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FarmShare C.S.A. Newsletter week of Oct.15, 2013

This week’s share:

Apple Cider


Empire, McIntosh, Cortland Apples



Winter Squash

Kale and Swiss Chard bunch


Cherry Tomato mix


Salad mix

Head Lettuce

Storage, handling and general cooking tips


Storage + Handling Tips

Eggplants can be kept in a cool space on the counter or in the fridge for up to one week. They don’t particularly like cold temperatures – brown areas are signs of chilled damage. Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.

Before cooking, rinse eggplant in cool water and cut off the stem.  Eggplants do not need to be peeled, but they do need to be cooked before being eaten. There seems to be some debate surrounding the salting of eggplants. Many people like to salt and drain their eggplant to draw out any bitter flavor. With our farm fresh veggies, salting is generally not necessary as bitterness develops only in eggplant that has been stored for a while.  Salting does positively affect the texture of your dish though, it helps make the vegetable less watery and more absorbent when cooking as salt breaks down the eggplant’s cell walls. So, it’s your call whether to salt or not. Why not experiment?

Pierced (don’t forget this step or you may have an eggplant explosion in your oven!), whole eggplant can be baked at 400F for 30-40 minutes. Allow it to cool, then scoop out the flesh. Eggplant can also be cubed and put on kabobs for the grill.

Did you know that botanically-speaking, eggplant is a fruit? It is rich in dietary fiber and potassium with a very low calorie count. It is high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, particularly nasunin, which protects the brain.

Winter Squash

Storage + Handling

Winter squash are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, but they are really a vining fruit. They are an excellent source of Vitamins A and B, plus full of dietary fiber, iron and beta carotene.

Winter squash are picked when their skins have hardened and are fully mature. This hard skin guarantees a long shelf life. Store your squash in a dark, well-ventilated area for up to two months. Wrap cut pieces in plastic and refrigerate up to five days.

Wash your squash well when ready to eat. The flesh can be removed from the skin before or after cooking (after is MUCH easier!), although if you plan to sauté the squash, we recommend removing the skin first. Use a sharp knife to cut away the skin and as well as any seeds and fibrous stringy parts inside the cavity. Slice the squash into equally-sized pieces and you are ready to sauté!

Squash is most-often baked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). Pierce whole squash in several places or roast halved squash, hollow side up or down, for 45-60 minutes. When it is roasted like this in dry heat, the sugars caramelize and sweeten the flesh, creating a delicious, buttery texture.


Braising Greens: Swiss Chard + Kale

Storage + Handling

Chard and Kale are beautiful! Chard stems come in a rainbow of colors from green and yellow to red, pink, white and orange. Kale has the curly edge. Both are very good for you too – chock full of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamins A and C, plus 13 different antioxidants. You should eat these leafy greens once a week!

Braising greens also very perishable, so enjoy them soon after pickup. They can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to three days. The leaves can be eaten raw, like beet greens and spinach, or cooked. Before cooking, separate the leaves from their large center rib/stem. The easiest way to do this is to fold the leaf in half along the stem and then just slice the rib off. Next, rinse the greens under cold running water. Do not soak it as this will result in the loss of water-soluble nutrients. Dry the leaves. Now the chard or kale can be covered or bagged in plastic and refrigerated for a few hours until needed. Braising greens can be parboiled, steamed, baked, or sautéed. They are wonderful with pasta, in omelets, frittatas, soups, or lasagna.

If you hate to throw anything away, rest assured, you can also eat the stems! One easy way to prepare them is to slice the stems into 3-inch chunks, boil in salted water for 5 minutes or so, then bake in a 400-degree oven with butter, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese for 20 minutes.

Braising green leaves also freeze well after blanching. Blanch for 2 minutes then immediately immerse the leaves in a cold-water bath for 2 minutes. Dry the leaves and pack them into freezer containers, leaving no headspace or air. Leaves last for up to one year in the freezer. Don’t forget to date your storage bags. And when cooking veggies that you have blanched and frozen, always bring them back (cook) in butter.


