The Summer Crunch
Cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots – kerrrrrrrunch! That’s the sound of summer. Hefty foods that require molars to enjoy - once you see them in your tote, you know we’ve arrived into the heart of summer. Festive salads are a breeze to invent at this time of year when the produce line-up is so colorful and substantial.
And hearty salads are exactly what we farmers survive on at this point in the year, because we are experiencing our own kind of summer crunch: a peak-season workload that keeps us moving all hours, most days. More and more of our time is dedicated to harvest each week, but we are still also trying to keep pace with weeds, irrigation, direct seeding and transplanting (we plant outdoors in the field until mid-September).
Salad is our fast food. Heaped high, maybe decorated with some hard-boiled eggs or local canned tuna, a quick chop of whatever other veggies are lying around, and some homemade salad dressing.
It keeps the farmers ticking, so you can keep on licking (your plates).
In your share this week:
- Purplette Onions
- Head Lettuce
- Red Ursa Kale
This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.
These early onions tend to be a favorite among CSA members, beloved for their pretty purple color and sweet-spicy flavor. They are a fresh onion (not cured), so keep them in your fridge. You can use your purplette any way you would use a regular onion, but many people seem to especially enjoy them raw in salads. They aren’t as pungent than storage onions, with less of that oniony bite. You can also use the green tops like green onions.
You’ll be getting them in your tote for the next couple of weeks, which will hopefully give you just enough time to have a true love affair with this member of the onion family. Purplettes always kick off our Allium season, with many other varieties to follow in their wake: walla walla sweets, red long torpedoes, red and yellow storage, red and gold shallots, and leeks.
Storage: In a plastic bag in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Most folks don’t need tips on how to use cilantro, but here’s a recipe that I LOVE, thanks to Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/zucchini-fresh-herb-fritters
Storage: Either in the fridge in a bag (will last for up to a week), or in a cup/vase of water in the fridge, covered with a plastic bag (will last even longer….)
Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
Our own collection of recipes that you can contribute to
Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes