Weekly Share June 24th – 30th

Candy Onions
Napa or Tendersweet Cabbage
Romano Beans or Sungold Tomatoes
Arugula or Lettuce Mix

Suddenly after a very wet May, we find ourselves in solid drought conditions. We are running irrigation 12-15 hours per day to keep the crops satiated. The last of our lettuce, cut greens, bunching greens, carrots, beets, and herbs need a lot of water when it gets hot and windy like it has been over the past 5 days. Most of the Summer crops can handle the dry once they are well established; but our peppers and okra are still very small and recently planted later successions of tomato, zucchini, cucumber, and beans need water to get established so currently we are doing all we can to keep things hydrated. This week we begin the first seeding of trays for our Fall and Winter crops. This is a very large planting that includes all our fall cabbage, cauliflower, Romanesco, fennel, and early broccoli. We hope sometime in the next month we get rain, even with a passing thunderstorm, as prepping soil that is compact and dry can nearly impossible. At least 50% of our crop land is double cropped each year, so often our fall crop areas were utilized in the spring as well, meaning that preparation can be pretty extensive to eradicate weeds and crop residue and there is compaction from foot and tractor traffic. We are used to July and early August being dry; but it has been at least a few years since we have had such a dry June.
This week’s share will include the last cut greens till later in the summer. With all this heat, eat them quickly, they do not have the heartiness of cool season young greens; but they are still delicious. The candy onions, while on the small side are so delicious this year. They have begun drying back but are not cured or shelf stable, so use in the next few weeks. Timed with the Summer solstice a few days ago, the sungold tomatoes and romano green beans are coming on strong, a sign that Summer is truly upon us, if the heat didn’t already let you know. Romano green beans are a wide podded green bean, a style of green bean found all over Eastern Europe, Italy, Greece, Turkey, & Georgia. They are more robust than a classic American green bean. The most traditional preparation is braising or stewing the green beans in tomatoes, with onions and garlic. They also make a stellar green bean salad, just blanch till tender but still a little toothy, rough cut, and dress with sweet onions, herbs, and lemon or a vinegar of choice. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share….Brian & Autumn

Cucumber & Fennel Salad

Couscous and Cucumber Salad

Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Fennel, & Arugula Salad

Cabbage Fried Rice

Spicy Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Tahini-Smothered Charred Cabbage

Romano Beans with Red Onion, Oil & Vinegar –recipe from Kitchen Garden Farm
1 lb or so Romano beans
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
This is a very simple, delicious way to prepare any type of string bean, and it makes a great summer salad or cold vegetable side dish. When Tim was working at a farm in Tuscany, this dish was on the table every single day, and everyone would add the oil and vinegar to their own liking. Simply wash and trim the beans (cut into bite sized pieces if you wish) and boil in heavily salted water for 5-10 minutes. They should be fully cooked but not disintegrating. Drain the beans and immediately plunge into cold water to arrest the cooking. Drain and toss with the red onion, salt & pepper, oil and vinegar. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Greek-Style Green BeansBean by Bean: A Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon
The traditional Greek recipes in which this method is rooted use as much as three quarters of a cup of olive oil — too much for me. The few tablespoons here give flavor and allow the green beans to caramelize. Pretty they are not, but with one bite that is moot. Back in my restaurant days, I once received a proposal of marriage from a guest on the basis of these green beans. Pay careful attention to the details here. Technique is all.
1 pound fresh green beans, tipped and tailed
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 tablespoons olive oil
About 1 tablespoon medium to finely chopped garlic (5 or 6 cloves)
1 large fresh tomato, chopped (I go ahead and leave the skin on and seeds in; if you are fussier than me, remove both and use only the chopped pulp of 2 tomatoes)

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