Week #25

Week #25

  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Basil
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Tomatillos
  • Stuffing peppers
  • Kale
  • grapes
  • apples
  • leeks
  • celeriac

Juvencio comes back tonight!! I managed to make it through 10 days without him with the help of our kids who alternated duties with me on my days off from my day job. No animals died, I got all the beds he so kindly prepared minutes before he boarded his plane, planted. The weeds took no holidays and with the rain last week and the week before they have gone wild! I am sure he will whip them into shape as soon as he adjusts to the cool fall weather of Oregon. He was visiting his father and the rest of his family in Honduras where it was in the 90s every day with 100% humidity. It was a much needed visit and he posted some great photos on facebook.

Jacob returned from Thailand on Wednesday after an amazing trip for over three weeks. It has been a busy week sending Diego back to college, running to the airport and managing the farm.

Last Sunday after the harvest, while I was cleaning and preparing the family dinner Paul Lardy (one of our members) came to me to report “a lot of water pouring off the cooler fan”. He had analyzed the situation and noted that the back side of the fan was covered in 6 inches of ice. The grate on the back side was completely frozen as was the inside of the fan box. Many members who picked up later on Sunday got to use head lamps and lanterns to gather their veggies as Paul worked hard to defrost the compressor with hair dryer and blower. Dan my brother in law) showed up later and together they spent hours (?) working. Dan called the “on-call” cooler guy and got information that what they were doing was the right thing to do. We turned the cooler back on and set the thermostat to 60.

The next morning I trotted out to check the temperature and it was 25 degrees in the cooler!! Awk, that is not the temperature for veggies! I shut it off and called the refrigeration folks. They came by on Tuesday, and after 3 trips and roughly $900 our cooler is working like a dream. First they had to clean the compressor on the outside, then they had to replace the thermostat and then the motor that controls the fan needed to be replaced. This couldn’t have waited for Juvencio???

 

Fall is here! It is the season for soup and roasted veggies. It is also time to make stews and dishes rich in cooked tomatoes. The cool nights definitely affect production of our favorite night shades (tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant). Enjoy them while they are available. We shift gears to fall and winter veggies such as leeks and celeriac (that big brown hairy root). few suggestions. We have 4 more harvests of the regular season at La Finquita. We will harvest through the end of October. We have an add on Thanksgiving basket on November 20th with plenty of delicious veggies for your harvest celebration.

Our harvest festival is slated for October 9th from 2-6. We have a great line up with the premier Mexican Dancers “Mexico el la Piel”, the “Helvetia Alp Horns” and our very own member jam session on the deck of the cabin. Please do join us for the event, it is not to be missed rain or shine.

 

Tomato Red Pepper Salad Dressing

This rosy, zesty salad dressing is great on a bed of leafy greens, sliced cucumbers and fresh mozzarella cheese. It is virtually fat free and therefore very low in calories. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week.

1 small (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
1 whole roasted red pepper or pimento from a jar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender container. Blend until well mixed.

Serves 8
Nutrients Per Serving
Calories: 22.9
Protein: 1.0 grams
Fat: 0.2 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.0 grams
Monounsat Fat: 0.0 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.1 grams
Carbohydrate: 5.3 grams
Fiber: 1.1 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 1,057.4 IU
Vitamin E: 1.0 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 33.3 mg
Calcium: 9.6 mg
Magnesium: 13.2 mg

Celery Root and Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts
serves 4 to 6

2 medium celery roots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 medium red delicious apples, cored and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch watercress leaves

dressing:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper
1 cup walnut halves, toasted

Combine the celery root and apple in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss with the green onion and watercress. Whisk the vinegar, mustard seed, mustard, honey and oil until well combined. Toss with the celery root mixture. Taste for salt and pepper and garnish with walnuts.

Celeriac and Tomato Soup

 

4 tomatoes                            2 cups water

2 # celeriac                            ¼ cup lovage chopped (optional)

3  leeks                                   1 onion

1 clove garlic                        1 large carrot

1 tablespoon olive oil         2 T butter

3 sprigs parsley                    6 cups chicken broth

salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Peel, seed, and roughly chop tomatoes.  Peel sufficient celeriac to make 1 ½ pounds trimmed flesh, then cut into ½ inch cubes and drop into acidulated water.  Wash and trim leeks and, using only the white and light green parts, thinly slice.  You should have 1 ½ cups.  Chop onion and combine with leeks.  Chop garlic.  Thinly slice carrot. Heat together oil and butter and sauté leeks and onion until wilted.  Add garlic and carrot, and cook for 5 minutes longer,  Add one third of the tomatoes and cook until they are lightly browned on the edges and the juice is evaporated.  Add drained celeriac, the rest to the tomatoes and the parsley sprig.  Cook together for 10 minutes.  Add chicken broth, water and lovage (if using).  Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Puree, season with salt and pepper, and serve with croutons on the side.  (serves 8)  For thinner soup only use 1 pound celeriac and 3 tomatoes.

