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FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter week of August 19th, 2014

What’s in this week’s box?

Salad greens


Fresh Onions

Green and Purple Islander Peppers

Butter & Sugar Corn


Summer Squash

Field Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes






**Quick Note about deliveries: Occasionally what we plan on putting in the boxes for the week change by the time delivery actually comes around. This is affected by several factors: weather can quickly and ruthlessly destroy a crop, what we thought was a completely ready row of carrots (for example) is only in fact half ready, miscommunication between the CSA Coordinator and the Veggie manager, etc.

In the end, as a CSA member know that these are normal occurrences and that there is the occasional discrepancy from the emailed list  of box contents. Thank you!


Storage, handling and general cooking tips…



 Storage- Eggplant prefers to be kept at about 50 degrees F, which is warmer than most refrigerators and cooler than most kitchen counters.  Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moistrue and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.

 Handling- Rinse eggplant in cool water and cut off the stem.  Many people like to peel, salt, and drain their eggplant to draw out any bitter flavor; however, bitterness develops only in eggplant that has been stored for a while, so with farm fresh specimens this is generally not necessary.  Many recipes cal for salting in ofder to make the vegetable less watery and more absorbent– much like draining tofu.  Salting is not an essential step, but it can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish and is well worth the extra effort.

 Eggplant’s thick skin can be difficult to cut.  Do so carefully with a sharp knife.  The shape of an eggplant determines how it is best prepared.  Slice a straight, narrow eggplant into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut a rounded, bulbous eggplant into cubes for stews and stir-fries.



Storage and handling

Storage onions are the quite pungent, which cooks away to reveal a sweet flavor. These onions will keep in any cool, dark, dry place with adequate air circulation for several months.

To reduce onion-cutting induced tears use a very sharp knife and try chilling your onion before cutting it. If you encounter a little rot in your onion, remember it is not the kiss of death, just cut away the bad sections and use the rest.


White (sweet mild onions) fresh onions should be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, but beware the fatal moisture accumulation that causes them to spoil.  Eat them within a week or two.

Red onions will keep in any cool, dark, dry place with adequate air circulation for several months if they have been cured.  Uncured storage onions should be stored like sweet mild onions.  Be sure to store onions and potatoes in separate places as moisture given off by potatoes can cause onions to spoil.

Handling- When the sulfur in cut onions meets the water in your eyes, it turns into sulfuric acid, which  causes the infamous onion-induced tears.  To reduce the sulfur assault, use a very sharp knife, or chill your onions before cutting them.  If you’re planning to use chopped or sliced onions raw, it’s a good idea to rinse them in water before use, as this takes away the unpleasant bite.  Cutting boards can retain the flavor of onions so it’s a good idea to reserve a separate cutting board for onions, scallions, leeks, and garlic.

 Slice or chop onions depending on the specifications given in your recipe.  Anytime you cut an onion, be careful to tuck your fingertips slightly inward to keep them out of the path of the blade.  Also remember that a little rot is not the kiss of death.  If you encounter some while you’re slicing or chopping an onion, just cut away the bad sections.  If there are a few black spots, thoroughly rinse the whole onion in cool water while rubbing the spots with your thumbs.

 To peel and slice an onion, first cut off both the root and stem ends.  Set the onion upright on either end and cut it in half.  Now the onion is easy to peel.  Place the halves on the cutting board, flat edges down, and proceed to slice as thinly as needed.

 To peel and chop an onion, slice off the stem end and just the very end of the root.  Stand the onion upright on either end and slice from top to bottom through the middle of the onion.  Peel the onion.  Place each half on your cutting board, cut-side down.  Without slicing through the root end, which will hold the onion together, make three parallel slices that are perpendicular to the ends.  Now slice across the cuts you just made, and the onion will fall into small pieces.



Storage + Handling

Store whole peppers in a cool, dry place or refrigerate 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Always refrigerate cut peppers. Peppers are high in vitamin C and also contain vitamins A, B6 and K. The purple variety offers some antioxidants as well.

