Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tomato juice for 2017.

IMG_9778 tomato wash
Charlotte, Osha and Maggie wash a gazillion tomatoes.

Tomato harvests are at their peak.  We have more tomatoes than you need/want, so we will bottle some of this week’s tomatoes for next year’s tomato juice.  We picked plum tomatoes for your CSA boxes this week, and will make ripe slicing tomatoes into juice.  Contract Comestibles, a small food processor in East Troy, will process the juice for us.  That is a job beyond us in every sense (time, ability, legality).  Bottling is a great way to use surplus tomatoes at peak season, and we will be glad to have the juice tucked away for next year.  The tomatoes are in very good shape, so we predict a fine batch of juice.

As you probably noticed, we usually pack 4 lb tomatoes per CSA box at peak season.  We settled on that amount based on feedback from you folks.  Shoot us an email if you have any thoughts on the amount.  We are always open to suggestions and I have wondered if 4 lb per week is what everyone wants.   Beth

Extra tomatoes for sale next week?

We offered extra plum tomatoes for sale to Friday sites this week.  We think there will be enough to offer to the Thursday sites next week.  Watch for emails from us mid-week.

Veggie list and veggie notes (Sept. 1/2, 2016, week #16, purple EOW)

Plum tomatoes, 4 lb
Edamame soybeans, 1 bundle
Sweet corn, 5 ears
Green beans, 0.85 lb
Colored frying peppers, ~3
Oranos OR lunchbox peppers
Cucumbers or pickles, ~1 lb
Sweet onion (Walla Walla or Zoey)
Jalapeño chile (HOT), 1
Thai or Italian basil, by site, 1 bunch

Some sites get watermelon.
Some sites get large broccoli.
Some sites get small broccoli + heirloom tomato.
Some sites get a zucchini too.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, onions, and more.

Plum tomatoes – Plum tomatoes are meaty, with higher solids and lower water content than slicing tomatoes.  They are the best tomato for sauce.  They make a fine salad too.
Edamame soybeans (bundle of green stems with pods attached ) – These edible soybeans are a treat.  Pull the pods from the stem and wash well.  It helps to submerge the pods and rub them together.  Boil in water until the pods have split and the beans are quite tender.  Season with salt and pop the beans out of the pods and into your mouth.  This Japanese specialty is becoming more and more popular in the USA.
Storage:  Remove the pods from the stems promptly and refrigerate.
Sweet corn – This corn is a bit starchy so the best use is to cut the kernels from the cob and add to a recipe.  This is the last corn of the season.
Oranos or lunchbox peppers – Oranos are orange.  Lunchbox peppers are smaller and mixed colors: red, orange, yellow.  Otherwise, these peppers are pretty similar.  Sweet, flavorful, crunchy, they are the perfect size to pack for lunch the first week of school.

IMG_9793 pepperID2
Pepper ID.  Clockwise from left; Italian frying peppers, Oranos, lunchbox peppers. Jalapeño chile (HOT) in the middle.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

A SAVORY YOGURT + EGG BREAKFAST SALAD SITUATION
Adapted ever so slightly from a recipe by my absolute favorite, Molly Yeh

Takes 20 mintues
Serves 2-4 based on your hunger level

2 cups plain yogurt (Greek yogurt preferred)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Fried eggs
1 avocado, diced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced (or 2 pickles, diced)
3 tomatoes, cored and diced
Handful of Thai basil or Italian basil leaves, roughly chopped
Buttery toast

  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper †and stir until smooth.
  2. Spread the yogurt out on shallow bowls or plates. Top with a fried egg or two followed by avocado, cucumber and tomato. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper along with roughly chopped basil.
  3. Serve with toast and enjoy!

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CREAMY CORN GRITS WITH CHARRED PEPPERS & ONIONS
Takes 30 minutes, plus additional 30 minutes for bacon
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter
5 ears corn, kernels cut off cob (no need to cook first!)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 cups grits (also known as corn grits, cornmeal or polenta; here’s what I always buy)
3 colored sweet peppers, any
1 sweet onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-8 tablespoons maple syrup
Candied bacon, technically optional but very much recommended (recipe here)

