In the share this week:
1 lb mixed slicer tomatoes
1 bunch sweet or lemon basil
1 bunch rossa di milano onions
1 pint cherry tomatoes or 1 head garlic
3-4 cocktail cucumbers
2 summer squash (crookneck or zucchini) or 1 lb green beans
1 bag salad mix
Thoughts from Farmer Anna:
We often have a hard time getting out the door to do sporty active things with the family in the summer. The farm keeps the adults around here plenty active and busy during the summer months, and when we are home it's easy to just keep finding things to do until there is no time left for family fun. The kids do enjoy being outside at our house, and puttering around our home gardens with us, but the farm part is up a big hill and they aren't always keen to climb it. So you can imagine just how lovely and exciting it was for us to take our canoe out for a paddle this weekend! Steve and I bought a canoe when we were grad students in Wisconsin and lived near three big lakes and various navigable creeks. Sadly, we haven't been out in it since 2012! We decided to take the kids and canoe to AJ Jolly Park since there is a pretty nice lake there. We took turns with different kids since all five of us wouldn't fit together. Everyone had an awesome time and they can't wait to go back. I'm feeling great about having a new go-to summer activity. Now that we unearthed all of our paddling stuff, it will be easy to get back out there again soon!
On the farm today, we brought in our red onion crop. These are the biggest and loveliest red onions we have ever grown! They'll be in the greenhouse for a couple of weeks while they dry and then they will start appearing in shares. The ones we pulled today are a different variety than the fresh onions you'll get in your share this week. The share onions are called Rossa di Milano and are a lighter colored red onion that is a little less pungent than the Cabernet red onions that we are drying. I think you will really enjoy them!
The big tomatoes are finally here! Everyone will get 1 lb of slicer tomatoes this week and Wednesday and Thursday shares will get cherry tomatoes too. I won't have any extra big tomatoes for adding or swapping this week, but by next week we should be harvesting enough for you to add more than 1 lb if you like. We are growing 5 or 6 varieties of tomatoes this year. We have standard medium red and orange slicers, a pink tomato called Martha Washington, Pink Berkeley Tie Dye (green and pink striped), Marnero (a dark French variety similar to Cherokee Purple), and a red beefsteak (Bigdena). I'm fairly sure we lost all of the plants of a couple of other varieties that we had planted when we got that 26 degree night on May 9th. We like giving a mix of varieties as much as possible, but of course it will vary a bit from week to week depending on what is available and looking good.
I thought we wouldn't have green beans until next week, but they surprised us and came on sooner that we expected. I hadn't put them in the set share, but all members getting shares this week can swap green beans for either the summer squash or cucumbers if you let me know. We have several nice bean plantings coming up, so you'll be getting lots of tasty green beans of a couple varieties in the next weeks!
Recipes from Maria:
Summer Squash Casserole
4 lbs. yellow squash (preferably small to medium), sliced into rounds about 1/3-inch thick
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg
3/4 cup + 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp dried chives
3 Tbsp butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (2 tsp)
1 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add squash and let boil just until nearly tender, about 5 - 6 minutes. Drain into a colander, set aside to drain well.
While squash is boiling in a mixing bowl stir together sour cream, egg, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, parsley and chives. Set aside.
Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a 12-inch saute pan or deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until slightly golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
Add squash to pan along with sour cream mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss mixture to evenly coat the pour into prepared baking dish and spread even. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven 20 minutes.
Melt remaining 2 Tbsp butter in a small mixing bowl. Add in 3/4 cup panko and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and toss to evenly coat mixture. Remove casserole from oven after the 20 minutes and sprinkle mixture evenly over top.
Move oven rack to upper third of the oven, return casserole to oven. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese has melted and casserole is heated through.
Turn on broiler and broil just briefly to make topping golden brown, about 1 - 2 minutes (don't walk away from it, it will brown quickly!). Serve casserole warm garnished with a little chopped parsley if desired.
Korean Cucumber Salad Ingredients
2 cucumbers, sliced into 1/8-inch thick pieces
1 scallion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Place the cucumber slices and chopped scallions in a medium or large mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Stir in sugar and salt and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Pour the sauce over the cucumber slices and scallions and toss.
Sprinkle chili pepper flakes and sesame seeds and toss until the cucumber slices are evenly coated. Serve.