I hope you all had a good week. Things are growing well at the farm, and it looks like a truly spectacular weekend of weather ahead of us! The beans and lettuce slowed down a bit with all the heat we've had in the last couple weeks, but they will rebound and the next succession plantings of them aren't far behind. The tomatoes are ripening and the peppers are starting to size up. You get your first dose of cherry tomatoes this week, and it seems like a good time to mention the best ways to store all the different veggies you're getting.
For salad, greens, beets, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, beans, herbs, and peppers, they will do best in your fridge in a plastic bag with a piece of paper towel inside to absorb excess moisture.
Also, remember that those plastic produce bags are reusable if they aren't ripped, and they are recyclable along with other plastic grocery bags at most grocery stores if they are clean and dry. Actually, in an attempt to reduce our usage, if you want to return the plastic produce bags to us that you get your veggies in, we will take them back and reuse them as possible. However, this is only possible if they are clean and dry, so thanks for your help with that.
For tomatoes, eggplant, mature onions, potatoes and winter squash, they will do best at room temperature on your counter. When you start getting the larger tomatoes, it's great to take them out of the box or bag they came in and set them on a dish towel or something to cushion them a bit. The heirloom varieties we grow can't be beat for flavor, but they are tender and easily bruised, so be extra gentle with them. Much of the produce at the grocery store is picked when still hard and unripe, and then ripened in the truck or at the store, so they are able to stand a fair bit of abuse. But the trade off is much less flavor.
We will also reuse the green berry boxes and the pint-size clamshell plastic containers for the tomatoes, so please hang on to them and stick them in your bags when you return them. Thanks for helping us reduce, reuse and recycle!
In Your Bag:
Green & Yellow Beans OR Snow Peas
Here are some recipe ideas to try:
This is a basic form of many of my summer dinners. When produce is plentiful and time is short, a variation of this recipe is a mainstay. Feel free to sub in and out different vegetables. I often used sliced roasted beets, roasted eggplant, roasted or caramelized onions, etc. I will often slice up a bunch of veggies, stick them in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan with a tablespoon of butter, and stick them in the oven for half and hour or longer if needed, then put on top of pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and some grated parmesan or chunks of mozzarella. It's very satisfying.
2) Linguine with Eggplant Ragout
If you have a few eggplant lining up on your counter, try this recipe to use them up in a tasty fashion!
3) Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake
This super healthy and quite tasty dessert recipe was given to us by a member of the CSA.
This is a refreshing summer salad of bulgur wheat, parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, and more, and again it is an easy recipe to sub veggies in and out. I like to use cherry tomatoes and regular onion is fine instead of scallions, as long as they are diced small.
All the best,
for Lucky Moon Farm