Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 11: Zucchini Fritters Take Two

Usually I do the blog on Monday night, but this Monday night my hubby had the urge to cook chicken and s'mores (not all together, thankfully) over an open fire in a windy rain storm.

Seda used the pillow case as a windsock to catch the gusts. Just before
I took this photo it was sleeting :(
After that, it was definitely bed time. So, I decided to do a blog post for breakfast. I hope it wasn't too much trouble for the members to wait an extra 12 hours to find out what will be in the shares this week.

Drumroll please...(Since I left you in suspense, I thought I'd go ahead and make the most of it.)

This week's share will include: Beans, Kale, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Zucchini/Summer Squash, Mini Cabbage OR Brokali, Onions, and Fresh Herbs

We started the onion harvest this week.

Some are going into this week's share and some will be left to cure for winter. Those that are going into the share are not cured, so (unless you keep them in a warm dry place with excellent air circulation for a few weeks) you don't want to keep them sitting around for too long, stick them in the fridge and try to use them within the week.

You can use up one in this week's recipe.

I know that I featured a zucchini fritter recipe this time last year with ingredients that are very similar to the recipe below, but the results are, I think, significantly different. They're both delicious, but while last year's zucchini fritter recipe turned out savory pancakes with chunks of zucchini, the results of this year's recipe are more of a cross between zucchini hash browns and crepes. I think your best best might be to try them both and choose your favorite. 

Zucchini Fritters II

  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini or summer squash, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 1 small onion, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley (from about 5 stems of parsley)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • butter, as need for cooking
Whisk the eggs together until they are light yellow and somewhat fluffy. Whisk in the cake flour, milk, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder one ingredient at a time. Whisk well after each addition to make sure the ingredients are well mixed and the batter stays as fluffy as possible.

Fold in the shredded zucchini and onion and the finely chopped parsley. 

Melt a generous pat of butter in a saute pan over low/medium heat. Place large spoonfuls of zucchini mixture in the pan, be sure to stir well before scooping out each spoonfull because the batter will settle to the bottom of the bowl. Cook each side until the batter starts to turn golden, about 3-5 minutes.

Like this.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Week 10: It's Delicious!

The beans and cucumbers are in big time!

A Bucket of Beans.

Boxes of Cukes.
Mid-August is an awesome time of year for the CSA. For everything but our backs ;)

Scott picking down a row of Dragon's Tongue Beans.
While I pick Royal Burgundy Beans, to match
my watch.
This week's share is all about summer. Members can expect: Beans, Cucumbers, Summer Squash/Zucchini, Tomatoes, Basil, Scallions, Chard, Mini Cabbage, and Brokali OR Kale.

Actually, most members will get brokali. We're pretty sure there is close to enough out there for all 60 shares that are going out this week. We'll use a bit of kale to fill in.

The peak of summer harvest is a somewhat easy time to be a CSA farmer. Most members have very few questions over what to do with basil, beans, or cucumbers. However, we do usually have several folks ask what to do with chard. Which is why I am featuring it in this week's recipe.

As we ate this evening, we debated what this new recipe should be called. When Scott suggested Bean and Rice Lasagna with Swiss chard I mentioned that as I was putting it together Seda had asked if I was making vegetable cake (I made it in a cake pan), at which point Seda said "Whatever it's called, it's delicious!" And so it was named.


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 15 ounce cans of no salt added beans, drained (I used one can pinto and one can kidney) OR 3 cups pre-cooked beans of your choosing
  • 1 1/2 cups high quality salsa, separated (I used a low sodium corn and black bean salsa--I really don't like it when food is too salty!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 to 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil OR coconut oil
  • 1 bunch chard
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used monteray jack)
  • 1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, over medium/high heat, combine the rice, water, beans, 1 cup of the salsa (reserve the other half cup for later in the recipe), garlic and cumin. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the saucepan. Simmer until the rice is completely cooked, about 45 minutes.

In the meantime, separate the chard stems and leaves. Chop the stems into small (about 1/4-1/2 inch wide) pieces and place in one bowl. Chop the leaves roughly and place them in another bowl. Slice the scallions into 1/4 inch pieces and combine them with the chard stems.

Heat the olive or coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and chard stems. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chard stems are just starting to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and remaining half cup of salsa. Stir well until the chard is evenly coated in salsa and has begun to wilt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chard is tender, about 15 minutes.

