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Week 8 Summer CSA

Down on the Farm Note

Can you believe that school has started already? That means that the Cantaloupe Festival is right around the corner. If you have never visited the festival, here is the Cantaloupe Festival website:  www.fallonfestival.org. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Cantaloupe, Organic Watermelon, Organic Bell Peppers, Organic Summer Squash, Organic Eggplant, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Raspberries, Organic Beets, Organic Green Beans, Organic Parsley from Mewaldt Organics, and Green Beans from River Bend Turf.

Produce Tips

     Beets  Keep beets refrigerated (32-36°F). The stems can be removed and they do not need to be in a plastic bag. Roasted beets are one way to prep beets for mixed salads. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Tightly wrap beets in double layers of foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.

     Cucumbers Keep cucumbers refrigerated (32-36°F). Slice them thinly and mix with yogurt, salt and pepper for a quick salad that’s cool for summertime.

     Eggplant  Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Place eggplant rounds on rimmed baking sheet; brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place rounds on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side.

     Green Beans  Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), in a perforated plastic bag. Wash fresh green beans thoroughly in clear, cool water. Lift beans from the wash water and leave garden debris behind. Rinse again. Break off the end (the top and tail) as you wash them. Leave whole or cut into desired lengths. Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise, diagonally or French-cut. If you want sweet tasting, crisp fresh beans, cut them as little as possible. Cut older, more mature beans in the French style. Make sure all the pieces are similar in length so they cook evenly.

Cooking Fresh Green Beans: Boiling, steaming, or microwaving are popular ways to prepare fresh green beans. Stir-frying preserves the best qualities of the fresh green bean. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook fresh green beans as little as possible using the smallest amount of water as possible. The fewer beans in the pan, the quicker they cook and the better they taste. If cooking more than one pound of green beans at a time, use separate pans. The beans will continue to cook after you remove them from the heat source. Either take them out just before they are cooked the way you like or plunge them in ice water immediately to stop the cooking process.

     Peppers  Store whole peppers in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from fruits to avoid over-ripening. Always refrigerate cut peppers. Gypsy and bell peppers can be eaten raw as a snack or in a salad. Sweet peppers are also great stir-fried.

     Summer Squash  Keep refrigerated (32-36°F), storing in a perforated plastic bag. Fire up the barbecue. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Place on rimmed baking sheet; brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash on grill and cook until tender and golden, about 4 minutes per side.

     Tomatoes  Keep tomatoes at room temperature (55-70°F). Do not refrigerate, as it will make the tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Cut tomatoes and mix with a balsamic dressing or slice tomatoes and serve with fresh mozzarella.

     Melons  Store whole melons in a cool, dry place (45-50°F), away from other fruits. Always store cut melons in the refrigerator. Eat plain or cut into small pieces in a fruit salad.

     Herbs (Parsley)  Remove band or tie; wash and dry. Snip off the ends and submerge them in a glass of water. Cover with a plastic bag and leave in the refrigerator. Add herbs to sauces, such as tomato sauces and béchamels for flavor.

How to Fix 17 Basic Cooking Mistakes                                                                 By Melissa Clark, http://www.realsimple.com

Do you always burn the garlic or turn pasta into a gummy mess? Over-crowd the pan or putting good knives in the dishwasher. Learn how to avoid these all-too-common cooking mistakes on this website, Real Simple.

Country Kitchen Recipes

Cantaloupe Smoothie in honor of the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival

Recipe from Eating Well website

1 banana

¼ ripe ripe cantaloupe, seeded and coarsely chopped

½ cup nonfat or low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

1 ½ tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place unpeeled banana in the freezer overnight (or up to 3 months). Remove banana from the freezer and let it sit until the skin begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Remove the skin with a paring knife. Don’t worry if a little fiber remains. Cut the banana into chunks; combine in a blender or food processor with cantaloupe, yogurt, dry milk orange juice, honey and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth.

Note:  you can freeze the banana for up to 3 months

Fresh Tomato Sauce                                                                                                                     Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings

6 tomatoes, chopped

3 onions, minced

2 bell peppers, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons white wine

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, garlic, white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients well; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve.

 

Beets on the Grill                                                                                                                                       Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

Original Recipe Yield 2 servings

6 beets, scrubbed

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Coat one side of a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place beets and butter on foil; season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil over beets. Place packet on the grill grate. Cook 30 minutes, or until beets are very tender. Allow beets to cool about 5 minutes before serving. You don’t even need to peel to enjoy!

 

Summer Squash Quesadillas

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

Salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 summer squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

4 flour tortillas

2 cups grated pepper jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and salt.  Add summer squash cook, stirring occasionally, until. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using.  Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining tablespoon oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges

 

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Summer CSA Week 7

Down on the Farm Note

There are just certain smells that remind me of summer:  fresh cut hay, tomato plants, ripe cantaloupe, a summer rain shower….and then you have the memories that go along with that certain smell. Hope your summer has been filled with wonderful smells and memories. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Cantaloupe, Organic Watermelon, Organic Summer Squash, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Jalapeno/Romanian mix Peppers, Organic Eggplant, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Purple Basil, Organic Green Tomatoes, Organic Purple and Green Bean mix, Green Beans from River Bend Turf

Produce Tips

     Slicing Tomatoes and Salsa Tomatoes – what is the difference? A good slicing tomato is plump and firm. They are great for sandwiches, burgers, recipes and canning. You can wait a few days before you have to process these. A salsa tomato is very ripe and needs to be canned NOW. Your choice just depends on if you are ready to process them now or if you have to wait until the weekend. If you want to learn how to can, a tomato is the easiest type to learn. There are many websites that will teach you the step by step process. You don’t need a pressure cooker; a very large pot will work for cold packing. Some sites to check out would be PickYourOwn.org, YouTube videos, and Bell Canning. You can slice or dice plain tomatoes, make salsa, spaghetti sauce, mix with other vegetables for stews and soups, sloppy Joe mix……..the recipes are endless. Just Google. So now that we have you interested in canning fresh food for winter use, Lattin Farms has tomatoes on sale.

20 lb case of Slicing Tomatoes  $20

20 lb case of Salsa Tomatoes    $10

Give the farm a call or send an email if you are interested in ordering bulk tomatoes.                                                                          (775) 867-3750; (866) 638-6293;                        lattinfarmsnevada@gmail.com

     Purple Basil   Add it to a white bean salad with some red peppers and green onions. Throw it into a pot of beans, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, and onion. Put it in a red sauce made from fresh tomatoes. Garnish anything that the flavor of basil will complement. Stir into a slaw of chopped carrots, fennel bulb, and garlic just before serving. Make purple basil lemonade or, better still, purple basil watermelon/honeydew melon agua fresco. Mussels à l’Italienne: Chopped onions sweated in olive oil for a few minutes. Add a few glugs of white wine and lots of chopped tomatoes plus tomato purée. Pour your mussels (cleaned and de-bearded) in, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Put into bowls with lots of chopped purple basil.

     Green beans Just a reminder that when you boil the purple green beans, the color bleeds out and you’re left with green green beans. This is certainly not a phenomenon limited to beans. Purple broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and asparagus also change to green when they’re cooked. What to do? Add the beans raw to salads or, soak them in vinegar or lemon juice before (briefly) cooking them. (Apparently increasing acidity helps them keep their purple color.) One suggestion I found that sounds promising is to butter-baste the raw beans as quickly as possible, and also roasting them. Or maybe stirring warmed purple beans into the boiled green and yellow wax beans before adding the butter and seasonings and shaking the pan. Definitely worth doing some experiments.

Country Kitchen Recipes

Quick Basic Salsa

Recipe source: Mexicanfood.about.com

This is a great salsa for any occasion. Use in burritos, tacos or with your favorite tortilla chips. It’s really easy and tastes great!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

2 cups seeded, chopped tomatoes (6-7 medium tomatoes)

Leaves from one bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

6 cloves fresh chopped garlic

1/2 onion chopped

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lime juice

Mix all of the ingredients in one bowl until well incorporated. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor.

NOTE:  If you grab a handful of cilantro leaves from the top of the bunch and pull them out firmly, you will get mostly leaves. If a few stems are in there, it’s okay. Some people think cilantro is too strong, so put in less. It may need more lime juice, or maybe a tablespoon of wine or rice vinegar, which will add tang and extend shelf life.

 

Farmgirl’s Purple Basil Pesto

Recipe source: FarmgirlFare.com

Makes about 1½ cups

This lower fat, reduced calorie pesto, which calls for less olive oil than most recipes, is bursting with freshly picked garden flavor. The tomatoes are a healthy way to replace some of the olive oil while adding a subtle new flavor. The purple basil makes a rather oddly colored pesto. Mixing a few green leaves into the pesto does help brighten it up a bit. When portioning out basil, it works best if you weigh it rather than pack it into measuring cups. Don’t have any purple basil? Just use green instead!

1/2 cup (about 2½ ounces) roasted & salted whole almonds

3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled

4 ounces fresh purple (or green) basil leaves (about 4 cups packed)

1 ounce (about 1/2 up) finely grated Pecorino Romano (or other hard cheese)

10 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 3 smallish) any kind, quartered

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, use the S-blade to whiz the almonds and garlic until finely chopped. Add the basil, cheese, tomatoes, and salt, and process until thoroughly combined and the consistency you like. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the olive oil through the chute. Add more salt to taste if desired. Store your pesto in the refrigerator for several days or freeze.

Sweet and Spicy Green Beans

Recipe source:  Allrecipes.com

Yield 4 servings

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons canola oil

Arrange a steamer basket in a pot over boiling water, and steam the green beans 3 to 4 minutes. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, garlic chili sauce, and honey. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the green beans, and fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring 2 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Serve immediately.

 

Easy Fried Eggplant

Recipe source: Allrecipes.com

Original Recipe Yield 4 servings

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced

3 eggs, beaten

2 cups dry bread crumbs

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in crumbs, and place in hot oil. Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Puzzle of the Day courtesy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac…..

How many hard-boiled eggs can a man eat on an empty stomach?

One, because after he has eaten it, his stomach will not be empty.

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We have PUMPKINS!!

Well we have been saying that this year has been a little crazy when it comes to when or even if something would be growing or not. This morning, Farmer Lattin brought in a few pumpkins. Oh my, and what pretty pumpkins they are.

There are all shapes and sizes. Smooth and with warts. Orange, green and even white.

 

 

If you want to get into the fall spirit now, come on down and pick out a pumpkin for your desk, table or doorway. WHY NOT!!  Maybe then the weather will stay cooler.

This is a polar bear pumpkin. Isn’t he just beautiful!

ALSO…….we have boxes and boxes of tomatoes for sale. A 20 lb box of canning tomatoes is only $20.  And if you want to process some right away, we have salsa tomatoes at $10 a box. What a great deal! You could make your own spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, stewed tomatoes…..oh the possibilities are endless! Give us a call, drop me an email, or just stop by. We just have not ran out of them at this point.

 

 

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Summer CSA Week 6

Down on the Farm Note

We sure have had some humid days and large rain drops here on the farm. Very interesting summer weather once again on the high desert. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Melons, Organic Red Seedless Watermelon, Organic Peppers – Islanders & Yellow Bell, Organic Slicing Cucumbers, Organic Tomatoes, Organic Eggplant, Organic Lemon Basil, Organic Summer Squash – Yellow Bar & Roly Poly, Organic Green Tomatoes and Green Beans from River Bend Turf Farms

     We know the corn was less than desirable last week and we apologize. We will not have any more corn available this season. Our tomatoes are ripening very quickly and some of you may have received some mushy tomatoes. We will be placing less-than-ripe tomatoes in the baskets to insure that you will receive fresh produce.  Because of the excess heat this summer, your produce will ripen faster during the trip to your drop off location. We try our best to deliver the freshest produce to our customers.

