Farms Early Winter Harvest Box 2007: Week 6
Week 1: 1 # Tomatoes, 1 or 2 Baby Bok Choy, 1
Onion (from Groundwork Organics), 1 bu Carrots (Groundwork Organics),
Butterball Potatoes, 1 Ripe Sweet Pepper, 1 Delicata squash, 1 clam
or Strawberries, 3# Liberty Apples (from LaMancha Ranch & Orchard)
box: 1 bunch Arugula, 1
bunch Collards, 2# Yellow carrots (Groundwork Organics), 1.5# Broccoli,
2 "Keeper" Onions (from Persephone Farm), 1 Butternut squash, 3#
Butterball Potatoes, 3# mixed Rome and Cameo Apples (from Gala Springs
Orchard), 3# Asian Pears (from Gala Springs Orchard)
Need recipe ideas for Arugula or Asian Pears? Check out
www.cookinglight.com for lots of ideas.
This week's onion selection from Persephone Farm is
a "keeper" onion. Keeper onions are distinguished from "sweet" onions
both by their good storage qualities and also by their stronger flavor.
All the previous onions in your boxes have been sweet onions, which are
milder and can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. Most people use keeper
onions for cooking.
Collards are a very versatile
green, with a distinctive flavor. I found the following recipe at the
suggestion of Albany box member, Jan.
Greens in Peanut Sauce (From Simply in Season by Mary Beth Lind and
1 medium onion (chopped) & 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
In a large soup pot sauté in 1 Tbs. oil.
1 medium tomato (diced; optional)
Add and simmer 2-4 minutes.
1/2 tsp ground coriander, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp salt or to
taste, 1/8 tsp ground clove (or 11/2 tsp curry powder)
Add, cook, and stir 2 minutes.
1 bunch collards or kale & 1/2 cup water
Add and steam until greens are soft but not mush.
Stir occasionally to coat greens with the spices.
2-3 Tablespoons chunky peanut butter or almond butter & 1-2 tsp.
Combine and add to greens at end of cooking time.
Butternut Squash: Here's
my favorite Butternut Squash Soup recipe.
1. Peel and cube 1 medium butternut squash. (Peeling is optional. It
will be pureed later. )
2. Cook for 25 minutes in 5 cups of water or stock.
3. Sauté 1 large chopped onion and 1 tsp dried thyme in 2 Tbs
oil. Add to squash.
4. Cool and puree the squash and onions.
5. Melt 4 Tbs butter. Stir in 1/4 cup flour and cook 2 minutes. Add 3/4
cup cream (or non-dairy milk)
6. Add flour & cream mixture to soup. Add 1 tsp salt, & 1/2 tsp
7. Simmer 15 minutes, stir to prevent sticking.
8. Garnish with 1/2 cup sliced and toasted almonds and black pepper to
Carrots come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Our favorite variety is
the sweet crunchy orange variety that you have been getting nearly
every week. However, for something different, we're including yellow
carrots this week. They are not quite as sweet as the orange variety,
but they make delicious roasted carrots. You can combine carrots and
potatoes in a roasting pan with a bit of olive oil and salt for an easy
Apples: Cameo and Rome
Cameos are a great apple for fresh eating. They are similar to
the Gala apple, but have better texture and keep longer. Rome Apples
(darker red skin, rounder shape, and pink blush on the flesh) are at
their best cooked into applesauce or apple pie. Our kids really like
applesauce from Rome apples-it's pink.
Farms Early Winter Harvest Box 2007: Week 5
Week 5: 1 bunch Mizuna, 2# carrots (Groundwork
Organics), 1 bunch Beets, 2
Peppers (one colored, one green), 2 Sweet Red Onions (from Persephone
Spahgetti Squash, 4 or 5 Persimmons, 3# Desiree Potatoes, 3# Liberty
LaMancha Ranch and Orchard)
What a welcome relief to wake up
calm weather this morning! We were fortunate during the storm to only
few of our cold frames. The plastic cover can whip like a sail and
steel frame supports. It’s humbling to see the power of the wind. Today
looking out my office window onto the neighbors grass seed field that
become a lake since Saturday.
Freezing is not only a great way
preserve persimmons for later eating, but it makes a delicious
dessert. Once your persimmons have
become soft, you can freeze them whole. When you’re ready for a sweet
thaw just enough to eat with a spoon. It’s like instant sorbet. Thanks to Julia
for this idea.
Other new persimmon ideas: use
firm Fuyu persimmons as a sweet
element in a sweet-sour stir fry…chunks of persimmon, water chestnuts,
ginger, soy sauce stir-fried in peanut oil with your choice of protein
Potatoes have fallen out of
favor in recent years, I think due to
the popularity of Lo-Carb diets. Historically, however, potatoes have
quite important in parts of the world. When Tom was in college in the
mid-1970’s per capita potato consumption in many European countries was
pounds per day. Here’s an
interesting nutritional note: If you got all your
food calories from potatoes, you would also consume adequate protein
vitamins except vitamin A and B12. But you would have to eat 12
pounds per day! Here’s a recipe that is particularly good
with today’s Desiree
Elizabeth’s Simple Potato Salad
chop ½ a sweet onion, place in
onion with good olive oil and vinegar (I
use about 1/3 cup olive
oil & 3 Tbs vinegar. A mix of vinegars is good—try 2 Tbs mild rice
or cider vinegar and 1 Tbs flavorful Balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, or
2 lbs. red potatoes into bite-sized chunks.
water, add 1 tsp. salt. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
and add to onions. Stir gently. Cool 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt,
more oil or vinegar as needed. Serve warm. <>
I was given a
recipe for Lasagna by a market customer (from Relish magazine). I really like
the recipe introduction, so I will repeat it here, as it is relevant to
spaghetti squash. “Lasagna is the
ultimate any time food—perfect for a party, a
potluck or an evening at home. It is also a dish that lends itself to
inexhaustible tweaking. Almost anything goes.” Spaghetti squash
is really nice
in lasagna. First, bake the squash whole (350 degrees for about an
open it and scoop out the seeds. Try mixing cooked spaghetti squash
ricotta cheese layer of your lasagna, and cooking as usual for lasagna.
squash also pairs well with cheese. It is less sweet than other winter
squashes, and the long spaghetti-like strings keep a nice texture mixed
melted cheese. Try warm spaghetti squash mixed with grated jalapeno
sharp cheddar cheese. Greens tip of the week: chop Mizuna finely and
handful to your bowl before adding hot, brothy soup.
return any empty tubs that you may have. Our on-farm supply is
the week of your final box (next week for many of you), please bring
boxes and transfer your produce, leaving the box. Or bring the box back
pick-up site before the following Tuesday. Thank you!
Farms Early Winter Harvest Box
2007: Week 4
Week 4: 1 bunch Kale, 2# carrots (Groundwork Organics),
2 Fennel, 1 Gold Bell pepper, 1 Gold Italian Pepper, 3# Butterball
Sweet Onions (from Persephone Farm), 1 Delicata Squash, 4 Fuyu
Persimmons, 3# Cameo Apples (from Gala Springs)
Mystery greens in
Perhaps you noticed a bunch of greens in last week’s
box that wasn’t mentioned in the What’s
the box list? Here’s what I should have said last week: Tat Soy
lovely stir-fry green. Tat Soy
cooks quickly, so don’t overcook it. Or try it as
a wilted salad with a hot sweet & sour vinaigrette dressing. The
dressing cooks the Tat Soy
just enough, leaving it still a little crunchy. I
generally put the stems into a long-cooking soup or stew.
