Wednesday, July 18, 2012

BGF News 7/17/12

In this week’s box:
Basil: Genovese or Italian Large Leaf
Fresh Beans: Bean Mix (Green: Empress & Yellow: Carson) or Maxibel (green, filet-type)
Shallots: Prisma (red/purple) looks like onions
Tomatoes, slicers (see descriptions below)
            and ONE of the following:
Eggplant: Orient Express (long, thin, purple), Summer Squash : Patty Pan (fluted), 8-Ball (round), or Sebring (long, yellow, Broccoli: Packman or Cherry Tomatoes mix

For those with the Cheese option: Roasted Red Pepper Chevre & Cranberry-Pecan Chevre + Robiola [Bonus!]
For those with the Egg option [full or half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil: lemon, Parsley: Giant of Italy, Sage:Extracta
For those with the Honey option: look for your first delivery in the next couple of weeks

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):  Farmgirl Susan's Purple Basil Pesto (our favorite pesto recipe)
Green Beans with Shallots and Goat Cheese
 Purslane Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes

Precipitation in the past week: 0.10 ”

What’s up on the farm?

It feels like the most important thing is what isn't up on the farm, and that is rain.  Everything that comes our way seems to dissipate or split and go around up. We are desperately dry, even though we continue to irrigate daily. Because the surrounding soil is so parched, all the water that we put on the ground that isn't immediately used by the plant, is pulled away like water into a dry sponge, so while we are keeping most of the plants alive, we aren't making much headway at improving the soil moisture conditions. Unfortunately this won't improve until we get some decent rain. We are hopeful about the chances in the next two days. I wish we had better news, but the return of the high temps paired with the lack of rain will only make things more challenging for the crops.  We had a Gang of 4 farm workday this weekend and all of the farms are reporting similar conditions and challenges. Not everything is dying, in fact, right now, the only imminent deaths are the early cucumbers (evidently cucumber beetles really thrive on this weather). We've planted replacements, but if they survive, it will be a few weeks before we see any fruiting on them. However, most crops have either slowed or stopped flowering (sterile pollen from the extreme temps, again). So what does that mean for you? It's hard to say exactly, but you will likely notice a decrease in the volume of produce in your box, both number and variety.  We are trying to keep the boxes as bountiful and varied as possible, but we can't pack what we don't have. We don't want to sound overly negative or alarmist, but even the nightly news is doing regular reports on the drought and we want to be sure that we give you as much information as possible to help you understand the current conditions. So all grumbling (on my part), cursing and prayers aside, let's talk about something happier…

We harvested the first of the shallot crop last week and they are the best and biggest shallots we've ever grown,  in fact, a couple are the biggest we've ever seen. For those of you unfamiliar with this crop, they are in the onion/garlic family and have a rich flavor, almost a cross between garlic and sweet onion. They can be used in any recipe calling for onions or garlic, but we really like them in salad dressings and egg dishes where their flavor can really shine.

