We're happy to continue to share our early tomato harvest with you. Many of our tomatoes are classic heirloom varieties each with its own flavor profile and luckily, all are delicious!
When a CSA member recently asked me about his oddly shaped tomato, "What should I do with this one?" I always answer the same way: cherish its beauty and then salt, pepper, and eat! No matter the color, size, or unique shape, we encourage you to enjoy heirlooms for their diversity, rich summer flavors, diversity, and seasonality. These gems are at their best for only a few months of the year, so here's how to store them properly. Make sure never to refrigerate your tomatoes to fully enjoy their flavors and naturally developed sugars. Also, tomatoes are best stored stem-side downwards, on your counter, or in a cool space (e.g., garage, basement).
Our bulk tomato harvests are still several weeks out, but the consistent sunshine and warmth help the tomatoes slowly ripen. Until then, enjoy this week's bountiful mid-summer harvest!
Cheers, Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
I had originally written "fresh garlic" in last week's newsletter thinking, "there's no way that our garlic cured so quickly" and yet, Jeff and Tyler proved me wrong! They are admittedly ingenious and they created a structure (named the Dry Master 9000) to surround and protect the garlic in a warm shell including a dehumidifier. This environment warms and dries the garlic developing its strong outer skin and deep, rich garlic flavor. Both this week and last week are receiving our cured garlic. Cured garlic is shelf-stable for months to come and can be used in just about everything. Enjoy!
As this classic farm family picture shows, we're so happy to welcome the start of sweet corn season. The sweet corn in this week's CSA shares comes from a nearby farm, Didier Farm, located in Prairie View, IL. While their sweet corn is not organic, it is local and delicious
This week's Golden Plums are ripe and ready to eat. I'm again sharing my favorite muffins recipe which uses a combination of peaches and plums. I always add extra fruit, cut the sugar in half and eliminate the sugar topping. I also love to grill plums (and peaches!) and add vanilla yogurt for a sweet treat.
Seasonal Recipes from the Farm Kitchen
Fresh Sweet Corn and Beans Salad - This is one of our favorite succotash-like summer salad recipes. Very simple and delicious!
5 ears of corn, shucked 1/2 cup diced sweet onion 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (use what you have on hand! I used tomatoes and grilled zucchini) 1/2 cup cooked beans, rinsed (I used black, cannellini beans would also work) 3 tablespoons cider vinegar 3 tablespoons good olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 minutes until the starchiness is just gone. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob. Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the onions, vegetables, beans, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.