Produce Tips

Cantaloupe Tips

How to Dehydrate Cantaloupe:
1. Remove cantaloupe rind and seeds
2. Cut into bite-sized pieces about 1/4″ thick
3. Dehydrate cantaloupe at 100 degrees (F) for approx 30 hours (or until pliable)
4. Store dried cantaloupe in a clean, dry, airtight container, in a cool dark location (Light can cause discoloration)

How to freeze Cantaloupe:

Halve and remove seeds. Peel and cut fruit into 1″ cubes (or use a scoop and make melon balls instead). Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Freeze just until melon has frozen through. Store in freezer bags, remove air, seal, label and freeze. Frozen this way, you can remove the exact quantity needed at any time. However, it is best to enjoy this fruit before it thaws completely. Try serving it partially frozen as a desert.

Cantaloupe is packed with nutrition! This refreshing melon has fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B6, folate, niacin and C. It contains the largest amount of digestive enzymes of any fruit, helps relieve anxiety and insomnia, helps prevent hardening of the arteries and is low in calories.

Ways to enjoy cantaloupe:
1. Eat plain

2. Slice or dice with other melons like honeydew and watermelon

3. Slice in half and fill center with cottage cheese or ice cream

4. Juice

5. Blend as a cold soup with sour cream or yogurt

6. Blend with a small amount of water

7. Blend with peaches

8. Serve slices with honey or flavored yogurt

9. Serve with chopped mint

10. Carve out and use as a basket for a fresh fruit salad

11. Cantaloupe is a good choice for fruit leather

12. Dried cantaloupe makes a nice snack or addition to trail mix

Juicing and blending cantaloupe:

With a juicer that extracts pulp, juice the entire cantaloupe, seeds, skin, the whole thing! Of course you can skin it, but it is not necessary. When using a high-powered blender like Blend Tec or Vita Mix, use skinned and seeded cantaloupe. Cantaloupe juice is good by itself, or mixed with strawberries, pineapple, grapes, and/or oranges. When storing cantaloupe, you can leave a whole firm cantaloupe at room temperature for several days. Otherwise it is best to store it in the refrigerator. Cut cantaloupe should be wrapped to ensure the ethylene gas it emits does not affect the taste of texture of other nearby foods. The Food and Drug Administration allows for cut cantaloupe to be stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Note:  Give the farm a call or send an email, if you are interested in ordering cantaloupe. We can deliver it with your CSA basket.                           (775) 867-3750; (866) 638-6293; lattinfarmsnevada@gmail.com

Country Kitchen Recipes

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Posted by Elise on Simply Recipes.com

3 medium, firm green tomatoes

Salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (optional)

1/2 cup milk or buttermilk

1 egg

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil

Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning (if using), buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal. Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain. These are fantastic with a little Tabasco sauce.

 

Spicy Watermelon Tomato Salad

From allrecipes.com

2 cups cubed, watermelon

2-3 tomatoes cut into cubes

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chile-garlic sauce

2 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon basil, or to taste

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Spread watermelon and tomato onto paper towels to drain some of the moisture; transfer to a large bowl. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, chile-garlic sauce, and honey together in a small bowl until the olive oil and vinegar have combined; pour over the watermelon mixture. Season with lemon basil, salt, and black pepper; toss gently to coat.

 

Hariton’s ‘Famous’ Vegetarian Casserole

From allrecipes.com

2 eggplants – read prep below

2 potatoes

2 bell peppers

2 large onions

2 summer squash

2 tomatoes

4 ounces fresh green beans

4 ounces whole fresh mushrooms

1/2 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled

1-3/4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the eggplant before assembling ingredients, by cutting them into 2 inch chunks and putting them into an extra large bowl with salted water to cover. This will draw out the bitterness from the eggplant. Let this sit for about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the potatoes, bell peppers, onion, squash and tomatoes into 2-inch chunks. Cut the green beans and mushrooms in half and peel the garlic cloves. Drain and rinse the eggplant, then combine it with all the other chopped vegetables, the dill, oregano and basil and place all into a 3x13x18 inch roasting pan. Pour the tomato sauce and olive oil over all. Bake at 375 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours, adding a little water about halfway through cooking time to keep moist.

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CANTALOUPE TIPS

Do you love cantaloupe? Want to enjoy cantaloupe all year long? I have found some tips on the web that will assist you in enjoying this summer delicacy all year long!  And more good news……….we have plenty of cantaloupe here on the farm for you to be able to afford stocking up on this juicy deliciousness.

How to Dehydrate Cantaloupe:

1. Remove cantaloupe rind and seeds
2. Cut into bite-sized pieces about 1/4″ thick
3. Dehydrate cantaloupe at 100 degrees (F) for approximately 30 hours (or until pliable)
4. Store dried cantaloupe in a clean, dry, airtight container, in a cool dark location (Light can cause discoloration)

How to freeze Cantaloupe:

Halve the melon and remove seeds. Peel and cut fruit into 1″ cubes (or easier yet just use a melon scoop and make melon balls instead). Place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Freeze just until melon has frozen through. Store in freezer bags, remove air, seal, label and freeze. Frozen this way, you can remove the exact quantity needed at any time. However, it is best to enjoy this fruit before it thaws completely. Try serving it partially frozen as a desert.

Cantaloupe is packed with nutrition! This refreshing melon has fiber, potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, B-6, folate, niacin and C. It contains the largest amount of digestive enzymes of any fruit, helps relieve anxiety and insomnia, helps prevent hardening of the arteries and is low in calories.

Ways to enjoy cantaloupe:

1. Eat plain

2. Slice or dice with other melons, like honeydew and watermelon

3. Slice in half and fill center with cottage cheese or ice cream

4. Juice

5. Blend as a cold soup with sour cream or yogurt

6. Blend with a small amount of water

7. Blend with peaches

8. Serve slices with honey or flavored yogurt

9. Serve with chopped mint

10. Carve out and use as a basket for a fresh fruit salad

11. Cantaloupe is a good choice for fruit leather

12. Dried cantaloupe makes a nice snack or addition to trail mix

Juicing and blending cantaloupe:

With a juicer that extracts pulp, juice the entire cantaloupe, seeds, skin, the whole thing! Of course you can skin it, but it is not necessary. When using a high-powered blender like Blend Tec or Vita Mix, use skinned and seeded cantaloupe. Cantaloupe juice is good by itself, or mixed with strawberries, pineapple, grapes, and/or oranges. When storing cantaloupe, you can leave a whole firm cantaloupe at room temperature for several days. Otherwise it is best to store it in the refrigerator. Cut cantaloupe should be wrapped to ensure the ethylene gas it emits does not affect the taste of texture of other nearby foods. The Food and Drug Administration allows for cut cantaloupe to be stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Note:  Give the farm a call or send an email if you have any questions, or if you are interested in ordering cantaloupe. We can deliver it with your CSA box or to a farmer’s market when we have a booth.

