Week 8, July 17-23, 2011

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
WEEK 8
July 17-23, 2011

If needed, please contact Richard Andres & Deb Lentz at 2510 Hayes Rd. Chelsea, MI 48118 e-mail: tantrefarm@hotmail.com phone: 734-475-4323 website: www.tantrefarm.com

THIS WEEK’S SHARE
We usually try to give you a pretty accurate listing of the produce in your box, but since the newsletter is published before the harvest, sometimes we may substitute some vegetables for others.

RED ACE BEETS & GREENS: See Week 5 newsletter for more information.
How to use: greens can be substituted for spinach and chard in recipes; roots good in soups, stews, roasted, boiled, steamed, excellent grated raw into salads or baked goods.
How to store: separate roots from leaves and store unwashed in plastic bags in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; store greens wrapped in damp cloth in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

GREEN BEANS and YELLOW BEANS: See Week 7 newsletter for more information.
How to use: raw in salads, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, etc.
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for up to 1 week.

GREEN CABBAGE: a sweet green cabbage; considered a beneficial digestive aid and intestinal cleanser; cabbage has a good amount of vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
How to use: good steamed, stir-fried, or chopped raw into salads or coleslaw
How to store: refrigerate for up to 1 month

CUCUMBERS: See Week 7 for more information.
How to use: raw or pickled in salads or sandwiches, can also be julienned, sautéed, or baked.
How to store: store them in a sealed plastic bag in refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a week; use up leftovers as soon as possible.

FRESH GARLIC: See Week 5 newsletter for more information.
How to use: minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables
How to store: fresh garlic can be stored in an open, breathable basket in a cool, dark place for many months; if cloves begin to get soft or moldy, break off bad clove and chop up others and pack into small jar filled with olive oil; then refrigerate

FRESH HERBS: In general, store herbs upright with cut stems in 1 or 2 inches of water and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or wrap in slightly dampened cloth and store in refrigerator. *All shares will receive Basil, and you may choose ONE from the following 3 Herbs:
1. Cilantro– the flat, delicate, lacy-edged leaves and stems of the coriander plant, which look a lot like flat-leaf parsley, but has a distinctive, almost citrus fragrance that lends itself to highly spiced foods.
2. Italian Flat-leaf Parsley—flat, glossy, dark green leaves have a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh. See other “Parsley” recipes in “A to Z” cookbook.
3. Black-stemmed Peppermint–superior fragrance and flavor; forest green leaves with deep purple veins and stems, purple flowers.
*Genovese Basil—an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves. We supply it with root attached, so it will last longer when stored in a jar, vase, or glass of water on your counter or table top. See feature article in this newsletter and recipes in the “A to Z” Cookbook and Tantre Farm website.

LETTUCE: You will receive up to 2 heads of lettuce.
How to use: raw in salads, sandwiches, or use in soups
How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag for 3-5 days

ONIONS (Yellow Spanish): a sweet, mild flavored onion with a yellow skin.
How to use: can be grilled or roasted whole as a vegetable or chopped in salads, soups, & other dishes for flavor
How to store: wrap in damp towel/bag in fridge for 2-7 days.

NEW POTATOES (Red Norland): smooth, red skin and white flesh. See Week 7 for more information on new potatoes.
How to use: great baked, boiled, or roasted
How to store: Refrigerate new potatoes if not used within 2-3 days, but use up sometime during the 1st or 2nd week of receiving them.

U-PICK RASPBERRIES (only available on the farm): Unfortunately we are not be able to pick raspberries in large quantities for members, since they are labor-intensive and over many years we have not found a way to satisfactorily store raspberries when picked too far in advance. Therefore, 1 pint is available as part of your share this week, only if you are able to come out to the farm and pick it yourself. More pints are available for u-pick as well for $3/pint. See u-pick information below in the “Announcements”.

SUMMER SQUASH/ZUCCHINI: You will receive some variety of Soleil Yellow Zucchini or Yellow Slick Pik or Plato Green Zucchini. *Keep in mind yellow or green “zucchini” and “summer squash” are basically interchangeable in recipes.
How to use: use in salads, dips, grilled, casseroles, stuffed, or mashed with butter and seasonings
How to store: store in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

SWISS CHARD (Rainbow Mix): See Week 4 newsletter for more information.
How to use: greens can be prepared like spinach, and stalks like asparagus; good steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and in soups.
How to store: wrap in damp cloth in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2-4 days.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
1. U-PICK RASPBERRIES (Black, Red, Golden, & Purple): If you are able to come out to the farm, you may “pick 1 pint for free” this week as part of your share and additional pints at $3/pint. Our weeds/thistles have gotten ahead of us in some of the berry patches, so please be prepared to dress appropriately (or bring gloves and you can help weed a bit too!). You may bring your own containers, but we do have many donated plastic quarts and pints. Please call ahead, if you plan to pick on other days besides Farm Distribution Days (Wed. & Fri.), so we can make sure someone is around.

2. GRACIEM ORGANICS has peaches, apples, pears, nectarines and apricots available again this summer. They can be purchased through Lunasa (www.lunasa.us), the online local Ann Arbor farmers market. Browse by Category: “produce – fruits “ or Browse by Producer: “Graciem Organics”. Fruit will also be available sometimes at the Distribution Shed at Tantre Farm and may be ordered in larger quantities, just email “cmways@aol.com” with “Graciem Organics” in the Subject line. Graciem Organics is a one-acre fruit tree farm in Ann Arbor and is Certified Organic by Global Organic Alliance.

