(The Week of September 18, 2013; Post by James Fry)
This week has shown us that without a doubt, the seasons are changing. After several weeks of dry weather, we got a significant amount of rain, as well as much cooler temperatures. While the basil is still pumping, it won’t be long before row covers will be necessary to avoid cold injury. It’s getting to be time for Pesto!
Another herb now on hand is one that we don’t know that much about. It is a hispanic delicacy that Hillary says is referred to as “Pepilo”, (don’t hold me to the spelling or pronunciation). Although I have never encountered this herb before, I will be pursuing more information on it- for it is exquisite. It is used in culinary delights including salsa, and the flavor is similar to arugula, lemon, and cilantro combined.
Also, good for salsas, the tomatillas are beginning to ripen, and the peppers are really growing well. Along with the sweet peppers, we have many of ‘Joe’s Long’ Cayenne, hot hungarian wax, and hot early jalepenos- both green and red. We also have many of another cayenne called ‘Red Rocket Rista’ which are reputed to be particularly good for drying and making pepper wreaths. Because it is time to start preserving, and because I love homemade salsas, I have posted a delicious salsa recipe below, (found on food.com), that can be made with fresh ingredients from our student farm.
Ingredients: (Yield:6 pints)
10 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
5 cups chopped and seeded bell peppers
5 cups chopped onions
2 1/2 cups hot peppers, chopped, seeded
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced (perhaps substitute pepilo from the farm)
3 teaspoons salt
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
Combine all ingredients except tomato paste in large sauce pot.
Simmer until desired thickness.
Stir in tomato paste.
Ladle hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space.
Process 15 minutes in a hot water bath.
Note: use more hot peppers for a very hot salsa or less for mild.
Finally, this week we will be looking forward to harvesting sweet potatoes, which will be available after curing for a couple of weeks. Varieties include ‘Carver Bradshaw’, ‘Covington’, ‘All Purple’, and ‘Violetta’.