Week #11; Let’s talk peppers.

Our pepper season begins.  We have two or three peppers for each share this week.  Most people will get a mix of red bell and red frying peppers. (Some boxes will have all bells this week.)  Let’s review the differences.


Bell peppers are sweet, not spicy.  They are blocky and thick walled.  These are great for salads, stuffing, grilling, and roasting, where their thick walls are an advantage.  This week’s bell peppers are red or green, but we grow red, yellow, orange, purple and green bell peppers.  All are sweet.


Frying peppers are also sweet, not spicy.   They have a pointed tip and are thinner walled.  These peppers are great for frying.  They have lower moisture, which allows them to fry and brown in hot oil.  Frying peppers can also be stuffed or used for salads.  They are less useful for roasting, because of their thinner walls, and lower yield after roasting.  We grow red and green frying peppers. 

#2 Grade Red Peppers

I write about pepper grading every year.  Returning members can say “yeah, yeah” and skip ahead.  New members, please read.
Some of the red bell peppers we send in the CSA boxes will be our #2 grade.  We do this to avoid waste and to deliver good value to our CSA members.  The #2 grade peppers are excellent eating quality, but are not quite pretty enough to sell to our coop store customers.  As a result, we place a much lower value on these peppers.  This allows us to provide generous amounts of peppers over the course of the season.  We feel this is a good exchange, even if it means you occasionally open a pepper and find that it needs trimming.  Here are the reasons that peppers are downgraded from #1 grade to #2 grade:

  • They may have a minor blemish, or
  • They may have minor insect damage, or
  • They may be very ripe and beginning to wrinkle.  (These are especially sweet and delicious as they are fully ripe.  These cannot be sold to stores because their shelf life is short.  You will find that the texture is less crisp than a #1 grade pepper, but the flavor more than makes up for it.)
  • They might be partially red and partially green.
  • Others are just too small.
  • Eating quality is fine (or excellent) for all the #2 peppers. 

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We throw away ALL peppers that we suspect have rot inside (although one may occasionally slip through in either #1 or #2 grade.).  Enjoy this week’s peppers.  As amounts increase, we’ll share favorite pepper recipes.

Zucchini News


The crew on the way to harvest zucchini.

After this week, you (and we) will get a vacation from zucchini.  Our next field will be ready to harvest in late August.  This is good timing from our perspective, as we have many great things for the CSA boxes this month.  Melons, corn, beans, peppers and tomatoes are all hitting their stride.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #11, August 4/5, 2022
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet corn, 7 or 8 ears
Carrots, 2 lb
Red peppers (frying or bell), 2 or 3
These will be a mix of #1 and #2 grades.
Cherry tomatoes, 1 quart
Slicing tomatoes, 1 or 2
Cucumbers, ~4
Zucchini &/or Zephyr squash, ~2 pieces
Walla Walla onion
Fresh garlic, 1 bulb
By site: a small muskmelon OR red watermelon

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet corn, tomatoes, red cabbage, melons, and more.

Sweet corn – This week’s batch has fewer bugs.  However, I still suggest that you cut off the tips before shucking.  Then you do not even see any bugs.  We expect to have seven deliveries of corn for you this year and I’ll post bug info here each week so you know what to expect.  The corn is delicious.  Just cut off the tips before shucking – you’ll be happier.

Carrots – This is a really nice batch of carrots, a variety called ‘Romance’.  Steve has experimented for years to find the best carrot varieties to plant each season.  Summer carrots can be disappointing, eg too bitter, but this ‘Romance’ variety does great.  Of course, we have to water and tend them for success, but they are worth the effort.

Red peppers – Storage: Refrigerate

Cucumbers – We just began harvesting our second cucumber field and the quality and abundance are great!  We have four cucumbers for you this week.  Enjoy the bounty – soon the field will calm down and production will slow.
Storage: Refrigerate in a warmer part of your fridge, or even leave at room temperature.

Cherry tomatoes (mixed orange and red) – Everyone gets a quart this week but they are not quite full.  We divvied up what we have!

Fresh garlic – We are sending German Extra Hardy garlic this time.  Storage:  I suggest that you refrigerate this bulb of garlic, so it remains easy to peel.  The garlic is fine if you leave it at room temperature but the cloves will become difficult to peel as the bulb dries.

