Week #13, August 18/19, 2022

Summer of surgeries

Our family has had a series of health issues (broken ankle, hernia) and now it’s my turn.  I am scheduled for skin cancer removal tomorrow and Friday, followed by a few weeks recovery.  It’s a slow-growing tumor but is close to my eye, which complicates removal.  The recovery restrictions limit what I can do on the farm but our crew and Steve will take care of what needs to be done, as usual.  I might be slow to respond to emails but I will get to them all.  We are not used to this!  We are used to being hale and hardy!  Fortunately, Steve has recovered from hernia surgery and Sophie’s broken ankle is healing well.
Please, no special CSA requests this week or next week.  Thank you – if something is a little off, just cut us some slack.

Tomato Care

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

We are heading into peak tomato season.  Ripe tomatoes are delicious but highly perishable so let’s talk about their care.

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

Storage:  Tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature, no lower than 55 F.  I encourage you to spread your tomatoes on plates so you can watch them.  Eat first the ripest ones or any showing flaws.  
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 let your tomatoes spoil.  Also, fully ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to chilling injury.

They might need washing:  We handle the ripe tomatoes as little as possible to avoid bruising.

(Left)  The yellow arrow shows small inconsequential flaws that will grow with time.  Eat now.
(Right) The purple arrows show leaf residue bits stuck to the tomato.  Wet the tomato and the residue will come right off.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #13, August 18/19, 2022
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet corn, 8 or 9 ears
Slicing & plum tomatoes, ~3 lb
Cherry tomatoes, 1 pint
Red peppers (bell or frying; mixed #1/#2 grades), 2
Cucumbers, 2 or 3
Zucchini or yellow squash, 1 or 2 pieces
White or yellow onion
Basil, 1 small sprig
By site: a small green leaf lettuce OR a green bell pepper.
By site: watermelon (red or yellow or orange) OR muskmelon

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

Sweet corn – Good news!  There are almost no bugs this week!  These beautiful ears are a variety called “Fantastic”.

Cucumbers – These might be the final cucumbers of the season.

White onions OR yellow onions (by site) – As we harvest, we continue to move from sweet onions to storage onions.  Pungency increases as well as the ability to fry or brown in hot oil.  Some sites get white onions which are intermediate between sweet and storage onions.  Some sites get a yellow onion named “Elyse” which is more pungent.

Melons – Our melons have been stricken with a serious disease problem. We’ve seen this before but always as a minor, late-season issue. Every melon has small, sunken surface blemishes. The melons are good to eat – they formed and ripened before the disease hit. However, eat your melon promptly (ie this weekend) because those spots will spread. They haven’t reached the melon cavity yet, but they will. If you have the room, it’s a good idea to refrigerate your melon this week.


Roasted Tomato and Sweet Corn Salad

Roasted tomato wedges add delicious savory flavor to this vibrant summer salad. Serve it with good bread for sopping up the rich juices that they’ll leave behind on your plate. I like to steam the corn for this salad, though if you want to save yourself a step, it’s just as good raw.

Serves 3 to 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

1 pound tomatoes (about 2 large)
4 ears sweet corn, husked
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 garlic clove, grated
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn if large

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the tomatoes into ½-inch wedges, then cut the wedges in half crosswise. Place the tomato chunks on the baking sheet, skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast until shriveled and lightly browned around the edges, about 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the corn. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Stand the corncobs in the pot, cover, and steam for 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender and bright yellow. Remove the corn from the pot, allow to cool slightly, and cut the kernels off the cobs.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Add the corn kernels and stir to coat. Add the mozzarella and roasted tomatoes and gently stir to combine. Fold in the basil, season to taste, and serve.


White Bean Burgers with Roasted Peppers and Feta Yogurt Sauce

If you’re someone who likes to get ahead on dinner, you’ll love this veggie burger recipe. The patties can chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours before you cook them, so you can easily prep them the morning or day before you plan to serve them and just cook them off when you’re ready to eat. Dress them up with a lemony feta yogurt sauce, quick-pickled onions, and fresh fixings like sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, or lettuce.