Chile Relleno Casserole

4-6 roasted chilies (pasilla, poblano or Anaheim, peeled and seeded

2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, jack or queso fresco)

8 corn tortillas

½ white onion, diced

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 eggs, separated

4 Tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in the olive oil, about 10-15 minutes, until onions are wilted and golden brown.  Set aside to cool.  In a medium bowl, blend the egg yolks and flour together until just combined.  Whip egg whites until stiff then gently fold in egg yolks and flour together until just combined.  Whip egg whites until stiff then gently fold in egg yolks and flour.  Steam or microwave the tortillas until soft and pliable.  Line a greased baking dish with 4 tortillas, cover with cheese, onions and chilies evenly and top off with remaining tortillas.  Drizzle egg mixture over casserole.  Bake 30 – 40 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

 

 

 

 

Posted in farm news | Leave a comment

Week #24

 

  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Cucumbers (enjoy them while they last, they are on their way out)
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Basil or cilantro
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Eggplant
  • Leeks
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Grapes

We made it through the week! Juvencio and Diego along with our loyal Wednesday harvesters finished in record time. He then tilled the beds in the greenhouse #2, fed the animals, did other errands and made it to the airport in time for his 6:40 flight. He arrived in San Pedro Sula to be met by his father and two youngest brothers. Our dear friend Vincent accompanied him and they are now enjoying the heat, warm rain and tamales together. My sister-in-law is taking good care of them. He will travel some to visit his eldest sister in his hometown and possibly to Lempira to see his brother Mario. I am sure as I write this they are gathering for a large family meal at his father’s house and a trip to the mausoleum where his mother is buried.

The downpour yesterday helped some crops, likely split many of the tomatoes and kept so many Oregonians away from the farmers market. It rained just at the opening of market yesterday and the crowd was cut by ¾! All those beautiful flowers had to be given away to other vendors at the end of the day. The good side is that I was able to make three wreaths for the fall market. I am scared to see what the rain did here on the farm, but cherry tomatoes don’t really like to get wet. Weeds do love to get wet. I managed to seed more cover crop before the rain so hopefully that will germinate and provide beautiful cover to our beds while adding nitrogen back in the spring.

Juve left me several beds in the greenhouses to plant for fall and winter, all but one are planted. After harvest today I will transplant lettuce into greenhouse #4 and hope that it is ready for late October harvest. Lettuce has been a battle since late July. It has been prone to “bolt”, go to seed and turn bitter. It has headed irregularly. I keep hoping each bed is better, but I am unsure if that will happen this week. I write this note in the early hours before the sun rises and sometimes when I get outside to the fields I find the items I planned are not as good as I hoped. At any rate there is plenty of food to share!

Every week I keep saying I am done canning and will do no more and every week I can more tomatoes and more juice of left over fruit. I have canned over 50 quarts of tomatoes and 60 pints of the same. I have made my chutneys and have enough juice for season. I am not sure how long the outdoor tomatoes will last as they look somewhat beat up. If you want to purchase extra tomatoes please do email or text me and I will send you a message when there is surplus. So far all those who have asked me have gotten 20 – 40# for canning or freezing. I am selling them at $1.50/pound (the same price I have sold them at for > 5 years.

Last night Virginia Garcia had their fall gala fundraiser. It was the first year they held it at the Tiger Woods Center at the Nike Campus. It was a huge event with a keynote by Senator Ron Wyden. We donated one of our subscriptions for next season (not the largest ticket item L) among other items (dinner with the mayor of Beaverton Dennis Doyle was a top winner) and >$100,000 was raised for the new wellness center in Beaverton. I have worked as a primary care physician for 18 years at Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center.

The mission of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and culturally appropriate primary health care to the communities of Washington and Yamhill Counties with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farmworkers and others with barriers to receiving healthcare.

For more information about Virginia Garcia and to learn how to donate to this organization please go to :

http://virginiagarcia.org/who-we-are/health-center/mission-history/

Another important organization that we belong to is PACSAC, Portland Area Coalition of CSA farmers. This organization works to promote the CSA model and bring farmers and eaters together. They are hosting a “pop-up” dinner on September 24, should be great food and conversation and goes towards providing funding for community supported agriculture.

http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=7ffb83bc21b1ccf3735be3227&id=328c63c43f&e=

So, now down to the work of harvesting. I have to get going. Please remember that the harvest festival here at La Finquita is on October 9th from 2-6. I sent out the flyer for you to have and share with family and friends. Please do plan on attending.

The harvest continues through the end of October as we turn to fall crops like broccoli and cauliflower, winter squash and leeks, enjoy the bounty!

 

Recipes Below:

Calabrian Bruschetta

from Verdura by Viana La Place

4 small Asian eggplants
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces provolone or caciocavallo cheese
6 thick slices country bread
2 garlic cloves
3 red tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil

Trim the eggplants and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the eggplant slkices on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Bake the eggplant slices in a preheated 376 degree oven for 10 minutes. Turn the slices over, brush with oil, and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Using the large side of a four sided grater (or a potato peeler…), grate the cheese into long, thin strips.

Grill or lightly toast the bread. Rub with the cut side of the garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil.

Place a few slices of eggplant on each bruschetta, top with some sliced tomato, and sprinkle a little shredded cheese over the top.

Place the bruschette under a preheated broiler and broil until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Layered Eggplant Casserole from Recipes from America’s Small Farms

2-3 TBS vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 TBS milk
¼ cup all purpose flour, more if needed
1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
4 ounces Monterey Jack or other cheese, grated
1 TBS unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2-quart casserole. Beat the egg and milk in a bowl and spread the flour on a plate. Heat 1 TBS of the oil in large skillet. Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg mixture, and then flour on both sides. Place the slices in the skillet in a single layer and fry until golden on both sides. Continue frying the eggplant in batches, adding oil as necessary, until done. Layer the fried eggplant, the onion, the tomato, and the cheese until they are all used up; the final layer should be the eggplant. Sprinkle any remaining flour (or use another 2 TBS of flour) over the top. Dot with the butter. Place in the oven, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until bubbling and the eggplant is tender. Note: instead of frying the eggplant slices, you can drizzle them with oil and bake them on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Eggplant Pulp Facts from Recipes from America’s Small Farms No one ever said eggplant pulp was pretty, but it’s a beautiful base for spreads and salads. To make it, just puncture a large eggplant in a few places and wrap it loosely in aluminum foil. Place it in a 400 degree oven until it’s soft and mushy – it’s usually ready in about an hour, but longer baking won’t hurt it. Let it cool completely, then scrape all the flesh off the skin. You’ll get about 1 ½ cups of pulp from a medium eggplant. Add whatever other vegetables and herbs you like – the eggplant’s mild taste and pleasant texture blends and binds other ingredients.

