August 22nd 2007
1) In your box this week
3) Tomato U-Pick/Santa Cruz Host Needed
6) Which Farm?
8) Two Small Farms Contact Information
In your box this week: tomatoes, sweet peppers, cutting celery, rapini or chard, red beets, Steve's mystery, leeks
The tomato ID photo is above: from left to right: Cherokee Purple, German Striped, Green Zebra, Tangerine, San Marzano (a sauce type)
My suggestions for using these: the heirloom bags: a Caprese salad! recipe(s) below in the recipe section. San Marzanos: a simple tomato sauce, or roast them in the oven, this is a great side dish or chop them up as their own pasta sauce.
This week's vegetable list: I try to have it updated by Monday night, sometimes by Mon. am
How to store this week's bounty: all (except tomatoes) in the fridge as soon as you arrive home. The tomatoes can be stored at room temperature.
2) Countdown from Andy
Thrust is what a rocket needs to overcome the force of gravity and propel itself into space— lots of thrust. To reach escape velocity rockets burn liquid oxygen and nitrogen . I’m not sure what kind of fuel the chefs we sell vegetables to in San Francisco could burn to get out of the City— maybe a mixture of time and caffeine. There’s a powerful force field in that town that keeps chefs orbiting their stoves. They have access to the caffeine— it’s the time to mix it with that they lack.
It takes ninety minutes to reach our farm from San Francisco, driving at legal speeds, and some chefs with a lot of thrust have made it. Tiny Maes, for one, when he was cooking at Rose Pistola, came down one afternoon. Quite by accident he picked the hottest day of the decade. The heat was radiating off the rows in waves so thick we could have surfed them if we’d had asbestos boards.
“Man,” Tiny said. “I can’t believe you work in this every day.”
“We don’t,” I said. “The afternoon is the hottest part of the day, so we start at six and get most of the harvesting done by noon.” That seemed incredible to Tiny, because he’s a night owl.
Joseph Manzare from Zuppa has come down a couple of times. It probably only took him fifty minutes, but Joseph has a lot of escape velocity. He loaded his car up with produce and was moaning that he didn’t have a pick-up truck. But then he has three restaurants. He wanted lunch, so we went down the road to Dunneville and got tri-tip sandwiches. There’s no “ville” in Dunneville, just the corner market. Their tri-tip sandwiches are good, and there’s plenty of cold drinks. I wished that I’d of known Joseph was coming, because then I would have stopped on the way to the farm from home and gotten some tamales at Marshall’s Store in Aromas. I don’t live at the farm. I rent the land I farm and I live thirty four miles away in Watsonville.
Bruce Hill from Picco came down with his friend James Ormsby, who was cooking at Plumpjack Café then. They had to get back in time for dinner prep, so they couldn’t stay all day. I taught them how to pick pimientos de Padrón, which are these tiny little Spanish peppers that taste so good when they’re toasted up in a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Just to make things fun I whipped out a camp stove, some olive oil, and some sea salt, and I had two of the best chefs in San Francisco frying Padrón peppers for me in the shade. They had a lot of fun too, rushing straight from the plant to the pan— their only regret was that we didn’t have glasses of cool dry golden sherry to sip.
This weekend all of you are invited down for a u-pick, and you ought to learn from the chefs. Come down in the morning while the temperatures are still mild and it’s comfortable to work, Bring a big enough car so that you can haul off all you need, and by all means bring a stove, a pan, some olive oil, and some sea salt, because besides tomatoes we’re going to have Padrón peppers. I believe that ours will be the first and only Padrón u-pick to have ever happened in the U.S. Plus, our bee-keeper, neighbor and friend Greg will be there with fresh honey and answers to your questions about bees, and there will be a miniature farmers market under the tree with some of the potatoes we’re growing in a field next door. Prepare for lift off. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-t0mato U-pick!
Tomato Upick: this Saturday August 25th, 2007 9am to 2pm. Tomatoes that you pick are 50 cents a pound. Bring clothes to protect you from the sun; bring drinking water; bring shoes that can stand a bit of dirt or even mud.
directions to Hollister
3) Tomato U-pick
August 25th: Tomato Upick at Mariquita Farm in Hollister in the morning: 9am to 2pm. We will also have Padron Peppers at this Tomato Upick Day! Also available: Bee keeping demonstration and honey for sale with Greg the Bee Man, other produce for harvest and sale, farm tours with plenty of Q and A with Andy and Julia; mud puddles, a mini farmers market, Two Small Farms T-shirts, and more.
Directions to our Hollister Field:
101 South or North to Highway 25 East on 25 towards Hollister until the intersection with Shore Rd.
Left on Shore Rd. Head north on Shore Rd. to the intersection with San Felipe Rd.
Left on San Felipe Rd. and go a mile or so. The entrance to the farm will be on your left just AFTER a beautiful old two-story Victorian home which is located at 7210 San Felipe Rd.
**Please do not go in the yard of the Victorian. The farm entrance is just after the home. Please drive very very slowly on the dirt driveway to help keep down dust and also to protect your car from holes in the road. There will likely be a sign out by the starting time for the event on the farm gate.
**Our farm is not open to the public except during posted upick and other event hours. thanks for understanding: we're a busy working farm and not set up for 6 or 7 days a week of meeting and greeting the public.
Host Needed for Live Oak/Opal Cliffs area of Santa Cruz
Our wonderful hosts at the current location will be moving in September and we are looking for a new location. If you are interested, contact Zelda in the CSA office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-786-0625 for more info.
Cutting Celery (aka Smallage or Soup Celery)
Peppers (all peppers this week will be sweet, no spicy ones.)
Cutting celery is an actual celery, just without the enlarged stalk. It seems even more aromatic than regular celery and has fine celery flavor. Cutting celery looks like flat-leafed parsley, but is loaded with celery flavor. In Holland it is used to flavor soups and stews. It can also be chopped up and thrown into a green salad. It looks lots like Italian parsley, It can be used in many places that Italian parsley is used.
We’ve used cutting celery where we would the common, fat celery stalks of our childhood. We chop up the leaves to flavor stocks, soups and also fried rice. I like to throw fresh leaves into a green salad, along with parsley and arugula. I've been known to substitute it successfully for cilantro in Asian noodle dishes and for Italian Parsley in many different dishes.
Julia's Celery Soup
Take a bunch of smallage (soup celery) and wash it. Roughly chop and set aside. Chop 2 leeks and sautee briefly in butter or olive oil. Add one cubed raw potato if you like. Add the entire bunch of roughly chopped smallage (cutting celery). Add 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium heat. Puree with immersible blender or food processor. Thin with milk if you like. Season to taste with S & P.
Here's a great tomato tart recipe from our friend Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
Julia's Daily Caprese Salad
Chop 1 or more ripe heirloom tomatoes. Add chopped fresh basil if available. Add some cubed fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season to taste with S and P, and eat.
Elise's Tomato Basil Salad from Simply Recipes
Gringa Sopa, julia's recipe
"Sopa" is what we know as ‘Spanish rice' here in the US. The traditional Mexican sopa you see here in Watsonville is barely pink, usually made with just a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, rice, oil, and "knorr swisa", or powdered chicken bouillon. I like to make my own version of sopa, with more tomatoes and no bouillon. Here's my recipe:
2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, quartered and then pureed in the blender. (I've been known to leave the seeds and skins on....)
3 Tablespoons cooking oil
3 medium/large cipolline or other onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups raw rice
2 3/4 cups boiling water
Cook the onion in the oil in a large dutch oven with a lid that fits well until it's soft but not too brown. Add garlic and rice, cook another couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and salt, stir well, then add the water and cover and cook, covered, over low heat for 20 or so minutes.
Roasted Beets with Curry Dressing
adapted from Delicious TV
6 medium beets roasted
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 Tbl yogurt
2 Tbl Mayo (regular or vegan)
4 tsp curry powder
3 Tbl fresh lemon juice
10 tbl olive oil
4 Tbl chopped cutting celery or cilantro
Preheat oven to 375. Wash, trim and wrap beets individually in foil. Place in a shallow pan and roast until tender. A sharp kitchen paring knife should pierce through the foil easily. Set aside to cool. Mix dressing by combining all ingredients except oil. When all ingredients are smooth, whisk in the oil and set aside. Many people don’t prepare fresh beets because of the staining juices. Wearing laytex or vinyl gloves will protect your hands and preparing on a covered surface will protect your cutting board. I often roast beets without wrapping and use them skin included. However, this is an alternative method. Whatever method you use, it is well worth the effort!
Unwrap the beets, and rub away skin. Slice into wedges and set into your dish. Spoon curry over the beets and serve at room temperature.
Chickpea and Spinach soup
(Chickpea is another name for Garbanzo)
adapted from a recipe by Shakti
2 tbsp olive oil
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 chopped leek or onion
1tsp ground cumin
2 tsp coriander powder
3 big potatoes peeld and chopped
16oz can chick peas, drained
5 cups vegetable stock
1tbsp corn starch
2/3 cups heavy cream or half and half
2 tbsp sesame seed paste
1 bunch spinach, washed and roughly chopped
red chile powder
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and cook the garlic and onion until soft. Stir the cumin and coriander and cook. Add the stock and the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer. Add the chick peas and simmer until both are soft. Blend the sesasme seed paste, cream and the corn starch. Add the chile powder and mix into the soup. Add the spinach and bring to a boil. Keep stirring. Simmer for 5 minutes, add the salt and pepper and serve.
1/2 pound smoked sausage
1/4 olive oil or butter
3 cups cleaned, chopped leeks
3 tablespoons chopped herbal celery or parsley
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk or half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
S & P to taste
Slice or cut the sausage into thin slices. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the sausage, heat and stir for 3-4 minutes add the chopped leeks, heat and stir for 5 minutes. Add the celery/parsley, stir add the chicken broth bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. Return to the pot and place over a low flame; stir in milk and gradually stir in the grated cheese. Season to taste with S & P and serve hot.
Multi Pepper Salad with Fontina
adapted from From the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ogden
1.5 pounds Sweet peppers, roasted and cut into 1/4 inch strips
12 black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and coarsely chopped
6 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1.5 cups)
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped cutting celery OR tarragon OR parsley
1/4 cup best extra virgin olive oil
S & P to taste
Combine the peppers, olives, and cheese. Mix the cream, lemon juice, mustard, and herb in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with the S & P. Pour over the peppers and mix. Serve immediately.
Creamy Beet Soup with Pistachio Mousse
adapted from From the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ogden
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch beets, peeled and cubed
1 small onion or leek, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups white wine
2 cups apple cider or juice
dash of ground allspice
1 stick of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 pint sour cream or yogurt
S & P to taste
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts, slightly toasted
8 sprigs fresh chervil or 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
4 fresh mint leaves
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the beets and onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the apple juice, spices, and return to the boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook until the beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in the sourcream or yogurt.
Transfer to a bowl and cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile make the pistachio mousse. Process all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve the soup cold, seasoning with the salt and pepper and garnishing each bowl with a spoonful of the mousse.
Risotto with Spinach and Leeks
submitted by Dee Doyle, adapted from Cooking Light March 2001
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups coarsely chopped spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 lemon wedges
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; stir in spinach. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the broth is absorbed before adding the next portion (about 25 minutes). Stir in cheese and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
VEGETABLE AND LEEK SOUP
1 cup chopped white and pale green part of leek, washed well
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas, turnips, fava beans, green beans, etc. (pick one)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup sour cream
In a saucepan cook the leek and the garlic in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the leek is softened, add the chosen vegetable, the broth, and 1/2 cup water, and simmer the mixture, covered, until the vegetable is tender. Puree two thirds of the mixture in a blender until it is very smooth, stir the puree into the mixture remaining in the pan, and whisk in the sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the soup over moderately low heat until it is heated through, but do not let it boil.
a quote from Tom Robbins:
"The beet is the most intense of vegetables The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious."
6) Which Farm?
From High Ground: Spinach, Leeks, Beets, Mystery, Flowers.
From Mariquita: Tomatoes, Peppers, Cutting Celery
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8) Two Small Farms Contact Information
Two Small Farms
Mariquita Farm/High Ground Organics
Organically Grown Vegetables
P.O. Box 2065
Watsonville, CA 95077