  1. If you plan to make the candied bacon, I’d recommend starting now and then the meal will all be done around the same time.
  2. In a large stock pot or sauce pan, melt butter. Add corn, jalapeno, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes). Add in water and milk. Reduce heat to medium high and wait for mixture to just begin bubbling. Stir once or twice with a whisk while waiting for it to bubble to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Pour in grits slowly, whisking while you pour them in to create a smooth texture. Reduce heat to a low simmer and continue whisking every couple minutes to keep the mixture from clumping or sticking. When grits look creamy and consistent, they’re ready! They cook very quickly, about 10 minutes. If they cease up while you prepare other parts of your meal, just cook them over low heat and add more milk until they have the desired consistency.
  4. Preheat your grill to high. Place whole peppers directly over burner. Toss onions with olive oil and place these slices directly over burner as well. Flip every two minutes or so and take off the grill once peppers are blackened and onions have grill marks. Peppers with take 6-10 minutes. Onions will take 4-5 minutes.
  5. Roughly chop grilled onions and set to the side. Once cool to the touch, peel skin off peppers, remove seeds and cut into strips. Add to onions in a small bowl.
  6. Add about a half cup of grits to a large bowl, top with onions and peppers followed by candied bacon (if using). Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup and enjoy!

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Broccoli Slaw
Sherry Vinegar Marinated Roasted Peppers
Pizza Margherita
Maque Choux

Outside the Box Recipes

Roasted Broccoli with Marcona Almonds and Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
Grilled Sirloin Steaks (or portabello mushrooms) with Pepper and Caper Salsa
Salsa “Quemada”
Brown Butter and Corn Pasta

Quick and Easy Meal

Thai  Cucumber, Green Bean and Tomato Salad

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August 25, 2016

I sat down to choose photos for tonight’s newsletter.  Lo and beyond, I had filled my phone with photos of experimental basil. Why didn’t I take pictures of our photogenic crops and crew??  There are some weeding photos, but the crew nixed them as too unglamorous.

My ‘side job’ of tracking crop diseases is important farm work and gives me a welcome break from our focus on harvests and deliveries.  In our small basil trial, I planted breeding lines from Bejo, the European seed company that developed the disease-resistant Eleonora variety that we grow in summer plantings.  I approached Bejo and offered to test their newest lines and breeding materials.  Bejo is selecting for resistance to downy mildew, a disease that ruined our summer basil plantings a few years ago.  We have a better handle on that problem now, with Eleonora a useful part of the solution.  I am very interested to see their newest breeding.  I have to say that some of the experimental lines taste terrible …  as in “spit-them-out-on-the-ground” terrible.  However, the real test is how they react to downy mildew.  It hasn’t shown up yet but spores blow into the state each year, so we will see it eventually.

IMG_9538 basil3 trial
Experimental basil lines with carrots (and weeds) on either side.

We are still transplanting seedlings because we need to feed you into the fall.  Our weekly Monday to Thursday harvest schedule means we usually transplant on Fridays.  However, it’s rained the last four Thursday nights, ruling out Friday transplanting.  The crew worked late this Tuesday to rush in a planting.  Broccoli, napa cabbage, kohlrabi and the final basil are all tucked in the ground.  Good thing, because it rained again Tuesday night and probably will again tonight.  We still have one final transplanting to go, a small field of quick-growing, cold-hardy Asian greens.  Then we can grease the transplanter and pack it up for the winter.

We feel lucky that we didn’t get much rain this spring, even though we grumbled about the extra irrigation work.  Spring was rainy in much of Wisconsin, conditions that can jump-start disease problems for the rest of the year.  Weather-related problems are popping up in some of our crops but could be much, much worse.  However, we are having trouble staying ahead of the weeds because of the rain.  Steve is beginning to despair about it.  He cultivates the weeds but they simply re-root with the next rain.

IMG_9550 jackie muddy boots

IMG_9551 muddy boots
Check out Jackie’s boots after sweet corn harvest today.  They got sucked off her feet in the mud.  That tells you what our bottom fields look like.

Veggie list and veggie notes (August 25/26, 2016, week #15, green EOW)

Sweet corn, ~8 ears
Green beans, 1.25 lb
Collard greens, 1 bunch
Slicing tomatoes, 4 lb
Colored bell pepper, 1 – 2
Oranos peppers, 2 – 3
(Total peppers is ~4 per box.)
Cucumber(s) OR a few pickles, by site
Zucchini/squash, ~1
Walla Walla onion
Basil, 2 sprigs (Italian or Thai by site)
Garlic, 1 bulb
Some sites get an heirloom tomato.
Some sites get globe eggplant.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, peppers, melon, edamame soybeans, cucumbers and more.

