3rd Week – August 8:
The last week brought us some great melon and tomato weather, with a good amount of rain and heat. We hope to be able to give you guys some of the exciting stuff (i.e. tomatoes) really soon! I’ve been thieving the first little sungolds off of the vines and they are truly delicious. Anyhow, I hope you’ve been able to keep up with all of the greens we’ve been giving you. I know it’s a lot so we’re giving you a break this week. The 5 people who received tomatillos last week will be getting summer squash this week and the summer squash people will get tomatillos. Everyone will be getting cilantro, onions, and jalapenos for salsa making. In addition to that there will be arugula, a head of cabbage, and a surprise item. It’s a surprise because we haven’t decided what it will be yet.
I think the biggest item will be the cabbage this week so here are a couple of recipes to use up all of that wonderful, multi-layered, round vegetable.
Vegan Stuffed Cabbage
2 packages of veggie ground meat subsitute
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup cooked brown rice (I like to cook it in a little vegetable stock for added flavor)
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cans tomato sauce
27 ounces sauerkraut, drained (optional)
1 large can diced tomatoes (or use fresh tomatoes from the farmers market!)
1 medium head cabbage
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the veggie ground beef, onion, cooked rice, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, and 1/2 can of tomato sauce. Core the cabbage and and boil in a pot of water until partly cooked (don’t overcook!), then separate the leaves and trim off the stems. Set aside between 24 and 32 whole leaves. Use the remaining leaves to line the bottom of a large baking pan, roasting pan, or casserole dish. Stuff a small handful of the Smart ground mixture in the center of a cabbage leaf. Fold top part of leaf over mixture, then fold in the sides and roll until mixture is completely encased. Lay rolls on top of the extra cabbage leaves in pan. If you are so inclined, spoon some sauerkraut over rolls, then sprinkle with sugar. Mix chopped tomatoes and sauce with water and pour over rolls. Add additional water as necessary to reach top of cabbage rolls. Bake for about an hour or so until cooked through and hot.
If you have any leftover cabbage you can make sauerkraut with it. There is a good recipe at this link:
This is one of my favorite things to do with cabbage and it takes so little time in the summer. This is a good recipe but you have to adjust the amounts to fit how much cabbage you have. He uses 5 lbs, but you can halve or third the recipe according to what you have. Also, the time-frame he gives may not be correct because the air temperature is so hot right now. If you don’t have a/c then your kraut could be ready in a week. You should just taste a little bit every day until it tastes as sour as you like it.
I hope you are all enjoying the food and getting a chance to hone your cooking skills. Let us know if you think of any good recipes, especially for all of these greens.
Thanks! See you tomorrow at the farm. Don’t forget to pick it up!
2nd Week – August 1:
Summer is raging at the farm! All that rain did a good job of fattening up all the plants and their fruit, and now this sun shine is ripening everything–Molly and I have both been able to snack on a few of the first tomatoes, which means you all will be getting some next couple of weeks!
I hope you all enjoyed your vegetables last week. We tried to set you up for some tasty salads. Last week you also all got big bunches of chard, and this week you have gotten more chard and also beet greens (beet greens are delicious and taste a lot like spinach!). If this heat is keeping you from cooking all of those greens, I would recommend throwing them in the freezer so that you can enjoy delicious, local food in the winter.
What I do to freeze greens is: rinse them, chop them to the size I will want to cook them at when I remove them from the freezer (once they’re frozen there’s no more opportunity to wash or cut), throw them into any old plastic bag (many people insist on using Ziploc freezer storage bags, but I almost always just use regular plastic bags that you get from the grocery store and everywhere else), label the bag with the type of veggie and the date, and throw them into the freezer. Many people suggest that you blanch greens before freezing them, but I don’t for three reasons: 1. They taste fine without doing the extra work. 2. If I wanted to turn on my stove to blanch the greens, I’d just eat them now. 3. You lose the water soluble nutrients to your blanching water. You could also chop up your beets and rutabagas and throw those in the freezer too, but they should last for a while in your fridge. Remember to remove the greens from your beets as soon as you can–it will help them stay fresh and crisp.
Also, this week half of you got tomatillos (the other half will get them next week). To make tomatillos salsa, you don’t even need to roast the tomatillos (keep that oven off!). Take the husks off the tomatillos, rinse them, chop them and throw them in the blender with some minced cilantro, onions, hot peppers, and water. I put tomatillo salsa on everything–eggs, sandwiches, salads….
If you didn’t get tomatillos you got a summer squash. My roommate Elise makes a delicious and easy squash dish by sauteing some garlic salt and pepper in butter and then adding shredded squash to it. It is great and goes well with eggs in the morning. It also tastes good cold out of the fridge the next day.
Like I mentioned earlier, you also all received some rutabagas. If you don’t know how to cook rutabagas these are a few of my suggestions: Treat them like a potato–boil them and mash them or make a rutabaga/carrot/potato soup, etc. My favorite thing to do with them is to cube them and other root/tuber vegetables (beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc); then toss them will olive oil, whole garlic, salt, pepper, and any herbs I love; and then roast them in the oven (350-450 for about an hour or until a nice texture) while I sit on the porch and drink an icy beverage. I often make a whole bunch of these roasted roots and eat them throughout the week.
We hope you are all enjoying your vegetables and being a part of our CSA. We are both really glad that we can have a CSA this year! You all are our first CSA, so please let us know if you can think of ways that we can make the CSA better in the future. Also, remember that when you come pick up your bag, you are welcome to hang out and check out the garden. You can also poke around and see if there’s anything else you want us to harvest for you–right now, for example, we have a ton of basil!
Have a good week,
See you next Monday,
1st Week – July 25:
Katie and I are really excited to give you the first ever CSA box from Patchwork Farms. Don’t forget to pick it up Monday between 12 and 8pm. One of us will be there and we’re happy to give you a lil’ tour of the farm if you want one. The plants have recovered really well from the hail and strong winds and the hot weather and rain have been great. Since it’s been so hot all I’ve wanted to eat are salads so this box is going to be all stocked up for salad making. Some things you can expect to find in your box are:
Basil and Lemon Basil
I made a green goddess dressing the other night with some basil from the farm so I wanted to share the “recipe” with you. I say “recipe” in quotes because I kind of made it up and didn’t measure anything but I’ll give you the ingredients and approximate amounts
Basil Green Goddess Dressing
3 cloves of garlic (or garlic scapes if you have them)
Plenty of basil
lemon juice to taste
tamari to taste
a few tablespoons of tahini
a few splashes of apple cider vinegar
plenty of olive oil to make it creamy and liquidy
a couple of tbsp of sunflower seeds
I would just throw everything in the food processor a little bit at a time and keep tasting it until it tastes garlicky and basil-y and delicious.
Also there are 2 spots left for people to join the CSA so if you know anyone who is interested, let me know.
See you soon!
Molly and Katie