Once the rice and chard are both done, layer them into a 9x9 (or there abouts) baking dish thusly: First put half the rice and bean mixture on the bottom of the pan, then add all of the chard mixture, sprinkle half the shredded cheese over the chard, layer on the remaining rice and beans, add a layer of sliced tomatoes, sprinkle on the remaining shredded cheese. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

I knew there was no way I was going to make this plate of food look
pretty, so I went for a spooky skull face instead. See how the chard
leaf in the center kind of looks like a nasal cavity? Bon appetit!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week Nine: A Beautiful Day with Choices

Perhaps I am a bit biased or something, but it was an absurdly beautiful day at the farm today.

I mean, look at these!

The tractor looked like candy.
The birds danced with the trees.
And sunshine turned cabbage leaves to stained glass.
Hopefully, this week's share captures something of that loveliness for the members. This week includes several choices, which always makes for a fun (or surprisingly stressful for some indecisive folks!) pick-up. 

Members can expect: Mini Cabbage, Zucchini/Summer Squash, Thai Basil, Scallions, Tomatoes, Head Lettuce, Kale OR Chard, Frisee OR Radicchio, and Purslane OR Brokali OR Fava Beans. 

Usually we try to keep the choices similar, as in kale or chard, but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. This week our small planting of favas is producing nicely, but it isn't quite enough for everyone (and we know from years past that not everyone wants them...) while at the same time our second two varieties of cutting broccoli are just getting started and our purslane patch didn't recover quickly from last week's heavy picking. Members have some real decisions to make :)

So, because I know you'll all be stressed from all that difficult choosing, I made this week's recipe extra simple.

 Halibut with Thai Basil

We were fortunate enough to have some wild caught halibut gifted to us by a generous fisherman who works on a trail crew in Alaska, but this recipe would work equally well with any mild fish, or even chicken.
  • 1/2 bunch Kale or Chard, stems removed
  • 3 large stems Thai Basil, leaves and flowers only
  • One bunch Scallions
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • One Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • About 1 pound Halibut Fillets
  • Salt to taste
Finely chop the kale or chard, Thai Basil leaves and flowers, and scallions. Toss them together in a bowl with the lemon juice and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat. While the pan is heating, salt the flesh side of the halibut fillets lightly.

Once the pan is hot, place the fillets flesh side down in the pan. Sear until the surface of the fish is just golden and the fillets begin to release from the pan, about one minute.

Carefully turn the fillets over so they are skin side down in the pan (they are very delicate at this point) and turn the heat to low.

Spoon the basil mixture over the fish, cover the pan and cook over low heat until the flesh is white throughout but still juicy, 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 8: An Unexpected Salad

I know I said salad season was over. 

And it is if you think of salads as requiring lettuce, but we still have a few luscious leafy things to harvest this season.

Like Frisee
And Purslane
And these leafy things make a delectable summer salad.

Before I get too far into this week's share description, I should mention that the share includes plenty of non-salad items too. Along with the frisee and purslane, this week's share will include: Snow Peas, Basil, Kale, Cabbage, Tomatoes, and Peppers OR Eggplant.

But back to the frisee and purslane.

Frisee should be familiar to members by now. We have grown it for several years and it was in the shares last week. It's an endive, a bitter green, which makes many folks apprehensive, but it needn't be a source of stress. Bitter flavors can be overpowering, but they can also be delicious when paired with equally assertive sour, sweet, salty, and/or creamy flavors, as in this week's salad recipe.

Purslane is a newcomer to the shares, at least this cultivated variety is. Nevertheless, some of you may recognize it as a garden weed. It is a common weed, originally introduced to North America as a vegetable that escaped cultivation. It has a mucilaginous texture (think okra), a mild flavor, and high level of omega-3s. The entire plant, stem and all, is eaten raw or cooked. It's also featured in this week's recipe.

Frisee Salad with Purslane and Nectarine

  • 1 Head Frisee Endive, chopped roughly
  • 1 Handful Purslane, chopped roughly
  • 2 Nectarines, 1.5 chopped into bite sized pieces, remaining half reserved
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
Toss together the chopped frisee, purslane, chopped nectarine, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Prepare dressing by pureeing the reserved nectarine half, sour cream, lemon juice, maple syrup and salt together.

A very grown up Fruit Salad