Backyard Gardens CSA: Week 13 — August 28, 2014

What a beautiful day! I’ve taken after Glen, who we all keep seeing at work on the front porch while we’re washing, and so I’ve co-opted his office since he’s out for the afternoon 🙂 Glen knows that with this lovely weather it’s hard to stay inside for long, especially after it’s warmed up a bit from the cool mornings. Christina tells me about how in some Chinese cultures they have a fifth season, what we call those amazing few weeks of late summer, usually the third week of August until the autumn equinox, right before it really gets cold out. It’s a time of plentiful harvest, where people enjoy friends and family and feasting. In that vein, I happened upon this Alice Waters quote in the latest edition of Sierra Magazine, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and how it has shaped, and continues to shape, us:

Dill

What’s the dill?

Our fast-food culture has brainwashed us to believe that nature is dangerous and outside ourselves. The easiest and most beautiful way to reconnect with nature is to reconnect with our food sources. When you plant food in your backyard and then grow it and cook it and eat it, you digest important ideas about nature. You realize how much you depend on it.

Be advised that I used Beth’s favorite cookbook, The Joy of Pickling, to bring you a good salsa verde recipe because, hey, what else are you going to do with tomatillos? Well, you could eat them raw, dry them like raisins, or throw them in some Indian dish, among many other things. Its too bad that you can’t make pints and pints worth of salsas with what we gave you, though I’m sure everything will be yummy just the same.

And last but not least, next week we should have potatoes for y’all. Until then!

Tomatillo

Happy eating,

Garik

WHAT’S IN YOUR BIN?

Full Share

Cucumbers – 2 pounds
Dill – 1 bunch
Eggplant – ½ pound
Garlic – 2 head
Lettuce – 2 head
Onions – 2 head
Peppers, hot – 4 each
Peppers, sweet – 2 each
Tomatillos – ¼ pound
Tomatoes – 1 pound

Half Share

Cucumbers – 1 pound
Dill – 1 bunch
Garlic – 2 head
Lettuce – 1 head
Onions – 2 head
Peppers, hot – 2 each
Peppers, sweet – 1 each
Tomatillos – ¼ pound
Tomatoes – ½ pound

The bin

RECIPES

Salsa Verde

Makes about 3 pints

Ingredients:
  • 2½ pounds tomatillos, husks removed, halved
  • ½ pound (about 8) roasted, peeled, and seeded Anaheim chile peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¾ cup lime juice
  • 2½ teaspoons pickling salt
Directions:
  1. In a nonreactive pot over medium-low heat, cook the tomatillos, stirring occasionally at first, until they are tender, about 10 minutes. After they have cooled a bit, blend them briefly in a blender or food processor.
  2. In the pot combine the tomatillo puree and the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes.
  3. Ladle the salsa into pint or half-pint mason jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Close the jars with two-piece caps and process the jars for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath.
  4. Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place.

recipe courtesy of The Joy of Pickling

Pepper

Oooo, pretty pepper!

Nasu Dengaku (miso eggplant)

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
  • Japanese or chinese eggplant
  • A little bit of olive oil
  • Chopped scallions
  • Sesame seeds
For the sauce:
  1. ¼ cup white or yellow miso paste
  2. ¼ cup mirin
  3. ¼ cup organic cane sugar (sometimes I use a bit less)
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice your eggplant in half, arrange on a baking sheet and gently score the surface of the flesh. Brush with a little bit of olive oil and pre-bake your eggplant for a few minutes until the flesh starts to become tender. (8 minutes or so, depending on the size of your eggplant). Remove eggplant from the oven and turn your oven temp to “broil.”
  3. Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the miso, mirin and sugar and bring to a gentle simmer. Whisk continuously until the sugar has dissolved and the glaze starts to thicken (2 minutes or so – barely bubbling). Remove from heat and let it cool (and continue to thicken) for a few minutes. Note – if you taste it at this point, it’ll seem VERY salty – it will sweeten once the sugars caramelize on the eggplant under the broiler.
  4. Liberally brush the glaze onto the eggplant. Broil until brown & bubbling (about 5-8 minutes). The amount of time will vary depending on the size of your eggplant and the strength of your broiler. Check after about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. If your eggplants are larger with tougher skin, scoop and eat just the flesh. These (pictured) were tiny and tender enough to eat with the skin.

recipe courtesy of Love & Lemons

Globe thistle