Sweet corn – Looks like some of the corn will need trimming again this week.  We harvested two separate plantings.  One has bugs at the tip, one doesn’t.
Collard greens – First harvest from a fresh planting, these are quite nice.
Oranos peppers (orange, tapered, sweet) – These sweet orange peppers look like frying peppers but behave like bell peppers during cooking.  We love them as a snack or lunchbox pepper – a perfect little package.  Flavor is excellent, yummy.  Really, can you tell that I like these peppers?
Heirloom tomatoes – New this week, we did not wash the heirloom tomatoes, to reduce handling and minimize bruising.  They are fragile!  There might be a little dirt or a dried leaf on the tomato, but we figure you can take care of that.  We love these fragile tomatoes (and you tell us the same) so we continue to tweak how we grow and handle them.  Here’s the info I sent a few weeks ago, for those who haven’t gotten an heirloom tomato yet:
If you find a single tomato in your box (not in the paper bag), then it’s an heirloom tomato.  We tuck those near the top of the box where they won’t get damaged.  Heirloom tomatoes are unusually flavorful and unusually fragile.  Some are ripe and ready to eat.  Some need a day or two to ripen.  Place on your kitchen counter so you can keep an eye on it, and eat it as soon as it’s ripe.  These bruise very easily so handle gently.
Basil – Some sites get Eleonora Italian basil this week, some sites get Thai basil.
Garlic – This week’s garlic is from our friend John Hendrickson of Stone Circle Farm.

DSCF0583 oranos
Sweet Oranos snack peppers

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

GREEN BEAN & TOMATO SALAD WITH BUTTERMILK DRESSING

Takes 20 minutes
Serves 4-6

1 pound beans, trimmed
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plain yogurt (Greek is great, but not essential; sour cream would also work if you don’t have yogurt on hand)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Ω teaspoon†minced garlic
1/2 sweet onion, minced
Handful basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup†diced tomatoes, cored (but not seeded)

  1. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, onion, basil and olive oil together until totally smooth (I often do this in a mason jar and then just shake vigorously: I feel like the garlic and onions get better distributed this way). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the salad. This will help mellow the raw garlic and onion.
  2. Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. They should be just barely cooked.
  3. To serve, divide tomatoes among several small bowls. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with cooked beans. Shake (or whisk) buttermilk dressing a few times and top with a few spoonfuls of buttermilk dressing.†

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PEPPER & SWEET CORN FRITTATA

Serves 6-8
Takes 45 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
2 colored peppers (bell or orano), seeded and diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups corn cut off the cob (from 2-3 ears), can be boiled first or not
2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced (no need to remove skin or seeds)
Handful of basil, chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a large pan or skillet (I used a well-seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Once melted, add peppers, onion, salt and pepper, and saute until soft, about 10-15 minutes over medium low heat. A little bit of char or black is okay! Add corn, tomatoes and basil to pan and saute 5 minutes longer until ingredients are well-mixed and tomatoes are soft. If you feel there is too much liquid in the pan, feel free to drain a bit (I drained about 1/4 cup of tomato juice).
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk and whisk until smooth.
  4. Add feta to skillet distributing it evenly around the pan and immediately pour egg mixture over veggies and feta. Use a fork to ensure things are distributed evenly with the egg mixture and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes (or until the edges begin to set).
  5. Once the edges of the frittata have set, throw in the oven for 10 minutes until the center is firm and no longer wiggles. Serve warm.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Collard Green and Cornmeal Soup
Lebanese Green Beans Braised in Tomatoes and Olive Oil
Corn Pudding
Penne a la Vodka

Outside the Box Recipes

Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken with Collard Cornbread Stuffing
Martinique Green Beans
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Corn
Summer Pasta with Tomato Water, Tomatoes and Garlic

Quick and Easy Meal

Monterey Jack and Sweet Pepper Quesadilla

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August 18, 2016

I am back from a trip to visit family, and have many things to tend to this week.  I’ll write a newsletter next week once I’ve caught up.  Beth

Veggie list and veggie notes (August 18/19, week #14, purple EOW)

Sweet corn, 8 ears
Watermelon; red, orange, or yellow.
(If melon is small, we’ll include a muskmelon.)
Tomatoes, 4 lb, slicing tomatoes
Heirloom tomato, 1 – 2
Bell peppers, mixed colors, 2
Cucumber or pickles, ~1 lb
Zucchini or summer squash, ~1 lb
Walla Walla onions, 1 – 2
Garlic, 1 bulb
Basil (Thai or Italian, depending on site), small bunch

Some sites will get eggplant this week.
Some sites will get lettuce.
Some sites will get extra bell peppers.

