Week Eight of Summer Shares

Desert Sage Week Eight Share

Desert Sage CSA Week Eight Share

What a busy week we have had once again.  Lettuce galore for fall shares have been going in the ground. Yes in July!  Cabbage, cauliflower, napa cabbage, kale, turnips, beets, carrots, savoy cabbage and so many other things are getting set in the ground this week as well.  It’s hard to believe in just a few days it’s August with four shares left to go.

We have been putting shares in stack-able boxes lately.  These make it much easier for use and seems to help with not squishing our fruit.  Please return these..  Yes, they are just a cardboard box, but it does take more time to gather them if we run out.  Thanks for you help with this!

So what’s in this weeks shares?  Asian Pears.  Let these get a slight yellow hue for best flavor.  A few apples, cucumbers, walla walla onions, peppers – both bell and hot, tomatoes, grapes, garlic, napa cabbage OR Asian greens, pea shoots, rosemary and  other mix of veggies.

If you are wondering what to do with pea shoots, just add them sandwiches, top a salad or steamed vegetables.  If you don’t know how good rosemary is for you we’ll share some information!  Rosemary improves digestion, enhances memory and concentration (could use that!), is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, neurological protection, helps prevent brain aging, good for eye health and protection against macular degeneration.  Now!  If that doesn’t motivate you to use your rosemary, I don’t know what would!!  So you don’t use it all…Dry it.  Just leave it out hanging or on a clean paper towel until dry, then strip the leaves off and store for winter use.

Next week we will have microgreens again.  We grow extras for those who would like more than what’s in their share.  We are hoping for green beans, but honestly, we are having a hard time guessing what plants and crops want to do this year!  Also, okra is just around the corner (a week or two), so find some delicious recipes.  It really isn’t just a nasty slimy vegetable if prepared correctly.

Update on fall shares.  We have a few left, but our Thanksgiving baskets are fulfilled.  Fall shares include many winter squash varieties, pumpkins, greens, root crops and other savory veggies.  Fall is our favorite time of the year.  Perhaps it’s because it cooler, but the vegetables are totally amazing to cook with!

See ya’ll later today!

Grilled peach salad

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I don’t know about all of you, but with the humidity and heat of summer its hard to figure out what to make for dinner. Something that’s not to heavy but still satisfying. So while I was putting together the CSA baskets this morning I got to looking at all that fabulous fresh produce and it just clicked. Why not a fresh salad with something sweet like peaches or even pears on it.

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 firm but ripe peaches, halved and pitted
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of toasted pecans
  • Feta cheese
  • Arugala salad mix

Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat ( or use a stove top grill pan) oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.                                                   In a small bowl, combine the honey, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp pepper. Brush the peach halves with olive oil and place on grill, cut side down. Cover the grill and cook until the peaches just begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Turn the peaches and brush with honey mixture. Cook until tender but not falling apart, 2-3 minutes longer. (Serve either cooled or hot off the grill) on a bed of Arugala, sprinkle with feta cheese. And enjoy

Week Seven of Summer Shares

The week (and weeks to come) of the Japanese Beetles!  NOT a nice bug!  I’m certainly not bug squeamish, but these buggers hang out on what looks like the best peach (and more than likely is) on the tree and when you go to grab it, buzzing and flying beetles everywhere.  I do squeal a little!  Anyway, as you may have figured out we have peaches in this weeks shares.  While these are my favorite peaches for eating, they are great grilled or made into a cobbler or crisp.  Also Asian Pears.  Wait for these round fruits to become a bit yellow for best flavor.   Most pears drop before ripe and have to picked in a green stage.  You’ll also find Glenora grapes, fingerling potatoes, cucumbers, basil, garlic chives, microgreens, arugula, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, summer squash, bell pepper shallots and some other finds.  This week we have put the produce in boxed flats so the peaches don’t get bumped and bruised.  If you take a box, please, please, please return as soon as possible.  We use these all the time!

 

No guilt before dinner snack

Cucumber roll upBread… Oh how I LOVE bread. If I had the option, I would probably eat an entire loaf everyday by myself. It is such a comfort food, just to grab a slice here and there, make a sandwich, a piece of toast, grilled cheese.  talk about carb overload. So while I was browsing through my fridge for a quick snack of somekind before dinner. I happened to look in my veggie drawer, there was a cucumber just waiting to be used. my hungry brain monster (that sounds a lot like cookie monster thanks to my little boy) was like “Mmmm crunchy…but me no want plain crunchy, me want other things with it.” and yes your mind did just read that in a cookie monster voice. So I give you the guilt free before dinner snack.

