Newsletter for August 8 (Braised Red Kale and Parsnips)

We will have lots and lots of tomatoes this week; everyone gets regular field tomatoes, and we will have romas and even possibly grape tomatoes as part of the share. This would be a great week to make a pot of your favorite tomato sauce. I love a simple sauce with olive oil, garlic, and lots of chopped roma tomatoes (on pasta with some sauteed zucchini this is the best!). You could also do a crock-pot sauce with onions and lots fresh oregano, or try Marcella Hazan’s famous (and insanely good) tomato sauce with onion and butter.

We still very much need rain, and it looks like we should get some by later in the week. We have had a LONG dry period, and we’re hoping that all of the fields of summer veggies will recover, but we’re not 100 percent sure. As Shawn mentioned in his Sunday night update, the two items that are hurting most right now are beans and cucumbers. Fingers crossed for a lot of rain and an at least partial recovery for these very thirsty plants!

Melons

I am so happy that we have our own melons for CSA members this week! Our cantaloupes are juicy and incredibly sweet. When ripe (and they should all be ripe and ready to eat) they are a bit smelly, so if you don’t want your whole house smelling strongly of cantaloupe my advice is to cut your melon up right away. I remove the seeds and skin and cut the melon into bite-sized pieces and put them into a container and store in the fridge. This has the added benefit of making a cantaloupe breakfast or snack very easy!

The little watermelon we are giving out are another favorite of mine. These are yellow seeded minis. They are super sweet and also make a great breakfast or a healthy dessert. Seeds can be fun (watermelon seed spitting contest anyone?), but if you want to cut your melon into cubes and avoid the seeds they’re not hard to de-seed.

Parsnips

Parsnips are one of my favorite vegetables. They look like white carrots, but have a woodier texture and an earthier flavor. Parsnips are fantastic roasted (I like them with carrots and onion), and also make a great creamy soup, with or without potatoes. They can also be sauteed with onions and braised, as in the recipe below.

Braised Red Kale and Parsnips

If you’ve never tried braised kale, you’re in for a real treat. Braising makes kale sweet, and removes the bitterness.  Along with parsnips, this makes for a delicious fall side-dish. (Want to try just plain braised kale, no parsnips involved? Just skip the parsnips and finish the dish with a splash of cider vinegar)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 medium parsnips, peeled, quartered, and sliced

1 large yellow 1 bunch red or green kale, stems removed, roughly chopped

2 cups chicken stock

Red pepper flakes and salt to taste.

Saute the onion and parsnips over medium heat until onion and parsnips have softened, about 10-15 minutes. Add kale, stock, red pepper, and salt and cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes.

This Week’s Produce

Single Share

1 small melon (probably cantaloupe or mini yellow watermelon)

1 lb broccoli

1 lb tomatoes

Fresh oregano or 1/2 lb peppers (we will have hot and sweet)

(Remember: If you don’t want any of these things just ask to sub and extra option!)

Choose 2 options:

1 large or 2 small acorn squash

1.3 lbs beets

1.3 lbs parsnips

1.3 lbs roma tomatoes (might sub grape tomatoes)

1 large bunch red kale

3 zucchini (might also have summer squash)

1 $3 PYO voucher

1+ lbs sweet peppers

Small Share

1 medium melon (probably cantaloupe or some sort of watermelon)

1.5 lbs broccoli (will probably be one HUGE crown — we have a lot of these!)

1.25 lbs tomatoes

Fresh oregano or 1/2 lb peppers (we will have hot and sweet)

(Remember: If you don’t want any of these things just ask to sub and extra option!)

Choose 3 options:

1 large or 2 small acorn squash

1.3 lbs beets

1.3 lbs parsnips

1.3 lbs roma tomatoes (might sub grape tomatoes)

1 large bunch red kale

3 zucchini (might also have summer squash)

1 $3 PYO voucher

1+ lbs sweet peppers

Large Share

2 small melons or 1 large melon

2+ lbs broccoli

2 lbs tomatoes

2 bunches oregano or 1 lb peppers (will have hot and sweet)

Choose 4 options:

1 large or 2 small acorn squash

1.3 lbs beets

1.3 lbs parsnips

1.3 lbs roma tomatoes (might sub grape tomatoes)

1 large bunch red kale

3 zucchini (might also have summer squash)

1 $3 PYO voucher

1+ lbs sweet peppers

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