CSA WEEK #28

 
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The long, slow cool down of the farm season is ticking away... And while there are still days ahead of warmth and sunshine, these past few rainy afternoons have started to sink in. Summer will be here soon and we’re in a transitional period here at the farm. We can feel it with the last crop of tomato plants in the ground and as we savor the last of the lettuce that would soon wither in the intense sun in months to come.  

With that, we are planning our summer wisely as we have a new piece of property to tend to, a greenhouse to erect on Black Finger Farm, a new CSA season sign-up to initiate, and lastly a long awaited cross country road trip to begin! 

In the mean time, we continue to pop-up all over town at the markets, now bringing you lots of summer greens to cool you, herbs to flavor your food, and tomatoes... in a few weeks! 

The recipes below highlight our newest vegetable harvest, the eggplant. Eggplant is used in so many ways - Tempura and pickling by Japanese, stir-fry and boiling by Chinese, stuffing and baking by Indian and Vietnamese. Oreintal eggplants are sweet and delicious! 

Cheers from Black Finger Farm! 


*These two recipes both use za'atar, a perfect spice blend of the familiar and the unexpected - thyme, marjoram and oregano mingle with exotic sumac and sesame seeds that have been carefully roasted to unlock their full flavor potential. I've linked where it can be purchased on Amazon, but you can even find this blend at major grocery chains like Walmart and Whole Foods. 

SMOKY EGGPLANT TAHINI DIP
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 30-40 MINUTES    SERVES: 1 CUP

  • 2-3 slender asian eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, left in their skins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons tahini
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • pinch of za'atar (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil for serving

Prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the eggplant cut side down along with the garlic on a baking sheet with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and roast in in the oven until the eggplant is charred and very tender. About 35-40 minutes.
  2. When cool enough to handle scrape the flesh of the eggplant (even the charred bits and some of the skin is okay too!) into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Slip the garlic out of its skin and add the lemon juice, tahini, cumin, sumac (if using) and za'atar (if using). Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
  3. Scoop the dip into a bowl and top with minced parsley, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and more za'atar if using.
  4. Serve with toasted sliced of baguette or crackers.

GRILLED EGGPLANT WITH ZA'ATAR & YOGURT
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES    SERVES: 4-6

Grilled Eggplant

  • 3-4 small eggplants, sliced in half lengthwise
  • healthy pinch of kosher salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil (more or less depending on the size of your eggplants)
  • 1-2 tablespoons za’atar + additional to taste as needed
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup full fat plain yogurt (sheep, goat or cow)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • healthy pinch of fine sea salt
  • small pinch of sumac (optional)

Prepare

  1. Oil the grates of an outdoor grill and heat it to medium high.
  2. Toss the sliced eggplant with the salt and oil. Place the eggplant cut side down on the preheated grill and cook until lightly charred on the underside, about 10-12 minutes. Flip the eggplant and continue to cook until the skin is blackened and the flesh seems soft, about 10 minutes longer.
  3. Remove the eggplant from the grilled and toss it with the za’atar, parsley, and toasted pine nuts.
  4. Whisk all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce together. Taste test and adjust flavors as needed.
  5. Serve the grilled eggplant and yogurt sauce on a platter at warm or at room temperature.

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Lactuca sativa

'Salanova Red Butter':

known for its smooth buttery flavor and visually appealing vibrancy. 

ROASTED BEET AND SALANOVA SALAD WITH FARRO AND LEMON DRESSING
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES    SERVES: 2-4

  • 1-2 heads of lettuce, torn into bite size pieces (about 6 cups worth)
  • 4-5 small sized beets, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1/2 cup organic feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced

Lemon Dressing:

  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp dijon style mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Prepare

  1. Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Cook the farro according to package directions. This should take about 30 minutes to cook.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add beets and cook until fork tender. About 10 minutes. Drain and set aside until ready to use.
  4. Once beets and farro have fully cooked add them to the lettuce. Toss in the red onion and feta cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and dressing. Enjoy.