(775) 867-3750 or (866) 638-6293                   lattinfarmsnevada@gmail.com

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CSA Summer Week 5

Down on the Farm Notes

WOW it is August already! I can’t believe how fast this summer seems to be moving. It will be time for school before we know it. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Ambrosia Cantaloupe, Organic Yellow Crookneck & Patty Pan Summer Squash mix, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Cherry Tomatoes on Tuesday, Organic Peppers (Romanian & Islander mix), Organic White & Purple Japanese Eggplant, Organic Sweet Corn, Organic Yellow Doll Watermelon, Organic Lettuce, Organic Red Tomatoes, Organic Purple Green Beans on Tuesday, Purple Basil on Thursday, Organic Purslane from Debbie Coblentz on Tuesday only, Organic Garlic Chives from Mewaldt Organics, Green Beans from River Bend Turf Farms on Tuesday only.

Produce Tips

     Purslane is an excellent source for dietary fiber, highest vegetable source of Omega-3 fatty acids, provides vitamins A, C and some B-complex vitamins, and is more nutritious than spinach. Raw leaves are delicious added to salads and substituted for lettuce on a sandwich. When cooked, the leaves and small stems are typically coarsely chopped and sautéed with garlic or added to soups. It is a wonderful addition to an omelet.Don’t hesitate to add purslane to any good cucumber recipe.   

     Crookneck squash has a crooked shape and a rich yellow rind. They can be used interchangeably with other types of summer squash in a variety of recipes. The entire squash, including seeds and skin, is edible, and it has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor. Crookneck tends to taste more like winter squash than some other summer varieties, making it a good choice for summer grilling, gratins, and similar dishes. It can also be eaten raw, and can lend a nice texture to salads when grated. As a vegetable, it is high in fiber and vitamin C. The rich flavor makes it a great filler in a wide range of dishes, and it is also great on its own or as a side dish.

     Patty pan squash is also a type of summer squash with a distinctive disc-like shape. It is generally no larger than the width of a palm in diameter, with a bright, even color. This squash may be green, white, or yellow. Young squash have rinds which are so tender that they can be eaten along with the rest of the squash, while older squash generally need to be peeled for use.

     Green beans come in some lovely colors that you’d never imagine. How about purple? Generally purple green beans are identical in taste and texture to green green beans. But just a note, if you boil them up the color bleeds out and you’re left with green green beans. Once heat is applied to purple green beans they will lose their color. Most chef’s agree the best way to cook them and have them retain their best color is to “butter baste” them. If you want to blanch them, add a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water to help retain their color.

     The Garlic Chives are coming in from Mewaldt Organics this week. To make the most of the delicate onion flavor of chives and retain the luscious green color in your recipes, use chives raw. If you must cook them, add them last, just before serving. Chives are essential in the classic seasoning fines herbes, which is a mixture of equal parts chopped tarragon, chervil, parsley, and chives. Do not overlook slender chive spears as a garnish. They are perfect for tying up small bundles of vegetables or puff pastry parcels or dumplings. Or, simply criss-cross small lengths into patterns on deviled eggs or crackers covered with any variety of savory spreads.  A simple sprinkling of chopped chives livens up the appearance of a bowl of soup. Chive flowers are a welcome addition to salads and bring a touch of spring as a garnish to any dish. They are distinguishable from regular chives by their flat, broader leaves and fragrant white flowers. Otherwise, they look very similar in appearance. As you would expect by the name, garlic chives have a delicate garlic flavor and are used extensively in oriental dishes. Garlic chives are a good choice for those who shy away from full-flavored garlic, just as regular chives are happily consumed by those who do not care for the strong taste of fresh onions or scallions.

A few fun facts about cucumbers

Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.  Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.  Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!  Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma   Just finished a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

 

Country Kitchen Recipes

Gourmet Purple Green Bean Salad with Lemon Butter Sauce

From Addicted to Veggies website

3/4 lb of Purple Green Beans

1/4 cup Garlic Chives – chopped

1/4 cup Purple Bell Pepper – chopped

1/3 cup Parsnip – finely grated

3 tablespoons fresh Dill – minced

Lemon Butter Sauce:

6 Macadamia Nuts

4 tablespoons Canola Oil or any kind of oil that is mild in flavor – just not Olive Oil

3 teaspoons Lemon Juice

1 heaping teaspoon Date Paste

3/4 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

Slice your Green Beans on the bias, showcasing their lovely bright green insides.  Add garlic chives, bell pepper, parsnip and dill to your bowl of beans and set them aside. To make the Lemon Butter Sauce, you’ll need two bowls for this recipe. Grate the macadamia nuts into a fine fluffy powder. Place your grated nuts into a bowl and set them aside. In a separate bowl add oil, lemon juice, date paste, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Whisk! It will be a little lumpy. Now add all of your macadamia nuts and 3 tablespoons of water. As you whisk in your grated macadamia fluff and water you will notice it dissolve into the liquid. Add your Lemon Butter Sauce to your bean mixture, and mix it all together! Proceed to warm and/or tenderize your salad by using the methods in the notes following this recipe. Plate it up, garnish with a lemon wedge, sea salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes:  Oven: Set your oven at it’s very lowest heat, leave the oven door cracked open. Thinly spread your salad contents evenly out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Let them warm (with your oven door cracked open) for about 30 minutes.

Tenderizing: This is fairly important if you’re wanting more of a steamed or blanched texture to your Green Beans without cooking them. After you’ve added your Lemon Butter to your Salad place it in the fridge to marinade for up 3 hours. After your salad has marinated, proceed to warm it as mentioned above. You can cool it back down for a chilled salad.

