Boy, this summer is going fast! I'm so glad we are getting such amazing fresh produce from Sustainable Harvest Farm for another month! Wait 'til you see below - sweet corn is ready! I'm excited!
In shares this week...
|Item||How to store it||How long will it last?|
|Peppers||washed or unwashed in fridge||1-2 weeks|
|Early Tomatoes||room temperature||~1 week|
|Cucumber||washed or unwashed in fridge||1-2 weeks|
|Eggplant||unwashed, wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a reusable container or perforated plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator||5-7 days|
|Sweet Corn||shucked (my preference) or with husks on in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the bottom vegetable crisper)||Enjoy as soon as possible!|
|Melons||fridge or room temperature||Enjoy as soon as possible!|
|Green Beans||unwashed in fridge||3-4 days|
|Basil||store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water||1-2 weeks|
It is now week 12 of our regular summer CSA share program which means there's only one month to go! Wow! It seems like summer just began, but already the "return-to-school-rush" and preparation for fall are upon us. We hope you're enjoying the harvest and the summer.
This week you'll be getting a break from the steady flow of squash and zucchini in exchange for eggplant, green beans, sweet corn, melons, basil, cucumber, tomatoes, and peppers. It is such a good time of year for fresh veggies! Please take advantage of these great products while they are at their peak. You may have noticed that the long, slender eggplants in your share aren't the typical grocery store variety. We love these because they're a little more tender and less fibrous than the larger, pear-shaped variety. They're great sliced and sauteed in olive oil for pastas, pizza topping and more, but, if you like hummus, you may also love a wonderful, creamy eggplant dish called Baba Ganouj. The recipe is provided below.
from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
(*note from Amanda - This freezes really well so whip some up, freeze it in a freezer bag and forget about it until you want a fresh, healthy dip at a fall party or a great vegetarian sandwich spread!)
2 medium-small eggplants (up to 3 if they are the small slender variety like the ones in your share)
Juice from one good-sized lemon
½ cup tahini (sesame paste – check the health food/organic section at Kroger to find this locally)
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup finely-chopped parsley
1 tsp salt (more, to taste)
¼ cup finely-minced scallions (optional)
lots of fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400oF.
Remove stem-ends and prick eggplants all over with a fork. (WARNING – if you don’t do this, they’ll explode!)
Roast 45 minutes. (When they are sagging, wrinkled, crumpled and totally soft, you’ll know they’re ready.)
Remove them from the oven to cool a bit, then as soon as you can touch them, discard the skin, scoop out the flesh and mash well.
Combine with all remaining ingredients except olive oil.
Chill completely, and drizzle the oil over the top just before serving.
(Note from Nancy: I love baba ganouj and will be making this! Thanks Amanda!)
We also hope your are enjoying our fresh, tasty melons. I know, they're super cheap at the grocery store right now but you just can't match the flavor of FRESH, LOCALLY GROWN, USDA-CERTIFIED ORGANIC melons! The only catch is that, despite our BEST efforts, we occasionally harvest a melon that has all the marks of ripeness but is STILL not quite ripe. See the photo below of a "test kitchen" trial about 2 weeks ago. We cut open about 6 watermelons and only 1 was perfectly ripe.
....so, we waited a little longer to begin harvesting them for you. We hope yours is perfect but if it's not, let us know and we'll do our best to replace it with another melon or a product of equal value.
We also sometimes have interesting experiences with our plants and veggies when there's a little glitch in our production system. Ford had a few extra melon plants in the greenhouse that never made it into the field (we over seed just a little in case there's a mishap in the greenhouse). Those neglected little plants were determined to pass on their DNA so, they fruited while still in a seeding tray and produced these cute little melons. Finley insists that we should use them for decoration around the house but his curious little mind also figured we better try one to see if it's ripe. This was the result: a golf ball sized melon that was pink (and tasty, according to Finley) on the inside! Who knew!
Happy melon eating!
Here's a nice fresh summer salad recipe found on Sparkpeople.com that utilizes some of the items in this week's shares - corn, cucumber, tomatoes and basil, and includes a great multipurpose vinaigrette recipe. You could even add beans. I can live on this stuff! Click on link for full recipe.
Summer Vegetables in a Basil Vinaigrette
Here's to healthy living and eating!