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


This recipe is from the book Farmstead Chef.  My mom made it for her neighbors.  She thought it was good, and would make it again, but she said it would be even better with bacon crumbled into it too to give it a stronger flavor.  Our CSA member Lynn is one of the aforementioned neighbors, and she liked it so much she asked that I post it here.

I admit, before retyping it from the book, I googled it and found it already typed up here.  (I borrowed their picture too.)

Warm Zucchini Dip from the Farmstead Chef cookbook

  • 2 cups fresh zucchini (or any summer squash), shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or any hard granular cheese)
  • 1/4 cup bell peppers, finely chopped (I used a mixture of orange, red and yellow)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil or non-stick spray for preparing the pan
  • Pita chips and sliced raw vegetables for dipping (such as carrots, cauliflower, peppers, rutabaga, kohlrabi, cucumbers, Hakurei turnips, or even blanched green beans).
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss the zucchini and the salt in a large bowl. Let sit for an hour to extract the water from the zucchini. (There will be a lot of water.)
  3. Drain the zucchini and press out any excess water.
  4. Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, cheese, peppers, green onions, garlic and Worcestershire sauce until well combined.
  5. Prepare an 8-inch baking dish by lightly oiling it with canola oil or coating with non-stick spray.
  6. Spread the dip evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees, or until bubbly.
    Serve hot with pita chips and a variety of fresh, raw vegetables for dipping.
YIELD: 8 appetizer servings.
Here’s a recipe that some kid gardeners made me — it was delicious and offered a different taste family than the usual Minnesota quick marinated cucumbers.  The recipe is originally from Martha Stewart.
The longer the cucumbers have to soak up the flavors of the marinade the more delicious they will be.

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart’s website.


  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 Israeli or Kirby cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled


  1. In a shallow dish whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, and cayenne. Add the cucumber, scallion, and garlic. Stir to combine. Press down and spread out cucumbers in dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour but up to 2 days.

WOW! If you can believe it, our biggest box yet!

  1. Tomatoes — look these over, some need to be used very soon and others need to sit on your counter and ripen more.  Try putting a dish towel over the top to keep off fruit flies.
  2. Broccoli
  3. Beans
  4. Kale
  5. Cabbage
  6. Sweet Peppers
  7. Beets with Greens (use leaves like Chard)
  8. Cilantro
  9. Oxalis
  10. Arugula
  11. Onions
  12. Cucumbers — a mix of regular ones with seeds (Genuine variety) and more or less seedless ones (Diva variety)
  13. Zucchini and Summer Squash — use the yellow ones with light green ends fresh, because when frozen they develop an off smell.
  14. Eggplant — purple and white
  15. LAST OF:  Hakurei Turnips.  These are, we’ll be honest, the runts.  Peel off the outer skin to reveal the crunchy, more tender, center.

In this week’s box:

  1. Broccoli
  2. Turnips
  3. Zucchini and Summer Squash — the ones that are both green and yellow are best eaten fresh. Last year I mixed some in with the others as shredded zucchini to put in the freezer for winter zucchini bread, and when I thawed it out to use it, it smelled terrible!
  4. Tomatoes — some are ready to use today, and some need to sit on your counter for a few days to ripen.
  5. Onions
  6. Beets — with their leaves attached.  Beets are very closely related to Chard, use the leaves just like Chard.
  7. Chard
  8. Kale
  9. Cucumbers
  10. Cilantro
  11. Basil
  12. Eggplant
  13. Cabbage
  14. Beans
  15. Peppers — sweet ones and one hot one each.

We harvested the garlic today, and found this crazy garlic bulb being impaled by quack grass roots.

Another exciting and abundant box this week!

  1. NEW! Garlic.  Just harvested, not cured for storage, this is what is called “green garlic.”  Enjoy it fresh in the next week or two.
  2. NEW! Celery.  This is NOT your California celery — MN Celery is going to be smaller, darker green, with a stronger taste.  This is just the thinnings where there was two plants growing too close together, so this is on the small side even for MN Celery.  One option is to just cut it up and throw it into a bag in the freezer, ready to add to your soups and hotdishes all winter long.
  3. NEW! Cucumbers
  4. Beets (with leaves that you can use like Chard)
  5. Tomatoes:  Leave these at room temperature to preserve their flavor.  HOWEVER, look them over right away and use the ones with cracks and soft spots first.  These are mostly heirloom varieties, valued for their flavor that sadly comes with the trade-off of thin skin that easily splits and bruises.  Treat these gently like newborn babies and they will reward you with the best fresh salsa and BLTs you’ve ever tasted!  Some of the varieties in your box include: Brandywine, Amish Paste, Wisconsin 55, Beefsteak, Nebraska Wedding, Roma Paste, and the golden cherry-sized Sungolds.  Still to come are Defiant and the ping-pong-sized Tommy Toes.
  6. Eggplant
  7. Beans
  8. Broccoli
  9. Hakurei Turnips
  10. Onions — some with green leaves and some big ones too.
  11. Zucchini and Summer Squash
  12. Sweet Peppers
  13. Cabbage
  14. Kale
  15. Chard
  16. Carrot
  17. Cilantro
  18. LAST OF:  FENNEL!  Your bag has some fennel bulbs and a small bunch of the fennel leaves too.


In Your Box This Week!

  1. NEW! Tomatoes
  2. NEW! Eggplant
  3. NEW! Carrots
  4. NEW! Green Beans
  5. NEW! Cabbage – Alcosa savoy variety
  6. NEW! Oregano  –  Fresh oregano is milder than dried.  Drying condenses the flavor.  We recommend that you simply hang this bundle of oregano to dry, and once it is dried put it in a paper bag to crumble off the leaves.  Pour the dried leaves into a jar to use throughout the winter.  Oregano is super high in nutrition and is a critical part of “Italian Seasoning.”  Put it in spaghetti sauce, soup, hotdish, etc.
  7. NEW! Oxalis  –  this looks like clover with little yellow flowers.  Taste it, it creates a lovely flavor explosion in your mouth!  It would be delicious sprinkled into your salad.  It’s a nice treat once in a while, but because of the oxalic acid in it those who are prone to kidney stones should probably just avoid it.
  8. Hakurei Turnips
  9. Broccoli
  10. Fennel Bulbs  –   We know there has been a lot of fennel last week and this week.  The whole patch has started to bolt (send up its flower stalk) because of the extremely hot weather.  So enjoy it while it’s here, there will probably be only one more week of it left.
  11. Rainbow Chard
  12. Kale — Dino, Red Russian, and/or Curly varieties
  13. Onions
  14. Zucchini and Summer Squash
  15. Sweet Peppers  –  some of the green peppers are just starting to turn red, but we had to pick them before they fully turned red to prevent soft spots forming.
  16. HOT long skinny Cayenne peppers — these are still green so they won’t be as hot as later on in the season when they’re red.
  17. Lettuce
  18. Cilantro
  19. Peppermint
  20. Basil  –  best kept on your counter in water like a flower bouquet, or DRY in a bag in the fridge
  21. Chamomile


Sunday’s Project:   BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER
Prune and stake the hoophouse tomatoes, then mulch the peppers (the row on the left) and the tomatoes (on the right).  Success!  (Even though hoop temperatures were over 100 degrees F.)

WHOA! It’s a MEGA box this week!

  1. NEW! Fennel!  Leaves that look like dill, and the crunchy “bulb.”  You will LOVE our Fennel salsa recipe!  Click on “Fennel” in the left column to find it.  Use this “salsa” with chips, on top of a bed of lettuce, on fried fish or chicken, or just on its own as a salad.  SO good!  Also google fennel recipes to see some amazing carmelized onion and fennel recipes.  That’s what I’m making for supper tonight!
  2. Broccoli
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Lettuce
  5. Hakurei Turnips (with tasty leaves!  Try sauteeing these leaves with green onions in butter or bacon fat, and then top with salt or the fennel salsa!)
  6. Green Onions (the thinnings from where our storage onions are too crowded)
  7. Zucchini and Summer Squash
  8. Rainbow Chard
  9. Cilantro — use it for the fennel salsa!
  10. Chamomile   \
  11. Mint                 | —>   all three of these herbs can be hung to dry in a
  12. Rosemary      /                cool dark place.  Once dry crumble the leaves into a jar for storage.
  13. Peppers — mostly sweet, with one kind of skinny yellow one that is mildly hot.
  14. Pea Pods
  15. LAST OF, at least for a while:  Kohlrabi
  16. LAST OF: Garlic Scapes

In your box this week:

  1. NEW! Zucchini and Summer Squash
  2. NEW! Cilantro
  3. NEW! Sweet Peppers
  4. NEW! Cauliflower
  5. NEW! Cauliflower Leaves.  Use these like Collards.  A thicker green, they need a bit more cooking time than Kale.  I did a quick Google search to get some ideas, and found this site  with slow cooking directions like Collards and  this site with a tasty looking recipe with the leaves roasted with the cauliflower and onions. Yum!
  6. NEW! Carrots.  These are just the babies that had to be picked while I was thinning the patch.  Enjoy their cuteness, but rest assured knowing bigger ones are coming soon.
  7. NEW! Basil.  Best kept dry in your fridge or on your counter in a glass of water like a flower bouquet.
  8. Kohlrabi
  9. Hakurei Turnips with Greens — eat the greens like spinach, either raw in your salad mix or lightly cooked.
  10. Lettuce Mix
  11. Spinach
  12. Broccoli
  13. LAST OF: Bok Choy.  At least for a while.  We may plant another crop of it for the early fall.

In your box this week:

  1. Pea Pods
  2. Radishes
  3. Turnips
  4. Broccoli
  5. Garlic Scapes
  6. Kale
  7. Chard
  8. Kohlrabi
  9. Bok Choy
  10. Arugula
  11. Lettuce

Chris is up in the BWCA  this week, so an extra special thanks to Darwin for taking care of the harvest solo!

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