Fennel is one of my
favorite vegetables. It is in the same botanical family as celery,
parsley, cumin, and other aromatic vegetables grown for their edible
stalks, or seeds. It’s aroma and flavor are reminiscent of anise or
and it can be enjoyed both raw and cooked. It’s flavor becomes more
Preparing Fennel: Cut the leaf stalks from the bulb,
then slice the bulb thinly lengthwise or crosswise. The bulb part is
people eat, and what most recipes refer to when the call for fennel.
use the stalks as you would celery, avoiding the stringier outer
using them in soup stock. The frilly leaves are edible and make a nice
for potato salad or roasted vegetables.
Cooking with Fennel:
Slice 2 fennel bulbs into ½ inch thick slices. Arrange in a
Poke 2 cloves of sliced garlic amongst the fennel. Crumble ½ cup
blue cheese on
top. Cover and bake 20–30 minutes at 375 degrees.
Souped: Fennel works
well in either a pureed soup or a chunky vegetable soup. It is
nice (and adds a very subtle flavor) in a pureed carrot or potato soup
Last week, I noticed that carrots and potatoes
are starting to
accumulate in the trade boxes at some sites. I will assume that is
carrots and potatoes are starting to pile up in some of your kitchens?
is a great way to cook any root vegetables, particularly carrots and
When I was in Ohio visiting my parents earlier this month, I found the
following recipe stuck on my mother’s refrigerator. Here’s a new twist
standard roasted root recipe:
Sweet & Sour Winter Vegetables
cups raw diced root vegetables
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
rosemary Salt & Pepper
2 Tbs Maple syrup
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
chicken or vegetable broth
Toss Roots with oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
Roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, stirring once or twice until
vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, combine syrup, vinegar, and broth.
vigorously for 5 minutes to reduce volume. When vegetables are tender,
the syrup-vinegar mixture over the roots and bake 5 more minutes.
didn’t get last week’s box, please check last week’s newsletter (below)
for information about persimmons. Briefly, these are fuyu persimmons,
be eaten when firm—but I think they’re best when they are starting to
and are about as soft as a ripe peach.
Farms Early Winter Harvest Box
2007: Week 3
1 bunch Arugula, 1 bunch Tat
Soy, 2# carrots (Groundwork Organics), 1 Butternut Squash, 2 Green
Peppers, 3# Fingerling Potatoes, 2# Sweet Potatoes, 4 Fuyu Persimmons,
3# Asian Pears ( from Gala Springs)
Twenty years ago arugula was virtually unknown, used
more as a mysterious flavor in some of the most chic restaurants in the
country. Now we have people asking for it every week at the Farmers
Markets, and some people even seem addicted to its unique and spicy
flavor. Some food cultures have been appreciating arugula for a long
time. Years ago, Tom had an Iranian friend who planted some in his
winter garden, along with cress and parsley for greens through the
winter. If you enjoy the strong, peppery flavor of raw arugula, it
makes a fine salad—I suggest the following
(from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville):
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ cup olive oil.
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl, then
gradually whisk in the oil. With it’s strong flavor, arugula combines
well with flavorful cheeses. For a complete arugula salad, I would add
olives and crumbled goat cheese. For arugula sandwiches, layer arugula
leaves with slices of sharp cheddar on your favorite sandwich bread.
Tom prefers his arugula mellowed by a bit of cooking. As with many of
the stronger flavored greens, cooking (or even just warming enough to
wilt the greens) will make the flavors more mellow. Chef Intaba at
Fireworks restaurant in Corvallis places arugula leaves on each plate
before serving the entrée. The arugula gets slightly wilted by
the heat of the entrée. At home, we will put a handful of finely
chopped arugula into a bowl of brothy soup at the table. Or, arugula
can be substituted for basil in your favorite pesto recipe.
There are two major types of persimmons in the
world, Astringent persimmons (like Hachiya types and our native North
American persimmons) must be very soft before they are eaten, or else
the water-soluble tannins in the flesh will make your mouth pucker.
Non-astringent persimmons (like the Fuyu-types in today’s box) are
usually eaten while still firm. I think they are best when they give
slightly to pressure—you’re looking for the same softness as a ripe
peach or mango. If the persimmons in your box have the hardness of an
apple, you might consider adding them to your Thanksgiving centerpiece,
and checking them every few days until they are starting to soften. We
like to eat persimmons as a dessert fruit when they have the softness
and texture of a ripe mango. We cut the persimmon like an apple, remove
the tiny center core, and cut into about six wedges. They can be peeled
if you wish. Persimmons can also be used in place of mangoes if you
have a recipe for mango salsa, and I really like persimmon chunks in my
morning oats. If you lose track of your persimmons and find them next
week, they may be as soft as jelly (the way you would prefer Hachiya
persimmons). In this state, you can spoon out the soft, sweet pulp and
it as a lovely topping for vanilla ice cream or waffles.
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Denison Farms Early Winter Harvest Box
2007: Week 2
Week 2: 2# carrots (Groundwork Organics), 1
bunch radishes, 1 Celery (Groundwork Organics), 3# Desiree potatoes (a
red potato in Europe—good for soups and stews), 1 sweet pepper, 3
basket cherry tomatoes or raspberries, 1 Sunshine squash, 3# Cameo
is a lot like Gala, but crisper and tangier, says Shane Baker from Gala
grower of these apples)
In the fall, our natural sweet
cravings may shift from
the fruits of summer to the rich, sweet “fruits” of autumn—the winter
I’m currently reading a new book by Barbara Kingsolver (Animal,
Miracle) in which she chronicles her 12-month commitment to eat ONLY
food. She has a really funny chapter about winter squashes. In the
local paper featured an entire page of winter squash recipes—all of
for “1 can (15 oz) pumpkin.” Kingsolver
jokes that every shopping list will have “1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin: for
1 giant winter squash: for doorstop”.
What a shame if we have forgotten the ease with which these
delicacies can be turned into bread, muffins, pies, and soups! If you
favorite or family recipe that calls for 1 (15 oz.) can of pumpkin, I
it will be better if you use fresh cooked, sweet, local winter squash.
Substitute 2 cups of cooked, mashed squash for 1 can pumpkin.
For new members,
or those who have misplaced previous newsletters, check our web site
for cooking instructions for your sunshine squash. Here’s a new recipe
pumpkin bread given to me by Sally, one of our Beaverton Market
have been making this recipe nearly every other day the past two weeks!
2 cups flour, 1/3 cup water, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/3 cup oil, ¼
soda, 2 eggs, ½ tsp salt, ¼ cup
syrup, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp vanilla, 1 cup mashed
cooked winter squash, ½ cup
walnuts or other nuts, ¼ cup raisins
Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet
ingredients together with nuts and raisins. Add dry to wet and stir
blended. Spread into a greased and floured or sprayed loaf pan. Bake at
degrees for 50-60 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 1
Also can be made into muffins.
Leek pie recipe that follows came from a Corvallis market customer
It continues to be one of my very favorite recipes. Over the years, I
tried a wide variety of modifications, one of my favorites being to
cabbage (or carrots, or last week’s Bok Choy) along with the leeks.
becomes a mystery vegetable pie, and my kids love it!
3 large leeks,
cleaned and sliced into thin rings
2 Tbs. butter ½ lb. Crumbled Roquefort or
grated gruyere cheese
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup plain yogurt or heavy cream
for a double crust pie
Sauté leek rings in butter on medium heat for 30
minutes. (Yes, 30 minutes. Cover or lower the heat if it seems to be
too dry. You don’t want to brown the leeks, just let them “melt”). Add
egg, and yogurt or cream. Pour into pie crust. Cover with top crust.
350o for 35-40 minutes.
To clean a leek: using a large,
slice the leek lengthwise. Then rinse the leek halves under running
rinse out any bits of dirt that have accumulated in between the leaves.
storage: Leeks keep well in the refrigerator (Tom says that
is better when it’s fresh, leeks will keep more than 2 weeks in the
Wrap lightly in a plastic bag to maintain moisture.
