Weekly Share November 13th – 19th

Cateto Polenta or Hickory King Cornmeal
Seminole Pumpkin or Sucrine Winter Squash
Purple Top or Golden Turnips
Nantes Carrots
Parsnips
Spinach
Collard Greens
Green Tomatoes
Highlander Yellow Onions

We have come to the last week of our CSA season. Thank you all so much for joining us and partaking in our farm’s bounty over the last 6½ months. During the past six seasons we have learned slowly but surely how to grow a variety of crops more successfully in our particular soil, while improving our land little by little. Each year some crops thrive, others fail and most do well enough while teaching us more about their particular needs. Overall though we are seeing improvement year by year, which is all we can hope for in this farming life. Thanks for giving us your support and taking on the risk with us. Although the CSA weekly shares are coming to an end; Tomten Farm is still in full production mode working on our Winter crop season. We will be bringing lots of delicious produce to Birdhouse Market next week, just in time for Thanksgiving and then in December we will be at South of the James every Saturday until Christmas. Richmond is such an ideal place to buy local food year around, as there are a number of local farms growing produce or raising meat during all four seasons. You can explore the bounty that Winter has to offer; with sweet greens and roots improved by the cold Winter nights plus squash, sweet potatoes, cruciferous crops, delicate young greens grown under cover, and our personal favorite, Winter chicories. Don’t forget your farmers during the Winter months.
In this week’s share we are excited to leave you all with some storage crops, so you can continue using our vegetables through the holiday. We have included winter squash varieties that can be wonderful either in pie or pastry as well as many savory preparations. We are excited to give you all the first milling of this season’s corn. You will receive either Cateto, a yellow Peruvian flint corn, ground as a medium-course polenta or Hickory King, a native white dent corn, ground as a medium-fine cornmeal. If you want to store it away for later we encourage you to put it in the freezer, in an airtight bag or container. We are hoping the first hard frost over the weekend helped sweeten the collard greens, spinach, parsnips, turnips, and carrots a bit. This was a significant first frost though. Our temperatures got into the low 20’s which is very unusual for a first frost in our experience around these parts. We are hoping that our greens were not too shocked, as sometimes the initial cold can damage the cell structure of the leaves, without killing the plants, making the greens or roots a bit mushy and limiting their storage potential. We are optimistic, as we tucked all the crops under row cover, protecting them from the wind and keeping them a few degrees warmer, we will see the effects though during harvest tomorrow. Please check out the assortment of recipes below for ideas with this week’s share. Thank you for joining us for this season, we look forward to another great one in 2018. Enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian
Green Tomato Frittata
Polenta With Braised Root Vegetables
Replace the Kohlrabi with Turnips in this recipe
22 Ways To Make The Most Of Cornmeal
Roasted Root Vegetable Hash
Creamed Spinach and Parsnips
Moroccan Carrot and Spinach Salad
Risotto With Winter Squash and Collard Greens 
Seminole Pumpkin
Berrichon Squash Pastry Adapted from ”The Compleat Squash” by Amy Goldman
Flour, for board
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
3 cups minced raw winter squash, preferably Sucrine du Berry, turban or butternut
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crème fraiche optional.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide each pastry sheet in half, and place 2 half-sheets on floured board. Mound squash on each, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with onion and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Use rolling pin to flatten and enlarge remaining half-sheets slightly. Place over filling, and seal by brushing with water and pressing together. Cut three slits in each pasty and brush with egg.
3. Transfer to a baking sheet, and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm in slices, with crème fraiche if desired.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings.
Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup – Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid
3-4 Shallots unpeeled
1 1/2 lbs of Pumpkin or Squash
2 cups canned Coconut milk
2 cups Pork or Chicken Broth
1 cup loosely packed Cilantro
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tbls. Thai fish sauce
Generous grindings of Black Pepper
¼ cup minced Scallions
In a skillet or on a grill, dry roast the unpeeled shallots until softened and blackened. Peel, cut lengthwise and set aside. Peel the pumpkin and clean off any seeds. Cut into ½-inch cubes. You should have 41/2 – 5 cups cubed pumpkin. Place the coconut milk, broth, pumpkin cubes, shallots, and coriander leaves in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and simmer over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes. **Stir in fish sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste for salt and add a little more fish sauce if you wish. (The soup can be served immediately, but has even more flavor if left to stand for up to an hour. Reheat just before serving.) Serve from a large soup bowl or in individual bowls. Grind black pepper over generously, and, if you wish, garnish with a sprinkling of minced scallion greens. Leftovers freeze very well.
**At this point you can strain out about 1/3-1/2 the pumpkin cubes and blend just for a few seconds, return to the pot and the soup will have a slightly more creamy and emulsified texture.
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Weekly Share November 6th – 12th

