Week 15 – What does a nosy pepper do?

It gets “jalapeño” business!  (Credit goes to our housemate for that gem.)

Hi, everyone!

We’re excited to report that tomatoes and eggplants have picked up their production, probably due to those few hot days at the end of last week and this weekend.  Everyone gets an eggplant of their own this distribution, and though as of now we’ve harvested only some of the tomatoes, we can tell that it is going to be a good haul for you all.  We’re also seeing the greens flourish out in the field for the first time since the early summer, so you will have a nice variety to cook with and eat raw this week.  The saute mix we have now is a little different than the one from earlier in the season–it is a mild mix of baby kale and Asian greens, without any mustards.  It’s great as a hearty salad (perhaps with a soy sauce-based dressing?) as well as lightly sauteed with onions and garlic, with some sunflower seeds and a diced tomato on top.  Lettuce has finally made its comeback, and hopefully you will have a steady supply of this essential salad fixing for most of the rest of the season.  The spring raab is in full swing for this week, too, and though it may look like an unassuming green without the florets that you’ll find in broccoli raab in the store, it has the same strong, pleasant broccoli taste.  We always crave spring raab and love eating it lightly sauteed with a heavy amount of garlic and butter over pasta.

On an unrelated note, we’d like to put out there a few words about fracking, which is an incredibly important issue to us.  Word has been going around the media that Governor Cuomo will soon announce his decision regarding lifting the moratorium on drilling in NY.  As organic farmers who hope to move to our own land in New York State, we stand against fracking and the threat it poses to New York’s beautiful land.  We have seen the environmental and social disasters that fracking has created just a few hours away in Pennsylvania, where people can light their tapwater on fire.  We feel no guarantee that either the gas companies or the DEC will be able to protect our cherished groundwater or the earth it runs through once they start drilling.  And, in the end, we believe natural gas painstakingly extracted from shale is only a very temporary energy fix, and not the place we should be focusing our efforts.  While there is much to be debated about the safety of this extraction process, we have not read or heard a compelling or truthful enough argument to convince us that sacrificing some of our state’s beautiful natural resources for a continued stream of fuel will be worth the damage done.  We would rather reduce our consumption and change our lifestyle than damage the landscape around us.  While your perspective might differ, we thought that in the light of Cuomo’s imminent decision it is an important moment in New York’s history.

And, with that, your share this week:

  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Summer Squash
  • Lettuce
  • Saute Mix
  • Eggplant
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Bok Choy
  • Spring Raab
  • Kale
  • Cilantro

RATATOUILLE (rat-tat-too-ee) (thanks to the Food Network for the proportions and basic directions)

Ratatouille is known as the quintessential poor man’s meal.  It’s super simple in its preparation and can vary in its ingredients, but the key ingredients are really all things in your share this week: eggplant, squash, tomato, onions and garlic.  You could certainly throw in the kale toward the end, too!

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
  • at least 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups medium diced eggplant, with skin on
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 cups diced summer squash (patty pan will do just as well as zucchini, though zucchini is typically called for)
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and diced tomatoes
    • if you want to remove the skin, simply pour very hot water over the tomatoes and the skin should slip of when you pinch it
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers OPTIONAL (not in the share this week, sorry)
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • salt and ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (amount depends on your taste!)
  • cilantro, for garnish on top

Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.  If you like, either sprinkle each serving generously with the Parmesan cheese, or put the ratatouille in a a baking dish and sprinkle that generously, and let it broil until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  Also, if you fancy, this tastes great with a cilantro garnish.

GLAZED HAKUREI TURNIPS (thank you to bonappetit.com for this one)

This is a delicious, simple recipe.  Hakurei turnips are delicately flavored and have an extremely smooth, pleasant texture.  Though this recipe is for a volume larger than what we are able to give out, you can dial down the proportions for what you have (and try adding in some other greens to supplement the turnip greens) to create a nice side dish!

  • 3 bunches baby hakurei turnips, baby turnips, or red radishes (about 2 pounds), trimmed, greens reserved
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt

Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. (If turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.) DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.
Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2–3 minutes. Season with salt.
Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/11/glazed-hakurei-turnips#ixzz25SrFrZPT

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