June 21st, officially the first day of summer. We are halfway through the year and full of cheer! Why? Because the CSA box this week is bursting at the seams with flavor and potential. The variety of basil can take you around the world and back to your home kitchen. So lets talk about what’s in the box…
Have a glimpse : )
Dill with leaf and flower
Feher Ozon Peppers
Rattlesnake pole beans
Summer & winter squash
Summer greens: nasturtium, garnet stem dandelion, golden purslane
The radicchio grown on the farm has a bitter and loud taste, pair it with a hot cooking method like grilling to mellow the palate. Top with a balsamic vinaigrette for a solid match of tart sweetness.
1 radicchio head, cut in half, lengthwise through the core
1 T shallot, minced
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
If you are unable to use an out door grill, the oven or a cast iron surface works just as well. Brush the grill surface with oil and allow to heat, about 10 minutes. Rub the radicchio halves with olive oil, grill until tender and seared. remove greens from heat and drizzle with vinaigrette. Enjoy!
plated radicchio with balsamic vinaigrette and lemon zest
I hope everyone is excited about the CSA box this week and if you’re curious what is going in the box I will fill you in. Let me see, there is eggplant, eggplant, and more eggplant! We have them coming out of our ears and they are eager to go home with you. The beauty of eggplant is that it can be substituted for pizza dough and pasta noodles for a healthier version of your favorite dish.
Here is a recipe for eggplants I found from the website RealSimple.com:
Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggplants (about 3 pounds total ), sliced lengthwise (about 16 slices total)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2cups marinara sauce
115-ounce container ricotta
2teaspoons dried oregano
2cups grated mozzarella (8 ounces)
1/2cup grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
Heat oven to 450° F. Divide the oil between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Dividing evenly, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn to coat in the oil; season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Bake the eggplant, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until soft and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool. Reduce heat to 400° F.
Meanwhile, in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, spread ½ cup of the marinara sauce. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oregano, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Place about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on one end of a slice of eggplant, roll it up, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and ricotta mixture.
Top the eggplant rolls with the remaining cup of marinara sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Besides eggplant, you will also have hot peppers, sweet peppers, okra, sugar baby melon, garlic, and potatoes. Enjoy the array of colors found within the CSA box this week and look forward to seeing everyone next week!
There will be more cucumbers in the CSA box this week! We hope that you consider that to be good news, knowing that the cool, crunchy delicious cucumber is the perfect summer snack food. You may have already searched the internet for good pickling recipes, or perhaps brought out time-honored family recipes. If you have good recipes to share, please do! I found these helpful hints on evaluating pickling recipes from the test kitchen of Bon Apetit http://bonap.it/bFqpRLb
This cucumber and yogurt soup recipe was a favorite of Bill Dow, NC’s first certified organic farmer. Making a batch of this soup and sampling it at the farmer’s market sold a lot more cucumbers and dill. This weeks CSA box will have dill as well, and maybe even some of this seasons garlic! While this recipe specifies a different kind of cucumber, use the ones you get in your box, they will work just fine. (also, just a side note, my brother-in-law grew up in Bulgaria and I do not ever remember him putting ice cubes in our bowls when serving this soup!)
The last few weeks have presented some challenging weather for farmers in this area. We weathered the storms with no damage to our farm, but all of the moisture can prevent us from working the soil, adding amendments, and early planting to get a jump on the season. Not to worry though, while everyone was hunkered down eating milk sandwiches our farm manager and brilliant students have been plugging away on plenty of things. When weather is not ideal to be in the field we are able to catch up on some basic farm maintenance and organization, something that we don’t have a lot of time for when the season really gets going. We have a greenhouse full of transplants that are getting ready to go into the ground and have been able to plant some peas and carrots.
This is an exciting time of the year for us as we watch our farm begin to take on some character. I am sure that many of you are looking forward to our amazing CSA boxes, which are not too far away in the near future. We will keep you up to date on when that will begin. We are also looking forward to another flock of Crevecoeur chicks from the Livestock Conservancy! These wild looking creatures have plenty of feathers on their heads and if you follow the blog you may remember a post and some photos last year about these “punk rock chickens”.
So buckle up!! The season is about to take off!!
I shall call him Sid Vicious
Crevecoeur Chickens from the Livestock Conservancy