Hello wonderful CSAers!
The tomatoes are finally ripening!!! Thank goodness. The cold weather this week totally freaked me out, I was out in the hoop houses every morning looking to see if the tomatoes were ripening. They are, slowly but they are! You all missed it but there was some serious happy dancing happening here at the farm this morning. Also exciting news this week is that we have officially teamed up with a couple of other local farms for the rest of the season. So we will have a nice variety of produce for the rest of the season regardless of the weather. It’s good to have friends with hoop houses!
Also in this weeks bag you will find yellow and white kernel sweet corn, green ancho magnifico peppers, sweet red bell peppers, golden yellow zucchini, cucumbers, purple top Milan turnips and a variety of heirloom tomatoes. The big ones are beefeaters and the smaller ones are a mix of striped roman, purple smudge, chocolate cherry, violet jasper, weissenbart white, tomato berry…
I hope you are all as excited about the tomatoes as I am. Have a great week!
Last summer I was reading an interesting book by Australian author Sarah Kate Lynch, Eating With The Angels. In that book she casually mentions a dish with fresh tomatoes, avocado and fresh mozzarella. Aby and I tested it out and it is maybe the best thing ever. Here is what you need:
Tomato, Avocado and Mozzarella Bruchetta
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Good Artisan Bread
Slice the bread and toast it.
Drizzle the toast with a good olive oil.
Dice tomatoes, avocado, mozzarella and stir together in a bowl.
Sprinkle with basil and mix again.
Spoon tomato mixture onto toast.
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Yellow Squash Ribbons with Red Onion and Parmesan
This super easy side can also be made with zucchini or a colorful combination of zucchini and yellow squash.
4 medium yellow squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese
Using a vegetable peeler, shave squash into ribbons to measure 5 cups. Discard seeds and core of squash.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash, onion, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender, gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add salt, red pepper, and black pepper, and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.
Orzo with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese
For a make-ahead meal, cook the orzo, then toss with the rest of the ingredients in a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake at 375º for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
1 (16-ounce) package orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 diced tomatoes
1 roasted red bell pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
Cook the pasta in a Dutch oven according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add zucchini; cook 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in parsley and next 5 ingredients (parsley through bell peppers). Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in pasta and cheeses.
Herbed Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad
4 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked
3 medium tomatoes, as ripe as possible
1/4 cup (or small handful) fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup (or small handful) fresh mixed herbs — like Italian parsley, basil, rosemary, sage
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
3 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled and crumbled
Bring a large pot of water to the boil over medium-high heat. Add the corn and boil for five minutes. Drain and let cool.
Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes in quarters and scrape or squeeze out the juices and seeds. (Reserve, if you want, for a future batch of tomato sauce, or to mix into cream cheese for a fresh sandwich spread.) Chop the seeded tomato quarters into a rough dice. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove any extra moisture.
When the corn has cooled, stand each ear up in a wide, shallow bowl and slice the corn kernels off with a chef's knife. Toss the corn with the tomatoes.
Finely mince the mint and herb leaves and toss with the vegetables, along with the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then crumble in the goat cheese and toss gently. Serve and enjoy!
Note: Of course this is good with many other mix-ins too; we added a few cubes of grilled eggplant to this salad. Sometimes we like pinenuts or a touch of balsamic vinegar.
Coconut Creamed Corn
Creamed corn goes tropical with coconut milk, cilantro and lime juice. We love this with the kick of crushed red pepper, but it's great without it if you don't enjoy spicy food. Try it with garlic-rubbed grilled flank steak and a vinegary Asian slaw. 4 ears corn, kernels cut from cob (see Tip)
1 cup “lite” coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
Combine corn kernels, coconut milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat to maintain an active simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the coconut milk has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and crushed red pepper, if using.
Tip: To remove kernels, stand a cob on its stem end in a bowl and slice them off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.
Smoky Corn & Black Bean Pizza
The secret to a grilled pizza is having all your ingredients ready to go before you head out to the grill. Make it a meal: Toss the extra black beans, diced tomato and some avocado with prewashed salad greens and a tangy vinaigrette and dinner is on the table in no time.
1 plum tomato, diced
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1 cup fresh corn kernels, (about 2 ears)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 pound prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella, preferably smoked mozzarella
- Preheat grill to medium.
- Combine tomato, beans and corn in a medium bowl. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a large baking sheet. Stretch the dough into about a 12-inch circle and lay it on top of the cornmeal, coating the entire underside of the dough.
- Transfer the crust from the baking sheet to the grill. Close the lid and cook until the crust is puffed and lightly browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Using a large spatula, flip the crust. Spread barbecue sauce on it and quickly sprinkle with the tomato mixture and cheese. Close the lid; grill until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds medium turnips, trimmed and left unpeeled
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1/2 tablespoon chopped savory
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle. Melt butter in an ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet, then cool. Slice turnips paper-thin, then arrange one third of slices, overlapping tightly, in skillet, keeping remaining slices covered with dampened paper towels. Sprinkle with about a third of thyme, savory, kosher salt, and cayenne. Make 2 more layers. Cook, covered, over medium heat until underside is browned, about 10 minutes. Add cream and cook, covered, until center is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with cheese, then bake, uncovered, until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Braised Turnips with Poppy-Seed Bread Crumbs
Turnips are appreciated in Algeria not only for their faithful ubiquity but also for how their characteristics change throughout the winter—sweet and mild at the beginning and assertively earthy toward the end. Here, to emphasize their natural nuttiness and complexity, they're gently glazed with butter, then sprinkled with garlicky toasted bread crumbs and abundant poppy seeds.
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs from a baguette
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then add turnips, water, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir turnips, then briskly simmer, uncovered, until all of liquid has evaporated and turnips are glazed and just tender, 20 to 35 minutes (they should be cooked through but still retain their shape).
Make bread crumbs while turnips cook:
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs and poppy seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt to taste. Just before serving, sprinkle bread crumbs over turnips.
Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Is it tomato season where you live - toss together this beautiful, simple tomato and cucumber salad that positively sparkles with the bright flavors of lemon and unrefined, extra virgin olive oil. View the recipe.
4 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled if the skin is bitter, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
about 1 cup fresh curly parsley, chopped fine
juice of 1 lemon, strained
about 1/4 cup unrefined extra virgin olive oil (see sources)
unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups seeded and coarsely chopped watermelon
2 tablespoons chopped onion
3 tablespoons seeded, chopped Anaheim chile
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
In a serving bowl, mix together the watermelon, onion, and chile pepper. Season with balsamic vinegar and garlic salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to blend flavors.