We hope everyone had a good week and enjoyed their produce. Last week was a busy week for us getting ready for the farm tour, and it was a big success with about 150 visitors. All fall crops are in the ground and putting on growth. We hope to start sharing the new crops with you the first week of October. As for this week we plan to start digging up some sweet potatoes. Most people do not know, but sweet potatoes have to be cured before they become sweet. When they come out of the ground, they are actually like an Irish potato, very starchy. The potatoes have to go through a curing process which entails being heated to between 80 to 90 degrees for two to three weeks to turn those starches into sugars. Unlike most vegetables, sweet potatoes need to be stored at temperatures above 50 degrees, so never put them in the refrigerator! The pumpkin patch is looking okay, not great; however we expect to be able to start harvesting eating pumpkins in about two weeks. This week we planted more lettuce, spinach, arugula, and radishes. This week, according to share size, members can expect to receive grapes, celery, black eyed peas, okra, garlic, eggplant, fennel, and peppers.
2 fennel bulbs with fronds
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup water
Cut off and discard stalks from fennel bulbs, reserving fronds. Chop 1 tablespoon fronds and discard remainder. Cut bulbs lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, leaving core intact. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown fennel slices well, turning over once, 3 to 4 minutes total. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle fennel with salt and pepper, then add broth and water. Cook, covered, until fennel is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with fennel fronds.
Italian Pot Roast with Penne (we like to use our fennel in pot roasts, it adds a wonderful flavor)
2 1/2 pound boneless beef chuck pot roast
1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted and crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and cut into thin wedges
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and bias-sliced in 2-inch lengths (1 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, cut into thin wedges (1 cup)
1 26 ounce jar light tomato basil pasta sauce
6 ounces dried penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (optional)
Trim fat from roast. In a small bowl, combine fennel seed, garlic powder, and pepper; rub into roast on all sides. In a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, combine fennel, carrot, and onion. Place roast on top, cutting roast to fit, if necessary. Pour pasta sauce over roast in cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Remove roast from cooker and cut into serving size pieces. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and serve alongside the roast. Remove sauce mixture and skim off any fat; set aside. Toss hot cooked pasta with parsley. Serve roast, vegetable mixture and skimmed sauce with pasta mixture.
Eggplant Pizza (includes dough recipe, we usually cheat and use the premade dough ball from Trader Joe's)
1 large eggplant (1 1/4 pound)
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1/4-ounce) package fast-acting yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110-115°)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ounces grated mozzarella (3/4 cup)
3/4 ounces grated Asiago or Parmesan (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
Cut eggplant into 1/3-inch-thick rounds and arrange in 1 layer on a foil-lined large baking sheet. Lightly brush both sides with oil and season with salt. Broil 2 to 3 inches from heat until golden brown and tender, 3 to 8 minutes on each side.
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Blend flour and salt in a food processor. Add oil and blend. With motor running, add yeast mixture all at once, blending until dough forms a ball. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface 5 minutes. Put in an oiled large bowl and turn to coat. Let rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. While dough is rising, put a pizza stone on lowest rack of oven (remove other racks) and preheat oven to 500.
Dust dough with flour on a floured surface, then shape and stretch into a 12- to 13-inch round. Sprinkle a baker's peel generously with flour and carefully transfer dough to it. Jerk peel; if dough sticks, lift it and sprinkle flour underneath.
Toss together cheeses and sprinkle 1/4 over dough. Cover with eggplant, overlapping it, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Heat oil in a small skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and red pepper, stirring, until just fragrant, 30 to 40 seconds. Spoon evenly over eggplant.
Line up far edge of peel with far edge of stone and tilt peel, jerking it gently. When edge of pizza touches stone, quickly pull back peel to transfer to stone (do not move pizza) and bake until dough is crisp and browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Slide peel under pizza to remove from oven.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 garlic cloves, whole clove left unpeeled
1 small eggplant (1/2 lb)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon coarse gray sea salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375. Cut off and discard 1 end of baguette, then cut 12 (1/4-inch-thick) crosswise slices from baguette (reserve remainder for another use). Lightly brush 1 side of each slice with some oil (about 1 tablespoon total) and arrange, oiled sides up, on a baking sheet. Toast until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. While toasts are still warm, rub oiled sides with cut side of garlic clove half, then transfer to a rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
Halve eggplant lengthwise and make shallow 1/2-inch-long incisions all over cut sides with tip of a paring knife. Arrange eggplant, cut sides up (without crowding), in a shallow baking dish and add unpeeled garlic clove. Sprinkle thyme, rosemary, oregano, sea salt, and pepper over eggplant, then drizzle eggplant and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil. Bake until garlic is very tender, 30 to 35 minutes, then transfer garlic to a cutting board and continue to bake eggplant until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes more. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze flesh from peel onto cutting board.
Transfer eggplant to cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Scrape out flesh with a spoon onto cutting board, discarding peel. Finely chop eggplant and garlic together and transfer to a bowl. Add parsley and remaining tablespoon oil, then stir until combined well. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Top toasts with eggplant mixture and sprinkle with cheese. (Toasts, without eggplant topping, can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Recrisp in a preheated 200 oven 5 minutes. · Eggplant mixture, without parsley, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, then stir in parsley. )
Eric Williamson 704.796.7795
Brad Hinckley 828.406.0849
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