  • 1 cucumber
  • your choice of cheese
  • your choice of lunch meat
  • match stick carrots (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • thick ranch dressing (optional)
  • anthing else you like on a sandwich (optional)

take the cucumber, and using a vegetable peeler shave off thin layers that you can roll all your goodies up into. Lay out your cucumber shavings on a piece of parchment paper side by side. layer a piece of lunch meat, a little bit of homemade ranch dip, a thin slice of cheese, some avacado finely diiced, and three carrot sticks. plus anything else you might want. (just remember you still have to roll it up so dont go overboard). now comes the tricky part, roll everything as tightly as you can. stick toothpicks into the ends of each cucumber and all the way through to the other side to hold together. using a sharp knife slice apart each cucumber into individual roll ups. enjoy your guilt free snack.

Week Six of Summer Shares

We are now halfway through our summer share season.  This week we have cucumbers, squash, basil, green onions (scallions), garlic, bagel peaches, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, kale, bell peppers, strawberries and carrots.

If you aren’t sure what to do with kale, we will post a few ideas this week.  Remember!   Kale is a super-food!  You can always juice it, or kale chips can be made very quickly and easily with great diversity.

Our beans are slow coming, but we think in just a few more weeks they will be ready for pickin’.  Saturn peaches next week.  Think peach crisp, peaches and cream, peach ice cream or whatever floats you peach!  There will be peaches for weeks to come, so we really hope you LOVE peaches.  White peaches will ripen after the yellow hued Saturn peach.  Also we are seeing Asian pears in the near future!

Extra eggs again this week if anyone wants them.

See ya’ll later today!

Caprese roll ups

image imageI just tried this recipe last night and really really liked it. I may even replace my traditional lasagna recipe with this. Not to mention, I get to use more of my fresh garden tomatoes in another fun kitchen experiment. I loved that it was more portion controlled and easier to serve up too.

Alright to start off you will need

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 14 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese finely shredded
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup of fresh parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3-4 paste tomatoes thinly sliced (1/16 inch)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until well blended. Stir in parmesan cheese, then mix in 12 oz of mozzarella cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. Set a side. Cook noodles according to package until al denta. drain but DO NOT RINSE WITH WATER! lay out on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper when cool enough to handle. Spread about 1/4 of cheese mixture evenly over the entire length of noodle. layer with 4-5 slices of tomato and sprinkle with chopped basil. roll tightly and place seam side down in 11×7 baking dish with 1/4 cup of marinara sauce spread in the bottom. cover roll ups with remaining marinara sauce so noodles dont dry out during baking. sprinkle with remaining 2 oz of mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes. garnish with basil ribbons and serve hot.

note ; you can also make this a more traditional lasagna by adding a meat.

Week Five of Summer Shares

Wow!  What a reprieve we have had this week with cooler weather!  112 degrees is just a little hard to keep a happy face on in the garden!

I want to thank Kira for posting these delicious recipes that go along with baskets each week.  Thanks Kira!   Also a thanks to both Kira and Chelsea for helping harvest and pack your produce!

This weeks shares will include heirloom tomatoes ~ green, red and orange, a mix of cherry tomatoes, a red onion, cucumbers, bell peppers, Santa Rosa plums, strawberries, bagel peaches, greens and other various veggies.   You will also find a bag of micro greens. Micro-greens are grown to the first leaf stage and in rich soil which makes them a power house of nutrients. Use these as a salad, on salads, sandwiches or sprinkled over veggie dishes of any kind.  They are extremely good for you, plus they are fabulous!  We have extra micro-greens this week for $7 a bag if anyone wants.  These usually sell for $12-$15 a bag.  We also have plenty of extra eggs this week as well.

We are running low on baskets this week…So don’t forget to bring any you may have laying around please!

Also!!!!  Thursdays are really busy here.  Please use my cell number (on your intro letter) to leave a message or preferably a text.  We will get back with you as soon as we have a minute!

Whats happening here ~

This week we have been busy getting ready for fall shares.  Already! Planting like crazy.   Baby seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, napa cabbage, head lettuce, leeks and parsnips.  Planting never stops!

Peach crops are the next available fruit that will be coming on in to next few weeks.

Cucumber tomato salsa

imageI don’t know about you guys, but ever since my tomatoes have started producing I have had some serious salsa cravings. The kind of salsa that starts out with that sun ripened sweet tomato flavor ends with a mild jalapeño tingle. So here is the ultimate summer salsa recipe.

