July 11 - What's in the box
Artisan Lettuce, Collards, Dandelions, Zucchini, Eggplant, Cucumber, Cauliflower, Fresh Garlic, Fresh Onion, HERBS, Local Hudson Valley Farms (IPM/Not organic) FRUIT and Greenhouse Tomatoes
Greetings from the Hudson Valley. Welcome back for those who have been with us and Welcome to the Farm Share program if you are first time! This is an unusual share because not all boxes are going to have the same thing. I’m not sure if you can imagine our delight and, quite frankly, excitement to see the one of our crops come in. We seed them, plant them, and it seems like a miracle when they arrive into the packinghouse the first time. This is the case this week for our Chinese Eggplant and Cukes. And today we picked our first Cherry Tomatoes and Cauliflower. At the time of this writing we are not sure if we will have enough but some of you will get some. We will make sure you have a good value and a variety that will allow you to create tasty dishes.
Chinese Eggplant This are fast and easy to cook eggplant. If you heat a small amount of oil (even though EVO tastes great, it is not the best choice for high heat cooking) in the pan, cut the eggplant in half and sear it. If the heat is hot the eggplant will not absorb the oil. Season with salt for the simplest of preparations, which is actually a nice way to enjoy the flavor. You will be getting eggplant often during the summer because we have lots of varieties, so you will have plenty of time to make Baba ganoush!
Cukes: You might be getting a traditional American slicer or a pickling cuke. Eating raw Cucumbers is by far the most nutritious way to enjoy this refreshing superfood. Eat them as an on-the-go snack, chop them up for a light salad, or slice up and dip them in your favorite spreads – it's hard to beat the refreshing crunch of a raw Cucumber. Because you have flowering dill, it is a sure thing that you should incorporate it in your dressing.
Dandelion adds a punchy bitterness to salads when raw. If you add them to your salad, chop them fine. Raw dandelion greens are also packed with iron and are a good source of prebiotics. As mentioned, try blanching if you want to take some of the bitterness out of them. They season nicely with EVO, onion, garlic, dash lemon – add parmesan/white beans.
Artisan Lettuce: We grow 28 varieties of lettuce and they have been selected over many years looking for both tasty and colorful varieties. It is likely that you get a red and green. We have been picking frisee so if it is frilly and pretty green then that what you got. Lately I have been “seasoning” my olive oil with Lemon (squeeze juice into and put lemon slices in the olive oil) and it makes a simple dressing (adding herbs/crushed garlic is desirable, and this dressing can also be used to sauté your greens.
Zucchini: Baked, roasted, fried, sautéed, seared, steamed, or baked in a bread! This veggie is mild-flavored and can be enjoyed so many ways. The summer is long and there are hundreds of recipes for zucchini! This is a veg that we will be sending most weeks. We have 8 different varieties so there will be variations…but it is considered a summer staple. Try it with your morning eggs. It likes pairing with garlic, basil, and tomato, too.
Cauliflower: I’ve been roasting cauliflower and really enjoying it. I rub the cut pieces with seasoned EVO (shallot, garlic, basil goes well). Or just lightly to the same by sautéing. Don’t overcook. You might get our pretty baby-sized purple ones.
Collards: Normally I’m a fan of lightly cooking veggies, but this is one green that can be cooked and seasoned in the southern soul tradition. It changes the flavor, slightly sweeter and with all the seasoning it is delicious. Also, blanching collards does help tenderize them and keep their color. After blanching (for 1-2 minutes), collards can be enjoyed lightly sautéed with your own seasoning.
HUDSON VALLEY GROWN (IPM / not organic) FRUIT: We are excited to share with you from our farming friends a taste of Hudson Valley Fruit. We were able to get fresh raspberries from Wilco. And our cousin Mark picked the cherries. Not enough to make a meal, but enough to enjoy the flavor and taste of the Hudson Valley. Until our tomatoes come in (and they will be here soon!!!...we are providing tomatoes from Chris’s Greenhouse, a young farmer who Amy works with. Hopefully this will be the last share with Greenhouse as our tomatoes are coming!
Seasonings: We started harvesting fresh onions. They are not cured and should be used soon. Same with the fresh Garlic. You can use this garlic as you would regular garlic. The Shallots chopped finer than onions and sautéed golden brown can be added and in combination with any of the herbs to create a unique seasoning. Flowering Dill –Dill adds a note of light freshness and flavor to many dishes (and of course your cukes). Traditional/Italian Basil will make a delicious pesto. Basil loves EVO, garlic and will provide a soft flavoring to your greens, and salad. Homemade pesto is not difficult to make and is good to have on hand for seasoning in addition to lathering it on toast with cheese! Note: Basil does not like cold temp, cut stem bottle and put in water until you are ready to use. Oregano is essential in Italian cooking and oregano seasoned EVO with lemon can be used in your salad or used with any of the veggies in this share.
Note about cooking greens: . If you find your greens have wilted, wash them (let them drink) and put them in the fridge. They will be fine. Blanching Greens takes some of the bitterness out, softens them up, and helps retain color and vitamins and it is a must if you are freezing your greens. Blanch greens in a large pot of boiling salted water. Time varies from 15 seconds (tender greens) to 2 minutes (kale/collards), then drain and cool with cold water Also, stems of your greens can be prepared in lots of ways, but for your Collards they should be blanched and cooked well. Stems of collards are fibrous and need to be cooked longer. They can be seasoned and added back into your collard dish or eaten as a side, in pasta, etc.
Sometimes we will have to make last minute substitutions so the list may not be 100% correct. We look forward to growing for you and thank you for supporting local Hudson Valley farms!