Week #22

Week #22

  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Summer squash (Zucchini and the like)
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil or cilantro or thyme
  • Tomatillos
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Fruit (so here’s the deal, the pests have attacked our fruit, so there is tons of fruit but it has to be picked through, I have been using the canner/juicer and making delicious juice from wind fall pears, apples and a few prune plums) we will try and have a few bushels of fruit for you to choose from, it just depends how it looks when we get out there to harvest.
  • Leeks

So what a change in weather right? It went from boiling hot to 48 degrees at night an pouring rain. We got drenched numerous times while harvesting, transplanting and weeding. This water is great for fall crops like cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli and killer on tomatoes. We will do our best to get those tomatoes to you, but they will split quickly so cook them or eat them soon. The weeds will have a hay day with this rain. I keep kicking myself for not getting the cover crop in the ground. I commit to seeding it today! Every year I dream of completing the plan put out by gardening guru Elliot Coleman. He recommends planting cover crop under the fall brassicas (broccoli family) so that when the plants die the cover crop can take off and cover and nourish the soil. I WILL DO IT TODAY!

I continue on my path the dry, roast, can and juice as much as I can. The fruit keeps falling and as you read above it has a few bugs. It is great for sauce, chutney, juice. Too bad there is no canning party right? I will include my favorite chutney recipe below. If you want to gather felled fruit (the fruit that has fallen from the trees) please do, if you want to pick additional fruit, please ask us first. We always welcome people to gather a wheel barrow full of felled fruit and offer it to our goats, they love it. It also helps to keep future pests out of the orchard. ABC (preschool that has been with us for years) gathers tons of fruit each season for our goats, you can do it too.

The cherry tomatoes have gone wild! We have so many delicious varieties, they are like candy from Mother Nature. See recipes below. I am considering dehydrating them, but I am on over drive on the dehydrator and waiting for more racks to free up.

Tomorrow is the last day of summer L. It is hard to believe summer has gone by so quickly. The fall brings so many great veggies. The winter squash will be ready for harvest in a few short weeks, the plants are dying back. We seem to have a bumper crop but one never knows until we can actually see what is out there. We have over 15 varieties with a few very special types that get better after January! We would love for you to sign up to help harvest. There are 16 harvests left to go (twice a week for 8 weeks) and we have few takers at this point. I will be solo with Luna (possibly Diego) and hopefully my sis during the weeks that Juve is gone so come on out and get your hands dirty!

Mark your calendars, tell your friends, the Harvest Festival is scheduled for October 9th! A full afternoon of fun and excitement. It is a good time to invite those friends who always wonder what our farm is like!

Cianfotta Lucana (Eggplant, tomato, pepper and potato stew)
From the San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook

Great accompaniment to fish or meat. Or a sauce for pasta. Can add
capers or fresh ginger.

2 red bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
3 tomatoes
½ C extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into walnut sized cubes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 C warm water
3 Japanese eggplants, cut into ¾ inch cubes

Roast bell peppers over a gas burner, under the broiler or on
a grill until the skins blister and char. Place in a plastic bag, seal
and set aside for 15 minutes to steam. Then peel, stem, seed and
derib. Cut the peppers into strips. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the
tomatoes by plunging them into the boiling water for 15 seconds, then
into ice water. Drain, then peel, seed and dice. Set aside.
Heat 1 Tble of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add
the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add the warm water and
simmer slowly for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes
and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
Heat 2 Tbles of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium
high heat. Add the pepper strips and sauté until softened, then add
them to the potato mixture.
Add the remaining oil to the skillet and, when hot, add the
eggplant cubes and fry until golden brown. Add the eggplant to the
potato mixture and cook for a few minutes longer, or until the
potatoes and eggplant are soft, the liquid has been absorbed and the
flavors are well blended. Serves 6



Eggplant and Tomato Gratin


This is a delicious, low-fat version of eggplant Parmesan. Instead of breaded, fried eggplant, though, the eggplant in this dish is roasted and sliced, layered with a rich tomato sauce and freshly grated Parmesan, and baked in a hot oven until bubbly.

