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FarmShare CSA Newsletter, week of September 15th, 2015

What’s in this week’s box?



Head lettuce

Green Beans

Green Bell Peppers



Cherry Tomatoes

Field Tomatoes






Storage, handling and general cooking tips…

Salad Greens (Lettuce/Mesclun)

 Storage- 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.

 Handling- 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.


Store in a jar filled with inch or two of water. We’ve tried wrapping them in paper, plastic, and cloth, placing them in a bag or in a drawer … and finally discovered that the best way to keep them fresh seems to be in a jar filled with an inch or two of water. We remove the rubber band, stand the scallions in the jar, cover the whole thing with a plastic bag, and keep it in the fridge. Stored this way, the scallions stay crisp for about a week.


Beans (string)-

Storage: Keep green beans dry in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for 4 to 5 days.

Preparation: Wash beans thoroughly in clear, cool water. Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise or diagonally, or French-cut (i.e., cut along the length of the bean). If you want sweet tasting, crisp fresh beans, cut them as little as possible. Cut older, more mature beans in the French style (i.e., lengthwise).

Stir-frying is one of the easiest ways to prepare green beans. This method maintains more nutrients than other cooking methods. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook beans as little as possible, using the least amount of water possible.

Boiling, steaming, and microwaving are other common methods for preparing green beans. When boiling, beans may release some nutrients into the water, so try to re-use the bean water to regain some of the nutrients lost. For example, you can use the water to boil rice.



Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Don’t use an airtight bag, because broccoli continues to respire after being harvested and needs some room to breather. It keeps for over a week but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.


Part of eating organically involves tolerating a few bugs on your produce. Broccoli in particular sometimes comes with innocuous friends tagging along in its depths. Immediately before cooking, soak your broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any critters will float to the top. If you soak your broccoli in salt water and then store it, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy. So wait until the last minute to salt and soak it.

After cutting or breaking off the florets, don’t discard the stem. Sliced stems are juicy, crunchy, and perfectly edible wherever the florets are called for. If the skin on the stem is particularly thick, you can remove it with a paring knife or vegetable peeler before adding the stem to your dish.


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.


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- 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 call for salting in order 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.



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.

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 !

  •  Grilled Eggplant, Roasted Tomatoes, and Scallion Miso Butter
  • Pasta Alla Norma
  • Stewed Eggplant and Tomatoes with Polenta
  • Green Bean-Tomato Salad
  • Broccoli Mac and Cheese
  • Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Sesame Vinaigrette
  • Matzo Scallion Pancakes
  • Apple and Raspberry Crumble

Grilled Eggplant + Roasted Tomatoes + Scallion Miso butter

From: Whats Cooking Good Looking

SERVES 4 as a main


for the miso butter (ghee):
3 tablespoons of ghee or butter, softened
3 teaspoons of sweet white miso
2 scallions, diced
black pepper

for the vegetables:

a quart of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
several small eggplants or 2 Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced lengthwise
a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

for serving: about 1 cup of cooked quinoa, millet, or rice


  • Make your miso butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the softened butter or ghee with the miso until they are combined. Then, stir in the scallions and set aside.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º. Place the tomatoes on a small baking sheet and toss with some olive oil. Roast for about 20-30 minutes until the tomatoes are brown and bubbly.
  • While the tomatoes are roasting, grill the eggplant. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Brush both side of the eggplant with oil, and then cook them for several minutes on each side until the eggplant is soft and browning.
  • To serve, melt the miso butter over the vegetables. Just add a tablespoon or so at a time until you have the desired amount. You can also gently melt your miso butter in a small pan over low heat. Then, it will pour easily over the veggies. Serve immediately. The miso butter will keep for several days in an air-tight container in the fridge, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Pasta Alla Norma

From Saveur

serves 4-6


2 medium eggplants, or one large, cut into 34″ cubes
7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, undrained and crushed by hand
1 lb. bucatini or spaghetti
4 oz. ricotta salata, grated
16 fresh basil leaves, torn by hand
Heat oven to 500º. Put eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with 4 tbsp. oil. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Transfer eggplant to 2 baking sheets and bake, turning occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack; set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a 5-qt. pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add chile flakes and garlic and cook, stirring, until garlic softens, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and half the basil, season with salt, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until just al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to tomato sauce. Stir in reserved eggplant and toss to combine. Stir in remaining basil and season with salt. To serve, transfer pasta to a platter and garnish with ricotta salata.

