July 27th, 2021

 

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Eggplant, Melon, Green Beans, Basil, Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Tomatoes and

 

Bread this week: Barbari OR French Baguette, your choice of one

 

 

!!!! NEW QUARTER !!!!

 

Fall Quarter Payment is Due August 9th

 

~The new quarter starts August 17th and ends November 9th

~Please let us know if you DO OR DO NOT plan on continuing.

~Please do not leave payments at drop sites

 

We will be taking one week off in the coming quarter, date is To Be Determined

 

This Week on the Farm

We are definitely in the time of summer abundance. We had some cats in past years that would bring in their catch, sit it on the bed and be proud to show off its accomplishments. Well, the cats don’t bring in the bounty these days, but I will find a pile of green peppers on the counter that Jeff picked, or a box of mixed veggies after a day of preparing for market that Claire brings in. Ali tends to bring in flowers and set them around the house. I always know when a new crop is about to arrive I get the samples of the first harvest. I feel like it is like the cat showing off, strutting its stuff, proud of the catch of the day. Right now there is not one small space that I can cram any more food into. I have to say that a lot of my mental time is on food, what am I going to make for lunch, dinner, snacks...etc. it is true, I love food, especially fresh yummy delicious produce that I can make amazing meals from. It could be the reason why I have a more hefty physique!  This is the time of year when there are so many menu options, and Claire has been finding some great recipes for you that I am itching to make…like the cantaloupe and cherry tomato gazpacho in today’s newsletter. I’m also the one that really fights throwing anything out, so at the end of the day I am like the bag lady, you will see me going through the sorted out potatoes that are on the way to the compost pile and bringing them into the house for a potato salad (hopefully). It is also why we make jams for all the seconds, or dried fruit with the blemished fruit, or dried herb blends from the extra unsold herbs from the market. I must have had a past life time of deprivation in a small village high in the mountains with a hard cold winter where hording food meant survival!

Needless to say this is a time of year of a full box, way more than its value because no matter what, even if there are no sales we have to go out to harvest almost every day. The zucchini is harvested daily to keep a uniform size, and the boxes come into the cooler and wait for Claire to do her magic and sell it all (again hopefully). When fruit season is here, and we are starting the O’Henry Peaches right now, they are harvested almost daily, depending on the weather and ripeness. They get sorted, packed and put away in the cooler with a date on them, and wait for their time to be eaten. Eggplant and peppers are harvested two to three a week and so are the tomatoes from pink breakers to red ripe, sorted and separating the colors sending out the red ones first. Francisco is the cherry tomato picker, and he does it as if his life depended on it. Two weeks ago he told Claire that no, there was not much out there, in a the blink of an eye there were 30 boxes of cherries stacked up and now Claire is on the phone pitching for sales. The potatoes are getting lifted, and now there are 4 bins in the cooler in burlap sacks. At this point, Claire is pulling her hair out in frustration with the second new cooler set in place this winter…that is still waiting for electricity and the cooler fans to start whirling so she has more space for this summer abundance.

The winter season harvest is so much different, where we wait for orders to harvest, pack and put into the cooler for a brief moment for shipping out. Chard, Kale, lettuce, oranges can all sit in their perspective places in the cool days and chilly nights until we are ready to bunch and box them up. The pace of winter is slower, shorter days and saner compared to summers days, that feel like we are at break neck speed and always behind. Thank goodness for the winter break giving us time to restore, yet here in California, the dilemma is that there is so much incredible food that can be grown all year, but more so in the summer time that how is one to complain? The biggest challenge is making sure that we have time to make all the most incredible summer feasts possible before the tomatoes peters out, the basil is black from the cold weather, the eggplants have all been harvested and we are back to chard, carrots, beets and broccoli. We are getting set to plant the first of the winter crops in the next several weeks, so they are coming. We certainly will be ready for them when they come… Have a great week-eating your fill of summer! ~Annie

 

Cantaloupe Fiesta Cocktail

Source: Cookie and Kate

 

¼ chilled cantaloupe, seeds removed

1 ½ ounces silver/blanco tequila

1 lime, juiced

½ teaspoon agave nectar or simple syrup, to taste

Tiny pinch of sea salt

3 ice cubes

Use a big spoon to scoop the flesh of the cantaloupe from the skin. Place everything but the ice in the blender and blend until

smooth. Add the ice and blend thoroughly. Pour into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime round.

