Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BGF News 9/18/12



In this week’s box:
Beans: Mix (Carson & Empress)
Cherry Tomato Mix
Cipollini Onions: Gold Coin
Fennel
Hot Peppers: Wenk's Yellow Hots & Georgia Flame
Sweet Peppers: Islander (purple to orange), Ace (Green to Red), Golden Marconi (Long green to yellow)
Mustard Mix: Senposai, Osaka Purple Mustard, Mizuna & Tokyo Bekana
Tomatoes, slicers
            and perhaps ONE of the following:
Eggplant: Orient Express (long, thin, purple), Broccoli: Packman, Okra: Bowling Red, Patty Pan Squash, Mini Bell Pepper Mix, or melons


For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil-Genovese and/or Italian Large Leaf, sorrel, peppermint
For those with the Honey option: choice of liquid or comb honey

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):  Caprese Pasta Skillet
Flatbread Crostini with Cipollini Onions & Chèvre
 Mustard Greens with Hot Peppers

Precipitation in the past week: .3"

What’s up on the farm?

We woke up to a bit of frost on the farm this morning, it certainly wasn't a killing frost, but the predicted cold temps spurred us to do a last minute harvest of the melons and sweet potatoes yesterday afternoon, as those are two of our most cold-sensitive crops. The last of the melons are going out in some boxes today, but the sweet potatoes need some curing time before they are sent out. The basil and okra are the next most sensitive to cold, so if the below average temps keep up, we will see an early end to those as well.  The other cold effects you might notice are a waning amount of flavor in the tomatoes (cooking, especially roasting will bring out the most flavor) and an increasing sweetness in all the varieties of greens. This time of year is greens season and they are delicious and growing along beautifully.  Unless we get a significant rain soon, we will be bidding farewell to the beans in the next week or so. They are not so sensitive to cool weather, but just aren't getting enough water to bloom, and no bloom means no beans. And finally, today marks the end of the eggplant season. They have done their best for us this year, but they are now in the "geriatric stage" and no longer worth their space in the high tunnel, which is needed by the upcoming fall crops.

Speaking of "final" events. We anticipate that the final delivery of the 2012 Summer CSA Season will be Tuesday, Oct. 16th. So we still have 4 more deliveries after today to enjoy the fall bounty that we expect from the garden.  We will be sending out information about the Winter CSA in the next couple of weeks.

Farm Crawl: We still have slots available for individuals/families who are interested in being part of Team BGF for Farm Crawl. You can sign up for as little as 2 hours (or more if you'd like) and we will provide food, fun and some kind of BGF "swag".  Just a reminder that Farm Crawl is Sunday, Oct 7th from 11am-5pm. You can read more about it at www.farmcrawl.com

A little detail on your produce this week:
You've had fennel before, but this time it is a little more mature than we would like. So we recommend storing it as before, but use it in smaller pieces, or you may find it a bit tough. The greens are fine and can be used as before.
Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at http://beyondthebluegate.blogspot.com/ and on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue & Luci)

Caprese Pasta Skillet
 Serves 2-3
Slightly adapted from Alexandra Cooks

8oz orecchiette pasta
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons pesto (store bought, or 1/2 batch homemade pesto made with an additional 2 Tablespoons water)
1 cup cubed smoked mozzarella cheese (or mini mozzarella balls)
extra basil leaves for garnish

1. Prepare pesto, if making, then set aside. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just under al dente then drain and set aside. Place an oven rack to the very top, then preheat broiler.
2. Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss and cook for 30 seconds. Add cooked pasta and pesto then toss to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top then place skillet under the broiler until cheese melts. Using a pot holder, remove skillet from oven then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: www.iowagirleats.com

Flatbread Crostini with Cipollini Onions & Chèvre
When you peel the cipollinis, don’t completely cut off the stubs on the bottom, as these help to hold the onion together while roasting. It will get so tender that you won’t even notice it when you eat it.

For onions:
8-10 small cipollini onions, peeled (or fewer, larger ones)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Several sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
A few pinches sea salt

For flatbread: (or just buy a good, dense bread)
1 1/2 cups flour (here, I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup all-purpose white)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup warm water
For assembly:
Chèvre
More rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together all flatbread dry ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Slowly add water, stirring with a fork until just wet and sticking together in a ball (you may not use all the water). Set aside to rest.
Toss peeled cipollini onions in olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt. Place in a roasting pan (I find that metal pans work best for roasting root veggies; for some reason, glass or ceramic never brown as well) and, when oven is heated, place in oven on middle rack. Roast, turning every 10 minutes or so, until unevenly caramelized and crispy on the outside, but tender inside.
Meanwhile, heat cast iron (or other heavy bottomed) skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil until very hot. Take a small piece of dough—about the size of a shooter marble—and roll into a ball. Flatten with your hands on the counter or a baking sheet into a ~3-4 inch round. Make it thinner than you think it should be. Put these rounds on the hot hot skillet, and flip when they begin to blister or brown in places. Don’t overcook your flatbreads.
To assemble, spread chèvre onto a flatbread. Place one roasted cippolini on top, squish it down, and spread it out. Sprinkle with rosemary.

Mustard Greens with Hot Peppers

8-10 ounces Mustard Greens, chopped - stems removed
2 hot peppers, coarsely chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 ounce pecans, chopped
olive oil

Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil.
Add mustard greens and boil about 2 minutes.
Immediately plungs mustard greens into ice water to stop the cooking process. Reserve.
Meanwhile, heat a saute pan to medium heat and add onions, jalapenos, pecans and about 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Cook about 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Drain mustard greens and add to the saute pan. Saute about 10 more minutes, or until the greens achieve the desired consistency. At this point they might still be slightly stiff, though quite tasty. You can saute them longer if you'd like to soften them up.
Serve!

Recipe Source: http://www.jalapenomadness.com
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