 

Cucumber-purslane-yogurt salad

From Star Chefs website

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into quarter-round slices

1/8 pound purslane, large stems removed, washed and drained well

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped chervil

2 cups whole milk yogurt

1/8 cup virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, puréed with the blade of a knife

1 teaspoon ground coriander

kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Place the cucumber, purslane and herbs into a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the yogurt, olive oil and garlic, coriander and season to taste with salt. Add the yogurt mixture to the vegetables and mix well. Add a pinch of ground black pepper. Serve chilled. 

 

Roasted Corn and Tomato Salad

From Crane Creek Organics website

  • 4 ears corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (substitute our purple bell pepper)
  • 1 pints small tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or to taste
  • balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate. Rub ears of corn with 2 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper; roast the ears on the preheated grill, turning  occasionally, until the kernels are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Place red and yellow bell pepper on the grill and roast until the skins are blistered and lightly charred, turning often, about 15 minutes. Remove corn and bell peppers and let cool. Cut the kernels from the cobs and place into a large bowl. Peel skins from bell peppers, seed, and cut the peppers into 1-inch pieces; mix peppers and corn together. Lightly toss with tomatoes, red onion, and basil. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, mix in the salad greens and drizzle salad with 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Lightly toss with dressing and season to taste.

 

Tina’s Chunky Sauce

Tomatoes

Zucchini

Peppers

Onions

Garlic

Fresh thyme or oregano

Fresh basil

Eggplant

Olive oil

Salt

Pasta

One of our favorite things to do with eggplant is to make a chunky sauce with it. Take a pot and throw in tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, garlic, fresh thyme or oregano and basil, and eggplant. Add a little olive oil and salt. Simmer slowly until everything cooks into a nice chunky sauce. Add it to pasta and you have a yummy summer meal.

 

Pasta with Fresh Tomato–Basil Sauce

 9oz. fettuccine pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

4cups tomatoes, cut into small chunks

½ teaspoon salt

1cup torn basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 oz. Parmesan cheese (shaved or freshly grated)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. While pasta cooks, heat oil in a saucepan. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and salt; cover and cook 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in basil and pepper. Add tomato mixture to pasta; toss well to combine. Top with cheese.

 

Watermelon and Sesame Seed Salad

1 pound watermelon, cut into chunks

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and halved

1 3/4 ounces sesame seeds

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 bunch garlic chives, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Dressing:

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 dash fish sauce

Combine the watermelon, water chestnuts, sesame seeds, salt, garlic chives, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the raspberry vinegar, white sugar, sesame oil, and fish sauce together in a small bowl; pour over the watermelon salad mixture and gently toss to coat evenly. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour to serve chilled.

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Week 4 Summer CSA

Down on the Farm Notes (oops, week 4 did not post when it should have-technical difficulties)

Well, I don’t know about you but this heat has drained all of us and by the end of the day something light to eat sounds perfect. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Yellow Doll – watermelon doesn’t have to be red to be delicious, Organic Arava Melon, Organic Slicing Cucumbers, Organic Mixed Peppers, Organic Sweet Corn, Organic Patty Pan Summer Squash, Organic Cherry Tomatoes, Organic Red Tomatoes, Organic Mixed Japanese Eggplant, Organic Lettuce, Organic Carrots, Organic Broccoli from Nevada Fresh Pak, Organic Parsley from Bill Mewaldt.

Peri & Son’s Farm in Yerington, Nevada will be providing organic produce through their Nevada Fresh Pak operation. David Peri, Mike Scanlan and Leo Bergin pooled their knowledge and resources, and Nevada Fresh Pak took off in a new and fresh direction. The team first planted just 500 acres of leafy greens. Today, Nevada Fresh Pak has become a successful grower/ harvester with over 1,400 acres committed to organic leafy-green production. We are happy to be able to include their organic produce in our CSA baskets.

Produce Tips

     Eggplant makes a great chunky sauce. Take a pot and throw in tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, onions, garlic, fresh thyme or oregano, basil, and eggplant. Add a little olive oil and salt. Simmer slowly until everything cooks into a nice chunky sauce. Add it to pasta and you have a yummy summer meal.

     Sweet corn salad would be a cool option for this summer. Cut the raw corn right off the cob. Add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and a little bit of basil. Toss with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You have a perfect refreshing salad. To store corn, leave the corn in the husk and refrigerate as soon as possible. If corn has been husked, place it in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. It is best to eat it as soon as possible. Corn cut off the cob can be frozen for 6 months to a year. On a personal note from me, I use a Foodsaver vacuum sealer machine that will keep corn fresh for quite some time as long as air does not get in. I clean each ear of corn of silk and the husk. Cut a bag from a roll or buy the pre-cut bags. Personally I place 2-4 ears of corn in each bag, add a few slices of butter to taste, and seal the bags. No need for blanching of the corn beforehand. Once frozen, I can pull out a bag, cut a few slits in it, and place it on a microwave safe plate and cook it on high for 10 to 25 minutes (depending on if the corn is still frozen, how many ears and how big they are). I have taken corn to family dinners with ease, and everybody loves the fresh corn in the winter. And if you prefer barbecuing corn, just place the ears on foil, on top of the grill.

     Consume fresh broccoli as soon as you can as it will not keep long. To store, mist the heads, wrap loosely in damp paper towels, and refrigerate. Use within 2 to 3 days. Do not store broccoli in a sealed plastic bag. Raw broccoli requires air circulation. A perforated plastic bag is fine. Cooked broccoli should be covered and refrigerated. Use within 3 days. To freeze, cut washed broccoli into florets and stalks into pieces. Steam or blanch about five minutes. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking, drain thoroughly, and place in sealed bags or containers. Freeze up to 12 months.

Country Kitchen Recipes

 

Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Taste of Home magazine

24 cherry tomatoes

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber

1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion

2 teaspoons minced fresh dill

(Heard from a customer last week that Save Mart has fresh dill in Reno. Call your local store)

Cut a thin slice off the top of each tomato. Scoop out and discard pulp; invert tomatoes onto paper towels to drain. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the cucumber, onion and dill. Spoon this mixture into tomatoes. Refrigerate until serving.

 

Laotian Eggplant with Tomatoes and Onion

Taste of Home magazine

Serves 6

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 lb. Japanese eggplant, trimmed and diced (3 cups)

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (1½ cups)

4 medium tomatoes, chopped (2 cups) can substitute cherry tomatoes

3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 ½ teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, such as Huy Fong

3 cups bean sprouts

1 8-oz. can sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained

½ cup chopped fresh mint or parsley

 Heat oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Add eggplant and onion; stir-fry 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and chile-garlic sauce. Cook 3 minutes more. Add bean sprouts and bamboo shoots; stir-fry 2 minutes. Garnish with mint or parsley.

 

Watermelon and Sesame Seed Salad

http://www.allrecipes.com

1 pound watermelon, and cut into

chunks – Yellow Doll works fine for

this recipe, it just is not red

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and halved

1 3/4 ounces sesame seeds

1 teaspoon salt      

1/2 bunch garlic chives, finely

chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

 Dressing Recipe:

1/4 cup raspberry vinegar

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 dash fish sauce

 Combine the watermelon, water chestnuts, sesame seeds, salt, garlic chives, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the raspberry vinegar, white sugar, sesame oil, and fish sauce together in a small bowl; pour over the watermelon salad mixture and gently toss to coat evenly. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour to serve chilled.

 

Oven Baked Broccoli      from thewww.amateurgourmet.com blog

2 large bunches of broccoli

5 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 fresh lemon

1.5 tablespoons olive oil – separate

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)

1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese

2 tablespoon basil (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425. Cut broccoli cut into florets (but relatively big ones.) Wash and dry them THOROUGHLY. Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Now add garlic cloves and toss them in too. Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until “crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.” When it’s done, take it out of the, squeeze the lemon juice over the broccoli, add more olive oil, toasted pine nuts, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and basil. 

Imagere

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Summer Week 3 for CSA Baskets

Down on the Farm Notes

Welcome to the CSA Basket Week #3. Lahontan Valley received rain over the past two days and boy do the mornings smell so fresh! What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Summer Squash, Organic Carrots, Organic Mickey Lee Watermelon for Thursday, Organic Arava Melon on Tuesday, Organic Tirreno Melon, Organic Romanian Peppers, Organic Japanese Eggplant, Organic Slicing Cucumbers, Organic Pickling Cucumbers on Thursday, Organic Tomatoes on Thursday, Organic Cherry Tomatoes,  Organic Arugula, Organic Basil from Mewaldt’s Organics, Cauliflower from Perry Brothers.

Produce Tips

  Arava melon are a type of Galileo melons, distinguished by their textured thin netted rind and their high sugar content. The fruit bears a small loose central seed cavity. The average weight of the melons are two to four pounds. Arava melons can be used as a substitute for honeydew melons. They are best suited for fresh eating in salads and appetizers or used as the principle ingredient in a chilled summer soup, granitas, sorbets and popsicles. The sweetness of Arava melons can be highlighted with tart, spicy, cooling and savory ingredients. Choice companions include herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro and arugula, lemons and limes, chiles, nuts such as pistachios and peanuts, ginger, vanilla, prosciutto (Italian ham), figs and grapes. Whole ripe Arava melons will keep, refrigerated, for up to seven days.
Tirreno melon
has some of the best eating quality of any variety. This is a 3-4 lb. Italian Tuscan melon, medium orange flesh and high sugars. Mid-late maturity with extended harvest and good shelf life.

Most of the cauliflower plant is edible, but most consumers prefer the head of the cauliflower. Keep cauliflower loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Fresh from the market heads will last up to 2 weeks.  You can cut cauliflower into florets and store them, sealed, in a plastic bag in the fridge; they will last up to a week. Cauliflower has a lightly sweet, nutty flavor when properly cooked. Raw cauliflower can have a pretty sharp bite, but when combined with creamy dips can be a great addition to a raw vegetable or crudités platter. Cut the floweret’s into pieces not much larger than a table grape. Then turn the cauliflower into a hot skillet with a bit of salt, olive oil, and whatever spices and seasoning strike your fancy that night. Cauliflower is endlessly adaptable, and cooking it this way is quick and delicious. After just a few minutes in the pan the cauliflower starts to brown, and then takes on a deep, nutty flavor.

     Romanian Sweet Peppers turn from pale yellow to red when mature. Peppers have thick flesh and are very sweet. Excellent for frying or stuffing! Cut off the tops, split them in half, dunk them in olive oil and spread them across the grill (or a baking sheet, if we’re doing things indoors), sprinkle them with feta cheese and snipped herbs, and wait until the cheese looks like it’s starting to melt. Give it two more minutes, then pull the peppers and eat them on toast, on pasta, on salad, or just by themselves. They’re also great when made into romesco, see recipe below.

PEELING SWEET PEPPERS: Lay the peppers in a broiler pan, and broil until their skins blister (2-3 minutes). With a tong or long fork, slightly rotate them and continue turning until the peppers are completely charred, then pop them into a paper bag. Close the bag and the let the peppers sit in it for 15-20 minutes: the charred skin steams loose from the flesh. Then, holding each pepper over a bowl, slit down one side, open it up, and discard the seeds, ribs and stem. Cut the pepper into 2-3 pieces, and peel off the loosened skin with a paring knife. The bowl collects the pepper juices, which can be used to store the peeled peppers up to 2 days, if you wish. Or, drain the skinned and seeded peppers on a rack. If you have a gas stove, you could also char the peppers over the flame, or you can use an open grill.

     Japanese eggplant is smaller and thinner than regular eggplant. Eggplant is quite perishable and will not store long. Depending on the freshness factor of the eggplant at the time of purchase, it may be refrigerated for up to 4 days (up to 7 days if you pick right from the garden as ours has been). However, it is best to use them as soon as possible, preferably within a day. Wrap in a paper towel, and place in a perforated plastic bag before storing in the refrigerator vegetable bin. Do not store raw eggplant at temperatures less than 50 degrees F.
Cooked eggplant may be refrigerated up to 3 days (it will get mushy when reheated) or frozen up to 6 months in puree form (add a little lemon juice to discourage discoloration). It holds up fairly well in chunks in soups and stews when thawed in the refrigerator, but not as chunks on its own.

