Week #17, Sept 13, 2018

Farm News

This was a nice week.  Sunny and mild, it was just what we needed.  To follow up last week’s newsletter, no one quit, not even Steve.  We thought about it during the incessant rain.  

This has been a productive week.  Too many jobs were impossible during the rain and we haven’t put a tractor in the fields for weeks.  We were all quite motivated once the weather cleared.  Steve, Raul and Roger focussed on field work, cultivating, mowing and even doing some tillage.  The first winter squash are harvested and curing for next week’s boxes.  The winter squash crop is my baby so the early harvest makes me happy.     Beth

Maggie and Charlotte pick dill bunches.  Maggie puts dill flower bouquets on her kids’ nightstands, to sooth nightmares and help them sleep.

We are still harvesting good plum tomatoes from one variety in a field that was otherwise overwhelmed by rain.  See the pail tilted at top?

The crew broadcasts music from their phones with this “speaker pail.”  This is low-tech but it works!

Collard greens glowing in the sun.

Let’s talk Romano beans.

Romano beans are more robust and meaty than green beans.  They are excellent raw but really shine when gently cooked for a long time.  Pat and Lauren both have good recipes below.  I notice that most people who love Romano beans are dedicated to a particular recipe.  There’s overlap between these recipes, but here goes:
– Lauren asked me to remind you about last year’s African Peanut Stew recipe, which is easily adapted for this week’s veggies.  It’s an excellent recipe for this time of year.  
– Former Tipi crew member Jon Fagan raves about Braised Green Beans with Tomato and Fennel Seeds (in previous newsletter, scroll down).
– My favorite Romano bean recipe (which I recommend every year but also look forward to every year!) is Sausages and Summer Beans with Tomatoes & Caramelized Onions.  
– Finally, here’s a 2017 quote from Tipi member Steve Rankin:

“You have finally sold me. I have never been a fan of Romano beans.  This week I have been sautéing them with various peppers and garlic, as well as the oregano from earlier this season.  They are especially tasty with Poblanos.  Lots of black pepper and some soy sauce, which make the pan sticky. I deglaze the pan with wine and braise them in the wine. I’m sold!”

Some of you might have poblanos from last week.  Otherwise this week’s shishitos will be a good addition to Steve R’s approach.  Beth.

Everything I know about shishito peppers

This is our first year growing shishito peppers.  Look for a handful of shishitos in your bag of beans, where they are easy to find and recognize.  I hesitate to spend a lot of time on such a small amount of food but these are new and interesting.  We’ll send them again in a few weeks.  You will receive green and/or red ones.  Some of the most tasty ones are the soft, full-ripe red ones.  They get leathery but are delicious.  There are reports online that a low percentage of shishitos will be spicy.  We have not encountered that yet.  Here’s the lowdown from Johnny’s Seeds:

“Heavily wrinkled fruits are thin walled, mild (no heat) when green and slightly sweet when red.  Popular in Japan where its thin walls make it particularly suitable for tempura.  Also very good in stir fries or sautés.  In Asia, fruits are always cooked green but they also may be used red.  Thinly sliced, the red fruits are excellent in salads and coleslaw.”

Blistered shishitos.  If you search “shishito recipe,” almost all results are for blistered shishitos.  Here’s my version, courtesy of Lauren.  She puts blistered shishitos on hamburgers, I add them to grilled cheese sandwiches, and you can use them to top any dish.
1.  Cut the caps off your shishito peppers.  Trim the core with the tip of a paring knife.  Flick or shake out the seeds.
2.  Heat a little grapeseed oil in a skillet until it’s hot but not smoking.  Add peppers.  Cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until they blister in a few places.  They don’t need to be blackened, just a few charred spots.  This is quick, about 3 – 6 minutes.  Don’t peel – they are too thin-walled.
Alternatively, you can grill them or put your cast iron skillet under the broiler.  

Everyone gets a handful.

I tried cooking intact shishitos versus ones that were capped and seeds removed.  I like the latter.  Then the peppers are ready to use once blistered.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #17, Sept 13/14, 2018
Weekly and green EOW shares

Red potatoes, ~3.5 lb
Romano beans, 1.4 lb
Collard greens, 1 bunch
Bell or frying pepper, 1 – 2
Shishito peppers, a handful
(in bag with Romano beans)
Plum tomatoes, 2.9 lb
Yellow onions
Dillweed & flowers, 1 bunch
– By site, you’ll get broccoli OR cauliflower OR eggplant.
– By site, you’ll get 1 zucchini OR 1 frying pepper or Oranos peppers.

Next week’s box will probably contain cabbage, winter squash, peppers, (cauliflower or broccoli or eggplant), peppers and more.

Red potatoes – These were grown by our friends Josh and Noah Engel of Driftless Organics, or as Steve says “the Engel boys.”  He knew them as kids when he farmed in the Driftless area and carpooled with the Engel family to Pleasant Ridge Waldorf school in Viroqua.  Now they are all grown up with families of their own and a thriving farm.

Collard greens – This is the first picking from a fresh field, so quality and texture are excellent.  Collards are as nutritious and versatile as their close relative, kale.  Use interchangeably in kale recipes.  Storage: Cover and refrigerate.

Plum tomatoes – This week’s plum tomatoes are good, better than the last few weeks.  These are from a sturdy variety called “Granadero”  which really shone this year.  It kept healthy leaves despite all the rain.  That’s how you get tasty tomatoes; you need healthy leaves to photosynthesize sugar and flavor in the tomatoes.

Dillweed – We’ve timed the dill for delivery with beans (e.g. for dilly beans) and the potatoes (e.g. for potato salad).  Both leaves and flowers can be used as an herb.  Storage: Refrigerate.  Wash and freeze if you don’t plan to use within one week.

CauliflowerStorage: Cover and refrigerate.  Should store for up to two weeks.

Romano beans – See above.

Shishito peppers – See above.


Visit our 2018 Recipe Log or our 2017 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Lemony Braised Romano Beans
Lemon Dill Grilled Chicken, Zucchini and Potato Salad
Old Fashioned Southern Braised Collard Greens
Cauliflower or Broccoli Strata

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Romano Bean, Potato and Meatball Stew
Red Potato and Sweet Pepper “Shmash”
Polpetonne Stuffed with Collard Green Pesto
Cauliflower “CousCous” with Dried Fruit and Almonds

LOCAL THYME/ Quick and Easy Meal
Pasta Puttanesca



6-8 hours + 20 minutes (almost entirely inactive after the initial 20 minutes of dicing)
Serves 6-8,

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
4 shishitos, seeded and diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seed
1 pound romano beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups diced tomatoes
15.5-ounce cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
7 cups water
1 cup shredded parmesan

  1. In a crockpot, combine all ingredients except parmesan. I added the ingredients in the order they are listed so that the onions had a little extra time to cook and caramelize before everything else.
  2. Cover crockpot and heat on high for 2 hours. Reduce to low and cook for 4-6 hours more (or overnight).
  3. Alternatively, if you don’t have a crockpot, you could make this by cooking the mixture in a Dutch oven in a 350 degree oven for 4 hours.
  4. Sprinkle with parmesan. And serve with extra buttery garlic bread crostini.

Adapted from Well and Full
This is certainly the year of the grain salad. I’ve really fallen in love with roasting veggies, steaming veggies, and tossing them all together with a a bunch of greens, a bunch of grains and a yummy dressing. This recipe is inspired by a new favorite blogger. Her recipe is much smaller and uses a lot less greens, but I call for you to use your whole bunch of collard greens (and loved it!). That does mean a LOT of greens so feel free to start with less and see how you feel.  Lauren.

Takes 80 minutes (mostly inactive).
Serves 4 as a meal or more as a side.

3 lb red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
15.5-ounce can chickpeas or garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons olive oil + more to taste
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup prepared pesto
1 bunch collards greens, stems removed and cut into a chiffonde
1 colored pepper, diced
3 cups cooked wild rice (or other favorite grain; the nuttier the better)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 avocados, optional
Toasted sesame seeds, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss potatoes, onions, and chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Lay out mixture on two large baking sheets and roast 55-60 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and crispy. Rotate a couple times to ensure even browning.
  2. When done, put potatoes back into the bowl you prepared them in and toss with pesto. Stir to combine. Add collards, pepper, wild rice, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings. The flavor will vary based on the pesto used. The pesto I used was homemade and honestly, a bit bland, so I added another drizzle or two of olive oil, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar (to brighten things up) and an additional teaspoon salt. Serve warm or at room temperature with avocado and sesame seeds.


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