Farm Share Week 10

Wow- are we half way through the season already?

Now is a good time to pause and think- am I getting everything I can out of my Farm Share? Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help, and I will try to make it happen if possible. Are you struggling to use a certain item? Let me know and I can post some recipes for that particular item.

This week we have watermelon for one and all! Let me assure you that the dark flesh is normal for the variety and the insides are a nice juicy pink like the typical supermarket watermelon. However, our melons get to ripen on the vine, since they don’t have to be harvested before they are ready to get prepared for cross-continental travel. I am sure you will taste the difference! I discoveredsome marvellous tips for selecting a ripe melon from one of our Jamaican workers. Apparently they grow watermelon in Jamaica too, which I think is a little unfair considering they are also able to grow tropical fruits like pineapple. Nonetheless, he introduced me to the “knock test”. While a sizeable yellow spot and more visible pattern emerging on the skin are also clues, giving the melon a knock with your knuckes should produce a hollow sound in a ripe melon, reminiscent of coconuts. I will admit that I may have knocked out a few beats while testing the melons.

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Stunning flowers of the okra plant- nice enough for a bouquet!

Here is your list of veggies for this week:

Half Share

  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • saladette tomatoes
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red kale
  • green peppers
  • eggplant
  • watermelon
  • potted bail
  • golden beets

Whole Share

  • green beans
  • cucumber
  • saladette tomatoes
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red kale
  • green peppers
  • eggplant
  • watermelon
  • potted bail
  • golden beets
  • heirloom or field tomatoes
  • okra
  • green swiss chard
  • red leaf lettuce
  • onion chives
  • fennel
  • sugar snap peas

And for the recipes:

Pasta-Less Eggplant Lasagna from www.foodnetwork.ca

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Tasty Lasagna minus the pasta!

 

Ingredients

  • large eggplant, very thinly sliced – think Paper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oi
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1- 1½ cups cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package Italian Veggie Ground Round
  • 3 cups Tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2-2½ cups low fat Mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

(Feel free to substitute based on what you have: I used an italian mixed cheese, added Italian seasonings and pepper, and substituted some of the eggplant with zucchini based on what I had in my fridge.)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the onions, garlic and Italian ground round. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the ground round is cooked through (about 5 minutes or so).
  2. In the meantime, baste the eggplant slices with olive oil and broil until they are brown around the edges and soft in the center (about 2-3 minutes per side). Remove from oven.
  3. Lower the heat to 350°F/180°C
  4. Layer the “lasagna” in an ovenproof dish as follows:
    • Thin layer of tomato sauce
    • Layer of eggplant slices
    • Thin layer of grated mozzarella
    • All the ground round mixture
    • Thin layer of sauce
    • All the ricotta, evenly spread over the sauce
    • Layer of fresh basil
    • Rest of the eggplant (I saved a few pieces for garnish)
    • More sauce
    • Lots of mozzarella
    • Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes. The top will be golden and it will be bubbling around the edges. Serve with salad.

Beef, Beet and Cabbage Soup from www.yummly.com with some extra veggies.

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Beef, beet and cabbage soup. Not the world’s prettiest photo, but it was easy, tasty, and satisfying.

I made this up to use leftover beets and other items in my fridge and have something to eat after a long day on the farm. I heated some fresh crusty buns that I had frozen in the oven, and they tasted like freshly baked bread, which made for a nice accompanyment.  

Ingredients

  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. stewing beef, cut into pieces
  • 1 onion (thinly sliced)
  • 6 small beets cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 cups cabbage, sliced (I used Chinese cabbage)
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 L of beef broth or veggie broth

Directions

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the beef chunks. Brown about 10 mins. and trasfer to slow cooker.

2. Add onions to pan and cook about 5 minutes. Add to slow cooker with remainder of ingredients.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

4. Come home to a nice, hot, home-cooked meal and serve with fresh bread, or cheat and heat up previously frozen buns in the oven at 380 degrees. Remember to keep a close eye on them to prevent burning!

Hope you have fun experimenting this week!

-Jennifer

 

 

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