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FarmShare CSA Newsletter, week of August 4th, 2015

What’s in this week’s box?





Slicing Cucumbers

Pickling Cucumbers

Head Lettuce

Zucchini & Summer Squash


White and Yellow Peaches




Storage, handling and general cooking tips…

Peaches & Nectarines

Driving down rt. 88  past the Applecrest orchards one thing is for sure, the peach trees are chock full of these tasty gems, and are ripening as we speak! Our peaches are packed with major nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. They are an excellent source of fiber and the juice of peaches is considered a magnificent moisturizer. Eaten fresh, baked in a pie, or grilled to bring out more sweetness this versatile treat won’t last long on your kitchen counter

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.

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-Most supermarket cucumbers are usually waxed to keep them from drying out during the trip from wherever they were grown.  Our cucumbers will dehydrate faster than a waxy cucumber so be sure to get them into the refrigerator right away.  If you store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin, they’ll hold for at least a week.  Cucumbers store best at around 45 degrees F, but refrigerators are usually set cooler than this.  Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus fruits, as these give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration.

Handling- You can do a lot of fancy things to the skin of a cucumber, and when it is young, fresh, and unwaxed, it really only needs to be thoroughly washed.  However, if the skin seems touch or bitter you can remove it; if they seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out.  Scoring the skin of a cucumber with a fork or citrus zester gives it attractive stripes and may help release any bitterness.  Slice, dice, or cut a cucumber into chunks according to specifications given in your recipe.

Zucchini & Summer Squash

 Storage– Un-waxed farm-fresh zucchini and summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible. Store them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin, or refrigerate them in a sealed plastic container that you’ve lined with a kitchen towel. In the refrigerator they keep for about a week and a half.

 Handling– Rinse under cool running water to remove any dirt or prickles; then slice off the stem and blossom ends. According to the specifications of your recipe, slice the vegetable into rounds, quarters, or chunks.

Handle zucchini with care as they are easily damaged.

Cook tips

Zucchini is wonderful steamed, sautéed, grilled or stuffed and baked. You can also cut uncooked zucchini into strips and serve it as an appetizer, or dice and grate it into a salad. Overcooked zucchini will end up as mush. To salvage it, make soup!


Lettuce, Salad Greens and Mesclun:

Storage- Store unwashed lettuce, greens 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 wilt quickly, so make sure they are good and 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.

Handling- Salad greens are fragile, so make sure to be gentle with them.  For lettuce, slice the head at the base to allow the leaves to separate from each other.  Tear your leaves into smaller more manageable pieces for use.  Lettuce, greens and mesclun mix can be washed by swishing them around in a basin of cold water.  If you see a lot of dirt settling in the water, wash them again, until they’re nice and clean.  The best way to dry your greens is in a salad spinner if you’ve got one, or if not, you can always pat them dry with a towel.

Cook Tips- Salad greens taste great lightly braised or stir-fried, but keep an eye on them, as they cook very quickly.

Try adding salad greens into sandwiches, tacos, burritos, omelets, or whatever else you can think of!

Salad greens are a great addition to quiches, lasagna, and other baked dishes, wanna green up your pizza? It’s great on top, right after you pull it out of the oven.

Our mesclun mix isn’t that spicy: a combination of peppery arugula, mustards, mizuna and some tat soy. These greens are great as a pizza topping, on top of an egg and toast, or simply added to your daily salad.

Recipes of the Week!

Take a fancy foodie picture with your Applecrest fruit and veggies? Let us know and post it on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter with #applecrest !

  • Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Pasta with Walnuts
  • Broccoli with Caramelized Onions & Pine Nuts
  • Broccoli Squash Saute
  • Flatbread with Cucumber Raita
  • German Cucumber Salad
  • Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto and Balsamic
  • Blueberry Peach Cobbler Muffins



from: The First Mess //
serves: 4-6

2 garlic heads/bulbs, top quarter cut off to expose cloves
6 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
pinch of fresh thyme leaves (optional)
1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
salt + pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 pound brown rice pasta, such as penne or fusilli
2-3 handfuls baby arugula
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted + chopped

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, place a naked baking sheet on the rack and preheat to 500 degrees F. Tear two squares of aluminum foil and place cut garlic heads in the centers. Drizzle exposed garlic tops with 1/2 tsp olive oil each. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme leaves (if using). Wrap garlic bulbs up securely and place in the oven. Roast until garlic is browned and mushy/tender, about 40 minutes.