Eggplant Rounds with Cheese and Tomato Sauce adapted from D. Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

6-8 eggplant rounds per person, grilled, broiled or fried (from the skinny asian eggplants, reduce number of slices if using the large purple ones.)
3/4 cup grated or sliced mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheese
about 4 cups favorite tomato sauce
chopped parsley or basil

Place the eggplant rounds on a sheet pan and cover with the cheeses. Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese melts. Serve with 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the sauce on each serving and garnish with the parsley or basil.

 

 

Spaghetti Squash and Herbs (Martha Stewart)

 

  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts (1 ounce), toasted and coarsley chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush cut sides of squash with oil, and sprinkle with sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Place squash, cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly on sheet on a wire rack, about 10 minutes.
  2. Scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands. Place in a large bowl. Add oil, Parmesan, parsley, cilantro, hazelnuts, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss, and serve immediately

 

 

 

Gazpacho

INGREDIENTS

  • About 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1Italian frying (cubanelle) pepper or another long, light green pepper, such as Anaheim, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1clove garlic
  • 2teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste
  • Salt
  • ½cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling

Nutritional Information

PREPARATION

  1. Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender or, if using a hand blender, in a deep bowl. (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  2. With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.
  3. Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or the back of a ladle. Discard the solids. Transfer to a large pitcher (preferably glass) and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Serve in glasses, over ice if desired. A few drops of olive oil on top are a nice touch.

 

Chicken with Green Goddess Dressing

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 1cup packed basil leaves
  • ¼cup packed chives
  • 2garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1scallion, white and green parts
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1lime
  • 2teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1teaspoon black pepper
  • 1(4- to 5-pound) chicken, halved through the breast and back bones, patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 to 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Nutritional Information

PREPARATION

  1. In a blender, purée buttermilk, basil, chives, garlic, anchovies (if using), scallion, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  2. Put chicken halves in a bowl or large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and cover with three-quarters of the Green Goddess marinade. (Save the rest to serve as a sauce.) Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off as much liquid as possible, and lay the halves on a rimmed baking sheet. (Discard the used marinade.) Pat chicken tops dry with paper towels and drizzle with oil. Roast until cooked through, about 30 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving, with some of the reserved sauce if you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in farm news | Leave a comment

WEEK #23

The Weekly Share, Week #23

  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Cucumbers (enjoy them while they last, they are on their way out)
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Basil or cilantro
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Apples
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots or beets
  • Melon (we hopefully have enough for everyone to get one melon, if you took one last week please don’t take one this week)
  • Thyme or sage

Cool nights and warm days really feel like fall. The warm weather crops like tomatoes and eggplant really “feel” the change. The winter squash is dying back symbolizing its readiness for harvest. The rain last week gave all our brassicas a boost, they are growing like crazy and we are starting to see Romanesco broccoli! I managed to run out between cloud bursts and seed our covercrop, crimson clover. I planted it in rows under the brassicas and it is already germinated! Our goal has been to put a winter cover crop over much of our land so that the soil can regain its nitrogen. Alas as we farm every square inch of our property and then some we rarely get it planted in time or at all. Hopefully this new (old) strategy will work and we can have beautiful nitrogen rich clover come spring. If we are lucky it can also help compete with all the weeds.( By the way, they also germinated in a thick carpet everywhere with that nice rain.)

Juve has been racing against time to get the back field fenced and the second of two greenhouses set up. It looks like time will win and they will have to wait until he gets back from Honduras. We hope to pull the cucumbers before he goes so that the radish and lettuce can be seeded in the greenhouses while he is gone. There is so much to do at this time of year in preparation for fall and winter. There also seems to be an interminable amount of clean up to do! One can do what one can do and then she has to sleep.

We have 6 weeks left of the regular season. It has flown by. We will offer a Thanksgiving basket again this year that should be rich in veggies for your holiday meal. Even if you plan to be out of town, the veggies will keep or can travel with you. We hope for Brussel Sprouts (man, they are so ridiculous! We have rows of them out there but they look small, they have 2 ½ months to get their act together!), pie pumpkins, lettuce, radicchio, celery, cabbage and more. We will have a sign up next month and harvest for you on 11/20 for pick up 11/20 or 11/21. The cost $40.

Our harvest festival is set for October 9th. If you have any interest in helping out that day or before please contact us. Our amazing helpers Mary Kay and Mark will be out of town so we will need a couple of volunteers to work the pizza making station as we make the rounds and organize the day.

La Finquita Del Buho presents:

The 17th Annual

Harvest Festival

Sunday October 9, 2016 from 2- 6 p.m.

