Week #15, August 24 2017

This week

The crew praised this week’s corn harvest.  The ears were evenly ripe, making harvest easy and fast.  It’s slower and more difficult when the ears mature at different times, and you have examine each ear closely.  It was a mob harvest, with eight people on the ground, two on the wagon and one tractor driver.  This is a perfect use for our harvest belt, a conveyor that we strap to the wagon and stretch out over the field.  Instead of hauling buckets of corn, we just put the ears on the belt and they make their way to the harvest wagon.  Kerry (at left) and Jon (not seen) unload from the belt and stack the corn in crates.


A modern scarecrow protects the corn.

Right now, nearly all our work involves harvesting.  We’re in the thick of big harvests of crops to deliver in future months, especially onions and beets.  Peak tomato season is here, with peak peppers soon to follow.  All our greenhouse and field seedings are complete although there are still a few flats to transplant.  That feels great.  Weed cultivation continues, mainly in late crops like carrots, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.  It’s a busy and productive time of year.  We are all grateful for the recent dry weather.  Sunny days and cool nights are a good combination for quality vegetable crops.  Steve and Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
(August 24/25, 2017; week #15; purple EOW, moon Sampler)

You will receive most but not all of these items:
Sweet corn, ~10 ears
Romano beans, ripe, 1 & 1/3 lb
A small muskmelon or watermelon, by site
Tomatoes, ~4 lb, mixed slicing and plum
Greens (collards or Red Russian kale, by site)
Leek, 1 or 2
Carrots, 2 lb
Cucumbers, ~2
Silver Slicer cukes, 1 or 2
Red or green pepper, 1 or 2
Basil
Garlic
One site gets heirloom tomato this week.

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

Romano beans – These beans are mature, and will need to be cooked or braised.  Check out the recipes below.  All our cooks focussed on braising recipes for these beans.  The recipes differ enough in ingredients and technique that it’s worth reading all three bean-braising recipes.
Melon – Melons are deliberately small this week, including some muskmelons bred to be small personal-sized melons.  Most sites get muskmelons.  We’ve sent a lot of muskmelons this year.  They are quite good and the muskmelon season is always so short.  We want you to have them while they’re good.
Leeks (look like a big scallion) – These alliums have a milder flavor than onions.  Nonetheless, they can be used in recipes that call for onions.  To wash, split the leek lengthwise, from the green tops about halfway to the base, leaving the base intact.  Rinse well under running water, separating the layers to flush.  This lets you wash away soil accumulated between the leaves.  If necessary, split the leek further if soil has penetrated more than halfway down the leek.  Shake dry.  Leeks are generally eaten cooked.  They can be sauteed, steamed or roasted.  Intact leeks will store 2 to 3 weeks if covered loosely and refrigerated.  The outer leaves will yellow.  Just peel them off and discard.  The inner leek layers will be fine.
Red pepper – Most sites get a red bell pepper.  One or two sites get a red frying pepper.

RECIPE LOG

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes to date.

RECIPE from TIPI CREW

Braised Green Beans with Tomato and Fennel
Serves 6 to 8
Crew member Jon Fagan offered this favorite recipe, which he makes it in a slow cooker.  This dish is perfect for mature beans, that shine when slowly braised.  I asked if he really cooks this dish for 3 hours.  He replied “Oh yeah, that’s what makes it good.  Yesterday, I left it in the slow cooker for 8 hours and it was still awesome.”  Clearly, the cooking time is flexible!  I haven’t tasted this dish yet, but everyone Jon shares it with raves about it.  Beth

2 Tbsp bacon drippings or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 lb green beans, trimmed
15 oz diced tomatoes, including juices
2 thick slices bacon, diced
1 tsp freshly ground fennel seed
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

  1. Grind the fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle, or chop them coarsely with a knife.
  2. Heat the bacon drippings or oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes and juices, bacon, fennel, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover, reduce the heat to very low and simmer gently until tender, about 3 hours, stirring and tasting the beans occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics
Bacon, Leek and Gruyere Strata
Huevos con Collards and Black Bean Salsa
Grain Salad with Tomatoes and Romano Beans
Gazpacho

Outside the Box Recipes
Sautéed Leeks and Kale with Breadcrumbs
Mac and Cheese with Braised Greens Casserole
Smoky Braised Romano Beans with Chorizo
Roasted Grouper with Tomato

Quick and Easy Meal
Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Carrots and Peppers

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

Braised Romano Beans with Cannellini Beans and Sausage
Adapted lovingly from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6
Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes (most of it inactive allowing maximum time for dish washing and relaxing)

2 tablespoons butter
3 carrots, minced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced (feel free to use the whole bulb as I did)
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (you can leave the seeds in)
1 cup water
1-1/4 pound romano beans, ends trimmed
2- 15.5 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound favorite linked sausage (I used Italian)
Grated parmesan, optional

  1. In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add carrots, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, until carrots and garlic become nicely browned and begin to caramelize from the sugars in the carrots. The pan will be a little brown at the bottom. This means you are doing it right.
  2. Add tomatoes, remaining salt and water to pot. Bring mixture to a boil and toss in the romano beans and cannellini beans. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 40-50 minutes until beans are tender. The tomatoes should have reduced to a thick sauce that is not longer soupy. If it gets too thick before the beans are cooked, just add a bit more water.
  3. Meanwhile place sausages in a cast-iron (or other heavy large) skillet. Add enough water to cover the base of the pan with 1/2-inch of water. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, until sausages are cooked through and water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Once water has evaporated, continue cooking, turning often until edges have crisped and are golden brown all around.
  4. Serve braised beans with sausage on top and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan.

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SUMMERY PANZANELLA

Serves 4-6 as a meal, many more as a side
Takes 30 minutes + time to let the flavors marinate

3 ears sweet corn
1 loaf favorite bread, cubed and left out overnight to dry out (it works better the staler it gets)
1 leek, halved and sliced
2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
1-2 red peppers, finely diced
2 pounds tomatoes (use those heirlooms if you got them this week!),
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup basil, ribboned

Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

  1. Cook you corn. You can do this one of two ways. You can remove the husks and boil it for 7 minutes or you can leave the husk on and grill it over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until husk is well charred and then remove the husk (my preferred method). Once you have cooked your corn, allow it to cool for a couple minutes and remove the kernals from the ear.
  2. In a large bowl, combine corn with cubed bread, leek, cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes, and kosher salt. Toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  4. Pour over vegetables and top with basil. Gently stir to combine. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.
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