2018 CSA Week 16

Hello CSA Families!

This year the final week of CSA will be the week of September 23rd-29th. We will be combining weeks 20 and 21 into a ‘double box’, including both a week’s worth of fresh veggies and a collection of the storage crops: garlic, shallots, potatoes, and winter squash.

The days are getting shorter, and this week is bringing some much needed rain on Monday. On Friday the weather forecast was looking like it would be highs in the 50s and rain all week long and we made the call not to include cucs and zucs in the shares this week. The cucs and zucs have been consistently pumping out ‘fruits’ the last six weeks, and last week, they started to taper off in production. This is partly because of cooler nights and shorter days, but also because they are slowing down due to the natural process and life cycle of the plants.

It is definitely starting to feel like autumn is right around the corner at the farm. The garlic is fully cured, the onions are curing, and this week we hope to harvest and begin curing the winter squash. Amongst the milestones in the season of the farm, getting the winter squash in for the year is always a bit of a marathon event. It’s a lovely marathon though, because each squash harvested gets set to cure, allowing the outer skin to harden and the squash to sweeten. In the coming weeks we will have a caterpillar tunnel full of the rainbow of autumn squash colors--from buttercup, acorn, spaghetti, red kuri, pie pumpkin, and delicata.

While we are looking forward to the colors and flavors of fall, our feet are also rooted firmly in the present, and this week that means….sweet corn!


We jokingly call it ‘back to school corn’ and most years it doesn’t ripen up until a cold and rainy day when we’ll be harvesting corn with cold hands. Worth it to savor the flavor of summer even if it is at the cusp of fall.

The weirdo vegetable for the week is the top of a brussels sprout. We felt this is the perfect veggie for the shares this week. Celebrating summer while also embracing the fall bounty that is about to come. If you have never seen brussels sprouts in the field they look like tiny cabbages growing on a prehistoric plant. Removing the tops encourages the plants to put more energy into the sprouts and it is also a delicious braising green, similar to collards and kale, at a time of year when our summer plantings of braising greens are on their last leg and the fall braising greens are still at the ‘baby leaf’ stage, these brussels will be great in a soup, stir fry, steamed, or any recipe you would use collards or kale.

Partial shares get all the same veggies except baby bulb fennel in ¾ amounts.

Shishito Peppers--The recipe below has an easy oven-roasting recipe. These make a delicious appetizer or side dish.
Eggplant--These can be roasted and pureed with garlic, olive oil, tahini and lemon juice to make a delicious dip, or try this week’s recipe.
Mixed mini Lettuce make your own lettuce mix by removing the cores of these little lettuces. They make a lovely salad on their own with a vinaigrette.
Garlic
Baby Bulb Fennel with Fronds--Chop up the bulb and roast with the tender fronds and chunks of peeled eggplant. See recipe below for inspiration.
Tomatoes, Heirloom and Slicer
Brussels sprout tops--Add to a soup, saute, or stir-fry, or use anyway you would use collards or kale.
Sweet Corn--Yum!

Recipe of the Week: 5-minute Roasted Shishito Peppers
(From paleoscaleo.com)

Ingredients:

Shishito Peppers
2-3 T. avocado or other high-heat oil
Healthy pinch of sea salt


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°.
Place the shishito peppers in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the avocado (or other high heat oil) over the peppers and toss to coat. (Feel free to get crazy here - sesame seed oil, spices, whatever you can think of. They're mild, so anything goes!) Dump the peppers out onto a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt.
Roast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until peppers are blistered and puffy.
Remove from the oven, watch the magic peppers deflate, and serve immediately!
(Delicious served with ranch or bleu cheese dressing for dipping.)


Recipe of the Week: Slow-Roasted Eggplant, Fennel and Garlic
(Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine, September 2018)


Ingredients:

1 head garlic
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. eggplants, sliced into wedges
Kosher salt to taste
Zest of 1 lemon, removed in large strips with a veggie peeler
Baby fennel bulb, with fronds
Lemon juice, for finishing


Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the top ¼ or so off the garlic head, so that the bulbs are exposed.
Toss garlic, eggplant, lemon peel and fennel bulb (chopped) and fennel fronds in a 2-quart baking dish. Season with salt.
Turn the garlic cut side down, and roast the veggies, tossing 2-3 times, until golden brown and crisp around the edges, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and toss with about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Serve.