Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CSA Week 9

1 head lettuce
1 bunch chard
1 bunch carrots
green beans
ailsa craig onions
hungarian hot wax pepper
new potatoes
1 bunch herbs

If you are reading this, you are deeply connected to a piece of land, a small crew of farmers and over 70 households spanning from Lyman to Portland.  We have all been eating the same food for the last 9 weeks, sharing in the colors, flavors, abundance and beauty that this bumping growing season has to offer.  Some how you all found yourself to Black Kettle Farm.  When the winter months are lean and dark and it seems like after all the brochures, CSA fairs and Facebook shout outs, really no one is interested in CSA, it’s all just local food blabber, the farm is screwed, and Boo-Hoo all the way around.  Low and behold!  The best people show up, right on time!  YOU!  It is amazing to be feeding such a dynamic and interconnected community of folks this season.  We spritz every bunch of carrots and fluff every head of lettuce with you in mind.  I know each and every one of you and I love thinking about the insanely fabulous dinner party we would have with a hundred percent attendance by the BKF CSA (such an awesome vision I tell ya!). Even if you have not actually met every member of, you kind do know every body.  We all vibrate with the same fresh veggie, sunshine filled positivity.  

Vibrations aside, as the season unfolds, it is clear that even though it is spread out, the community that orbits this farm and gravitates to the CSA is super interconnected from the veggies that we eat to the things that we do and lives that we live.  There has never been a Portland Pick Up without some one running into someone, hugging and freaking out that they are in the same CSA.  Hey, when you’re picking beans in the blazing sun, you start to think about some really (and I mean REALLY) interesting things.

BKF, it’s a family affair!  We have four sets of siblings in the CSA, as well as Shannnon’s mama and family.  I went to college with 5 current members (Ponderosa!  Jokas!  Alan the Post Office Guy!  Who’s with me???)  and there is even a professor from our alma mater who is a part of the farm.  We have a set of landlords and their tenants, a bunch of folks that go to the local Y and are my winter work out buddies, tons of co-workers and office mates, and even a stylist and one of her clients.  Then there’s the owner of my favorite yoga studio, whose classes keep this over farmed spine in alignment, and the greatest mechanic a farm could ask for.  Two of you even share the same birthday, happy belated Arunima and Katie, how’s that for interconnections?  We’ve got teachers, writers, health care providers, artists, world travelers, community activists, musicians, athletes, moms, dads, grannies and glowing, beautiful babies galore! Each and one of you is a veggie lovin’ super star! Kettle Crew, there is no CSA better then you!

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro
Bon Appétit  | September 2008
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped white onions
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup quinoa,* rinsed, drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups water
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.

Carrot, Cilantro, and Chile Slaw
Bon Appétit  | July 2011
1 bunch carrots peeled, julienned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
2 hot peppers, stemmed, seeded, minced
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss carrots, oil, lime juice, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and peppers in a large bowl. Let marinate for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Add cilantro and coriander; toss to evenly incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Braised Eggplant and Tomatoes
1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 olive oil
3-4 tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Place eggplant halves in a 9x9 pan, cut sides up. Sprinkle each half with about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reserve the remaining salt for later use.
In a small skillet over medium heat, saute onions in 2 tablespoons olive oil until translucent, about five minutes. Transfer onions into a small bowl and stir in the tomato, basil, parsley, and remaining salt. Scoop the tomato mixture on top of the eggplant. Pour remaining olive oil into the bottom of the pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes.
Baste eggplant with the liquid in the pan, then re-cover and bake for 15 more minutes. Baste again and bake until eggplants are soft and tender, uncovered, about 20 additional minutes.

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