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Thank you “Better Homes & Gardens” for this really tasty recipe!  We all enjoyed it for supper tonight, and recommend it heartily to you!

Beet, Blue Cheese and Almond Salad

  • 7 medium beets
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • salt
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces creamy blue cheese (we didn’t put in this much, and we thought it was perfect with less)
  • 2-4 ounces of toasted almonds sliced or slivers, you choose
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, arugula, or cilantro

Trim and peel beets. Cut six beets in bite sized pieces. Place in a steamer rack over  a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and steam for 20-25 minutes until tender.

Coarsely grate the remaining beet, place in a large bowl. For dressing, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt to a paste, add to grated beet along with the oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. When the beets are cooked, toss them with the dressing. Cool to room temperature.

Crumble blue cheese over the salad and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Makes 6 servings

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My Grandma Vangie made this recipe for us at lunch today, and it was totally DELICIOUS!  Best of all, the four garden ingredients are in your box this week — just waiting for you to make Creamy Cucumbers!

 

Creamy Cucumbers
from the St. Pat’s church cookbook

2 cukes or 1 long seedless cuke
1 med onion
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
½ cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Thinly slice cucumbers and onion.  Mix into vinegar, salt and sugar.  Let stand for 30 minutes, then drain off the liquid.  Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, dill and parsley.  Pour onto cucumbers and mix.  Makes about 2 ½ cups.

In your box this week:

  1. LAST OF:  Tomatoes
  2. LAST OF:  Potatoes
  3. LAST OF:  Cilantro
  4. LAST OF:  Basil
  5. Mint
  6. Thyme
  7. Fennel
  8. NEW!  Sage
  9. NEW!  Onion Chives
  10. NEW!  Parsley
  11. Kale
  12. Beans
  13. Cucumbers (LAST OF??)
  14. Zucchini / Summer Squash (LAST OF??)
  15. Carrots
  16. Arugula
  17. Peppers:  All of them this week are sweet EXCEPT the long skinny green Cayenne Hot Pepper

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HERB CONFUSION??  We can help!

From Left to Right:

  1. Basil: Fresh, dried, frozen (chop in food processor first).  Use in pesto, Italian dishes, sauces, soups.
  2. Onion Chives: Best used fresh.  Chop up fresh as garnish for salad, potatoes, or tacos, etc.  Can also be used cooked.
  3. Mint: Fresh, dried, frozen.  Mint calms an upset stomach.  Dry it and then crumble it into a jar for later use.  Last winter I had food poisoning and mint tea helped A LOT.  I went through almost a quart of dried mint leaves in a week, and was SO GLAD I had them on hand in the cupboard.
  4. Thyme: Fresh or dried.  Usually used cooked, such as in Italian dishes, hotdishes, and soups.
  5. Cilantro: Best fresh, could probably be dried?  Use it fresh in salsa, spring rolls, quesadillas, with fruit, in cornbread, or as a last second addition to sautes or soups.  Cilantro also makes a great pesto!
  6. Parsley: Fresh, dried, frozen.  Another good pesto candidate!  Also used in Italian dishes, soups, sprinkled in salads (try it!), or just generally added to pretty much anything.
  7. Sage: Fresh, dried, frozen.  Use it in fall cooking, like with squash soup, potato dishes, and meat things.

FRESH:  Keep fresh by putting it in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Basil is picky–wet leaves turn black in the fridge.  Sometimes it works well to put basil in a vase on your counter.  Or put a towel around it in the bag to catch condensation.

DRIED:  Just hang the bunch upside down in a place that gets some air movement but that is out of direct sunlight.  Stagnant air could facilitate molding, and the sun zaps nutrition and flavor.  If you are like me, you always think, “Of course I will remember what herb this is!” but then when it is all dried up it is hard to tell if it was Oregano or Mint or Parsley or what.  So just LABEL IT now and thank yourself later.

FROZEN:  I have found it easiest to chop up the dry herb with a food processor, and then put in a bag in the freezer.  No water or oil mixed in means the herbs stay crumbly and I can just scoop out however much I want.  The super deluxe way of preventing them from clumping up would be to pour the ground-up herbs onto a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze them flat, and then pour them into a plastic bag after they are frozen.  Some people like to freeze them as pesto, or in oil or water, perhaps in an ice cube tray, and then transfer the frozen herb cubes into a plastic bag.

Share your tasty discoveries and inspire your fellow CSA members!  To get the ball rolling, here are FOUR recipe ideas from CSA member Melanie:

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I’m absolutely loving my first ever harvest from my first ever CSA!! I’m so glad I joined. I’m pretty much obsessed with food and cooking so I thought I’d give you all a couple new recipes that I came up with this week. On Monday I could not wait to eat my baby bok choi so I made a Asian dish with it (one of my favorite cuisines).

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VEGGIE LO MEIN
4 oz. soba noodles, cooked, rinsed in cold water and drained
2 tsp light olive oil
8 oz mushrooms, any kind, sliced
1/2 cup onions, any kind, chopped ( I used some of this weeks green parts)
4 radishes, chopped (I used the icicle radishes)
1 baby bok choy, sliced thickly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp oyster sauce (or molasses could work too)
2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
1/2 tsp sugar
squirt of Sirracha or other hot sauce
cilantro, optional garnish
chopped peanuts, optional garnish

Heat oil in a skillet or wok over med high until almost smoking (use lower heat if you pan is non-stick, which I don’t recommend). Add mushrooms and leave them alone, without stirring for a couple minutes until browned nicely on the bottom. Toss around the pan and after another couple minutes add the onions and radishes. Cook a few minutes, then add the bok choy and garlic. Mix together the oyster sauce, sesame oil, liquid aminos, sugar and hot sauce. Pour the sauce over the veggies and toss. Add the noodles and toss until coated and heated through. Garnish and eat. Serves 2.

Tonight I was trying to use up some leftover cheese and remembered a recipe I saw on Alton Brown’s show Good Eats called FROMMAGE FORT.

It is a cheese dip that uses up 1 lb of assorted leftover cheese, any kind!! And along with some white wine and garlic I added some lemon thyme instead of the parsley. YUM!!

I’m thinking that if I don’t eat it all tonight it would be an excellent idea for

FANCY MAC AND CHEESE:
Make some pasta but save a little of the cooking water. Stir in some of the cheese dip into the drained noodles with some lamb’s quarters, some of the pasta cooking water and a dash of lemon.

I’ll also be eating RADISH SANDWICHES tomorrow in honor of my grandma:
Mix softened butter with some minced radishes and spread over your favorite bread, OR just put some thinly sliced radishes over buttered bread, sprinkle with salt and eat!

Happy gardening and even happier eating!

Melanie Foster

This is from p. 208 of the Featherstone Farm CSA cookbook, “Tastes from Valley to Bluff”
Serves 6.

[note from Chris: I think it’d be fine to substitute green onions and garlic chives from our farm for this.]

2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
3 or 4 radishes, sliced
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1/3 cup green peppers, coarsely diced
1 cup sliced cauliflower
1 medium tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 to 4 sprigs parsley, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced and crushed
Several leaves fresh basil, chopped
6 Tablespoons salad oil
1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Onion or Garlic powder
Seasoned Salt
Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Toss the zucchini, radishes, onion, green peppers, cauliflower, tomato, parsley, garlic, and basil together in a bowl. Sprinkle with the salad oil and lemon juice.

2. Dissolve the sugar and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Pour over the salad.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic powders, seasoned salt, and grated Parmesan cheese.

3. Chill several hours before serving.

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