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Denison Farms Early Winter Harvest Box
2007: Week 1
to our Early Winter Harvest Box. The popularity of our winter box has
overwhelming. We’re heartened to see how many people are really
eating local produce, and willing to keep your food choices local! We
for any late confirmations, but we got a bit behind in the office.
members may recognize some of this winter’s recipes, because I do have
favorites that I just have to repeat for the benefit of the new
you’ve lost your favorite recipe from a previous newsletter, you can
previous newsletters on our web site (from the home page, choose CSA
Newsletters). The weekly newsletter is usually posted the week AFTER
so don’t forget to pick up a newsletter every week when you cross off
On our farm right now we’re
picking the last of the sweet summer
fruits. This may be the final week for
tomatoes, peppers, and berries. Our winter crops look good—there is a
full stand of teenage cabbages next to the driveway that I get to see
time I drive onto the farm. But this time of year, there’s so little
warmth) that plants grow very slowly. Root crops recognize the seasonal
and they start storing sugars in their roots—which makes things like
really sweet this time of year.
Since we have so many members
we’re going to need some help from our friends to fill the boxes each
We’re grateful that our farming friends can help us keep your boxes
interesting, and the produce we buy from them helps support their
well. Any of you who have been members with us before are familiar with
and Sophie at Groundwork Organics because we have been cooperating with
ever since Gabe worked for us years ago. Groundwork Organic farm is
of Eugene along the Willamette River. We had a crop failure in our fall
carrots, but I can’t live without my daily carrots. So, I’m thrilled
and Sophie have lots of carrots at the moment. I ask for a few extra
when we order carrots for your box for my personal supply. David Landis
Anita Azaranko from La Mancha Ranch and Orchards are also regular
to our fall and winter boxes. They grow many kinds of apples, but they
known for their Liberties. Liberty’s are bursting with juicy,
old-fashioned apple flavor. Liberties are great for fresh eating.
Most of the time, I simply bake
my squash and eat it plain or
with a little butter, but I saw this recipe in the newspaper from the
First Alternative Co-op last year, and even though it sounded like an
assortment of ingredients, I tried it and loved it!
2 small or 1 large delicata
squash, cut into ¾” chunks (3 cups of squash chunks)
½ cup almonds or filberts,
¼ cup chopped dried tomatoes soaked in oil
¼ cup extra virgin
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped salt
and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients, stirring to
blend and to coat the
vegetables with olive oil. Bake, covered in a 9 x 13” pan at 350
degrees for 20
minutes. Remove the cover. Stir to loosen the bits from the bottom of
Bake 10 additional minutes uncovered. Serves 4.
note: I have written the recipe as it was in the original source, but
made this dish, I cooked it for about twice as long as suggested here.
suggestion is to bake covered 20 – 40 minutes until the squash is
knife passes easily through the pieces), then stir and bake an
Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 22
Final Week of Summer Box
In this box:
½# salad mix, 1# Tomatoes, 1
bunch Kale, 1#
Onions (from Groundwork Organics), 1 bu Carrots (Groundwork), 3#
Potatoes, 2# Sweet Potatoes, 1 clam Cherry Tomatoes (Eat the ripest
the rest will ripen up on your kitchen counter), 3# Asian Pears (from
End of the Season
This is officially the final box
Summer Harvest Box season. Although many of you are continuing on with
Early Winter Season (which starts November 6th), I feel this
appropriate time to thank you for your commitment to eat local, organic
this season. We hope you have enjoyed watching the progression from
mid- to late-summer in your box and having a connection to our farm
family). Thank you for choosing our
box this year.
Yes, it is possible to grow sweet
potatoes in the
Willamette Valley. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. The hardest thing
sweet potatoes really like long, hot summers, and Corvallis just
quite enough heat for sweet potatoes to be really happy.
Our trick is to plant them as soon as the
soil has really warmed up (typically mid-June), and leave them in the
long as possible. We dug our sweet potatoes in a hurry a few weeks ago
cold rains were starting to soak the farm and cool down the soil. Then
all the (unwashed) sweet potatoes in ventilated crates and stacked them
dry, heated room in our barn. We turned the heat up to 90 degrees for
one week to “cure” the tubers—sweeten them up, and harden the skins so
will keep. If stored well, they should keep for several months. I’m not
suggesting that you save these potatoes for that long, but it means
should have sweet potatoes once or twice in the Early Winter boxes, and
hopefully all winter for our Corvallis Indoor Farmers Markets. Sweet
should NEVER be refrigerated, as any temperature below 50 degrees will
them to rot.
This summer was relatively cool
(even for Oregon), so a lot of our
sweet potatoes are small. Our family loves the little ones. We call
bakers”. Here’s what we do with them: scrub the tubers and coat with a
olive oil or coconut oil. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or
are really soft and the house starts to smell like sweet potatoes. Cool
enough so you can handle them, and serve. We eat them, skins and all,
fingers, as you would a french fry.
There are lots of
varieties of Kale in the world. The bunch in your box today is Winter
Kale—a new variety for us this year.
The seeds were given to us by our friend Steve West who grew
them in his
garden in South Corvallis. Steve says
that true to it’s name, it produces all winter no matter how cold it
Full-size kale leaves are usually cooked (although we put small tender
leaves in our salad mix). For a simple preparation that enhances the
and flavor of kale, coarsely chop the leaves (and stems) and steam or
4-5 minutes. If you’re sauteeing, add some chopped onion or garlic.
into lasagne, stuff into an omelet, dollop on top of pizza (then bake
pizza), or simply dress with your favorite vinaigrette dressing and eat
This is the final summer
Our Early Winter Box begins next Tues. 11/6.
the farm if you have any questions.
If you have mailed in your application in
the past few days, it may not be processed yet.
We are still accepting members
for the winter season, but please call as soon as possible so we know
boxes to plan for.
If you are extending your membership for only your vacation
credit weeks, let us know when you want your box(es).
Denison Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 21
Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 20
In this box:
½# salad mix, ½#
spinach (Saturday) or 1 bunch
Beets (Midweek), 1 bunch radishes (from Groundwork Farm--
Radishes are excellent in a stir-fry, 1 bunch Mizuna (the most
mild-flavored green in the
mustard family) 3# Fingerling Potatoes, 1 piece SweetMeat squash, 1
raspberries, 3# Liberty Apples (from LaMancha Ranch and Orchard in
Liberty is a crisp, juicy sweet-tart apple, and the perfect “lunchbox”
Sweetmeat squash is an heirloom
winter squash variety—and they tend to
run really large. So as not to overwhelm anyone with a 10-pound squash,
cut the squash down to a manageable size. Once cut, squash will keep in
refrigerator for up to a week. I know I told you last week about making
Sunshine squash. Well, I spoke too soon, because I made a pie from
this week, and it was even better. It required no extra sweetening for
family. If you don’t feel like making a pie crust this week, here’s my
for Sweetmeat custard cups (it’s a standard pumpkin pie recipe that I
be dairy-free, without the piecrust).
Start by baking the squash until
degrees for about an hour). Since the sweetmeat may be cut into an odd
you might cover the baking pan with foil to keep the moisture in. When
enough to handle, scoop out the insides and mash. Take 2 cups of mashed
meat. Add 1 can coconut milk, 2 beaten eggs, ½ teaspoon of salt,
1 tsp. cinnamon,
½ tsp. ginger, ¼ tsp. nutmeg or allspice, 1/8 tsp.
cloves. Pour the mixture into
lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
actually eat many potatoes at our house, because our youngest son gets
from them. However, our older son really likes potatoes, and we have
great varieties, so I’ve been cooking up potatoes for after school
week. Now that the weather is cooler, it feels like potato weather—and
so versatile. Boiled potatoes with butter, mashed potatoes, roasted
fried potatoes, pureed potato soup, chunky potato stew…..I will try to
know which cooking method/recipe is best with each week’s potato
you end up with several week’s worth of potatoes in the refrigerator,
always roast them together for a nice effect. Even if the potatoes have
different textures, roasting a mixture (and possibly topping with
when hot from the oven) will yield excellent results.