 

 

Country

Kitchen

Recipes

 

 

Marinated Japanese Eggplant   http://www.allrecipes.com

5 Japanese eggplant

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon vinegar

1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon mirin (sweet Japanese wine, substitute at will)

Pinch of salt

Wash and trim eggplant ends. Steam eggplants for 10 minutes or until barely soft. Cut into bite size strips. Sprinkle pinch of salt. Combine sesame oil, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a bowl. Mix well until sugar is dissolved. Chill and marinate eggplant for overnight.

 

Romesco Sauce for Crostini, Pasta, or as a vegetable dipper

Mariquita Farms

4 large roasted Romanian peppers
1/2 cup toasted almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 ripe tomato
1 tsp salt
2 thick slices from a baguette
1 tsp paprika
½ cup or less olive oil
Fresh basil leaves if available
2-4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar

Whirl everything in a food processor. Serve with vegetables such as carrot sticks, lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets, etc.  Bread and crackers work well too.

 

Summer Squash Skillet

Southernfood.about.com

2 yellow summer squash

2 zucchini

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano

Dash dried marjoram

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

6 to 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters

Cut zucchini and summer squash into quarters, lengthwise, and then cut in thin slices. Heat olive oil over medium heat; add zucchini, summer squash, and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until tender.  Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients. When squash is tender add the tomato and herb mixture to the pan. Continue cooking, stirring, for just a couple of minutes, until hot and well combined.  Serves 4 to 6.

 

Icicle Pickles

http://www.homestead.com website

Celery

Pickling onions

1 quart cider vinegar

1/3 cup pickling salt

1 cup sugar

Cut cucumbers into four to eight pieces lengthwise. Let stand in ice water eight hours or overnight. Pack into hot sterilized jars. Fill the center of each jar with two pieces of celery and six pickling onions. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar. Heat to a boil. Fill jars and seal in water bath for 10 minutes. This is the basic recipe, and you make as much vinegar/sugar/sale solution as you need. Then you can save any unused portions in the refrigerator for the next day’s pickles during canning season, or pour it over sliced cucumber, green bell pepper and onion for a salad. The salad is best when chilled a few hours.

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Down on the Farm Notes

Our nights are cool once again, which helps our produce get some good growth on it.  If you want more cantaloupe, we will have it at the Farmer’s Markets. What will you find in the basket this week? Organic Zucchini Summer Squash, Organic Armenian Cucumbers *, Organic Carrots, Organic Garlic, Organic Shallots, Organic Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe, Organic Minilope, Organic Mustard,Organic Arugula, Organic Lemon Basil, Organic Cherry Tomatoes, Organic Kale on Tuesday and Purslane from Debbie Coblentz on Thursday.

* are picked fresh but may need to be soaked in ice water for a few minutes for crisping.

Produce Tips

The Armenian cucumber is thin, elongated, curved and often irregularly curled with a creamy pistachio green colored skin that is textured with smooth longitudinal furrows. Its flesh is crisp, succulent and mildly flavored, similar to a common cucumber. Ideal sized Armenian cucumbers will range in length from 10-15 inches. Longer cucumbers will tend to be not just over-sized, but also overly mature with less moisture content. The Armenian cucumber is entirely edible. There is no need to peel the Armenian cucumber. Its thin skin makes it an ideal fresh slicing cucumber. Armenian cucumbers favor being served raw in green leaf, chopped salads and pasta salads. Their delicate flavor allows them to become a perfect textural component in sandwiches and sushi. They can be sliced lengthwise, widthwise, diced and julienned. The Armenian cucumber can be grilled, puréed or pickled. Complimentary ingredients include red and white fish, shellfish, chilies, tomatoes, mint, oregano, yogurt, garlic, cumin, chicken, pork and fresh cheeses such as feta and goat cheese. Armenian cucumbers should be refrigerated until ready to use. Once cut wrap in plastic to extend its shelf life.

Cantaloupe provides a refreshing, sweet and hearty treat, perfect for fruit salads and smoothies. Belonging to the same family as pumpkin, squash and cucumber, cantaloupe is an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin C. With a relatively low calorie count per serving, cantaloupe is a satisfying way to get your vitamins during the summer months. (Diabetics should eat cantaloupe in moderation, as it is falls in the medium range of the glycemic index.) You can identify a ripe cantaloupe by pressing your finger into the stem end – a gentle yielding is an indication of ripeness, as is a distinctive aroma of cantaloupe flesh where you test it. Place cantaloupe in the crisper, where humidity tends to be higher. Your cantaloupe will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days this way.

Purslane has more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of fish oils. If you are a vegetarian and want to avoid all forms of animal products, then here is the answer! Wash fresh leaves and stem in clean cold running water. After removing from water, mop it with soft cloth to remove any moisture in them before storing in the refrigerator. It can be kept in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days but should be eaten while the leaves are fresh and not wilted.

Country Kitchen Recipes

 Armenian Cucumber Salad

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

1T sugar

1 small clove of garlic, crushed

Healthy pinch of salt

1 Armenian cucumber, thinly sliced, about 2 cups

1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper*

2T finely diced red onion

2T finely diced yellow pepper

1 tsp dried dill weed

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)

Combine cider vinegar, water, sugar and garlic in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir and remove from the heat when the sugar is fully dissolved. Add a pinch of salt and let cool. Meanwhile, toss all the remaining ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. When the dressing is cool, pour over the vegetables; you may not want to use all the dressing if you prefer a drier salad. Also, since the salad improves with sitting, it’s fine to do this up to several hours ahead of time. Toss and serve.

Alternatively, carefully lay out the cucumber slices on four white plates. Sprinkle on the red and yellow peppers and the red onion. Follow with the dried dill and black mustard seed. When dressing is cool, drizzle over the vegetables and serve. Note: The red piquillo pepper which is a nice blend of juicy-sweet and slightly hot. You can substitute all red bell pepper or a combination of red bell pepper and something with a little heat, like a red jalapeno.

