Sept 27, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Tomatoes (heirloom and Roma), Sweet Peppers (Bell and Italian), Parsley, Eggplant, Yellow Onion, Potatoes, some hot peppers (habenero or serrano or Jalapeno, or poblano)
Bread this week: French Baguette OR Whole Wheat, your choice of one
This week on the farm
Yesterday we attended a funeral of the grandfather of some very close farmer friends in the area. There was a lovely service in Woodland, followed by a reception out at their ranch. It was beautiful. The man had immigrated to California early in his life, he came on his own with only a few dollars in his pocket. While I had met him a good amount of times throughout my life, I most definitely had never known him. Yet, every person who spoke of him, described him as larger than life. He had farmed in Chino, started a dairy farm in San Jose, felled redwoods up north, then moved to woodland and began the farm that is still there today. He and his wife were pillars in the community, contributing in every way possibly to the betterment of the lives of those around them. It was a truly incredible thing to see so many people gathered to share their love of the man.
We talk about community quite often here in the newsletter, the symbiotic relationship as it pertains to the life of Good Humus, but I think yesterday provided me with such a different perspective, a clear view of community without the influence of business, money, survival, responsibility or need. I witnessed more than 200 people show up to this ninety-nine year old farmers service, many missing work or other obligations to show their respect towards the big guy. I saw a fire chief honor his memory with a “Last Call” over the radio, I listened to four different generations of peoples heartfelt stories, memories and connections- all shared with watery eyes and grandpa in their hearts.
I heard from my close friend, that the family and his farm crew were the only ones invited to the burial, and that after saying goodbyes, the group all picked up shovels and began moving the dirt. Something we have all done together. That even after the family had to leave to join the reception; the farm crew was at the cemetery finishing the job. Even now in writing this I have tears in my eyes.
I think what made this experience stand out, and what makes our small CSA community special is that we don’t see it too much anymore. People have been gathering at funerals since the beginning. A time to be together and share the burden of grief, and while there are still funerals of course, the world has gotten so big, that a tight knit community has become rarer, and all the more nurturing when found.
I left the farm feeling inspired, inspired to be open to our community for events, for support, for food and connection. To contribute to our innate need to share our burdens and joys with the people around us as well as develop a sense of place in a world that seems to never stop running.
Have a great week~ Ali
Mashed Eggplant With Capers, Scallions and Parsley
¼cup large capers, preferably salt-packed
2 pounds medium eggplants
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1cup thinly slivered scallions, plus more for garnish
1cup chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
½teaspoon grated garlic
1teaspoon lemon zest
3tablespoons lemon juice
2tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Baguette toasts or pita bread, for serving
Put the capers in a bowl and rinse off salt thoroughly with lukewarm water. Soak rinsed capers in lukewarm water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse again, then blot dry. Chop roughly and set aside. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel eggplants and cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss cubes in a mixing bowl with salt and pepper, then drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet in one layer and roast uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and tender when pierced with a fork. Cool. Put cooked eggplants in a food processor and pulse briefly. Add capers, scallions, parsley, garlic, lemon zest and juice, pomegranate molasses, yogurt, cayenne and 2 tablespoons olive oil and blend until well combined. Transfer to a bowl. (May be prepared and stored at cool room temperature, covered, up to 2 hours in advance, or refrigerated for up to a week.) Before serving, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve eggplant spread on toast, sprinkled with scallions and parsley, or as a dip for pita bread.
Spicy Cajun Potato Salad
Source:Taste of Home
5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 large yellow onion
1/2 medium lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 hard-boiled large eggs, chopped
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise with olive oil and ground pepper
1 cup dill pickle relish
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Place potatoes in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Cut onion in half crosswise; add one half to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add lemon and salt to cooking water. Reduce heat; cook, uncovered, until potatoes tender, 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, chop remaining onion. Combine with eggs, mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, mustard and Cajun seasoning. Drain potatoes; rinse under cold water. Discard onion and lemon. Add potatoes to egg mixture; gently toss until well mixed (do not over mix, or potatoes will break down). Refrigerate, covered, 1-2 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley and paprika.