Sliced peppers can be eaten raw, roasted, or sauteed in olive oil or butter for 3-10 minutes until soft. Peppers can also be frozen. Wash your peppers, then slice and remove seeds and pulp. Place sliced peppers in a pot of boiling water to blanch for 2 minutes than submerge in ice water until cool. Place peppers in a labeled plastic container and freeze for up to 9 months.

Hot peppers should be treated equally when storing them, although care should be taken when handling. The heat giving component, capsaicin, is found in the pithy, seed-studded flesh, or placenta, which is located near the stem and extends along the inner ribs. Cut pepper open and scrape this part off, with a spoon, which will reduce some of the pungency. Be sure not to touch your face and wash your hands when finished.



Storage and Handling

Melon can keep up to a week, whole and uncut, into your fridge. IF your melon has been sitting in your car and its a hot day, let it cool off before sticking it right into the fridge, as the drastic temperature change will cause the fruit to spoil faster. Melons can be eaten cut up, wrapped in salty, cured meats, in fruit salad, or even sliced and grilled.



Corn is quintessential Americana, synonymous with BBQs, Summertime, and Grilling. There isn’t a red-checkered tablecloth on a picnic table that won’t see a bowl of these steaming ears. Sweet corn is not only tasty it also contains fiber, protein, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorous. Fun fact: there is one silk for every kernel of corn, on average there are 800 kernels in 16 rows on each ear of corn. Here at Applecrest we grow about 5 acres of corn, which at the height of the season will remove about 40 tons of carbon dioxide from the air, talk about goin’ green!

Storage and Handling 

Corn can be stored in its husk up to four days in the refrigerator but it will be at its sweetest the closer it is to the day it was picked. Corn can also be frozen. Boil your ears of corn for 4-6 minutes, cool in an ice bath, cut kernels off the cob, store in air tight container (bag or tupperware works), and stick in freezer. You’ll thank yourself on a cold February night, when you can taste these sun kissed kernels alongside your meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Cook tips

Corn can be grilled, boiled, or roasted. Easily eaten directly off the cob, added to a salad, or frozen for later use.



The sun-loving tomato’s arrival could mean only one thing—Summer is definitely here! This delectable, heart healthy summer fruit, beyond being a palate pleaser is fantastic in so many ways. Tomatoes can be eaten raw, stewed, sun dried, in soup, as a snack, with balsamic vinegar and fresh mozzarella, chopped into salsa, on sandwiches and burgers. The possibilities are endless.

FYI-Tomato paste will remove chlorine from hair, especially if you have blond hair and the recent heat wave has turned you into a pool diving mermaid and your locks are now greenish.

Did you know that tomatoes are thought to originate in Peru where their Aztec name “xitomatl’ means “plump thing with a navel”.


Tomatoes bruise easily, so handle them with care. Wash and dry your tomatoes before storing. Unless you’re planning to store your tomatoes for over a week, a windowsill, counter-top or bowl, stem side down, works fine. If you know you won’t use them in the next few days, then lower temperatures (a cool entryway) will help to preserve the fruit. Contrary to our common practice in the US, storing in a refrigerator is not otherwise recommended, as the cooler temperatures can reduce flavor and cause mushiness and mealyness. Your fresh-picked tomatoes will last longer on the kitchen counter than store-bought ones anyways, which are probably a few days old when you get them.



Storage and Handling

Blueberries are delicate and fickle, be gentle with them. Keep your fresh blueberries refrigerated, unwashed, in their container. They should last up to two weeks. Water on fresh blueberries hastens deterioration, so do not wash before refrigerating. Blueberries are highly perishable so do try to use them as soon as possible.


Recipes of the Week!

