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FarmShare C.S.A. Newsletter week of Oct. 8th, 2013

This week’s share:

Apple Cider


Macoun, McIntosh, Cortland Apples




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.


Storage + Handling Tips

Radishes can be eaten immediately or stored, unwashed, for a week in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  Store the leafy tops separately. Before serving, scrub and soak the radishes in cold water to refresh them. Pinch off the bottom root. It’s not necessary to peel radishes. Most of the spicy flavor that radishes are known for is found in the skin. If you’d like to make your dish a little bit milder, peel radishes before use or cook them.

I like to eat radishes raw with just a sprinkle of coarse salt. They are also nice sliced, grated, or julienned in salads or as part of a crudité spread. Steamed, blanched or boiled radishes can be delicious rolled in butter with a dash of salt and pepper. You can also cook radish leaves with other greens to add a peppery flavor to your dish. Why not try a radish sandwich? Spread butter on a few slices of sourdough bread, layer with thin slices of radish, raw spinach, and a slice of cheese.

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.


Braised Radishes with Shallots and Vinegar

1 large bunch of radishes, about 1 pound
3 large shallots
1 tablespoon butter
2 ounces salt pork, slivered into small slices
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 small bunch Italian parsley, leaves chopped into about two handfuls
Salt and pepper

Trim away tops and bottoms of the radishes, reserving for soup or discarding to compost. (Ours were not in good shape so we let them go.) Slice each radish in half from top to bottom. Peel the shallots and slice into thin rings.

Heat the butter and salt pork over medium heat in a large heavy skillet – preferably cast iron. When the pork is starting to curl up at the edges and the butter has foamed and subsided, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they start to brown slightly. Add the radishes, placing each cut side down in the skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms just start to color.

Add the balsamic vinegar and the water – the water should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove the cover and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or unti the water has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the the parsley and sauté for about a minute or two, until it’s wilted.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Sauteed Eggplant with Greens

adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

1-2 eggplants (about 1 lb)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, more or less

1 tblsp minced garlic

freshly ground pepper

Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

about a lb of fresh greens-Chard, Kale, Spinach, whatever is on hand

1. Peel the eggplant if the skin is thick or the eggplant is less than perfectly firm; cut into 1/2 inch cubes and salt them if the eggplant is large and time allows. Separate greens from stems, and roughly chop everything.

2. Put the olive oil and all but 1 teaspoon of garlic in large, deep skillet, preferably nonstick or cast-iron, over medium heat. Two minutes later add the eggplant. Stir and toss to almost constantly until, after 5 or 10 minutes the eggplant begins to release some of the oil it has absorbed

3. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until eggplant is very tender, about 30 minutes (time can vary greatly). About 15 minutes in, add stems from greens. 5 minutes later add sturdy leaves from kale and chard. If using tender greens such as spinach, add in last 5 minutes.  If needed add more olive oil to keep mixture moist, but not greasy. About 5 minutes before it is done add the remaining garlic.

4. When everything is tender sprinkle with pepper and additional salt if necessary; stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, garnish and serve.

Tomato Corn Chowder

from Always in Season: Twelve months of fresh recipes from the Farmer’s Markets of New England by Elise Richer

Cherry tomatoes and chopped tomatoes-about 3 cups

1/2 tsp salt, divided

4-5 ears of corn, shucked

3 tbsp butter

2 shallots, chopped small

1/4 tsp sugar

2Tbsp flour

3 cups water

1/2 cup heavy cream


2 tbsp minced basil or chives

1. Take 1 cup of tomatoes, cut them in half (cherries), and put in a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and set aside

2. Cut kernels off corn cobs. You’ll need at least 2 cups worth. Save the cobs, set aside 2 cup of kernels

3. Melt butter in a med. saucepan over med heat. Add shallots, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt. Saute for 3 minutes, until softened. Increase heat to med-high, add remaining cup of corn kernels and the remaining tomatoes. Stir well, cook about 8 minutes until whole  cherry tomatoes begin to burst. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually pour in water, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Add a few corn cobs to the pot, break in half if you need to to make them fit. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring periodically. Remove from heat, discard cobs.

4. Working in batches, puree soup until smooth in blender. Return to a saucepan over low heat. Stir in halved and chopped tomatoes, with any liquid they have exuded, and the reserved uncooked corn. Add cream and heat through. Adjust for salt and pepper. Sprinkle minced basil or chives on top of each serving.

Cubed, Hacked Caprese

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

No, this is not a traditional caprese — there are beans, there’s pesto and even (gasp!) vinegar. But the flavor profile is nearly the same, with some added functionality. Keep a container of this in the fridge and make a different lunch every day of the week with it. Seve over thick slices of bread, mixed greens. Mix in pieces of cubed salami, shredded chicken, cooked pasta. Make a panini. Mix in boiled pasta, toss in oiled casserole dish  and bake it at 375 until bubbly and golden.

3/4 to 1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound peak-season tomatoes , diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed or 1 3/4 cups white beans that you’ve cooked fresh
1/4 cup pesto (or a handful of slivered basil plus 1/4 cup olive oil)
3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix and season and then reseason again to adjust to your taste. Eat at once or keep it in the fridge up to a few days (really, it will depend on how fresh your mozzarella is; the made-daily stuff is only good for a day or two, most others will last nearly a week). –Enjoy any which way you would like!

Baked Apples

2 lbs apples, cored and chopped
2 tsp cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Toss the chopped apples with the cinnamon, lemon juice and brown sugar and place in a baking or casserole dish.

Cook apples, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until soft and juicy. Serve for dessert with ice cream or with roast meat for dinner.

 Apple Cider Pound Cake with Apple Cider Glaze

From Buns in My Oven

For the cake:
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup apple cider
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the glaze:
1 cup apple cider
1/2 – 3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt pan.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Combine the cider and vanilla.
Add dry ingredients alternately with the cider and mix until well blended.
Pour into the greased bundt pan and bake for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for 20 minutes in the pan before removing to a cake stand or plate. Cool completely before icing.
To make the glaze:
Bring the cider to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in the butter, cinnamon, salt, and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar until well combined. Add remaining powdered sugar to thicken the glaze, if desired.

As Always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact 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 |