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered if you have a food mill or else peeled, seeded and chopped; or 1 1/2 (28-ounce) cans chopped tomatoes, with juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • For the gratin:
  • 2 pounds eggplant, roasted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Roast the eggplant.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy, preferably nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Stir until tender, about five to eight minutes, then add the garlic. Stir until fragrant, about a minute, and add the tomatoes, salt (1/2 to 1 teaspoon), pepper, sugar and basil sprigs. Turn the heat up to medium-high. When the tomatoes are bubbling, stir well and then turn the heat back to medium. Stir often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and are beginning to stick to the pan, about 25 minutes. Remove the basil sprigs.
  3. If you did not peel the tomatoes, put the sauce through the fine blade of a food mill. If the tomatoes were peeled, pulse the sauce in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until coarsely pureed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set aside 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and mix with the bread crumbs. Oil the inside of a two-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish. Slice the roasted eggplant about 1/4 inch thick, and set an even layer of slices over the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon a layer of sauce over the eggplant, and sprinkle with basil and Parmesan. Repeat the layers one or two more times, depending on the shape of your dish and the size of your eggplant slices, ending with a layer of sauce topped with the Parmesan and bread crumb mixture you set aside. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Yield: Serves six

Advance preparation: The tomato sauce can be made up to three days ahead. The casserole can be assembled a day ahead, covered and refrigerated, then baked when you wish to serve it. Don’t add the last layer of bread crumbs and Parmesan, with the drizzle of olive oil, until right before you bake it.



Summer Salad with Feta

5 medium or large ripe tomatoes cut into wedges (if large, the wedges should be cut crosswise in half), or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half

1/2 European cucumber, or 1 Persian or Japanese cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, seeded if desired, then sliced into half circles about 1/3-inch thick.

Sea salt or fleur de sel and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Add the feta and herbs, and toss again. Taste, adjust the seasonings, and serve.


Add any or all of the ingredients below:

1/2 small red onion, sliced and rinsed with cold water

12 to 18 imported Greek black olives, such as kalamatas or amphisas

1 small green, yellow, or red bell pepper

1 heart of romaine lettuce, cut in 2-inch pieces

A handful of cubed stale bread or croutons

Advance preparation:

You can assemble the salad hours before adding the seasonings, vinegar, and olive oil. Be warned: If you salt the salad too long before serving, it will become watery, as the salt draws out juices from the vegetables.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings



Julia’s cherry tomato notes:

-I like these as a snack as is.
-Basic (cherry) tomato sauce: Wash several baskets worth, then put in a pot with onion, garlic and oregano and cook down for about 1/2 hour over medium heat. (olive oil can be added if you like). Then let it cool some, put through a food mill, and voila: tomato sauce!
-Add cherry tomatoes halved to a grain salad such as couscous, rice, orzo or other pasta. I find them to be an essential ingredient!

Here’s a recipe from a 35 year old cook book called America’s Best Vegetable Recipes from the editors of The Farm Journal:

“Try cooking cherry tomatoes. Saute them in a skillet in butter for only 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of sugar to make them shine. A bright and tasty addition to a dinner plate.”

Cherry Tomato and Olive Relish from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 or 2 yellow or other tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
24 nicoise olives, pitted and halved (I use the already pitted kalamata from trader joes, I chop them roughly for this recipe)
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
2 teaspoons chopped marjoram (I use oregano when I don’t have marjoram available)
basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
fresh lemon juice to taste
salt and pepper

Put the tomatoes in a bowl with the olives, capers, and herbs. Moisten with the oil, then season to taste with the S & P & lemon juice. Serve right away, or at least within the hour of making it.

Marinated Cherry Tomatoes 4 servings

2 baskets Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Finely chopped parsley 
1 Tablespoon Finely chopped rosemary 
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix tomatoes, onions, parsley, rosemary, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a shallow bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl and let tomatoes marinate at room temperature at least 1 hour, but preferably 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally. Enjoy with crostini or as a side dish.

Cherry Tomato & Avocado Salad

1 basket cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tablespoons chopped scallion or other mild onion
1 cup (approx.) chopped avocado 
2 tablespoons chopped herb (such as parsleycilantrodill….)
optional vinaigrette to coat (whirl 2 T lemon juice or vinegar, 1 small clove garlic, 1 t mustard, pinch salt and pepper, with 1/2 cup olive oil in blender.) Gently mix all ingredients. Serve. (The avocado is optional but delicious)

Blanched Broccoli with Basil Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes adapted from Pasta e Verdura by Jack Bishop

2 pounds broccoli di cicco
salt to taste
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves 
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbs. pine nuts
6 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 pound pasta (such as shells, or other open shape)

