In your box:
- Cherry tomatoes (Full shares) or Juliet grape tomatoes (halves)
- Endive Frisee
- Summer squash
- Sweet Onion
Over the past week we’ve harvested all of our garlic crop for the year–about 1500 bulbs. The garlic looks pretty good overall, and it will be ready for your boxes once it dries out for 2-3 weeks. It’s the first major crop area that we’re finished with for the year–it’s so startling to walk by the garlic field and see a big empty space! The garlic field will be planted to a cover crop to stabilize and build the soil through the winter, but for now it’s a reminder that the growing season is so short in Minnesota!
This week’s box
Yesterday I came in from work and my son said, “Daddy, you smell like tomatoes.” It’s true! Tomato season is finally upon us and over the next few weeks we’ll be inundated with the versatile fruits. Young tomato leaves are covered in an oil known as “tomato tar,” which tends to stick to the hands and shirts it comes in contact with. Tomato season lasts until mid-September, so I’ll be smelling like tomatoes for the next several weeks.
Our tomato plants look promising, so this week’s meager harvest is just a taste of what’s to come. In addition to a hybrid tomato, we also have cherry tomatoes for the full shares and my favorite grape tomatoes, “Juliet,” for the half shares.
We should have more head lettuce next week, but for this week we have our hot-weather stand-in, Endive Frisee. This large head of greens is closely related to dandelions, chicory, and radicchio, but this is my favorite member of the family. Escarole can be eaten raw in a salad, but most folks find it a little strong and you might prefer lightly wilting it or cooking it down for just a couple minutes so it becomes tender and less bitter. Endive keeps in the fridge for a week to ten days and prefers a plastic bag to keep it fresh.
We also have our first Beets of the year in your box this week. We grow both golden and red beets, but the taste and usage is the same. Beets are happiest in the fridge and keep well for 2 weeks. The greens are edible and can be used in the same ways as spinach or chard. They don’t keep as long as the roots, so you’ll want to keep them in a bag and use them in 5 days or so.
This week’s cabbage is a triangular shaped variety called “Caraflex.” Yes, I grow it simply because it’s weird. But it’s also a great tasting, compact variety that fits into CSA boxes, so it fits the bill for our farm. This cabbage is great in a cole slaw or cooked into a borscht soup (see recommended recipes).
Roasted Beet and Frisee Salad
- Heat the oven to 350.
- Scrub 4 beets, then cut in half and then into thin half rounds. Toss with olive oil, salt and black pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a large cast iron skillet.
- Roast until the beets are browned on one side, then flip them and cook another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a dressing with 2 T. each prepared horseradish, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Add 1/4 C. of plain yogurt and season with salt and pepper.
- Separate the leaves of 1 head of frisee. Set aside any darker green outer leaves for cooking, and use the lighter colored inner ones. Soak in water and rinse carefully to remove any grit.
- Spin the frisee to dry and place in a large bowl. When the beets are done, toss them directly into the bowl with the frisee and toss to combine. The frisee should wilt a bit. Add the dressing a little at a time until it coats the greens lightly.
To make this a more substantial salad, add croutons and/or chopped hard boiled eggs.
Next week, we are expecting lettuce, cabbage, green onions, summer squash, cucumbers, potatoes, broccoli, basil and tomatoes.