Sorry this is delayed. I tried to post it earlier in the week but wordpress was acting funny on me. Here it is:
This week on the farm we continue to seed crops for winter, prepare next year’s growing fields, and are still pulling onions to cure.
In your share you will find:
- Salad Mix
- Paste Tomatoes
- Heirloom Tomato
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Peppers
- Sweet Corn
- Shell Beans
This is the time of year when it is such a pleasure to cook because the ingredients are so inspiring and beautiful. The shell beans included in your share are fresh or just barely dried. There are a few different varieties—Calypso, Tiger Eye, Hutterite Soup Bean, and Cannelini. They are not meant to be eaten whole, but shelled for the dry bean inside. It is a lot of work for a very small amount of food, but the result is beautiful and delicious.
We are including a recipe for fresh shell beans and a recipe for beets. The varieties of beets are Touchstone Gold and Chioggia. There may be a few red beets too, but the other two varieties do not dye your hands and everything else that loud beet red. And the Chioggia are candy striped on the inside!
We are also including cards for another incredible local business—Awesome Cupcakes!
Sarah Fedchak is a young mom who bakes delicious and beautiful cupcakes. They are the kind of cupcake that I dream about making for my friends and family. Unfortunately, my baking creations never quite come together the way I want and typically fall apart on the plate or look like a three year old baked them. Luckily, Sarah has been generous enough to trade us cupcakes for produce because farmers need cupcakes too! Now I can serve truly awesome cupcakes to our friends (giving her full credit of course!) and have my cupcake ideal fully realized. You can check out Sarah’s card in your box for more information.
Our next two recipes come from the New York Times. We made something very similar to this first one a few nights ago and it was a fantastic.
Pasta With Shell Beans and Tomatoes
This is a very comforting pasta. I like to use large shells or tubes, which catch the beans and sauce.
1 to 1 1/4 pounds shell beans (about 1 3/4 to 2 cups)(we used a handful of shell beans)
1 small onion, halved
7 cups water
4 large garlic cloves, 2 crushed, 2 minced
A bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each of parsley and thyme, a sprig of sage, a Parmesan rind and a bay leaf
Salt to taste
2 pounds tomatoes(we used about a quart)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sugar(optional)
1 large basil sprig, plus a handful of fresh basil leaves, slivered(try sage)
3/4 pound pasta, preferably large shells or tubes, or bow ties
Freshly grated Parmesan for serving
1. Combine the beans, onion, water, the crushed garlic cloves, bouquet garni and salt to taste in a heavy saucepan or soup pot, and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 45 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Taste and adjust salt. Remove and discard the onion, the bouquet garni and the garlic cloves. Drain though a colander set over a bowl.
2. While the beans are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop in the tomatoes. Blanch for 30 seconds, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain, core and peel. Cut the tomatoes in half. Place a strainer over a bowl, and squeeze the seeds out of the tomatoes into the strainer. Press the seed pods against the strainer to extract as much juice as you can, and then discard the seeds. Chop the tomatoes.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the minced garlic. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and add the tomatoes, sugar, the basil sprig and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down to a thick sauce and smell fragrant, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in 1/2 cup of the bean broth and mix together. Stir in the beans. Keep warm while you cook the pasta.
4. Bring the water back to a boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook al dente, until firm to the bite, following the timing instructions on the package. (Check the pasta a minute or two before the end of the suggested cooking time.) Drain the pasta and toss with the beans, tomatoes, and slivered basil. Serve with Parmesan on the side.
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: You can make the sauce several hours before cooking the pasta and serving. Thin out with bean broth or pasta cooking water if desired. The cooked beans will keep for three days in the refrigerator.
Grated Raw Beet Salad
1/2 pound beets
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon minced chives, mint or parsley (or a combination) (or sage!)
Salt to taste
Leaves of 1 romaine heart (salad mix)
1. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler, and grate in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade.
2. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with the beets and herbs. Season to taste with salt. Line a salad bowl or platter with romaine lettuce leaves, top with the grated beets and serve.
Yield: Serves four.
Advance preparation: The grated beets can be dressed and kept in the refrigerator, covered well, for a couple of days. They become more tender but don’t lose their texture, and the mixture becomes even sweeter as the beet juices mingle with the citrus. Toss again before serving.
Next week we are hoping to include: Salad mix, tomatoes, carrots, parsley, maybe a melon if they’re ready, and plenty of other things.