This Week’s Harvest
Globe eggplant or fairytale eggplant
Red bell peppers
Summer squash and zucchini
Tomatoes retain their flavor best when they are not refrigerated. They should store for a good while on your kitchen counter.
While we weren’t able to plant as many heirloom tomatoes as originally planned, we did get our absolute favorite, striped German, planted. Each box has at least one and you’ll want to wait to eat it until it has fully colored: deep red with streaks of yellow.
Perhaps you have already delved into the world of food preservation, but if you haven’t we highly recommend it! It can be hard to find the time, for sure, but just like a farm fresh tomato tastes better then a grocery store tomato, a bag of frozen corn prepared by you tastes better then grocery store frozen corn. Plus time spent in the summer is time saved in the winter — there is no kitchen prep when all you have to do is grab bags from the freezer or open a couple cans from the cupboard!
We will most likely be offering our CSA members a bulk tomato deal in the coming weeks. One favorite way to put up tomatoes is to make a purée. We cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and throw them in a big pot. We cook them down on very low heat for at least half a day, stirring every so often. We then run them through a simple hand held food mill and let it cool down. Then we pour the purée into quart freezer bags and freeze. In the winter we use this purée as a base for soups and stews (it can be used traditionally, like in minestrone or chili, or in place of any recipe calling for veggie or chicken broth). If we need pizza or spaghetti sauce, we let the purée cook down further and find the sauce to be plenty thick- if we need thick sauce in a hurry we just add a can of tomato paste. We can make enchilada sauce with our purée, tacos, crock pot meals, BBQ sauce– the possibilities are pretty endless.
Other favorite food preservation methods include roasting eggplants whole and grating summer squash and zucchini. Once the eggplant is cooked, the skin peels right off. We then plop the whole eggplants into freezer bags and freeze. When we are ready to use them in the winter, we thaw, cube, and throw into the pot. With the zucchini, we grate, squeeze out the extra water and into the freezer bags it goes. Grated zucchini is then great for baking, and winter is great time for baking! Of course it helps to have freezer room, so canning is a wonderful way to preserve food that doesn’t require special storage.
Then there is the world of pickling and fermenting! While we only have experience with making sauerkraut, we really hope to expand in this arena starting with pickled beets and eggs. So good!
Since we are unable to provide our customers with fresh veggies year round, it is our hope that you all get to preserve at least something while we have it for you fresh!
Sweet corn and zucchini pizza ( we have homemade pizza a lot… This recipe is a new take that I am excited to try this week)
Pasta alla Norma (this recipe comes with a CSA member recommendation!)