At the farm; 7960 NW Dick Road, Hillsboro 97124

Lots of fun for the whole family:

Swiss alp horns, Traditional Mexican dancing, La Finquita’s own blue grass jam session players, and surprise performance , cider pressing, wood fired pizza oven, potluck, farm tours and festive fall wreaths and bird feeders for sale and much more

Please bring: your favorite pizza topping, a dish to share, a mason jar for cider, plates, cups and silverware for your family, a check book or cash to purchase items and contribute to the performers

Contact Lyn Jacobs (503-568-5760) or Juvencio Argueta (503-830-0342) for more information

 

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

  • 1 ¾pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2banana or Italian frying peppers, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 12ounces pasta, such as campanelle or farfalle
  • 2pounds very ripe heirloomtomatoes, halved through their equators
  • 1 to 2fat garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2tablespoons brine-packed capers, drained
  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter(optional)
  • Grated ricotta salata or Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
  • Fresh mint or basil leaves, for serving

Nutritional Information

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread out eggplant cubes and peppers on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 3 tablespoons oil and season well with salt. Roast, turning everything, until eggplant and peppers are very soft and deeply golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in well-salted boiling water until about 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain.
  3. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate tomatoes over a large skillet so the pulp falls into the skillet. To do this, hold on to the curved side of the tomato in your hand and slide the cut, flat side across the holes. Stop grating just before you reach the skin.
  4. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan with the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer until tomato pulp is reduced by half, then season to taste with salt.
  5. Add the pasta, capers and butter, if using, to the pan with the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, tossing until butter melts and pasta finishes cooking, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and toss in eggplant and cheese, if using.
  6. Serve pasta drizzled with a little more oil and the herbs.

Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca Sauce

This is a twist on a roasted tomato sauce with the addition of anchovies, capers, olives and red chile flakes. In this sauce, the tomatoes are chopped coarsely (no need for tedious peeling and seeding), and tossed in a large roasting pan, then the pan goes in the hot oven to make a roasted puttanesca.

Ingredients

  • About 8 pounds ripe tomatoes, any variety, cored and quartered
  • 5 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and/or chives)
  • About 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste (don’t add much because the anchovies are quite salty)
  • Generous grinding of black pepper
  • 8 anchovy filets plus 2 tablespoons anchovy oil from the tin
  • 1/2 cup drained capers
  • 1 cup pitted black or green olives, cut in half or coarsely chopped
  • Dash red chile flakes, to taste
  • A few tablespoons sugar (optional)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, gently toss together the tomatoes, onions, whole and chopped garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.

Gently stir the vegetables and add the anchovies and 2 tablespoons of the anchovy oil. Roast for another 20 to 25 minutes and gently toss. Add the capers, olives and a dash of the chile flakes and roast another 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened and somewhat broken down into a sauce, with a golden brown crust on top. Remove and taste for seasoning.

The sauce can be refrigerated for three to five days, or it can be frozen in a tightly wrapped plastic bag for several months. The sauce can also be placed in sterilized Mason jars and processed — 20 minutes in a boiling water bath should do it. It will keep for up to 10 months.

Toss the sauce with pasta, or serve it over grilled chicken or fish, or in any dish that calls for regular tomato sauce. You can cut the recipe in half or make a huge batch, all depending on how many tomatoes you have.

If the sauce tastes bitter, add a few tablespoons of the sugar. Add salt and pepper and more chile flakes as needed. Place in clean, sterile jars and refrigerate, freeze or can. Makes about 10 cups.

 

 

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Leave a comment

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

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
  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.

Variations:

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.

CHICKEN WITH ORANGE, SPINACH AND CHERRY TOMATOES

2 tablespoons.
2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon
1 cup
1 tablespoon
4
4 cups
minced fresh dill 
grated orange peel
minced garlic
salt
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)

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE BASE LAYER:

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

FOR THE OPTIONAL TOMATO-BREAD CRUMB TOPPING:

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

FOR THE GRATIN:

  • 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

PREPARATION

  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.

 

 

 

Posted in farm news | Leave a comment

Week #21

Week #21

  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Beans (a few)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Summer squash (Zucchini and the like)
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Shiso
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Bartlett Pears or Asian pears
  • Apples
  • Prune plums
  • Leeks

This is the time of year when cooking at home is hard due to heat and the most essential thing to do to deal with all those veggies. It seems overwhelming at times to deal with all the tomatoes and fruit, we are canning and dehydrating as often as we can manage and still there is barely a dent in all that produce this relatively small farm produces. Several of you have recipes for gazpacho, ratatouille, tomato sauce and stews. Please do send me those family favorites so I can share with others. Beth shared her favorite gazpacho recipe and that is written below. I know others have made that cool summer favorite soup with cucumbers and zucchini, it is time to get creative.

It was so hot last week we had to hand water our transplants daily. They seem to be struggling, but with this cooler stretch hopefully they can get down their roots and really take off. Juvencio has been a machine, pulling out beds of overgrown spring broccoli and composting them and getting them ready for fall crops. I try and plant those beds as soon as they are ready with things like radicchio, lettuce and green onions. We have fall broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage in the previously occupied onion beds. The weeds take no breaks and are really strutting their stuff. The greenhouses need to be turned over to fall crops, but that has taken the back burner for now, so much to do.

We had many comments about the canning party. We will take the break this year and plan on having it next year. I will change the heading to my email about the canning party to draw people’s attention to my email in the future.

Next weekend is Labor Day. Many of you have children returning to school this week, many start the following week. Don’t forget to pack veggies in their lunches! We will harvest next Sunday and those that pick up Sunday and Monday can pick up on Tuesday if that fits better into your plans.

Have a great week.

Gazpacho

By Beth

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (4-6 depending on size)

1 cucumber

1 onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

 

Dice above ingredients and combine in a bowl

 

Add the following:

3 cups tomato juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Use an immersion blender or food processor and blend to taste (chunky or smooth)

 

Serve cold for the hot weather!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Leave a comment

Week #20

Week #20

  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Beans (a few)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Summer squash (Zucchini and the like)
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Stuffing peppers
  • Bartlett Pears or Asian pears
  • Apples
  • Prune plums

The farmers returned from their adventures in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks refreshed and then over heated! We had an amazing trip. We spent 3 days in Yellowstone immersed in the other worldly environment of bubbling mud pots, fumaroles and geysers. Every day was a new adventure with so much to see and experience. The last day was our “wildlife day” awe saw herds of buffalo, elk, deer, osprey and otter family. Fortunately we did not see any bears, but the bear spray was almost always on my hip.

We had no reservations but thanks to some great advise from members and friends we just drove into camp early in the morning and were able to find empty sites and set up camp before we headed to for  explore for the day.

We drove from Yellowstone to Glacier (not as close as it seems on the map or on the mileage marked by google). Glacier did seem to be the most popular park for 2016. We arrived late in the day and all sites were full so we drove another hour or two to a more remote area to find a place to pitch the tent. We were pretty sure bears had been around that area in the recent past and Juve spent the night in the car “guarding us”. We slept great in the tent. Glacier was beautiful, with a new lake at every turn. We took an amazing hike, and drove the “going-to-the-sun” highway. I didn’t get the memo that recommended taking the free tour bus to all the sites and getting off and on at the different “points of interest”. So, it was hard to park and see any sites as it was jam packed with other tourists who didn’t read that the tour bus was the way to go. It was impressive non the less.

We missed having Diego with us, but he did a great job holding down the fort at the farm and he managed to finish his summer school class. Dee managed the harvest with the help of many great member volunteers, a huge thank you to her and everyone else that lent a hand to make the farmer’s vacation a reality. We came back in the middle of the scorching heat wave that has stressed our plants to no end. Everything looks parched and wilty. It will cool off today but crank up again at the end of the week. We will have to spend some time today figuring out how to get more water to the plants that need it most. We have beautiful lettuce, but it may be bitter due to the heat. The cucumbers also tend to turn bitter with excessive heat. Take your first bites carefully, to see how they taste!

It has come to my attention that many people were not aware that the canning party will not happen this season. I mentioned it months ago, at the beginning of the summer and basically got zero response. It is a ton of work for Mary Kay and myself to put together and pull off and interest seemed minimal at best. We will consider having an event next year if people show  interest and step up to participate. I will do my own canning and have started slowly. Plums seem to be the top priority right now, they are falling off the trees!

We have 9 more weeks of harvest to go and another hoop house to get up and planted before the end of September. Juvencio will take a trip to visit his family in Honduras in mid Septmeber so we are stretched thin with tons to get done. The weeds take no vacations even in the heat. Please do sign up to help harvest. If those days don’t work for you there are always weeds to pull, felled apples to gather and throw to the goats and construction projects to make happen.

The Harvest Festival is slated for October 9th! This is our largest celebration of fall bounty and our community at La Finquita. Please plan on attending and sharing your farm with friends and family.

Have a great week! See recipes below for ideas on what to do with all those tomatoes!!

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.

Maryanne’s Tian of Basil

  • 2 medium- small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 bunches basil, 4 cups loosely packed fresh basil, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup or less shredded kasseri, gruyere or Swiss cheese,
  • ¼ cup or less fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a shallow (about 2 inches deep) ovenproof serving dish.  Place the zucchini slices over the bottom and press chopped basil leaves firmly over the zucchini (the basil will cook down the way spinach does).
  2. Arrange the tomato slices over the basil. Then scatter the cheese evenly over the tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and back about 35 minutes, until hot through and cheeses are melted

 

Roasted Tomato Salsa

8 to 10 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 poblano pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat)
1 jalapeno pepper, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds and ribs, if you’re concerned about heat)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup roughly chopped red onion
2 to 3 tablespoons lime juice
sea salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, peppers and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper. Transfer the oiled vegetables to the prepared baking sheet and spread them into a single layer. Roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. At this point, start checking every 5 minutes and removing any vegetables that appear browned and softened (for me, this was the garlic first, then the peppers and finally the tomatoes). Once all the vegetables have roasted, allow them to cool slightly.

Transfer the slightly cooled vegetables to a food processor, fitted with a metal blade. Add the cilantro, red onion and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Pulse about a dozen times, to achieve the texture of a chunky puree. If the salsa is too thick, add more lime juice. Salt to taste (this is very important; add a little bit, try it and repeat as necessary). Either serve immediately or cover the salsa and refrigerate it, serving it cold.

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Leave a comment

Week #18 and #19

Week #18/19

  • Lettuce (if it has not bolted!)
  • Basil
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes (time to make sauce!)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatillos
  • Hot peppers
  • Sweet peppers
  • Kale
  • Beans
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • 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”
Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

 

 

 

Posted in farm news | Leave a comment

Week #17

Week #17

  • Apples
  • Basil (the whole plant – keep the roots on and stick then in a jar of water on your counter for use all week)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli (the last until the fall broccoli comes in (September or October)
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes – finally enough for everyone?
  • Shiso or cilantro
  • Onions (huge Ailsa Craig – use fresh, not for storage)
  • Garlic
  • Fresh beans – wax and green! The big green ones are “Fortex” they are sweet, never starchy or stringy
  • Green peppers
  • Cabbage
  • You pick blackberries – they are on! They are delicious in cobbler or crumble, make jam – you name it.

We had a visit this week from our friend Rigo, with his help Juvencio got one of the two new greenhouses staked out, leveled and bow posts planted. He hopes to complete the rest of the bow placing this week and start work on the end walls. This is so exciting as it provides new covered space for late fall lettuce and spinach and my favorite radishes!

Whenever we change focus on the farm some area gets neglected and the weeds come out to play. They loved the heat and took off. The flea beetles exploded and are creating lace out to the leaves of most plants. The aphids are enjoying a renaissance and we think we see evidence of the red spotted spider mite. AWK! The onslaught of insects is overwhelming, who has time for these pests? We will work to defeat them, but who knows if the battle can be won.

