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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