Beets
Celeriac
Lettuce
Escarole
Swiss Chard
Russet Potatoes
Green Peppers
Parsley
Fennel
Garlic

For the last four years our work share members come out on the Sunday when daylight savings time ends and we plant garlic. It is a sign of the end of one season and the beginning of another. In true Virginia fashion, the weather is oscillating between warm weather one day and cool weather the next. It keeps us on our toes. We love having the work share days, as we accomplish large tasks in a short period of time. It is also rewarding to have a group of people who regularly eat our food experience our farm a few times throughout the season and often year after year, as they often pleasantly remind us of the long-term progress we are making on the land, with the soil, and in implementing infrastructure. Farming is such a slow and laborious process, it is important to be reminded of what is actually being accomplished.
This is our second to last share of the season and there is still so much produce happening on the farm. We are being fooled with this warm weather, but soon enough a hard frost will come and with our shortening day lengths, the crop growth is slowing significantly everyday. We have had a wonderful season feeding you all, your families, and friends. We look forward to the coming season and fingers crossed delicious garlic too. We are including celeriac, also known as celery root, as many of you know from previous years, celeriac is a difficult drop to grow in our climate, coupled with our heavy clay soils, so the root is often very small and you all in turn only get a small portion. Progress was made this year though in that we had significantly less rot than in the past, perhaps due to planting it out later than in the past, mid-June instead of early May. Now we have to keep it properly hydrated and weeded for the five months it is in the ground. This week you will see the last of the peppers, as we have cleared all the plants, the potatoes, and the garlic. We hope you have loved every minute of them. Please check out some of the recipes below. Enjoy the share….Autumn and Brian
Celeriac, potato & rosemary gratin
Raw Shaved Fennel, Celery Root and Apple Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Celeriac + Beet Salad With Lemon, Chilli + Mint Recipe
Stuffed Peppers with Wild Rice, Italian Sausage & Caramelized Fennel
Warm Lentils With Wilted Chard, Roasted Beets And Goat Cheese
Stuffed Escarole “ Scarolla Imbottita”
Leek, Potato and Fennel Soup With Bacon
Escarole and Rice SoupThe Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan
1 head escarole (3/4-1 lb)
2 TBL finely chopped yellow onion
¼ cup butter
Salt
3 ½ homemade meat broth or 1 cup canned chicken soup mixed with 2 ½ cups water
½ cup rice preferably Arborio
3 TBL fresh grated parmesan
Detach escarole leaves discard any that are bruised and wash the rest in multiple waters until clean. Cut into ½ inch wide stripes In stockpot sauté onion in butter over medium heat until nicely browned. Add escarole and a light sprinkling of salt. Briefly sauté the escarole, stirring once to twice. Add ½ cup of broth and cook over very low heat until escarole is tender (25-45 depending on freshness and tenderness). When escarole is tender add rest of broth, raise heat and bring to a boil. Add rice and cover. Cook rice 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until just al dente, firm to the bite. Off the heat, mix in the Parmesan cheese. Taste and correct for salt, spoon onto plates and enjoy.
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Weekly Share October 30th – November 5th

Arugula
Savoy Cabbage
Romanesco or Cauliflower
Yu Choy Sum or Bok Choy
Sweet Pepper Mix (Topepo, Corno Di Toro, Carmanogla, Giallo Di Asti, Elephant, etc.)
Winter Radish (Misato Rose, Red Meat, Green Luobo, or Kn Bravo)
Daikon Radish
Chiles

