Backyard Gardens’ CSA: Week 6 – July 12, 2012

Basil

Good day!

This is Vanessa. I am writing to give you the hot news from the BYG fields. With summer in full swing our warm weather crops are bursting with color and life. On Tuesday we harvested our largest quantity of salad and celebrated with our first vine ripened tomatoes grown here in Joseph.

Soon, a true taste of summer will be making its way into your CSA bin. This week you will be able to add a burst of fresh basil flavor to your meal.

Another newcomer to your CSA bin this season is beets! You have seen them earlier in the season as beet greens. Now look, they are all grown-up. Enjoy these red roots. Beet roots are rich in potassium and contain protein, fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, and vitamins A and C. They can be baked, boiled, steamed, pickled, and served hot or cold. The delectable greens contain vitamins A and C, and more iron and minerals than spinach. Beets go especially well with lemon and orange, vinegar, any form of cream, onions, walnuts, parsley, caraway seed, dill, tarragon, and mustard.

What you will see in your CSA bin this week:

Half Share and Full Share: Quantities vary according to share size

Young beets in the ground

Peas
Broccoli
Garlic Scapes
Spinach
Scallions
Basil
Beets

Taste the flavor of your beets. Some recipe suggestions:

Beet Root

Roasted Potatoes, Beets and Onions Vinaigrette
Recipe from the Joy of Cooking

This is more an approach than a hard-and-fast recipe.  We love the color, flavor and texture mix of potatoes, beets, and onions, but eggplant, asparagus, or carrots could be added or substituted.  If you do not have access to baby vegetables, quarter and roast large ones, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss together and arrange in a single layer in a baking pan:
12 fingerling or creamer potatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
12 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Toss together and arrange in another baking pan:
8 ounces cipolline or pearl onions, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Toss together and arrange in a third baking pan:
12 ounces baby red, chiogga, or golden beets, trimmed and scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Tightly cover each pan with foil and roast the vegetables until tender, 35 to 40 minutes; uncover the potatoes and garlic after 20 minutes to allow them to brown and crisp slightly.  Reserve any juices from the beets and stir into a basic vinaigrette.

While the beets are still warm, gently rub their skins off, using paper towels.  Arrange the roasted vegetables around a mound of:
1 cup loosely packed mixed fresh herbs

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables.  Serve at room temperature.

 

Sauteed Beet Greens
Recipe from the Joy of Cooking

Remove the stems and wash:
1.5 pounds beet greens

Leave whole if the leaves are small, or cut them into wide ribbons.  Shake off as much water as possible.  Heat in a large skillet:
2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil

Add and cook over medium heat until softened:
1 large shallot, finely diced, or 2 tablespoons diced onions

Add the beet greens and sprinkle with:
Salt to taste

Cook, tossing the greens in the pan, until wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes.  Serve with:
Balsamic vinegar or lemon wedges