Jul
29
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Dear CSA Member

Intense heat to intense rain to some really nice weather.  The unexpected rainfall was over 6 inches.  It has been so hot and dry that most just soaked into the soil.  Since then the skies were clear and the temperatures were very pleasant.  More rain as we were starting to pick your shares.  It seems at times we are in the tropics rather than upstate New York.
The vegetables are moving into their summer stride.  Tomatoes are just starting to ripen.  What a treat to slice into the first of the season tomato.  Eggplant, basil, onions, scallions, parsley.  It is a delicious week for the summertime favorites.
The first of Red Ace Beets with their Greens.  Take the greens from the beet root and use as a cooking green.  A member forwarded a recipe for Chickpea and Greens Patties which can be found on the farm website, Recipe Section, Swiss Chard all the way at the end.  Beet Greens would be a great substitute for Swiss Chard in this recipe.  The beet root should be cooked separately because of the size and time it will take to cook through.  Please send your recipe favorites.  The Recipe section of the farm website is filling up with great recipes sent by CSA members.
Marketplace orders will be delivered with your CSA share if you would like Coffee, Honey or Maple Syrup.  Mushrooms are also available through the Marketplace.
This week Cremini Mushrooms for the Mushroom Share and Peaches, Nectarines and Sugar Plums for the Fruit Share.
Make a note that the Fall Farm Festival will be September 7.  It is a great day to come and visit the farm, meet all of us at Stoneledge Farm, meet other CSA members, walk the fields and see where your vegetables are grown.  Heather Ridge Farm www.Heather-ridge-farm.com and Gary Wiltbank Farm with his Shiitake and Oyster Mushrooms will have displays and products available.  We will have a barbecue and ask members to bring a dish to share and their own place setting.  More to come.  We hope you will be able to attend.
Enjoy the vegetables.
Deborah for everyone at Stoneledge Farm
Beets with Greens-1 bunch
Walla Walla Sweet Summer Onions-2
Heirloom Cucumbers (Boothby Blonde and Poona Kheera)-2
Marketmore Sliciing Cucumbers-2
Orient Express Eggplant-2
Scallions-1 bunch
Cocktail Tomatoes-6  These are small tomatoes but not Cherry Tomatoes.
Lemon Basil-1 bunch
Flat Leaf Parsley-1 bunch
Bell Peppers-2
Clara White Eggplant-1 You can tell the Orient Eggplant from the Bell varieties by the stem.  Orient has a purple stem that is thin.  Bell has a thick, green stem.  Watch the spines on the bell varieties.  They can be very sharp.
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes-1 basket
Fruit Share-1 bag of each
Peaches
Nectarines
Sugar Plums
Mushroom Share-Cremini

Stoneledge Farm LLC
359 Ross Ruland Road
South Cairo, NY  12482

LIKE us at https://www.facebook.com/StoneledgeFarm



 
Jul
29
    
Posted (Lori) in News

CSA, Week 8

This week’s recipes are beet-centered. We may get just a few small beets this week, but we’ll get more throughout the seasons, especially in fall. Many members tell us that they never liked beets until they tasted the ones from Stoneledge.

We are one of about 20 Stoneledge Farm CSA groups. We’re not the only ones that post recipes using the vegetables in our shares. Stoneledge has a great recipe page:

https://www.stoneledgefarmny.com/our-farm/recipes

Some other sites:

Carnegie Hill: http://csasprouts.org/category/chcsa-newsletter/

Chelsea; http://www.chelseacsa.org/about/hudson-guild/# the recipe tab is on the top of the screen

The easiest way to cook beets is to cut off the tops and bottoms, wrap them loosely in foil—I wrap a bunch, some people it’s beter to do each beet separately—and roast them in the oven (375-400 degrees). If they’re very big, cut them into halves or quarters. I find that they are sometimes done (soft when you poke them) in as little as 30 minutes, but sometimes take up to 90 minutes. I just keep checking them; the only constant I find is that if I am in a hurry and need them to be done fast, they take longer. Once they’re soft, the skins peel off easily.

Other ways of cooking: peel and boil them; peel and steam them; slice and broil them.

