Archive for September, 2013

Newsletter for September 10 – September 16 (Kale and Carrot Soup with Sausage)

Apples and winter squash for everyone this week! We also still have plenty of summer vegetables, although the cool weather is slowing down the growing a bit. Every year we plan to have most vegetables until we get a frost, which usually isn’t until October, so we should have things like corn, summer squash, peppers, and cukes for a while.

As I mentioned in the Sunday night e-mail, we will probably close the Colchester stand early this year, as we did last year. The pick-up will still go on at the stand until the end of the CSA as planned, though! The business at this stand dies way down in the fall, since so much of the business there is driven by pick-your-own berries. I will bring produce to buy to the stand every Thursday, so along with getting your CSA you can also buy extra produce and/or use any missed share vouchers you might have.

Small Share:

(As always, feel free to double up on options and to ask to swap out any item you might not want)

2 lbs. VT Macintosh apples ($3)

1 butternut or 2 small acorn squash ($3-$4)

1 head lettuce OR 1 bunch chard ($2)

1 bunch mint OR 4 chili peppers ($1.5)

Choose 4 options ($12)

1 lb. tomatoes

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs. zucchini and/or summer squash

1 large bunch kale

3 bell peppers

4 cucumbers

1 lb. carrots

Possibly: Patty pan squash, large beets

Total retail value: $21.50 – $22.50

Single Share:

3 VT Macintosh apples ($1.5)

1 small butternut or 1 acorn squash ($2-$3)

1 head lettuce or 1 bunch chard ($2)

Fresh mint or chili peppers ($1.5)

Choose 3 options ($9)

1 lb. tomatoes

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs. zucchini and/or summer squash

1 large bunch kale

3 bell peppers

4 cucumbers

1 lb. carrots

Possibly: Patty pan squash, large beets

Total retail value: $16 – $17

Large Share:

3 lbs. VT Macintosh apples ($4.5)

1 butternut or 2 small acorn squash ($3-$4)

1 head lettuce and 1 bunch chard or 2 of each ($4)

1 bunch mint OR 4 chili peppers ($1.5)

1 pint grape tomatoes ($3.5)

Choose 5 options ($15)

1 lb. tomatoes

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs. zucchini and/or summer squash

1 large bunch kale

3 bell peppers

4 cucumbers

1 lb. carrots

Possibly: Patty pan squash, large beets

$31.50 – $32.50

Bread:

The bread this week is Red Hen’s Waitsfield Common. Here’s what Red Hen says about this bread on their website: This is a basic, no nonsense, do-anything bread. Mild, but still with plenty of flavor. We named it in honor of the old town common in Waitsfield. Don’t get the wrong idea — this is an uncommon “common” bread that goes equally well with PB & J or with extra-virgin olive oil.

Meat

We will be offering a limited number of pork shares to CSA members in a few weeks – more info on that soon! If you missed out on the beef, our friends at Templeton Farm in East Montpelier are selling 30 and 50 lb. boxes of delicious grass-fed beef for $7.75/lb. If you are interested, please e-mail me within the next 2 weeks and I will give them your order or get you in touch with Seth. Thanks!

Winter Share

We have been waiting to see how the potatoes and other fall root crops are doing before deciding if we can offer a winter share this year. Right now it’s not looking good; we might get about 15 percent of our normal potato yield (if that). We also probably won’t get too many sweet potatoes. Without these two items we have decided that it doesn’t make sense to offer a winter share this year. We may have enough to offer a few one-time holiday shares though!

Kale

Now that the weather is cooling down, it’s a great time to try some hearty fall soups! Kale is fantastic in soup, especially when paired with hot sausage or kielbasa. I usually make a kale, sausage, and potato soup, but since we’re so short on potatoes I used carrots instead the other day, and the results were delicious.

Kale and Carrot Soup with Sausage

2 tbsp. oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 lb. hot sausage, casing removed

3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

4-5 cups water or stock

About 5-6 large leaves kale, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons

In a medium soup pot sauté onions in hot oil over medium-high heat until translucent. Add sausage and cook, stirring often, until browned. Drain out fat if necessary. Add carrots and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Add enough water or stock to cover carrots and sausage. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until carrots are almost cooked through (about 10-15 minutes). Add kale and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed (the sausage adds a lot of salt, so it might not be!)