In a small bowl combine all the ingredients and chill for 1 hour. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

  1. 2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  2. 4 medium heirloom tomatoes diced
  3. 2 tablespoons cilantro coarsely chopped
  4. 1/4 cup of chopped red onion
  5. 1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  6. 1 lime, juiced
  7. 2 cloves garlic minced
  8. salt and pepper to taste

And my secret ingredient, that brings just the right flavor enhancement…… add about 1/8 teaspoon of cajan seasoning.

Warm Apricot Tarte with Chamomile Sorbet

This is kind of a long recipe but oh so worth it when your done making it. The sorbet will be your new favorite hot summer day treat that is just refreshing, while the tart is the type of snack to make you feel at home and it makes your house smell AMAZING!

Almond cream 

  1. 1/2 cup almond flour 
  2. 1/2 cup confectioners’ suger
  3. 1/2 stick (2 oz) unsalted butter softened
  4. 1 large egg

Make the almond cream by combining the flour, sugar, butter, and egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Dough

  1. 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 4 teaspoons sugar
  3. 1/2  teaspoon salt  
  4. 1 stick (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  5. 7 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  6. 3/4 teaspoons white vinegar

Make the dough using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in the mixer bowl until well combined. Add the butter and vegetable shortening and continue to mix until crumbly, about 1 minute. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and the vinegar and mix until completely absorbed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour                                                                                                                                                      Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough on a cool, lightly floured surface to a 1/8 -thick thickness. Press the dough into 9×9-inch baking pan and trim off any excess dough hanging over the edge. freeze for 1 hour.

Apricot sauce and topping

  1. 4 apricots, pitted and chopped
  2. 3 tablespoons simple syrup
  3. 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  4. 15 apricots, pitted and cut into thin slices
  5. 6 tablespoons of sugar

Blend the chopped apricots, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a small bowl and discard the solids. cover and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Remove the tart shell from the freezer. Spread the almond cream evenly over the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the apricot slices over the almond cream. sprinke the top with sugar and bake until the crust is cooked through and golden brown, and apricots are tender, rotating the pan halfway through, cook for about 45 minutes. Let the tart cool for about 10 minutes.

Simple syrup

combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium–high heat. bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar fully dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool

Chamomile sorbet

  1. 6 bags of chamomile tea
  2. 2 cups lemon syrup
  3. 1/4 cup light corn syrup

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and submerge the tea bags in the water. allow to cool and then steep overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the tea bags and discard. Whisk the lemon syrup and corn syrup into the tea. Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s  instructions.

Lemon syrup

  1. 2 cups of simple syrup
  2. 2 tablespoons of lemon zest
  3. 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise and seeds scraped

comibine the simple syrup, vanilla bean and seeds, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat  and allow to cool. refrigerate overnight. strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids.

To serve cut the tart into squares and spoon the apricot sauce on the side of each piece. serve with a scoop of the sorbet atop the apricot sauce. 

 

Week Four of Summer Shares

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White Queen Tomato

Another full and tasty week.  Apricots!  We love the sweet/tart taste of apricots and sadly this will be the last week for them in our shares, so enjoy while they last!  We have a delightful apricot tart recipe you may want to try and we will post later this week.  Bagel Peaches are starting to soften and the birds are like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  It’s a little scary out there!  But, by the end of the day we should have them covered and protected ~ The peaches, not the birds! These tender babies need to be picked a bit firm, so let them become slightly softened on the counter for a day or two for best flavor.  They do bruise easily so be very gentle when picking up today and place them on the top of your transfer basket or they will surely squish!  

We are also hoping for an abundant picking of tomatillos.  These have a paper-like husk on them that need to be removed.  Use these in salad dressings, salsas or roast them with other veggies.  Heirloom tomatoes are starting to ripen.  These are amazing and I think are best raw!  But, who is to say.  Please!  Don’t waste these!  Some years they produce great and others not so great.  So treat them like gold, because they are!  If you happen to get a creamy white tomato (see picture above), it is ripe!  And yes, they taste like a tomato!  We will add more garlic and some lavender this week so you can try the lavender garlic paste Kira listed earlier.  This is amazing with carrots, but any cooked vegetable can be used.  Squash will more than likely once again be in your findings.  Get creative!  Look for ~ Cucumber, green onions  pepper, greens of one type or another and basil. 

Baskets will be early this week due the holiday.  So we should be finished by noon.

~Stay cool and stay hydrated!   See ya’ll later today!