 

Quick Rocket Salad

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/3 cucumber, cubed

4 cherry tomatoes, halved

4 cups baby arugula leaves

1 cup alfalfa sprouts

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, arugula, and alfalfa sprouts; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

 

Bruschetta with Shallots

12 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices

 

In a large bowl, toss together the roma tomatoes, minced garlic, shallots, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup olive oil. Place the slivered garlic and 1/4 cup olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Slowly cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes. Discard garlic. Toast the bread slices, and brush with the olive oil heated with garlic. Top slices with the roma tomato mixture.

 

Zucchini Lasagna

2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 2 medium)

1/2 lb lean ground beef (I use 1 lb.)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

2 small tomatoes, cut up

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 cup water

1/8 teaspoon pepper

egg

3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese (or low fat or fat free ricotta)

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (I use 8 oz. divided)

1 teaspoon flour

 Cook zucchini until tender, drain and set aside. Fry meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender; drain fat. Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. In small bowl slightly beat egg. Add cottage cheese, half of shredded cheese and flour. In (1 1/2-qt.) baking-roasting pan arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

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Spring Week 1 was awesome!

I was supposed to share last week’s newsletter with you all last week. Don’t know what happened, but sharing the newsletter did not happen. So here goes:

Down on the Farm Notes

Welcome to the Summer CSA Basket! Remember, you can still sign up for a Summer Fruit basket supplied by Kelley Orchards, delivered to you for 10 weeks from their family farm in Idaho.What will you find in the basket this week?  Organic Summer Squash, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Carrots, Organic Braising Mix. Organic Chard, Organic Garlic, Organic Purple Ruffle Basil, Organic Kale, Organic Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, Organic Arugula, Organic Sun Jewel Melon, Organic Shallots, and Organic Mustard.

Produce Tips

The Sun Jewel is a yellow striped Asian melon much like honeydew; don’t mix it up with a summer squash. They can be crunchy so don’t let that make you feel you have made a mistake cutting into it!  They have a mild sweetness compared to a watermelon that tends to be very sweet.  They have a cream colored flesh and have a unique flavor similar to honeydew. Great de-seeded and sliced up for a refreshing snack.  So enjoy your first melons of the season!

Summer Squash are fleshy vegetables protected by a hard rind. The skin and rind of summer squash are rich in the nutrient beta-carotene, but the fleshy portion of this vegetable is not. To gain the full nutritional benefits of this vegetable, the skins or rinds must be eaten. There are several types of summer squash, but zucchini is the most popular summer squash. The different varieties of squash can be used interchangeable in most recipes, because most squash are similar in texture and flavor. Place summer squash in plastic bags and store in the refrigerator. If using within a day or two, they may be kept on a cook counter. Fresh summer squash should keep for up to a week.

As with any tomatoes, store cherry tomatoes at room temperature, or in the refrigerator when fully ripe. For a delightful hors d’oeuvre, combine chopped cherry tomatoes with fresh tarragon and slivers of Parmesan cheese; spoon atop thick rectangles of country bread and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Use them as the base for a sauce, or to toss with your favorite pasta. For a pretty golden salsa, combine cherry tomatoes with minced green jalapeño peppers and cilantro leaves. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes can be used in place of the sun-dried tomato in almost any recipe. Mound onto a wedge of crusty bread, top with mozzarella and broil to melted sandwich perfection. Toss them with crumbled feta and serve over fresh greens for a light lunch. Add to pizza toppings. Toss with hot pasta and chopped fresh herbs for a simple, yet elegant meal.

Mustard, known for enhancing the flavor of many meat products, is quite a popular condiment. It blends well with snacks like hamburgers and hotdogs, and formal entrees like steaks and salads. Given its ability to turn simple dishes into tasty delights, mustard is one of the most common items found in the cupboard. Mustard has a myriad of alternative uses, most of them health related. Its medicinal value may not be as potent as a prescription drug, but it sure comes in handy during emergency situations. Mustard, aside from its therapeutic uses, can also function as a makeshift cosmetic product and an odor remover. Here are 12 of the most surprising uses for mustard. http://lifehackery.com/2009/01/06/12-of-the-most-surprising-uses-for-mustard/

Country Kitchen Recipes

Zucchini Boats

2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion or 2 shallots (diced)
Vegetable cooking spray
1 cup corn bread stuffing mix
3 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

Halve zucchini lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving ¼-inch thick shells. Discard pulp. Place zucchini halves, cut side down, in a large skillet. Add ½ cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain zucchini on paper towels. Meanwhile prepare stuffing. Lightly spray a medium saucepan with vegetable spray. Add carrot and onion and cook over medium heat until onion is tender. Stir in stuffing mix and water. Next, spoon stuffing into prepared zucchini. Sprinkle cheese on top of the stuffing in each zucchini then place them in a shallow baking dish. Bake in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes or until zucchini are tender and stuffing is heated through.

Kale and Potato Tarragon Salad 

2 lbs potatoes, boiled, cubed and keep warm in a bowl
7 tablespoons olive oil
green onions or 1 dried onion diced  or 3-4 shallots (chop up like the green onions)
1 bunch kale, washed well, remove stems, chop into bite size pieces
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh minced tarragon 

Sauté onions in 1 tablespoon oil, add kale and garlic till tender, about 5 minutes. Mix vinegar, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon tarragon and rest of oil salt and pepper to taste. Add kale mix to potatoes, add dressing, be sure to do while hot. Add more tarragon it needed. Serve warm.

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes

4-5 cloves of garlic

Several sprigs of Thyme or Basil

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Olive oil

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half end-to-end, and place cut side up on a pan. Optional: Slice 4-5 cloves of garlic, and sprinkle over the tomatoes. Strip several sprigs of fresh thyme or basil, and sprinkle the leaves over the tomatoes. Season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil liberally over all of the tomatoes. Place in the oven at 200°F for 6-8 hours; the tomatoes will collapse, but not completely dry out. Cool and serve with crackers and soft cheese or package to preserve.

Freezing: Pack tomatoes into a freezable container, and pour the oil from the pan over the top. Cover with more olive oil if needed, label and freeze for up to 6 months.

Fridge: Transfer tomatoes to a jar and cover with olive oil. Cover jar with lid and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

We hope all of our customers enjoyed their first week of summer produce. As the summer rolls on, we will have such a great variety. WOW.

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