The onions keep on growing, as we wait for their tops to fall over and symbolize their readiness for harvest. We have overwintering broccoli and cauliflower ready to be transplanted but they need those onion beds! The broccoli from the spring is nearing the end and we will turn over those beds, but as the rules of crop rotation go, no more brassicas in those beds for 3 years (that doesn’t actually happen at La Finquita, but we aim for 2 years. With such limited space rotation schedules are tight and land is composted and amended in lieu of long rotation schedules. We pay the price in pest pressure for sure.

Upcoming events:

  • Helvetia Culture festival August 14: 1-5 pm (take a postcard from the barn with all the details)
  • La Finquita Harvest Festival: October 9: 2-6 pm
  • End of the season: October 28th (we still have 14 more weeks – hurray for vegetables)

It is time for cucumbers so check out these family favorites, or just do what I do, eat a cucumber for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

CUCUMBERS WITH WASABI AND RICE VINEGAR

1 lb Japanese or Kirby cucumbers (about 5)
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/2 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer

 

Very thinly slice cucumbers crosswise with slicer; toss with 1 teaspoon salt and drain in a colander 15 minutes. Rinse cucumbers under cold water, then squeeze handfuls to remove excess water; pat dry.

Stir together wasabi powder and water in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Add vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Add cucumbers and toss well.

Cooks’ note: Cucumbers can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.

Shiso salad.

In a bowl, combine 2 cups very thinly sliced peeled cucumbers and 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar. Slightly crush cucumber with your hand, and let stand at least 5 minutes. Rinse and core 1 crisp green apple (such as Granny Smith or Newtown Pippin; 1/2 lb.); thinly slice on a food slicer or mandoline. Add apple at once to cucumbers, and mix. Add 1/4 cup finely slivered fresh shiso leaves (green or purple); mix. Season to taste with salt. With a slotted spoon, mound salad on plates and garnish with fresh shiso leaves. Makes 3 cups, 4 servings.

CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING
2 cups mayonnaise
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives
6 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 heads iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 2-inch chunks
Whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth, then whisk in chives.

Put cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce into bowls and serve with dressing. Cooks’ note:
Buttermilk dressing (without chives) can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Whisk in chives before serving.

SOBA NOODLE SALAD WITH CUCUMBER AND MANGO
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 red jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel

12 ounces green soba or chuka soba (Japanese-style) noodles

1 large English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 large ripe mango, peeled, halved, pitted, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped toasted salted peanuts
Lime wedges
Warm vinegar, sugar, and salt in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and jalapeño. Cool. Mix in lime juice, sesame oil, and lime peel.

Becca’s favorite Thai Cumber salad with Roasted Peanuts

¼ cup fresh limejuice
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.

Insalata Caprese

 

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

olive oil

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.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Leave a comment

Week #16

Cincopa WordPress plugin

  • Parsley or cilantro
  • Gravenstein apples
  • Basil (the whole plant – keep the roots on and stick then in a jar of water on your counter for use all week)
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions (huge Ailsa Craig – use fresh, not for storage)
  • Garlic
  • Fresh beans – wax and green!
  • Hot peppers
  • Green peppers
  • Kohlrabi – enjoy this giant
  • Tomatillos
  • Cabbage

This was a very productive week. We harvested onions and cleared flower beds and managed to plant all the cleared beds. We put in more cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower for fall. We reseeded the beets and carrots (this is probably the third time we have tried in 4 weeks (so frustrating and so costly!). I have the sprouting broccoli and overwintering cauliflower seeded and almost ready to transplant. We put in an extra 70 summer squash plants “just in case”. I am debating the extra cucumbers that I have wanted to put in. There is no space, and honestly can you eat more cucumbers? But I have them as reserve and we’ll see if I feel the need in 1-2 more weeks.

We hope to start work on the famous new greenhouse but that project remains in the wings. There is so much to weed, seed and harvest it is almost impossible to think about starting another project. We will need space for the fall crops like spinach and lettuce and radicchio and don’t forget daikon radish! We will need those greenhouses up and running.

We started making cheese again. The shiny new pasteurizer works great, now the farmer needs to find time to milk and prep the cheese. Our pigs will go to the butcher soon so that will free up some time for Juvencio as they need daily tending, they are always hungry.

There are tons of blackberries so you can pick some when you come out to the farm. They are in their full glory right now. We planted Padron peppers again this year and have them for $3/box. They make a great appetizer for those summer meals, just follow the directions below for the best peppers around.

Blistered Padrón Peppers

BON APPÉTIT MARCH 2013 TRASIERRA, SEVILLE, SPAIN

Yield

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Padrón or shishito peppers
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of the peppers; cook, tossing occasionally, until skins are blistered and flesh is softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining peppers, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and more salt.

 

Don’t forget to sign up to help with the harvest. We have passed the half way mark, there are 13 weeks left of the regular season, 27 harvests to go, don’t miss your opportunity to share the work. Growing vegetables is hard work and the harvest is the best part. You get to dirty your hands and meet new people. We start at 7 and go until the harvest is done, usually 4 hours at this time of year.

 

Up coming events include:

  • Helvetia Culture Fest – August 14 1-5 (postcard info in the barn on the sign-in table)
  • Harvest Festival – October 9 (2-6 p.m.) save the date and invite your friends!

 

 

Cucumber Salsa Salad

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

This salad, which resembles gazpacho, is a lovely, light way to begin a Mexican meal. Serve it atop lettuce leaves as a salad, or serve over rice. Alternately, use it as a sauce with fish, chicken or fajitas.

1 long European cucumber, very finely diced

Salt to taste

1 small red onion, finely minced

5 medium-size ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, seeded if desired and finely chopped

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (to taste), plus several sprigs for garnish

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Leaf lettuce or Boston lettuce for serving (optional)

1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

  1. Place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumber thoroughly with cold water, and drain again on paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, place the onion in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels.
  3. Combine the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, and season to taste with salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Serve the salad on lettuce leaves, garnished with slices of avocado and cilantro sprigs, or spoon over steamed rice.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: You can assemble the salad a few hours ahead, but don’t add the cilantro until close to serving time.