ALOO BAINGAN (EGGPLANT AND POTATO CURRY)
Source: Tea for Tumeric
1 small to medium globe variety eggplant, unpeeled
¼ cup neutral oil, plus more for pan-frying the eggplant
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium, yellow onion, finely chopped
6-7 garlic cloves, crushed
1- inch piece ginger, crushed
2-3 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 small green chili pepper such as Thai or Serrano, sliced
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder, or to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt, or 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed into ¾-1” cubes (place in a bowl of water to prevent browning)
2 tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped
¼ tsp garam masala or chaat masala, optional
1 tsp lemon juice
Slice off the stem of the eggplant. Then continue to slice the eggplant widthwise into 3/4 inch-thick rounds. Dice the rounds into 1-inch cubes. Place a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup oil to lightly coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the eggplant in a single layer (you may need to do this in 2 batches) and pan-fry for 3 minutes, until golden brown. Then flip the pieces and pan-fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add oil as needed and distribute as needed because the eggplant has a tendency to absorb oil. Remove onto a plate and set aside. (See Note 1) Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly golden (~8-10 min). Deglaze with 2 tbsp of water. Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute, until the raw smell disappears and the onions deepen in color. Add the tomatoes, green chili pepper, all spice powders (except garam masala), and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil begins to separate from them (~4-5 minutes). If needed, add 2 tbsp of water to deglaze the pan and help the tomatoes disintegrate into the masala.Once the oil has separated from the curry base/masala, add the potatoes. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes to soften. Add 1/2 cup water and stir to mix. Turn the heat down to low-medium, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the pan-fried eggplant (See Note 2) and cook for another 15-17 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it's sticking to the bottom of the pan, deglaze with 1/4 cup of water. The eggplant should get mushy and the potato should be very tender.If needed, raise the heat and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the oil starts to separate again and most of the eggplant has disintegrated into the masala. Adjust salt and seasoning if needed. Turn off the heat and sprinkle in cilantro, garam masala or chaat masala (if using), and lemon juice. Serve hot with roti, naan, or any type of bread.
Low Calorie stuffed Pepper salad
14-16 mini sweet peppers
2 tins sardines with bones, packed in olive oil, drained
2 tbls sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, chopped small
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon drained capers
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon lime zest
¼ teaspoon dried dill
¼ teaspoon dried mustard powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Cut the tops off the cleaned peppers and remove the seeds. Set the peppers aside. Drain the sardines and put them in a bowl. Mash the sardines well with a fork. Halve the kalamata olives with a knife. Drain the sundried tomatoes and chop them small. Stir the olives, tomatoes, mayo, capers, garlic powder, lime zest, dried dill, mustard powder, and black pepper into the bowl with the sardines. Pack the filling into each pepper. I heaped the salad into each pepper like I was filling a little ice cream cone. After filling, you’re ready to serve. Bite into the peppers from the open end only to prevent the salad from shooting out.
Crisp Smashed Potatoes with Fried Onions and Parsley
1¼ pounds tiny potatoes (1 to 2 inches, about the size of a golf ball)
⅓cup chicken fat, olive oil or peanut oil
Freshly ground pepper
2tablespoons unsalted butter
½small yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings
1teaspoon Aleppo pepper or ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Flaky sea salt
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add potatoes and season with salt. Cover and steam until the potatoes are totally tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Check one of the smaller ones after 8 minutes to see how tender it is; you should be able to insert a fork into it easily.) If you don’t have a steamer basket, boil them in a large pot of salted water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the steamer and let them cool slightly. Using the bottom of a bowl or cup or the palm of your hand, smash the potatoes until they’re just crushed to expose the inside, but not so much that they fall apart. You’re going for maximum crispy surface area here. Heat the chicken fat (or olive oil or peanut oil) in a large skillet over medium–high heat. Add potatoes in a single layer (work in batches, if you need to) and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook until both sides are very browned and very crispy, about 5 minutes per side. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon or spatula and transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Add the butter to skillet and let it melt and foam. Add the onion rings in a single layer and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally until the onions have turned golden brown and started to crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes, swirling the skillet a few times to combine. Pour the onions and any butter in the skillet over the potatoes and top with flaky sea salt and parsley.