 

Tomato Basil Rice

Source: Nagi from Recipetineats

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (or butter)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 brown onion, finely chopped

1 1/4 tsp dried basil

1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked

1 3/4 cups chicken broth, full salt (or Veg broth)

2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

3/4 tsp paprika, sweet or normal

1 tsp sugar 

1 sprig of basil with leaves

1/3 cup finely chopped basil

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until translucent, 2 - 3 minutes. Add basil and cook for 20 seconds - don't let it burn. Add remaining ingredients except basil. Mix until tomato paste is dissolved.  Crush basil sprig in hand, drop on surface then push in (leave on surface, don't stir). Cover and bring to simmer, then immediately turn down heat to medium low (or low if stove is strong) and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed - tilt saucepan to check.  Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove basil sprig. Fluff with fork, taste for salt. Then leave to stand for another 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir through fresh basil. Serve immediately.

 

Refreshing Melon Gazpacho

Source: Jess from Paleo Grubs

1½ pound cantaloupe melon, peeled, and chopped

2 cups cherry tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

4 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling

¼ tsp red pepper flakes or to taste

4 slices prosciutto

1 small cucumber, finely diced

3 spring onion, thinly sliced

salt, black pepper to taste

Place the melon, tomatoes and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until really smooth. Add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, red pepper flakes and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Blend until combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook 1-2 minutes per side or until crisp. Spoon the gazpacho into bowls and top with the cucumber, spring onions and crumbled crispy prosciutto.

Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve.

 

Old-Fashioned Italian Zucchini Fritters

Source: Jujujen from Allrecipes

6 eggs 

3 zucchinis, shredded

1 zucchini, diced

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 

2 cups vegetable oil for frying 

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk until smooth. Stir in the shredded and diced zucchini, then season with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and basil. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring between additions until no dry lumps remain.

Heat the oil in a large skillet to 375 degrees F. Drop the batter into the hot oil by the spoonful a few at a time making sure not to overcrowd the oil. Cook until the fritters are golden brown on each side, about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.

 

Eggplant w/ Basil & Chili Paste Stir-Fry

Source: Pailin Chongchitnant  from Hot Thai Kitchen

SAUCE

2 Tbsp Thai chili paste

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp fish sauce

2 tsp oyster sauce

2 Tbsp water

THE REST

275g Chinese eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small), sliced on a bias about 0.5-inch thick, then halve each round

4 cloves garlic

Red Thai chilies, to taste (use at least 3, bigger ones if you can. Take the seeds out to reduce spiciness)

200g ground chicken (sub ground pork or crumbled firm tofu)

1 cup Thai basil leaves

Have a little water on the ready while you cook

Combine all sauce ingredients together and whisk until the chili paste is dissolved. Pound chilies and garlic in a mortar and pestle until there are no more big chunks (but not a fine paste). You can also chop them. In a large, flat skillet, add just enough oil to coat the bottom, and then heat until quite hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant in one layer (you may need to do this in batches) and let sear over medium high heat, undisturbed, until the bottom side is browned. Flip and cook the other side until it is browned as well. The pieces from the bottom of the eggplant will cook faster, so you will need to remove those first. Transfer into a bowl and set aside. In a wok, add a little bit of oil and the pounded garlic and chili mixture. Sauté for about 1 minute over medium heat just until the garlic starts to brown. Add ground chicken and cook until 80% done, adding a splash of water to loosen the chicken as needed. Add the eggplant and the sauce, then keep tossing for about 2-3 minutes until the eggplant is fully cooked but not mushy. Add the basil, turn off the heat, then toss for 30 more seconds using the residual heat to wilt the basil. Serve with rice. Enjoy!

 

Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry

Source: MERYL ROTHSTEIN BON APPÉTIT

3 cups mixed tender herbs (such as basil, Thai basil, mint, cilantro, tarragon, and celery leaves), divided

1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, divided

1 1/2" piece peeled ginger, sliced

1 garlic clove

7 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked, cooled wheat berries, farro, or brown rice

4 cups chopped mixed summer vegetables (such as bell peppers, eggplant, chiles, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, celery, radishes, and cherry tomatoes)

Combine 2 cups herbs, 1/4 cup scallions, ginger, and garlic in a mini-processor. Pulse to chop ingredients. Add 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water and process until a coarse purée forms. Transfer herb sauce to a bowl and stir in sesame seeds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Herb sauce can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until oil just begins to smoke. Add remaining 1/4 cup scallions and wheat berries. Stir-fry until wheat berries are golden brown and slightly crunchy, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide wheat berries among bowls. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until brightly colored and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 1 cup herbs and toss to combine. Divide vegetables over wheat berries. Drizzle with herb sauce.