 

 

DILLED TUNA-CUCUMBER SALAD
1 6 1/8-ounce can water-packed white tuna, drained
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
2 small green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Mix well. Season generously with pepper. Serve salad chilled.

 

 

Basil Pesto

Basil leaves (removed from tough stems, washed and dried gently)

Gallic cloves minced

Pine nuts

Olive oil

Parmesan cheese

 

This recipe doesn’t have exact measures but I usually start with the cheese in the food processor and grind it fine.  Then I remove it and all basil leaves and garlic to the bowl.  Grind fine then add 1-4 tablespoons of pine nuts and then while motor is running add a stream of olive oil and the parmesan.  I like the consistency to be pasty not too dry.  I then add this to 1 pound of cooked pasta al dente.  Mix well and serve with additional cheese on top.

 

GREEN MOLE WITH PORK
2 pounds boneless center cut pork loin in one piece, rolled and tied together with the ribs and backbone
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, bruised
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
9 garlic cloves
8 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 jalapeño chiles, tops removed
6 large tomatillos, husks removed
1 small onion, cut into chunks
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh marjoram
1 cup (8 ounces) masa, either fresh or reconstituted by mixing 6 tablespoons masa harina to a smooth paste with 1 cup of water (see Tips, below)
1 medium bunch Italian parsley
Eight 6-inch sprigs fresh epazote or 1/4 cup dried, crumbled (see Tips, below)
3 large or 5 medium-size fresh hoja santa leaves or 6 dried leaves (see Tips, below)
2 cups cooked Great Northern or other white beans
Choose a deep saucepan or Dutch oven large enough to hold the meat comfortably. Place the tied pork loin and bones in it along with the peppercorns, salt, and 4 of the garlic cloves. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch (at least 7 cups). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partly covered, for 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 120° F. (Do not worry about the low temperature. The meat will cook more thoroughly in reheating.) Remove the meat and bones from the cooking stock and set aside. Strain the stock; you should have about 6 cups.

Grind the cloves and cumin together in an electric coffee or spice grinder, or with a mortar and pestle. Place the ground spices in a blender with the chiles, tomatillos, onion, thyme, marjoram, the remaining 5 garlic cloves, and 1/2 cup of the strained stock. Process until smoothly puréed (about 2 minutes on high).

Return the remaining strained stock to the pan; bring back to a boil, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add the puréed mixture to the hot stock and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

Thin the masa by mixing with 1 cup water. Whisk the thinned masa into the stock mixture; whisking constantly, let the sauce return to the simmer.

Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. If lumps form, pass the mixture through a medium-mesh sieve (pushing with a spoon to force through the lumpy bits) and return to the heat. The mixture should thicken to the consistency of whipping cream; if necessary, increase the heat slightly to reduce and thicken it.

Untie the cooked pork and carve into serving pieces. Carve the bones into separate rib sections.

Place the parsely, epazote, and hoja santa in a blender or food processor. If using a blender, add a few tablespoons water to facilitate blending. Process to a smooth purée.

Add the cooked beans to the masa-thickened sauce and let return to a simmer. Return the carved meat and bones to the pot along with the puréed herbs. Taste and add more salt if desired. Cook until just heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Give each person a piece or two of rib bone along with the meat and sauce. Serve immediately.

Chef Zarela Martinez shares her tips with Epicurious:
• This recipe, which can also be served over chicken or fish, is an example of the sophisticated sauce-making techniques for which Oaxaca is famous. Herbs, spices, and aromatics are puréed and mixed with stock; the sauce is then reduced and thickened with masa, a ground corn dough that performs a similar function to the roux in French cooking. Freshly puréed herbs are mixed in at the last minute for a sprightly, green flavor.
• Masa is a dough made from dried corn that has been treated with an alkali substance such as slaked lime and water and then ground. Fresh masa can be found at some Mexican grocery stores and at tortilla factories. For this recipe, be sure to avoid the masa preparada para tamales, which is mixed with lard and flavorings. Masa harina (dehydrated powdered masa, available at many grocery stores), is mixed with water to produce masa. Masa comes in fine and course grinds; either can be used in this recipe. Regular corn meal cannot be substituted for masa.
• Hoja santa, also called hierba santa or root-beer plant, has a distinctive anise- and sassafraslike flavor that’s hard to duplicate. Epazote has a slightly bitter, pungent, somewhat medicinal flavor that mellows in cooking. Martinez recommends using these herbs fresh for authenticity; look in farmers’ markets or buy whole plants from www.itsaboutthyme.com. Both herbs are available dried from www.kitchenmarket.com.
• Either dried or canned beans can be used in this recipe. If using dried beans, boil them until they are almost cooked through but not falling apart.

 

 

ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA

If you’re pressed for time, you may want to try a jarred
brand of tomatillo salsa instead of making it from scratch.
We can’t attest to the quality of all of them, but we do
love Rick Bayless’s, which has a fine, robust flavor. (Look
for it in specialty foods stores and in some supermarkets.)

Active time: 15 min   Start to finish: 15 min.

1 1/2 lb fresh tomatillos or 3 (11-oz) cans tomatillos
5 fresh serrano chiles
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons coarse salt

 

Place tomatillos (after husking them), garlic and chiles in a pan in the broiler, 2 – 3 inches from broiler.  Broil until tomatillos soft (approximately 7 minutes.  Remove and peal garlic, destem the chiles and place all ingredients in blender.

Makes about 3 cups.