Serves 6
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 40 minutes

1 red bell or frying pepper
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons whole milk Greek yogurt
3 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons minced capers
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for the onions
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 large egg
Avocado oil, for the pan
6 hamburger buns
Desired fixings

For the Feta Yogurt Sauce
½ cup whole milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Water, as needed, to thin

  1. Preheat the oven broiler and place the whole pepper on a baking sheet. Broil until the pepper is blackened and blistering all over, 15 to 20 minutes total, turning every 5 to 10 minutes to expose each side of the pepper to the heat. Remove from the oven and transfer the pepper to a large bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside to allow the pepper to steam and soften for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the onion. Slice it in half and thinly slice one of the halves. Place the thinly sliced onion in a small container and toss with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Grate the remaining onion half on the large holes of a box grater.
  3. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel off the blistered skin and remove and discard the stem, seeds, and membranes. Dice the soft roasted pepper flesh.
  4. In a large bowl, place the cannellini beans, grated onion, Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, capers, salt, cayenne, and several grinds of pepper. Use a potato masher to mash until the mixture is thick and creamy with a few large bean pieces still intact. Fold in the diced pepper, panko, and egg.
  5. Form the mixture into 6 equal patties. It will be wet and sticky, but it should be firm enough to handle. If it feels too wet, place it in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes before forming the patties. Once formed, place the patties on a plate and chill, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom generously with oil. Add the patties and cook until charred on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Work in batches as necessary. Transfer the charred patties to the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush the patties with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes to help them firm up in the middle.
  7. While the burgers bake, make the feta yogurt. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, feta, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach a creamy, spreadable consistency.
  8. Assemble the burgers on the buns with the feta yogurt, lemony onions, and other desired fixings.

Panzanella salad
Photo by Eva Kolenko


From Love & Lemons
I never let summer pass by without making this Italian bread salad at least once. The cubes of crusty bread soak up the tomato juices and tangy vinaigrette, so each one is full of zingy summer flavor. We call for red onion in this recipe, but yellow onion would work just as well.
Cold Thai noodle salad topped with peanut dressing, crushed peanuts, ground pork, cucumbers, basil and mint
Photo by The Modern Proper

Cold Thai Noodle Salad

From The Modern Proper
Cold noodles are one of my favorite types of meals to enjoy on a hot day. These are dressed up with cooling cucumbers, fresh herbs, crispy pork, and a creamy peanut dressing. The recipe calls for both basil and mint, but it’ll taste great with just basil if you don’t have any mint on hand.
sheet pan cashew chicken
Photo by How Sweet Eats

Sheet Pan Cashew Chicken

From How Sweet Eats
In this 30-minute dinner, a sweet, gingery sauce coats tender roasted peppers, hearty chicken, and crunchy cashews. Pair it with rice for an easy weeknight meal.
Zucchini frittata on table with sliced peaches, tomatoes, and cup of coffee
Photo by Erin Alderson

Caramelized Zucchini Frittata

From Naturally Ella
A bubbly layer of cheddar cheese tops this fluffy zucchini and onion frittata. Make it for a simple dinner or a delicious weekend brunch.
Creamy shrimp pasta in a bowl.
Photo by Pinch of Yum

Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Corn and Tomatoes

From Pinch of Yum
We’ve been sharing a corn pasta a week recently (see this newsletter or this one), which I think just goes to show how well corn and pasta go together. I love how the crisp kernels play off the chewy, al dente noodles. This recipe features tomatoes as well, filling it with fresh summer flavor. It also calls for spinach, but it’s such a small amount that you can feel free to skip it.
Grilled Tomatoes
Photo by Eva Kolenko

Grilled Tomatoes

From Love & Lemons
Grilling is a great way to use the plum tomatoes that you’ll find in your box this week, as they hold their shape nicely over the hot grates. They’ll be charred and juicy when they come off the heat. Enjoy them a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper, or dress them up more with Italian dressing, Parmesan, and a shower of fresh herbs.

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