And, we are getting the first real tomato harvest this week.  We anticipate putting tomatoes into the boxes for the foreseeable future, but there are so many, that instead of listing each variety every week, here is a full description of all the tomatoes we are growing this year.  You should anticipate seeing the majority of them over the course of the season.  As there is such a rainbow of colors (including green), the best way to tell if an individual tomato is ripe is by touch.  A ready-ripe tomato will yield to gentle pressure.  We try to send a range of ripeness in each delivery, so that you can enjoy them throughout the week, so do try to notice which are the most ripe and dig into those first.
Azoycha: Lemon-yellow medium-sized fruits with sweet, yet rich flavor.
Black Cherry: Beautiful black cherry tomato with rich flavor.
Black Krim: purple/red slicing tomato with excellent full flavor
Blondkopfchen: Small yellow 1” fruits with excellent sweet taste.
Cosmonaut Volkov: medium-large red slicer with a full-rich flavor
Costoluto Sport: Red fluted tomato with few seeds and sweet flavor, great for roasting, and fresh eating
Dr. Wychee Yellow: Large orange tomato with meaty, rich tasting flavor.
Golden Rave: Small 1–2 oz yellow, plum shaped tomatoes with good tomato flavor. Perfect snacking tomato.
Green Zebra: Small, 2 1/2" olive yellow with green stripes and a sweet zingy flavor
Indigo Rose: Small black-red fruit with high acid and "plummy" overtones
Japanese Black Trifele: A dark maroon, pear-shaped tomato with green shoulders and sublime, rich flavor.
Jersey Giant: Large 6" long, pepper-shaped red tomato, paste-type tomato with good flavor and few seeds
Juliet: Small 1 – 2 oz red fruits that are the perfect flavor and shape for slicing onto pizza or salad.
Malachite Box: Large green-yellow fruit with chartreuse interior. Bright, fresh tomato flavor
Paul Robeson: Large, brick-red fruits with dark green shoulders.  Has a sweet, rich, smoky flavor.
Pantano Romanesco: A large, deep red Roman heirloom. The flesh is very rich, flavorful & juicy.
Redfield Beauty: 3”– 4” flat pink fruits with excellent, full flavor.
Speckled Roman: Long pointed fruits with red and yellow striped skin.  Meaty flesh with excellent flavor.
Weeping Charlie: Excellent tasting long, red tomato, similar to a paste tomato but sweeter and juicier.
White Queen (Beauty): Medium-sized, smooth white-skinned tomato with sweet, juicy flesh, low acid.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Mint: Best stored upright in a glass of water in the refrigerator. Can also be dried easily, just tie stems together and hang upside down in a cool dark place until leaves crumble easily. Excellent for adding to teas and pairs nicely in tomato recipes. We like to infuse fresh mint into a simple syrup (equal pts sugar and water) by boiling all together, then allow to cool for 30 min. Remove mint, strain to remove any bits and store resulting mint syrup in the fridge for adding to iced teas or making lemon or lime mint sodas.

Tomatoes: Always store tomatoes at room temperature unless you have sliced into them. Flat-topped tomatoes can be stored stem-end down to slow their ripening. To speed ripening, store unripe tomatoes in a paper bag (folded closed) with a fully ripe one and check progress frequently.

Shallots: A "high-brow" member of the onion family, shallots have a smooth, rich onion-y flavor that is perfect with egg, vegetable and salad dressing recipes. These shallots can be used at any time, but currently are not fully cured; please store them with the greens attached (if possible) and at room temperature with good air circulation until the greens are all dried down.  Just tie the tops together and hang them someplace out of the way (like a basement or "cool" garage). Once dried, they can be trimmed and stored like a cured onion or garlic (at room temp) for many months. Once you cut into a shallot, store the remainder in a sealed container in the fridge.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at 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)

Farmgirl Susan's Purple Basil Pesto
Makes about 1½ cups
This lower fat, reduced calorie pesto, which calls for less olive oil than most recipes, is bursting with freshly picked garden flavor. The tomatoes are a healthy way to replace some of the olive oil while adding a subtle new flavor.

When portioning out basil (and so many other ingredients), it works best if you weigh it rather than pack it into measuring cups.

Don't have any purple basil? Just use green instead!

1/2 cup (about 2½ ounces) roasted & salted whole almonds (or sunflower seeds)
3 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled (or shallots)
4 ounces fresh purple (or green) basil leaves (about 4 cups packed)
1 ounce (about 1/2 cup) finely grated Pecorino Romano (or other hard cheese)
10 ounces fresh tomatoes (about 3 smallish) any kind, quartered
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more to taste

In the bowl of a food processor, use the S-blade to whiz the almonds and garlic until finely chopped.

Add the basil, cheese, tomatoes, and salt, and process until thoroughly combined and the consistency you like.

With the motor running running, slowly drizzle the olive oil through the chute. Add more salt to taste if desired. Store your pesto in the refrigerator for several days or freeze.

Recipe source:

Green Beans With Shallots And Goat Cheese
2 hand full of organic and local green beans
2 large cloves of garlic minced
4 large shallots sliced in rounds of half rounds
Organic goat cheese crumbles
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1.  Slice shallots and in a skillet on low to medium heat drizzle some olive oil, a dash of salt and your shallots.  You’re going to caramelize them so this requires attention, pretty consistent stirring and a close eye on the heat.  You want to bring out the sugars before they all burn.  It’s a slow process, but well worth it.  Do this until they are all browned.  Set aside.
2.  While I’m caramelizing my shallots, I set another larger skillet on the stove, around medium to high heat, add olive oil, the minced garlic and sautee them for a good 3 minutes.  Then add the green beans and mix them up a bit.  I sautee them all for about 5 minutes and then remove them from the pan.  Keep in mind I love my green beans crunchy, so they don’t cook much within the 5 minutes I have them on.  If you want a softer feel, leave them on longer.  Again, it’s up to you and what will feel and taste best for your palette
3.  You will have set the green beans aside a few minutes before you do your shallots.  This is good.  It will give your beans a short time to cool.  Once done, plate your beans, sprinkle the goat cheese crumbles over it and the top off with your shallots.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Side dish that easily serves 2
Recipe Source:

