I love tomatoes, but I never eat them out of season. I don’t even feel tempted to buy one of those bland, red tomatoes from the supermarket. I wait and wait for our tomatoes to ripen; for the first taste of a juicy heirloom variety. My favorites are Aunt Ruby’s Striped German and Brandywine. I love their large, unusual shapes. Some so large (2lbs or more) that they crack before we can harvest them, which doesn’t change how wonderful they taste. This year we’ve added some French Heirlooms that we are trialing for taste and durability. In fact, they are not true heirlooms, but hybrids that have some disease resistance, which can make a big difference in longevity.
The beauty of eating with the seasons is that you get the best that our region (our small farm) has to offer and you fill up on it until it’s gone; which can also be the challenge of being a CSA member. Tomatoes can be used in so many ways, and in so many recipes that you can add them to every meal. Also, if I have too many, or they start to become too ripe, I cut them into slices or quarters, put them on a baking sheet with a little olive oil and roast them until a bit golden brown or caramelized. Then I let them cool before putting them into freezer bags for the winter. In the winter, those bags are like treasure on a cold day. I make soups, stews and sauces with those delicious tomatoes; extending their season and my delight.
Last night I made my favorite simple eggplant recipe. Slice eggplant about 1/2 inch, dip in egg and panko (or cornmeal if you are gluten free), fry or bake until crispy. Slice mozzarella on top with a big slice of tomato. Return to a baking sheet, under the broiler until cheese is melted and tomato is starting to caramelize.
The 12th Farm Share
Jalapenos and Anaheim Peppers
And, From Alicia, one of our hardworking shares.
August 16, 2016
I woke early this morning, not as early as the real farmer, but early enough to watch the mist hover over my yard. The beets I steamed last night were still in a pot on the stove, rising like mini islands from a red velvet sea. I popped one in my mouth, climbed on my bike and headed to Milkweed Farm for my weekly dose of meaningful work.
Lucretia greeted me at the farm store and led me to a long row of…. beets. And for the rest of the morning I harvested, trimmed, washed and stored crates and crates and crates of red and golden globes. By this time in the summer the greens are not great for steaming or chopping into salad, so they were trimmed off and contributed to the compost pile to nourish next year’s crop, although some of the more vibrant leaves I saved for the calf in the back pasture.
When I got home I made a smoothie with a few more of the steamed beets in the pot, a little pomegranate juice, a few kale leaves and a splash of lemon. It was sweet and so beautiful!
At the deli I noticed a creamy dip of beets, sour cream, lemon juice and garlic. That would be really good with a thick wedge of crisp cucumber. They also offered olive oil roasted beets with horseradish and parsley.
Tonight I made a thick borscht by sautéing Milkweed Farm cabbage, onion, carrot and beet in coconut oil and blending with a simple water, S&P broth. After tasting, I added one of the Anaheim peppers for a bit more zing. So BEET IT, and get to the kitchen to start cooking your farm share!