This week’s Banana potato
is a gourmet fingerling variety. They can be roasted (whole or chunked)
in stews. However, their delicate and slightly nutty flavor is really
just steamed (over salted water for 12-15 minutes) and dressed with
potatoes away from light—if exposed to light, they will turn green and
inedible.In a paper bag on the counter is fine for up to a week.
for longer storage.
Farms Harvest Book 2007: Week 19
In this box: ½# spinach, 2 baby bok choy, 1#
OR 1 bskt cherry, tomatoes, 1 Sunshine Squash, 2 Sweet Bell Peppers, 3#
Rose Potatoes (White Rose has a flaky texture like a russet, and is
boiled in salted water then buttered, or roasted, baked, or hashed), 1
strawberries, 3# Liberty Apples (from LaMancha Ranch and Orchard in
Liberty is a crisp, juicy sweet-tart apple
Sunshine squash is a
versatile and tasty winter squash. Sunshine can be baked or steamed,
mashed, souped, curried, or made into a lovely pie. If you know a lot
winter squash, you may recognize the shape of Sunshine—it looks like
familiar green Kubocha or orange Amber Cup. However, in our taste
find Sunshine sweeter and more moist than those other varieties.
instructions: cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and bake
in a baking pan with about ½” of water at 350 degrees for about
an hour. Then
scoop out the insides when cool enough to handle, and follow your
squash recipe. We like to mash sunshine with coconut milk for a
and sweet side dish. It’s practically like a dessert.
Sunshine squash can also
be steamed. For steaming, cut the squash in half, remove the seeds,
each half into thin sections. When cooked, the skin is soft enough to
so you don’t need to peel it.
Baby bok choy is a mild-flavored
that is great for stir-fry’s. I like to eat the crunchy white stems raw
juicy texture reminds me of celery) while I prepare the leafy part for
stir-fry. Baby bok choy pairs nicely with spinach—you can combine them
salad, or cook them together in any recipe. If you need a simple and
greens recipe, here’s my all-time favorite recipe for all kinds of
and Sour Greens (from Andrew Weil, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health) 1 bunch
(chard, collards, kale, spinach, tat soy, shungiku or bok choy), 2 tsp.
oil, 2 cloves garlic, minced dash of red pepper flakes, ¼ tsp.
dry mustard, 2
Tbs. rice vinegar, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. brown sugar
Rinse and slice greens in
½ inch shreds.
Heat oil, stir-fry garlic and pepper flakes 1 minute.
and mustard powder.
Stir to coat greens with garlic and oil.
vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Add to skillet.
Cook, covered, over medium heat
for about 5 minutes.
~I just realized, your sweet peppers would go very nicely
in this greens recipe. I would sauté the peppers first until
they are quite
soft and even starting to brown a bit before adding the garlic and
with the recipe.
is the 20th of 22 boxes.
If you are not continuing for Early Winter,
your last box will be 10/30 (or 10/31 for Corvallis Wednesday pick-up).
Early Winter Box will begin Tuesday November 6th.
Registration is included on the back of this newsletter.
If you have vacation
credits, and you want to extend your summer membership for only your
weeks, please send in a registration form indicating what weeks you
want a box.
If you are getting only the boxes for which you have credit, no
is necessary, but we do need the registration form!
Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 18
In this box: ½# Salad mix, 1 pint
Cherry Tomatoes, 1 cabbage, 1 bunch Carrots, 1 bunch Golden Chard, 1.5#
Parsnips (from Groundwork Organics), 1 bunch red scallions, (from
Groundwork Organics), 1 bskt gold raspberries, 3# Cameo
Apples from Gala Springs Orchard
and fall weather
Now it is truly October. The
rains are more frequent, and the
air is colder. On the farm, we’re anxiously watching the weather
judging how much of a break we’ll have between rainstorms. There’s a
lot to do
this time of year, and the rain is not always helpful. October is the
when we need to plant our garlic, onions, and fava bean seeds for next
garlic seed has arrived, and the sooner we plant it, the more time it
to grow before the really short days of winter arrive. If the ground is
wet, we have to plant by hand—which is messy and time-consuming.
This is also the time of year to
long-season crops. On Wednesday, our crew took advantage of a break in
showers to harvest our sweet potato crop. They dug over 900 pounds of
potatoes, but a short rain shower made the field so slick that the
stuck. They had to pull it out of the mud with a tractor. (Sweet
to “cure” in a warm, dry place for a few weeks to achieve their maximum
sweetness, so you won’t see them in your box until later this month).
squash is less messy, because the squash are on the ground surface
underground, but I saw the crew gently wiping the mud off each squash
picked it up. We still have a lot of potatoes in the ground, and we
have some dry breaks so we can drive our potato digger through the
not dig them all up by hand.
box feels like a winter box: greens are back (Golden Chard is nice
sautéed in olive
oil and dressed with a splash of balsamic vinegar, or cooked any way
cook spinach). I’ll talk more about greens next week, as we’ll likely
bunch of greens in each of the next several boxes. And some of you may
be very excited
about parsnips (others may be wondering what those weird white carrots
doing in your box.). Parsnips are in the same family as carrots,
celery, and parsley.
are perhaps the
sweetest root vegetable in this group, and they have a
distinctive flavor. They can be enjoyed steamed, roasted, or
sautéed. One of
the simplest ways to enjoy parsnips is steamed until soft, then mashed
I prefer to cut mine into slices or sticks and sauté in butter
until browned (this
tastes best with quite a bit of butter). They also grill or roast well.
cookbook suggests roasting French-fry sized pieces at 350 degrees until
yet firm, then brushing with butter and cinnamon. Serve warm. (I didn’t
chance to try this, but I think the cinnamon would be nice).
is the 19th of 22 boxes.
<>Your membership continues until the end of
<>Our Early Winter Box will begin Tuesday November 6th.
Winter Box Registration is included on the
back of this form.
Hills—North Beaverton site is full
There are still plenty of spaces at our
other Portland area sites. If you have vacation credits, and you want
your summer membership for only your credit weeks, please send in a
registration form indicating what weeks you want a box. If you are
the boxes for which you have credit, no membership fee is necessary,
but we do
need the registration form!
In this box: ½# Spinach, 1# small or tiny Beef
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, 1 Delicata Squash, 2 Leeks, 3# Russian Banana
2 Sweet Italian Peppers, 1 bskt Strawberries or raspberries, 3# Cameo
Gala Springs Orchard
My how we’ve grown
I remember our first year of
Box—10 years ago. In those days, I was in the packing shed with Carson
baby) in a backpack, filling boxes on Tuesday afternoons. In our first
had fewer than 60 boxes, and two of us could pack boxes in a couple of
Now, we have nearly 300 boxes (serving almost 400 families), and it
crew of 6 people several hours to fill all the boxes (two people are
box washing alone). It’s a great scene; about 6 long tables are set up
middle of the packing shed. Then the tables are filled with about 20
boxes. With a rhythm that reminds me of a choreographed dance, our
fills box after box with the bounty of the week. On occasion, one item
left out of a box, and we’re sorry if that has happened to you. Last
entirely forgot to put cherry tomatoes in any of the boxes on the
truck. Someone found the 25 flats of cherry tomatoes that we had set
the Harvest Boxes just before the Corvallis truck was scheduled to
hurriedly put full flats on the truck—and we were still late to the
order to fill 300 boxes a week, it takes a substantial amount of
produce. I was
asking our farm manager what kind of potatoes we had for this week’s
box, and I
realized that we need roughly 900 pounds of potatoes (that’s about 40
Harvest Box totes full of potatoes) for one week of Harvest Box.
need 25 flats of raspberries, strawberries, or cherry tomatoes each
we put those items in the box. Sometimes the sheer volume of produce
fill the boxes is staggering, and we need to plan well to not run
really don’t know if we can pick enough strawberries for everyone this
week—with the weather so cool, berries are ripening slowly. If we don’t
enough strawberries, we’ll try to put in raspberries.
