CSA Newsletter: Week 6 (June 25th, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you beets OR carrots, zucchini OR fava beans, cabbage, garlic, scallions, lettuce and basil. Large share members will receive all regular share items plus green curly kale, spinach, and another SURPRISE item! We’ll be taking a break from the fruit share this week.

In This Week’s Newsletter:

Farm Tour Fun and Photos
Posted by: Maddie and Mo

Thanks to all who braved the heat and haze to come tour our farm on 63rd Street yesterday! We had a great time showing everyone around and we hope you enjoyed yourselves, too.

Even our woolly friends had a blast despite the heat. The goats and llamas made a lot of new friends as they feasted on carrots from the hands of our visitors. I’m sure the alpacas – thin, trimmed and cool – were thankful for their recent shearing!

I had a great time taking some of our CSA members on a walking tour. We checked out the vast (and flowering!) potato field, the gorgeous green tomatoes in hoop house, the rows of healthy young eggplants and peppers, and the pumpkin seedlings just starting to emerge. There are so many more exciting veggies on their way!

To everyone who couldn’t make it out yesterday, we hope you can make it to our second farm tour later in the season on September 9th at the farm on Valmont Road.

Mo did some impressive photo-journalism while giving tours on the hay wagon. Check out some of the photos she took yesterday!



It was great to show you folks around the 63rd Street Farm yesterday.
We had hayride tours.


Some people opted to take a walking tour. Here Wyatt is showing people around.


And one of our favorite CSA families enjoying the day.


After the tour, some of the little ones got to ‘play farmer’ on the tractor.

We are looking forward to the next tour on the other end of summer!


Zucchini Fritters *includes gluten-free option
Posted by: Mo
Yield: About six 3- or 4-inch fritters

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour *or sub any gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor.

In a large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini in one of the following ways: pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to extract the water OR squeezing out small handfuls at a time. You want to get all the water out that you can.

Return deflated mass of zucchini shreds to bowl. Taste it and see if you think it could benefit from more salt (most rinses down the drain). Stir in scallions, egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet  (cast iron is good) heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula. Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until they start to turn brown. The trickiest part of making these is to get them done all the way through. I just keep flipping them and touching the middle until I can feel the middle of the fritter is set.  Until you get the hang of it you might just want to try one and make sure it is set all the way to the middle. Once you know what it feels like you won’t have to do that again.

You can add endless ingredients to these fritters, cheese, hot peppers, herbs, spices. Pretty much anything you like. I topped mine with Greek yogurt.

These fritters keep well chilled in the fridge for a week or so. You can warm them up in the microwave or just eat them cold.


Chocolate Beet Cake *includes gluten free option
Posted by: Maddie
(Adapted slightly from David Lebovitz’ food blog at http://www.davidlebovitz.com/)

  • 8 ounces beets, unpeeled, rinsed and scrubbed free of dirt
  • 7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso (or water)
  • 7 ounces butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 1 cup flour
 *substitute rice/tapioca flour for gluten free option
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (the darkest you can find, natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional but scrumptious)

  • 16 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch of table salt

For the Frosting: 

With stand mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Beat in vanilla and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Baking the Cake: 
Butter an 8- or 8 1/2 inch (20 cm) springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. (Note: I didn’t have a springform pan so I used two 8-inch cake pans instead. Layer cake, anyone?)

Boil the beets in salted water until they’re very tender, about 45 minutes.

Drain and rinse the beets under cold water. When cool enough to handle, you can peel the cooked beets easily by rubbing them on all sides with a dry paper towel.

Cut the beets into chunks and grind them in a food processor until you have a coarse, yet cohesive, puree. (If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater.)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring as little as possible. Once it’s nearly all melted, turn off the heat (but leave the bowl over the warm water) and stir in the hot espresso. Then add the butter. Press the butter pieces into the chocolate and allow them to soften without stirring.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until the butter is melted. Let sit for a few minutes to cool, then stir the egg yolks together and briskly stir them into the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the beets.

In a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold them into the melted chocolate mixture. Do not overmix.

Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.

Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, reduce the heat of the oven to 325ºF, and bake the cake for 30-40 minutes. The cake is finished when the sides are just set but the center is still is just a bit wobbly. Do not overbake.

Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan and frost if you dare!

I promise there are vegetables in there somewhere…. Enjoy!



“Red Wagon Special” Noodle Salad 

I often make a salad for dinner when it’s hot like it is now. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand.


I wash them, chop them up and put them in a colander.

I like noodle and pasta salad because it makes a lot, I can use any pasta and any vegetables. And I will have leftovers for lunches. I used some soba noodles today. You can substitute any noodle you like. I made a peanut sauce for this salad. While the noodles were cooking I made this sauce. I am giving the approximate amounts I used of the vegetables for this salad.


  • 1 -12-oz package soba noodles
  • 1/4 peanut butter
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 3 medium carrots, cut in match sticks
  • green onions, basil, and/or cilantro as garnish (optional)

While the noodles cook, combine peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and onion with a 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium to low heat until all ingredients are well combined and sauce is thick and bubbly.

When noodles are ready to drain, place cabbage and carrots in the colander.  Pour hot water and noodles over vegetables to drain when the vegetables just start to cook rinse the whole thing with cold water to stop everything from cooking any more.

You can kind of see how the vegetables just barely cooked.

Toss vegetable-noodle mixture with sauce.  Either serve now or chill in the refrigerator to serve later.

I hope you try one of the recipes this week. Until next time.


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3 Responses to CSA Newsletter: Week 6 (June 25th, 2012)

  1. shelley says:

    I am blushing! Thanks Mo!

  2. Piebird says:

    It’s nice to have the GF options for those who want/need them. Love the resourceful way of quick cooking the salad veggies with the hot water from cooking the noodles! I’m trying to “follow” this blog, but am not receiving an email when you post. ???

  3. Sharon says:

    The fritters turned out perfectly and I’m looking forward to baking the cake for tomorrow night’s dessert! It looks like an even-more-delicious red velvet cake…yum!

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