Purslane Pasta With Cherry Tomatoes
• 6 cups of cooked pasta.
• 3 cups of raw and fresh Purslane leaves
• 2 cups of cut in half cherry tomatoes
• ½ cup of green onion, minced (or shallots)

For Dressing
• Half cup of olive oil
• ¼ cup vinegar
• 1 clove of garlic (or shallot)
• pinch of salt
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon of honey
• 2/3 cup of parsley, chopped
• Prepare the dressing with all the above by whizzing all the above in a food processor or in a blender.

Procedure to be followed
• Add pasta, cherry tomatoes, Purslane and onions in a bowl
• Add the dressing and let it sit for whole night in a fridge.
• Very good to serve in cold.
Additionally you can add cheese, pepperoni or something else which you would prefer in your pasta to make it variable endlessly.

Based on a recipe from Prodigal Gardens

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Thresher's Gatorade

We've just come through an extended period of above average temperatures, complete with below average rain. The trend (the heat part, not the rain part) finally broke last night, after thermometer readings on the farm of 104 deg. 

What to do during a heat wave like this? We can hardly hide in the A/C all day, though it sounds delightful. Our solution is to only call the farm crew for morning hours, when possible and take frequent water and shade breaks.  My problem is that I can only drink so much water before I start feeling like an overfilled water balloon but I am a little horrified at all of the garbage in Gatorade and related sports drinks. After several days of this dilemma, I remembered the research I had done when we first came to the farm on recipes for switchel. For those of you who don't read farm history literature, switchel is basically thresher's gatorade. It was drunk by the crews of hard-working, hard sweating farm-workers as a thirst quencher using the products available at the time.  I figure if it kept them from passing out back then, then it would probably do the same today.  There are lots of refrences and recipes online, so after much tweaking this is what I've been drinking:

Blue Gate Farm Switchel
1/2 gallon cold water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (use Bragg's or other "real" cider vinegar)
1/4 cup molasses, sorghum or honey (I like molasses or sorghum for the nutrients)
1-2 slices fresh or candied ginger

Combine and store in the fridge.
I find this to be far too concentrated to drink as is, so I cut it 1:4 with cool (not cold) water and find it very refreshing...especially when drunk out of a canning jar : )
Go ahead and give it a try!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blue Gate Farm News 7/3/12

In this week’s box:
Basil: asst varieties
Fresh Beans: Bean Mix (Green: Empress  & Yellow: Carson) or Maxibel (green, filet-type)
Green Garlic
Kale Mix or Senposai
Lemon Balm
Pac Choi: “Win-Win”
            and ONE of the following:
Eggplant: Orient Express (long, thin, purple), Summer Squash : Patty Pan (fluted), 8-Ball (round), or Sebring (long, yellow),  Peas(snap or snow), or Broccoli: Packman

For those with the Cheese option: Basil Feta & Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Chevre
For those with the Egg option [full or half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil: Red Rubin, tarragon, savory

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):  Lemon Balm Pesto
Zippy Sesame Beans
 Stir-fried Rice

Precipitation in the past week: 0.00 ”

What’s up on the farm?

