That summer heat is coming on strong and the dog days will be here before we know it. Until then, we’ll relish in the cool mornings and temperate evenings – these heady days before school gets out and life really changes gears for the season.
This week’s basket personifies where we are agriculturally these days. The soil is warmer meaning fewer tender things so we’re more than a little happy to see these English peas from our neighbors in Florida. They are so sweet and need very little fuss to be enjoyed. We’re partial to throwing in the whole lot of them, with our boiling pasta water, just at the tail end of cooking time. Ladle in a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and good olive oil to the drained mixture and maybe shower with fresh herbs for the prettiest and easiest side dish ever. You can also just blanch the peas in boiling salted water, drain and shock with cold water before briefly sautéing with butter and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
Farmer Hamm shares his signature hot sauce with members this week. This blend is simple and classic for a reason. It just plays well with almost anything savory. Of course, we like it on greens, like the braising ones from our own Harpersville, AL farm also in this week’s basket. The Swiss chard this week is so pretty – you might be tempted to just place the whole bunch in a vase and set it on your kitchen table for all to swoon over. When you are ready to serve it up, try one of these from Bon Appetit. We may or may not have a pool going on which of the 13 featured recipes is most popular. Be sure to share on our private Facebook page which one you make so we know who wins!
Of course, maybe you’re more partial to the carrots or flagpole green onions or strawberries we’ll be bringing up from the farm. We’re eager to wet our whistle with this Strawberry Fizz cocktail recipe from Saint Leo Lounge in Oxford, MS.
Our friends at Greenleaf Farms in Cullman continue to share their prolific bevy of hydroponically-grown tomatoes. We eat as many of these fresh as we can then roast the remainder, low-and-slow, with a grating of fresh garlic, good olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss in a little fresh basil after cooking and you have the makings of a sublime accompaniment. These roasted tomatoes love to be invited to your next charcuterie board but they are just as happy sitting atop garlicky bruschetta or swirled into warm pasta or spooned over roasted chicken or… well, you get the idea.
Our mushroom friends at Grandview send us their best shiitakes this week. Slice and saute with garlic and fresh herbs to spoon over your next hot-off-the-grill hangar steak or top a weeknight salad with the savory mixture.
Rounding out the basket this week is everyone’s favorite popcorn rice from our growers in Louisiana where they know a thing or two about rice, a staple in Creole cuisine. This blend just tastes nutty and is quite unlike anything you may have tried before. And it smells fantastic, cooking on the stove. Of course, you could opt to cook your rice in the oven a la Kim Severson in this New York Times recipe – we like the goofproof nature of this version. And no CSA basket would be complete without something from our favorite baker, Corey Hinkel. Surely we are not the only ones who are SO TEMPTED to tear into that fresh loaf on the drive home from pick up at Farmstand, right?
Thank you friends for being such a special part of our agricultural journey, week in and week out!
What is in the box?
Cocktail Tomatoes | Greenleaf Farm
Heirloom Tomatoes | Greenleaf Farm
Shiitake Mushrooms | Grandview Farm
English Peas | Florida
Popcorn Rice | Louisiana
Hot Sauce | Hamm Farms
Ciabatta Bread | Hinkel’s Bakery
From Stone Hollow Farmstead
Flagpole Green Onions
Whole Milk | Working Cow Dairy
Hen Eggs | Stone Hollow Farmstead
Peonies, Jonquils, Mint, Irises