In The Box 7: Farm Pickup and New Glarus Delivery
We’re hitting peak tomato season here at Circle M – and trying really hard not to make ourselves sick while harvesting in the trellises every day! Those little cherries are just irresistible, and now we’ve got all of the heirloom full-size varieties ripening and it is really difficult to keep consumption to a healthy level. Luckily we’ve got sweet corn and melons to distract us from tomatoes! Here’s what else is in the box:
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 – 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 and Musk Melons – These dripping sweet melons are heirloom varieties of various kinds – dark red or rich yellow watermelons or green muskmelons. Eat soon.
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 citrus-y 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…
Tomato Hornworm Video!
Look at this guy eat! He even tries to take a bite out of me!
Onions – You have large round Walla Walla sweet onions for slicing and large flattened Cippolinis for roasting and caramelizing.
Snap Beans – The snaps finally came on a bit stronger this week, so we’ve got beans for you this summer after all, though we thought the harvest was pretty bleak. The varieties of beans we generally plant here in Wisconsin can’t really thrive in the hot days we had in June and they were knocked back a lot. We have planted new rows of beans that will be ready in September.
Broccoli: Full Shares Only – Broccoli took a real hit in the heat of June, so we didn’t have many 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 the are 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: Thyme – Late summer is a great time to transplant perennials. We’ve overhauled our whole perennial flower bed in the past week. And by the way – this is a great time to get perennials on sale at garden centers. Pop them in and make sure they stay watered. Same with this herb. You’ll see it again next spring and by summer it will be covered in pretty purple flowers. We love these little leaves in everything. Fantastic with your tomatoes and with summer squash.
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 when I was 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.
Swiss Chard with Bacon
Oh, boy, does this hit the spot on a early fall evening!
1 pound linguine
10 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 very large sweet onion, halved, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, chopped (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Meanwhile, cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onion and saut over medium-high heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add Swiss chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add pasta cooking liquid to skillet. Toss until chard is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle vinegar over; cook 1 minute. Add linguine and oil to sauce in pot and toss to coat. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Creamed Rainbow Chard
A rich and flavorful side dish from the Food Network’s Tyler Florence.
1 large bunch Swiss chard, leafs removed from the stem and leaves chopped
2 cups heavy cream
2 fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
Freshly grated Parmesan, to taste
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
Place a saucepan of cream with bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and garlic over medium heat and simmer until reduced and thick. Blanch leaves in some salted boiling water until wilted. Remove the Swiss chard from the water and allow it to drain in a strainer. Push any excess water out of the Swiss chard using some paper towels. Set aside to dry at room temperature. When ready, remove herbs and garlic from cream and fold in the Swiss chard. Add Parmesan, to taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon juice over as you plate.
Garlicky Kale with Corn
From tastebook.com. Great over rice or quinoa.
2 cups kale torn
1 ear of corn, kernels removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Place oil in garlic in a cold skillet and turn on medium heat. Slowly cook the garlic in the oil until aromatic. Add the kale and stir in the corn. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to cook until the kale is tender, about 10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water if needed during the cooking time.
Add some crushed red pepper, or sriracha chili sauce (or your favorite hot sauce). Not only do these simmering sultry spices stimulate your digestive system, they are also loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and will have your taste buds dancing.