We're entering into the final third of the CSA vegetable season, which is great! In the fall, brassica family veggies like cabbage, kale, collards, turnips, etc all taste really good, first of all because the flea beetles have died off (maniacal laugh) and secondly because as the weather gets colder the plants produce more sugars as a type of natural antifreeze. This means that kale and others which have gotten a light frost are actually very sweet! Of course, fingers crossed that we have a month or so before that happens....
All is well here on the farm, we really couldn't ask for a better fall so far -- moderate, steady rainfall, good sunlight, little wind ... and we haven't even gotten late blight on our tomatoes! Expect those to keep filling your kitchens as our field plants are just dumping fruit on us right now.
Let's talk about arugula. This is my favorite green, hands down. Wow is it good! You can do ANYTHING with it. Some people eat it plain by the bunch, which is spicy and sort of like a spring tonic type thing. Others put it in salads with HOT BACON DRESSING like Kara and I did last night. Wow that was awesome. Recipe to follow. You can toss raw arugula with hot cooked pasta and cherry tomatoes and cheese and it makes a fast week night dinner. You can put it on any sort of sandwich imaginable and it will elevate that humble sandwich into something divine, with the possible exception of PB&Js. People make pesto with it, substituting it for basil. You can toss chopped arugula into a hot soup broth and it will wilt nicely... and you can have as much of it as you want! Seriously, take a lot, we're bringing a lot.
Remember, the president likes arugula so much he complains about the rising price of it in his speeches! You can just tell him you get as much of it as you can eat from our CSA.
So, before I get to the vegetables, hot bacon dressing:
a few strips of cooked, chopped bacon with its fat as well, OR leftover hot bacon grease.
a bit of olive oil, to mellow the bacon flavor.
cider vinegar, about 3/4 of the amount of oil/grease you use.
fresh thyme, if you have it (or sage or oregano)
sugar, sweetened to taste.
corn flour or corn starch, about a tablespoon mixed with water to form a paste.
put it all in a jar, making sure the mixture is warm, which will help the cornstarch dissolve and the whole point is that it's a warm dressing..... shake it up until it gets emulsified, and pour all over that delicious arugula, maybe with some feta cheese and sungold tomatoes to make it a meal?
Leaving you with thoughts of bacon (and arugula), here's what you're getting this week.
Tomatoes (heirloom, beefsteak, cherry, mini roma, plum, etc)
Red cabbage (last week - i know you're all hugely disappointed. we will have chinese cabbage in a few weeks, so when you've finished eating all that stored red cabbage I'm sure you have, we'll have more for ya)
Beets, orange and candy cane
Sweet bell peppers, chocolate and red
Alright, see you all tonight! (or monday)
-Aaron and Kara