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, basil, onions and more.

Sweet corn – Don’t be surprised if there is a caterpillar at the tip of your corn ear.  Just cut off the tip.  These bugs come with the territory when growing organic sweet corn.
Garlic – This batch of organic garlic is from our friend John Hendrickson of Stone Circle Farm.
Cucumber/pickles – The cucumbers are pretty rough-looking this week, with more insect scarring than we like.  Nonetheless, they taste quite good, so we are packing them for you.  These are the last cukes from our second planting. The third planting will be ready to pick in a week or two, and the cukes will be pretty again.

LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Corn and Tomato Risotto
Summertime Paella
Greek Style Pasta Salad
Taco Salad

Outside the Box Recipes

Summer Squash Carpaccio
Sriracha Lime Corn Salad
Spiced Vegetable Dal
Roman Chicken and Peppers

Quick and Easy Meal Idea

Summer Squash and Tomato Sandwiches

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August 11, 2016

Veggie list and veggie notes (August 11/12, 2016, week#13, green EOW)

Watermelon, orange or yellow
Slicing tomatoes, about 4 lb
Carrots, 1.6+ lb
Beets with greens, 1 bunch
Red bell pepper, 1 or 2
Sweet corn, 2 ears
Walla Walla onions, 1 or 2
Cucumber OR pickling cucumbers (a small amount)
Zucchini or squash, a few

Some sites will receive globe or Japanese eggplant.
Some sites will receive an heirloom tomato.
Some sites will receive cherry tomatoes.

Next week’s box will contain tomatoes, sweet corn, melon, peppers, onions, garlic and more.

Watermelon – We grow a lot of watermelons.  The orange and yellow melons we are sending this week are among our favorites.  Both types are tender and sweet.  All are ripe and ready to eat.  Uncut watermelons can be held at room temperature for up to one week.  Refrigerate your melon after you cut it open.
Heirloom tomatoes – If you find a single tomato in your box (not in the paper bag), then it’s an heirloom tomato.  We tuck those near the top of the box where they won’t get damaged.  Heirloom tomatoes are unusually flavorful and unusually fragile.  Some are ripe and ready to eat.  Some need a day or two to ripen.  Place on your kitchen counter so you can keep an eye on it, and eat it as soon as it’s ripe.  These bruise very easily so handle gently.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

BEET and CUCUMBER PANZANELLA

This salad does not store well because the bread gets excessively soggy. If you don’t expect to eat everything in one meal, toss all prepared ingredients together excluding the croutons. Store salad and croutons separately adding the amount you plant to use together 15 minutes before serving. Feta makes a nice addition to this salad if you are looking to make it a bit heavier. Fresh basil or fennel fronds also are a nice touch if you’ve got either around.

Takes 1 hour
Serves 4

Beets from one bunch, green removed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 cups wheat, rye or white sourdough bread, crust removed and torn into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 Walla Walla onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wrap beets individually or in pairs in aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. If beets are large, half and wrap separately.†Roast for thirty minutes until soft.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper until well-coated and even. Pour bread onto baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes or until dried out and browned evenly. Remove from oven occassionally and rotate if necessary.
  4. Once beets are roasted, remove from foil and allow to cool until able to touch with your barehands. Remove the peel (if it does not come off easily the beets need a little more time in the oven) and dice the beets into bite-size pieces.
  5. In a large bowl, add the beets, croutons, cucumber, onion, balsamic, honey and remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Start with two tablespoons of balsamic, only adding more if you think it needs it. (I tend to like things on the excessively vinegary side so I’d add the full 3 tablespoons). Stir everything together until well combined and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

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SWEET CORN and PEPPER BBQ PIZZA

This pizza is just so summery I can hardly stand it. Tomatoes, peppers and onions on a pizza are just pure bliss pretty much any way you shake it, but this pizza adds a bit of extra interest with BBQ sauce and sweet corn. Any extra hot peppers you have lying around would be a great addition as well as pretty much any fresh herb you have on hand (cilantro, basil or parsley come to mind specifically).