They can also be microwaved; there are detailed instructions here:

http://www.healthy-beets.com/fresh-beets.html

And beets are delicious raw—crunchy and tasty. I wouldn’t serve whole raw beets, but grated or slivered, they are excellent additions to salads and slaws. They’re too messy to use as crudités—pink fingers–but thin slices of raw beet are great in sandwiches and salsas

A few recipes:

ROASTED BEET, PEACH, and GOAT CHEESE SALAD (Allrecipes)

2 beets, scrubbed

1 bunch arugula, rinsed and dried; or a mixture of mesclun

2 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 shallots or one small sweet onion, chopped

1/4 cup pistachio nuts or toasted almonds, chopped

1 (4 ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup walnut oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap beets in two foil, and place onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the beets are tender,. Allow the beets to cool slightly, then remove the skins. Let the beets cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until cold. Once cooled, thinly slice the beets.

Place the greens into a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced beets and peaches; sprinkle with the onions, nuts, and goat cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until emulsified, and pour over the salad mixture. Toss well, and serve.

CSA STIR FRY: Ginger beets and eggplants

Most weeks, most vegetables in our shares can be combined in a stir fry; the ones in this week’s share make an interesting combindation:

Chop an onion and a clove of garlic (if you still have garlicscape, use it here). Heat 2 tbs oil in a large skillet, and sauté the garlic and onion until soft. Add one teaspoon of minced fresh garlic and stir until fragrant. Cube a small eggplant—1/2” cubes–and add it to the pan; Stir until the eggplant starts to brown. Grate or shred (in the food processor) a raw beet and add that to the pan as well; stir for just a minute.  Chop and add the beet greens and a little basil and parsley. Serve over rice or combine with faro, freekah, oat groats, quinoa or another unusual grain.

SPICY BEET, ONION, and WALNUT SALAD

Adapted from Jerusalem—and simplified.

About 1 cup cooked beets, cut into wedges

About 2 cups salad greens—arugula, lettuce, mache, watercress, etc.

1 small onion or leek, sliced into rings and lightly sauted

2 tablespoons of your favorite herbs—basil, parsley, cilantro

Dressing:

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (or other nuts)

2 tablespoons crushed garlic or garlicscape

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

¼ cup cider vinegar

3 tbs. oil—if you have walnut oil, mix 1 tbs walnut oil with 2 tbs oilive oil.,

Toss the beets, greens, onions/leeks, and herbs. Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

GLAZED BEETS

Mix:

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

4 tbs cider vinegar

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon chopped scallions

Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Add

4 cups cooked, sliced beets

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash white pepper

Keep heat at a simmer; stir until beets are coated and heated through.


 
Jul
23
    
Posted (Lori) in News

CUCUMBERS

There are nine cucumbers in a full share this week, which really is not that many. If there are two people eating the share, that’s not even one cucumber per day.

And there are lots of ways to use cucumbers. Save and chill a few slices to place over your eyes; they immediately make you feel cooler and may reduce puffiness. Although cucumbers are 95% water, they’re also full of vitamins (especially E and K) and research is showing that they’re also full of anti-oxidants and other healthy elements.

I found some recipes on the web that called for braising cucumbers; I tried it and can’t recommend it. I don’t think cooking adds anything, and it takes away the great crunch. Would love to hear from someone who has a good cooked cucumber recipe.

Dips

In countries with hot climates, cucumbers are used as coolers, often combined with very spicy food. In Indian RAITA, they’re combined with curry and yogurt; in Greek TZAKTZIKI, they are mixed with lemon, dill, and yogurt. You’ll find recipes for both on p. 153 in Recipes from America’s Small Farms

Salads

Creamy (yogurt or sour cream) and tart (vinegar-based) cucumber salads are easy to make. Here’s one that uses several of this week’s vegetables, and a Japanease version. Cucumbers are also part of classic chopped salads—tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions, dill, salt and pepper, all chopped and seasoned with oil and vinegar.

Cucumber/Fennel Salad

Combine 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt, 3 tbs horseradish sauce, 1 tbs chopped dill (basil can be substituted if you don’t have dill left over from last week), 1 tsp crushed garlic and 1 tbs. lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix.

Cut 1 large or 2 small cucumbers in half; scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice thinly. Chop 1 small fennel bulb into small pieces. If you have kohlrabi, celery, or carrots, they can be added. Raisins and nuts are also good. Combine the vegetables with the dressing; let the salad rest for at least an hour.

Japanese Cucumber Salad

3 small cucumbers

1/4 tsp salt

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame seeds

Slice cucumbers as thin as you can. Stir in salt, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze water out from cucumbers.

In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce together until sugar dissolves.

