In The Box 8: Madison Delivery
Well, we are eating our way towards the end of the garden year now – and it’s delightful to bring spring favorites back to the table, along with some juicy summer treats, too. So many things seem to taste even better with that hint of frost in their cells. As the kale, red lettuce and cabbages turn brighter along with the leaves lining the edges of our fields, our thoughts turn toward fall. It’s about time to celebrate the months of food and fun we’ve reaped from the farm this year. Please join us at our annual Homestead Harvest Day on October 8! From roughly noon til night we’ll open the farm to members, neighbors, friends and family. We’ll get an invite up on facebook this week and a schedule on the website, so check back.
Here’s what’s in the box this week, in order of what will perish first.
Tomatoes – Last Wednesday evening, just before the frost, some lovely farm members came over and picked all of the ripe and almost-ripe and nice-looking-green tomatoes off the doomed vines. You are reaping the fruit of their labor in this box. You’ve got a lot of paste tomatoes in here – more oval shaped, less juice inside. These are great to blanch, skin, chop and cook for a fresh pasta sauce. Season with the delicious summer savory you’ve got in the box, too. Next time around, we’ll include some of the green tomatoes so you can try Green Tomato Pie and Fried Green Tomatoes. Offer some of your own favorite green tomato recipes in the meantime! We love old-fashioned recipes.
Circle M Autumn Salad Mix – The reds get redder and the greens get greener and the freckles get more pronounced as the weather gets cooler. We planted these greens in the shade while the summer was still sizzling, so they are getting more robust as the leaves fall off the trees and allow more light into the lettuce rows. Yum!
Broccoli Raab – This very interesting green has a sweet mustard-y flavor and goes by all sorts of names in different countries, including turnip broccoli, rapini, broccoletti, broccolini… You can see the little mini broccoli heads in there, but really you are meant to use the whole green – heads, leaves, stalks and stems. Wash, chop into 1-inch pieces or so and saute in olive oil. The flavor goes well with Italian dishes and Asian stir fries. We’ve got a nice recipe below. If you like the arugula, you’ll love this, but it isn’t really very nice to eat raw. Here’s another “pasta recipe”:http://www.cookthink.com/recipe/3944/Orecchiette_With_Broccoli_Raab_And_Parmesan with broccoli raab.
Eggplant – You’ve got a lot of different colors here, but no traditional aubergine eggplants. Long purple, striped eggs and round orange – all eggplants. We picked these all before the frost, too, so this is it for eggplant for the year! Try baba ganoush this week, or simply slice, brush with olive oil, salt and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 1/2 hour or until soft. Serve with a bit of lemon juice, pepper and summer savory sprinkled over the top.
It has been a wonderful year for eggplant! We hoped you’ve enjoyed them. If you’ve had enough, though, we recommend you use the pretty little orange globes as Halloween decorations – that’s what we’re doing!
Watermelons and Musk Melons/Cantaloupe – The full-size boxes all have a big watermelon and a smaller cantaloupe or musk melon. The Shorties have a small cantaloupe and small musk melon. Use when the skin gives slightly and you can smell the melon when you sniff where the stem was pulled off. Try the Kale and Honeydew recipe below!
Sweet Peppers – We covered the peppers during the several nights of frost and they do continue to ripen. Not as fast as we’d like, but we were able this week to put together an assortment of colors for you. None of these should be hot, but take a tiny taste before you use in a recipe, just to be sure.
Parsley – Finally! We had a germination failure of our first crop of parsley in the greenhouse, so it has taken til now for the second crop to be of a size that we could harvest. Luckily, parsley likes it to be a bit cold, and we should have it for the rest of the season!
Summer Savory – Like thyme, but a bit sweeter (and easier to use, we think). Use in pasta sauce, grilled food, over potatoes, just about anywhere!
Kale: This is getting better by the day! Kale comes into its own as the weather turns cool If you don’t really enjoy cooked greens, take a tip from Farm Member Peg. She’s been drying the greens and then simply adding them to various dishes by rubbing them between her hands. Kale chips are all the rage in whole foods stores – you can make them yourself! Click this “link”:http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/kale-chips for a recipe and video. Try the Kale and Melon Salad below.
Arugula – This is my favorite season for arugula – the taste is strong in the cool months, but not spicy. Very rich.
Giant Radishes – Oops! These radishes got away from us. We got busy with pre-frost prep and forgot to look at them. They are still tasty, if ugly Slice into your salads this week, or have my favorite – buttered baguette slices with radish, arugula, salt and pepper.
LINGUINE WITH ARUGULA, PINE NUTS AND PARMESAN CHEESE
from Bon Appetit
1 lb. linguine
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup arugula, washed and trimmed
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add arugula and stir until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add arugula and toss well. Add 1 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; toss well. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan separately.
Spicy Broccoli Raab with Anchovies and Pasta
Bunch of broccoli raab
salt to taste
Garlic cloves, minced
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 oil-packed anchovy fillets or to taste
1/2 t hot red pepper flakes or 1 small dried red chili, chopped, seeds and all
1 lb orecchiette, cavatelli or other pasta
4 quarts water
freshly ground black pepper to taste
grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Clean and coarsely chop the broccoli raab, removing the last inch of thicker stems. Bring about 1 inch of lightly salted water to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the broccoli raab and cook until it is tender and only a few tablespoons of liquid are left in the bottom of the pan-about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how finely the vegetable is chopped.
Set the pan of broccoli raab aside, but keep it warm. In a separate skillet or sautÃ© pan, gently sautÃ© the garlic in the olive oil until it is soft, then melt in the anchovy fillets by crushing them in the garlicky oil with a fork. Add the red pepper and stir to mix well. Turn the garlic-pepper oil into the broccoli raab and mix.
Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water until done. Drain the pasta and immediately combine with the seasoned broccoli raab. Turn it into a warm serving bowl, add pepper, and serve immediately. Pass grated cheese at the table.
From David Leibowitz’s excellent “food blog”:http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/07/baba-ganosh/ . If you haven’t discovered this blog yet, you must! Searingly funny, like David Sedaris, only on food.
3 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup tahini (roasted sesame paste)
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 375F. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you donâ€™t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.) Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until theyâ€™re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance. Remove from oven and let cool. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve with crackers, sliced baguette, or toasted pita chips.
Kale and Honeydew Summer Salad
We saw this recipe in the Willy Street Reader. Use with any melon.
4-5 stalks of kale
juice from 1 lemon
1/3 c. sliced almonds
1/3 c. shaved Romano cheese
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or agave
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. sunflower or olive oil
Wash kale and remove stems. Slice into thin ribbons. Set aside. Whisk lemon juice, syrup, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and pour over kale. Massage the dressing into the kale leaves, mixing well. Remove melon from rind and cut into thin slices. Add melon, almonds and cheese to the kale. Toss really well and place in fridge for 5 to 10 minutes so the flavors can combine. Top with a little extra cheese and pepper when serving.