Sweet Italian Peppers are
at their best when sautéed in olive oil with sweet onions (or
leeks) until they
are quite soft, or even starting to brown. Then toss with pasta and add
for a light meal. They are also easy to roast, and make sweet chiles
years, we have an excess of sweet peppers, and can put a large bag in
That is unlikely to happen this year. If you need to order a quantity
to put in
your freezer for the winter, call the farm to arrange a special order.
This is the 18th
of 22 boxes. Your membership continues until
the end of October. Notes and reminders about the rest of the summer
happens if you forget to pick up your box on Tuesday afternoon? You can still pick up your box! If
in Albany or Salem, unclaimed boxes will remain at the drop site until
Wednesday at Noon. After that, they are donated to local families in
Corvallis, boxes return to the farm. You can call us to arrange a late
Trade Box is intended for exchanges. If you take something out, please
something back in. That way even the last people to pick up their box
some choice if they wish to trade.
registration is underway.
Registration information is included on the back of this newsletter. Please
note: last week I gave the incorrect address for the North Corvallis
Pickup site. The correct address (which is the same as the summer
is included on the back of this newsletter. If you have
vacation credits, and
you want to extend your summer membership for only your credit weeks,
send in a registration form indicating what weeks you want a box. If
getting only the boxes for which you have credit, no membership fee is
but we do need the registration form!
Denison Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 17
In this box:
1 bunch Carrots, ½# Sweet
Onions, 3# Purple
Viking potatoes (these make really
creamy mashed potatoes, or excellent potato salad), 2 Ripe
Bell Peppers, 1#
Heirloom Tomatoes, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 2 Sweet Dumpling Squash, 1
Raspberries or Strawberries, 1.5# Canadice Grapes (from Reynolds Farm,
This week I noticed
that our 16-year old barn cat has returned to her south-facing barn
long naps during the day. She spent all summer hanging out at the front
our house, ever hopeful that she might be invited inside some day. Now
weather has turned cooler, she has returned to the sunny window in the
of our barn.
On the farm, we are noticing that
the days are much shorter than
they were just a month ago. We need a light to setup for early morning
and the crew is going home by 8 PM because it is too dark to work in
fields. Peppers and tomatoes are ripening much more slowly, and our
raspberries are starting to produce a nice crop. These Golden
my favorite. I’m glad they are growing just outside the office door, so
grab a quick handful when I need a sweet snack.
Now that there are fewer tomatoes
and peppers to pick, our
on-farm crew is catching up on weeding. Today they swarmed the leek
the second time since the leeks were planted, hoeing the weeds by hand.
fields look so nice when they are freshly weeded, and you can see
cultivated soil between the young plants. We’ve also been removing
from cucumber, pole bean, and strawberry cold frames and planting
lettuce, and other greens for the winter. Speaking of winter,
Information for our Early Winter Harvest Box: Pick-up sites
will be the same as for the summer box, but drop-off times will
be a little different. If you have vacation credits, and you want to
your summer membership for only your credit weeks, please send in a
registration form indicating what weeks you want a box.
Today’s delicata squash is the
first of several varieties of winter squash that you will see in your
this fall. All of our winter squashes have yellow or orange flesh,
they are rich in vitamin A. Winter squashes are also sweet, which makes
popular at our house. Delicata squash can be steamed or baked. To
steam, cut in
half lengthwise (this takes a large and sturdy knife). Then scoop out
seeds. Cut each half into ½” smile-shaped pieces, and steam over
for 10 minutes or until tender. I like to serve my steamed delicata
little butter, but I don’t usually add extra sweetening because they
sweet. To bake, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds as for
but then leave the halves intact. Place cut side down in a baking pan,
about ¼-inch of water, and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45
minutes, or until very
Stuffed squash is easy: Prepare
delicata as if for baking. Place cut side
up in a baking dish, stuff with your favorite meat or vegetarian or
rice filling, and bake until the filling is done and the squash is
While you’re at it, you can cut the top out of your peppers, take out
seeds, and stuff them with the same filling. Bake it all in the same
there’s a one-dish dinner for the family.
Tip of the week: you can eat the skin of
delicata squash (and of
most winter squashes!). When cooked, the skins are tender.
Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 16
In this box: ½# salad mix, ½# spinach
Organics), 1 bunch carrots, 2# Russian Banana Fingerling potatoes
these be lovely roasted whole...), ½# Sweet Pimento Peppers,
tomatoes, ¾# Romano Beans 1 basket Japanese
plums or French Petite Prunes
Our abundance of tomatoes
plants are really amazing. Many of the tomatoes we grow are called
That means the plants keep growing up, and keep making tomatoes at the
the plant. Some of our plants have been producing tomatoes since early
and they’re still growing. The plants are taller than I am. The
latest tomatoes on a plant are smaller than the ones in the middle, but
later tomatoes that have seen a lot of sun during their ripening are
This week I’ve been thinking
about salsa, so I started looking through
my cookbook collection. I was surprised that many of my older, classic
cookbooks (Joy of Cooking, for example) don’t even mention salsa! I did
that salsa sales in the U.S. surpassed ketchup sales about 15 years
what makes a salsa? In my own mind, I think of salsa as any variation
fresh tomato-based condiment to enliven anything from eggs to baked
to pasta or rice, to chips. Salsa is a great way to add color and
your meals. My salsas are chunky because I chop everything by hand, but
seen some smooth salsas as well that have been prepared in a food
Many familiar salsas are spicy, but I prefer mine on the sweet and
side. I use tomatoes and sweet peppers for sweetness, onions or garlic
pungency, a handful of greenery (basil, cilantro, or parsley) for
a touch of salt to enhance the flavors. The quantities can vary
what you have on hand. If you want a spicy salsa, just add one finely
Here’s a quick dinner idea from
Simply in Season by Mary Beth
Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert—Much like a salsa, you don’t even cook
Tomato and Basil Pasta
cloves garlic (minced)
2 pounds tomatoes (chopped, seeded, and drained)
fresh basil (chopped)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Combine and let stand
at room temperature 1-2 hours.
1 pound whole wheat pasta shells or
according to package
Combine hot pasta and sauce.
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or feta cheese. Serve
<>< style="font-style: italic;">
Yes, these are the kind of
peppers you find pickled and stuffed inside
olives. When fresh, pimentos are much like a sweet bell pepper, but
is thicker and juicier. These would be
great roasted with the Russian Banana potatoes. Just cut peppers into
take out the seeds, and add to a roasting pan with scrubbed potatoes, a
of salt and olive oil. Roast at 350 degrees until potatoes are tender.
Some boxes have Japanese Purple
Plums (larger) and some have French
Petite Prunes. The petite prunes tend to get slightly wrinkled when
they are at
their peak. Don’t worry if yours are wrinkled at the stem end. I think
ones are the sweetest.
Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 15
I have noticed that
nearly all the boxes are returning to the farm clean. Thank you! It
on-farm crew a lot of time if they just have to give the boxes a quick
before filling them again the next week. If
you have been accumulating boxes at your house, please bring
them back soon. We’re running short on our box supply. Thanks.
