Week #12, Tomato care

Another spectacular sunset.  What a joy.

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

Tomato care, Basil care

This week’s tomatoes will hold better than last week’s.  We were late to recognize problems in our earliest planting.  We have stopped harvesting the problematic varieties, and have minimized washing to avoid bruising.  You might need to wash some of your tomatoes but we think it’s worth the effort to help keep them in better condition.  The cooler temperatures this week help a lot too.

Steve and I were trying to figure out how we missed these issues at harvest last week.  Then we realized “Oh, we were in a food safety inspection that day.”  

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 to lose your tomatoes to rot.  Also, fully ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to chilling injury.

As usual, we pack a mix of ripe and less-ripe tomatoes so you can stretch them through the week.  The top tomatoes in the photo above are ready to eat.  The bottom tomatoes can ripen at room temperature for a few days.

(Left) I encourage you to spread your tomatoes on plates so you can watch them.  Eat first the ripest ones or any showing flaws.  The yellow arrow shows small inconsequential flaws that will grow with time.  Eat now.

(Right) Expect to wash your tomatoes.  We handle the ripe tomatoes as little as possible to avoid bruising. The purple arrows show leaf residue bits stuck to the tomato.  Wet the tomato and the residue will come right off.

This week’s basil is a branched stalk that needs to be cut into smaller stalks (at the arrows) before putting into a jar of water and storing at room temperature.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #12
– Weekly shares
– EOW/  purple
– Sampler/ sun

Green beans, 1.5 lb
Carrots, ~2 lb
Slicing tomatoes, ~3 lb
Lettuce, Summercrisp
Zucchini, probably 1
Red peppers (bell or frying), probably 2
Walla Walla onion
Basil, 1 medium bunch
By site, cucumber OR pickles OR broccoli OR eggplant
By site, muskmelon OR watermelon.

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

Basil – I realize that we have sent a lot of basil this summer but it is lush and beautiful so we’re happy to share it. Please freeze any extra. You’ll be glad to have it in winter, or even later this season.

Muskmelon (for some sites) –  Some melons are ripe and ready to eat.  Some need to ripen a day or two on your kitchen counter.  Keep at room temperature but refrigerate if not eaten within 2 – 3 days.

Watermelon (for some sites) – These are red, seeded melons.  If uncut, watermelon can be stored at room temperature for a week.  Refrigerate once it’s cut.

Korean melon (for some sites; yellow, oblong) – These unusual melons are sweet and crisp, reminiscent of a good honeydew.  This new variety ‘Torpedo’ is an improvement over previous varieties.  The melon is ready to eat if the color is rich yellow and the melon is pleasantly fragrant.  If there’s a tinge of green, ripen the melon at room temperature for no more than three days.  Refrigerate once ripe.

Cucumbers (for some sites) – We now have both normal and Silver Slicer cucumbers to share.  We’ll scatter the Silver Slicers among the boxes as they are ready.  They are medium-sized white cucumbers with thin skins.  They can be used interchangeably with slicing cucumbers in recipes, or mixed together.  However, their best use is as a snack.  Hand these to the kids on the ride home from picking up your CSA box.  There’s no need to peel them.  As usual, store all types of cucumbers in the warmest part of your fridge.

Typical slicing cucumbers (top) and smaller ‘Silver Slicer’ cukes (bottom).


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Carrot Apple Muffin
Grilled Green Beans
Black Beans with Vegetables and Yellow Rice

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Grilled Zucchini and Tomato Lettuce Wraps
Soba Noodles with Shrimp, Carrots, Pepper and Green Beans in Lime Peanut Sauce
Roasted Carrot White Bean Dip with Basil

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Penne with Green Beans and Tomatoes


Takes 20 minutes
Serves 1-4

1 teaspoon neutral cooking oil (I love hazelnut oil if you happen to have it, otherwise plain old Canola will do just fine)
1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Flaky sea salt, optional 

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. As usual, cast-iron is best. Add green beans, turn the heat up to medium high and cook for 5 minutes, until the beans start to blacken in place.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water, turn the burner down to medium, and cook until no water remains, about 3 minutes. Continue cooking 2 minutes longer than add your almonds. Cook until mixture smells nutty and almonds are toasted, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Remove the pan from heat. Add butter and swirl the pan until it melts. Serve immediately. Season with flaky sea salt.


Takes 30 minutes
Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a meal

2 bunches very small (almost baby) carrots or 1 large bunch carrots (ideally with greens)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  1. Remove carrot tops and set to the side for Carrot Top Chimichurri. If using very small carrots, you can leave them whole and halve the ones that are more “small” then “very small” lengthwise. If using a larger bunch, halve small carrots lengthwise and/or quarter the largest ones. The smaller the better. We want these beauties to get very tender.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron is preferable). Add carrots and season with salt. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until carrots are just beginning to char in places.
  4. Place in oven and roast for another 10 minutes, until carrots are very tender and charred in more places.
  5. Add maple syrup and balsamic. Toss to combine, making sure any juices that are collecting at the bottom of the pan are coating the carrots as best they can. Roast additional two minutes until sauce caramelizes.
  6. Serve carrots warm with chimichurri sauce.


Takes 30 minutes
Serves 4

8- 12 pieces of bacon (less if thick-cut, more if thin)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
Handful of additional basil leaves
1/2 head lettuce
8 slices toasted bread, preferably sourdough
1 pound tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Flaky sea salt

  1. Lay bacon flat on a baking sheet (in a single layer) and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 400 degrees and set the timer for 20 minutes. Depending on the thickness of your bacon, it should be perfectly cooked after 20 minutes. It will take a bit longer if thick-cut. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together mayo, garlic and basil.
  3. Spread mayo mixture on all slices of toasted bread. Top half of the slices with 3 or 4 lettuce leaves followed by a few basil leaves, press it down slightly and then add bacon (2-3 slices per piece of bread). Add 1-2 thick slices of tomato followed by a drizzle of balsamic and pinch of sea salt. Top with remaining pieces of toast. Enjoy!


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