As we turn the corner and head into summer with temperatures hitting the high 90’s we transition out of our leafy green season and start harvesting our heat tolerant crops such as peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, and more. We are pulling out the remainder of our carrots and potatoes from the ground and storing them in our refrigerated storage unit so we can continue to sell them through the summer season. Unfortunately the sweet corn that we predicted to be ready for our CSA shares this week is taking it’s “sweet” time but not to worry, we should have plenty for our members next week. Enjoy the last of the seasons delicate baby red radishes and grown in straw- strawberries along with beans, rainbow carrots, celery, shishito peppers, eggplant and purple basil.
Shishito Peppers (Wednesday and Thursday Members)- Pepper roulette anyone?? Shishito peppers are the smaller green peppers in your share. They are generally pretty mild but every once in a while you will get one that will knock your socks off and there is no way to know until it’s too late. These peppers are commonly served “blistered” sautéed in hot oil in a frying pan over medium, tossing and turning them frequently until they blister. Serve them up as a quick little appetizer, sprinkled with a little coarse ground sea salt and one of your favorite dipping sauces.
Here’s how to blister your peppers: Heat a little olive oil in a wide sauté pan until it is good and hot but not smoking. Add the peppers and cook them over medium, tossing and turning them frequently until they blister. They shouldn’t char except in places. Don’t rush. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook a pan full of peppers. When they’re done, toss them with sea salt and add a squeeze of fresh lemon. Slide the peppers into a bowl and serve them hot. You pick them up by the stem end and eat the whole thing, minus the stem, that is.
Carmen Peppers or Corno Del Toro peppers (Saturday Members)- an Italian favorite, these long, tapered, bull-horn shaped green peppers are sweet and spicy enjoy them sliced up and sautéed in a veggie stir fry. Larger peppers can be stuffed with your favorite meat, cheese and spice medley and grilled for a truly tasty treat!
Japanese Eggplant- This member of the nightshade family is not only tasty, it’s a low calorie vegetable with only 20 calories per cup. Eggplant is valued for the variety of ways it can be cooked, and Japanese eggplant is even more versatile because it has a much thinner skin and is practically seedless. The sponginess of its fleshy inside drinks in seasonings like soy sauce, miso and ginger. This particular variety is long and slender unlike the traditional oval shaped variety. Try it grilled, stir-fried or baked in thin slices. Tip: “Leave the skin on this vegetable because it will add fiber to your diet, causing you to remain full for longer periods of time while regulating your digestive system,” according to Tracy Lockwood, a registered dietitian at F-Factor Nutrition. Look over some of these recipes below for inspiration…
Purple Basil- This hybrid basil variety has a slightly stronger anise flavor than the common green sweet basil. The dark opal color of the leaves intensifies with maturity, although variegated green leaves are considered normal. Enjoy this fragrant basil in floral arrangements, as a colorful addition to a salad, or infuse it in some vinegar, the dark color leaches into the vinegar, leaving it a beautiful shade of burgundy. It may also be infused in some olive oil however, I have yet to try it so I am not sure if it retains the purple hue. Store it like you would regular basil, In a jar or cup of water on your counter out of the sun. If it starts to look a little sad trim its ends and put it in freshwater.
Strawberries- Enjoy them because It’s the last week of strawberries. I know I said that a few weeks ago but we had a sudden growth spurt and the plants decided to keep on producing berries. We would like to say one last thank you to our CSA members and friends of the farm who came out to help put these plants in the ground last fall. It was because of them that we were able to provide berries for the one of the longest strawberry producing years on record at Frog Song. Coincidence? I think not, It’s pure LOVE and SUPPORT!
Rainbow Carrots – All of the carrots are coming out of the ground this week. We say goodbye to the lush green carrot tops but carrots are here to stay. We will continue to sell these colorful carrots because of our refrigerated storage units which allow us to preserve these beautiful tasty carrots and continue to sell them throughout the summer season, when it is too hot for anything else to grow, along with out potatoes and cured onions. Give them a good wash and store them in a jar full of water, this will keep them crisp, fresh and readily available for quick snacking. You may even add some herbs like rosemary, dill or garlic to give them some added flavor.
Red Radish- Enjoy these little baby red radishes and their leafy green tops. The hot weather does a number on the greens so we may have a few radishes in the coming weeks but these are the last of the greens. Eat them in salads or sauté them with some garlic and olive oil for a quick side dish but make sure to give them a good wash before you do.
- Till Next Week- Shani