In this box:
1 Lettuce, 1 bunch Basil, 1 or 2
Groundwork Organics), 3# tomatoes, 1
basket pink grape or mini Roma tomatoes, 2 Red Bell peppers, 1# Sweet
Summer Squash, 3# Pears: Bartlett or Abate Fatel (from Gala Springs
are a few of my favorite things
One of the things I like about
being a small
farmer in the Willamette Valley is the other farmers that have become
friends over the years. We have developed a community of farming
cooperate with each other in a lot of ways. You may have noticed we
occasionally include produce from some other organic growers in your
other farmers are our friends. Some have worked on our farm before
on their own (Jamie at Springhill Farm, Gabe at Groundwork Organics),
are friends that we have met because we sell at the same Farmer’s
Shane Baker from Gala Springs Orchard—Tom sees him in Beaverton every
Saturday). We benefit from our cooperation in many ways, from having a
interesting Harvest Box to co-purchasing supplies like strawberry
seed potatoes to save freight costs.
Some other farming friends of
ours are the
Wood family. They used to grow vegetables, particularly melons, on
near Jefferson. About 10 years ago, they transitioned their farm to
eggs and meat. Now they have lamb, pork, beef, and eggs, and they even
soap from their own lard! We see them
every Saturday at the Corvallis Farmers Market. At the end of the day,
take all our trimmings (carrot tops, cauliflower leaves, lettuce
take it home for their pigs. We feel happy that someone is using our
and “Ben the Boar” is very happy with the fresh produce!
Recipe of the week:
(Sicilian Sweet-Sour Vegetables
2 eggplants, cut
into ½” cubes, salt, 10 Tbs. extra-virgin olive
oil, 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped, 1 anchovy fillet, chopped,
medium tomatoes (about 1 lb), cored, peeled, and coarsely chopped, 2
celery, thinly sliced crosswise, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tbs.
sugar, 2 Tbs.
tomato paste, 2 Tbs. golden raisins, 2 Tbs. pine nuts, 2 Tbs. capers,
pitted green olives, coarsely chopped, 1 red bell pepper,
roasted, peeled, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced, Freshly
ground pepper, 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped basil, 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped
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- Put eggplant into a colander set over a large bowl, toss with 1
salt. Top with a plate weighted down with several large cans, let drain
hour. Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in
skillet over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the eggplant and cook
golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to
Repeat with oil and remaining eggplant.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining oil, onions, and
anchovies; cook until soft, 14-15 minutes. Add tomatoes and celery and
heat to medium, cook until tomatoes release their juices, 5-6 minutes.
vinegar, sugar, and tomato paste, cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes.
eggplant, raisins, pine nuts, capers, olives, roasted peppers, and salt
pepper to taste. Cook until hot. Transfer to a plate, let cool
with basil and parsley. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6. From
September 2007. Adapted from A Celebration of Southern Italian Cooking
Harmon Jenkins (Morrow, 2007).
Denison Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 14
In this box: 1 green lettuce, 2# carrots, 2#
potatoes (these make great fried potatoes!), 3# beefsteak tomatoes, 1
Heirloom tomatoes, 1 Gold Bell pepper, 1 Superbowl Watermelon, 3# Gala
Gala Springs Orchard)
It is the end of August, and I’m
around the farm today to get inspiration for the newsletter. Here’s
what I see:
raspberry bushes that produced so many raspberries in June, and then
into an impenetrable thicket have now been tamed, pruned, and
Amongst the leaves, I find ripening raspberries to eat. Soon we will
plenty again as some of our raspberries are varieties that fruit in the
the driveway where we grew lettuce earlier this year, the ground has
rototilled and planted to young cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli
These young plants grow incredibly fast—I think they double in size
Only a few weeks ago, they were tiny tender seedlings, and now the
grown to touch each other, and they are each showing their individual
characteristics. The plants that will be purple cabbages are dark
greenish-purple; the cauliflower leaves are starting to turn upwards in
bowl-shape, even though the creamy white cauliflower which will hide
won’t form for another two months.
heirloom tomato plants look very tired. They have been producing fruits
June, and are nearing the end of their productive life. Fortunately for
tomatoes that ripen on older plants are sweeter and more flavorful than
in the season when the plants are more lush. This is probably the last
when we’ll have enough heirloom tomatoes the boxes.
winter leeks were
recently transplanted. Leeks are one of the slowest growing plants.
seed (about the size of a poppy seed) sprouts, it sends up a green
the size of a hair. We tend these seedlings for about 8 weeks in the
greenhouse, watering them twice a day, and giving them a “haircut” when
are tall enough to fall over. (We literally cut them off with scissors,
they keep growing just like your lawn grass). When the seedlings are
size of a pencil, we can transplant them to the field. Then we have to
weeds at bay, because weeds grow way faster than leeks. The best way to
weeds out of leeks is hand hoeing. Fortunately we have an excellent
farmworkers, and they make quick work of the weeds, descending on the
field as a group and working together to uncover the leeks from the
crew seem to enjoy the work of hoeing—it is far less tiring for them
picking melons, which they are also doing a lot of this time of year.
Recipe of the week: pick
up some basil and
local goat cheese, or wait until next week for more basil in the box
Herbed Goat Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes (Cooking Light magazine, July 2002)
oz uncooked angel hair pasta, 3 ounces (6 Tbs) garlic and herb-flavored
cheese, 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp
black pepper, 1 Tbs. olive
oil, 1 ½ tsp. minced garlic, 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes,
halved or 1#
regular tomatoes, in chunks, 2/3 cup fat-free less-sodium chicken broth.
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pasta according to package directions,
omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place in a
goat cheese, basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until well blended.
pasta cooks, heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high
heat. Add garlic
and sauté for 30 seconds.
tomatoes and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
broth and cook 1 minute.
tomato mixture to pasta. Toss gently to
combine. (4 servings).
Denison Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 13
In this box: 1 lettuce, 1 cucumber (Saturday
boxes) or 1 Red Bell Pepper (Midweek boxes), 1# carrots, 2# French
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, 3# little beefsteak tomatoes, 4 Corn
Ground work Organics), 1 Margarita Melon, 1 Sweet Diamond Melon
Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 12
believe summer is waning. The mornings are feeling delightfully cool,
are going back to school in a week, and we haven’t even put corn in the
yet. Well, here’s the corn! We all love corn, but it takes a lot of
grow a lot of corn, and we are a small farm (30 acres total). Tom
any corn planted on our farm this year because he filled all our land
things like tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, melons, and potatoes, which
per acre than corn. Fortunately, our friends Gabe and Sophie at
Organics do have a lot of land, and they agreed to sell us some corn
week’s box (Elizabeth sort of needed to beg, because they didn’t really
too much extra corn either).
members who have been with us for a while have heard us talk about Gabe
Sophie before, but for our newer members, here’s a short introduction.
started working for Tom 10 years ago and after learning from us for a
years, he bought some land and started his own organic farm in Junction
We have remained close over the years and cooperate on many things from
equipment to helping market each other’s produce. You have seen a few
from Gabe and Sophie this year, including their baby leeks last week,
hope to get eggplant soon.
in the 1970’s when Tom was first starting to farm, people used to call
Melon Man because he grew more melons than anything else.
Back then, the melons coming from California
weren’t very good, and most people thought you couldn’t grow melons in
Willamette Valley. When people get their first taste of a truly
melon, it can make quite an impression. Now there are a lot more melons
in the Willamette Valley, and California is also producing a better
melons aren’t as big a part of our farm as they used to be.
Tom still enjoys
finding novel melon varieties that are different from what everyone
There are so many different kinds of melons in the world that have
it into wholesale produce distribution. Two examples are in your box
Sweet Diamond, which has glossy, jewel-like flesh; and the Margarita
its sweet, clean taste is a local favorite.
Our melons are picked ripe, and
ready to eat. Please don’t wait until they feel soft! If you’re not
eat your melons in the next day, refrigerate them until you are ready
More Boxes: Though August is drawing to a close, we still have
two more months
of Harvest Boxes in this season. Your box will continue until October 31st
for a total of 22 weeks. We’ll have Early Winter Box information
available by mid-September.
