In your box:
- Beans (half shares)
- Endive Frisee (full shares)
- Head Lettuce
- Summer squash
- Green Onions
Growing up, August was always an angsty month for me. Summer was slowly receding into the rearview mirror, and up ahead was another year of school I was already dreading. I was always anxious about returning to school, and so when the calendar flipped to August I couldn’t pretend like summer might just go on forever.
Now that that I’m firmly entrenched in the world of farming and my school days are behind me (ok, LONG behind me!), I’ve started reevaluating August. Much to my surprise, it’s now taking its place as my favorite month of the year. The days are still long, but if I try to work too late into the night it’s dark by 9pm. It’s still hot, but the humidity of July usually subsides. The nights are cool, but it’s just a reminder that in a month we’ll start wearing sweaters.
Monarchs and swallowtails are everywhere, and you can’t take a step in the field without a cricket or grasshopper jumping out of the way. And the crops from the field are about as good as it gets–tomatoes with every meal, anyone?
This week’s box
My favorite delivery days are always when we have basil in the boxes. This aromatic herb infuses our delivery van with its incredible smell. It’s even enough to overpower the smell of sweat and grime I carry on me all summer!
Basil is a natural pairing with tomatoes on a Caprese salad or on pasta. It can also be processed for pesto sauce. And if you still can’t use it up, try drying it to use through the year. Just hang it upside down in a dark closet with low humidity, and after a few weeks its leaves will become brittle and you can smash it up as a dried herb.
This week we have our first beans of the summer. We grow green and yellow beans as well as a purple/white variety called “Dragon’s Tongue.” Our first planting was wiped out by drought and heat, so the beans will come in slowly the first couple weeks before they really pick up. The key with green beans is to not overcook them. About 5 minutes in boiling water generally gets them tender enough to enjoy without turning them into mush.
Tomato and Fresh Basil Soup
from Vegetarian, by Linda Fraser
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 TB butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- about 3 c. vegetable stock
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 2 TB sun-dried tomato paste
- 2 TB shredded fresh basil
- 2/3 c. heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- whole basil leaves, to garnish
- Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan until foaming. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring, until the onion is softened but not brown.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and garlic, then add the stock, white wine and tomato paste, with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, half-cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the tomatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Next week, we are expecting lettuce, kale, sweet onions, summer squash, cucumbers, potatoes, beans, garlic and tomatoes
Sauteed Green Beans
Lettuce and Escarole Salad: