Dear CSA Member,
On the farm this week we will be harvesting the first rounds of cherry tomatoes. We have been finding a few ripe heirloom tomatoes on the vine as well, so you should be seeing some of those in your share soon.
In this week’s share you will find:
- Lettuce Heads
- Cherry tomatoes
- Shell peas and Snap peas
We had a lot of questions about how to deal with artichokes at the farmers market this past weekend, so I’m including some basic tips on how to prepare them and a second sheet that provides more details.
First rinse the artichoke in cold water, then cut off about ¾ inches of the top of the artichoke. Next trim the stem and remove any small leaves at the bottom. The little thorns – if present- can be trimmed from the petals with kitchen scissors if you like, but they will soften with the steaming so it is not completely necessary.
Steam the artichokes until they are tender, anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on their size. You can tell it is done when the outer leaves are easliy pulled off. You can also add a slice of lemon or a garlic clove or a bay leaf to the steaming water if you want too add some flavor.
After steaming, I like to cut them in half and grill them the same way as in the grilled fennel recipe from week 2.
We are also including a large amount of basil in the share this week. Below is a recipe for pesto. Pesto can be made with basil or a combination of any of the herbs we include. Cilantro pesto is incredible. Liz at the Herdic House is making arugula pesto this week with our arugula.
Pesto is incredibly versatile once it is made. Eat it on pasta, bread, meat or vegetables. Have it with crackers and cheese. Or water it down a little bit and it is an excellent salad dressing.
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed(or sub parsley, cilantro, arugula ect.)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese(optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts(optional)
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until they are ground into a paste.