While garlic is roasting, trim the cauliflower leaves and the extra bit of stalk at the bottom. Cut the head right down the middle, from top to bottom. From there, cut each half into 4 wedges. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower wedges with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Remove the pre-heated baking sheet from the oven and carefully lay the cauliflower wedges onto the surface, leaving some space around each piece. You should hear sizzling. Roast cauliflower until tender and well-browned, about 25 minutes (I flipped mine halfway).

Once slightly cooled, transfer cauliflower to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces. Unwrap roasted garlic and squeeze cloves out into a small bowl. Mash roasted garlic with a fork to make a smooth puree. Whisk in the lemon juice, pepper flakes, some salt + pepper, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set aside.

Cook brown rice pasta according to package directions with a fat pinch of salt in the water. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water before draining. Once drained, return cooked pasta to the pot. Add chopped cauliflower, garlic sauce, arugula, extra lemon juice to taste, and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water. Add more cooking water as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Serve pasta with handfuls of chopped walnuts on top and extra chili flakes.


Broccoli with Caramelized Onions & Pine Nuts

From Eating Well


  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, or chopped slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion, (about 1 medium)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Toast pine nuts (or almonds) in a medium dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, adjusting heat as necessary, until soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, steam broccoli until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the nuts, onion, vinegar and pepper; toss to coat. Serve immediately.


Broccoli & Squash Sauté

 From Finding Joy in my KitchenIngredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium summer squash
  • 2 C broccoli
  • 1 tsp. minced onion
  • pinch of minced garlic
  • 1-2 medium Tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • dash of paprika


Begin by dicing the veggies.  Quarter the zucchini and summer squash, along with the tomatoes.  Set aside.

Next, place 2 C broccoli (fresh or frozen) into a skillet with 2-4 T water.  Cook for 5 minutes until crisp tender.  Remove broccoli from the pan to a cutting board and allow it to cool.  Drain any excess water.

Lightly spray the bottom of your skillet with olive oil.  Toss in the zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes.  Sauté for 5 minutes until tomatoes and squash are soft.

Dice up the broccoli and toss that back into the skillet.

Season with oregano, minced onion and garlic, salt, pepper and paprika.

Serve warm.


Flatbread with Cucumber Raita

From Food and Wine


  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 cup peeled, diced seedless cucumber, plus 1/2 cup diced unpeeled cucumber, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Cayenne pepper, for sprinkling
  • Lavash or pocketless pita bread, warmed
  1.  In a large, shallow bowl, mix the yogurt, peeled cucumber, mint, cilantro, garlic, lemon zest and cumin and season with salt and black pepper. Scatter the unpeeled cucumber on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cayenne. Serve the flatbreads with the raita.


German Cucumber Salad

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large cucumbers, peeled, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix sugar, vinegar, water, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Now you need to taste; if it’s too tart, add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time till you reach the point where it’s neither too sweet nor too sour, but a balance of the two. Same goes for the vinegar – if you want it more tart, add more vinegar. If it’s too strong, add more water. Set aside.
  2. In a large serving bowl combine the cucumbers, onions, and dill. Pour the sugar-vinegar liquid over cucumbers and onions, letting them sit in the refrigerator for 4 or more hours. The longer it sits, the better it will taste! I would turn the salad once to make sure every bit of cucumbers gets coated. Serve at room temperature, or chilled.

Grilled Peaches with Prosciutto and Balsamic

From Epicurious

4 fresh peaches, cut into 8 pieces
3 oz prosciutto, sliced
1/2 C good aged balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 T vegetable oil
12 fresh basil leaves

Cut prosciutto slices in 1/2 lengthwise. Wrap each peach in the prosciutto slice. Secure with a toothpick or add to a skewer.

Preheat grill to medium. Brush the wrapped peach slices lightly with oil and season. Grill for 2 minutes and flip for 2 more minutes. REmove from heat, drizzle with balsamic and garnish with fresh basil leaves


Blueberry Peach Cobbler Muffins

Yield: about 6 jumbo or 12 standard size muffins


For the crumb topping:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

For the muffins:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup peaches, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a jumbo muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the crumb topping, in a medium bowl combine sugars, cinnamon and melted butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour until thick and crumbly. Set aside.
  3. To make the muffins, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and sugar and beat on high until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then increase speed to high and beat until the mixture is combined.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add the milk, mixing until combined and no lumps remain. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the peaches and blueberries.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin tins, filling each cup all the way up to the top. Divide the crumb topping among each of the muffin cups, crumbling with your hands to make some big chunks.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. To make the glaze, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla extract together. Drizzle over muffins. Store in a sealed container for up to 2 days.


*You may bake these muffins in a standard size muffin tin. Reduce baking time to 20 minutes; 5 initial minutes at 425 degrees F and 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.

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 |