In The Box 6: Madison Delivery
For some people, this box might be the most exciting of the season as we serve up long-awaited just-picked sweet corn and juicy heirloom watermelon. Though we only had room in the Full Share boxes for watermelon, the Shorties will have their turn next week when the smaller muskmelons are ripe. All sweet and delicious – the height of fresh summer eating!
Sweet Corn – Eat immediately! Sweet corn diminishes in quality every hour it’s out of the field. We picked these for you this morning, so take advantage of it. Drop everything and boil these for 5 minutes NOW!
Basil – The basil had a pokey week due to the few nights here that dipped into the 50s, so we don’t have very big bags for you. But enough to make a lovely Caprese salad. Slice up some of your colorful tomatoes and layer with fresh mozzarella slices and thinly ribboned basil leaves. Drizzle all with olive oil and Balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heavenly lunch on a hot day!
Watermelons – Full Shares only. These dripping sweet melons are heirloom varieties – dark red or rich yellow.
Summer Squash and Zucchini – We really like to get these to you fresh and small so that the skins are thin enough that you can eat raw with dip, or lightly saute in butter and enjoy in just a few minutes. But it means they don’t keep well. Store outside of the fridge and eat soon. If the skins start to deteriorate, you can still cook them without fear. Try the lovely Baked Summer Squash recipe from Farm Member Ashley.
Tomatoes – My o my, these little cherries are at their most amazing this week! Have you already figured out that you are getting red, yellow, orange, green and pink cherry tomatoes, in addition to the sweet and citrusy tiny little ground cherries in the paper skins? All of the tomatoes we’ve picked are ripe when they are soft, regardless of their color. We like heirlooms in many hues, with many different flavors and uses. In general, big round tomatoes are juicy and great for slicing onto burgers and such. Oval tomatoes tend to be more dry and best for eating out of hand or using in paste. This week we are featuring the horn-shaped Amish paste, Aunt Ruby’s German Green and round red Wisconsin 55s. There may be a few Yellow Brandywines and Black Prince in there as well, along with the small oval Ida Gold and red Juliet varieties.
These guys are the enemy in our tomato field. Look at those chompers! The Tomato Hornworm, which turns into a ginormous Hummingbird Moth, can do a lot of damage in a few hours. Like this:
See the dip in these cherry tomato vines? That’s the work of one worm! A finger-sized worm with an endless appetite…
Even though we have to share with the hornworms, we do end up with quite a few tomatoes!
Greens: Swiss Chard for Full Shares, Kale for Shorties – We really didn’t have a lot of room in the boxes for greens this week, so we gave the big Swiss Chard leaves to the Full Shares and the smaller Baby Kale leaves to the Shorties. Time to try Kale Chips if you haven’t already, Shortie friends! Recipe is up at our facebook page. This will have to do for salad until the September boxes.
Onions – Most of our onion field has been picked now, so we’ve got lots of different flavors, colors and sizes for you to enjoy this week. This box will be the first and only time you see Red Torpedos, a gourmet Italian variety that didn’t germinate that well for us this year. You also have another Shallot, since we found another row of those mixed in with one of our Walla Walla rows. You have a large round Walla Walla sweet onion as well. And a large flattened mild Cippolini.
Snap Beans: Shortie Shares Only – The Full Shares got green beans last time around, so this is the Shorties turn. We had a pretty poor crop for the summer beans, but we’ve got more seeded for fall, so you can look forward to more then.
Broccoli: Full Shares Only – Broccoli took a real hit in the heat of June, so we didn’t have any heads that turned out. Luckily, we’d also planted Sprouting Broccoli, a variety that sends up these multiple shoots, which is less fussy about the weather. These large messy heads are great for broccoli spears or for chopping into a stir fry, since the they tasty all down the stalk. Use it all, leaves as well.
Green Peppers – Our pepper plants are so loaded with fruit the branches are starting to break, so we’ve harvested some of the peppers green. You’ll get lots of red ones later, but these will have to do for now.
Hot Yellow Peppers and Jalapenos – All of the oval, skinny peppers in your box are hot. Plenty here for a salsa. Be careful with the seeds – they are even hotter than the pepper.
Herb to Plant: Chives – Late summer is a great time to transplant perennials. This lovely chive clump will grow to a great, big, purple-flowered mound by next spring if you plant it sometime this month. Water faithfully until established. Harvest at will.
Ashley’s Baked Summer Squash
Thanks so much to Farm Member Ashley for sharing this dish.
1 small zucchini and 1 summer squash, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
1 large tomato or several smaller tomatoes
2 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese, whatever you have
Mix vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper. Arrange in buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until squash is soft.
Watermelon Tomato Salad
I discovered the remarkable synergy of these flavors while nibbling on a slice of watermelon while sorting tomatoes in the walk-in cooler this week. I popped one of those irresistible cherry tomatoes in my mouth and the combination of flavors blew me away! Give this a try, really.
1 cup watermelon chunks or balls
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls
Simply combine and enjoy, or add a few tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar if you want a more salad-y salad.
Blue-Cheese Dip for Fresh Veggies
Slice up your squash and zucchinis and eat ‘em up raw with this decadent treat.
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.