Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 16 -- Peppers

Roots Farm CSA Week 16: August 16 & 19

This Week:
-Tomatoes!: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust
-Eggplant!: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Carmen (sweet red bullhorn), Red Bells, Golden Bells, Mellow Star, Habanero
-Beans: Red Noodle
-Okra: Burgundy, Clemson Spineless, Burmese, Star of David
-Watermelons: Sugar Baby

On the Farm . . .
We just got in our first round of Fall transplants to plant--hundreds of little green babies of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage to get in the ground. And this week, the weather has taken a turn for the better, bringing us days in the low 90’s, nights in the 60’s. Wow! It’s so nice out there I don’t know what to do with myself. Keep working, I guess. It’ll be good for the new transplants, though, to have a gentler introduction into the sometimes harsh conditions of field life. We’ll be gentle. Nature will be whatever it is.

Summer CSA Pickups Reminder
We’ve had a lot of questions about when pickups end for the season, so here’s the update: after this week, there are 2 more weeks of pickups. The very last pickup date for the summer season is Friday, September 2. So keep coming out--we’ve still got your veggies. And some of you still have our boxes. If you have any laying around, please bring them on back. We’ve resorted to using liquor boxes because we’re out of the fancy waxed ones. Although it is entertaining to give folks veggies is Jose Cuervo boxes, the waxed ones hold up much better to refrigeration and continued usage.

Fall CSA!
Yay! Right now, we’ve got a September CSA to offer you. Our apologies if you’ve had any trouble signing up. We’re still learning how the system that we’re using operates, so thanks for your patience as we work out the bugs. If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to email us at and we’ll get you lined up right. So yeah. Four weeks of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, and okra. Stock up on your late summer produce. One size share only, same two pickup options. The two pickups cost slightly different prices since we’ve added a small fee to the in-town pickups to cover our costs for processing, packaging, and delivery. Here are the details:

Tuesday On-Farm pickups $21/week for 4 weeks = $84
Friday In-Town pickups $23/week for 4 weeks = 92

Pickups will continue to be from 4-7pm both days and both locations. Full payment is due upon checkout, and you get a 3% discount for paying by check or cash. SIGN UP TODAY! We’re only offering 60 shares, so get yours now. Click here to sign up online. Or go to We’re excited to continue to offer you the best summery goodness we can produce. Hope you join us. Please feel free, and indeed encouraged, to invite your friends as well.

Our spotlighted veggie this week is the amazing and delicious pepper! Yay! Peppers are nutritionally significant and most contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the minerals iron and potassium. Native to Central and South America, pepper seeds have been found in Mexico from before 5000 B.C.! Following Columbus’s voyage, peppers spread quickly through Europe and all the way to India, where they were rapidly assimilated into the native diet. How will you assimilate peppers into your diet?

Storage: keep your peppers in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Peppers will get wilty and dehydrated-looking if left out in the open air, so keep them in a drawer or bag in the cool. Cut peppers deteriorate quickly, so use em if you cut em. They also freeze well--I like to dice them and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then scoop them off into a freezer bag for easy later usage. Usage: raw, in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, sauces, omelets, stir-fires, casseroles, on the grill, and more!

Roasted Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green, or purple)
olive oil

Turn your gas burner on high (electric will work, but gas is better) and place the peppers directly on the flame. Use any number of available burners to accommodate the peppers, or if the peppers are small you can place two on one burner. Using tongs, turn the peppers as their skins blacken; you want to end up with a pepper that is completely black (the amount of time for this depends on the size of the pepper, how hot the flame is, and how often you turn the peppers). Once they’re blackened, place the peppers in a paper bag and seal the bag tightly. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag, cut them in half, remove the stem and seeds, and flatten each half on your cutting board. Use a knife or your fingers to scrape away the skin. The peppers are now ready to use (keep refrigerated and use within the week). To store your roasted peppers longer, place them in a container, cover with olive oil, and seal tightly (then they will keep for several weeks). From Farmer John’s Cookbook. These are great on sandwiches, pizza, pasta, in omelets, with hummus, and more! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Chili
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped (opt)
1, 28oz can tomatoes, with juice, chopped OR 1 quart stewed tomatoes OR 4 cups fresh
1, 16oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained OR 2 cups cooked (1/2 cup dried)
1, 16oz can black beans, rinsed and drained OR 2 cups cooked (1/2 cup dried)
1 cup tomato juice
salt & pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until onions are golden, 12-15 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and jalapenos. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, tomato juice, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes. Makes a lot of food. I’m guessing 6-8 servings.

Escalivada Sandwiches
1 red onion
1 medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, roasted
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
4 sandwich rolls, preferably ciabatta
4 oz fresh goat cheese
4 oz arugula
Herb Sauce:
½ cup basil leaves
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
juice from ½ lemon
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice onion, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers into ¼-inch rings. Toss the vegetable slices with olive oil and salt. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan in a single layer, and place the pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still maintain their shapes. Meanwhile, toast rolls. Divide cooked vegetables among the 4 rolls. Top vegetables with goat cheese and arugula. Place all herb sauce ingredients in a blender; puree. Spoon over arugula. Serve sandwiches warm. Makes 4 servings. From Peter Dale, chef of The National restaurant in Athens, GA.

Stuffed Peppers
a little oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups raw brown rice
3 cups water, vegetable stock, or tomato juice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/3 lb cheddar cheese, grated
salt & pepper
4 large peppers, tops cut off, seeds removed

Heat oil in large skillet; add and saute garlic and onions. Add rice and brown for about 5 minutes. Add desired liquid and allspice. Cover and cook until rice is done, about 40 minutes. Toast almonds in dry skillet or hot oven for several minutes, tossing often. Stir in tomatoes, cheese, almonds, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook peppers in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and stuff peppers with rice mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

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