Archive for September, 2014

Newsletter for September 9 (Kale Salad with Beets and Maple Vinaigrette)

We’re starting to get into the autumn portion of the CSA, which means squash, potatoes, hearty greens, and apples. We will also continue to offer many summer veggies (corn, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, beans), since we grow these up until we get a frost, which generally doesn’t happen until early October. We also grow lots of broccoli and sweet potatoes in the fall, as well as cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Not all of these crops thrive every year, so I can’t promise we’ll be able to offer all of them, but I am hopefully that there will be new items to look forward to towards the beginning of October or perhaps even sooner!

Bread and Coupons

The bread this week is Waitsfield Common. As always, local cheese will be a dollar off for CSA members. This week we have some new cheeses, including fresh Maplebrook Farm fresh mozzarella!

PYO Apples

Everyone will have a choice of some sort of fruit this week (probably small watermelons or ginger gold apples), or a voucher for a ½ peck PYO apples. In Colchester there are macintosh apples to pick, and in Essex there are a variety of early apples, including ginger golds and macs. The trees in both locations are young and a dwarf variety, so the picking is easy for kids and adults alike.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a good all-purpose winter squash. Unlike some other varieties, it is fairly easy to peel and cut into chunks, making it great for all sorts of dishes. I love to make soup, and I generally start with raw squash. If you have the time, though, and don’t want the hassle of peeling and chopping your squash, you can just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it as is. When the squash is cooked through (this can take over an hour), just scoop out the flesh and use it in your recipe.

 

Butternut squash soup is pretty simple — you start with lots of sauteed onions, add some raw or cooked squash and stock, and, when everything is soft, you puree your soup up in a blender (or with a hand-held blender). You can add things to the onions (I like apples and sage, but curry powder is great too), add things when you add the squash (a peeled, cubed potato adds some creaminess and body), or add things after the soup has been pureed (cream, milk, or coconut milk). You want to make sure you season the soup with lots of salt and pepper at the end, and you can garnish each bowl with yogurt, sour cream, or fresh herbs. Here is a recipe that’s a good starting off point.

Kale

Fall is a great time for kale salad – particularly one with sweet beets, candied walnuts, and maple vinaigrette (I had a similar dish at the new Jericho Cafe and Tavern recently; it was fantastic!)

Kale Salad with Beets and Maple Vinaigrette

For Maple Vinaigrette (from Eating Well Magazine)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Combine oil, vinegar, maple syrup and mustard in a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid; whisk or shake until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Kale Salad

1 bunch kale

3-4 tablespoons maple vinaigrette

3 medium beets, cooked, peeled, and sliced (still warm is best)

candied walnuts

gorgonzola cheese

Wash kale and remove center ribs. Chop into bite-sized pieces and toss with vinaigrette and sliced beets. Serve at room temperature with cheese and walnuts sprinkled on top.

Single Share

Fruit (TBA — probably watermelon or apples) OR voucher for 1/2 peck PYO apples

2 lbs yukon gold potatoes

1 bunch fresh sage OR 1 cucumber

Choose 3 options

1 butternut squash

5 ears corn

1.2 lbs beets

1 lb yellow beans

1+ lb roma tomatoes

1 lb tomatillos

1 bunch kale

1 $3 PYO berry voucher

Possible: variety peppers

Small Share

Fruit (TBA — probably watermelon or apples) OR voucher for 1/2 peck PYO apples

3 lbs yukon gold potatoes

1 cucumber

1 bunch fresh sage OR 1 extra cuke

Choose 4 options

1 butternut squash

5 ears corn

1.2 lbs beets

1 lb yellow beans

1+ lb roma tomatoes

1 lb tomatillos

1 bunch kale

1 $3 PYO berry voucher

Possible: variety peppers

Large Share

Fruit x 2 (TBA — probably watermelon or apples) OR 2 vouchers for 1/2 peck PYO apples