Want to make kale chips or butternut squash soup? You can find the recipes in old newsletters. Just go to our CSA site (www.paulmazzascsa.com) and type “kale chips” or “butternut squash soup” into the search box. You will be brought right to the newsletter that contains that recipe!

 

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Newsletter for September 3 – September 9 (Beet Greens and Rice Gratin)

Although we are still having trouble getting enough of a few veggies (potatoes and eggplant, for instance), most of our crops are doing well, and we have plenty of many of the items we’ve been struggling with this year (like pickling cucumbers, corn, and tomatoes). Want to do any canning or large-batch freezing? If you come by the Essex stand we’re selling many items by the bushel or half-bushel now. If you pick up in Colchester and want me to bring something over, that works too; just send me an e-mail and I’ll bring it on your pick-up day. You are also welcome to use a voucher to pay if you have one.

This is a tomato-heavy week, so I felt like fresh oregano would be a nice herb to give out. We will also have arugula this week (promise!) so it would be a great week for some delicious pasta dishes – pasta with arugula pesto and grape tomatoes, or with a simple tomato sauce with fresh oregano. It would also be a great week to try home-made black bean chili with fresh corn. Another great thing to do with many of the veggies this week (carrots, peppers, cucumbers) is to simply slice them up and enjoy with hummus – either home-made or store-bought. Probably one of the healthiest, tastiest snacks around!

Small Share

1 pint grape tomatoes ($3.50)

6 ears corn ($3)

1 lb. tomatoes ($3)

1 bunch arugula or 1 head lettuce ($2)

1 bunch fresh oregano or 1 cucumber ($0.80-$1.5)

Coupon for $1 off honey, maple syrup, or pickles

 Choose 3 of the following options: ($9)

1 bunch beet greens

1 lb. carrots

1.3 lbs. peppers (we will try to have a few different varieties)

1 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs. pickling cucumbers

1 large or 2 small cabbages

Possibly: Extra lettuce, extra tomatoes, zucchini,  kale

Total retail value: $21.30 – $22

Single Share:

1 pint grape tomatoes ($3.5)

4 ears corn ($2)

1 medium tomato ($1.5)

1 bunch arugula or 1 head lettuce ($2)

1 bunch fresh oregano or 1 cucumber ($0.80-$1.5)

Coupon for $1 off honey, maple syrup, or pickles

Choose 2 of the following options: ($6)

1 bunch beet greens

1 lb. carrots

1.3 lbs. peppers (we will try to have a few different varieties)

1 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs. pickling cucumbers

1 large or 2 small cabbages

Possibly: Extra lettuce, extra tomatoes, zucchini,  kale

Total retail value: $16.70 – $17.50

Large Share

1 pint grape tomatoes ($3.50)

8 ears corn ($4)

1 lb. tomatoes ($3)

1 bunch arugula and 1 head lettuce or 2 of each ($4)

1 bunch fresh oregano and 1 cucumber or 2 of each ($1.60 – $3)

Coupon from $1 off honey, maple syrup, or pickles

Choose 4 of the following options: ($12)

1 bunch beet greens

1 lb. carrots

1.3 lbs. peppers (we will try to have a few different varieties)

1 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs. pickling cucumbers

1 large or 2 small cabbages

Possibly: Extra lettuce, extra tomatoes, zucchini,  kale

Bread and Eggs

The bread this week is O Bread’s Sesame Wheat. It is also an egg week.

PYO Berries

Believe it or not, the berry picking is still quite good in Essex and Colchester. We have a late variety of blueberry that’s doing fantastic; I went picking with my 2-year-old in Essex this weekend and we were able to get a quart in 10 minutes. There are also lots of fall raspberries to pick. If you take a $3 PYO voucher it will get you about a pint and a half of blueberries or 2/3 a pint of raspberries. You can also use leftover vouchers from earlier in the season.

Beet Greens

Beet greens taste a little like chard or spinach. They can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, or braised. Many people add vinegar at the end of cooking, or sauté with onions or garlic. You could also try this tasty gratin from the New York Times “Recipes for Health” blog.

Beet Greens and Rice Gratin

1 generous bunch beet greens, stemmed and washed

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3 eggs

1/2 cup low-fat milk (2 percent)

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup cooked brown rice, arborio rice or Calrose rice

2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 cup bread crumbs (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish with olive oil. Either blanch the beet greens for 1 minute in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, or steam over an inch of boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes, until wilted and tender. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the cooked greens and the thyme and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir in the greens mixture, the rice and the cheeses and mix together well. Scrape into the oiled baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of oil.