This is our first time we have had romanesco or cauliflower during our CSA season and we are excited to share the abundance with you all. Many of the crops in this week’s share were ready now and hence it is an amalgamation of crops from different cuisines, but with lots of nods to warm comforting fall dishes. The cauliflower with miso and sesame dish below would be great with romanesco as well. It is a fabulous dish paired with the bitter greens (use the yu choy sum) with soy sauce or the simmered daikon. The savoy cabbage, cauliflower, and romanesco would all be fabulous tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic and then roasted or broiled till lightly charred. The daikon and other winter radishes can be used in a multitude of facets; grated raw with other roots and tossed in a lemon and tahini dressing, thinly sliced and soaked in a vinegar, sugar, salt brine for a marinated radish to use as a garnish or snack, chopped up and used as the main vegetable in a simple Indian curry, paired with beef brisket in a traditional Korean soup, and more. Check out this Splendid Table bit on What to do with the Radish! The cabbage, radishes, and chiles will all store for a bit, so feel no rush to use all these crops. Enjoy the share….Autumn and Brian
Roasted Chickpeas with Romanesco, Peppers + Anchovies
Cauliflower with Miso and Sesame (Karifurawa No Goma-ae)
Turnip Greens With Soy Sauce (Kabunoha No Ohitashi)
Stir-Fried Cabbage, Tofu and Red Pepper
Stir-Fried Bok Choy, Daikon, Crisp Tofu
Beef and Radish Soup
Simmered Daikon with Mustard (Daikon No Nimono Karashi-Zoe) – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1 medium Daikon (1.5 lb)
1 (6“ by 4”) piece of Konbu
2 Tbls Japanese Mustard
3 ½ Tbls Soy Sauce
Pour 31/2 cups cold water into a small heavy pot. Float the piece of konbu in the water to soften. Meanwhile peel the daikon and cut it into ¾” thick rounds. Bevel the edges with a sharp knife if you like. This helps the daikon to absorb the liquid and cook evenly…and it looks nifty. Snip the softened konbu into ¼” by 1 ½” strips with sturdy kitchen scissors (or slice with a sharp knife).
Drop the daikon and konbu into the pot of cold water (there should be just enough water to cover the daikon). Bring almost to a boil over high heat, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the daikon is soft in the center when poked with a bamboo skewer. When the daikon pieces are soft but not starting to disintegrate, season with the soy sauce. Cool in the broth and serve at room temperature in small individual bowls with a dab of mustard on the side of the bowl. Eat by cutting off a manageable portion of daikon with your chopsticks, including a bit of konbu strand and dipping a corner in the mustard.

 

 

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October 23rd – 29th

Cushaw Squash
Escarole or Frisee
Radicchio (treviso, lusia, or chioggia)
Seyrek & Cubanelle Peppers
Leutschauer Paprika Peppers
Spigariello or Tuscan Kale
Eggplant
Fennel
Dill

In this week’s share you will receive fresh Leutschauer paprika, a variety of pepper that is traditionally dried and then ground. It makes a deliciously spicy style of paprika. We also use this pepper fresh, deseeding and mincing up the flesh and sautéing with garlic or onions when making a sauce or braising vegetables or meats. Basically we us it to replace ground paprika or cayenne in recipes and although it is not as concentrated as when its dried, it offers a lovely bright spicy flavor to dishes. The green seyrek peppers (long and skinny) are delicious broiled or grilled and served as a side dish or chopped up and added to scrambled eggs or cooked with eggplant. We are including a mess of bitter greens this week, as our fields are bursting at the seams. If bitterness is a bit intimidating, be not afraid, think about balancing acid (vinegar, citrus) and salt ( plus hard cheese, anchovies, olives), when dressing these greens to bring out the flavor without overwhelming the palate. Adding fat is also helpful, which can be achieved with cheese, egg, bacon, etc. Check out the recipes below for some ideas. This week in the share you will get Cushaw squash; which makes the best squash pie I have ever made or eaten (recipe included below) and is fabulous stewed and used for soup. The varieties we grow are an orange cushaw and Jonathon white cushaw. Just like the more popular green cushaw, these squash have a buttery flavor and somewhat textured, stringy meat. The neck of the squash is all meat, whereas the bowl is mostly seeds with a thin layer of meat. The cushaw can grow really large, over 30” long with a bowl over 12” in diameter. Many share members will receive a half cushaw; which we recommend you process within a week. This can mean stewing or steaming big pieces and then freezing for later use in pies or soup. Do not feel overwhelmed to use it all right away. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Radicchio Salad with Oranges and Olives
Moroccan Zaalouk with Roasted Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes
Fennel, Kale and Rice Gratin
Caponata with Fennel, Olives, & Raisins (adapted from Epicurious)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pounds unpeeled eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh fennel bulb (about 1 small)
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons golden raisins
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, bell peppers, fennel, and garlic; sauté until eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Add olives and raisins, then mix in tomato sauce and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until caponata is thick and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in parsley. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve at room temperature.
Stewed Cushaw and Yummy Deliciousness Cushaw Coffee Cake
Rich Squash PieThe Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Basic Pastry Dough for a 9” pie shell
1 cup pureed cooked winter squash
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tbls brandy
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp mace
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a 9” pie pan with pastry dough. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and well blended. Pour into the lined pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 and bake for 45-60 minutes more or until the filling is firm.
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Weekly Share October 16th – 22nd