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

Red watermelon (some sites) – We have watermelons for just two sites.
Storage: Store at room temperature and refrigerate once cut.

RECIPES by PHOEBE

Roasted Salmon with Marinated Cucumbers and Ginger Rice

Sweet and tangy marinated cucumbers add a cooling crunch to this gingery salmon and rice bowl. Serve it with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and drizzles of toasted sesame oil for a nutty finishing touch.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

1 large cucumber (about 10 ounces), peeled, seeded, and diced
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed
1½ cups water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cane sugar
4 (4-ounce) salmon filets
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Toasted sesame oil, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the cucumbers in a medium bowl and toss with ½ teaspoon of the sea salt. Set aside while you start the rice.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the water and the remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to steam in the covered pot until you’re ready to serve.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the cucumbers. Add the rice vinegar and the sugar to the bowl with the cucumbers and toss until the sugar dissolves. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
  5. Pat the salmon filets dry and place them on the prepared baking sheet, skin side down. In a small bowl, stir together the tamari and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Brush the mixture onto the salmon filets, then bake until the salmon is just opaque and flakes easily, about 12 minutes.
  6. Assemble plates with a scoop of the ginger rice, a salmon filet, and spoonfuls of the marinated cucumbers. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with drizzles of toasted sesame oil.

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Warmly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and packed with shredded zucchini, these moist and fluffy pancakes taste just like zucchini bread! Serve them with maple syrup for a delicious breakfast or brunch. Tip: If you have lots of squash to use up, you can increase the zucchini to 1½ cups. The pancakes are great both ways.

Makes about 10 pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Heaping 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heaping ¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup almond milk, or any milk
¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons neutral oil or melted butter, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
½ cup chocolate chips

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, Greek yogurt, egg, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir in the zucchini. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and brush lightly with oil. Use a ⅓-cup scoop to pour the batter into the skillet. Cook the pancakes until they’re puffed, cooked through, and golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat as needed if the outsides of the pancakes brown before they’re fully cooked in the middle. Serve with maple syrup.

 

Homemade corn fritters on a plate
Photo by The Modern Proper

Corn Fritters

From The Modern Proper
Crispy, buttery, savory, and sweet, these pan-fried fritters are a fun way to use sweet corn! This recipe calls for green onions, but you could easily sub in a couple tablespoons of minced Walla Walla onion.

Greek salad
Photo by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews

Greek Salad

From Love & Lemons
This simple salad is a refreshing summer side dish, and it’d be a perfect way to use the cucumbers, peppers, onion, and cherry tomatoes in your box this week. Feel free to skip the mint. Thanks to the fresh veggies and punchy dressing, the salad has plenty of flavor without it.

Sheet pan chicken pitas in bowls.
Photo by Pinch of Yum

Sheet Pan Chicken Pitas with Tzatziki

From Pinch of Yum
Here’s another great way to use the peppers and cucumbers in this week’s box! In this easy sheet pan dinner, you’ll roast thinly sliced peppers and spiced-up chicken breast and serve them in pitas with diced cucumber, onion, and creamy cucumber tzatziki.

Za’atar Roasted Carrots with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds on a serving plate topped with cilantro
Photo by The Modern Proper

Za’atar Roasted Carrots with Feta and Pumpkin Seeds

From The Modern Proper
Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend, adds bright, earthy flavor to these simple roasted carrots. Dress them up with feta and toasted pumpkin seeds for tang and crunch.

Burst tomato pappardelle in a pan topped with fresh basil and being scooped with tongs.
Photo by Pinch of Yum

Burst Tomato Pappardelle with Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Pan-Fried Chicken

From Pinch of Yum
Burst cherry tomatoes, lemon, and a touch of cream create a light, flavorful sauce for this summery veggie pasta. The chicken here is totally optional – for a vegetarian take on this recipe, feel free to skip it!

Carrot ginger dressing
Photo by Jeanine Donofrio and Phoebe Moore

Carrot Ginger Dressing

From Love & Lemons
Potentially my all-time favorite salad dressing! Made with roasted carrots, fresh ginger, and rice vinegar, it’s creamy, zingy, and super refreshing. Toss it with salads, drizzle it over a grain bowl, or use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, sushi, or grilled or roasted veggies.

 

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