Stewed Eggplant and Tomatoes with Polenta

From Cafe Johnsonia

Serves: 4-6
  • For polenta:
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup stone ground coarse cornmeal (polenta)
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • For stewed eggplant and tomatoes:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
  • 1.5 lbs. eggplant, diced (I used some purple and some orange)
  • 2-3 cups fresh diced tomatoes
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. For the polenta: Bring the water to a rapid boil in a 3-4 quart pot. Add the salt and polenta. Lower heat and cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes or until very thick. The polenta will start coming away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil or butter. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl or casserole dish.
  2. For stewed eggplant and tomatoes: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, season with a little sea salt and cook, stirring frequently until the onion turns golden and softens, about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic next and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Next add the eggplant. Season again with a sprinkle of sea salt. Cook, stirring often until eggplant starts to turn golden. Add the tomatoes last and bring to a low simmer. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken and the flavors have melded, about 10-15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. To serve: Spoon some of the polenta into a serving bowl and top with the stewed eggplant and tomatoes.


Green Bean-Tomato Salad with Herbs

From Food & Wine


  • 1 pounds green beans
  • 3/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1/2 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/4 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the green beans under cold water until they are chilled; pat the green beans dry.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the green beans, tarragon, chives and thyme and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes, toss gently and serve.
Make Ahead

The salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

Broccoli Mac and Cheese

From White on Rice Couple


  • 1 16 oz package large elbow macaroni, cooked to pkg. instructions, but leaving them a little firm
  • 2 medium heads fresh broccoli (14-16oz), but in small bite size pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • about 1/2 cup of extra cheese for topping
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • kosher or sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large pot, boil water and cook pasta to instructions, but leaving pasta a little al dente. About 3 minutes before draining pasta, add broccoli to cook in water alongside pasta. I like my broccoli a little firm, so that it doesn’t end up mushy after the bake. You can decide how cooked you want your broccoli by adding it in sooner.
  2. Grease a large 9 x 12 baking dish.
  3. While pasta is cooking prepare the cheese and milk mixture. In large pot on medium heat, add butter and onion. Cook onions till soft, then add flour. Stir flour quickly to combine the flour and onion rue mixture. Add milk and chicken broth.
  4. Allow mixture to come to a boil and sauce will thicken. Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Drain your cooked pasta and broccoli and add to cheese mixture. Gently mix together and pour into baking dish. Add extra cheese and bread crumbs on top.
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted with a nice crust.


Broccoli Salad with Garlic and Sesame Vinaigrette

From NYTimes


  • 3/4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1 head broccoli, about one pound, cut into bite-size florets
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoons roasted (Asian) sesame oil
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes.


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar and salt. Add broccoli and toss to combine.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until hot, but not smoking. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour mixture over broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, and up to 48 (chill it if you want to keep it for more than 2 hours). Adjust seasonings (it may need more salt) and serve.


Matzo Scallion Pancakes

From Epicurious


  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion (white and pale green parts only) plus 1/2 cup finely chopped scallion greens (from 1 bunch)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 cups matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Cook sliced scallion in 2 teaspoons oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallion greens.

Whisk eggs in a bowl until combined well, then whisk in water. Stir in matzo meal, salt, pepper, and scallion mixture until combined well.

Heat 1/2 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot. Working in batches of 4, fill a 1/4-cup measure three-fourths full (3 tablespoons) for each pancake, then drop batter carefully into hot oil and spread with back of a spoon to form a 3-inch round. Cook pancakes until undersides are golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn over with a slotted spatula and cook until undersides are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes more. Transfer to a large rack set on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Add some of remaining 1/4 cup oil as needed between batches.

Cooks’ note: • Pancakes can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat on a baking sheet in middle of a preheated 350°F oven 10 minutes.

Apple and Raspberry Crumble

From Delicious Everyday


4 apples, peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of plain flour
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Crumble topping

1 cup of plain flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of  brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
115 grams of butter, cut into cubes


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

2. In a bowl add the cubed apple and raspberries and add the sugar,  flour, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix together until the fruit is coated.  Pour the fruit into individual ramekins.

3. In a mixer bowl add the flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon and butter and mix until the butter is mixed in and the batter starts to form pea sized clumps.

4. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit, making sure to not pat the mixture tightly.  The looser the mixture the crumblier your crumble will be.

5. Bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden and the juices start to bubble through the crumble topping.

6. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream or freshly whipped cream, or if you are feeling indulgent, both!


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 |