Add vinegar mixture and sesame seeds to prepared cucumbers and mix well.

Soups

Here’s the basic recipe, with some variations:

1 pound cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced

½ tsp salt

1-1/2 cups fat-free plain yogurt

1 green onion, coarsely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

4-1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh dill

Additional chopped green onion and snipped fresh dill

In a colander set over a bowl, toss cucumbers with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Squeeze and pat dry.

Place the cucumbers, yogurt, onion and garlic in a food processor; cover and process until smooth. Stir in dill. Serve immediately in chilled bowls. Garnish with additional onion and dill.

Variations:

Add ½ cup of chopped shrimp

Add ½ teaspoon (or more, to taste) curry powder

Add flavored croutons; combine your favorite spices (curry, chili, zaatar, etc) with 2 tbs butter. Spread on bread, and cut into cubes..Spread the cubes on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven or in pan until golden.

Swirl in a few tablespoons of pesto.

Sandwiches

Cucumbers make elegant small open sandwiches—a triangle of bread, a shmear of cheese, a slice of cucmber, a sprinkle of salt. But they can also take part in heartier sandwiches—layered over cheese, tomatoes, broiled vegetables (such as eggplant and squash), And a chopped cucumber salad is just right in a pita, with or without falafel.

Stuffed

I couldn’t find many recipes for stuffed cucumbers on the web. Is it because it’s too obvious or because most people over five years old don’t eat them? I use cucumbers this way all the time.

Cut cucumbers in half and scoop out the seeds. Some stuffings that work well:

–Salmon, tuna, shrimp, or other seafood, mashed with mayo, horseradish sauce, or other dressings

–Bean dip or chilled refried beans

–Goat or feta cheese mixed with chopped radish, fennel, garlic, and fennel.

Pickles

If you still have cucumbers left over—there’s a great recipe for bread-and-butter pickles in Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p. 180

FENNEL

I’m not a great fan of the flavor of fennel, but I find that when it’s mixed with other vegetables, it adds a great background texture and taste. People rave over the Marinated Fennel and Mushroom recipe in Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p.115. Steve Waxman’s recipe for Tomato-Fennel Soup, also in recipes from America’s Farms is also great, but I don’t think we’ll get enough fennel this week.

A bit of fennel can be chopped into any salad, or mixed into any cucumber recipe. Here’s one more—I haven’t tried it, but it sounds delicious. I think that squsash and/or spinach can be substituted for the green beans. And I’d add a handful of toasted almonds or sunflower seeds, for a little crunch.

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed

1 fennel bulb, cut into thin slices

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2vtablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Fill a saucepan half full with water and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and fennel slices; cook until just beginning to become tender, about 4 minutes. Pour into a colander to drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Return the empty pan to the stove and set heat to medium. Pour in the olive oil and let it heat for a minute. Return the green beans and fennel to the pan. Season with basil, salt, and pepper; cook and stir until coated and warm. Transfer to a serving dish and toss with feta cheese.

LEEKS

Most of my leek recipes are fall-focused, but they can be used in place of onions in any recipe. They can also be broiled or roasted with squash and fennel slices (they’re ready in about the same time). Leek-potato soup is a classic, and some people like it chilled; you’ll find dozens of recipes for it on the web; it’s sometimes called vichyssoise.

Here’s my favorite use for leeks; I use these over mashed potatoes, but they’re also great mixed into green salads.

Frizzled leeks

Combine 1.4 cup flour with 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Wash 1 leek carefully and slice into thin rings. Separate the rings and toss with the flour mixture.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a small pot; it should be very hot, but not smoking. Have a slotted spoon ready. Toss the leek rings into the oil and watch them closely until they frizzle; it will take less than a minute. Remove the frizzles and drain on paper towels.

And this sounds simple;

Warm Leeks with Toasted Walnuts
Vegetarian Times Issue: March 1, 2007
3 medium leeks, dark green parts trimmed
1 Tbs. roasted walnut oil
2 Tsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tsp. whole-grain mustard
1 small shallot, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
1 Tbs. chopped toasted walnuts
Directions
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop leeks in water, and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with knife. Drain, and pat dry with paper towel.
Slice leeks in half lengthwise, then cut into bite-size pieces. Whisk together walnut oil, vinegar, mustard and shallot in medium bowl. Place leeks in vinaigrette, and toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.
Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories: 175, Protein: 3g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 20g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 304mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 6g


