- Lettuce (if it has not bolted!)
- Tomatoes (time to make sauce!)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
- Sweet peppers
- Last of the broccoli
- You pick blackberries!
This has been a rough week. During the harvest last week I got a call from my parents that my mother had fallen down a few stairs. I went in to Portland to assess the situation and took my mom to the ER where we spent the afternoon and found out she fractured her vertebra in her neck. We have been juggling their care with my sister all week. My parents came out to the farm on Wednesday and have been with us since then. She is recovering slowly, but will need to be in a neck immobilizer for over two months. It has been a joy to have them with us, but our endless number of hours spent working on the farm have been curtailed and farm tasks pushed to the back burner. Hopefully the bounty of La Finquita will hold it’s own as the farmers are busy caring for family.
Summer turns to fall soon enough. Juve, despite having my parents here made great progress on greenhouse number 5. He worked with our friends Vincent, Eric and Ruby and got the bows in place and most of the wooden structure ready. Now for the channels and the plastic! Still a lot of work but onward! We are slowly pulling spring and summer crops and replanting with fall and winter items. The aphids and flea beetles are out in force eating everything in site. We feel like we need a quiet week to just focus on the farm, but that will not happen in the short term. I am trying to anticipate what will go into that new greenhouse, but don’t want my crops to be huge when by the time it is prepared for planting.
We hope you enjoy your veggies this week and next. Don’t forget the Helvetia Culture festival next Sunday August 14th from 1-5. It is a lot of fun for the whole family and really celebrates the roots of this community from the native culture to the Swiss settlers. You might even win a pie on the pie walk. Our harvest festival is scheduled for October 9th. We hope for a huge turn out and a few new items for you all to enjoy. The harvest continues through the end of October, so don’t worry about your veggies we will keep planting and harvesting them.
EGGPLANT, ZUCCHINI, RED PEPPER, AND PARMESAN TORTE
2 large onions (about 1 pound)
1 garlic clove
about 1/2 cup olive oil
a 26- to 32-ounce container chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 large eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
4 large zucchini (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
4 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 large eggs
6 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 cups)
Halve onions through root end and thinly slice. Finely chop garlic. In a large heavy skillet cook onions with salt to taste in 2 tablespoons oil, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until any liquid onions give off is evaporated. Add tomatoes with juice, sage, and thyme and simmer, stirring occasionally, until excess liquid is evaporated and mixture is very thick. Season mixture with salt and pepper and cool. Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush at least 2 shallow baking pans with some remaining oil.
Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and arrange in one layer in baking pans. Brush eggplant slices with some remaining oil and roast in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of pans halfway through roasting time, until tender and golden, about 20 minutes. Cool eggplant 5 minutes and transfer with a slotted spatula to paper towels to drain.
Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices and roast in same manner until tender and pale golden, about 25 minutes. Cool zucchini 5 minutes and transfer to paper towels to drain.
Quarter bell peppers lengthwise and discard stems, seeds, and ribs. Arrange peppers, skin sides up, in oiled baking pans and brush with some remaining oil. Roast peppers in same manner until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Cool peppers 5 minutes and transfer to paper towels to drain.
In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan melt butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes and whisk in milk and cream. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking, and simmer, whisking occasionally, 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool sauce 5 minutes. Whisk in eggs, two thirds Parmigiano-Reggiano, and salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400°F. and lightly oil a 14- x 10- x 2 1/2-inch or other 3 1/2-quart shallow baking dish. In baking dish arrange half of eggplant, overlapping slices to form an even layer, and season with salt and pepper. Top eggplant with half of tomato mixture, spreading evenly, and pour about one third Parmigiano-Reggiano custard over it. Nestle half of zucchini in custard and season with salt and pepper. Top zucchini with half of peppers. Repeat layering, reserving half of remaining custard for topping. Pour reserved custard over final layer of peppers and sprinkle with remaining grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Bake torte in middle of oven until custard is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let torte stand 10 minutes before serving.
GREEN BEANS WITH GARLIC, LEMON, AND PARSLEY
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Place beans in bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.
Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add beans; sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to platter.
My Favorite Salsa (this is a recipe and not truly “mine”
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and very coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, halved
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
1 (28 0z.) can diced tomatoes (drained or not, depending on how much liquid you want in your salsa)
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. cumin
1/2 sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the jalapenos and garlic. Process until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add all other ingredients to the food processor. Pulse in very brief pulses until the vegetables have reached the size you desire (it does not take many pulses so don’t overdo it). Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
North African Zucchini “Compote” Aljuk
1 lb zucchini, thickly sliced
1 large russet potato (1/2 lb) peeled and diced
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 tsp freshly ground caraway seed
3/4 tsp freshly ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp Harissa
Steam the veggies until very soft, then mash and blend in the
remaining ingredients. Use as a spread for pita or flatbread.