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FarmShare C.S.A. Newsletter week of Sept. 10th, 2013

This week’s share:


McIntosh, Gala, Milton Apples




Acorn or Butternut Squash


Kale and Swiss Chard bunch



Cherry Tomato mix

Field Tomato

Yellow and/or Red storage onions


Storage, handling and general cooking tips:

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

Our dried garlic will keep for several months in a dark, dry, well-ventilated place at cool room temperature. Keep bulb in tact until ready to use individual cloves. To separate the clove, set the bulb, root end up on a counter and press down on it with your palm. To peel, trim off the root end and press on the clove with the flat side of a knife, the skin should pop right off. Garlic can be minced or pressed and roasted, or even slowly simmered. If using raw in a salad dressing, pound into a paste with a mortar and pestle, and a pinch of sea salt.


Storage and handling

Storage onions are quite pungent, which when heat is applied to cook 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.

Winter Squash

Storage and Handling

Store in a cool dry, dark place with good ventialtion. A porch or garage will work as long as the squash doesn’t freeze. Butternut and acorn can keep up to a month or more. Once squash has been cut, you can store them wrapped in a piece of plastic  in the fridge for five to seven days. Be slow and cautious and use a stable working surface when cutting the squash. If you need cut, unpeeled chunks for a recipe, for every squash except Butternut it is easier to us the pre-baking method: first pierce squash to allow heat to escape while in the oven, bake whole squash at 350° F until barely tender to the poke of the finger, about 20-30 miutes. This softens the shell, so cutting and peeling is much easier.

Winter squash is fantastic baked, pureed as a side dish, stuffed with savory grain filling, or served with maple syrup and butter. Be sure to try them in soups and stews as well as roasted with fresh herbs.


Storage + Handling Tips

Remove the leafy green tops, leaving about an inch of stems.  Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or longer. Carrots are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. They also are chock full of dietary fiber.

Carrots fresh from the farm generally don’t need to be peeled, but should you decide to peel them, the nutrient loss is negligible.  Peel carrots or scrub them well with a stiff brush just before using.  Trim off any green spots, which can taste bitter.  When slicing carrots for cooking, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size to ensure an evenly-cooked dish.

Carrots are great raw. Dip your carrots in hummus, peanut butter, or a creamy dressing. Add some to your children’s lunchbox! Slice or grate raw carrots into salads or cole slaw. Cooking will bring out the carrot’s inherent sweetness.  Just be sure to remove them from the heat while they still have some firmness to them.

You can steam (15-20 minutes), stir-fry (2-4 minutes) or braise (15-20 minutes) your carrots.


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

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.


Storage and Handling

Peaches bruise easily, so when testing for ripe-ness use your whole hand, not just one finger. Leave peaches out, on the counter. If they need to ripen more, place in a closed paper bag. Once ripe, store in the crisper bin of your refrigerator where they’ll keep for up to five  days. Peaches can also be frozen. Peel and slice them, lay them on a baking tray and stick in the freezer for a few hours until they’re frozen through. Transfer the peach wedges to a resealable plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. They’ll keep at least 6 months (longer in a free-standing freezer) and are perfect to use in baking. Want to peel your peaches? Here’s how: Cut a small “x” in the bottom of each peach. Dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and the skins will slide right off.

Cook tips

Eat these guys fresh, rinsed and wiped to remove fuzz. Or bake into a crumble. Or put in your morning cereal. Or serve with almond essence infused whipped cream as almonds are a close cousin to peaches. Delicious in savory dishes as well, you can grill them and put in a salad, can be made into a chutney alongside your pork or beef, or preserve them to be enjoyed mid-winter. There are endless options.


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.



Carrot-Apple Latkes

adapted from The Edible Mosaic

Here are a couple important tips on making perfect latkes:

1)      As the latke batter sits, the apple, carrot, and onion will give off water. As you’re scooping out the batter, tip the bowl so you can get the batter out while leaving as much of the accumulated liquid as possible (then discard the remaining liquid once the batter is gone). This helps prevent your latkes from spreading too much in the pan.

