghum)
1/3 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until sauce thickens and flavors blend, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill.)

Directions for BBQ Cabbage:
Quarter and chop the cabbage after peeling off outer layers. In a large skillet, cook cabbage in some oil. Add barbecue sauce and cook down until soft and tender.

Sunday:

If you haven’t already eaten your cucumbers fresh in salads or for snacking, gyros are a great way to enjoy them.

Homemade Gyros
Recipe from Culinary Hill

Ingredients:
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided
1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6-6 inch pita breads
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 lb. lean (90/10) ground beef (or lamb)
1 tbsp. olive oil
optional garnishes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onion and feta cheese

Directions:
Combine yogurt, cucumber, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, dill, 1 garlic clove and 1/2 tsp. salt in a small bowl to make the dill sauce. Chill at least 30 minutes to blend flavors. Preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top quarter of each pita and tear these into pieces and set aside. Wrap pitas in a stack in foil. Place the pitas wrapped in foil in the oven and heat for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine torn pita pieces, onion, remaining 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, oregano and remaining garlic in a food processor. Process until a smooth paste forms, about 30 sections. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beef to the paste and mix until thoroughly combined with hands or a spatula. Turn beef mixture out onto a cutting board. Form into a uniform loaf and cut into 12 sections. Roll each section into a ball and flatten into a patty about 1/2″ thick. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until well browned and a dark crust forms on one side, 3-4 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side is also well-browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve with warmed pitas, dill sauce and optional toppings if desired such as shredded lettuce, sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced sweet onion, Kalamata olives or feta cheese.

Monday:

This is a super quick and easy meal to make, and it is delicious! It is also easy to adjust depending on how many people you are feeding.

Dragon Noodles
Recipe from BudgetBytes

Ingredients:
4 oz. lo mein noodles
2 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 large egg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sriracha (rooster sauce)
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 sliced green onion

Directions:
Begin to boil water for the noodles. Once the water reaches a full boil, add the noodles and cook according to the package directions (boil for 5-7 minutes).
While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha.
In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the red pepper to the butter as it melts. Whisk an egg in a bowl and then add to the melted butter. Stir gently and cook through. Once the egg is done cooking, turn off the heat.
When the noodles are tender, drain the water and then add them to the skillet with the cooked egg. Also add the prepared sauce. Turn the heat on to low to evaporate excess moisture, and stir until everything is coated well with the sauce. Sprinkle the sliced green onions and cilantro leaves (whole) on top and serve!

Tuesday:

Happy 4th of July! If you are already grilling burgers, hotdogs or steaks, why not try this grilled cauliflower steak recipe?

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks and Tahini Sauce

From each head of cauliflower, you can cut two thick ‘steaks,’ slicing from top to bottom near the center to yield a pair of slices each held together by the core. This might seem wasteful if it weren’t for the many uses for the remaining florets. The resulting ‘steaks’ seared on the grill, make a head-turning presentation with a creamy tahini sauce. Use any leftover sauce on grilled vegetables, fish or roasted beets.

Ingredients:
Tahini Sauce —
1/4 cup tahini, stirred well to blend
1/4 cup water
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs minced fresh cilantro
Kosher or sea salt

2 medium cauliflowers
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:
1. Prepare a moderate charcoal fire for indirect grilling or preheat a gas grill to medium, leaving one burner unlit.

2. To make the tahini sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, 1/4 cup water, and 2 Tbsp lemon juice until smooth. Whisk in the garlic, cilantro, and salt to taste. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice, if desired.

3. Trim each cauliflower, removing any leaves and cutting the stem flush with the base. Set a cauliflower, cut side down, on a cutting board. With a chef’s knife, cut 2 steaks, each about ¾ inch thick, from the center of the cauliflower, so that the core holds each slice together. Repeat with the second cauliflower. Reserve the remaining cauliflower for another use.

4. Put the 4 cauliflower steaks on a tray and brush one side with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the steaks over, brush the second side, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Place the steaks over indirect heat, cover the grill, and cook, turning once, until tender when pierced, about 15 minutes total. For the final minute or so of cooking, uncover the grill and move the cauliflower directly over the coals or flame to char it slightly.

6. Transfer the steaks to a platter and drizzle with the tahini sauce; you may not need it all. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot or warm.

Wednesday:

Leftovers…clean out the fridge for Thursday’s veggies!

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