Carrots
Napa Cabbage
Japanese Red Mustard Greens
Hakurei or Scarlett Queen Salad Turnips
Long Green, Shoyu, or Thai Round Eggplant
Arugula or Mesclun Salad Mix
Shishito Peppers
Garlic

Carrot Napa Cabbage Kimchee
Duck Breast with Mustard Greens, Turnips, and Radishes
Shishito Peppers Tempura
Orecchiette With Mustard Greens
Szechuan Spicy Eggplant and Carrots
Jaw Phak Kat: Northern Thai Mustard Green Soup With Tamarind and Pork RibsPok Pok by Andy Ricker
Carrot Slivers Stir-fried with Soy Sauce– Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
3 Tbls rapeseed or light sesame oil
2 small dried peppers, torn in half
4 cups julienned carrots
2 Tbls soy sauce
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Add the peppers and warm until fragrant. Turn the heat up to high and throw in the carrots. Toss several minutes over high heat until the carrots have softened but not wilted. Test for doneness by sampling a piece or two. Splash in the soy sauce and toss for a couple of seconds to draw the soy sauce flavor into the carrots. Ratio: vegetable: oil: soy sauce- 1cup: 2 tsp: 1 ½ tsp
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Weekly Share October 9th – 15th

Okra
Nicola Potatoes
Swiss Chard
Oakleaf or Redleaf Lettuce
Mesclun Salad or Arugula
Poblano & Anaheim Peppers
Various Chiles
Tomatoes
Cilantro

The farm has been quite busy this past week readying for our annual Fall Supper amongst all our usual work. We are looking forward to getting some rain this week, as we have been over a month without any moisture. It feels so dry on the farm coupled with some high early October temperatures; things look pretty crispy. This time last year we had an almost identical share, due to the melding between Summer and Fall crops. We like pairing mild Mexican chiles with potatoes, tomatoes, swiss chard, and cilantro for a variety of delicious dishes. Of course stuffing the peppers is a classic, but poblanos and anaheims are also fabulous cooked down in a pot of beans, with tomatoes in rice, sautéed and scrambled into your morning eggs, or made into a green enchilada sauce. The first recipe below for enchiladas suggests a tomatillo sauce; but try substituting the homemade green enchilada sauce recipe; which uses poblanos and Anaheim style peppers. Whatever you choose please enjoy as peppers season will eventually end. This may be the last time you get okra. If you are at a loss for how to prepare it, try roasting it with a little seasoning or pan braising with tomatoes and onions. This is the last time Nicola potatoes, our favorite golden buttery potato, our stock of them is getting low and we have russets and a red storage variety coming up next. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Swiss Chard And Potato Enchiladas
Papas Con Rajas (Sauteed Potatoes and Chiles)
Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce
Essential Chopped Tomato-Serrano Salsa (Salsa Mexicana Classica)
Martha Rose Shulman’s Roasted Okra
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Weekly Share October 2nd – 8th

Broccoli
Collard Greens
Bibb Lettuce
Escarole or Frisee
Cubanelle & Large Aji Dulce Peppers
Italian & Middle Eastern Eggplant
Plum or Sauce Tomatoes
Basil
Parsley
Garlic

