Category Archives: Basil

Newsletter – August 7, 2017

Dear Friends of the farm,

This week you are getting red potatoes, red onions, garlic, carrots, squash, lemon cucumbers, eggplant, purple peppers, green beans, basil, and tomatoes. Sounds like ratatouille or eggplant parmesan to me!!!

Fruit: Sierra Rich peaches are heading your way! A beautiful peach and one of the best tasting too!!

Produce Tips: It has been cool lately, but that does not mean it will stay that way. The hot days are wonderful for all the crops on the farm but can be hard on your produce shares. This means that your bags may have wilted produce. When we take cool showers we feel very refreshed. You may need to give your produce a cold water bath to refresh them too. Since the produce is so fresh, it will hydrate within a few hours to overnight. Don’t forget! Do not throw dirt down your sink; it will clog up your pipes. I wash my produce into a large metal bowl and discard the water outside!

Eggplant do not like to be cold or hot, which makes storing them a little difficult. If your house is warm inside, store them in a dark cool cupboard or if the house is really warm; wrap in plastic wrap & store in the fridge. If your house is cool, store them on the counter and use within five days. The best thing to do is to use them just as soon as you can! They are not bitter because they are so fresh. Therefore, you do not need to sweat them. Remember, they take on the flavor of whatever is cooked with them. That is why they are so delicious in tomato based Italian dishes!

Carrots/beans/squash/cucumbers: Carrots should be washed, dried and stored in a plastic bag. It is best not to wash your beans, cucumbers or squash until you are ready to use them. Beans I place in a cloth bag and I throw my squash, cucumbers and beans into the crisper drawer.

Potatoes: Store the potatoes and onions, unwashed, in a paper bag or a cardboard box or they will start to rot immediately. Potatoes need air because they generate their own heat.

I love, love, love to grill these babies! I simply cut them to bite size, sprinkle with salt and pepper, (add butter if you love it) and double wrap in foil and place on grill. My family will scarf down my garlic cheese potatoes. I boil 6 to 8 potatoes with garlic (1 clove per 2 potatoes) with half an onion (preferably white) with salt and pepper. Drain and mash, shred cheddar cheese (around one cup) and stir in just enough to mix, stopping before cheese starts to melt. Serve while hot!

Cooking classes: One of our longtime members, Mary Rogers, is offering a weeklong program to help home cooks learn to make healthy meals more easily. She’ll be sharing new and interesting ways to use our produce, how to get comfortable using vegetables plentifully, and her KitchenSmart System to take the struggle out of meal making. Mary has been teaching about healthy meal making for 25 years and has even taught a couple classes for members here at the farm that everyone really enjoyed. She loves sharing her skills and knowledge with others, especially fellow CSA members, which is why she is offering you a $50 discount off the registration fee. classes.cookhappylivehealthy.org

Squash Pappardelle with Pesto
adapted from Prevention Magazine 2017

Shave 2 or 3 summer squash into ribbons with a potato peeler; place uncooked in a bowl.

Pesto Sauce
2 Tb grated Pecorino Romano
2 Tb pine nuts
½ tsp salt and black pepper
Process sauce until smooth.
1 cup basil
Pour over squash & toss
¼ cup olive oil
Add extra cheese if desired!

Green Drink with Basil

I got a VitaMix some months back after drinking a (very expensive) glass of ‘Kale Aid’ at True Foods Kitchen in Denver. The Kale Aid was delicious, and I figured I could replicate it at home. What I didn’t count on was the texture of celery in a regular blender – not so nice. In came the VitaMix. Continue reading

What I Made This Week: Eggplant and Green Bean Stir-Fry

The eggplant this year has been glorious!  I keep seeing pictures all over Facebook of friends and pages that I follow with gorgeous purple orbs – sometimes coming out of their ears!

I really like eggplant.  It’s not my favorite food or anything, but since becoming a member with the Monroe’s I have learned a few tricks on preparing it that I think makes it really delicious.

This week I used one of our eggplants and lots of last week’s green beans to make a delicious stir-fry.

I based the recipe on this one, the only real difference is that I used sliced, seeded eggplant instead of the steak.  It was a hit.

First I peeled and sliced the eggplant.  Then I used a spoon to scrape out the majority of the seeds.  You lose some flesh when you do this, but the seeds are where the bitterness is in the eggplant.

You have to work pretty quickly with eggplant, and just sort of accept that it is going to oxidize (turn brown).  But I have noticed that the striped ones we’ve been getting seem to oxidize more slowly that the other varieties.

I finished the stir-fry by adding a good big handful of the cinnamon-basil from this week’s share, and serving it with coconut rice.

Eggplant and Green Bean Stir-Fry with Coconut Rice

Prepare the coconut rice:  to 1-¼ cups jasmine rice add one can of coconut milk plus 1 cup of water to a sauce pan.  Cover, bring to a boil,and reduce the heat to steam the rice for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 more minutes. 

For the Stir-Fry:
2 tsp vegetable or safflower oil
1 large eggplant, peeled, seeded and sliced into bite-size pieces.
1 pound of green beans, trimmed
3-4 TBS minced, peeled ginger  (you can used powdered in a pinch, but fresh tastes much better)
4-5 small or 3 big (Monroe size) cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
2 TBS fish sauce or soy sauce
1 cup fresh basil, leaves only

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  add the eggplant and the green beans, along with the ginger and garlic.  Saute for 5-6 minutes until the green beans start to turn bright green and are still crisp-tender.  Add fish sauce and basil, and continue to saute for another 1-2 minutes.  Serve with coconut rice.

What did you make this week?

________________________________________________________
Anisa has been a member with the Monroe’s since 2008 as both a working member and a non-working member. She and her family enjoy a full share.  Read more from Anisa at The Lazy Homesteader.