We will print all the registration information in the newsletter as
soon as it
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<>In this box: ½# Salad Mix, 1 Red Lettuce, 1
bunch Basil, 1
head Cauliflower, 1 Garlic, 1 bunch baby Leeks, (from Groundwork
Organic Farm), 3# Beefsteak
Tomatoes, 1.5# Heirloom Tomatoes, 2 Little Sweetie melons (flavor like
butterscotch, flesh is a swirl of
orange and green. Good all the way to the rind.)
this week is to have enough heirloom tomatoes to give everyone a
several varieties. There are an overwhelming number of very unique
and Tom spends a lot of time every winter looking through seed catalogs
the Internet trying to find varieties that we think will grow well here
taste good. My suggestion for enjoying these heirlooms? Cut them all up
arrange on a platter. Add a tiny sprinkle of salt, a dash of balsamic
and/or a light drizzle of olive oil, and have a tomato tasting. Enjoy
variety of flavors, textures, and colors, and let us know your
I have been seeing lots of
variations of tomato pie recipes
I can’t put my hands on my
favorite one right now, but I made a delicious tomato tart last week
really following a recipe. Directions follow. Most tomato pies call for
single piecrust. I prefer a vegetable oil-based “pat-in-the-pan”
rather than a flaky, rolled crust made with shortening, as the crumbly
of an oil-based crust is the perfect complement to this savory pie.
recipes then add layer of grated hard cheese or crumbled feta or
layer or two of tomato slices, topped with chopped basil and garlic,
for 25- 30 minutes at 350 degrees. (I guess that makes it like an
pizza with the cheese below the tomatoes). I made a tomato tart last
without cheese (because our family is dairy-free) and didn’t miss the
all! I prepared an oil-based piecrust, and filled it with a single
sliced tomatoes, then dotted the top of the tomatoes with a mixture of
large clove of crushed garlic and a handful of chopped basil.
Here are a couple
more recipes for the abundance of beefsteak tomatoes this time of year:
Halve tomatoes horizontally; transfer to a baking sheet
cut-side up. Top with Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper.
olive oil and bake in a 450o
F oven until the tomatoes are
about 15 minutes for small tomatoes, slightly longer for larger ones.
Roasted garlic and tomato salad
kitchen, inspired by Cooking with
) (Roasted garlic instructions from From
Asparagus to Zucchini
Roast 1 head of garlic:
Heat oven to 300
degrees. Cut ¼ - ½ inch off top of garlic head to
expose tips of cloves. Lay garlic head cut-side up in a small baking
Drizzle ½ Tbs. olive oil over the top; sprinkle on some pepper.
soft, fragrant, and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Cool completely.
cloves from the base and use a fork to dislodge flesh from skin.
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- <><>Cut 4 or 5 tomatoes into wedges and place
in a large bowl. Coarsely chop roasted garlic and toss with tomatoes.
2 Tbs. red wine or balsamic vinegar with 6 Tbs. olive oil. Toss with
- <><>Season with salt and
pepper to taste. Allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature
Denison Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 11
In this box: 1 Red Butter Lettuce, 1# Carrots, 1 head
Cauliflower or Broccoli, 1.5# White Zucchini, 2# White Rose or Russet
pint sungold cherry tomatoes, 3# BeefsteakTomatoes, 2 Red Peppers, 1
Here’s a trick to avoid
overcooking cauliflower or broccoli. Tom
learned this technique from his mother. Find a small steamer or
saucepan with a
tight-fitting lid. Add ¼” of water to the bottom of the pan, and
cauliflower or broccoli florets in a steamer or directly into the pot.
and place over high heat until the water comes to a full boil and steam
out from under the lid. Then turn the heat OFF and leave the pan on the
burner for 5 minutes. (This timing works great on our electric stove,
the burner stays hot enough to keep a light steam going for the
cooking time. On a gas stove, you may need to leave the gas on extra
low for 5
minutes.) Serve immediately, or plunge into ice water to quickly stop
cooking process if you want to eat it later.
Zucchini seems to be the darling
vegetable of the
summer. I say this because every time I pick up a cooking magazine,
great zucchini recipes. Here are a couple of new ones that would be
this week’s French White Zucchini:
Cherry Tomatoes, Olives,
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1
¼ to 1 ½ pounds zucchini (cut into ½
-inch thick slices), 2 large garlic cloves (sliced), 1 ½
teaspoons chopped fresh
rosemary, 2 cups small cherry tomatoes (halved), 1/3 cup halved pitted
olives, ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil, 1 tablespoon balsamic
in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, garlic, and
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until zucchini is just tender,
minutes. Add tomatoes and olives. Saute until tomatoes just begin to
about 2 minutes. Mix in basil and vinegar. Season vegetables to taste
and pepper. Transferto a bowl. Makes 6 servings. From Bon Appetit, September
Mannie’s Cold Zucchini Salad (From Asparagus to Zucchini, Madison Area CSA
Zucchini, canola oil, minced garlic,
red wine vinegar
Slice zucchini into thin strips lengthwise.
Fry lightly in hot oil until soft throughout. Transfer zucchini to a
lightly. Discard most of the oil in the pan. Add generous amounts of
sauté lightly. Add ¼ inch of red wine vinegar to the pan
and bring to a quick
boil. Toss sauce with squash. Cover and refrigerate; serve in a few
Makes any number of servings.
"What about the plastic fruit boxes and paperboard
have been asking if they can return the plastic
clams and berry baskets. The answer is: maybe. We
are always happy when things can be re-used. However, only
clean plastic and paperboard berry baskets are useful to us. If you
baskets are clean enough that you wouldn’t mind receiving them back
then you can bring them back and we will reuse them.
Otherwise, please recycle them.
Stay tuned for updates in the future, as the Food Safety
Division at the
Oregon Dept of Agriculture is currently working on new regulations for
We expect more limited reuse of containers with the new rules.
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Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 10
In this box: 1 Lettuce, 1# Carrots, 1 Bunch Basil, 1.5#
Broccoli, 2# Red Potatoes, ½# Shallots, either 1 pint Mini-Roma
(these mini-romas will be best in
a few days when their color is a deeper red—then they’re great for
intense flavor!) or 1 pint Sungold Cherry Tomatoes, 2# Beefsteak
Tomatoes, 1 Guava
Have you ever thought of roasting
broccoli? It’s one of my
new favorite things. It’s hard to overcook broccoli by this method,
outside of the stalks remain firm even when the insides are tender. And
floret portion becomes crispy and sweet. Here’s my technique: Preheat
350 degrees. Cut broccoli into individual “trees”. Peel and cut stems
similar-sized pieces. Coat lightly with olive oil. Here’s a trick: put
broccoli into a large bowl. Pour a small amount of olive oil (2-3 Tbs.) and a light sprinkle of salt over
the top and mix gently to coat all pieces. Then spread broccoli 1-layer
a roasting pan. The alternate method for oiling the broccoli is to
pieces in a roasting pan first, and drizzle with olive oil, then shake
to distribute the oil, but I find that this leaves most of the olive
coating the pan, not the broccoli. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20-25
minutes, shaking after 10 and 15 minutes to make sure nothing burns.
done when the stems pierce easily with a sharp knife.
Basil, basil, and
What to do besides
pesto? Well, at our house, we could eat pesto once a
week, so that’s not a big problem. But here are some additional ideas
family is getting tired of pesto:
- Chop basil leaves and stems into soups and
- Layer basil leaves in a sandwich with sliced tomatoes and cheese.
pesto (recipe follows), and use pesto as a layer in lasagna, a stuffing
omelets, or a nutritious addition to mashed potatoes or mac n’ cheese.
torn basil leaves to a green salad.
