Share Notes 7-19-18
CSA Share Notes
We’ve hit the jackpot with a few of the crops this week. Get your canning jars ready! Here’s this week’s vegetable line-up:
- Eggplant—Large shares received Fairy Tale eggplant, and small shares received our long, slender Japanese eggplant. These are both the perfect eggplant varieties for a Thai coconut milk curry. For the best flavor and texture, cook your eggplant at fairly high heat until slightly browned or very lightly charred. You can get this effect by either roasting it in the oven around 425, grilling it, or blistering it in a nice hot cast iron pan on the stove. Then we toss it into our pasta/curry/etc. Other eggplant ideas can be found on our kitchen blog.
- Sungold cherry tomatoes—These bursts of sunshine are doing so well, and there’s more coming!
- Slicing tomatoes—Small shares received just a few slicing tomatoes. Of course we’d have been delighted to send you more, but this was all they gave us this week. We’re still waiting for the bulk of the harvest to be ready.
- Roma tomatoes—Large shares received the heirloom roma- San Marzano. This type does not ripen evenly, so expect to use about the bottom 80% of the tomato. They are lower moisture content and flavorful which makes them excellent for a pasta sauce or salsa
A word about the tomato crop: Cherry tomato varieties are our earliest ripening tomatoes, so you get them a few weeks before the others are ready. They’ve been rocking’ strong for a while now. Next to ripen are the Roma type and then the slicers, and finally the delicate heirlooms. This year all our non-cherry type tomatoes are hanging out on the plants and staying green for a very, very long time. We’re just waiting for them to ripen! We don’t think this is going to be a bumper crop tomato year (we’ve heard this is the case across all of East Texas), but we should have a solid few weeks of good tomatoes for you really soon.
- Cucumbers—Our cucumbers are doing so amazing this year! Everyone received all three types: English Cucumbers, slicing cucumbers, and the smaller pickling cucumbers. Here’s what you’re gonna do: pack quart jars tightly with your cucumbers (slices, spears, or whole), pour in 2 tsp of mixed spices (allspice, clove, mustard, chili flakes, bay leaves…) and then whip up a boiled pot of brine, enough to fill all your jars (equal parts vinegar and water, 1 T sugar and 1 T salt per quart jar). Pour the just boiled brine over your jars packed with cucumbers and seal with new, unused canning jar lids. These pickles, while not shelf stable, will store in the fridge for 2 months and they’re fantastic. Do the same with your onions, cayenne peppers, or okra.
- Onion—Everyone received several yellow onions this week.
- Yellow Squash—Another crop that is completely thriving. They’re on their way out, though, so expect them to begin to wane soon.
- Zucchini—Finally the zucchini produced enough for each of you to get some! The small shares received particularly large zucchini. These will be starchier and are best for making breads or muffins, or you could make stuffed zucchini!
- Basil—Everyone received our pretty, fragrant Genovese Basil this week.
- Italian Peppers—Sweet and mild, these beautiful peppers are holding on strong and are doing little better than our bell pepper varieties. We’re giving the bells a break for a week or two to see if they can catch up.
- Cayenne Pepper—Nice and hot. Try pickling them as mentioned above to use in cooking and as a condiment over the rest of the summer.
- Heirloom Okra—Everyone received a small bag of our 4 types of beautiful heirloom okra. We grilled ours this week. The star shaped pods were my favorite.
What’s coming around the corner? A few melons are beginning to ripen! We don’t have enough for the CSA quite yet, but there are enough to make them available on Saturday at the Rose City Farmers Market. I hope you’re as excited as we are!
Veggie Storage tips:
Onions, tomatoes and Basil will all prefer to stay at room temp. The cucumbers, squashes, and peppers can be stored at room temp if you’ll be eating them within a couple of days, otherwise put them sealed up in the fridge if you won’t be getting to them for a few days. The okra and Japanese eggplants don’t last very long, so use them quickly! Store them sealed up in the fridge until you’re ready for them. Everything will need a gentle washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent faster spoilage.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Jess & Justin
Large Share: (across the top) Sungolds and English Cucumbers (2nd row) Fairy Tale Eggplant, San Marzano tomatoes, slicing cucumbers, basil, (3rd row) mixed heirloom okra and Italian Peppers, yellow squash, pickling cucumbers, cayenne peppers, (across the bottom) zucchini and yellow onions.