Serves 6-8
Makes 1 large 12×16 pizza or 2-round pizzas
Takes 40 minutes (if using pre-made pizza dough, ~2 hours if making pizza dough from scratch)

1 batch pre-made pizza dough (or make your own using recipe below)
2 ears of corn
1/2 cup favorite BBQ sauce
3 large tomatoes, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 red pepper, diced
1 Walla Walla, diced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced, optional
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

For the pizza dough:
1-1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active yeast
2 tablespoons honey
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt

  1. If you are making the dough from scratch, begin here. If not, skip to step 2. Combine warm water (but not hot!) with yeast and honey in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in water with yeast. Stir to combine but do not work the dough at all, just stir until all the ingredients are incorporated together. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a well-floured counter and knead for 3-5 minutes until smooth and uniform dough forms. Grease or oil a large clean bowl. Add dough, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest in a warm place for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Line a baking sheet with paper towel. Lay sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Let sit for 15 minutes so some of the juice leaves the tomatoes (this will keep your pizza from getting too soggy). Pat dry with a paper towel and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add corn cobs and boil for 7 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water until corn is cool to the touch. Cut corn cobs in half and then steadying them on a cutting board (cut-side down), remove kernels with a sharp knife. Set aside.
  5. Once dough has risen and is ready to be used, turn out onto a well-floured counter. Roll into two circles for pizza pans or one large rectangle to fit a large baking sheet. Very lightly oil baking pan(s) (with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil). Place dough on pan and press out to the edges.
  6. Leaving a one-inch border around the edges, add BBQ sauce to dough.†Lay tomato slices over†crust in a single layer followed by red†pepper and onion. Add diced chicken if using and then sprinkle entire pizza(s) with cheese. Top the pizza(s) with corn. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese and corn are just beginning to brown.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Panzanella
Watermelon Gazpacho
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Beet, Beet Greens and Thai Basil Salad

Outside the Box Recipes

Romesco Sauce
Watermelon Feta and Basil Salad
Dragonwagon’s Millet Vegetable Cakes with Beets and Carrots
Carrot Beet Mustard Seed Salad

Quick and Easy Meal

Grilled Flatbreads with Tomatoes and Peppers

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August 4, 2016

IMG_8968 hankerchiefs maggie roger
This is the height of farm fashion. Maggie and Roger know how to rock the handkerchiefs. Clearly, they coordinated their outfits.

I’ll be gone next week.

I am taking our kids to visit family.  Please limit communication with us until Monday 8/15/16.  Steve is staying home to take care of everything.  If there’s an urgent issue, call or send an email and Steve will help you.  However, he already has a lot on his plate.  Thank you!  Beth

What does “OR” mean?

Often our weekly veggie list includes something like “watermelon OR muskmelon.”  What does that mean?  Sometimes our crops are overwhelming (get ready for tomatoes in August).  At other times they ripen in fits and starts, eg. eggplant and the first harvest of almost any crop.  When there are small amounts, we split them up among the sites.  We make sure that all the boxes at a site are uniform so we can track who gets what.  That lets us follow up to deliver muskmelons in future to the people who got watermelons this week, and vice versa.

When our list says “xxx OR yyy” please don’t open CSA boxes searching for your preference.  All the boxes at your site are the same.  Take your box off the top of the stack.  When you open other members’ boxes, their produce warms up.  No one wants that.  Thanks for your help.

Veggie list and veggie notes (August 4/5, 2016, week #12, purple EOW)

Slicing tomatoes, 3.5 lb
Muskmelon, 1 or 2
Kale, 1 bunch
Carrots, 1.75 lb
Pickles OR Silver Slicers OR cucumbers, ~1 lb
Reddish peppers, 2 (Italian and/or bell)
Zucchini/squash, a few
Walla Walla onion, 1 or 2
Garlic, 1 large or 2 small
Jalapeño pepper (HOT), 1
Flat parsley
Each site receives globe eggplant OR Japanese eggplant OR broccoli OR cherry tomatoes OR an heirloom tomato.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cucumbers or pickles, onions, an herb and more.

