Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 14

Roots Farm CSA
Week 14: July 27 & 30
This Week:

-Melons: Hannah’s Choice, Lilly Crenshaws, Hearts of Gold, Sun Jewel
-Summer Squash: Zephyr, Soleil Zucchini, Trombicino
-Cucumbers: Mid-East Prolific
-Tomatoes: Big Beef, Brandywine, Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Jubilee, Tropical, Whopper
-Peppers: Carmen, Islander
-Herbs: Basil (Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple)
-Beans: Blue Coco & Marvel of Venice

On the Farm . . .
It looks like the blueberries are beginning to slack off and finish up their season -- right in time for figs to begin to come on. This is the absolute earliest I have ever seen figs appear. My theory is that they’re early because we didn’t get a late freeze this year, which is unusual. The late freeze usually kills back the fig trees some and then they resurrect and later produce figs. No late freeze means no kill back means we now therefore have unusually early figs. That’s my theory. Whatever the case, enjoy these figgy delights. I suggest you eat them ASAP since they’re notoriously quick to ferment and decompose. Eat them now. If not right now, then refrigerate them and eat them soon. Ummmm, figs.

Let’s see. Also on the farm, the okra is poking along, taking its sweet time. The red okra has begun to produce, but the green is almost five feet tall and still not flowering. What’s up green okra? Why so reticent? Are you too shaded? Not thinned enough? Or maybe I’m just impatient. Come on, okra, we’re looking forward to your arrival. Also along the way, the red noodle beans are filling out. They are indeed red and about a foot or two long, so I’m excited to see those come out in the near future.

On the failing side, the squash and cukes are beginning to look like the summer and the bugs have taken their toll, so I can’t guarantee they’ll be with us much longer. Enjoy them while they last. Also enjoy the tomatoes. I don’t know what’s going on this year yet, but jeeze do the tomatoes look rough. It’s our worst tomato year yet. Four out of six plantings are limping along sadly and I wouldn’t be surprised if the other two began to go that way as well. Hold on, tomatoes! You can do it!

Fall CSA
We’ve still got space in the Fall CSA for any of you who want to join on for another month or two of veggies. About half the spaces are full now, so sign on today to ensure your share of the harvest. Check out our website for more details and applications. The adventure continues . . .

Are in the spotlight this week. We’ve got the Carmen peppers--a Corno di Toro, or Bullhorn, variety that is wonderfully sweet and thin-walled--as well as Islander purple bells this week. Regular red, yellow, and green bells are on the way, but we’re grateful for these extra-early ones to keep us happy until then. And really, come on--purple peppers, I’ve been wanting to grow them for years and just now gave myself permission to do so. I think they’re way cool and hope you like them as much as I do. We’ve also got a sweet pepper by the name of “Lipstick” that is one of the sweetest, thick-walled, small-ish peppers I’ve ever had. I’ll let you know when they appear. Anyway. So, pepper cookery . . . you can eat them raw, in salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, omelets, casseroles, quiches, grilled, roasted, pureed, and more! STORAGE: Peppers will keep for a couple of weeks in the hydrator drawer of your fridge. You can also chop them, freeze them on a cookie sheet, then place them in a freezer bag for use later (instant diced peppers!). Enjoy!


Savory Pepper Pie
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
6 green Anaheim or 4 poblano chiles, thinly sliced
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced (or substitute green bell peppers)
1-2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp cumin
Salt & pepper
½ lb cheddar cheese, sliced or grated, and divided
8 oz cream cheese, cut into chunks

Biscuit topping:
¼ cup honey
1 cup milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Sliced tomatoes, fresh tomato salsa, or sour cream

Grease an 8x12-inch baking dish. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium flame. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften. Add chiles, bell peppers, garlic, and cumin; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread half the mix into baking dish. Arrange half the cheddar over mixture. Spread remaining chile mixture over cheese. Scatter the cream cheese over mixture. Heat oven to 400 degrees. To make topping: mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl. Stir the two together until just combined. Spread topping evenly over chile/cheese layers. Bake at 400 degrees, 25 minutes. Arrange or scatter remaining cheddar over topping and bake another 5 minutes. Serve with sliced tomatoes, salsa, or sour cream. Makes 12 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook. (labeled in that book as “Green Chile Red Pepper Corn Bread Cobbler”)

Cheesy Pepper Casserole
Butter for greasing the baking dish
1 ½ cups uncooked bulgur
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 Tbsp butter
1 ½ cups chopped onion (~3 small onions)
4 cups minced green peppers (~4 peppers)
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms, any kind
1 ½ Tbsp tamari
1 ½ Tbsp dry sherry
1 tsp crushed dried marjoram or 3 tsp minced fresh marjoram
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups cottage cheese
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
4 eggs, beaten, lightly salted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with butter. Put the bulgur into a sauté pan and pour the boiling water over it. Cover and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the onions; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and mushrooms; continue to cook until peppers are just becoming tender and the mushrooms have released their water, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the tamari, sherry, marjoram, salt, and pepper to taste; mix well. In a small bowl, combine the cottage cheese and feta cheese. Spread the bulgur in the prepared baking dish. Cover it with the vegetables and then the mixed cheeses. Pour the beaten eggs over everything; let the eggs seep through the ingredients by tapping htre casserole dish on the counter a few times. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes. Let stand fore 10 minutes before servings. Makes 6-8 servings. From Farmer John’s Cookbook. They say you can also substitute 1 cup of cooked sausage or soysauge in place of 1 cup of the bell peppers for extra yumminess. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Risotto
2 large red bell peppers
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
Juice of 2 small lemons
8-9 cups vegetable stock
3 Tbsp olive oil
~2 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine

Heat oven to broiling temperature. Place peppers on baking sheet. Broil close to heating element, using tongs to turn peppers to char skin evenly on all sides. Remove from oven, place in paper bag; and close bag. Let peppers stand while you chop onion and dill and juice lemons. Remove peppers from bag; peel off charred skin, remove stem and seeds (don’t rinse them, as this will weaken the flavor), and cut into small strips. Heat stock in saucepan over medium-low flame. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium flame. Add onions; cook until soft. Stir in rice with wooden spoon until all grains are evenly coated. Add dill, stir 1 minute, then add wine and stir until wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup stock; stir until stock is absorbed. Continue cooking, stirring, and adding 1 cup stock at a time until the rice is al dente and suspended in a smooth sauce, 15-25 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and red peppers. Makes 6-8 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook.

And if that’s not enough for ya, I’ve got more recipes for peppery delights here. Enjoy!

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