Monday, August 22, 2011


There was a fine request that some of the content on the blog reflect what we've heard from some of our CSA customers regarding things veg related or CSA related.

Finally!  Some time to meet that request:

Overheard at CSA distributions:

  • There has been some lively trading of produce between persons picking up at the same time.  Sometimes it isn't at all a bad idea to express how much you might like a certain vegetable - it just might fall on the ears of a person who likes them less than you - and may trade for something you don't want as much!  We had two people make a trade because each individual was looking for just enough of X to make recipe Y.  It just so happened their needs matched up nicely.
  • Recipes are frequently shared.  There are a couple at the bottom of this post!
  • Sometimes we get persons who walk up to the distribution tables and aren't sure of what is going on.  Reactions once there is an explanation range from positive comments about how it seems like a good program to anger that they are not allowed to buy what we have.  Happily, most people are supportive.
  • Freezing basil - We tear the leaves off the stem, put them on a cookie sheet and put them in the chest freezer until they are frozen solid.  We then put them in a freezer bag for later use.  A CSA member added this great idea to the process - crush the leaves as you put them in the bags - now they are ready for immediate use when you want them!
  • We've actually had more than one CSA member tell us that they make a game out of trying to use every item that comes to them in the share each week.  And if you win the game - what is your prize?  We think it is the following week's share.....
  • Splitting a share is making sense for several people this year.  In several cases, two families split a large share.  They alternate weeks for pickup and swap weeks if one family or the other is going on vacation, etc.  Much of the produce given to you is of sufficient quality that it can last for two weeks.  Remember - it's not already a week old by the time it gets to you!  So, these families have found a way to make the CSA work for them.
  • Many people are happy with the eggplant.  Some are beginning to grow weary of them.  A few would rather it were the cucumbers going nuts again.  But, last year everyone got a grand total of *ONE* eggplant all season (in October) and *ALOT* of cucumbers.  This year you are getting some cucumbers along with your plethora of eggplant.  I think we'll all take this year's production over last... even if you were hoping for the ridiculous cucumber numbers again this season.
The following was submitted by CSA member Brooke W (thanks Brooke!):
1 1/2 pounds medium golden beets, scrubbed
1 1/2 pounds fingerling or new potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in top and middle. Place beets on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Fold foil around beets and crimp ends to form a packet. Cook beets on sheet on middle rack, 30 minutes.

2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on sheet. After beets have cooked 30 minutes, place potatoes on top rack. Cook 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and sprinkle with walnuts (if using). Cook until walnuts are toasted, potatoes are golden, and beets are tender when pierced with knife, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove beets from foil and let cool. Transfer potatoes and walnuts to a large bowl. Rub beets with a paper towel to remove skin and cut each into 4 to 6 wedges, depending on size. Toss beets with potatoes, walnuts, and chives and season to taste with vinegar. (To store, cover and keep at room temperatures, up to 3 hours). Serves 6.

per serv: 227 cal; 11.3 g fat (1.3 g sat fat); 5.1 g protein; 28.5 g carb; 5.3 g fiber

From "Everyday Food" magazine.

 And this one is from Tara S (thanks Tara!)
Eggplant Spread (Melitzanosalata)

2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound each
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c minced onion
1 medium ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
3 tbs fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
6 pitted black Kalamata oil-cured olives
3 tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450.
Prick eggplants in a few places and put on a square of aluminum foil in pan. Bake about 40 minutes, or until soft. Cool. Remove stems and peel eggplants, scraping any flesh from skin. Remove excess seeds, discard skin, and chop eggplant. Place in bowl. Blend in olive oil and onion well with eggplant. Add chopped tomato. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper, 3 pitted olive, sliced, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate, preferably overnight. Garnish with remaining 3 olives, sliced, and chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread or crackers as an appetizer or over lettuce as salad.

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