Ahhhhh don't you just love these lingering days of summer? Ha! Can't you hear my voice dripping with sarcasm? Dripping as heavily as the rain is off the eaves of the house at the moment. So much for thinking that a weather forecast with 30% chance of rain wouldn't amount to much. Today was spent scurrying around covering everything with tarps (or the Oregon state flag as one friend calls the ubiquitous blue tarp). Our ton of storage onions should still be snug and dry.. the problem is our potatoes which we have been storing in the ground. Now with the ground thoroughly soaked the taters we have grown for eating are going to start either sending up sprouts and growing or rotting. So guess what we will be spending our next few days doing? yep! digging spuds and trying to save those beauties for the CSA.
The downpour has also wreaked havoc on our tomato harvest this week. Our tomatoes are on a strict watering regime (normally!) They are only given an hour of water a week through a drip tape at their roots. Too much water and the fruits will not be near as sweet and also they will start to crack as the water is absorbed into the fruit. With the great, soaking drench we've had today there is a guarantee that you will be getting some split tomatoes in your shares. Just remember your tomatoes have had a very long rain water bath and are even cleaner than normal so a few cracks should not prevent you from enjoying them.. they will just need to be enjoyed asap!
But fear not because this Sunday will be a beautiful day! We hope you will spend your Sunday afternoon with us from 2-6pm for the potluck! Don't worry..we won't force anyone to dig potatoes either! We will have a garlic planting party in October though and then we would love the help. But this Sunday will be devoted to eating, talking, walking the fields & listening to great music from the friends of Big Lick Farm! We hope to see you here! Directions will be sent out to each of you. If you have not received directions please email us!
This Week's Harvest Includes:
Arugula! (check out the recipe for arugula pesto below!)
Easter Egg Radishes
Yellow Crookneck Squash and a new variety we were requested to grow from fellow CSA members called Tromboncini.. a beautiful summer squash. You will now it when you see it! Treat as you would any summer squash.
Sungold/White Cherry and Black Cherry Tomatoes
Ambrosia Melon!!! Yummmy.. a sweet, fragrant cantaloupe.
Sweet Corn (new variety we've never grown) open pollinated which we wanted to grow because it means we could save the seed if we want to. Let us know what you think of it.
Yellow Sweet Onion and Red Torpedo Onion
Sweet Peppers (finally!)
How to Store it and Cook it!
Hooray for sweet peppers! The lipstick peppers in your basket this week are smaller than bell peppers but sweeter.
Store peppers for short-term use by refrigerating them in the crisper drawer of your fridge. To ensure good air flow, remove peppers from any plastic bag. With proper refrigeration, a healthy pepper should last from three to five days in the refrigerator.
Store peppers for up to a month by freezing them. Frozen properly peppers should retain good flavor and color for a month. Wash, core and seed fresh peppers to get them ready for freezing. They can be frozen either whole or sliced.
For longer storage:
Store peppers for long periods by blanching and then freezing them. Blanching will ensure good color and flavor retention. Place washed, cored and seeded peppers in boiling water for two to three minutes, and then freeze them. They may be frozen whole, halved, sliced or chopped.
A good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and potassium, red peppers are higher in vitamin A and vitamin C than green peppers.
Add the sweet crunch of Lipstick peppers to all types of salads. Chopped, grated or sliced in rings, add flavor to casseroles, pasta dishes, egg dishes and pizza. Stuff with rice, cheese, meat.
Creamy Corn Soup with Roasted Red-Pepper Sauce
* Active time:35 min
* Start to finish:35 min
ADAPTED FROM DIANE CARLSON, THE CONSCIOUS GOURMET CULINARY RETREAT, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, AND ANNEMARIE COLBIN
Don’t be turned off because this soup is actually good for you. The secret to the silky texture of this soup is oatmeal. Rolled oats have their own starch and give body and creaminess when blended, adding extra fiber to your diet as well.
For red-pepper sauce
* 2 red bell peppers (1 lb total)
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
* 4 ears of corn
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 5 cups water
* 1/4 cup rolled oats
* 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
Roast peppers for sauce:
Roast peppers on racks of gas burners on high, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened all over, 10 to 12 minutes. (Or broil peppers on rack of a broiler pan 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.) Transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
Make soup while peppers roast and stand:
Cut kernels off cobs, then scrape cobs with knife to extract “milk.”
Cook onion in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add corn with its “milk,” water, oats, and sea salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
Finish red-pepper sauce while soup simmers:
Peel peppers (do not rinse), then halve lengthwise, discarding stems and seeds.
Purée peppers in a blender with oil, lemon juice, hot sauce, sea salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with hot sauce and salt, then transfer to a bowl.
Purée soup in 2 to 3 batches in cleaned blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl if desired. Reheat soup if necessary, then season with salt.
Serve soup drizzled with some red-pepper sauce and serve remaining sauce on the side or reserve for another use.
Cooks’ note: Soup and sauce keep separately, covered and chilled, 3 days.
Arugula Ideas: Store your arugula in a plastic bag in fridge. Try to use within 5 days.
Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon
4 large ears of corn
2 cups of chopped arugula (about one bunch)
4 strips of bacon, cooked, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Cook the corn ears, in their husks, either on the grill for a smokey flavor, or by steaming in a large covered stock pot with an inch of boiling water at the bottom of the pot, for 12-15 minutes. Let the corn cool (can run under cold water to speed up the cooling), remove the husks and silk. I recommend cooking the corn in the husks for the added flavor that the husks impart. If you boil or steam the corn ears after you've already husked them, or if you cook them in the microwave, reduce the cooking time by a few minutes.
2 To remove the kernels from the cobs, stand a corn cob vertically over a large, shallow bowl. Use a sharp knife to make long, downward strokes, removing the kernels from the cob, as you work your way around the cob.
3 In a medium sized bowl, mix together the corn, chopped arugula, bacon, and onions. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and cumin. Mix dressing into salad just before serving. Taste and add more vinegar if necessary to balance the sweetness of the corn.
* 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
* 1/2 cup of walnuts
* 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
* 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
1 Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
2 Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.
3a Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.
3b Mortar and pestle method (photo pictures pesto produced this way): Combine the nuts and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.
Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.
4 Mix with freshly prepared pasta of your choice*. You may need to add a little bit of water or more olive oil to mix the pesto more evenly with the pasta.
Makes enough pesto sauce for an ample serving of pasta for four people.