In The Box 6: Farm Pickup and New Glarus Delivery
Here at Circle M we are in a week of transitions. Just yesterday we tilled in all the harvested gardens and laid neat rows of black irrigation drip tape down the smooth sandy surface. Like a blank canvas, this tidy open space represents a world of opportunity for fall eating! We’ve started transplanting head lettuces, kales, collards, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower. When the soil dries out a bit we’ll be direct seeding mesclun mix, arugula, globe carrots, and whatever fun stuff we can fit in the rows. This week’s box also represents the odd overlap of seasons. We’ve pulled out the early-season cabbages and the carrots sown in April, but we’re also serving up high-summer favorites like summer squash, tomatoes and hot peppers. Here’s what else is in the box:
Basil â€“ Seems like we get a big storm the night before we pick basil for you every week. This is very sandy from the splashing rain, but fill a sink with water and swish each stem individually right before you use it. Store basil unwashed ON YOUR COUNTER tied in the plastic bag. Trust me.
Cabbage – Full Shares got humongous Napa Cabbages. Shorties got mini heads of Early Jersey Wakefield. Both very mild, very crisp and very young. We picked these before they were totally mature because the cabbage moths have found them, even under their floating row covers, and now it is just a matter of time before the baby cabbage worms eat them up. These are both fabulous for slaw at this age. Try the Napa with some roasted sesame oil and garlic infused vinegar (Check out Vom Fass on University for some fantastic oil and vinegars for your summer slaws.) Or slather each leaf with peanut butter and roll up, then much away. Cooked, the Napa is nice in Asian stir fries and the Wakefield is best for stuffing or sauteeing in butter.
Tomatoes â€“ Tomatoes are just getting rolling, so you have a wide representation of the varieties we are growing in the trellises. Quality of the large tomatoes is still a bit rough, since the first ripen low to the ground and get quiet squished by the earth below and the heavy canopy above. Just cut of the â€œcatfacingâ€ around the stem and use the rest. The next box will have more perfect tomatoes since theyâ€™ll be from higher up in the vines. The cherries are fantastic â€“ in red, green, orange and pink varieties. You may have ripe tomatoes of ANY COLOR. Eat when they start to become soft. Leave the firmer ones until they soften.
Swiss Chard â€“ Many folks use these tender leaves in their green smoothies because they are so soft they blend right up without leaving any fibrous chewy bits. Also terrific chopped up and sautÃ©ed with eggs.
Summer Squash â€“ We are rolling in this now! Try the Squash Gratin or the Zucchini Boats (recipe on the website) when you get sick of slicing and sautÃ©ing these. Enjoy! The season is abundant, but fleeting. Youâ€™ve got Gold Stick, Yellow Crookneck, Zucchini and light green Lebanese summer squash in your boxes this week. We made a lovely salad this week with chopped mixed squash, tomatoes and avocado. See recipe below.
Mixed Kale â€“ Still beautiful and young! Use for this weekâ€™s salad â€“ just wash, chop and massage with dressing 15 minutes before eating. Or try Kale Chips â€“ see the recipe on our facebook page.
Yellow Hot Peppers – Just one a piece for now, but they are hot and one will be all you need to make a nice salsa with your tomatoes and onions.
Snap Beans (Full Shares Only) â€“ Failure of the snap bean crop has been a big issue with organic growers this year, since many blossoms fell off in the hot weeks of July. We didnâ€™t have total crop failure, but our pickings were sparse. Weâ€™ve only got enough for Full Size boxes this week, but we hope to be able to pick more for the Shorties next time around. If you cook these just lightly in olive oil or butter â€“ without boiling â€“ you should be able to pull them from the pan before the purple beans turn green.
Fresh Onions and Shallots â€“ Youâ€™ve got lots of fun onions to play with this week. Flattened Cippolinis, very mild, great to roast or caramelize. Round Walla Wallas â€“ nice for the burgers. Long purple Italian Torpedos â€“ a bit stronger. And finally â€“ Red Shallots, a bit stronger and hotter.
Carrots â€“ Delicious! And donâ€™t toss the greens. Save them for stock. See our facebook page for a great veggie stock method.
Summer Squash Gratin
From Willy Street Reader, July 2012
Slicing the potatoes as thin as possible essential to the success of this dish. They will turn luscious and creamy but if sliced too thick they’ll take longer to cook than the zucchini.
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1 1/2 pounds summer squash cut into 1/6th inch slices
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/4 cup oregano leaves, fresh
1/4 cup Italian parsley, fresh
1 large garlic clove, chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs, homemade is the best
1/2 pound waxy potatoes, sliced transparently thin (a mandoline is great for this)
3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9″x9″ baking dish with olive oil, sprinkle with the lemon zest, and set aside. Put the summer squash in a colander in the sink and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and allow to drain for 10-15 minutes. Using a food processor or a hang blender, puree the oregano, parsley, garlic 1/4 tsp. salt, crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it turns brown and fragrant, 2-3 minutes, then add the bread crumbs and stir until they’re well coated. Put the drained squash in a large bow, add the potatoes and tow-thirds of the oregano-parsley sauce and toss to coat. Stir in the cheese and half the bread crumbs. Taste and add more salt or crushed red pepper if needed. Transfer the squash and potatoes to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the rest of the bread crumbs. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Serve warm from the oven drizzled with the rest of the oregano-parsley sauce. Makes six servings.
