The Sunny Side – Week of 9/7/14

The Sunny Side – Week of 9/7/14

In Thursday’s box you will find:

week 15

  • Red of Tropea onions
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Onions
  • Peppers
  • Swiss Chard
  • Garlic (from our friend Jeff Chapman)

 

 

 

In Sunday’s box you will find:

onions close-up

Cured cippolini onions are cleaned in the greenhouse.

 

  • Lettuce
  • White Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Leeks
  • Frizzy Endive
  • Celery
  • Kohlrabi
  • Carrots

In the Field

After a brief hot spell, it looks like rain and more cold weather are on their way. This must be the beginning of fall! Today and tomorrow, Nick will be picking as many tomatoes as possible to save them from any potentially damaging rains on Tuesday night. Visit the state climatologist’s blog for a rundown of how this summer’s weather compared to past summers, and for insight into what we can expect in the coming months.

In the Kitchen

Storage tips for this week:

  • Tomatoes can be stored on the counter until deep red and slightly soft to the touch.
  • Garlic and Tropea onions can be stored on the counter. Both should keep at least a month.
  • Remove kohlrabi leaves from the bulb and store separately.
  • To clean leeks, slice thinly and submerge in a bowl of cold water. Swish, pour off water, and repeat until the water is no longer dirty.
  • The white onions are cured and can be stored on your kitchen counter for a month, at least.

Cooking tips for this week:

  • Eggplant can be sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds, brushed with olive oil, seasoned, and grilled or baked at 350F until soft. I like to put these slices on sandwiches.
  • Curly endive, or frisse, has a characteristic bitter taste that mellows with cooking. It is often paired with white beans, or added sparingly to green salads. It is high in folate and vitamins K and A. Check out the recipes below for some cooking ideas.
  • Layer sliced tomatoes over a bed of well washed, whole lettuce leaves, and sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt – instant salad!
  • The easiest way to enjoy kohlrabi is to peel, slice, salt, and eat. If you cut up the kohlrabi, make sure you eat it all that day, as it has a tendency to become bitter if cut and stored overnight.
  • You can also peel, steam, and mash kohlrabi, and even mix it with steamed, mashed potatoes!

Recipes

If you’re feeling saucy, try these easy-as-pie tomato sauces – one cooked, and one that doesn’t even require cooking!

Easy No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Cube 4 ripe tomatoes, and tear/cut 1/2 pound of brie (rind removed), mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, or other soft-ish cheese into bite-sized pieces. Cut 1 c. of fresh basil leaves into strips, and combine with cheese and tomatoes, along with 3 garlic cloves (minced or crushed), 1 c. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Marinate at room temperature for two hours, or longer in the fridge, toss with freshly-cooked pasta, and serve immediately. Top with Parmesan or other hard cheese if desired!

Easy Cooked Tomato Sauce

Coarsely chop half of a medium-sized onion, 2 stalks of celery,  and one green pepper. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy pan or pot and sautee onion and pepper over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, skin, core, and chop 4-5 tomatoes (to skin tomatoes: cut an “x” at the bottom of the tomato and drop into boiling water for about 30 seconds. Fish the tomato out, let it cool off, and use a paring knife to remove the skin – I promise it is easy!). Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture, along with 2 cloves of garlic (crushed), 2 tbsp. tomato paste, 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 tsp. dry oregano, and 2 tbsp. fresh basil, cut into strips. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato chunks lose their shape and sauce is at the thickness you desire. Serve over pasta.

Swiss Chard Tart

  • 1-2 lb. Swiss chard, washed and spun dry
  • 4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly grease a shallow 9-inch round baking
    dish with olive oil.
  2. Bring 8 quarts water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.
  3. Chop the Swiss chard, discarding the stems, and add to the boiling water. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the Swiss chard. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool.
  6. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a small bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of Parmigiano and whisk until the ingredients are well-blended. Combine the egg mixture with the cooled chard.
  7. Dust the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Carefully add the Swiss chard and egg mixture to the dish. Dust with the remaining Parmigiano and bread crumbs.
  8. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve hot or room temperature.

Curly Endive and Bean Soup

(from http://www.epicurious.com)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup diced ham (optional)
  • 1 head curly endive, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 15-to 16-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven. Add garlic and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add ham; stir 1 minute. Add endive, broth and beans; simmer until endive wilts and is tender but still bright green, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Greek Potatoes with Curly Endive

(from http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/greek-potatoes-curly-endive-spinach-and-leeks)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 leeks, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1-1/4 lb. small potatoes, halved or quartered
  • salt and pepper
  • 10 oz. spinach
  • 6 oz curly endive leaves, torn
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill or 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  1. Put half the oil into a heavy saucepan and add the leeks and potatoes. Season, add a splash of water, cover and sweat for 20 minutes. Add a bit of water every so often and stir.
  2. Once the potatoes are almost tender, add the spinach, endive and remaining oil and turn gently. Add another splash of water, season, cover and cook until the leaves have wilted—about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the herbs and lemon juice, put into a serving dish and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, if you want.
  4. Mix the garlic into the yogurt and serve with the vegetables.

Potato-Leek Soup

  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 large or 4 smaller leeks, sliced thinly and rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb potatoes, scrubbed, cubed, and peeled (if desired)
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • 1/2 c. milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil. Add onions and leeks and sautee until soft and fragrant. Add potatoes and stock to pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth, stir in milk, half-and-half, or cream, and season with salt and pepper.

Carrot Coins

  • 1 lb. carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

and

  • 1/4 tbsp.dry dill
  • 1/2 c. broth or water

-or-

  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Melt butter in a heavy pan with a lid and add broth or water and salt and pepper to taste. Add carrots, stir, and cover, cooking over low/medium heat until carrots are tender. Add dill and serve! You can swap out the broth and dill for orange juice, brown sugar, and ground ginger and cinnamon for a more sweet/savory taste.

Onions, carrots, celery….how about a nice stew recipe? Follow this link for a rundown of how to make chicken stew. Kohlrabi makes a good stew ingredient, too – lighter than potatoes, but with a similar texture.

 

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