4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until sizzling and lightly browned on the top and sides. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Newsletter for August 27 – September 2 (Stuffed Peppers with Corn, Black Beans, and Quinoa)

We picked a few bushels of our own apples this week, so fall must be on the way! We planted our apple trees in 2011, and are not expecting our first big harvest until next year, but this year we will have some to sell on the stand, and perhaps even enough to give out to CSA members in coming weeks. Our watermelons and cantaloupes are also looking good too, but need another week or so to ripen up. We’re hoping to have them for CSA members next week.

The share is a big one again this week, so you might want to bring two bags! It’s a great week for some stuffed peppers, or a tomato and cucumber salad with fresh arugula. You make a great late summer vegetable soup with the squash, tomatoes, peppers, and corn.

Small Share:

(As always, feel free to double up on options and to ask to swap out any item you might not want)

1 head lettuce or 1 bunch arugula ($2)

1 lb. tomatoes ($3)

1.5 lbs. pickling cucumbers ($3)

2-3 cubanelle (sweet) peppers ($2)

Coupon for $$ off peaches or nectarines

Choose 4 options ($12)

1 lb. carrots

3-4 green bell peppers

5 ears corn

1 bunch chard

1.5 lbs. summer squash (and probably zucchini)

1 $3 PYO voucher

Possibly some of the following: white eggplant, grape tomatoes, cabbage, beans

Total retail value: $22

Large Share

1 head lettuce and 1 bunch arugula OR 1 of each ($4)

1 lb. tomatoes ($3)

1.5 lbs. pickling cucumbers ($3)

4 cubanelle (sweet) peppers ($3)

1 pint grape tomatoes ($3.50)

Coupon for $$ off peaches or nectarines

Choose 5 options ($15)

1 lb. carrots

3-4 green bell peppers

5 ears corn

1 bunch chard

1.5 lbs. summer squash (and probably zucchini)

1 $3 PYO voucher

Possibly some of the following: white eggplant, grape tomatoes, cabbage, beans

Total retail value: $31.50

Single Share:

1 head lettuce or 1 bunch arugula ($2)

1 lb. tomatoes ($3)

1 lb. pickling cucumbers ($2)

1 cubanelle (sweet) pepper ($1)

Coupon for $$ off peaches or nectarines

Choose 3 options ($9)

1 lb. carrots

3-4 green bell peppers

5 ears corn

1 bunch chard

1.5 lbs. summer squash (and probably zucchini)

1 $3 PYO voucher

Possibly some of the following: white eggplant, grape tomatoes, cabbage, beans

Total retail value: $17

Bread

Back by popular demand: Red Hen’s chewy ciabatta. The best bread for dipping in olive oil and enjoying with sliced ripe tomatoes, hearty late summer veggie soup, or just about anything else!

Pickling Cucumbers

Everyone gets pickling cucumbers this week. These sweet little cucumbers are the best for pickling, but they also can be eaten as you would a regular cucumber. Many people actually prefer them, since you don’t have to peel them and they are super sweet and crisp.

Arugula

Our spring arugula didn’t do so well due to the rain, but the arugula we planted at the beginning of August is thriving. Arugula is a spicy green that’s great in salads and on sandwiches. You can also add it to hot dishes (like pasta with vegetables), or even make a spicy pesto out of it.

Stuffed Peppers

You can stuff just about anything in a pepper and top it with cheese and bake it any it will be tasty! I like this healthy combo of corn, black beans, and quinoa. Feel free to add some browned ground beef or ground turkey, and to use rice instead of quinoa. You can also use bell peppers or cubanelles (sliced lengthwise).

Stuffed Peppers with Black Beans, Corn, and Quinoa

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½  onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Kernels from 4 ears cooked corn
  • 1 cup quinoa (or rice)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 bell or cubanelle peppers, sliced lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar (or more if needed!)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic; sauté another minute, until fragrant.
  2. Add the black beans and corn; cook for 5 minutes, until warmed. Add cooked quinoa, lime juice, cilantro leaves, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the mixture into each pepper half, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the peppers have softened, and the cheese is melted and starting to bubble.

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