Farm Share News Week Fourteen
Hello share members. After a brief fall stint, we will be back into summer for a few more weeks it seems. This is good for us, as we have more summer vegetables to mature like sweet and hot peppers and a lot of green fruit on the tomato plants. The rain has really helped out at the farm; cover crop has had the chance to germinate and the summer plants that were looking a bit tired a dried out have been rejuvenated. With the warmer weather there are more blossoms on the tomatoes and all the squash and cucumbers look as though they have put out new growth despite the colder temperatures. The warmer days are also great for the overwintering crops so they have a chance to grow large and strong before the real cold sets in. It can be a bit tricky this time of year as it is hard to transplant winter varieties in the heat, but they also cannot get too cold or they will not grow sufficiently before fall and winter. The weather as of late has been particularly favorable for all of our crops in terms of growth and harvest.
This week you will find in the shares more tomatoes, heirloom, cherry and red slicer or early girl varieties. There are more purple bell peppers, squash, collards, kale, cucumbers, cabbage and potatoes. Those picking up shares at the end of the week will also have radishes, and those that have already picked up will find them in their boxes next week.
By this point in the season, we have all been eating a lot of cucumbers at the farm. Even with some new recipe additions last week we are always trying to find more ways to use these aside from running them through the juicer. After six years of working on farms I have finally invested in a vegetable spiralizer. If you are a big vegetable eater, this gadget is really fun and makes it easy to use even more vegetables by turning them into noodles. I bought mine at Mirador, a small independent home store on SE Division specializing in Eco friendly home goods. They are also available at larger retailers, craft stores and online. There are many models as well, choose one that fits your budget and it easy to clean. Some even make different noodle shapes and thicknesses. Vegetable noodles are a great way to eat more produce or make delicious dishes for those with various food allergies or other deity restrictions. This cool cucumber sesame salad is great with spiralized cucumber slicers, however thinly slicing or using a mandolin works just as well.
3 cups sliced cucumbers
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tbs. sesame seeds
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 tbs. rice vinegar
1 tbs. tamari, coconut amigos or soy sauce
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. miso (if you don’t have miso, just season to taste with salt and pepper or add an extra splash of tamari)
Prepare all vegetables and place in a large mixing bowl. Cook and cool noodles. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl and season to tastes. Feel free to adjust quantities of the ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently. Top with sesame seeds. This tastes best served right away, but if per must be done ahead of time hold off on adding he dressing till ready to use. This can be made into a main dish with some grilled thinly sliced beef, tofu, shrimp or chicken. Make another batch of dressing and marinate meat or substitute overnight and sautee in a hot pan till cook through. Cool slightly and top salad with protein.
Another good dish that is easy to make ahead and keeps well is a tomato potato salad. This is another take on the traditional, lightened up with a vinegar and olive oil dressing and lemon zest.
Tomato Potato Salad
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
1-2 tbs. capers, optional
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs. sherry vinegar
1 tbs. dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
Zest of one lemon
Chop potatoes into small cubes, about the size of dice. Boil or steam till cooked through but still firm, usually about seven minutes. Drain and cool.
Chop tomatoes, olives and parsley and add to mixing bowl. Add cooled potatoes.
Whisk dressing ingredients in a smaller bowl and add to salad. You may not want to use all the dressing, save leftovers for other salads or use as a marinade. Gently mix vegetables and dressing and serve. Top with more lemon zest, parsley or capers if desired. This goes well with the addition of some fresh goat cheese or feta, or 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon, or all of the above! This dish keeps well. To serve later, freshen up with some more dressing and chopped parsley. If making ahead of time, omit bacon or cheese additions will ready to serve.
Thanks again to all the share members. We really appreciate your support. Please send us some of your recipe ideas or cooking tips or photos if dishes you have made to firstname.lastname@example.org