We have a busy few weeks ahead of us organizing and prepping for our fall farm supper next Sunday and processing our Fall batch of broiler chickens the following week. We are looking forward to the more typical Fall weather setting in with cool overnight temperatures; but are desperately in need of some rain (hopefully it will not come during the farm supper), so we continue to water our crops as much as possible; but its not really enough. We have so many successions of lettuces, chicories, greens, roots, etc. that it is really difficult to get them all that they need. This morning got to a low of 40degrees; which signals the descent of the basil crop, as it does not thrive when temperatures get below 50degrees and our stand has had a long season, it is looking a bit tired. We are including a small amount in each share paired with flat leaf parsley, a few tomatoes, and basil for a last hurrah of Summer. Chicories have returned; which makes us really happy. We look forward to making a ceaser style salad with the escarole and with the frisee, a poached egg and bacon salad for breakfast. Included in the recipes below is a fabulous stuffed escarole dish, great in this cooler weather. Try sautéing some minced eggplant to add to the stuffing or serve stuffed escarole with a side of fried eggplant. They make a delicious combination. Broccoli and collard greens are also included in the share, meaning Fall has truly arrived. Have a great week and enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Stuffed Escarole “ Scarolla Imbottita”
Eggplant Risotto with Tomatoes and Basil
Baked Eggplant Marinara with Basil
Spiced Collard Greens With Bacon And Eggs
Roasted Broccoli With Almonds and Cardamom (Malai Broccoli)
Grilled Eggplant And Greens With Spiced Yogurt
Italian Sausage With Broccoli And Collards (Or Kale)
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Weekly Share September 25th – October 1st

Arugula
Romano Beans or Okra
Lettuce (Red Leaf or Green Oak Leaf)
Spigariello or Broccoli Raab
Red Ace or Chioggia Beets
Heirloom Tomato
Red Creole Onion
Black Arkansas Apples
Fennel
Dill

Spigariello is a traditional southern Italian specialty sometimes referred to as a “leaf broccoli”.  While often likened to rapini in that it does not make a central broccoli “head”, we find it to be much less pungent  than raab an with a much bigger and more heavily branching frame. The narrow, very dark green leaves, develop a wonderful wavy, curvy, twisting form as the plant matures, making for a striking bunch at the market and a beautiful addition to braises, sautés, pizzas, and soups. The hearty flavor is something of a cross between broccoli leaves and Tuscan kale or collards and is perfect for rustic Italian cuisine. Somewhat unusual in the Brassica family, it has white flowers, suggesting that it originally came to southern Italy from Asia as a descendant of gai lan or Chinese broccoli.     – Uprising Seeds
This week’s share includes items best suited to Southern Italian or Middle Eastern cuisine. Arugula, Broccoli Raab, Spigariello, and Fennel are all spectacular on pizza or added to pasta dishes, especially when paired with anchovy, capers, currants, or olives. Beets, dill, fennel, and lettuce are wonderful salad components, especially with a yogurt sauce or paired with fish. We are still harvesting a bit of tomatoes every week, so please enjoy them while they last. One of the first dishes I learned to make while living in France was a salad of chopped up fennel and tomato tossed in a simple white wine vinaigrette or try the recipe below which adds orange and citrus in the dressing. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
Fennel Salad with Red Onion, Tomato, Orange and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
Beet Salad with Baby Arugula, Red Onions and Horseradish Vinaigrette
Mario Batali’s Spigarello Salad with Spicy Currants and Fried Eggs
Roasted Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli Rabe With Bulgur And Walnuts  -This recipe could also be made with Spigariello, which has a similar texture to Rabe, although it is a bit milder.
Roasted Fennel, Beet + Romano Bean Panzanella Salad
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Weekly Share September 18th – 24th

Salad Mix or Lettuce (Bibb, Butterhead, or Oakleaf)
Japanese Red or Southern Giant Mustard Greens
Eggplant (Thai & Asian long)
French Breakfast Radish
Daikon Radish
San Fan Bok Choy
Shishito Peppers
Khmer Thai, Lemondrop, and Serrano Chiles
Thai & Paneng Basil
Cilantro
Shiso
Garlic

