CSA 2017- Main Season, Week 13

This is the 13th week of the CSA main season, members with Basic shares will be able to choose 5 items each week and members with Premium will be able to choose 8 items each week. The produce available for the Week 8 are: Fresh Ginger, Spring Salad Mix or Artisan Head Lettuce, Baby Arugula, Yellow and Patty Pan Squash, Bell Peppers, Curly Kale, Swiss Chard,  and Beets and “Half” items: Eggplant,  Jalapenos,  Cucumbers, Baby bok choy (Monday only), Garlic Bulb,  Basil, Radishes, Kohlrabi bulb and Green Onion bunches, Cabbage (from Fruitful Hills).

Fresh Baby Ginger (Choice Item): Fresh Ginger should be kept in the fridge, in a plastic bag. The stalks should be removed and used within a few days or dried for later use. If you do not plan on using the rhizome within a week, the best way to store it is in the freezer. To use it, just remove it, grate the quantity needed, and return it to the freezer! Enjoy fresh ginger all year long! The fresh baby ginger is a whitish rhizome with pink tips, and does not have the tough skin or fibrous nature of the cured ginger you get in the supermarket. So thin skinned you don’t have to peel it and so smooth, it slices (almost) like butter. The root (technically a rhizome) is delicious. Juicier than the more mature rhizomes typically found in stores. It is delightful added to stir fry, made into ginger tea, with fish (as in this Ginger and Cilantro Tilapia) or even minced raw on yogurt or ice cream. The stalks and leaves can be used to make tea or infuse rice with a taste of ginger. Just slice them diagonally, steep, and enjoy! Here is a great link that has detailed info about baby ginger, how to store it and recipe ideas. Read about the medicinal properties of ginger, here.

Salad mix (Choice Item): Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. Wash before eating, and dry well. For salad inspiration, look at this: Mesclun Salad with goat cheese, or Chart of Salad Toppings Combinations.

Kale (Choice Item): store in plastic bag in refrigerator.  Serving suggestions: Add to smoothies, Fall Kale salad , Cookie+ Kate’s Kale Salad with an amazing dressing,  Zuppa Tuscana soup (I usually add a can of tomatoes to this soup and sometimes kidney beans), Kale Pesto (this recipe is served with pasta and roasted butternut squash) and Kale and Butternut squash frittata. To preserve: wash kale, cut off the stems, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds, then cool in an ice bath, drain well and freeze. Frozen kale can be used in soups, added to casseroles, pasta dishes, or anything that uses cooked kale.

Summer squash, patty pan, yellow squash and zucchini (Choice Item): store in plastic bag in refrigerator. Yellow squash nearly interchangeable with zucchini and is great raw or sautéed, grilled, or baked into zucchini bread (my kids favorite way to eat zucchini!). Raw zucchini/ squash makes a fresh, flavorful salad as in this: Summer Squash Salad with Lemon Citronette. Zucchini (sliced and broiled or pan fried) can take the place of pasta in lasagna. If you want more ideas, you can try Baked Zucchini FriesZucchini Fritters  or Chocolate Zucchini Bread or these main dishes Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables (this is a great recipe to use a lot of vegetables, including zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, peppers, onions and garlic),  Cheesy Zucchini Casserole (which we make with shredded sharp cheddar, instead of Velvetta). Here’s a couple other zucchini recipes, recommended by CSA members: Curried Zucchini SoupZucchini TotsSauteed Zucchini with Cherry Tomatoes (don’t overcook the zucchini!), and Zucchini Chocolate Rum Cake. To preserve: Zucchini or Yellow squash can be shredded and frozen to use in Zucchini bread recipes.

Tomatoes (Choice Item): store at room temperature in a bowl or basket. Suggestions: Slice and dress with Olive Oil and a sprinkle of salt, BLT sandwiches, Cream cheese and Tomato sandwiches, Pico de Gallo, Tomato Tart, Pizza

Sweet Bell Peppers (Choice Item):  Store in plastic bag, in refrigerator. Meal idea: sauté sliced candy onions and sweet pepper for a tasty Philly Cheese Sandwich or Fajitas. Stuffed peppers are also a favorite main dish at our house; zucchini/ yellow squash can also be stuffed using the same recipe. Sweet peppers can easily be preserved by freezing and they can be frozen raw, without blanching first. Cut peppers into the desired size: diced for adding to winter casseroles, soups or sauces; sliced for fajitas; or halved (or the tops cut off) to be used for stuffed peppers (also, after freezing there is no need to parboil peppers before stuffing) and freeze in freezer bags.

Swiss Chard (Choice Item): Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. The swiss chard leaves have a very mild flavor similar to spinach. Both the stem and the leaves can be eaten and I usually use both together; chop the stems like you would celery and begin cooking the stems before adding the greens. This is a basic swiss chard recipe: Swiss Chard with Balsamic Vinegar. Our family really likes this Swiss Chard, Sausage, White bean casserole ( I use the stems and leaves of the chard). This Swiss Chard and Ricotta Crostata  is a wonderful recipe, and one of my all-time favorites. Swiss chard leaves can be used just like spinach in my Crustless Spinach Quiche recipe. Swiss chard can also be used in curry, as in these: Saag Paneer (I have used a bunch of swiss chard in place of spinach in this recipe; I washed, then coarsely chopped the chard stems and leaves, and then processed the swiss chard while raw in a food processor) and Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes.

Cucumber (HALF-Choice Item)store in plastic bag in refrigerator (our cucumbers are not waxed, so will lose moisture and become rubbery if not wrapped). Recipe Ideas: Cucumber infused WaterSmoothies with Cucumbers, Cucumber Salads: Creamy Cucumber Salad with Greek Yogurt and DillCucumber Salad with Garlic and Ginger and even Stir-fried Cucumbers! Pair with tomatoes in an Israeli SaladCucumber, Tomato, and Avocado Salad, Greek Salad and Panzanella Salad. Cucumbers are the base for the Mediterranean sauce, TzatzikiCold Cucumber Soup is also a refreshing way to use cucumbers.

Radishes (HALF-Choice Item): Store in plastic bag in refrigerator. Crisp radishes in ice water. Sliced radishes add great flavor to salads. You can also just eat them straight with butter and a sprinkle of salt. There are many variations of radish salads, here are a couple: Radish and Mint Salad , Smitten Kitchen’s chopped salad,  and Radish, Cucumber and Orange Salad. Radishes are milder when roasted or cooked. I cut radishes in half and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425F until tender crisp (they can be roasted alongside sweet potatoes or carrots for a nice flavor and color combination).

Green Onions (HALF-Choice Item): Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use in lots of Chinese/ other asian recipes (General Tso’s chicken and Korean beef are two Redfearn favorites) chicken salad, egg salad, salad dressing to name a few.

Kohlrabi (HALF-Choice Item): Both the leaves and the bulbous stem (the round part) are edible. The bulbous part can last for a couple weeks in the fridge, but the greens should be use within a couple days, both should be stored in plastic bags in the refrigerator . The bulb should be peeled by cutting off a thin slice on the top and bottom of the bulb and using a paring knife to cut the skin off the kohlrabi bulb.Here is a link with recipes using the kohlrabi bulb and greens, including one of our favorites, the kohlrabi patties: Kohlrabi Recipes. A simple preparation of kohlrabi is Butter- braised Kohlrabi: Peel kohlrabi, and thinly slice (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) and cook in a skillet with butter and olive oil and salt and pepper, add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth, cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Optional: Cream can be added at the end. Eaten raw, kohlrabi is fresh, crisp, and the ideal ingredient for a summer slaw, such as this Kohlrabi and Carrot slaw or in this excellent Kohlrabi- Apple Salad!

Eggplant (Half-Choice Item):Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator, but use quickly, because eggplant doesn’t store well. Eggplant can be sauteed, grilled or roasted.  Some wonderful eggplant recipes (that don’t require salting and draining the eggplant) are No-Fuss Eggplant ParmesanEggplant Parmesan Melts and Smitten Kitchen’s Eggplant Bruschetta (which has a Mediterranean style topping).Here’s a page with detailed instructions about eggplant preparation and recipes: Fine Cooking: How to cook Eggplant. It is great combined with zucchini and tomatoes (such as in Ratatouille). For eggplant recipes from Italy to China, check out these: Global Eggplant Recipes. Moussaka is a greek dish with eggplant. Here is a relatively simple recipe for Moussaka recommended by a CSA member (and also tried and deliciously approved by the Redfearn family). Some chefs suggest salting and draining the prepared (sliced, cubed, etc) eggplant for at least 20-30 minutes before cooking (this takes away any bitterness and also, helps the eggplant to absorb less oil during cooking), but I have gotten away from it the past year.

Radishes (Half- Choice Item): Store in plastic bag in refrigerator. Crisp radishes in ice water. Sliced radishes add great flavor to salads. You can also just eat them straight with butter and a sprinkle of salt. There are many variations of radish salads, here are a couple: Radish and Mint Salad , Smitten Kitchen’s chopped salad,  and Radish, Cucumber and Orange Salad. Radishes are milder when roasted or cooked. I cut radishes in half and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425F until tender crisp (they can be roasted alongside sweet potatoes or carrots for a nice flavor and color combination).

Basil  (Half-Choice Item)To keep basil fresh, trim the stems and place them in a glass or jar of water, just like cut flowers. Loosely cover it with a plastic bag and leave it on the counter. Do not refrigerate or basil will darken.Here are some ways to use basil: top sliced tomatoes with chopped basil and olive oil, make Pesto, or use to season Italian dishes, or even in Thai dishes (although it is not authentic Thai basil), such as in this Thai Green Curry Chicken. If you need to preserve basil leaves; it can be pureed with olive oil and frozen (in ice cube trays or small plastic bags. For more detailed instructions for preserving basil, click here. If you need more ideas for how to use basil, check out this link: 34 Basil recipes to carry you through summer.

Green Onions (Half- Choice Item): Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. Use in lots of Chinese/ other asian recipes (General Tso’s chicken and Korean beef are two Redfearn favorites) chicken salad, egg salad, salad dressing to name a few.

Cabbage (Half- Choice Item): Store in the refrigerator. Cabbage can be stir friedroastedpaired with Kielbasa Sausage, made into salad or into Sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is one of the best ways to preserve cabbage.

Spicy peppers (Half-Choice item): Jalapeno or Anaheim peppers. Store in plastic bag, in refrigerator. Ideas: Chop and add to salsa, or our new favorite is this Jalapeno Popper Dip. If you want to try water-bath canning, try this Jalapeno Jelly (I’ve used a combination of peppers). Anaheim and poblano peppers can be stuffed, as in these Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Peppers, or Black beans and Cheese stuffed Poblano Peppers, or Rice and Beef stuffed Peppers and used as a stuffing in Jalapeno Popper Chicken. Peppers can be frozen; slice or dice and then place in freezer bags, can be used in fajitas, or anywhere you would use cooked peppers (after thawing the peppers are soft).

Sweet Candy Onions (Half- Choice Item):Store in a cool, dry, well ventilated area; in a bowl/ basket on your counter should be fine, but NOT right by Potatoes (Onions produce ethylene, which can cause potatoes to go bad). Here is some inspiration if you need more ideas of how to use onions: 50 Onion Recipes.

Garlic (Half- Choice Item):Store in a cool, dry, well ventilated area; in a bowl/ basket on your counter should be fine.

If you would like more recipe ideas, I have a pinterest board devoted to CSA vegetable recipes:  http://www.pinterest.com/sheriredfearn/csa-veggies-recipes/

Dave Redfaern

Dave Redfaern

Owner at Redfearn Farm
Hi there! I'm Dave,and together with my wife Sheri and the kids, and along with Mom Redfearn, we make up the Redfearn Family Farmers.

We work as a family alongside a community of committed community supported agriculture members to grow healthy food in an environmentally responsible fashion. If you live in the Kansas City area, we’d love to be your farmers too.
Dave Redfaern