 
Jul
23
    
Posted (Lori) in News

Dear CSA Member,
This has been a brutal week to be a farmer.  It is the same for anyone that has to work outside no matter the weather.  Each day it has gotten hotter and more humid.  It must easily be near 100 degrees in the field.  Plenty of water to drink, but the work is hard and we can not stop.
The vegetables are still soaking it all up and producing very well.  I thought that last week would be the cucumber week, but the cucumbers have rallied again and the harvest is even greater than last week.  A benefit of being a CSA members is sharing in the bounty of a harvest.  Each year it varies crop to crop.  This year the Cucumbers are outstanding.  Cucumber Soup, Cold Cucumber Salads, Refrigerator Pickles.  Cucumber and yogurt are a natural combination during the heat of the summer.  There are recipes on the farm website Recipe section.
During this extreme heat make sure you get your share home, rinsed and in the refrigerator as soon as possible.  All of the vegetables are fresh, but can not withstand the heat.
All being said, it is summer.  I guess we should expect a good dose of hot weather.
Enjoy the vegetables.
Deborah
for everyone at Stoneledge Farm
Summer Spinach-1 bunch
Summer Squash-2 pieces
Heirloom Cucumbers (Boothby and Poona Kheera)-6  This is the bountiful harvest time for cucumbers.
Marketmore Cucumbers (Green slicing)-3
Zebra Eggplant-1 Be careful picking up the eggplant.  The stem end can have very sharp spines.
Scallions-1 bunch
Fennel-1 The bulbs are small but still tender.
Amethyst Basil- 1 bunch-this makes a beautiful flavored vinegar.  Immerse basil in a light vinegar.  The light purple color and basil flavoring is perfect in a mild vinegar.  Use to make salad dressing.  Also good as you would use green basil.
Leeks-1 bunch
Oriental Eggplant-2 pieces
Mushroom Share-Shiitake
Fruit Share
1 bag of White Peaches
1 bag of White Nectarines
You can tell the difference by the skin.  The peaches are fuzzy and the nectarines are smooth.

Stoneledge Farm LLC
359 Ross Ruland Road
South Cairo, NY  12482


 
Jul
15
    
Posted (Lori) in News

RECIPES/TIPS for SWISS CHARD, CABBAGE, EGGPLANT, CUCUMBER, CURRANTS

When it’s 95 degrees out, I try to keep cooking times to a minimum. In each of these recipes, the heat is on for less than 10 minutes–in a few of them, the water for the pasta is boiling while something is broiling, but in most, there is very little cooking. And I’ve tried to find recipes that are simple and cooling. Fortunately, the vegetables in our share this week—cabbage, cucumber, currants—are just right for cooling, hot-weather recipes.

SWISS CHARD

SAUTEED SWISS CHARD–and five ways to use it

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch dry crushed red pepper
2 bunches swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
1/2 lemon, juice of
salt

Melt butter and oil in heavy large pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add Swiss chard; stir to coat.  Cover and cook until tender (stirring occasionally) about 8 minutes. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon onto chard. Season to taste with salt.

Using Sautéed Swiss Chard:

1. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: Clean 2 portobellos and remove stems. Broil for about 1 minute; remove from oven. Pack the portobello caps with the prepared chard. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Return to oven and broil for about 2 minutes. Cut in half or in quarters.

2. Chard with quick-cooking grains. For a main dish, mix the chard with grains that cook in under ten minutes

–Bulgur: Combine one part bulgar with three parts water. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover; let stand for 4 minutes; drain excess water.

–Angel-hair pasta, pastina, or orzo—these cook in 3-5 minutes. Combine with chard and parmesan

–Israeli couscous  cooks in about ten minutes

3. Beans and greens: I usually prefer cooking dried beans—but when it’s so hot, canned beans are easier. Chick peas, kidney beans, and cannellini are all great with swiss chard. Drain the beans and rinse thoroughly to get out the “can” taste. Toss with the prepared Swiss chard.