The 2nd Fall share is almost always filled with crops ideal for making Southeast Asian or Japanese cuisine, as we still have late Summer peppers, chiles, and eggplant mixed with our early Fall abundance of radishes, greens, and herbs. This will be the one time you all get Shiso (a native wild herb also known as perilla), this summer we did not have the usual abundance around the farm due to the extremely dry and hot weather in June and July; but with the August rains it began creeping up around our fruit trees and along fence lines. Without getting very big it is already sending up its flower heads, so it will be a bit more bitter than usual and each share will only get a small amount. It is often used in Korean and Japanese food, chopped up and added to a dish just before serving. We also use it in our salad rolls or added to our kimchi recipe. It provides a deep, earthy, herbaceous flavor to dishes. In addition to the shiso, you will receive cilantro, Thai basil, and Penang basil, a Thai lemon basil variety that smells like Fruit Loops.
Both baby daikon radish and French breakfast salad radishes will be included this week. This might seem like radish overload; but remove the tops and store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer and both styles of radish will hold for a long while, daikon can be stored easily for up to 3 months. The chiles included this week have a varying amount of spice and are on the upper end of what you will receive this season. Even if you do not like spicy food, we encourage you to think about using them to flavor your dishes rather than make it hot. Methods include using the chile whole while stir-frying or sautéing, then remove before eating or slice the chile open lengthwise, remove the seeds and mince very finely or mash before adding to a sauce. If you are unsure add a small amount at a time and continually taste. Khmer Thai are very hot, floral and complex in flavor, Lemondrops have a sweet, citrus flavor with heat equivalent to a serrano, and serranos are a medium-hot chile which make great garnish (chop them up and soak in vinegar or fish sauce for a wonderful sauce), seasoning for dishes using whole or chopped up, for salsa or curry recipes. Once again we have added the eggplant with Thai basil recipe, because it is our favorite. Check out the recipes below, have fun cooking, and enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian
Thai basil chicken recipe (pad kra pao gai )
Thai Red Curry Eggplant and Mustard Greens
Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Daikon with Crisp Tofu
Herb-Wrapped Shrimp with Lemongrass Dipping Sauce
Agedashi Deep-Fried Tofu and Eggplant
This very traditional Japanese recipe is a great way to combine eggplant, daikon, and shishito peppers. Since we do not have a microwave, we would drain the tofu by adding weight from a cutting board for 30+ minutes and heat up the sauce on the stove. Katakuriko is a potato starch used for thickener, it can be found at Asian grocery stores or cornstarch can be used as a replacement.
Northern Thai Eggplant Salad Recipe
Eggplant with Thai Basil
1 lb eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
4-5 cloves garlic
1-2 medium sized fresh red or green chilies (or sweet bell pepper for the meek)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 bunch Thai basil
Slice the eggplant into ½ inch rounds and fry them over medium high in a wide skillet with ¼ inch of canola or other frying oil. When things get going, the eggplant slices will absorb the oil and you will gradually see it penetrate through to the top.  Make sure that they don’t get too brown on the bottom before this happens.  If the eggplant slices absorb all the oil and still don’t look wet, you must add more—but don’t worry, because they will release much of it as they cook.  When they look like they have absorbed enough oil and they start to get nice and brown on the bottom, flip them over and brown them on the other side.  If the pan is dry at this point, don’t add more oil because the slices have absorbed enough to fry themselves.  When they’re done, drain the slices on paper towels
Meanwhile, cut the garlic into slices and the chilies into diagonal rings.  When the eggplant is ready, remove it and add 2 Tbsp of fresh oil to the pan, add the garlic and half the chilies, and stir-fry until the garlic is golden.  Add the soy sauces and sugar, stir for about 30 seconds until the sugar starts to bubble, and return the eggplant to the pan.  Add torn basil leaves, stir and serve, garnished with the rest of the chilies (if you dare!)
Daikon and Daikon Leaf Salad Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1 medium-small daikon
1 TB Sea Salt
2 small or 1 medium Yuzu (or substitute Meyer Lemon)
2 TB Organic Miso
2 TB Organic Rice Vinegar
4 TB Organic Rapeseed Oil
2 TB Slivered Scallions
Slice the daikon into manageable lengths.  Cut those pieces in half vertically and slice lengthwise into fine slabs.  Lay those slabs flat on the cutting board and slice into fine julienned strands about 1.5 inches long.  Put the julienned daikon into a medium-sized bowl as you go.  Chop a large handful of the most tender leaves medium -fine and add to the julienned daikon.  Sprinkle with the salt and massage in gently.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Pare off the yellow zest of a yuzu or meyer lemon with a sharp knife, avoiding the white pith.  Stack roughly and slice into fine slivers.  Muddle the miso with the vinegar and whisk in the oil until emulsified.  Squeeze the daikon and daikon leaves in handfuls and drop into a clean bowl.  Toss with the yuzu peel and onion greens.  Give the dressing a quick whisk and fold into the daikon right before serving.  Ratio: miso:rice vinegar:oil – 1:1:2

