Newsletter for September 30 (Alice Waters’ Ratatouille)

What a beautiful week it has been! We are so happy that the frost did less damage than we initially thought, and that we still have so much great produce. As I mentioned in the Sunday night e-mail, this would be a great week to make ratatouille, since we have tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and zucchini. It would also be a good week to make pasta with arugula and tomatoes, or pasta with broccoli and sausage. Since I’m thinking of pasta, this week’s share would also make a great, colorful pasta salad full of broccoli, peppers, carrots, and tomatoes.

The next week or so looks beautiful, so we should have plenty of produce next week as well. I think we will have sweet potatoes as part of the share, along with fresh thyme and chard.

Bread and Cheese

The bread this week is Cyrus Pringle. We also have all sorts of cheese for sale, and CSA members get $1 off. We have Maplebrook Mozzarella, Vermont Creamery Chevre, and Grafton Village Creamery Sage Cheddar and 1 Year Cheddar.

PYO

We still have plenty of raspberries at both locations, and the PYO apples are going strong as well. In Essex we have mac, cortlands, empires, and more. In Colchester we have cortlands and empires. We are hoping to put together a PYO potato day in Essex too, and if we do we will let you know all about it!

Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is one of the most popular varieties of squash we grow. It’s less dry than a buttercup or ambercup squash, and pale yellow inside. The most common way to prepare an acorn squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and then roast the squash with some butter and maple syrup or brown sugar in the cavity. Want to try something different with your squash? This blogpost contains links to a wealth of different acorn squash recipes.

Ratatouille

I really like this Ratatouille recipe from Alice Waters’ “The Art of Simple Food” (courtesy of Food52). Zucchini is a fine substitute for the summer squash. This hearty vegetable stew makes a great meal served hot or at room temperature with some crusty bread.

  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine + 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • pinch of dried chile flakes
  • 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 medium summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt to taste
  1. Toss the eggplant cubes with a teaspoon or so of salt. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden. Add a bit more oil if the eggplant absorbs all the oil and sticks to the bottom of the pan. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, pour in 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, basil bouquet, dried chile flakes, and a bit more salt.
  4. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in summer squash. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil, pressing on it to extract all its flavors, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
  6. Stir in the chopped basil leaves and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Single Share:

Choose 5 options:

1.3 lbs carrots

1.3 lbs broccoli

1 bunch arugula

1 bunch spring mix

1-1.5 peppers (may be green or colored)

1 large or 2 small acorn squash

4 cucumbers

1+ lb tomatoes

1.5 lbs zucchini

1.5 lbs eggplant

1 voucher for 1/2 peck PYO apples

4 decorative gourds

Possible: watermelon, baby white potatoes

Small Share:

Choose 7 options:

1.3 lbs carrots

1.5 lbs broccoli

1 bunch arugula

1 bunch spring mix

1-1.5 peppers (may be green or colored)

1 large or 2 small acorn squash

4 cucumbers

1 lb tomatoes

1.5 lbs zucchini

1.5 lbs eggplant

1 voucher for 1/2 peck PYO apples

4 decorative gourds

Possible: watermelon, baby white potatoes

Large Share:

Choose 10 options:

1.3 lbs carrots

1.5 lbs broccoli

1 bunch arugula

1 bunch spring mix

1-1.5 peppers (may be green or colored)

1 large or 2 small acorn squash

4 cucumbers

1 lb tomatoes

1.5 lbs zucchini

1.5 lbs eggplant

1 voucher for 1/2 peck PYO apples

4 decorative gourds

Possible: watermelon, baby white potatoes

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