Hello CSA members!
This week we hope to bring you beets, zucchini, broccoli OR cauliflower, bok choy OR broccoli raab OR cabbage, kale OR collard greens OR chard, and grilling onions. Large share members will receive all regular share items PLUS arugula and two extra “choice” items. Fruit share members will get cherries AND apricots.
In This Week’s Newsletter:
- On the Farm
- Storing Grilling Onions and Zucchini
- Clouds and Trees
- “Baked” Whole Cauliflower
- Beet and Watermelon Salad
As we start to make the climb towards the peak of summer, it’s amazing to see how quickly things change on the farm. Some of our heat-loving crops like zucchini and melons are just getting warmed up, so to speak, while others are finished or winding down for the season. Still others, like the bok choy and broccoli raab, are coming back for round two.
On Wednesday, while doing some weeding in our melon rows, a couple of my co-workers and I noticed a few baby watermelons starting to grow plump on the vines. I remembered with a strange nostalgia the day that I planted some 3,750 melon seeds at our greenhouse, while one of my co-workers planted an innumerable quantity of basil seeds. It’s hard to believe that all those tiny hopeful beginnings have flourished so quickly into the sprawling vines and thriving bushes they are now.
I have been told that at the peak of the season, the farm produces a fairly ludicrous amount of food. I am starting to see the potential for this, particularly in the zucchini rows, which are already littered with specimens too large for happy consumption. Every new crop sends a wave of excitement through the farm and it just keeps getting better. Whether you’ve been a CSA member for years or this is your first season, I hope you are enjoying all the changes as much as the rest of us. Happy 4th and have a great week everyone!
Storing Grilling Onions and Zucchini
Posted by: Mo
This week I wanted to give you some ideas with minimal cooking but also dishes that you can take to potlucks or picnics since Wednesday is the 4th of July. First though, let’s talk about some of the vegetables in your share.
You are getting grilling onions this week. Grilling onions are fresh onions that are still developing but we picked them young, before the tops bend over. When the tops bend over on onions, that is when you know they are ready to harvest. Storage onions are fully developed when the tops fall over. We then ‘cure’ them by allowing the tops to dry and seal around the bulb of the onion so it stores well.
The grilling onions you get should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and used within a week to ten days. You can cut off the tops when you store them. Use them as you would any onion but they are really tasty grilled because they are young and mild and very moist. If you use only half an onion use the top half and leave the root half for later. It stores better than the top.
More zucchini! If you grill your onions maybe grill your zucchini too for a nice side dish.
Your zucchini should be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge. Make sure your zucchini is dry before you put it in the bag. It will get slimy if it is moist. It should keep in a bag in the fridge for a week. You can shred and freeze your zucchini and use it for baking. It will be too mushy for anything other than baking if you freeze it.
Sometimes cauliflower is a little bitter raw. It usually loses that bitter bite when it is cooked but if you want to eat it raw soak the cauliflower in ice cold water for ½ hour to 1 hour and change the water a couple times. I just do this when I make a raw salad with cauliflower as a habit. Here is a fun salad for kids. It’s one of those recipes that you can sub out anything, or add anything.
Clouds and Trees
*Adapted from “One United Harvest”
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 cup total of mix of nuts, dried fruit, olives, granola, really almost anything your kids like to snack on.
- Scant ½ cup mayonnaise
- Generous ½ cup sour cream
- 2 Tbs honey
- 2 Tbs vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Trim stems from broccoli and cauliflower, using only the tender florets for the salad. Mix in scallions and any of the add-ins you like. I used dried blueberries, pistachios, and black olives. Mix the dressing and mix the whole thing together. This can be made a day ahead.
My kids liked to have salads served in fancy dishes like this.
“Baked” (microwaved then broiled) Whole Cauliflower
This is a great, easy, make-ahead dish for a potluck. It’s good at room temperature and travels well.
Core and wash your cauliflower, keeping it whole.
Put the whole cauliflower in a glass pie plate with 2 teaspoons of water, cover with wax paper, and microwave for 7 minutes. How long it will take to cook depends on how big your cauliflower is. Just check it around 5 or 6 minutes. Don’t overcook it or it will fall apart.
While that is cooking, mix:
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- Salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you like
When the cauliflower is done drain off any water out of the pan and spread the crumb mixture on the cauliflower. Broil the cauliflower head until the crumb mixture is brown and crunchy.
This is a great dish for summer. The microwave doesn’t heat up the house and the broiler is only on for a few minutes so it doesn’t get too hot from that either.
Serve the cauliflower on a dish with some dressed greens and let people break off as many florets as they like. This is one of those dishes that people who say they don’t like cauliflower will eat.
Beet and Watermelon Salad
Posted by: Mo
This is one of my favorite summer salads and it travels well. Our watermelon isn’t ready at the farm yet, but I still thought I would share this with you since we do have beets. I have used mangos instead of watermelon and it’s good that way too.
- 1 bunch beets, cooked (either roasted or boiled) and cut into small bites
- Equal amount of watermelon cut the same size
For the dressing, I use:
- 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup neutral oil
>Mix the dressing and pour it over the beets and melon and let that sit for an hour or so.
I like to serve the beets and melon over some bitter, spicy greens and top it with either feta or a blue cheese and some roasted nuts.
Look how shiny the beets get from steeping in the dressing and how the watermelon picks up the red color of the beets.
I had fun with the vegetables in the share this week. I hope you enjoy them too.
Can you use the onion tops??
great idea for “baking” the cauliflower head, and I like how your cored out the stem for more even cooking!