Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 10 CSA - Another Season Shift is Heading Our Way

The week 10 share will include Tomatoes, Eggplant or Peppers (a few shares may have tomatillos instead), Carrots, Zucchini/Summer Squash, Cucumbers or Wax Beans, Onions, Sorrel, Mint, Basil, and Escarole.

Sounds like summer is in full swing for us, no?

Before I get into what can be done with this week's share, I want to say a few things (or actually I want to show a few things) about some of the fall items that are on their way for the members.

We have winter squash:

Spaghetti Squash. A good size but still ivory. By frost it will have
ripened to a pale yellow. The recipe I will share when these are ready
is Scott's favorite dish I make.
The spaghetties are pretty abundant.
Emerald Bush Buttercup. These are not quite as prolific as the spaghetties, but
we have a few very nice fruits coming on.
Honey Bear Acorn Squash. These small acorn squash are, again, not quite as
productive as the spaghetties, but it looks like we'll have at least one for everybody.
We've also been experimenting with melons this year, and it appears that we may be successful. We're trying two small short season melon varieties, gold flower water melons, and jenny lind muskmelons. We planted only a few of each because we were not sure how they would come out. They have been doing so well that we hope to have a half a melon for each member this year - though we may be being overly optimistic. Even if they don't end up in the shares this year, you can be sure we will plant enough for the shares next year.
A couple of our gold flowers. Full size (just over a foot long) but not quite ripe yet.
One of our jenny linds, just starting to net up. We cannot wait to taste a
ripe one.
Now, back from the future vegetables to talk about this week's share.

Escarole may be new to some of you.

Escarole in the field this evening, awaiting tomorrow's harvest...
It looks lettuce-y, so don't be fooled. It's another bitter Italian green. Though it can be used in a salad (if you want to go that route, try something similar to the radicchio and raspberry salad I posted a few weeks ago - the sorrel would be a nice addition as well) it is most often eaten braised. It can be used in place of the radicchio in the eggplant recipe posted for the week eight share, braised in a more traditional Italian way, as in this recipe, or, my favorite, braised with apples as in this recipe.

Though sorrel isn't new to you, this is the first week we have included it in the shares without any lettuce and we know that many of you used the early season sorrel mainly as a salad ingredient.

Sorrel, without the rest of the salad...
For those of you that are not sure what to do with sorrel when there isn't any lettuce to pair it with I am including an extremely simple sorrel recipe that Scott came up with several years ago. It showcases the flavor of sorrel a bit better than the mac and cheese recipe I posted in the first share while still only requiring a small quantity of leaves.

Chicken with Sorrel Mint Sauce

This is a recipe we make pretty frequently, especially in the early summer, but it's also a recipe that we have never really written down. The ingredients are few and the method is simple so I am going to give you a skeleton set of instructions. Let me know if you need any clarification.

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of sorrel, stems removed and leaves chopped finely
  • handful of mint, stems removed and leaves chopped finely
  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over both sides of the chicken.
  3. Add the chicken to the frying pan and brown on both sides.
  4. Turn the heat to low, add the sorrel and mint to the chicken.
  5. Stir the greens with the oil and pan juices until it is moist.
  6. Cover the pan. Cook, stirring the greens frequently, until the sorrel has softened to a sauce-like consistency and the chicken is cooked through.

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