Carrot Salad With Parsley and Spring Onions
Adapted from Martha Stewart, July 2012
It is best to make this salad an hour ahead so the flavors come together.
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks (2 cups)
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions or scallions (white and pale-green parts only)
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine carrots, onions, and parsley in a large bowl; toss well. Whisk together oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Let sit 1 hour. Before serving, squeeze lemon over the top.
Asian Cabbage Coleslaw
2 1/2 cups Napa cabbage (thinly sliced)
3 onions (cut into thin matchsticks)
1 cup shredded carrots
3 ounces Ramen noodles (flavour)
1/3 cup peanuts (roasted, coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 TBSP olive or wok oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Mix vegetables into large bowl. Reserve seasoning packet from Ramen noodles soup mix for another use. Coarsely crush noodles. Add to vegetables along with the peanuts; toss lightly. Stir together vinegar and oils, drizzle over veggies. (You can also just use a prepared Asian-flavored salad dressing for the vinegar and oil.) Salt and pepper to taste.
Blue-Cheese Dip for Fresh Veggies
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/3 cups Roelli blue cheese
(from Shullsburg, Wisconsin! Choose from several of their award-winning Blue cheeses; ranging from firm and crumbly to a creamy Italian-style Gorgonzola. For something different try the Dunbarton Blue, Chris Roelli’s signature blue-veined cheddar.)
Worcestershire and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
sliced veggies for dipping
In a large serving bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and 1 cup of cheese. Stir well, then sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup of cheese. Serve with veggies sliced for dipping.
Fresh Squash Medley Salad
A Circle M original, inspired by the bounty of the season and some high-quality olive oil.
1/2 cup each chopped (1/2 inch pieces) dark zucchini, yellow summer squash and light green squash
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 avocados, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup champagne or white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Stir lightly to combine. Juice left over after eating makes a great salad dressing for kale.
Spicy Zucchini Boats
Many thanks to Josalyn Riha for this terrific recipe!
3 medium zucchini or summer squash
1 lb of spicy Italian sausage
1 can of black beans, rinsed
2 packages of Spanish rice
2 small sweet or hot peppers
1 large onion
1 can of tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 lb of Pepper Jack cheese
Cut zucchini/squash in half and scoop out seeds to make a boat. Salt and set aside. Cook Spanish rice according to package. At the same time brown Italian sausage. Add to sausage: chopped peppers, rice, onion and beans. Mix well. Preheat oven to 350. Fill boats with rice/sausage mix. Spread tomato sauce on top, season with garlic salt, Italian seasoning. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 min.
LOCAL HONEY NOW AVAILABLE!
We’re excited to be able to once again offer Turtle Hill Wilds honey products to our CSA customers. We happen to have a beautiful slice of honeycomb from them out for nibbling in our kitchen right now, so we can attest to the amazing flavor! The gooey sweet mess came to us several days ago with a few honey bees still buzzing around in the back of Charles and Cindy’s truck. We’ve been enjoying it ever since. You won’t be able to get fresh chunks of honeycomb, but you can get their raw honey in several different sizes, as well as whipped cream honey with fresh berries. Order from us via email, and we’ll deliver with your Madison or New Glarus CSA box. Or local folks can come right to the walk-in cooler and buy some out of there. Here’s everything you need to know:
Turtle Hill Winds
Wild food. Wild plants. Wild honey.
Our colonies are located in wild lands, not clover fields. We encourage honey bee health with products we would consume ourselves–essential oils, bark extracts. They are NOT fed antibiotics and high doses of pesticides. Many are. Ask before you buy. Extracted in small batches to capture the essence of the seasons.
1 lb $5.75
2 lb $11.50
4 lb $22.00
2 gallon bucket $95.00
8 oz. $5.50
Spun honey flavored with dried wild harvested or organically grown fruit. Red raspberry and black raspberry. Limited supply.
8 oz. $6.25
Cindy Ramseyer is a field botanist and avid wild forager who has been lured by the bees into the apiary. Charles Ramseyer is a woodsman. He has lead trips for coming of age ceremonies, and wild land survival. Here’s what they say about their business: “We only sell what we’ll eat ourselves. Turtle Hill is our home, a space we share with many creatures, like the snapping turtle that laid its eggs on our sandy hilltop, and the crows that hold congress in the pines. We live in and on this land, with sustainability in mind and biodiversity a focus. We offer sustainably harvested lumber, firewood, mushrooms, native medicinal plants and wild foods, and products of the honey bee. No pesticides and herbicides are used in our gardens and on foraging lands.”