4. Greens and tofu. Toss the finished chard with cubes of tofu.

5. Greens and meat. Toss the finished chard with strips of broiled chicken or beef

SWISS CHARD WITH TAHINI, YOGURT, and BUTTERED PINE NUTS (or ALMONDS)

Adapted from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

1 lg bunch Swiss chard

2 ½ tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra to finish)

About 3 tablespoons pine nuts (or, substitute slivered or blanched almonds because pine nuts are just too expensive)

2 small cloves garlic, sliced thinly (or a tablespoon of thinly sliced garlicscape)

¼ cup dry white wine, stock, or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sweet paprika as garnish (optional)

Separate the chard leaves from the stems by folding each leaf in half and slicing off the leaves—this is the part that takes the most time. Then chop leaves and stems separately. Steam or boil the chopped stems for about 2-3 minutes; then add the leaves and steam or boil about 1 minutes more. Drain and, when cool, squeeze out all the water. The chard should be quite dry.

While the chard is cooking, heat 1 tbs butter and 2 tbs oil in a large frying pan. Add the nuts and toss for about two minutes, until they begin to brown—be careful; they will burn very soon after they start to color. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the wine, stock, or water and cook for about 1 minute. Return the chard to the pan, add the last tablespoon of buRECItter and stir for 2-3 minutes until it is combined with the garlic and warmed through.

Divide the chard among 4 plates; spoon the tahini-yogurt sauce over it and sprinkle with the nuts. Drizzle with olive oil and paprika.

Tahini-yogurt sauce:

4 tbs tahini paste

4 tbs Greek yogurt (see note)

2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed (or 2 tsp chopped garlicscape)

2 tbs water

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk until you get a smooth paste.

NOTE: If you have plain yogurt, it can be turned into Greek yogurt in a couple of hours. Put yogurt in a sieve lined with a coffee filter, placed over a bowl (or, attach the coffee filter to the top of an empty yogurt container with a rubber band. Cover, and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight; the liquid will drain from the yogurt, leaving a thicker, creamier, Greek-style yogurt.

FUSILLI WITH GREENS—submitted by Luce, who notes that it is

very versatile and open to personal twists!

3/4 pound whole-wheat fusilli

3/4 pound mustard greens/mizuna, chopped and rinsed (or any other greens: escarole works great too, as does chard)

1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sliced garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/3 cup dried currants

4 Italian sausages (two sweet, two hot works well)

Freshly shredded parmesan cheese

1. Broil the sausages, and slice.

2. Cook pasta as package directs.

3. If using, toast pine nuts in a large, dry frying pan over medium heat; set

aside.

4. Add oil to pan, then add garlic, chili flakes and currants. Cook, stirring,

until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the greens. Cook until greens are tender.

5. Stir in drained pasta, sausages and reserved pine nuts. Serve with cheese.

CABBAGE

CHINESE CABBAGE SALAD; submitted by Taryn

From: How Stuff Works, by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

This is a great make-ahead dish: as it refrigerates overnight, the cabbage softens slightly and the tangy flavors blend even more. Try a crisp Asian pear or juicy seedless red grapes in place of the apple.

6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 large crisp red apple, diced
1 medium (1 to 1-1/4 pounds) head green cabbage
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

PREPARATION:

  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, oil and ginger in large bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in apple.
  2. Add cabbage, raisins, onions, cilantro and sesame seeds; gently stir until well combined.

Note

Store cabbage tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. A one-pound cabbage will yield about 4 cups shredded cabbage.

PICKLED CHINESE CABBAGE—submitted by Lee’at, from

1 head Napa cabbage (this works with plain cabbage as well)
5-6 slices of fresh ginger
5 oz. (1/2 cup + 2 tbsps) sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 carrot, peeled and cut into slivers
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into slivers (optional – I just added them for color)
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
6-12 dried red chili peppers (depending on how spicy you want it)

Lop off the base of the head of Napa cabbage. Separate the leaves and wash them. Shake off excess water and blot with a towel. Stack several leaves together in the same orientation and cut a couple of 1-inch sections (the tougher white parts) – don’t throw them out, you’ll want to keep it all. Then slice the remaining leafy section lengthwise. Repeat with all of the leaves. The smaller leaves can be left whole. In a small saucepan, heat the ginger, sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and water. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. In a large glass jar, layer the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper (if using), Sichuan peppercorns, and red chili peppers. Pour the pickling liquid (including the ginger) into the jar. Cover the jar tightly. Give it a shake. Place in refrigerator. Don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t cover all of the cabbage, over time the cabbage will wilt and settle into the liquid. Refrigerate for at least a day, but I prefer at least three days.

EGGPLANT

–See “Asian Fried Vegetables” p. 176 in Recipes from America’s Small Farms. This recipe works well with any combination of the vegetables listed in the ingredients. I’ll make it with scallions, summer squash, eggplant, and sliced portobellos this week.

