Week #20, 2018
- Parsley or shiso
- Tomatoes, all types! Heirlooms, salad and just plain good eating
- Sweet peppers
- Hot peppers
- Stuffing peppers
- Kale (she is back, her flavor will not be as sweet as early in the season or late in the fall, but cook it and dress it or make kale pesto)
- Green beans (on their way back !)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Onions (grill them, roast them, pickle them)
- Asian pears
- Bartlett pears
- You pick black berries!
The garden is dry but very productive. The tomatoes have gone wild, but with the threat of rain that won’t last forever. Enjoy each juicy bite every day and sing her praises. There will be tons this week and extra if you want to purchase some for canning. I have made headway on my canning but can’t seem to find enough time for everything. I want to dehydrate pears, apples and tomatoes as well as can and there is just too much to do around the farm.
We finally got all the onions harvested. Juvencio did the lions share, but it was a team effort. He has some beautiful photos as do I on our Instagram feeds. We have so many varieties and there are just so many. We are giving the walla walla and Ailsa Craig varieties first as they are not the best keepers. We have Blush and Red Wing and cippolini for later in the fall and early spring. If you join the winter share you will get them all winter long, enough to roast and put in soups! I said last year I would never plant so many onions and this year I outdid last year, what was I thinking???
Juvencio turned the onion beds over and I have planted fall lettuce, spinach and endive. I hope to see more radish, beets and turnips for fall and winter. We got some radicchio and endive in the hoop house as well for winter harvest. It is a hard time of year having to decide to turn in a semi-productive crop for hopes of a better crop for late fall or winter. I feel like we race the clock every day and the bugs and underground vermin. We discovered a new insect devouring our eggplant flowers. The production has been super slow and then I looked closely and found every flower eaten and the leaves browning. It looks like the work of caterpillars or the spider mite. I feel like our only hope is rain. Sorry to those eggplant lovers like me, but not enough time to trouble shoot this one, we will just have to hope that this pest runs its course and we get some September beauties.
Blossom end rot has been a horrid plague this year. Despite adding lime at planting crops like tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes and peppers are all suffering. It feels like once again it is time to lime the whole field, something we never seem to get to, before we plant cover crop. It is better to focus on what is going right than what is failing, so let us enjoy cucumbers and basil and new girl and early girl tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes have gone wild and produce far more than we harvest. People seem to be leaving them behind, it must mean you have your own at home, for cherry tomatoes are the candy of the garden. I will include some recipes as I hate for them to be left behind (our chickens will eat anything, but that is a lot of work for those pesky birds to get to enjoy).
Don’t forget to mark your calendar, Harvest Festival 2018 on October 14th. We will have a super fun time and you will get to contra dance, make cider and welcome fall with all your heart. Remember to stay engaged, Midterm elections are just 70 days away and there are so many important issues on our local and state ballot. So much is at stake, will we make our voices heard against racial profiling? Will we keep our health care intact for all? What about affordable housing? Get involved, join me at United Unidos or join Indivisible.
Off to harvest, here are the recipes for this week:
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)
5 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 parsley, cilantro, dill….)
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.
CHICKEN WITH ORANGE, SPINACH AND CHERRY TOMATOES
|minced fresh dill
grated orange peel
cherry tomatoes, halved
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
Cherry tomato Salad
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
- 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
- 1. Place tomatoes in a shallow bowl. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and sugar until blended; stir in herbs. Pour over tomatoes; gently toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Our “easy” stuffed peppers
Poblanos or Anaheim peppers charred and peeled
Corn (fresh shaved off the cob or canned)
Zucchini (cut into small chunks)
2 teaspoons flour
salt and pepper
Shredded Jack, cheddar, Gruyer or a combination
Roast the peppers over open flame or in the oven. Place in a paper bag for 10 minutes to let them steam and loosen their skins then peel. To make stuffing put olive oil in pan, add onion and garlic, cook for a few minutes then add the zucchini and corn. Add slat and pepper to taste. Carefully make a slit in the pepper and remove the seeds (we leave the veins as it keeps the pepper in tact), stuff with filling and some cheese. To make the pepper coating, beat the egg whites until make nice peaks then add the flour. It depends on how many peppers you make the number of eggs you’ll need, for 4 peppers you need approx. 2 eggs. Then add the egg yolks. Heat some canola oil in a frying pan, when hot dip the stuffed pepper in the coating keeping the stuffed side facing up, put the pepper in the pan and repeat until the pan is full. Cook 2-4 minutes per side but don’t burn, turn gently and most of the stuffing will remain inside if you cook the closed side first. Enjoy! It is worth the effort.