More than a few days late, but here’s our newsletter from September 8:
Dear CSA members,
Here it is, your final weekly share of the season! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to grow food for you again this season. Next week, once I’ve settled into my school routine, I’ll be sending out a short survey asking for your feedback on our CSA so that we can take that into consideration as we plan for next year. One thing we’ve realized through past surveys—everyone likes really different things! For instance, some of you make kale a regular part of your diet. Others of you wouldn’t miss it if you never had to eat kale again. We’ve tried to offer more flexible shares through the “fill your own” shares at the farm in response to this. Perhaps you have other idea for how we could make the CSA more valuable to you—we’d love to hear them!
One disappointment this year is that the blue potatoes didn’t do as well as we’d hoped. I’m not sure why, except that they were planted on a sandy slope and perhaps didn’t get as much water during that dry spell as the other potatoes. We’ve got just a few for you to sample today but we’ll definitely plan on growing them again next year. They are a nice all-purpose potato, as are the Kennebecs. I like them baked, boiled, or in soups like this classic from epicurious.com:
Portuguese Kale Soup
Ingredients: 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided; 1/2 pound chouriço or linguiça (smoked Portuguese sausages) or kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch pieces; 1 medium onion, chopped; 2 garlic cloves, minced; 1 pound russet (baking) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces; 6 cups water; 1 pound kale, stems and center ribs discarded and leaves very thinly sliced
Accompaniment: piri-piri sauce or other hot sauce.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown sausage, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoon oil to fat in pot and cook onion and garlic with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper over medium heat, stirring often, until browned, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add potatoes, water, and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, until potatoes are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Mash some potatoes into soup to thicken, then add kale and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in sausage and cook until just heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper.
And if you like Indian flavors, try this with the last of your tomatoes and eggplant. It’s a little involved, but really good. I would try substituting parsley for the cilantro, since that’s what I’ve got right now. It is adapted only slightly from www.manjulaskitchen.com:
Aloo Baingan (Potato and Eggplant)
Ingredients: 1 medium purple eggplant (baingan), un-peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes; 2 medium russet potatoes (aloo), peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes; 4 medium tomatoes (tamatar) cut into 1/2″ cubes; 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (hara dhania); 1 tablespoon oil; 1 teaspoon cumin seed; 1 chopped green chili adjust to taste; 1 teaspoon ginger or ginger paste (adrek); 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania powder); 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi); 1/2 teaspoon paprika (dagi mirch); 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste; 2 tablespoons water; Oil for frying
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Frying pan should have at least 1 1/2 inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, put one piece of potato in the oil. The potato should sizzle right away. If vegetables are fried in low heat they will be very oily.
Fry the potatoes till they are cooked through, turning the potatoes few times while frying. Take out potatoes with a slotted spoon (this allows excess oil to drip back into the frying pan) and place on a paper towel. Test the oil again with a piece of eggplant. Fry the eggplant pieces same way.
In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, green pepper, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of water to make a paste.
Heat the 1-tablespoon of oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready.
Add cumin seeds and after seeds crack, add the spice mixture and stir-fry for a minute until you see the oil start to separate from the spice mixture.
Add chopped tomatoes and stir-fry for a minute. Then add fried potatoes and eggplant and mix gently. Let simmer for three to four minute on medium low heat. If needed, add 3-4 spoons-ful of water to moisten. Turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro mix it well.
We look forward to seeing and celebrating with you on October 15! Amy & John