  • Grilled Zucchini and Ricotta Flatbread

  • Charred Corn Salad with Basil and Tomatoes

  • Rataouille’s Ratatouille

  • Watermelon Tomato Salad
  • Simple Baba Ganoush
  • Tomato and Onion Tarte Tatine
  •  Grilled Peaches with Creme Fraiche
  • Mama’s Blueberry Buckle
  • Raspberry Clafouti


Grilled Zucchini and Ricotta Flatbread

From Bon Appetit


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
  • 2 large zucchini (about 1 lb.), sliced lengthwise ¼” thick
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed (about 6 oz.)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough, room temperature, divided in half
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 6 ounces fresh whole milk ricotta
  • 1 ounce grated asiago cheese or pecorino
  • Crushed red pepper flakes and torn fresh basil leaves, for serving
  1. Prepare grill for 2-zone heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave 1 or 2 burners off); lightly oil grill grates. Toss zucchini and scallions with 2 Tbsp. olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat, turning often, until zucchini and scallions are tender and charred in spots, about 5 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, grill lemon halves cut-side down over direct heat until lightly charred, about 4 minutes; set aside. Cut scallions into 2” pieces with scissors.
  2. Gently stretch each piece of dough into a rectangle or oval about 14”x8” and transfer to 2 lightly oiled baking sheets. (If dough springs back, cover and let rest 10 minutes, then stretch again, resting as needed). Transfer both pieces of prepared dough to grill over direct heat. Cook until first side is lightly charred and dough is dry and stiff, about 1 minute. Turn and cook just until reverse side has a few light grill marks, about 30 seconds. Transfer to baking sheet and let cool slightly. Rub charred side of dough with garlic and top with grilled vegetables, dividing evenly. Dollop with ricotta and sprinkle with asiago.
  3. Return flatbreads to indirect heat; close grill and cook until cheese is warmed through and crust is crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to work surface and squeeze charred lemon halves over the flatbread. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, basil, and salt; drizzle with olive oil.


Charred Corn Salad with Basil and Tomatoes

From Bon Appetit


  • 12 ears of corn, husked
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, large leaves torn
  • 1/3 cup (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Rub corn with 1 Tbsp. oil. Grill, turning frequently, until corn is charred and heated through, 10-12 minutes. Remove from grill; when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a large bowl. DO AHEAD: Corn can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Place onion in a strainer and rinse with cold water to mellow its flavor. Drain well. Mix onion, remaining 5 Tbsp. oil, tomatoes, basil, 1/3 cup lime juice, and thyme into corn. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired. DO AHEAD: Salad can be assembled 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.


Ratatouille’s Ratatouille

As envisioned by Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 smallish zucchini
  • 1 smallish yellow squash
  • 1 longish bell pepper
  • Few sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.


Watermelon Tomato Salad

From Love Food Eat


  • 10-12 baby tomatoes of any kind
  • 1 cup of watermelon, de-seeded and cut into cubes
  • Few springs of fresh basil
  • 3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • a pinch of salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Cut the tomatoes into halves and place them in a bowl with the watermelon. Roughly tear a few leaves of basil and add it to the salad. Toss everything well.

To make the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, lime juice and salt and mix vigorously till it emulsifies into a golden syrup. Pour it over the salad and crack some black pepper over it.

Serve immediately.


Simple Baba Ganoush

From Minimalist Baker

  • 1 medium or 3/4 of a large eggplant
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp Tahini
  • sea salt
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, parsley or basil, chopped
  • olive oil (for roasting)
  1. Preheat oven to high broil (or medium if you have the ability) and position a rack at the top of the oven.
  2. Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and sprinkle with sea salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain any excess liquid. After 10 minutes, rinse slightly and then pat dry between two towels.
  3. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast for 5-10 minutes, turning once or twice, until the eggplant is softened and golden brown. Remove from pan, stack and wrap the rounds in foil to lock in moisture – wait 5 minutes.
  4. Peel away most of the skin of the eggplant (a little is OK) and add flesh to a food processor. It should be soft and tender and the skin should come off easy.
  5. Add lemon juice, garlic, tahini, a pinch of salt and mix until creamy. Add herbs last and pulse to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a bit more tahini and another pinch of salt.
  6. Serve with pita and/or pita chips and veggies. Will keep covered in the fridge for several days.