Tomatoes – As usual, we have packed a mix of ripe and less-ripe tomatoes so you can stretch them through the week. The top two tomatoes in the photo below are ready to eat. The bottom tomatoes need to ripen at room temperature for a few days.  Put on your counter or keep in a brown paper bag.
Storage: Tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature, no lower than 55oF.  However, you should refrigerate your tomatoes if they are fully ripe and you don’t expect to eat them right away.  It is better to sacrifice a little flavor and texture than lose your tomatoes to rot.  Also, fully-ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to chilling injury.
Muskmelon – We are sending muskmelons two weeks in a row because they are so darn good.  Let’s repeat last week’s instructions, for those getting their first muskmelon this week. We pick muskmelons at field-ripe stage. However, Steve says they will be even better if you let them ripen further on your counter for a day or two. Watch for a slight ‘give’ when you press the melon at the blossom end (opposite the stem end). Check for fragrance too.  Eat or refrigerate when fully ripe.
Pickles OR Silver Slicers OR cucumbers – You will receive one of these types.  See photo below for identification. This week, we have small amounts of pickles and a white cucumber called ‘Silver Slicer’ which is interesting and tasty.  We don’t have enough for everyone this week, but we will try to distribute them to all the sites over the next few weeks.  You will receive about 1 lb of one of these types.  We’ve moved into a fresh planting so quality is very nice but amounts are small as yet.  Don’t worry about pickling the pickles.  They are excellent for salads because of their thin, tender skins.  That’s what we choose when making a cucumber salad.  Don’t peel the pickles or the Silver Slicers; it’s unnecessary.
Garlic – These bulbs are from our garlic harvest that I showed in the newsletter last week.  They have already dried enough to send to you.
Jalapeño chili (HOT) – These are very hot.

Veggie ID

DSCF7516
Ripe tomatoes (top) and less ripe tomatoes (bottom).

IMG_3042 cukes silver pickles
From top, slicing cucumbers, Silver Slicer cucumber, and pickling cucumbers.  You will receive one of these types.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

MUSKMELON SALSA
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I made two versions of this salsa. The first one was exactly as the recipe reads below. For the second version, I grilled the muskmelon and red pepper before preparing the salsa. I must say I preferred this one (though both are great!). If you feel like firing up the grill, follow the notes at the bottom.
Note from Beth: Lauren lives just down the road from us.  She called earlier today to say “I have a great idea for a recipe but need to test it.  Do you have any spare muskmelons and peppers?”  She ran over, grabbed the produce and tested the recipes.  What a gal!

Makes 4 cups of salsa
Takes 15 minutes, 30 if grilling

2 cups diced muskmelon*
1 red bell or Italian frying pepper, diced*
1/2 Walla Walla onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Note: For a smokier flavor, you can grill the muskmelon and pepper. Turn your grill to high and place pepper directly on heat. Turn occasionally so it blackens evenly on all sides (about 10 minutes). Remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove peel. Then seed and dice. Cut muskmelon in half and remove seeds. Cut into slices and brush lightly with olive oil on both sides. Grill until marks form on both sides (about 3 minutes). Remove from grill, remove rinds and dice. Add diced pepper and muskmelon to all other ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

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MY FAVORITE KALE SALAD
Adapted from Martha Stewart
I am literally always looking for an excuse to make this salad. Potlucks, parties, Tuesday, it is my favorite salad on earth. It also happens to be just the perfect way to use up all that kale in your box this week. Add carrots, bell pepper and cucumber (or silver slicer) as written below or any other vegetable you have on hand (scallions, radishes, green peppers and herbs all make tasty additions).†

Serves a crowd (6-10 easily)
Takes 20 minutes

1 bunch curly kale, center rib discard, chopped into small pieces (or try to chiffonade the kale, it’s well worth it!)
2 carrots, thinly sliced into coins
1 red bell or Italian frying pepper, diced
1 cucumber (or Silver Slicer or 2 pickles), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any favorite nut butter)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts

  1. Throw washed, prepared vegetables together in a large salad bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and peanut butter until smooth.† Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour half the dressing over the salad. Stir or shake to coat. Use more dressing as needed. Top with peanuts. Salad tastes better after sitting for a couple minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Charred Tomato and Pepper Salsa
Ginger Melon Sorbet
Spicy Kale
Gingered Carrots

Outside the Box Recipes

Norwegian Tomato and Cucumber Salad
White Wine Sangria with Melon
Kale Caesar
Vegetable Biriyani

Quick and Easy Meal

Slicing and Cherry Tomato Gazpacho

kale-caesar
Kale Caesar Salad

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