July 13, 2016

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Painted Serpent Cucumbers - This heirloom variety was first introduced to Italy from Armenia as early as the 1400s. They  have very subtle dark and light green striae, with soft and slightly fuzzy skin that never needs to be peeled.  True to its melon origin, the Painted Serpent is sweeter than most cucumbers but also a tad crisper.

  • Zephyr Squash - Its nutty taste and firmness make this a garden standout versatile enough to serve fresh, steamed, sautéed or grilled.

  • Red New’ Onions -  If you find their flavor too astringent to eat raw, try soaking them in water before serving.  The sulfur compounds responsible for that harsh "biting" flavor and onion's powerful aftertaste dissipate into the water from the cut surfaces of the onion.  Just peel and slice the red onion as called for in your recipe, then submerge them in a bowl of cold or ice water. Let them sit for at least ten minutes, stirring once or twice, before draining and using them in your recipe.  For added flavor, you can also soak the onions in lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar. This method also works for other onions and bitter melon.

  • Young Globe Eggplants - For a simple, grilled eggplant salad: Heat grill to medium-high.  In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp canola oil (plus more for the grill) and 1 tbsp soy sauce.  Brush 2 medium eggplant, cut into ½-in rounds, and season with ½ tsp salt and pepper.  Oil grill. Grill the eggplant until tender and slightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side.  In a second small bowl, combine the 2 tbsp rice vinegar,  1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 seeded and thinly sliced jalapeño, ½ c fresh cilantro, and 1 more tbsp soy sauce. Drizzle over eggplant before serving.

  • Galia Melon -  This variety pairs well with ginger, seafood, mint, garlic, chili, honey, peanuts and soft cheeses.

  • Squash Blossoms - The star of this week’s recipe!  These flowers are a sensitive delicacy.  Please put in your fridge and/or a glass of water as soon as possible.

Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.

 

 

Vegetable Forecast

Charentais Melon, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Zucchini, White Onions, Hot Pepper Medley

 

 

News

Please RSVP (right now!) for our Community Farm Day if you plan on attending.  This is going to be one heck of a good time on the farm that you won’t want to miss.  

Need a ride, Have a ride? Use our spreadsheet to coordinate.  Save fuel, save money, make friends!

Highlights of the evening:

Farm Tour
Eco-Entomology Tour
Kids Activities & Educational Games
Face Painting
Farmstand
Live Music
Awesome Raffle Prizes
Live Music
Dinner on the Farm!

Thanks to our generous and supportive sponsors, these raffle prizes are such a cool way to support the farm and go home with some cool stuff or new experiences.  

Raffle Prizes include:

 

Private Portrait Session with Stephen Texeira Photography ($400 value!!)

The Art of Simple Food Cookbooks I & II autographed by Alice Waters

$100 Gift Certificate for Good Eggs online marketplace

$50 Gift Certificate and Tote Bag from Sacramento Natural Foods

Free One Week Subscription to Blue Apron

The Spoiled Dog Basket from Higby’s Country Feed

Two Kids-themed Farm Baskets

One Free Month of Say Hay CSA

New! Say Hay T-Shirts

New! Say Hay Hats

 

The dinner menu will be based on the seasonal creativity of the Head Chef at Good Eggs Kitchen, highlighting the vegetables, chicken, legumes, grains, olive oil, and fruit from our farm and neighboring farms in the Capay Valley.  There will be plenty to eat for all diets - omnivore, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.  Come eat a rustic buffet dinner on hay bales seat on the edge of the field where your food was grown!  

 

Please remember we request a $20 donation at the door for each person over the age 12 to help cover the costs of the event.  You can further support the farm and help further our mission by purchasing raffle tickets, donating further, and purchasing produce and eggs from the farmstand.  Cash preferred, cards accepted.  Thank you for your support!  We look forward to sharing our farm with you.

 

 

Recipe

Çiçek Dolması - Stuffed Squash Blossoms (Makes about 10-12 servings)
 

Stuffed squash blossoms, or 'çiçek dolması' (chee-CHECK' dole-MAH'-suh), are great examples of edible flowers and an incredible Turkish meze, or starter.  This beautiful, classic dish is most common in the Aegean regions of Turkey during spring/summer when zucchini flowers are fresh and in season.  Thanks to About for the recipe!  

  • About 30 fresh squash blossoms

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup  dried currants or dark raisins

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • 1 large bunch fresh dill, sprigs only, thick stems removed

  • 2 cups  short-grain white rice

  • 3 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 3 tsp. cinnamon

  • 2 tsp. allspice

  • 2 tbsp. sugar

  • 2 cups water

Handle your squash flowers very gently to avoid bruising or tearing. Do not wash them as this will cause the delicate petals to stick together.  Prepare your flowers for stuffing by gently removing any green leaves at the base. Set them aside.

Now it's time to prepare the stuffing. First, put a shallow pan on a medium flame and fry the onions in the olive oil until they are soft and reduced.  Add the pine nuts and brown them.  Add all the other dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in the water, then bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is almost absorbed. You'll know it's ready when you have a fragrant mixture of half-cooked rice.

Once your filling cools down enough to handle, you can begin stuffing your flowers. Handling each flower gently, fill the center of each using a small spoon and fold the petal tips over the top of the stuffing so they overlap, covering the filling completely.  

Do your best not to overstuff the flowers. You need to leave enough room for the rice to expand while they cook. Don't worry, it takes some practice to get it just right, but once your fingers get used to it, stuffing is easy!  As you stuff each flower, place them side by side lining the bottom of another shallow pan. You can start a second layer if necessary, but keeping them to a single layer is always best.

Add enough water to the pan to cover the stuffed flowers, but no more. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive over the mixture and add some extra salt to the water.

Bring the pan to a soft boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. The flowers should simmer very gently with the cover on until all the water is absorbed.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it continue to steam until it cools to room temperature. If too much condensation forms on the lid, cover the pan with paper towels and close the lid over them letting the flowers continue to steam.

When the flowers have cooled down, they will become firmer and easier to remove from the pan. Remove each one gently with your fingers being careful not to damage it, or the other flowers around it.

Place each 'dolma' on a decorative serving dish creating a random pile, drizzle them with some more olive oil and garnish the plate with a few fresh zucchini flowers, if desired.

These keep well in the refrigerator for a few days so you can make them ahead of time.

 

 

Pics of the Week:

 

Join us at our Farm Dinner this Saturday July 16th!

Join us at our Farm Dinner this Saturday July 16th!