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil in large pot for cooking the pasta. Bring several quarts of water to boil in another pot. Chop the broccoli into small, bite-sized pieces. Add the broccoli and salt to taste to the boiling water. Cook until broccoli is tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside the broccoli. Place the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in the work bowl of a food processor and process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the feed tube and process until smooth. Scrape the pest into a large bowl. Stir in the cheese and additional salt to taste. Cut the tomatoes in half. Add the tomatoes to the bowl with the pesto and toss gently. Add the broccoli to the bowl and toss gently. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings if necessary. While preparing the sauce, cook and drain the pasta. Toss the hot pasta with the broccoli sauce. Mix well and transfer portions to pasta bowls. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


2 tablespoons.
2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon
1 cup
1 tablespoon
4 cups
minced fresh dill 
grated orange peel
minced garlic
cherry tomatoes, halved
olive oil
skinless boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced crosswise
firmly packed torn fresh spinach leaves (about 8 ounces)






Preheat oven to 450F. Place large baking sheet in oven to heat. Meanwhile, mix dill, orange peel, garlic and salt in medium bowl. Season with pepper. Combine tomatoes, oil and 1 teaspoon dill mixture in small bowl. Add chicken to remaining dill mixture in medium bowl and toss to coat. Cut 4 sheets of foil, each about 20 inches long. Place 1 foil sheet on work surface. Arrange 1 cup spinach on 1 half of foil. Place 1/4 of sliced chicken mixture atop spinach. Spoon 1/4 of tomato mixture atop chicken. Fold foil over, enclosing contents completely and crimping edges tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining 3 foil sheets, spinach, chicken mixture and tomato mixture, forming 4 packets total. Arrange foil packets in single layer on heated baking sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 400F. Bake until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plates; let stand 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Bon Appetit March 1998




 This next recipe is awesome! We have made it twice in 3 days. I made it gluten free and with less cheese, but any way you do it , it is a winner. The tomatoes are roasted first and this seems to be the secret, along with our amazing sweet red peppers. This is something you could make and freeze for later in the year (if you can keep your family from eating it right away)


Summer Vegetable gratin (NY Times)



  • 2medium onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼cup olive oil
  • 2red bell peppers, thinly sliced, or 2 additional onions
  • ½teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4cloves garlic, smashed


  • 1 ½pounds plum or other ripe tomatoes
  • ¼cup olive oil
  • 1baguette
  • 1cup shredded Parmesan or Gruyère cheese


  • ¼cup olive oil, more for baking
  • 1 ½pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 ½pounds yellow squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • ¼cup freshly chopped basil or parsley, more for garnish
  • Salt and black pepper

Nutritional Information


  1. Make the base layer: In a large, heavy ovenproof skillet or enameled cast-iron pan (10 to 12 inches across), combine onions and olive oil and heat to a sizzle, stirring to separate. Add bell peppers, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook, stirring, over low heat until peppers are very soft and onions are browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and remove garlic, leaving remaining mixture in the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, make the topping (if using): Core tomatoes and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Lay on paper towels to drain for 10 minutes. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add tomatoes and cook very slowly, turning once or twice, until liquid has bubbled away and flesh is cooked through, about 8 minutes. (Do not overcook, or tomatoes will fall apart.) Turn off heat and let slices cool in skillet; they will continue to dry out. Tear baguette into pieces and pulse in a food processor to make coarse, fluffy, pea-size crumbs. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the cheese and pulse to combine.
  3. Assemble the gratin: Heat oven to 425 degrees. (If your oven has a convection feature, use it, reducing baking temperature to 400 degrees.) In a large bowl, combine oil, zucchini and squash, and toss well until lightly and evenly coated. Add basil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and toss again.
  4. On top of the base layer in pan, arrange squash and zucchini slices around the inner rim of the pan, standing on their edges in roughly alternating colors. Pat down into the pan so slices overlap and lie down, like shingles or fallen dominoes. Repeat to make another circle inside the first, and again if necessary, until pan is filled. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Brush oil over the top of the gratin and transfer to oven. Bake 30 minutes. Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees (425 degrees for convection), or heat the broiler.
  6. If not using topping, brush surface again with oil. If using topping, arrange tomato slices in one layer on top of the par-baked gratin. Spread bread-cheese mixture over tomatoes and press down gently.
  7. Bake or broil until vegetables are browned around the edges or crust is crisp and golden. Let cool slightly and serve hot or at warm room temperature. Garnish each serving with herbs.




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