Tomato and Onion Tarte Tatin

From Not Quite Nigella

  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 onion, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tablespoon extra for drizzling later and for oiling the tin
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 4ozs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 200C/400F and take out the puff pastry to thaw. Line a springform tin base with baking parchment and oil the sides of the tin. Halve the tomatoes and place in a bowl with the sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and oil and slice the onions and add these to the bowl too and toss gently. Then place the tomatoes cut side down on the base of the lined tin and slot in the pieces of onion around them to fill in the gaps. You want them quite tightly packed. Sprinkle over with the breadcrumbs- try not to forget this as I tend to do because the breadcrumbs absorb the extra juice from the tomato.

Step 2 – With the beaten egg, brush both sheets of puff pastry with the egg and fill the centre with the cream cheese-make a circle around the size of the springform pan. Press the edges together and lift these and place it on top of the tomatoes, tucking in the sides. Brush the bottom of the pastry with the beaten egg and then bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

Step 3 – Have a baking tray ready (I used a round metal pizza tray) and once ready, carefully flip over the tarte so that the  tomato shows on top. Increase the heat to 210C/410F and bake for another 8-10 minutes until the tomatoes and onions are starting to caramelise. Serve with fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle a little extra oil on top too.

 Grilled Peaches with Creme Fraiche

From White on Rice Couple

Grilled Stone Fruit with a Honey-Balsamic Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 T Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 8-ounce container creme fraiche (homemade recipe below)
  • 6 firm but ripe peaches or nectarines (halved, pitted)
  • lemon/lime zest

Creme Fraiche Ingredients

  • 2 c Heavy Cream
  • 2 T Sour Cream or Buttermilk


Grilled Stone Fruit with a Honey-Balsamic Glaze Directions

  1. Whisk 1/2 cup honey, vinegar, water and vanilla in small bowl. Whisk creme fraiche and remaining 2 tablespoons honey in medium bowl to blend. (Glaze and creme fraiche mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately. Refrigerate creme fraiche mixture. Re-whisk both before using.)
  2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush fruit generously with half of glaze. Grill until heated through, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes on each side.
  3. Arrange 2 grilled fruit halves, cut side up, on each plate. Drizzle with remaining glaze. Spoon some creme fraiche mixture into center or on top of grilled fruit.
  4. Grate lemon/lime zest for a bright, aromatic citrus punch!

Creme Fraiche Directions

  1. Combine ingredients and gently heat to approx. 100ºF. Transfer to a glass canning jar, or stainless-steel, or porcelain container. Keep it covered in a warm (yes, warm place, it is perfectly safe) until it has thickened, usually 24-36 hours. After the cream has thickened, place it in the refrigerator. It should keep for at least a couple weeks.


Mama’s Blueberry Buckle

From Food & Wine

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the shortening. Beat in the egg. Beat in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Spread the batter in the prepared baking dish. Scatter the blueberries over the batter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon topping and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

Raspberry Clafouti

From Martha Stewart

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar (and a little more for ramekin)
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • Vanilla ice cream (or a flavor of your choice)
  1. Heat toaster oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 5 1/2-inch oval gratin dishes and dust with sugar.
  2. Whisk egg until frothy and add sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract; mix to combine.
  3. Add the all-purpose flour and whisk very well.
  4. Divide the raspberries into the baking dishes and pour the batter over the berries.
  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown and the middle is set.
  6. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.


As a reminder, part of the fun of being a member of a CSA is collaborating with your community, so always feel free to post cooking suggestions or feedback on recipes that we post, or favorite recipes of your own that you’d like to share.


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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 |