Holy moly its hot out there!  This past week it seems like we've spent as much time stopping for water and shade breaks as we've spent working in the field.  The pond is certainly getting lots of attention at the end of the workday from farmers and field crew alike.  In addition to the heat, we are also struggling to keep up with the irrigation needs of the crops, as we missed nearly all the rain that worked its way across the state last week.  It is so dry in parts of the state that we heard one CSA in central Iowa has already shut down for the season due to an inability to irrigate.  A few of our crops are struggling, or finished earlier than we would like, but rest assured, we are nowhere near closing down.  Crops that are finished for the early season include lettuce mix, early potatoes and the last of the peas and maybe the choi.  Those crops will be tilled down and the beds prepared for fall crops, including turnips, cabbages, carrots , Brussels Sprouts and kale.  In spite of the heat, some of the crops look great (thanks to the irrigation lines) including the tomatoes, peppers and beans.  We ate the first little cherry tomatoes last night, sorry, there was only a few of them and we couldn't figure out how to divide 4 tomatoes among 43 boxes.  But know that the tomatoes are looking good, setting fruit and just on the cusp of ripening.  We expect them to start appearing in boxes in the next couple of weeks.  Beans are starting to appear in boxes this week, and we have just enough for everyone to get some. The broccoli is making its first appearance this week in just a few boxes.  The heads are small, and the plants aren't happy with this heat, they would prefer 65° over 100°, but so would we!  We'll do our best to get broccoli into all the boxes in the coming deliveries.  Starting with today's delivery, we will be including basil every other week in all the boxes, so get those pesto recipes ready.  As soon as we have tomatoes available, we will include our favorite new pesto recipe in the newsletter, as it includes tomatoes in the mix.

Our fun discovery of the week was a little ground-nesting sparrow (either a Henslow's or a Lark sparrow) that has decided to nest in Plot VI in the pathway between the Romano beans and Sweet Potatoes.  The crew discovered the nest with three tiny mottled eggs, while weeding and marked it with flags so that we don't accidentally step on it while working in the area.  The mother bird isn't very happy about our appearance in her neighborhood, but doesn't seem to mind the bright orange marker flags that now adorn her "doorstep".

A little detail on your produce this week:
Beans: Fresh beans are an easy "store."  Just leave them in their plastic bag and keep them in the produce drawer.  Can last up to 2 weeks.

Broccoli: Store in its plastic bag in the produce drawer and use in 7-10 days. Before cooking, soak heads in cold salted water to remove any "nature". Then rinse and use in your favorite recipes.

Green Garlic: this was a little experiment that we tried by planting some storage garlic early this spring.  It is just starting to "scape" so you might notice a few of those little treats among the bright green stalks.  Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your produce drawer and use like you would garlic scapes or bulb garlic.  The flavor is so fresh and green that we like to use them in recipes that really highlight the flavor, like pesto or garlic butter.

Lemon Balm: Our lemon balm is going crazy so you reap the rewards.  Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your produce drawer or upright in a glass of water in the refrigerator.  Makes delicious tea (iced or hot) and a pesto-like sauce.  Also delightful with fish or chicken.

Greens (Kale, Senposai, Choi): You know the drill by now, plastic bag, produce drawer.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at 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)

Lemon Balm Pesto
6 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
4 cloves garlic
2 cups tightly-packed lemon-balm leaves
1 cup shelled walnuts (or sunflower seeds)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
pepper and more salt, to taste
Rinse lemon balm well in a bowl of water. Let it soak until needed.
Grate parmesan if needed.
Peel garlic. Set up your food processor with the cutting blade or use a blender. Turn the machine on and drop the garlic in while the blade is turning. Turn off when garlic is minced, after about 10 seconds.
Rinse the lemon balm well and pat dry with towel. Remove leaves and put in food processor or blender. Put walnuts and salt on top of leaves. Process until finely chopped but still a bit rough.
With the machine going, slowly pour in olive oil.
Stop the machine and add parmesan cheese. Process briefly to mix. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, stir pesto into hot cooked pasta or spread on bread or crackers. Eat warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze any extra.
Recipe Source:

Zippy Sesame Beans

1 lb fresh green beans (whole)
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or green garlic)
1 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
¼ c. sesame seeds, toasted

Place beans in a large pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. You don’t want to cook them, they should still crunch, just blanch until bright green. Drain and allow to cool to room temperature or slightly warm. While beans are cooking, mix garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and allow to sit at room temperature until beans are cooled. Place beans in a large bowl and toss with garlic/olive oil mixture. Add vinegar and half of sesame seeds, toss again. Place beans in serving dish and sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds. We like this dish served at room temperature as a salad or as a somewhat messy appetizer, but it is also good served warm or chilled. This is a great party or potluck dish. If you have leftovers, you might want to add another splash of rice vinegar before serving them again, just to liven up the flavor a bit.