2)      To keep them from falling apart in the pan, don’t move the latkes around in the pan until they are fully set on the bottom.

3)      Don’t be tempted to add more flour! The batter should be thin and the latkes should be crisp, not doughy.

Serves about 6

1/2 medium sweet, crisp apple unpeeled, cored, and shredded

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 medium-large carrots, shredded

1 small onion, thinly sliced into half-moons

2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 pinch ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Oil, for shallow frying

Sour cream or plain yogurt, for serving

Minced fresh chives for serving.

As soon as you shred the apple, toss it together with the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir in the carrot, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, ginger, and cinnamon, then stir in the egg. Stir in the flour just until incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add enough oil to generously coat the bottom.

Once the oil is hot, use a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop to measure the batter into the oil, being careful not to over-crowd the skillet. Cook the latkes until golden on both sides, about 2 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once. (You can adjust the heat down as necessary so the latkes don’t cook too quickly.) Transfer the cooked latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil, and cook the rest of the batter the same way. (Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, you should get about 16 to 18 latkes.)

Serve hot with minced fresh chives sprinkled on top, along with sour cream.

Butternut Squash & Swiss Chard Hash

serves 2

Adapted from Voracious Vander

Feel free to substitute roasted acorn squash and use a combination of chard, kale, and/or spinach in this flexible recipe. Omit the jalapeno, if spice isn’t your thing. Perfect for brunch, lunch or a light dinner.

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 a large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes and roasted
  • 1 cup shredded swiss chard, kale or spinach
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 eggs poached, fried or soft-boiled. Runny yolk recommended.

To roast butternut squash: Heat oven to 400 F and place cubes on an oiled baking tray. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tender and slightly golden.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes until soft. Add jalapeño, yellow pepper, cumin and paprika and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Add roasted squash and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.

Season with salt and pepper and serve warm with a poached egg on top, and crispy toast on the side

Corn Pudding

From The Border Cookbook

3 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
4 oz. mild cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. goat cheese or cream cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup roasted green chiles, chopped
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a medium baking dish (8×8-inch or 9×9-inch). Place 2 cups of the corn kernels in a food processor and blend until smooth with a few chunks. Place the corn purée in a large bowl with the rest of the corn.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and stir together until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 50-55 minutes until it is golden brown and just set. Serve hot. Serves 6-8.

Tuscan Kale, Chard and Squash Minestra

adapted from Food&Wine

A minestra is a light, brothy, Italian soup filled with hearty vegetables. This soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • One squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 pound kale and chard, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup ditalini or tubettini pasta
  • 1 cup drained canned navy beans, mash to thicken the broth, leave some whole for added texture
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garlic toasts, for serving
  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the squash, cover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned in spots but not tender, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 minutes. Add the stock, cover and simmer until the kale and squash are just tender, 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta.
  3. Add the pasta and navy beans to the soup and simmer until the soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Ladle the soup into deep bowls and garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve with garlic toasts

Pasta with fresh Tomato sauce

Add grilled chicken to make this a complete, late-summer meal.

Serves 6

  • 2 1/4 pounds unrefrigerated ripe tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 2 garlic cloves), plus more if desired
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti or spaghettini
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
  1. Finely chop tomatoes, basil, parsley, and garlic, and mix together with oil (or pulse ingredients, including oil, in a food processor to blend).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and toss it in a serving bowl with the raw sauce. Transfer to 6 shallow bowls, and drizzle with oil. Serve with cheese.

Peach Applesauce

This is a rudimentary applesauce recipe, feel free to spice it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, honey or sugar. Adjust as needed depending on your quantities, applesauce is an ever-evolving food group.

2 lbs apples, cored, quartered (skins on)
1 lbs peaches, pitted, sliced (skins on)
1-2 cups water

Combine fruit and water in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally while the sauce simmers, uncovered about 25 minutes. At this point you can leave the sauce as is, or run through a food mill, food processor or blender with skins and all. Let cool and store in refrigerator.  If canning or jarring-ladle into jars at this point and continue with canning process.
Serve cold alongside dinner or add it to your breakfast yogurt.

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 |