July 29 - What's in the box
After the note in your box was written, our packers selected EITHER Escarole OR Romaine Lettuce. So you have either/or. Also, you did not get Boston you got Romaine lettuce instead.
Escarole, Bunched Beets Sweet Pepper, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Lettuce, Cucumber, Shallots, HERBS. Local Hudson Valley Farms (IPM/Not organic) CORN
SUMMERTIME VEGGIES…and so much to share. Sending our bounty to you is work of pleasure. We know it is going right from our farm to your home! We genuinely appreciate your support of local agriculture and we will work hard to make each box an adventure. If you think you don’t have time to use all your herbs and veggies, try freezing them. Many of your veggies can be mixed and seasoned and grilled/roasted together.
Escarole The last time we picked Escarole for you, I mentioned a preparation using dill and it was well-received. Dill has a way of brightening up a dish. Also a trick if you want to reduce the bitterness, is to blanch this traditional Italian green (place in slated boiling water for 1 minute) and then proceed to your preparation if you are cooking it. Escarole is bitter. So if you are eating it raw, slice it really thin it will add crunchy texture and diverse flavor to your salad. The traditional dish of sautéed (in EVO) escarole with browned garlic and white beans over pasta is a delicious!
Sweet Purple Pepper These pretty peppers are always a delight to see coming in from the field and add great color to your dish. Cut into small pieces they will brighten your salad or your roasted veggie dish. Purple bells have a milder flavor than other bells (Green/Red).
Beets: Much to my surprise, I found out many people who don’t like beets is because they were eating canned beets. No wonder! It is very nutritious, earthy sweet veggie that can be enjoyed in many ways. If you aren’t going juice it and eat raw, boiling the entire beet for 30 minutes (until tender) with skin on (to keep the color from bleeding into the water keep a little of the stems on…my mother added a little vinegar to the water for the same purpose). Please enjoy the healthy greens, prepared as you would swiss chard or spinach. I like to cook the beets, cut them in cubes then sauté with the greens, add a touch of vinegar and serve with warm with cold cottage cheese or with burrata. Perfect summer dish!
Summer Squash: The color is yellow today Probably Straightneck, but maybe striped yellow, zephyr or pattypan. Yellow summer squash has a pleasant mild nutty flavor. It has more water content than green zucchini so if you are pan steaming or microwaving, use very little water just to get it going. Browned garlic with a touch of basil makes a simple delicious dish. I must admit, I prefer my yellow summer sautéed with butter, unless I am sautéing with tomatoes and then it is EVO.
Eggplant: The bright lavender Italian eggplant is often called Neon but this particular variety is called Dancer. The flavor is mild, non-bitter and can be used however you cook Italian eggplant. If you are pan frying, please have the oil hot in the pan when you put the eggplant in so it doesn’t absorb the oil. Roasting eggplant until soft is the beginning of many dishes that can be seasoned differently (Indian, Italian) and spread on bread.
Cauliflower: We might not have enough cauliflower for everyone today. 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 do the same by sautéing. Do not overcook. A delicious serving of cauliflower soup using potatoes (for a vegan version) and cream. Although I like rosemary in this preparation, selecting any of the herbs will make a tasty dish.
Lettuce: We have selected Boston lettuce, a mild sweet green lettuce that just seems right for these hot summer days. The pretty leaves also make a nice bed and edible garnish for your cuke or other summer salads (tuna, macaroni, potato, chicken, egg, etc.)
Cucumber. You will be getting one of our Asian Cukes. Asian cukes are “burpless”, sweet, crispy and bitter-free. It has recently come to my attention that people are bothered by the gas that American slicers give them. This should not be a problem with Asian cukes. You might get a unique white type called Itachi, or a long ribbed prickly green one called Suyo Long. We couldn’t resist picking flowering dill again to season them.
Heirloom “CHEF” Tomatoes: Heirloom tomatoes are old-varieties that have made a comeback because of their flavor. Commercial farmers stopped growing them years ago because they had so may “flaws” and did not ship well because they are not firm. However, the consumer still demands “perfect” heirlooms which can be less than 50% of the crop so what do to with the other 50% when they are perfectly delicious but have surface scaring…Well chefs love them because we sell them for ½ the price and today we are sharing them with you. I highly suggest you try the red Shiso in your share as seasoning, it goes supremely well with tomatoes.
HUDSON VALLEY GROWN (IPM / not organic) CORN and maybe Fruit: There are not many stone fruits in the Hudson Valley this year because we had a freeze during blossom/fruit set. Today you might get red plums. Please let them stay out in room temperature they will sweeting and soften up and be so juicy and delicious. The fresh handpicked corn is from Saunderskill Farm, 11th generation farmers, who we have had great relations with for many generations. We love their corn and it will often be included in your share this summer. Corn can be used in many side dishes (flavor to polenta, with seasoning and other chopped veggies served as the bed to your fish dish, chopped in your salad, you will love corn pancakes, in soup etc. Enjoy every kernel.
Seasonings: HOT PEPPER!! We know this is not for everyone, but so many of us love chili that we include them. A little bit chopped can be added to almost any dish. We wrap them in cellophane so they can be handled separately. Today you will get Jalapeno that have characteristic scarring called corking. In Mexico this is a sign of a good Jalapeno. GARLIC: These are our cured German Hardneck garlic. I hope you can appreciate the difference from what is normally found in the supermarket. 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 (Cabbage, Cukes, Potatoes all pair with dill). SHISO Red shiso is a Japanese herb. You can sub it in recipes that call for basil or mint. It is so darn good with tomatoes! It also seasons butter if you eat butter on toast or use as seasoned butter in sautéing your veggies. CHIVES – have your kitchen scissors ready – I can put chives in almost anything! Love them in omelet, salad, garnish/season on top of soup, and in any “seasoning” that I create as a base to my veggie dishes.