5 lbs yukon gold potatoes

1 cucumber

1 bunch fresh sage OR 1 extra cuke

1 lb carrots

Choose 5 options

1 butternut squash

5 ears corn

1.2 lbs beets

1 lb yellow beans

1+ lb roma tomatoes

1 lb tomatillos

1 bunch kale

1 $3 PYO berry voucher

Possible: variety peppers

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Newsletter for September 2 (Linguine with Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese)

Besides the PYO apple option this week is full of late summer veggies. If you wanted to take most (or all) of your options in tomatoes you could make a batch of crock pot tomato sauce or vegetarian chili with sweet corn. We also have tomatillos again this week, so you could try your hand at chili verde. And of course, if all else fails, fresh veggies with pasta and cheese (see recipe below) is always delicious!

As you can probably tell, the season continues to be fantastic, and we are busier than ever. The labor day weekend is a big one for corn, so we always have tons of it this time in the season. Feel free to take all your options in corn if you want to do some freezing, or even to ask to buy a bag (5 dozen) when you pick up — we have plenty!

Bread and Coupons

The bread this week is Ciabatta, and CSA members also save $1 on local cheese.

Pick-Your-Own

Besides the pick-your-own apples, we still have plenty of PYO berries. The blueberries are slowing down a bit, but they’re still out there, and we will have raspberries until will get a frost. The fall raspberries ripen slower than the summer ones, and the season is longer, so when we pick for the stand we can only get 4 or 5 flats at a time — not nearly enough to give out to all CSA members. We do often have them for sale on the stand, though, and the picking is good, although not quite as fast as it is in the summer!

If you decide to pick apples — either on the pick-up day or another time — there will be info (including a map to the apple field) at pick-up. We have different types of apples at the different pick-up locations, but I will also include info about the apples at pick-up.

Linguine with Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese

This easy-to-adapt recipe is from Real Simple magazine. The toasted walnuts and goat cheese are a great combo with the mix of summer veggies, but you could also try it with feta and pine nuts.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the corn, garlic, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until the corn is tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked corn, tomatoes, zucchini, and ½ cup of the cooking water to the pot with the pasta. Cook over medium heat, gently tossing, until the liquid is slightly thickened and coats the pasta, 2 to 3 minutes (adding more cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce).
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve sprinkled with the oregano, walnuts, and goat cheese.

This week’s Produce

5 roma tomatoes

1 lb carrots or parsnips

1 lb pickling cukes (or 1 extra option)

Choose 4 options:

4 ears corn

2 summer squash or 2 zucchini

1 large or 2 small tomatoes

1 bunch kale

1 cabbage

.75 lb tomatillos

.5 lbs hot peppers

1 half peck Pick-your-own apples (counts as 2 options!)

Possible: Gladioluses, ½ pints grape tomatoes

Small Share:

1 pint grape tomatoes or 7 roma

1 lb carrots or parsnips

1.5 lbs pickling cukes

Choose 5 options

4 ears corn

2 summer squash or 2 zucchini

1 large or 2 small tomatoes

1 bunch kale

1 cabbage

.75 lb tomatillos

.5 lbs hot peppers

1 half peck Pick-your-own apples (counts as 2 options!)

Possible: Gladioluses, ½ pints grape tomatoes

Large Share:

2 pints grape tomatoes or 14 roma

2 lbs carrots or parsnips

2 lbs pickling cukes (or 2 extra options)

3 lbs white potatoes (or 1 extra option)

Choose 5 options:

4 ears corn

2 summer squash or 2 zucchini

1 large or 2 small tomatoes

1 bunch kale

1 cabbage

.75 lb tomatillos

.5 lbs hot peppers

1 half peck Pick-your-own apples (counts as 2 options!)

Possible: Gladioluses, ½ pints grape tomatoes

 

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Newsletter for August 26 (Salsa Verde)

We got the potato digger out and now we are harvesting potatoes in earnest, so CSA members will start to get more. We’ve also started harvesting the first winter squash, and I’m hoping we’ll be able to offer spaghetti squash this week. Believe it or not, the blueberries are still going strong, too — I went out to the Essex berry fields on Sunday evening and the 6 late rows were loaded with ripe berries. The Colchester PYO berry fields also have plenty of berries. Although we will have pick-your-own raspberries until the first frost, my guess is that this will be the last week with really good blueberry picking at both locations. If you come to use your PYO vouchers in Essex this week just make sure you get good directions at the stand so you can find the late berries, and walk down the rows almost to the end.  I can guarantee it won’t take long to pick as many blueberries as you want!

