Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Week 9 | July 31- Aug 1, 2018
What's In The Box
Sweet corn: We are so excited to be sending you this tasty sweet corn. This crop has to overcome some real adversity to make it to harvest around here. The seeds must avoid a persistent soil-dwelling insect pest that frequently eats 80% of the seeds before they germinate, and then be protected from raccoons that love this sugary vegetable at least as much as humans do. Enjoy!
Tomatoes: This week's harvest was primarily red slicers; our second planting of heirlooms has just started to bear fruit in the caterpillar tunnel, and in a couple weeks, we should be swimming in them.
Zucchini/summer squash: Aaron's column at left might prompt you with some new ideas for zucchini and summer squash. Or perhaps make a loaf of zucchini bread?
Green leaf lettuce: A stretch of fairly mild temperatures over the last couple of weeks made for pretty nice summer lettuce growing conditions. Might be time for a BLT?
Savoy cabbage: Savoy is our favorite type of cabbage. It's quite tender and not as “waxy” as standard green and red cabbage. This makes it a good choice to shred and eat raw in a salad or slaw, or to lightly saute, like in this week's recipe. We spaced these plants close together to get smaller heads this year.
Fennel: This week's recipe pairs fennel bulb with savoy cabbage for a simple but satisfying side dish. There are some fancy (but doable) chef techniques described :)
Cucumbers: I don't know about you, but I am planning to try Liz's green papaya- style cucumber salad idea described at left.
Cauliflower (Rotational ‒ full shares only): Spring-planted cauliflower has always been a tough one for us ‒ the high summer sun and long days tend to cause pigmentation in the curd. So we decided to try out an orange variety of cauliflower that's designed to be pigmented. This variety is called 'Flame Star.' The flavor is similar to standard white cauliflower. We are harvesting them on the small side, as quality has been declining when we wait until they get large.
Green beans (Rotational ‒ half shares only): We love these beans steamed and topped with some olive oil, sea salt, sliced almonds, and freshly grated Parmesan.
Microgreens (full shares only): This tender microgreens mix contains kale, cabbage, mizuna, and kohlrabi. Add to a salad, sandwich, or eggs.
'Toronjina' cherry tomatoes (full shares only): Important note: this was a new trial variety, and while it's delicious right off the plant, they've proven to not have the shelf life of our other cherries. They tend to get soft after 3-4 days, at which point their texture and flavor decline. Liz says they tasted great halved and lightly sauteed, as well. The tomatoes you are receiving were harvested Tuesday morning.
Each week, we’ll give some hints about what new items may show up CSA shares in the next 1 -2 weeks. Please note, this is not a guarantee, but our attempt to give you an idea of what’s coming up.
Red onion ‒ Dill ‒ Tomatillos ‒ Sweet peppers ‒ Watermelon (likely 2 wks out)
Around this time of year, we all ask ourselves what to do with the abundance of vegetables that crop up in our gardens and fill precious space in our fridge. Within weeks, your favorite recipes for zucchini, cucumbers, and cabbage begin to taste like leftovers, and the once anticipated task of cooking soon feels like a chore.
To be honest, we experience the same frustrations on the farm. It seems that every other day, we pull out hundreds of pounds of these same provisions and stare at them befuddled and hungry in the evening. Against all odds, we find ways to turn these fruits into food we enjoy. For specifics, we turn to the team for their thoughts:
Liz - When I have an ingredient in abundance and start to get bored with it, I look up how other regions of the world use it and try to replicate those recipes. You’re adding a new flavor to an ingredient that you might be getting a bit sick of.
For example, you can make a Thai Cucumber Salad similar to a green papaya salad. Using a vegetable peeler, make strips of cucumber and mix them with fish sauce, sugar, and chilis. Toss in some nuts or seeds and enjoy. This method can be used with zucchini or summer squash as well.
Michael - Expand your horizons and make kimchi, the national dish of Korea. For a cabbage kimchi, combine ginger, garlic, chili powder, fish sauce, salt and water, and pour it over cabbage. It’s too complicated to explain so follow this link: https://kimchimari.com/green-cabbage- kimchi/
Elyssa - If I'm getting sick of a vegetable, I make a new sauce so it tastes different.
We have pizza night once a week on the farm and we experiment with vegetables that we’re trying to cook in a different way. Often times, the best way is to combine them with a creamy Béchamel sauce, which is basically milk, flour, and butter. It works great for fennel and it’s really easier than you can imagine.
Aaron – I have developed a great relationship with my Instant Pot this season and love to pressure cook cabbage. I simply dice the cabbage and put it in the pot with a little water, butter, salt, and chili flakes. Set it and forget it for ten minutes, instantly release the pressure, and enjoy pure brassica goodness
Sauté of Savoy Cabbage and Fennel (Serves 4)
Recipe author's note: This dish plays up the sweetness of the cabbage, while the fennel and tarragon work in harmony to perfume the dish. The lemon adds a brightness to the dish that lightens the whole thing.
*Half share members may want to halve the recipe since they are only receiving one fennel bulb.
1 1/2 - 2lbs savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed of stalks and fronds, thinly sliced
2 medium leeks or 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Lemon, zested and juiced
2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon butter and enough oil to film the pan. Gently sauté the leeks and fennel, cooking them without coloring, until tender. When softened and fragrant, add the cabbage, turning so the cabbage is on the pan bottom. Continue cooking until the cabbage is tender.
Place the lemon zest into a fine-mesh strainer and dip in boiling water for 5 seconds. Rinse with cold water and dry on a paper towel. Mince the zest together with the herbs, mixing well.
Scatter half the herbs over the vegetables while they are cooking and season with salt and pepper.
In a very small pan, reduce the lemon juice to 1 tablespoon and then add the 2 tablespoons remaining butter. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully melt the butter so it does not color, returning the pan to the heat if needed to melt the butter.
Add the rest of the herbs and stir in so the heat wakes up the flavors of the herbs. When fragrant, drizzle the lemon butter over the vegetables and toss to coat. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.