Newsletter July 10th, 2013

Take a moment to stop and view the rainbow chard.

Take a moment to stop and view the rainbow chard.

Hello! It is hot hot hot today! It was a long week full of weeding and prepping for the summer months. July marks the ending of the cool weather crops and the beginning of the summer season! I am looking forward to switching to boxes soon, as the shares fill out with the more bulky fruits that ripen in later July and August. I don’t know about you, but I could stand to see some carrots, tomatoes, and peppers on my plate! I noticed some small zucchini on the vines during harvest today, so they will be coming soon! And once the zucchini start, they don’t stop till it frosts!

This week, we have a few new items, which I will highlight below.

Basil

basil
The basil has grown up enough for a small harvest. To me, the scent of basil is the essence of summer. Honestly, sometimes I pick it just to keep it in a vase on the table, to pinch whenever I go by for the aroma. Basil is a fragile herb, and will store only a short time in the fridge, and slightly longer in water like cut flowers. It’s a good thing that basil is usually used fresh in recipes. Some of my favorite things to do with basil:

  • Add a few leaves to a sandwich, especially if it has mozzarella or smoked turkey on it. Or, if you’re the vegan/veggie kind, a thick slab of avocado with arugula.
  • Chop them with tomatoes and some red onions for a rustic bruschetta on slabs of crusty bread. (tomatoes coming soon!!)
  • Make Basil Pesto, one of Basil’s most popular uses. Variations of this are used in cultures around the world. I will make up big batches of pesto and freeze it spread out on wax paper on cookie sheets. Once frozen, it breaks into manageable pieces to store in a freezer bag, ready to pop out any time of year to add to pasta, eggs, as a spread on a sandwich, etc. Put it in everything!
  • Stuff some leaves in a pitcher with a squeeze of lemon and cold water for a refreshing, healthy (and cheap) flavored water. This is a real treat on a hot summer day.
  • Put it in a mojito instead of mint. YUMM.
  • Add it to pasta sauces or add to stir-fries, pastas, etc, at the end of the cooking process.
  • Basically, you can use it in anything and it’s always delicious.

    Swiss Chard

    A handful of chard

    A handful of chard

    I use Swiss chard interchangeably with other cooking greens like kale, turnip greens, beets greens, etc. Chard has a distinctive earthy flavor, however, that differs from the sharpness of brassicas. Chard is related to beets. In fact, they are the same plant, just bred for the leaves instead of the roots. The thick stems are edible as well as the leaves. Just chop them up and add them to your dish a few minutes earlier than the leafy parts. The easiest way to eat it is just saute it up. Here is a simple recipe. We eat chard or kale sauteed like this almost every morning with breakfast…a great way to enjoy a serving of greens.
    Here is a great collection of chard recipes, for you to peruse.

    French Breakfast Radishes

    french bfast2
    You have had radishes in your share before, these are just a different variety. French Breakfast radishes are fancy and should be used in fancy dishes. Like this fancy toast, perfect for a picnic in the countryside. Or like in this (super pretentious) omelet recipe. For a simpler use, try sauteing them in butter, or just chopped in salads.

    Hope you enjoy! Eat lots of salad!

    This Week’s Produce


    • Arugula
    • Hakurai Turnips
    • French Breakfast Radishes
    • Salad Mix
    • Swiss Chard
    • Kale
    • Oregano
    • Dill
    • Chives
    • Basil

    Recipes


    Basil Pesto Vegetarian
    Margherita Pizza Vegetarian
    Lemon Basil Shrimp Pasta
    Grilled eggplant & Basil Vinaigrette Vegan, GF
    Vegan Basil Cornbread Vegan, GF
    Quinoa Salad with Basil Vegan, GF
    Sauteed Swiss ChardVegan, GF
    Chard and Feta Tart Vegetarian
    Radish & Avocado Toast Vegan
    Radish and Leek Omelet Vegetarian, GF
    Buttered Radishes Vegetarian, GF

    Farm Tasks


    Transplant more cabbage
    Weed
    Finish Tomato trellis
    Prune tomatoes