Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CSA Newsletter #7

Week 7
July 23 and 24

1 head lettuce
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch Joi Choi
1 pound new red potatoes
cippolini onions
cilantro or dill

I whole heartedly love this week’s share.  There, I said it. I love the variety, the gorgeous colors, and all the potential meals and flavor combinations that can happen from this harvest.  We are getting into the heart of the season and it has not been an easy one, with the options of sweat pouring down your face and heat based confusion or rain pants pulled up to your arms pits and a big ol’ muddy slosh fest in the field.  I know the ins and outs of all the BKF veggies and it is a major ordeal to make it all happen, but with bumping harvests like these and a hustling crew in real challenging conditions, I am oh so proud of the farm. Here’s some back story on your food......
Cippolini Onions! These are my absolute favorites, they are so special, delicious and fleeting.  These babies were seeded way back in March(that is 4 months ago people, 4 of ‘em) and have been trimmed,nurtured, hand weeded and scrubbed up to make it onto your plates.
Carrots!  Nothing makes we happier then a big ‘ol carrot haul.  Everybody loves a sweet, fresh carrot.  They are never in the trade basket and I never have to explain to any one what to do with them.  Lots of thinning, lots of weeding, lots of waiting, lots of rain during today’s harvest to make these bunches happen.
New Potatoes!  Make the exception to your carb free, paleo diet and boil these babies super briefly to perfection, roll ‘em around with salt, your favorite herb, some fresh onions, a shot of vinegar and call it good!  Maine may be potato country, but the soil at BKF always struggles to pump out a bumper crop of them.  We do our best; hill, ward off disease, give positive feedback and squish tons of bugs to get theses spuds to you.  Enjoy these summer classics.
Tomatoes!  Think back to those frumpy, pale days in February and give thanks for the fact that the earth moves ‘round the sun and we make it this time of year.  I know that you are all local food savvy, so you are just as thrilled as I am to have tomatoes right now.  Newsflash!  This is really early in the season to have tomatoes in Maine.  It is all thanks to our buddies at the National Resource and Conservation Services (NRCS) who partially funded the farm’s 30 by 100 foot unheated greenhouse structure called a high tunnel.  The thought of eating tomatoes right now, during such a rainy July would have been unheard this time last year.  Back then, the farm was granted the funding, but had to front the money for the project to get paid back upon completion, as well as build it, while still farming and dealing and running around.  So, during the fading light of the fall of 2012, the high tunnel was built by Shannon, Samantha and I.  It weathered the many storms of this past winter, and was a pristine open canvas for experimenting with the agricultural art of manipulating the growing environment and tinkering with the plants to extend the season, and increase yields, but never compromise flavor or beauty.  No small feat.  Report back from the tunnel, is after all the pruning and trellising and monitoring and loving it is a straight up Tomato Jungle in there!  Plants above our heads, fruit bending branches, happy, healthy plants galore!  Total reality, without the tunnel and all this rainy weather, we would not be eating tomatoes for weeks and weeks.
Stay tuned for beans and sweet peppers on the harvest horizon!  Yahoo!

Sour Cream, Cucumber Salad with Mustard Seeds
3 Cucumbers, washed and unpeeled
Fine table salt
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
4 large shallots, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sour cream
1 small handful fresh dill, chopped fine
Freshly ground black pepper

Chop the cucumbers in half longwise, then into thin half-moons. Layer in a medium-sized bowl, sprinkling each layer lightly with salt. Put two small plates on top then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook, shaking the pan, until the mustard seeds pop just a bit. This should take no more than a minute or two. Take the skillet off the heat and 
Put the cucumbers into a large colander and drain any excess water. Pat lightly with a kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as you can.
pour the seeds into a plate to cool.

Toss the cucumber slices with the shallots, sour cream, and chopped dill. Mix in the cooled mustard seeds. Taste and season with black pepper. You can serve this immediately, or refrigerate it for up to a day before serving.

Cold Sesame Noodles with Summer Vegetables
Bon Appétit  | July 2012
by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chili sauce)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
8 cups matchstick-size pieces mixed summer vegetables (such as carrots, radishes, cucumbers)
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
8 ounces buckwheat soba (Japanese-style noodles) or vermicelli noodles
1 cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems
1 onion, thinly sliced 
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
Whisk first four ingredients in a large bowl. Add vegetables; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain. Run noodles under cold water to cool them; drain well and add to bowl with vegetables. Add cilantro and onions season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle sesame seeds over and serve.
********This is so yummy!  Customize it........add tamari,miso,tahini,  peanut butter, a bit of maple syrup or lemon juice to the sauce!  You can do no wrong with fresh veggies, herbs and noodles!

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