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm

2 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups
2 1/2 tbsp.
3 cups
4 oz.
1/4 lb.
1 1/2 tbsp.
long-grain white rice
vegetable oil
eggs, beaten to blend
carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on diagonal, then slivered
thinly sliced bok choy stems and leaves
fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
snow peas, trimmed, slivered
oriental sesame oil
green onions, sliced
Szechuan Salt-Pepper (If you don't have this, you can use regular black pepper.)
For Rice:
Bring 2 1/4 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add rice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff with fork. Transfer to bowl and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil in wok or heavy large skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add eggs and cook until puffed around edge. Using spatula, push cooked egg toward back of pan while tipping pan forward, allowing uncooked egg to flow forward. Continue cooking until eggs are no longer runny but still soft and fluffy. Cut eggs into pieces with edge of spatula and transfer eggs to plate.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in wok over high heat. Add slivered carrots and stir-fry 1 minute. Add sliced bok choy, sliced shiitake mushroom caps and slivered snow peas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir-fry until vegetables just begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add oriental sesame oil and heat mixture, then add cooked rice and stir-fry until heated through. Stir in eggs and sliced green onions. Season rice to taste with Szechuan Salt-Pepper and serve immediately.
Bon Appetit, June 1993

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

BGF News 6/26/12

In this week’s box: 
Beets: Chioggia & Golden
Chard: Bright lights Mix
Hardneck Garlic: Northern White
Head Lettuce: asst.
New Potatoes: Red Gold
            and ONE of the following:
Squash Blossoms, Eggplant: Orient Express (long, thin, purple), Summer Squash : Patty Pan (fluted), 8-Ball (round), or Sebring (long, yellow) or Peas(snap or snow)
For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil (Lemon or Lime), Thyme (German Hardy) & Peppermint

Featured Recipe(s) (see below): Parmesan Crusted Potatoes and Zucchini (or Eggplant)
Chard Wrapped Grilled Mozzarella

Precipitation in the past week:  .6”

What’s up on the farm?

Nice job on remembering your empty boxes this past week, we had almost 100% return rate, which makes our jobs much easier today, thanks!

This past week as the longest days of the summer stretched on, we were seeing lots of fledgling birds around the farm. We've had several families of Bluebirds and Barn Swallows, but this week was the one for little Oriels. We have both Eastern and Orchard Oriels here and the parents are now bringing the young to the jelly feeders outside our kitchen window and feeding them. It's one of our favorite things to watch of the whole season and it's a great way to get rid of the odd little overruns from our jam-making sessions. This week the Oriels are enjoying Gooseberry Jam in their feeders and the young seem to have few complaints except, "MORE!"

The other highlight of our week was the hosting of our "Gang of Four" farming friends. This group includes the farmers from Grinnell Heritage Farm, Genuine Faux Farm, Scattergood Friends School and BGF. For 4 months over the summer we take one day and all go work at one of the farms. This month was at our farm and the group (plus two of our farm crew) harvested ALL of the garlic and got it tied and hung in the barn, then they moved on and pruned ALL of the field tomatoes. By then everyone was hot and dirty, so a swim in the pond followed, then a big family-style dinner featuring foods from all of the farms. It is such a wonderful, knowledgeable, supportive group and we are thrilled to be a part of it!  And thanks to their efforts, the barn is again well protected from the threat of vampires for at least the next several weeks as the thousands of heads of garlic cures.

In addition to the group activities, we also got lots of weeding, hoeing and trellising done this week. Almost across the board, the crops look healthy and promising for upcoming harvests. The winter squash and melons are blooming and the first beans are just starting to appear on several of our bean varieties. The peppers are setting, but not yet coloring as are the tomatoes. We expect that in the next several weeks, the mid-season crops will start rolling in, in earnest and then the boxes will start getting significantly heavier.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Beets with greens: remove your leaves and add them to your chard for storage. Both beet roots and greens store better separated. The leaves can be used with the chard in any greens recipe, the flavor is very similar.

New Potatoes: These have only been cured for about a day, so be sure to store them in their paper bag, loosely folded if you aren't using them right away.

Fresh Garlic: The garlic was just harvested this weekend so is not cured. Fresh garlic needs to be stored in a well-sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator and used within a few weeks.  You will find that it is extra juicy at this stage and we find it particularly tasty. Later this season, we will have cured garlic that can be stored at room temperature.

