Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 21

Roots Farm CSA
Week 21: September 14

This Week:
-Peppers: Carmen, Lipstick, Islander, Mixed Bells, Cayenne, Jalapeno
-Eggplant: Nadia, Hansel, Gretel, Fairytale, Pingtung Long
-Basil: Sweet, Lemon, Thai, Purple
-Beans: Red Noodle
-Okra: Clemson Spineless, Red Burgundy
-Garlic: California Early
-Easter Egg Radishes
-Flowers: Assorted Zinnias

On the Farm . . .
We continue to plant radishes, turnips, arugula, cilantro, lettuce, and more crops to fill out our Fall offerings. Not much rain in the last couple of weeks has led to a browner sort of look out in the fields, but the late summer food keeps producing. Eggplant, peppers, and okra, oh my! Even the red noodle beans are hanging on. Since we’re repeating a lot of the food you’ve already seen, I’m focusing the recipes for some of these Fall newsletters on those crops that you might need some new ideas about how to prepare. Okra is again in the spotlight this week. Eggplant is coming soon . . .

Fall Foods
The first Fall radishes are coming out this week. Arugula appeared last week. Hopefully, with these cooling days, our Fall seedlings with thrive and this will be only the beginning of the Fall foods to come. Also on its way--lettuce mix, turnips, kale, collards, cilantro, broccoli, and more! We’re watching them grow and are excitedly anticipating their arrival. We’ll keep you posted. . .

Roots Farm T-Shirts
Are now available. We’ll have them for sale at pickups and at the Farmers Market on Saturday. Organic cotton, locally designed and printed, featuring artwork by David Mack! Get yours today for only $15! What a deal! Now you, too, can sport our lovely carrots on your lovely self. Yay.

Is in the spotlight again this week. What to do with okra? Steamed, grilled, fried, roasted, stewed, pickled, raw, and more--it’s a versatile vegetable. Some folks object to the slipperiness or downright sliminess that okra can create in a dish, while others celebrate its silky, thickening properties. Whatever way you go, there’s a recipe for you. If you want to cut the slime, try cooking your okra pods whole or try adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to your dish--their acidity somehow helps. Okra also pickles well for a delicious winter treat, and it freezes (so you can make your gumbo now and thaw it at Christmas). Okra is a close relative of the hibiscus and originated as a food crop in Africa, later making its way to India and the Americas, where it now thrives in the heat of our deep South summers.


Steamed Okra with Lemon Vinaigrette
1 lb okra
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
salt & freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, finely diced
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

Rinse the okra, leave them whole, and steam them for 4-6 minutes. Arrange on a plate and let cool while making the lemon vinaigrette. Combine the lemon juice, zest, 1/4 tsp salt, and shallot in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes, then whisk in the oil and season with a little pepper to taste. Taste and correct the balance, adding more oil if necessary. Pour the vinaigrette over the okra and serve cold. Makes 4-6 servings. From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Cape Verde Vegetable Soup
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp peanut oil
pinch of summer savory or thyme
1/4 tsp ground dried red chiles, or to taste
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups sliced cabbage, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 cup sliced okra
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or 2 cups canned tomatoes with juice
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh cilantro

Saute the onions and garlic in the oil for 10 minutes. Add the summer savory or thyme and the ground chiles and saute gently, stirring often, for another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Serve topped with chopped fresh parsley or more fresh cilantro or both. Makes 6 servings. From the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. This soup tastes fresh and uncomplicated and makes a good beginning for any African meal. Served with crisp French bread and fresh fruit, it is a satisfying lunch or supper. Enjoy!

Groundnut Stew
2 cups chopped onions
2 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cayenne or other ground dried chiles
1 tsp pressed garlic cloves
2 cups chopped cabbage
3 cups cubed sweet potatoes
3 cups tomato juice
1 cup apple or apricot juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped okra
1/2 cup peanut butter

Saute the onions in the oil for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cayenne and garlic and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the cabbage and sweet potatoes and saute, covered, for a few minutes. Mix in the juices, salt, ginger, cilantro, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the okra and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the peanut butter, place the pan on a heat diffuser, and simmer gently until ready to serve. Add more juice or water if the stew is too thick. Makes 6 servings. From the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. Apparently, this stew comes in many styles--with or without ginger and/or garlic, liquids varying from coconut milk to water, stock, or fruit or vegetable juices. Include or exclude whatever veggies you like--just remember the groundnuts and cayenne.

Vegetarian Brunswick Stew
2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped zucchini or summer squash
1 cup chopped potatoes
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, or one 16-oz can whole tomatoes, with juice
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh okra, or 10 oz frozen
1 1/2 cups fresh cut corn, or 10 oz frozen or 10-oz can with liquid
2 cups fresh lima beans or black-eyed peas, or 10 oz frozen
3 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
3 Tbsp molasses or brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
3 Tbsp catsup or barbecue sauce (optional)
1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water (optional)
grated smoked Swiss or cheddar cheese (optional)

In a large stewpot, saute the onions and garlic in the oil, stirring often, until golden. Add the carrots and saute for 3 more minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the zucchini or summer squash, potatoes, tomatoes, and stock. When this begins to simmer, ad the okra, corn, and limas or black-eyed peas. Season with Worchestershire Sauce, Tabasco, molasses, vinegar, salt and black pepper, and catsup or barbecue sauce, if desired. Simmer carefully, using a flame-tamer if needed, fro at least 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. You cannot overcook this stew, but you can burn it. Thicken with the cornstarch mixture if you like. Add more Tabasco to taste and garnish with the cheese. Serve with cornbread and greens. Makes 6-8 servings. Many families in Georgia have their own versions of Brunswick stew. This one comes from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. Make it in large batches and freeze some for later. Enjoy!

For more okra recipes, click here.

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