Storage and Handling

Apples should be kept uncovered or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Warm temperatures will cause apples to lose their crispness and flavor, so if they are kept out of the refrigerator, make sure it is in a cool, ventilated place far from direct sunlight. To prevent cut apples from turning brown, sprinkle with lemon juice or soak them in a bowl of ½ cup water and 2 tbsp lemon juice.


Storage and Handling 

Corn is best when eaten right away, before the sugars turn to starch, and diminish its sweet taste. This is mostly true for eating corn right off the cob, but after 4 days, corn will still be edible and tasty enough to cook with. Corn should be refrigerated with the husks still on. The husks will preserve that milky moisture in the kernels. Keep them in the crisper drawer without any strong smelling foods, as corn will easily absorb those odors.

Cook tips

Try eating your corn raw – when it’s fresh like this, it’s yummy! My kids love to pick an ear off the stalk, shuck it in the field, and chomp away. To cook your corn, boil it in water for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how soft you like it. Last night, I cooked it for just 3 minutes then let it steam in the pot until the rest of dinner was ready a few minutes later. It was perfectly cooked and just popped off the cob! Corn is best when eaten simply: boil, slather with butter, and sprinkle with salt. Do you twirl your corn and eat around the cob or lengthwise like a typewriter? In our family, I’m the typewriter.

Corn is also delicious grilled. Pull back the corn husks without removing them fully, remove the silks, then pull the husks back up and soak for at least 15 minutes in water. Grill corn in its husks (maybe brush some pesto on the corn before pulling up the husks), turning occasionally until charred about 20 minutes.  Corn is super versatile. Think: creamed corn, corn bread, corn chowder, salsa, succotash, or as a topping to salad.


Storage + Handling Tips

Tomatoes bruise easily, so handle them with care. They are best stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, stem-side down. Keep them away from your bananas and onions to avoid decay and icky taste. Never refrigerate tomatoes! The cold renders tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Eat them within a few days.

You can also freeze tomatoes. There is no need to peel or blanch them beforehand. Once thawed, the tomato skins will slip easily off. Simply rinse and dry the tomatoes thoroughly, then place in freezer bags. You can suck any air out of the bag with a straw. Frozen tomatoes are great for cooked dishes.

Fresh tomatoes are yummy sliced and layered with mozzerella cheese, basil, olive oil and salt. They work wonders for burgers, wraps, pastas and salad. 

Salad Greens

Storage and Handling

Store unwashed lettuce or mesclun in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce or greens that you have already washed and dried, roll the leaves loosely in a kitchen towel, put the towel in a plastic bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin.  Wet greens will spoil quickly, so make sure they are truly dry before refrigerating them.  If you have a salad spinner, wash and spin the greens before refrigerating them.  Eat mesclun mix within three or four days, and use lettuce within a week.

Salad greens bruise easily, so be sure to handle them gently.  For lettuce, slice the head at its base with a sharp knife and let the leaves fall open.  Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite sized pieces.  Both lettuce and mesclun mix can be washed by swishing them around in a basin of cold water.  If a lot of dirt collects in the water, wash them a second time.  Dry the greens in a salad spinner, or if you don’t have one, place them loosely in a mesh bag or thin towel, then go outside and swing them around your head.


Spicy Winter Squash Galette

adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian


  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 med red onion
  • 2 tblsps minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tblsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup wine, vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 pounds firm winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 savory Piecrust, chilled but not rolled

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Grease a large rimless baking sheet or line it with a piece of parchment

2. put oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 2 or 3 minutes; add the garlic, stirring constantly and cook for another minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in the chili powder and tomato paste. Cook and stir until fragrant, less than a minute, then stir in the wine and squash. Bring the mixture just to a boil, give it a good few stirs, then cover and remove the pan from the heat.

3. Roll the piecrust into a circle at least 12 inches in diameter. Its okay if its not perfectly round. Use the rolling pin to transfer it to the baking sheet. Stir the squash mixture again; taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary and carefully spread it on top of the crust, leaving about 3 inches free all the way around the edge. Fold the sides up over the filling. You should have a big circle open in the top.

4 Bake the galette until the crust is nicely browned and insides are bubbly, 50-60 minutes. Cool a bit before slicing or serve at room temperature.