3. THANKS TO THOSE WHO CAME TO THE SUMMER WORK PARTY on Sunday, July 17. We had a few brave and hardy families show up to battle the heat, so we collected downed apples for the animals, cleaned several crates of garlic for the shares this week, stripped dried herbs, or just took a stroll or wagon ride around the farm. For those of you who would have liked to help, but couldn’t due to other commitments or the heat, please feel free to volunteer any other day of the week. Just give us a call ahead of time.

4. PICK UP TIMES & LOCATIONS REMINDER:
Farm on Wed.–10 A.M. to 7 P.M.
Farm on Fri.–2 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market (Wed.)–7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Community High School (Sat.) –7 A.M. to 12 P.M.
Chelsea Farmers’ Market (Sat.)–8 A.M. to 12 P.M.

BASIL: MORE THAN JUST A CULINARY HERB
Basil is one of the most sacred plants of India. It has been used to make royal unguents, perfumes, and medicines. A tea can be made to settle the nerves and aids with indigestion. Medicinally, it is used to stimulate perspiration for the treatment of colds, flu, and fevers. The French have used basil to repel mosquitoes and flies, which is why pots of it may be found at sidewalk restaurants in France.

Basil’s most popular use though is as a culinary herb. It is more commonly known for its primary role in tomato sauces, pesto, and salad dressings. It is also popular in Mediterranean dishes and Thai curries. It partners well with almost any summer vegetable, but especially tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans, and summer squash.

Fresh basil deteriorates quickly, especially when refrigerated. It is a warm-weather crop and is sensitive to cold temperatures. If leaves are wrapped in a dry towel and kept in an airtight container, it can be kept at about 50 degrees for a few days before leaves start blackening. That is why we provide it with roots attached, so you may retain its freshness for a week or longer by placing the roots in a jar of water, changing the water every few days, and we don’t refrigerate it. You may also freeze fresh leaves in a plastic zip-lock bag, if you don’t mind the darkened color. This is very easy–just wash leaves, spin dry, place in Ziploc bag, remove air, seal, and freeze. Basil can also be dried by hanging in a dry, warm, well-ventilated place for about 2 weeks. If you would like to retain some of the green color, it needs to be dried quickly in a dehydrator or in the oven at its lowest setting with door ajar. The leaves can be separated before drying and stirred often. Remove dried leaves and store in a sealed glass jar—away from light and heat.

Some people make pesto from the basil leaves and freeze it in ice cube trays or drop on cookie trays like “drop cookies”; then bag it when frozen to be used as needed. Others just mix chopped basil with olive oil or water and freeze in ice cube trays. Remove frozen herb cubes and place in freezer bag. One frozen cube is equivalent to 1 tablespoon fresh or about 1 teaspoon of dried herb, which flavors vegetables, meats, stews, and soups all winter long.

**We grow a lot of basil, so you will all receive basil fairly consistently from now until the first frost in September or October, so plan on freezing, drying, or making pesto, so that you will enjoy its summer aroma all winter long. If you don’t think you can use it every week, then just don’t take it. See recipes in the “A to Z” Cookbook and Tantre Farm website. Have fun and enjoy a plethora of basil over the coming weeks!

RECIPES

POTATO SALAD WITH GREEN BEANS (from www.cooks.com)
1 1/2 lbs. new red potatoes
1/2 c. sliced green onions or ½ cup sweet onion bulb
1/3 c. dry white wine
1/3 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp. dry sherry
Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe follows)
1 lb. cooked green beans, cut into halves and chilled
Salt and pepper

In covered saucepan, cook potatoes in 2 inches boiling water until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. While potatoes are still warm, cut into quarters. In large bowl, toss warm potatoes with onions, wine, broth and sherry. Set aside 30 minutes. Toss with Vinaigrette Dressing below. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Just before serving, add green beans and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Vinaigrette Dressing:
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp. fresh savory, minced
1 tsp. fresh basil, minced
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
1/4 tsp. paprika

BOWTIES WITH BASIL, CILANTRO, SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE SAUCE (from www.epicurean.com) Serves 4.
1 pound bowtie pasta
1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
3/4 cup packed cilantro or mint leaves
1/2 cup steamed fresh spinach (or Swiss Chard), well drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 ounces goat cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta to your liking. While the pasta is cooking, combine the basil, cilantro, spinach, Parmesan, butter, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the goat cheese and pulse until well mixed with the other ingredients. When the pasta is cooked, drain, but reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Combine the hot pasta with the processed ingredients and the cooking water in a large bowl. Mix until the pasta is coated well. Serve and make sure you have salt and pepper on the table to season to taste.

ZUCCHINI CUCUMBER SOUP (Gourmet Magazine, Aug. 2006)
1 lb. zucchini or summer squash variety, chopped
3/4 lb. seedless cucumber (about 2 C.) or scoop seeds out
1/3 C. chopped sweet onion
1/4 C. white wine vinegar
1/4 C. water
1 tsp. chopped fresh hot green chile
1 1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 C. crème fraîche (4 oz.) or plain yogurt
Garnish with fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley, chopped

Purée zucchini, cucumber, onion, vinegar, water, chile, 1tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. coriander in a blender until very smooth. Whisk remaining 1/8 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. coriander into crème fraîche or yogurt. Serve topped with dollops of crème fraîche or yogurt & cilantro or parsley.

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