Hooray for August! We’ve already had a few very productive days on the farm, tackling some big tasks that, try as we might, we couldn’t get to before. The overriding feeling in the fields these days is one of surprise — the peppers have surprised us with abundant growth, as have the tomatoes. Fall radishes and turnips have been thinned and are stretching out their lustrous leaves, luxuriating in their newfound space. We finally focused our attention on tending to the winter squash and pumpkins, which are all looking beautiful and preparing themselves for harvest and curing in a few weeks. Potatoes have generally finished their growth and await their harvest. The summer squash and cucumbers are saying their goodbyes to us for the year, after having offered us many weeks of impressive volumes. While we still have some hard times ahead protecting the more delicate crops from bugs and heat, it feels as if everything is largely in balance. We hope you all are feeling somewhat in balance this week, as well.
This week’s share:
- Heirloom Slicer Tomatoes
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Cucumbers or Summer Squash
- Eggplant or Peppers (note: having a limited amount of space, we couldn’t dedicate as much space for the eggplants as we’d have liked (eggplants are incredibly finicky). So we ask that for the time being, you only select eggplants once, and then allow others to have them while you dine on delicious peppers in other weeks)
- Baby Arugula
- Tri-color Beans
YE OLDE CAPRESE SALAD
- Sliced Tomato (amount depends on your appetite!)
- Basil Leaves
- Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Black Pepper
Most of you might already be eating the tomatoes this way, but if not, you ought to try it at least once! Simply alternate the tomatoes, basil and cheese, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with pepper. Let sit a few minutes, if you have the willpower, then enjoy. I would pair this with a Sauvignon Blanc or semi-dry Riesling.
COOL (AS A) CUCUMBER, SUNGOLD , FETA AND GRAIN SALAD
- Cucumber, diced
- Sungold cherry tomatoes, halved
- Cooked grain, such as quinoa, bulgur or wheat berries
- Parsley or cilantro, minced
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Olive Oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Black pepper
Our supply of cukes is waning, so it’s a good time to celebrate their refreshing flavor while also acknowledging the reign of the tomatoes. My recipe for this well-loved salad is exceedingly simple, so feel free, of course, to spice it up however you would like! Cook your choice of grain according to the directions. You will want about a 50/50 proportion of grain to veggies. As the grain is cooking, dice the cucumbers and halve the sungolds. Mix them together in a large bowl with feta, parsley or cilantro, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Then combine with the semi-cooled grain and put it all in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
GREEK FENNEL SKILLET (from “Simply in Season”)
- 2 cloves garlic, mined
In a medium frypan, saute in tablespoons olive oil for 1 minute.
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, julienned
- 1 onion, julienned
Add and saute until tender, 5-10 minutes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
Add and cook over medium heat until part of liquid evaporates, 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled, or mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup black olives
Stir in. Eat as a side dish, or make it a meal by serving over pasta or polenta.
PUMMELO AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH ENDIVE AND FENNEL (from “Local Flavors”)
- 3 pummelos, peeled and sectioned
- 2 endives (though, arugula might serve just fine as well)
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 shallot or onion, finely diced
- salt and black pepper
- 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large avocado
Peel and section the pummelos. You’ll have to slice very deeply into the thick, pithy covering to get to the flesh. Separate the sections over a bowl. Sliver the endives (or prepare the arugula). Slice the fennel very thinly using a sharp knife. Measure 2 tablespoons of the juice into a bowl. Add the vinegar, shallot/onion, and a pinch of salt, then whisk in the oil. Toss the endive/arugula and fennel with enough dressing to coat lightly and divide among 4 salad plates. Peel, then slice the avocado onto each plate. Add the pummelo sections. Spoon the remaining dressing over the fruit, season with pepper, and serve.