Eggplant: Eggplant prefers to be kept at about 50° F, which is warmer than most refrigerators and cooler than most kitchen counters.  Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.
Many people like to peel, salt, and drain their eggplant to draw out any bitter flavor; however, bitterness develops only in eggplant that has been stored for a while, so with farm-fresh specimens this is generally not necessary.  Many recipes call for salting in order to make the vegetable less watery and more absorbent—much like draining tofu.  Salting is not an essential step, but it can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish and is well worth the extra effort.  The shape of an eggplant determines how it is best prepared.  Slice a straight, narrow eggplant into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut a rounded, bulbous eggplant into cubes for stews and stir-fries.

Squash Blossoms: Squash blossoms are very perishable.  Arrange them on paper towel lined tray, refrigerate and use within one day.  Blossoms will keep for 1 week at 50ºF (10°C) and 2 to 4 days at 40ºF (4°C).  Chilling injury will occur if held for several days at temperatures below 50ºF (10°C). You can also freeze, can, pickle, or dry squash blossoms.  If cooked, blossoms will store in the freezer for 6 to 8 months.  Open and inspect squash blossoms for insects before using them.  Pull off and discard the green calyxes surrounding the bottom of the blossom.  Clean blossoms by gently swishing them in a bowl of cold water.  Shake them dry.  Trim or snip out the anthers or style.  A few suggested uses for the squash blossoms:  as a garnish raw on crêpes, green salads, fruit salads, soups, and quesadillas; stuff blossoms with rice or minced meat and fry in batter; stuff blossoms with soft cheese, cooked and crumbled sausage, then bread and fry or bake; dip blossoms in a flour and cornstarch batter and fry until brown and crunchy; chop them up and add to quiche.

Summer Squash: Refrigerate unwashed summer squash for up to a week and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at 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)

Parmesan Crusted Potatoes and Zucchini (or eggplant)
Serves 4 for a side -or- 2 for a meal

4 small new potatoes, about 1-1/2 inches in diameter
2 T. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 t. chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 small zucchini (or eggplant), halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Over high heat, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until tender 10-15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and let cool.  Cut potatoes in half.

In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.  Heat until the butter melts.

Meanwhile, sprinkle salt and pepper over the cut sides of the zucchini (or eggplant) and potatoes.

Carefully place vegetables cut side down in the pan with the melted butter. Cook until golden brown, 12-15 minutes.

Pre-heat the broiler.  Line a sheet pan with foil.  Place the vegetables cut side up on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with Parmesan.  Broil until cheese is melted and golden, about 4 minutes.

Recipe Source:

Chard Wrapped Grilled Mozzarella
4 large, whole, outside leaves of swiss chard
8 pieces of mozzarella sliced into 2-inch wide triangles, 1/2-inch thick
8 kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
8 pn fresh thyme)
8 pn red pepper flakes
salt, as needed
olive oil, as needed
4 slices rustic italian bread about 1/2-inch thick

Lay the chard leaves out in front of you. Using the tip of a sharp knife cut on either side of the center vein of all 4 leaves. Discard veins. You should have 8 segments of chard leaves approximately 8"x3".
Put the leaves in a large heat-proof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let the leaves sit about 3 minutes then drain and dry them with paper towels. Take care to keep them intact.
Lay a leaf out flat on the surface in front of you, shiny side down. Place a slice of cheese at the wider end of the leaf. Top that with two halves of kalamata olives, a pinch of thyme, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a few grains of salt.
The next step is just like folding a flag. Fold the leaf over the cheese creating an angle which becomes one side of a triangle. Alternate this fold left and right creating a tight little triangular bundle. Brush the triangle with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle it with a bit more salt. Repeat with the remaining leaves and cheese.
The triangles may be made ahead several hours and kept covered in the refrigerator. Bring them to room temperature before continuing.
To grill: Place the triangles, seam side down, on an outdoor grill over indirect heat. Cook uncovered about 6 minutes, turning once. Make sure the cheese is completely melted by pressing on each one gently with your finger.
While the triangles cook, lightly brush the bread slices with olive oil on both sides. Give one side a light sprinkle of salt. Place them on the grill and toast them on both sides directly over the coals (no flame). Remove them from the grill and cut them in half on an angle.
To serve: Top each piece of toast with a grilled mozzarella triangle. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil.
Recipe Source: