As we reach the end of July on the farm we are transitioning to some of our later season summer crops. There are several more varieties of peppers coming on this week. You'll get jalapenos or shishitos in your share this week. The jalapenos will stay fresh in your fridge for several weeks if you just like a bit of heat here or there and don't want to use them up right away. If you haven't had shishito peppers before, they are a tasty Japanese pepper that has a pretty mild, slightly nutty flavor (although supposedly 1 in 20 is a bit hotter). Folks often grill or blister these peppers whole and eat them as an appetizer. Maria has several great ideas for using the shishitos or jalapenos this week. Pickling peppers (like jalapeno, shishito, or banana) is also a great way to preserve their flavor and they keep for months in the fridge this way. When you get more peppers in your share in future weeks, you can simply chop and add them to the pickling liquid.
Our winter squashes are starting to ripen up, and those will be prime to start giving in shares after our two week break. You can look forward to delicata squash, pie pumpkins and butternut squash in late August and into September. We also have a bed of rainbow carrots that should be timed nicely for after the break. I'm excited about these carrots. We planted 4 varieties, purple, orange, red and yellow. Fingers crossed they turn our well! Egglant is another crop that is just starting to produce and will be on strong after the break. We have three varieties again this year, two italian (black beauty and a purple and white striped heirloom variety) along with a long purple asian eggplant. So much goodness to look forward to!
We'll be using our extra time in the next couple of weeks to get most of our fall plantings in the ground. We've already planted broccoli, and we have lacianto kale, napa cabbage, regular cabbage, and kohlrabi to get in soon. We'll also be seeding more baby greens like red russian kale and arugula and lots of salad turnips, beets, carrots, and several types of radishes. This break is really timed quite perfectly to get this work done. We've been keeping up pretty well with weeds this year, but this will also give us some extra time to get the farm in good order heading into the fall, and for our CSA open house coming up on August 18th!
Hope you all have a great couple of weeks. Remember that if you are able to stop by our market stand during the break at Independence (5272 Madison Pike on Saturday 8:30 am -1 pm) or Ft. Thomas (Tower Park on Wednesday 3-7 pm) we'll give you two items for free!
Recipes from Maria:
Cooking with Shishito Peppers
There is no need to remove the seeds from shishito peppers as they are tender and not overly spicy. Generally, shishito peppers are cooked whole and served blistered as an appetizer.
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Yogurt Cilantro Dip
Makes 1 pound of shishito peppers and 1/2 cup of dip.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound freshly harvested shishito peppers
Pinch sea salt to taste
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
Juice and zest from 1/2 of a lime
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a cast iron pan and add whole peppers over medium heat. Turn peppers after they blacken and blister on the bottom side. Once they are charred all around, remove them from the pan and sprinkle with fine gray sea salt.
To make the dip, combine the last four ingredients and add a pinch of sea salt to taste.
Shishito Ahi Poke
Makes 2 main servings or 4 appetizer servings.
1/2 pound fresh ahi tuna, cubed
1 grapefruit, zested and cubed
2 avocados, cubed
1 cup of cucumber, cubed
2 green onions, thinly sliced
6 shishito peppers, finely diced, seeds and all.
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
Whisk the soy sauce, oil, sesame seeds, grapefruit zest, shishito peppers, and green onions together.
Cut the ahi into 1/2″ cubes, add the dressing, and marinate for 1 hour in the fridge.
Cut the grapefruit, avocado, and cucumbers into 1/2″ cubes and stir them together in a bowl. Add the other ingredients and mix to combine.
Serve on a bed of lettuce or rice.
Pickled Shishito Peppers
Makes 1 jar.
1 cup vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 clove garlic
5-6 shishito peppers
Bring vinegar, water, and grated garlic to a boil in a small sauce pan.
Pack a clean 1-cup Mason jar with five to six shishito peppers, stem side up.
Strain the vinegar mix and pour into jar, covering the stems with at least 1/4″ headspace.
Process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes. Pickles are ready in three weeks and will last for up to one year.
Cheesy Baked Jalapeno Black Bean Dip
2 cups low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 of a lime, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
2/3 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
4-6 jalapeños, seeded and sliced into thin rounds
1/4 cup crushed Kettle Brand Chili Lime Avocado Oil Potato Chips
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Pulse all ingredients up until the cheese in a food processor and purée till well blended. Scrape down the edges of the bowl as needed.
Add ⅓ cup of the cheese and the chopped jalapeños and pulse (about 3 pulses).
Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish or skillet and top with the rest of the cheese, a few slices of jalapeño and crushed potato chips.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dip is bubbly. Top with more cilantro and serve with chips.