Good Morning Everyone,
We hope you all have been enjoying some of this early season farm bounty as we slide into the dog days of summer. We know it is hard to believe, but even with all that rain, the warm temperatures of this week have found your farmers back on the regular irrigation schedule, deep watering the large plants and feathering the water on the newly sowed seeds to ensure proper germination of fall crops. In addition to the weeds and grasses that have been taking advantage of the warm weather, the pests have also decided to multiply in abundance and we have spent much of our time this week strategizing as to how to win the battles. For example, this morning we spent a good chunk of time picking striped cucumber beetles off of our baby winter squash plants. We felt like Godzilla attacking tiny squash apartment buildings populated with beetles...because each beetle can lay 1500 eggs a season, the hope was to knock the population back enough to give the plants a fighting chance. We will keep you updated :)
This will be the last week for sugar snap peas as the hot weather has abruptly stopped the flowering of the plants. On to the shelling peas next week...always something to look forward to. Also at the stand this week, one of my favorite members of the chicory family, the strange tiny cabbage looking vegetable known as radicchio. Italians go crazy for this stuff and it is a lovely addition to any type of green or grain salad. We made a lovely quinoa salad with radicchio, fennel, cucumber, spring onion, mint and basil. Very refreshing and easy for a hot summer side. Make a quick dressing with lemon, olive oil, and some emulsified garlic scapes and you can go wrong.
Carrots can also be found at the stand this week. A quick and easy snack, they are sure to satisfy kids and adults alike. They also saute well with the sugar snap peas, so don't pass up this spring combination.
Cucumbers are also starting to trickle in. Slow at first, but soon in abundance, think cucumber yogurt dressing with zucchini corn-meal fritters. We made these for father's day and they did not disappoint.
An interesting cooking green at the stand this week. Another favorite of the Italians, Spigiriello or commonly known as leaf broccoli is a tasty addition to our greens trifecta. Those of you who tried it last year raved about it and we liked it too so we brought it back for a second season. Don't be afraid to give it a try!
Finally, cauliflower will be in abundance for the next two weeks. Our spring variety has a white crown with a purple underbelly and is magically delicious roasted. If you are feeling ambitious, try an Alice Water's favorite and roast it whole to serve as an appetizer at a party. It will surely impress!
See you all real soon!
THIS WEEK's VEGGIES:
Sugar Snap Peas
Baby Bok Choy
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Zucchini Corn Meal Fritters with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Shred 3 medium zucchini and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Add 2 eggs , 1/2 cup corn meal, a pinch of salt, one shallot or a couple of spring onions and some spices of your choice (I like graham masala). Stir and again, get rid of any excess moisture. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet and drop in zucchini batter in 2 inch balls. Flatten in skillet and then flip. Stack on paper towel lined plate in oven on low.
To a small food processor add: 1 cup plain greek yogurt, 2 gloves garlic or 3 scapes, 1/2 of a peeled, de-seeded cucumber, 1/2 tsp cumin, and a pinch of salt. Whirl together then add 1/4 cup olive oil while processing on low. Add feta or parm cheese if desired, whirl again, then drizzle over warm fritters and enjoy.