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CSA Box TEN

Posted 7/31/2014 10:25am by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

Hooray double digits! We can't believe we are already in our 10th week of the CSA, the summer is really flying! We received a deluge of much needed water on Monday morning, so some newly transplanted crops got a drink and the soil has enough moisture for us to start seeding some cover crops, fall turnips, and cool weather fast growing crops like arugula, radishes, and cilantro. For the next little bit, however, you will be experiencing truly summer boxes. onions, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. even a taste of organic sweet corn this week!

Box 10:

Celery. If you are a true celery diehard you may enjoy celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese on our celery, but mostly this celery is about adding flavor to cooked dishes. If you are making any chowders or soups or stews or braised meats or stir fries, this celery is the perfect base. I made a delicious potato salad the other day using finely diced celery and red onion with some lemon juice, mustard, and mayo tossed with leftover new potatoes that had been boiled and mashed with a little butter and parsley the night before.  You could also make a cream of celery soup, using potatoes to give it body, and chicken stock and a little cream for richness. You can even chop the leaves as a fresh herb, add them to your stockpot, or bunch and hang upside down out of the sun to dry. When crinkly dry, crumble into an airtight container and use all winter to season soups and whatnot. You could also blend the dried celery fine with kosher salt to make your own celery salt (Chicago’s secret ingredient to a great hot dog)

Torpedo Onions. Torpedo Onions are the small, purplish, elongated onions you will find in the quart container. This is a fresh onion with sweet flavor and tender flesh. It's often mistaken for a large shallot and indeed you can use it in a similar way - diced up fine for a salad dressing.  You'll notice sets of translucent purple and white colored rings once you peel or cut the onion. Because of it's sweet flavor, you can definitely enjoy this raw. They are also great to sautee or roast with some veggies!

Purple Potatoes. I guess purple is the color of the week! Here are some more purple items in your mystery box. Purple potatoes are usually dry, starchy, and earthy - you might notice a hint of a nutty flavor. These extra nutritious potatoes contain the antioxidant anthocyanin which boosts your immune system and is good for cancer prevention. Just like any other potato, purple potatoes can be roasted, boiled, baked, and fried. They pair well with poultry, savory herbs, and cheeses. Last night one of our incredibly hardworking field crew guys, Dan, pan fried onions, thin sliced potatoes and once they were tener threw in some cheese and a couple eggs to make it a complete meal. Add some chopped parsley and you have the perfect one dish meal with endless variations possible.

1 zucchini, 1 summer squash.

2 bell peppers, 1 cubanelle pepper. The cubanelle pepper is the lighter green elongated pepper you found in your box. It is known for it's sweet and mild taste. It also has a thinner flesh compared to the bell peppers. They are great cooked or raw. Slice it up to add to a salad or a salsa. I've also seen a lot of recipes out there for making stuffed cubanelle peppers. Bell peppers have more of a crunchy texture, but are great for all the same uses! They are so nutritious, too! Bell pepper slices are great in bread and butter pickles . . . . 

Parsley. I just can't get enough of this parsley. There are so many different uses for it! You can use it in a marinade, add it to homemade (or store-bought) hummus, add it to salad dressing, use it on potatoes (in any form), add to salsa, store it, dry it out, etc! Get creative and discover your favorite way to use this delicious and nutritious parsley.

3 heads of lettuce. 

1 red tomato, 1 heirloom. You'll find two varieties of tomatoes in your box this week- one heirloom and one red tomato. And they sure are delicious! Slice them up for your sandwich, to top a salad, or just as an afternoon snack. Our little guy Graham has been loving tomato and cheese to go with his lunch! He also loves helping to pick the cherry tomatoes in the green house. We're getting more and more each day so you can expect more soon!

4 ears of corn.  This corn is probably much much smaller than what you'd find in a grocery store. This variety is an organic seed variety called Spring Treat - its main feature is earliness not enormous size or super enhanced sugary explosions. We know that we're not a big corn farm, so this is just a treat! Hope you enjoy it! If you have more than four people at the table and corn on the cob is not a good idea try making a red onion, corn cut off the cob, and diced tomato salad - dress with some balsamic and olive oil, finish with basil or parsley and some fresh grilled croutons if you want to follow in Al Forno's footsteps :)

4 Cucumbers. And the cucumbers continue! What a year it's been for cucumbers - this is our best yield in 6 years. Yesterday we had our annual "Pickle Party" which consisted of enlisting any workers, babysitters, friends, or relatives who happened to walk by the kitchen to join the fun! Through our day-long process, we turned hundreds of pounds of cucumbers into tasty bread and butter pickles. It was a long process, but it sure is worth having homemade pickles for the rest of the year. We hope everyone is enjoying this years harvest as much as we are! If you are starting to feel all cucumbered out, remember to enjoy them now before they are gone! I added lots of new cucumber recipes to the website today - so make sure to browse the recipe page. Don't forget to go there regularly and search by veggie.

Thanks for coming along during our fabulous veggie journey. Tune up and tune in for tomatoes very soon!!!