Gallinippers

We live in a cloud of mosquitos, worse than we have ever experienced.  The marsh adjacent to our farm is a likely breeding ground, plus all the patches of standing water.  I bought mosquito shirts for our entire crew.  Averaging $13 per shirt, they are worth the money.  It is more difficult (and hotter) working in the shirts but they have saved us.

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The mosquitos still swarm around us but can only bite where the netting touches bare skin.  From left, Michio, James, Sean, Charlotte, Jory and Kelsie show off their farm outfits.

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This is a telling photo.  It was a sunny, breezy day but the mosquitos still swarmed us.  From left, Charlotte and Jackie weed beets.

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Squashed gallinipper.

For the first time, we are seeing gallinipper mosquitos, known for their enormous size and painful bite.  They draw a lot of blood, leaving substantial splats when you catch one.  Dr. Susan Paskewitz of UW-Madison identified a live sample for me.  She says they are not that common in Wisconsin but they show up in unusually wet years, particularly south of Madison.  Fortunately, they do not transmit any human pathogens.

About those beans …

We heard from several people that last week’s green beans spoiled quickly.   We are sorry to hear about this, and are perplexed about what happened!  The beans looked normal when we bagged them for you.  Our best guess is that it’s related to the wet weather in the days leading up to harvest.  That field is already tilled down so we cannot do any sleuthing.  This week’s beans are from a new field so let’s hope there are no more problems.  Honestly, the wet weather has been difficult here at the farm.

Veggie list and veggie notes (Sept. 8/9, 2016; week #17, green EOW)

Red potatoes, 3 – 3.5 lb
Slicing &/or plum tomatoes, ~4 lb
Broccoli, ~1.5 lb
Romano beans, 1.6 lb
Frying &/or bell peppers, ~3
Orano or lunchbox peppers
Yellow onions, 1 – 2
Garlic, 1 bulb
Spearmint, 1+ sprigs

Some sites will get yellow watermelon.
Some sites will get a small muskmelon plus a cucumber

Red potatoes – These potatoes were grown for us by John Hall at his farm near East Troy.
Slicing tomatoes – The yellow slicing tomatoes are the ripest and should be eaten first.
Yellow onions – These are more pungent and better for frying than the Walla Walla onions we sent over the last weeks.
Spearmint – This is from our brand-new mint garden, planted this spring.  It is a variety called “Kentucky Colonel Mint”.  The plants are establishing nicely.  We will pack just a large sprig or two.  I don’t want to harvest heavily while the plants are young.  Some sprigs have flowers or buds because we delayed harvests so the plants could get well established.  Our old mint garden gradually faded away as the surrounding trees grew and shaded the area.  It’s nice to have a new plot established.
Melons – Everone gets either a Yellow Doll watermelon or a small muskmelon called “Sugar Cube.”  This is a new variety for us but very tasty.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

FALAFEL-SPICED TOMATOES & CHICKPEAS ON FLATBREAD
Inspired by one of my favorite Bon Appetit recipes
Now this is what we call a weekend recipe. It doesn’t take too long (unless you make the flatbreads from scratch, then things start to drag out a bit), but it does create many dirty dishes. It isn’t necessarily a quick recipe, but it is simple and the end result is a food adventure I think you will enjoy taking.  I find the spices and herbs of this dish endlessly interesting.  I’ve adapted the original recipe to simplify it a bit, but maintained all the yummy flavors!  Flatbread can certainly be store-bought instead of homemade to save one step.
Also, if you can’t find sumac, za’atar is a yummy spice blend of sumac and thyme. That will absolutely work. If you can’t find either, paprika will make a fine substitution.

Takes 1 hour (plus 40 minutes if making flatbread from scratch)
Serves 4

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sumac (see note above)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more
1 pound tomatoes, preferably mixed colors, thinly sliced
15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 sweet onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil

Yogurt Sauce:
1 cucumber, if you’ve got it, peeled and diced
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (preferably full fat)
Mint, coarsely chopped, all you’ve got (up to 1/2 cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Assembly:
Olive oil
4 flatbreads (Or make your own! Recipe below)
Hot sauce

  1. Combine garlic, sumac, red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two) and sprinkle evenly with sumac seasoning. Let sit at room temperature for about half an hour.
  2. Combine chickpeas and vinegar in a medium bowl. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until†its consistent in texture. Add onion and oil and stir to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Prepare yogurt sauce by combining yogurt and mint (and the cucumber if you have one lying around). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flatbreads and cook for about 30 seconds on each side until warmed.
  5. Top flatbreads with mashed chickpeas followed by sliced tomatoes and then drizzle with yogurt sauce and a drizzle of olive oil (and hot sauce if desired).

.
Flatbreads:
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for counter
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine baking powder, sugar, flour and salt in a large bowl. Add yogurt and stir to combine. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide into 4 pieces and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest 15 minutes.
  2. Roll each piece out into a 8-inch circle. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Working one at a time, cook flatbreads until underside is golden brown and it has begun to puff (about 2 minutes). Flip and cook on the other side for 1 minute. If using immediately, no need to reheat on a skillet (as in step 4).

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WHITE CHEDDAR BROCCOLI SOUP
Cheddar broccoli soup is a fall favorite. I know we’re not quite to cool temperatures yet, but I know we are going to get there soon! Our house is already embracing soup season. I love to spruce up plain old cheddar broccoli soup with some potatoes for extra creaminess and peppers for color and interest. The cayenne really doesn’t add a touch of heat to the final product (I promise!), but will make the flavors pop! This soup is nice and light with just enough richness from the cheese. Feel free to sub in cream or half and half for some of the milk if you like a thicker, creamier soup.

Takes 45 minutes
Serve 6-8

3 tablespoons butter
1 sweet onion, diced
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 colored peppers, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-1/2 cups diced red potatoes
4 cups diced broccoli (stems and florets!)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I promise it doesn’t add any heat, just highlights the flavors)
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup white cheddar, shredded

.

  1. Melt butter over low heat. Add onion along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and turn up to medium. Cook 5 minutes until fragrant. Add peppers and cook 5 minutes longer. Reduce to low, add garlic and sautÈ 5 minutes more.
  2. Add potatoes, broccoli, remaining salt, remaining pepper and cayenne. Bring heat back up to medium and saute for a couple minutes until well combined and lightly coated with butter.
  3. Add flour and stir until it coats vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes until butter begins to turn golden brown. Once it has begun to brown, add 2 cups whole milk and quickly stir. Wait for it to simmer for a moment and then add chicken or vegetable stock. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Add cheese and stir until melted. Puree with an immersion blender or food processor until soup reaches desired consistency. I don’t like mine to be totally chunky or totally smooth, but somewhere in between.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

herb roasted potato

Comforting Classics

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion
Romano Bean and Tomato Salad
Herb Roasted Potatoes
Terrific Broccoli Sesame Salad

Outside the Box Recipes

Spanish Roasted Tomatoes and Peppers with Jamon
Lemony Braised Romano Beans
Lemon Dijon Potato and Broccoli Salad
Blue Cheese Broccoli Pie

Quick and Easy Meal

Wholegrain Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Salmon and Tomatoes

cabbage pie
Blue cheese broccoli pie

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