–Babaganoush. I usually roast eggplant in the oven; whenever I’m baking or roasting something else, I wrap an eggplant loosely in foil (prick in a few places first) and put it in the oven for an hour or more. But I don’t want to turn on the oven this week; microwaving is not quite at good, but still delicious. Cut off the stem and prick all over with a knife or fork. Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for five minutes. Turn over, return to oven and continue to microwave a minute at a time until the eggplant is completely soft and caved in. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Then scrape the pulp from the skin. Add chopped scallion and garlic (or scape), salt and pepper to taste; squeeze in a splash of lemon juice. Add about two tablespoons of tahini paste, more or less to taste and depending on the size of the eggplant. Serve with pita or crackers.

CUCUMBER

COOL CUCUMBER SOUP

1 ½ cups homemade or canned chicken or vegetable broth

4 green onions, sliced

2 cups chopped, seeded cucumbers

1 tablespoon chopped dill

1 8-ounce container plain yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

Dill sprigs for garnish

Simmer broth and green onions for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly, then place in blender, with cucumber (save some for the end), dill. Puree until smooth, then add yogurt and puree again. Taste and add salt and pepper. Chill, garnish with dill and reserved chopped cucumber.

Variation: See cucumber-current soup under currents, below.

CUCUMBER AND DILL SALAD

2 6-inch cucumbers; peel only if the skin is tough; thinly sliced

¼ cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a non-metal bowl; make sure all the cucumbers are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. To serve, remove the cucumbers with a slotted spoon. Don’t throw away the liquid—use it for storing leftovers or for the next batch.

BLUEBERRY AND CUCUMBER SALAD WITH FETA—submitted by Cherie

From the Wall Street Journal;

Original source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303665904577452782191791096.html.

This salad’s refreshing crunch is perfect in hot weather. Blueberries can be milder and less acidic than other berries, so they mellow the salty feta and sharp-tasting mint.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 as an appetizer

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

3 heaping cups blueberries

2 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and seeds scraped out, cut into 1-inch pieces on a diagonal

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup crumbled feta

1 heart of romaine, chopped

2 lightly packed cups mint leaves

What To Do

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper. Combine blueberries, cucumbers, scallions, feta, romaine and mint in a large serving bowl. Toss with dressing. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.

CURRANTS

Currant dressing: Simmer 1 cup currants with 2 tablespoons sugar or honey for about 5 minutes. Add lemon, ginger, allspice, or cinnamon to taste. Serve with meat, poultry, or fish. It’s also great, cooled, over ice cream.

Currents and greens: Put about 1/4 cup of currents in food processor with 2 tsp olive oil, 2 sprigs chopped dill, salt and peper to taste. Puree; add sugar or honey until it’s as sweet as you like it. Serve over greens (such as the sautéed chard above); sprinkle with toasted almonds and crumbled blue, feta, or goat cheese.

Parfait. Layer currants with granola and yogurt. If it’s too tart for you, mix the currants with sugar or honey before you layer. Also nice with a layer of blueberries or strawberries. .

Cucumber-currant soup: Use the cucumber soup recipe above—but add a half-cup of currants and 2 tablespoons of honey or sugar when you puree the cucumbers. Float a few currants on top. The soup will turn pink

Fruit salad, fruit shakes, smoothies, and ice pops: Add a few currants to salads or blend into shakes, and smoothies—increase the sugar in the dressing or shake. Freeze some of the shake or smoothie mixture in plastic ice-pop makers—leave a few whole currants.

Blueberry/Currant Salsa: In a food processor, place ½ cup currants, ½ cup blueberries, 1 tbs sugar or honey, 1 tsp. chopped garlic or garlicscape, 2 tbs chopped onion, 1 tsp. minced ginger, zest and juice from half a lemon and/or lime, 1 tbs of your favorite flavoring—vanilla, cognac, sherry, liqueur.If you like, add hot sauce or cayenne. Pulse a few times, just until chopped roughly. If desired, add a tablespoon of finely chopped toasted nuts (almonds or pecans). Serve with greens, with strips of roasted chicken, with fish, or as a dip.

Current-Cranberry Sauce: Freeze about ½ cup of currents; remove stems, rinse, pack in a ziplock bag and tuck them into the freezer. Take them out on Thanksgiving and add them to your cranberry sauce—they add an extra layer of flavor and a reminder of summer.