Bread and Coupons

The bread this week is Mad River Grain. We will also have coupons for $1 cheese, and possible more CSA member discounts to be announced.

Eggplant

One of my favorite things to do with eggplant is to make a stew-like dish with potato, tomato, eggplant, onion, and spices. Here is a great recipe from from a past newsletter (just scroll down a bit). You can also check out this collection of healthy eggplant recipes from Eating Well Magazine.

Tomatillos

We’re giving out tomatillos this week. Tomatillos are little green fruit with a sweet-tart taste. They are the traditional base for salsa verde, which is fantastic on grilled meat, fried eggs, or in tacos or fajitas. Here is a basic recipe from July’s Bon Appetit magazine. You can make it even more delicious by grilling or roasting your tomatillos first!

Salsa Verde

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, quartered
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 serrano chile, seeds removed if desired, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • Kosher salt
  • Purée tomatillos, onion, garlic, chile, and cilantro in a blender, adding water as needed, until smooth; season with salt.

More Recipes

Looking for something very easy to do with patty pan squash? Try chopping one or two up and cooking the pieces in oil over high heat until they are soft and starting to brown. Then add a few chopped roma tomatoes (or halved grape tomatoes) and lots of thinly sliced garlic and continue to cook over high heat for another 3 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper and serve tossed with pasta or as a side dish. It’s not the prettiest dish but it’s tasty, healthy, and only takes about 10 minutes!

Single Share:

2 lbs potatoes

4 ears corn

1 pint grape tomatoes or 1.5 lbs roma tomatoes

Choose 3 options:

1 $3 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs eggplant

1.5 lbs bell peppers

1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers

1 lb carrots

1 bunch chard

6 patty pan squash

1 lb tomatillos

Possible: spaghetti squash, broccoli, kale

Small Share:

3 lbs potatoes

6 ears corn

1 pint grape tomatoes or 1.5 lbs roma tomatoes

Choose 4 options:

1 $3 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs eggplant

1.5 lbs bell peppers

1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers

1 lb carrots

1 bunch chard

6 patty pan squash

1 lb tomatillos

Possible: spaghetti squash, broccoli, kale

Large share:

4 lbs potatoes

8 ears corn

2 pint grape tomatoes or 3 lbs roma tomatoes

1 lb beets or 1 extra option

Choose 4 options:

1 $3 PYO voucher

1.5 lbs eggplant

1.5 lbs bell peppers

1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers

1 lb carrots

1 bunch chard

6 patty pan squash

1 lb tomatillos

Possible: spaghetti squash, broccoli, kale

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Newsletter for August 19 (Gazpacho with Sweet Corn)

Sweet corn is back this week, along with lots of tomatoes and peppers! If you’ve never made gazpacho before, this is a great week to try; here is a basic recipe, but feel free to alter it as you’d like (below I’ve included a delicious alternate version with sweet corn). This would also be a great week to make a simple pasta salad with grape tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, bell peppers, fresh parsley, and crumbled feta cheese.

A $3 PYO voucher is an option this week, and we have blueberry and raspberry picking in both locations. $3 will get you well over a pint of blueberries, but raspberries are more expensive; a pint costs $4.50 if you’re going to pick your own. Got a voucher for a missed share, or a bunch of PYO berry vouchers? It doesn’t take long to pick a few quarts of raspberries, and it’s a great way to use up vouchers! You can freeze any berries you don’t eat for smoothies or jam making in the winter. The fall raspberries that we have now are big and super sweet.

Bread and Coupons

The bread this week is going to be Red Hen’s Cyrus Pringle. We will also be giving out coupons for money off peaches and cheese.

Bulk Produce

It’s getting to be canning time! We sell lots of bulk produce at the Essex stand, including canning tomatoes ($12/ half bushel). If you want to buy any bulk produce and you normally pick up in Colchester, just send me an e-mail and I will bring your order with me on Thursday. Both Essex and Colchester folks can also use missed-share vouchers any time to “buy” bulk produce in Essex for canning or freezing. If you want to skip a share and just use the voucher I leave you to buy bulk produce, that’s fine too! Right now we have the following for bulk sale (it varies day by day, but we should have all of these most days): corn, tomatoes, pickling cukes, beets, beans, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, peaches, cabbage, regular cukes.

Hot Peppers

One of the options this week will be chile peppers. Besides poppers, salsa, and chili, these peppers are great in soups, stir-fries, casseroles, and pretty much anything else you want to add them too. We grow jalapenos, mariachis, hungarian wax, anaheim, poblano, and habanero peppers. I am a big fan of hot peppers and am happy to tell you about the ones we grow if you have any questions at pick-up! Just a note about peppers — the heat level in most hot peppers varies a lot based on growing conditions. This means that a jalapeno grown in a low-stress environment (lots of shade and water) might be just a bit hotter than a bell pepper, while a jalapeno grown in a high-stress environment (hot sun, little water) will be scorching. This year I’ve found the peppers are about average, but that isn’t always the case!

Gazpacho with Sweet Corn

(Adapted from the “A Good Appetite” blog)

This recipe takes a bit more time than the basic one I linked to at the beginning of the newsletter, but the extra steps make it really smooth and creamy.

(If you like your gazpacho to have a little kick add a hot pepper along with the sweet ones.)

2 ears sweet corn

1 clove garlic, peeled

kosher salt

1 1/2 lbs tomatoes, peeled & seeded

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces + a little extra chopped for a garnish

1 small sweet onion, chopped

1/2 c chopped, seeded sweet pepper

1 T sherry vinegar

2 T olive oil

1/2 c pieces of heavy white bread (preferably a day old though I used fresh a& it worked fine) with crusts removed

Pepper

pinch or two of cayenne pepper

Husk the sweet corn. Cook in boiling water until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cobs.

Put the garlic clove and two pinches of salt into a mortar and pestle. Crush until it forms a paste.

Put the corn kernels in a blender, reserving a few tablespoons to garnish the soup later. Add the garlic paste, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, sweet pepper. Purée until everything is chopped very finely. Add the vinegar and olive oil.

Put the bread pieces in a bowl and add 1/2 cup cold water. Let sit until the bread absorbs most of the water. Squeeze the water from the bread, reserving the water. Add the bread to the blender. Purée until smooth and creamy. If you want it thinner add the bread water a little at a time.

Chill for at least an hour. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne before serving. Serve garnished with the reserved corn and a little chopped cucumber.

This Week’s Produce

Single Share:

1 pint grape tomatoes

4 ears corn

2 pickling cucumbers

fresh parsley or 2 extra pickling cucumbers

Choose 3 options

1 lb string beans

1 bunch kale

1.2 lbs bell peppers

1 lb tomatoes

.75 lbs variety chili peppers

2 lbs turnips

5 extra ears corn

1 $3 PYO voucher

3 summer squash or zucchini

Small Share:

1 pint grape tomatoes

6 ears corn

1 lb pickling cucumbers

fresh parsley or 2 extra pickling cucumbers

Choose 4 options

1 lb string beans

1 bunch kale

1.2 lbs bell peppers

1 lb tomatoes

.75 lbs variety chili peppers

2 lbs turnips

5 extra ears corn

1 $3 PYO voucher

3 summer squash or zucchini

Large Share

2 pints grape tomatoes

6 ears corn

1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers

1 lb carrots

fresh parsley or 2 extra pickling cucumbers

Choose 5 options

1 lb string beans

1 bunch kale

1.2 lbs bell peppers

1 lb tomatoes

.75 lbs variety chili peppers

2 lbs turnips

5 extra ears corn

1 $3 PYO voucher

3 summer squash or zucchini

 

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