 

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Weekly Share September 11th – 17th

Arugula or Lettuce (Bibb or Panisse Oakleaf)
Russian or Lacinato Kale
Yellow Onion (Highlander)
Eggplant (Dancer, Antigua, Rosa Bianca)
Romano Bean or Okra (Clemson Spineless)
Sweet Peppers (Giallo di Asti, Corno di Toro Rossa, Topepo Rossa)
Cubanelle Pepper
Jalapeno Peppers
Green Tomatoes
Tango Celery
Italian Parsley

Welcome to Tomten Farm’s fall CSA season! You might be enjoying the recent change in weather almost as much as we are. It is amazing how pleasant the workday becomes with temperate conditions. It also feels like we are keeping up with our plantings and crop management for the first time in many months. We are getting ready to plant our outdoor overwintered crops, as well as cover crop our open fields and clean up our covered spaces to make room for seeding and transplanting our winter greens. Now we just hope that we can avoid the extreme rains that sometimes come with the Fall hurricane season. Over the past few weeks we have realized how lucky we have been in our six years here. Although the climate is extreme at times and we cannot handle too much rain at once without significant crop loss, due to our heavy soil, we have not had to experience the devastating weather that farmers closer to the coastlines do on a semi annual basis. The devastation in Texas and quickly approaching the Southeast, makes us realize how quickly everything can be turned around if nature so desires.
Right now we are beginning to harvest our early, or quick, fall crops, like lettuces, radishes, and bunching greens alongside our long season summer crops such as okra, green beans, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. This is the beauty of the Virginian climate, we get a rich and diverse fall season with many different crops coalescing making for wonderful cooking opportunities. We are excited to bring you all the makings for the “holy trinity” of Cajun and creole cooking: celery, onions, and green peppers. It can be a challenge to have celery for the CSA, as it is a crop that is difficult to grow in our soil and climate conditions; but its even more of a challenge to have it at the same time as we have green peppers, onions, parsley, okra, and more. We have shaped this week’s share to take advantage of this so you can make delicious Cajun and creole dishes if so desired. A few weeks back we posted some relevant recipes: gumbo, smothered green beans, and a Cajun eggplant casserole and below we have added more including a great article explaining the “holy trinity”. Enjoy the share….Brian and Autumn
The Holy Trinity of Cajun and Creole Cooking
Recipes: ‘Real Cajun’ (Lake Charles Dirty Rice & Smothered Greens)
Seafood-Stuffed Eggplant
Green Tomato And Bell Pepper Delight
Homemade Focaccia + Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Sandwiches
Caponata from The Kitchen Garden
Lots and lots of olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 head garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp chili flakes or fresh hot peppers, to taste
1 pound peppers, cut into large chunks
1 pound eggplant, cut into large chunks
1 or 2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp capers
3 Tbsp chopped Kalamata olives
Few sprigs chopped basil and parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat about 4 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven with a lid that can go in the oven. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft.  Add the pepper flakes and peppers and sauté over medium heat 5-10 minutes.  Add eggplant and sauté another several minutes. You may want to add more oil to make sure everything is generously anointed.  Add the tomatoes.  Cover the pot and put it in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes.  Everything should be very, very soft.  Season with salt, pepper and the other seasonings.  Adjust sweetness, salt and acidity to taste.  Serve it warm on fresh crusty bread or at room temperature the next day.  Makes a great pasta sauce, too. (The original version contains chunks of celery, too.  If you like celery, you can add it when you add the tomatoes.)
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