Week #15 2019
- Tomatoes (still just a taste of what is to come
- Green peppers
- Hot peppers
- Green onions
- Beans (maybe)
- Apples (early translucent, simple flavor good for pie and sauce)
Summer hit with a blast. We had 3 cucumbers for each share on Sunday and by Wednesday we had 7 cucumbers per share. The third zucchini bed finally kicked into high gear and we are in the never-ending cucurbit harvest. It is time to enjoy a cucumber a day, a zucchini at every meal and share those recipes. There a so many ways to enjoy zucchini and tuck it into all your favorite dishes. I have included some favorite cucumber salads that we make periodically when we don’t just eat the cucumber raw in slices with salt and pepper. Remember to make cucumber soup and zucchini soup. Tomatoes also have taken off. We will have cherry tomatoes for all within a week or too, for now there are large hot house tomatoes for slicing, wedging, cooking in stews or sauce or chili.
Juvencio has been on a weeding rampage. He managed to clear most of greenhouse # 5, which had so many weeds it was hard to tell if there was a cultivar in there. The tomatoes have gone wild, the peppers are setting fruit and he made room for some more melons. He weeded the Brussels Sprouts which looked beyond salvaging and the carrots for late summer. He is a Honduran machine burning through 1700 calories a day (he is “lord of the rings” ask him about the reference). Between cutting flowers for drying, and bouquet making and a wedding here and there I have been transplanting broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for fall. I am seeding spinach, lettuce, green onions, fennel for fall as well and planning out what will go into these cleaned out hoop houses. I have so many new varieties of radicchio and cool weather crops that I am excited about. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done, sometimes head lamps are necessary!
Juvencio and I will head to Home, Alaska next Sunday for a quick trip to see Jacob. We are excited to see him in his environment as he has really established himself there and is a vital part of the Kenai research station. We hope to get in some whale watching, fishing, hiking, canoeing and good eating. Luna will hold down the fort at La Finquita with the help of Cole. It will be a big challenge as she juggles summer school, new job at Whole Foods and the menagerie and harvest. Help is welcome, so sign up for Wednesday harvest and come ready to dive into the tomatoes.
Last night we helped our dear friends Polly and James from Pumpkin Ridge Gardens celebrate 30 years of marriage and farming at their anniversary party. They have been amazing leaders in the Portland area CSA movement as well as some of our closest friends. The party really showcased the years of hard work it takes to raise organic food and build a community. It was so fun to be a party I was not hosting and know so many of the people there, from her family and mine, farmers we have known for years and members who have been with them for 30 years.
A reminder about events scheduled for La Finquita:
- Farmer vacation – July 28 – August 3 – we need help for the harvest on July 31 especially. We will harvest in the afternoon of July 27 (a Saturday) if you want to help that day. We return for the harvest on August 4, again having some help would be super.
- August 25, 2019 – Canning party: There is still space to sign-up. You can always add your name to the wait list as well and we will do our best to get you a spot.
- October 6, 2019 – Harvest Festival 2-6 p.m.
Time to hit the greenhouses before I bake inside. Have a great week and enjoy your food, we have so much to be thankful for, remember those less fortunate, donate your time and money to work for to build a better world.
INDIAN POTATO PANCAKES WITH CURRY-LIME
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium onion, peeled
4 large russet or Idaho potatoes (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 200°F. Place 2 nonstick baking sheets in oven.
In small saucepan, bring salted water to boil. Add peas and cook, uncovered, until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, then rinse in colander under cool, running water. Set aside in colander to drain completely.
Using box grater or food processor fitted with grating disc, coarsely grate onion and place in colander set in sink. Coarsely grate potatoes, add to colander, and set aside to drain.
In large mixing bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in flour, coriander, turmeric, and cumin. Mix in ginger, cilantro, and peas.
Press potatoes and onion to extract as much liquid as possible, then add to bowl. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using wooden spoon or hands, mix well, but do not overwork.
In heavy-bottomed, 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter until hot but not smoking. Drop 4 scant 1/4-cup portions of potato mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form four 3-inch pancakes.
Fry until bottoms are golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes, then turn over and fry until golden-brown and crisp, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain; season immediately with salt and pepper. Keep warm on baking sheets in oven while making remaining pancakes.
Using paper towels, carefully wipe out pan. And 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter and fry 4 more pancakes. Repeat with remaining batter, wiping out pan and adding 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter before each batch.
Serve pancakes hot with Curry-Lime Yogurt.
2 cups plain yogurt
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
In medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more lime juice if desired.
FLAN WITH TOMATO SAUCE (9/25/03)
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup milk
salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
about 4 large zucchini, very thinly sliced
For the sauce
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
about 6 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped black olives
1 to 2 tablespoons caper, squeezed to remove excess vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fry the onion in the oil over medium heat until very soft and golden, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, then beat in the milk and add salt and white pepper and nutmeg. Add
the fried onions and the zucchini and mix well.
Pour into a well greased 10-inch flan mold or baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, the cover the dish with foil and bake for 1 more hour until the flan is firm.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Fry the garlic in the oil, stirring, until lightly colored. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce is thick. Add the olives and capers and cook for a few more minutes.
Serve the zucchini flan with the sauce poured over.
Eggplant and Tomato Gratin
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
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
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 breadcrumbs. 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.
Zucchini Trifolati (family favorite!)
The secret to this fabulous cooking technique is the long slow cooking which infuses all the flavors. Vegetables cooked this way make great pasta sauce or you can serve them as crostini. Try mushrooms with garlic and mint.
2 pounds Zucchini
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
chili pepper (or herbs)
Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil. Add the sliced garlic and chile peppers to the pan; NOW turn on the heat. Slice the zucchini into thin slices and add to the golden garlic, salt and cover the pan. The salt will bring out the liquid in the zucchini and they will stew in their own juices and infuse with the garlic. Let them over cook. It is a pleasant surprise.
As envisioned by Smitten Kitchen
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.
Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.
On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.
Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.
Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.
Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)
Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.
Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.
GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATOES AND BASIL
From Asparagus to Zucchini, Madison Area CSA Coalition
1 1/2 pounds green beans, cooked
1 garlic clove, diced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tomatoes or 1/2 basket of cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsely, or 1 tsp. dried
Cut beans into 1‑inch lengths; set aside. Saute garlic and onion in
in skillet until soft. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook 2
minutes. Stir in basil and green beans. Cover, reduce heat to low and
simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parlsey, and serve
immediately. Makes 4‑6 servings.
FINISHING TOUCHES FOR BEANS
The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash
After steaming or blanching, try one of these:
‑ With Butter & Lemon Juice: toss beans with butter in a hot frying
pan. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and season with salt & pepper.
‑ With Onions: lightly brown chopped onions in butter, add beans, and
toss until thoroughly coated in butter and onions.
‑ With Oil and Garlic: Heat 2 tablespoons oil per pound of beans, add 1
clove finely shopped or pureed garlic, cook 30 seconds, add beans; toss
until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
‑ With Mushrooms: Saute 1/4 pound sliced mushrooms per pound of beans
in butter until lightly browned. Add green beans and heat through
Spicy Green Beans
Steam green beans until crisp, cover and chill
¼ cup soy sauce 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive or walnut oil dried red pepper flakes to taste
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts, optional
1 clove minced garlic
Becca’s favorite Thai Cumber salad with
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons minced seeded jalapeno chili (about 1 large)
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ English hothouse cucumbers, halved, seeded, thinly sliced
¾ cups sliced red onion
2 tablespoons fresh mint
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts
Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Place cucumbers, onion, and mint in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on peanuts and serve.
2 med. cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 pt. Cherry tomatoes, halved or 3-4 slicing tomatoes, thinly sliced
3-4 fresh mozzarella balls, sliced ¼ inch thick
6-8 basil leaves
salt and pepper
On a plate, layer cucumbers, tomatoes and mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and top with ribbons of sliced basil. For added tang, sprinkle lightly with balsamic vinegar.
Roasting the garlic and tomatillos in this salsa give it a wonderful and unique taste.