Backyard Gardens CSA: Week 18 — October 3, 2013

Greetings!

Steve hydrating after this morning's harvest.

Steve hydrating after this morning’s harvest.

We are sad to say goodbye to crewmember Steve this week — he is departing to start an AmeriCorps position down in California.  We’ll miss his red beard and orange hat, as well as his sense of fun and sense of humor.  But more than anything, we’re excited for his next grand adventure to begin.  (We’re also excited that he’s been toughing out these past few weeks of cold, rainy days with us too…)

Our summer crops, on the other hand, haven’t been toughing out the cold, rainy days nearly as well.  Gone are the days of basil and summer squash — we’re starting to pull dead plants out of the ground and get the field ready for winter.  But we’re not only thinking of our winter cover crop these days — the new hoophouse is home to lettuce starts, ready to weather the wind and the snow behind a sturdy wall of plastic.

Lettuce transplants run along drip irrigation lines in the new hoophouse.  How about fresh lettuce in February?

Lettuce transplants run along drip irrigation lines in the new hoophouse. How about fresh lettuce in February?

WHAT’S IN YOUR BIN?

FullShare_10-03Full Share

1 Cabbage
1 bunch Chard
1 Globe Eggplant
1 head Garlic
1 head Lettuce
1 Melon
4 Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
2 Sweet Peppers
1 bunch Radishes
1# Tomatoes

HalfShare_10-03Half Share

1 Cabbage
1 bunch Chard
1 Globe Eggplant
1 head Garlic
1 head Lettuce
2 Ailsa Craig Sweet Onions
1 Sweet Pepper
1 bunch Radishes
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes

 

RECIPES

Oven Roasted Eggplant

Eggplant
Olive Oil
Salt
Fresh Thyme Sprigs
Lemon Wedges or Vinaigrette for serving (optional)

  • Wipe the eggplant clean and slice them in half lengthwise.
  • With the tip of a knife, score the flesh deeply in a diamond cross-hatch pattern by making two or three long cuts, cutting at a steep angle, and then rotating the eggplant to make another set of similar cuts. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle salt (1 to 1-1/2 tsp. total for all the halves) over the surface and into the cuts.
  • Set aside, cut side up, for 30 min. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract the salty juice and wipe them dry with a paper towel.
  • Brush each half thoroughly with olive oil (about 1 tsp. per half for Italian eggplant, 2 tsp. per half for globe). Arrange each half, cut side down, on top of a sprig or two of thyme on the baking sheet.
  • Roast for 1 hour. The eggplant will collapse and the bottoms will be a deep brown caramel color.
  • Let cool considerably before handling, at least 20 min. Gently turn the cut side up.
  • If serving as a side dish, serve with a lemon wedge for squeezing or drizzle with vinaigrette. If using in other recipes, scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon.

Roasted Cabbage

1 head Cabbage
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Lemon Juice, for drizzling

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut cabbage into wedges.  Lay on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper the wedges to taste.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until tender and golden brown in spots.
  • Drizzle lemon juice over the tops of the wedges and serve immediately.

Roasted Sweet Onion Dressing

6 unpeeled Garlic Cloves
2 large Sweet Onions
1 1/4 cups Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the onions with oil and arrange on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 1 hour, until the onions and garlic are lightly charred and soft. Let cool.
  • Peel the garlic and transfer the cloves to a blender. Add the onions, cider vinegar and lemon juice and puree until smooth.
  • With the blender on, gradually add the 1 1/4 cups of vegetable oil until incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Dressing keeps in the refrigerator for four days.  Try it as  vinaigrette on the Roasted Eggplant, above!