Turkey Cutlets with Cider-Braised Greens

  • 1 bunch kale and chard, stems removed and greens cut into strips
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 turkey cutlets (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
  • 1/2  apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp. curry powder or 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Wash greens well. To remove tough kale stem, lay kale/chard leaf on work surface, stem toward you. Run small, sharp knife down each side of stem, making inverted v-shaped cut. Lift out stem and discard. Stack leaves and cut crosswise into 1-inch strips. Then chop into 1 inch pieces.

In large pot of boiling water, cook kale for 6 minutes. Using large slotted spoon, transfer kale to large bowl filled with water and ice.  When greens are cool enough to handle, drain in colander. A handful at a time, squeeze moisture from greens, leaving them in clumps. Slice clumps of greens, and then chop them coarsely.

In medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle turkey cutlets lightly with salt on one side. When oil shimmers, add cutlets to pan. Cook 4 minutes, until bottom of cutlets are browned in places. Turn and cook until cutlets no longer look raw in center, about 4 minutes. Transfer turkey to plate and cover loosely with foil. Add 3/4 cup water to pan. As liquid boils, scrape pan well, gathering up browned bits clinging to bottom. When liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup and rich brown in color, after 4-5 minutes, pour into cup and set aside. Rinse and wipe out pan.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onion and cook until limp, 6 minutes. Add chopped apple and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in cider, reduced pot liquid and greens. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove cover and simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender enough to suit you and about 1/4 cup liquid remains in pan. Stir in curry powder or paprika and cook 1 minute longer.

To serve, divide cutlets among 4 dinner plates. Spoon greens alongside and pour remaining liquid over cutlets. Serve immediately.

Creamy Roasted Corn Soup

This recipe is meant for 2 people, increase as needed, ear of corn per person etc.

  • 2 large ears of sweet corn
  • ¼ cup low-heat pepper
  • ¼ cup yellow squash
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • ⅓ cup rice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚. To prepare corn, hold ear of corn vertical to the cutting board. With a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the cob and cut the cob in half, set aside. Dice the peppers (remove seeds if you like less heat), squash, and garlic. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper then place in oven to roast for 30-35 minutes.
  2. While corn mixture is roasting, in a medium pot combine broth, water, rosemary (leave on sprig), white rice and corn cobs. (if rosemary is unavailable or you don’t like the flavor- just leave out, you’ll get more corn flavor instead.) Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let sit until corn is done roasting and rice is cooked.
  3. Remove cobs and rosemary spring from broth and add in the roasted vegetables (save ¼ cup if you want to have corn for garnish.) Working with an immersion blender (regular blenders work too), blend mixture until has very few chunks left. If your mixture is still too thick, add a little more water. At this point your can either serve right away or return to the stove to let simmer until ready to eat.

Barb’s Ratatouille

This is a staple in the Cooper household where stewed tomatoes and eggplant are always embraced. Versatile and adaptable, feel free to substitute or incorporate more fleshy vegetables and cook as long as you prefer.

olive oil

1-2 medium onions (enough to cover the bottom of a large dutch oven)

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped peppers

1-2 chopped zucchinis

1-2 chopped eggplants (1/2 inch cubes)

1-2 chopped and diced fresh tomatoes

salt and pepper

herbes de provence

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, add onion and cook until soft. Layer on carrots, peppers, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. Set heat on low and “forget about it”. Check occasionally to gauge softness of vegetables. Stir, or don’t stir. Serve when vegetables are cooked through, or still slightly crunchy. This recipe is all about finding your favorite version, cook it often and perfect yours.

Apple Cider Syrup

A New England staple, cider syrup, often replaces maple syrup in the fall. All you have to do is boil it slowly to reduce. For pancake syrup, reducing a half gallon of cider to 1 cup of syrup makes for a great consistency. If you boil it further, reducing it to 1/2 cup, you are left with a potent, tangy molasses, which can then be used as an all-purpose sweetener for everything from tea to cocktails. Mix a spoonful of cider molasses with bourbon and garnish with fresh ginger for an easy party pleaser. Stock your pantrywith cider molasses by canning it in 8-ounce Mason jars.


As Always, if you have any questions, feel free to us!

All the Best,

The FarmShare Team
Applecrest Farm Orchards
133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls NH 03844

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

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