Gourmet
Kohlrabi Slaw

Salad:
1 1/4 lbs kohlrabi, peeled and coarsely shredded
2 lge carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
1/2 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 c. chopped scallions, including green

Dressing:
2 T oil, pref olive oil
2 T vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
2 t or more fresh snipped dill
1 t sugar (I used 1/4 t)
1/2 t ea. cumin and mustard powder
1/4 t crumbled tarragon
1/4 t ea. salt and pepper
1/3 c plain yoghurt

Toss salad ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, blend oil and vinegar, then blend in other ingredients. Pour over salad, toss, cover and refrigerate for about 2 hrs before serving.
Serves 6

 

 

GREEN CABBAGE STUFFED WITH VEGETABLES AND FRESH HERBS

Printed from COOKS.COM

1 c. chopped mushrooms
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c. diced red bell peppers
1/2 c. diced asparagus or broccoli
1/4 c. diced onions
6 tbsp. Pesto
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. chopped cooked red potatoes
1 c. cooked lima or fava beans
1/2 c. pine nuts
1/2 head or 10 green cabbage leaves, steamed 3 to 4 minutes
2 c. prepared tomato sauce
3/4 to 1 c. grated Mozzarella cheese (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute the mushrooms, parsley, peppers, asparagus, onions, Pesto, and pepper in the oil over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the potatoes, beans, and pine nuts. Place 1 or 2 tablespoons of the mixture on each cabbage leaf where the thick stem is. Fold the right side of the leaf over it, then the left, and roll up.

Place the stuffed leaves in a greased baking dish and pour the tomato sauce over them. Top with the cheese, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Newsletter | Leave a comment

Week #15

Week #15

  • Lettuce
  • Shiso or parsley or cilantro
  • Currants or apples or plums
  • Basil
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower or broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Beans – still just trickling in
  • Hot peppers
  • Cabbage

We remain busy on the farm. Weeding was top priority this past week. Vincent lent a hand and many of the worst weeds have been beaten back. The thistle remains a problem in many spots, making harvesting less pleasurable as one gets a sticker in each finger. We hope to get those areas under control this week. We planted some fall crops where ever some crops have finished. We have fall cauliflower, cabbage and celery in, and will get the remainder of the broccoli planted later this week. I will seed the overwintering cauliflower later this week, this is the amazing spring cauliflower that you got a taste of during the first and second harvests.

We hope to start work on the new greenhouses (hoop houses –  I use these terms interchangeably but really a hoop house has no heat source and that is all we use.) There will be a lot of construction going on here at the farm over the next few months. We hope to put cover crop in one house and fill the other with winter crops. We will see how far we get with that plan.

Juve has two new calves this week. The first offspring of the Wagyu bull. They are long legged and black and really cute. There muscle is mottled with fat so instead of a ribbon of fat around the edge of a steak you have the fat inside the muscle, making the most tender beef. This is supposed to be some of the best beef ever. We will not have any for purchase until late fall 2017 or winter. Today we have decided to do a beef tasting of our current meat. It is delicious and nutritious as they are completely grass-fed with no grain finishing. We will also pull out the cider press and let people have a spin. We will be in the barn sampling from 2 – 3:30 or 4 whenever the samples run out. Juve has some beef still for sale.

I am deep in the flower harvest, drying for wreaths. I have fresh flowers every week that go to waste. Please consider ordering a bouquet ahead and I will make it for you or purchase one that I have made with care every week. Flowers brighten your house and are such a bargain, you deserve it. A gift of flowers is always appreciated, so open your eyes when you come in the barn and cooler and take home a bouquet today!

And another – super easy but would be great with your beef that’s coming!

 

Finquita Beef and Cabbage Sauté (from former member Kindle)

1 lbg Finquita ground beef 🙂

large white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large head cabbage chopped

Herbamare herb seasoning salt (or other seasoning of choice)

Salt and pepper

 

Using a large saute pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil, add ground beef, season with Herbamare, salt and pepper to taste. Cook completely.  Add cabbage and simmer until tender. Serve warm. My kids like this dish served over rice with soy sauce or sweet chili sauce. I love it as is!

 

Andalusian Cabbage Salad

1 small head savoy or green cabbage
2 Tbs salt
2-3 large garlic cloves,  crushed
2 Tbs lemon juice
6 Tbs olive oil

Shred or finely slice the cabbage and toss with the salt in a large
bowl.  Let set one hour.
Rinse the cabbage well by swishing it in fresh cold water,
draining,  and soaking in fresh water again;  the rinse thoroughly
until it is not too salty.  Place in a bowl and cover with fresh ice
water and let sit for 15 minutes;  then drain.  Toss with remaining
ingredients and serve.

 

INDIAN SPICED CAULIFLOWER AND POTATOES
1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup water

Accompaniment: lemon wedges
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Short Term Cucumber-Onion Pickles

Local Flavors, Deborah Madison

 

These were great!  We had them last week, easy and they taste super.

 

2/3 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

pinch of salt

2 shiny fresh red or white onions (I used the really small ones and  added as many as I wanted)

2 cups thinly sliced cucumbers, peeled only if the skins are tough (I used any and all, cut off the ends if bitter)

a few lovage leaves, fennel greens or dill sprigs

1 teaspoon mixed whole pepper corns

3 tablespoons olive oil

 

  1. Mix the vinegar, sugar and slat and set aside, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Thinly slice the onions into rounds, then toss them with the cucumbers, herb, and peppercorns in a non corrosive bowl.
  3. Add the oil to the vinegar, stir well, then pour over the vegetables. Toss well, then cover and refrigerate.  It’s best if the pickles can sit for a day before being used.
  4. For sweet pickles, keep for up to 5 days in refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

Posted in farm news | Leave a comment