- Make Basil butter: Mix together ½ cup
softened butter, 1 minced shallot, 2 Tbs. fresh minced basil, 1 tsp.
juice (optional). From Simply in
Season by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen
Blend in a food processor until finely chopped: 1/2
cup raw sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or some of each. 1 clove chopped
add: 1 bunch (about 2 cups) chopped
basil leaves and tender stems. 1/2 tsp
When finely chopped, slowly add: 1/2-2/3
cup olive oil.
Mix gently into
1# cooked pasta
add ½ cup grated Parmesan
cup basil leaves, 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup finely chopped
shallots, ¼ cup water, 2 Tbs honey, 2 Tbs olive oil
Process in a blender or food
processor until finely mixed. Best if left to marinate overnight. This
makes a strongly-flavored
salad dressing. Try it on a tomato salad, on steamed broccoli, or as a
alternative to pesto on pasta.
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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2007: Week 9
this box: 1 Lettuce,
½# Salad Mix, 1
Red Pepper, 1 1/2# Summer Squash, 1 head Green Cabbage, 1 Red Onion (forgotten
in last week’s box), 2# Purple
Viking Potatoes, 2#
Beefsteak Tomatoes, 2 pints Strawberries
Box 2007: Week 8
This time of year is so busy on
the farm that I barely have time to cook
and eat the explosion of produce that is ripe right now. I bring in
tomatoes, but the only ones that get eaten are the cherry tomatoes that
grab as I pass through the kitchen on the way somewhere else. However,
if I did
have the time to cook this week, this is what I would do……
More ideas for summer squash: (my
two favorite recipes appeared in the Week 7 newsletter, available on
the web site)
Double Chocolate Zucchini
Cake (From Asparagus to
Zucchini, Madison Area
Community Supported Agriculture Coalition)
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated
½ cup sour milk or buttermilk
3 Tbs. cocoa or carob powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. each cinnamon and cloves
2 ½ cups flour
small bag of chocolate or carob chips
Heat oven to 350
degrees. Grease a
9-by-13-inch pan. Mix all ingredients and bake 30-35 minutes. Makes 16
servings. Summer squash is
approximately 94 % water, very low in calories, and a great source of
A and C, potassium, and calcium. Stores
best in a plastic bag or hydrator drawer in refrigerator up to a week.
- Substitute zucchini for grated potato in a potato
zucchini halves or skewer and grill chunks of zucchini (anything on a
popular with my kids!).
- Grate or thinly slice zucchini and
dress with lemon
juice, olive oil, one clove of smashed garlic, and capers.
- Grate and freeze in
a zip-lock bag for winter cakes and muffins.
- Add a layer of zucchini slices to
a lasagna casserole.
- Sauté zucchini (with or
without onion, pepper & cabbage)
until just tender (larger chunks maintain better texture). Gently mix
vinaigrette dressing and serve at room temperature. Make a simple
Layer squash slices alternately with onion slices, bread crumbs, (and
cheese). Repeat for a total of 3 layers. Top with butter. Cook at 350
until hot and bubbly.
- If you’re feeling like cooking
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I’ve got to
tell you about these pole beans. We grow these green and
yellow Italian Pole Beans on 6-foot high wire trellises in covered hoop
Even though the rows are 5 feet apart, the vines grow so fast that we
go through the houses every week with a machete just to keep the paths
the rows open. Our oldest son, who will be 10 next month, has been
reading the Harry
Potter books this summer. Near the end of the first book, there is a
plant that grows so fast that it ensnares people who happen to fall on
through the bean house makes that seem almost believable.
Since we don’t have
enough beans to give everyone a large portion each week, I thought it
nice to include beans two weeks in a row. Your box will have either
green beans. Either color can be used in all the same recipes. Here’s
one of my
In this box:
1 lettuce, 1 bunch Basil, ½#
garlic, 1 bunch Carrots, 1# Italian Romano Beans, 1# Yellow
Summer Squash, 2# New Red Potatoes, 1 Pt. Cherry Tomatoes
(Saturday) or 2# Beefsteak Tomatoes (Midweek), 1 box Yellow Plums
(Saturday) or Purple Plums (Midweek).
Italian Romano Beans
If you’re new to our box this
year, you may not recognize the long, flat, green (or yellow) bean-like
vegetables in your box. They are Italian Romano Beans. We’ve been
growing Romano for several years, because we really like the flavor,
even raw. We continually have customers ask us what to do with
them. My answer? "Anything you can do
with a green bean, you can do with an Italian Romano Bean
Our kids really like when I make Twice-Cooked
snap beans into 2-inch pieces and steam for 3
minutes, then add to a hot sauté pan with olive oil (and maybe a
crushed clove of garlic), and sauté until browned (about 5
minutes). Add salt to taste.
Yellow Straightneck Summer Squash
I have two recipes to share with
you that are just perfect with this Yellow summer squash. The first was
created just last week by the brother of one of my friends at a family
gathering. It’s a lovely and rather unusual pairing of raw summer
squash, the rich sweet-tart flavor of balsamic vinegar, and
sharp-on-the-tongue aged Italian cheese (or salty Italian meats if you
prefer). The straightneck summer squash can be used in any recipe you
might use zucchini, but we think the flavor is sweeter, which makes it
really nice for this raw salad, or try Quick-fried zucchini flavored
with garlic and lime:
Doug’s Summer Squash Salad
1# small summer squash, very thinly sliced.
¼ sweet onion, finely diced.
1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved.
½ can pitted black olives.
Aged Italian Cheese (Asiago, Parmesan, Romano), thinly shaved or grated.
Prociutto or Pepperoni, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
: 1 Tbs mustard in
Mix all together and eat chilled.
The zucchini may leach out liquid if it sits for a while, but excess
liquid can be drained off.
Quick-Fried Zucchini with Toasted
Garlic and Lime
1 lb. zucchini cut in ½ inch pieces
1 scant tsp. salt 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. lime juice
Generous ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
In a colander, toss the cut zucchini with salt; let
stand over a plate or in the sink for half an hour. Rinse and dry
About 15 minutes before serving, heat the butter and
oil over low heat in a skillet large enough to hold the zucchini in a
Add the garlic, stir until light brown, about 3
minutes. Do not burn garlic. Scoop the garlic into a fine-mesh sieve
set over a small bowl, then scrape the strained butter mixture back
into the pan; set garlic aside. Raise the heat to medium-high.
Add zucchini to the pan and fry, stirring frequently, for
8-10 minutes, until browned and tender but still a little crunchy.
Remove from the heat. Add lime juice and toasted garlic
and toss thoroughly.
Sprinkle with pepper, oregano, and parsley, then mix.
Taste for salt, and season if necessary. Serve in a warm
From Kitchen Gardening magazine,
“Mexican Ways with Zucchini”, #14, p. 28.
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< style="font-style: italic;">1
Leaf Lettuce, 1 Red
Butter Lettuce, 1 Cucumber, 1 bunch Basil, 1 Porcelain Garlic (large
easy to peel. We love this garlic!), 1 bunch Green Shallots, 1
1 Cabbage (from Groundwork Organics)
< style="font-style: italic;">1
Lettuce, 1 bunch Spinach, 1 bunch Carrots, 1 bunch Basil, 1 head Garlic
(Need a pesto recipe? check the
web site, Last year’s newsletters Week 9), 1 Fennel, 1 Walla Walla
Cucumber, ¾# Sugar Snap Peas (from Springhill Farm), 2# Red
1/2 pint Raspberries OR 1 pint Strawberries
< style="font-style: italic;">2
Crisp Lettuce, ½# Spinach, 1# Sweet Onions (red or white), 1
bunch Carrots, 1#
Broccoli (from Groundwork Organics), 2# New
White Rose potatoes, 1 pint Sungold Cherry
Tomatoes, 1/2 pint Raspberries