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FarmShare CSA Newsletter, week of September 29th, 2015

What’s in this week’s box?



Mini Cabbage




Head lettuce


Cherry Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes





Storage, handling and general cooking tips…


Storage- Loosely wrap unwashed leeks in a plastic bag and store them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for at least a week.

Handling– Cut the leek about 1 inch above the white part, where the leaves begin changing from dark to light green. (Save the unused greens; they’ll give great flavor to your next vegetable stock.) Slit the leek lengthwise and soak it in lukewarm water for up to 15 minutes. Fan the leaves under running water to dislodge any dirt collected there, then pat thoroughly dry. You can julienne a leek by cutting it lengthwise, or slice it crosswise.

 If you want to clean a leek that you will be cooking whole, make a slit down one side to within an inch or two of the root end. Then spread the leaves under running lukewarm water to clean the leek. During cooking the leeks will stay whole. When serving, arrange the leek with the cut side down.



Storage– Cabbage is cleverly self-packaged. Just stick dry, unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but you can remove and discard them to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for more than a month. Once it’s cut, seal it in a plastic bag and continue to refrigerate it; it will keep for several weeks.

Cabbage will lose freshness rapidly once the head is chopped, so plan on using it within a day. If you only need half a head, place the remaining half in a plastic bag and shake a few drops of water onto the cut side. Close the bag and refrigerate. The cut half should last another few days if it was fairly fresh when you cut it.

To freeze cabbage: Cut into coarse shreds and blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water. Remove, drain, and chill. Pack into airtight containers and freeze up to one year. Once thawed, frozen cabbage will only work well in cooked applications. Cooked cabbage may be refrigerated in a covered container for up to four days.

Handling­ Rinse the cabbage under cold running water just before use. You’ll need a big, sharp knife and plenty of elbow room. Peel away a few of the outer leaves, then cut the cabbage in half through the stem end. Lay it flat and quarter it, again through the stem end. Then balance each section upright and slice away the triangular core that is exposed at the base. From there you can chop, sliver, or grate the quarters.


Cooking Greens (Kale, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Bok Choi)

Storage- Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. Thicker greens will keep up to two weeks, but tender ones like beet greens should be eaten within a week.

Handling- Just prior to use, swish leaves in a large basin of lukewarm water. After any grit has settled to the bottom, life the leaves out carefully. Additional rounds of washing may be necessary. If the sink has dirt in it or if you sample a leaf and it tastes gritty, the greens probably need to be rinsed again.

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.



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 !

  • Roasted Baby Cabbage
  • Oven Roasted Tomatoes
  • Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint
  • Leek & Kale Gratin
  • Cheddar & Herb Baked Apples
  • Mint and Scallion Soba Noodle Salad
  • Grilled Kale and Scallion Negimaki
  • Leek, Kale and Onion Soup
  • Chicken Kale Pasta (with cherry tomatoes!)
  • Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake
  • Applesauce

Roasted Baby Cabbage

From The Kitchn
serves 6 as a side-dish

1 1/2 lbs baby cabbages (or any size cabbage weighing a total of 1 1/2 lbs)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400°. Place rack on center rung. Grease baking dish (9″x13″ or close) with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

Peel off and discard any distressed outer leaves on the cabbages. Cut each cabbage in half (or quarters if using a large cabbage) and arrange pieces, cut side down, in a single layer in the dish.

Drizzle over remaining 2 tablespoons oil and stock. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil, and place in oven to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make a syrup by whisking together the vinegar and honey.

Remove foil, carefully flip the cabbage with tongs and evenly drizzle the vinegar and honey syrup, then the breadcrumbs across cut sides of cabbage. Cook, uncovered, another 10-15 minutes minutes, until cabbage begins to brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

From David Leibovitz

This recipe can easily be increased. The important thing is to use a baking dish or pan big enough so that they tomatoes are not too crowded. You want room between them for the moisture to escape, which concentrates the tomato flavor. If you use a metal pan, make sure it’s not aluminum or made of another material that might react with the acidic fruits.

And it’s up to you if you want to cut out the stems before roasting or not. You can see here I did some, but not the others (for whatever reason was running through my mind at the time.) The herbs can vary as well; basil, oregano, or marjoram all pair nicely with tomatoes.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8-10 branches of fresh thyme
  • a few spring of fresh rosemary
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 pound (450g) tomatoes, (8 small or 4 medium-sized)

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (165ºC.)

2. Pour the olive oil into a shallow baking dish or pan and add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper.

3. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, then use a sharp knife to remove the stems, if you wish. Toss the tomatoes with the oil and seasonings, then lay them cut side down in the dish.

4. Bake for two hours, or until the tomatoes are completely softened and wilted, and start to wrinkle. Depending on the tomatoes, they may take longer to cook.
Storage: The tomatoes will keep for about five days in the refrigerator. They can also be frozen for up to six months.

Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint

From Smitten Kitchen

This is like eggplant bruschetta, except the eggplant is the bruschetta, topped with a Mediterranean summer salsa of a salad.

Feta is a great alternative to ricotta salata. If you’re put off by the sharpness of fresh onion, pour the red wine vinegar over it in a dish, and let it sit for 10 minutes, tossing it from time to time, before adding it to the salad. No need to add additional vinegar if you do.

Makes about 4 appetizer/salad portions, assuming people will eat two rounds each.

1 to 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium), in 3/4- to 1-inch slices
2 ounces (1/2 cup) chopped or crumbled ricotta salata
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
3 seeded, diced medium tomatoes (1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with olive oil, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Arrange eggplant rounds in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.

[Alternatively, on the grill: Brush eggplant slices with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant slices until slightly charred and tender when pierced with knife, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.]

Meanwhile, mix your ricotta, capers, onion, tomatoes, mint, vinegar and remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning; ricotta salata tends to be quite salty so I don’t find that this dish needs more than a pinch of salt, if that. Add more vinegar, if desired. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

When the eggplant discs are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salad over each round. Eat immediately.

Leek Kale Gratin

From Rebecca Supergirl
Serves 4-6Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs leeks, trimmed to just white and light green and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup chopped kale, sauteed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup vermouth
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
12 oz (1 1/2 cups) Gryuere cheese, grated
1/2 cup shaved cheese blend or shaved parmesanDirections
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare your pan. I used a 12″ Cast Iron Skillet and lightly greased it. You could also use a lightly greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
2. Rinse leeks to remove any dirt and bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Simmer leeks in the water for approximately 5 minutes until tender. Drain well.
3. Using a small saucepan, slowly warm the milk, chicken stock and vermouth. Be careful not to scorch the milk mixture.
4. At the same time as you are warming the milk, prepare the roux. Melt the butter in a thick bottomed pan (a dutch oven is perfect here) over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and cook until the roux is frothy and pale. This should take about a minute.
5. Next slowly add the warmed milk mixture to the roux and whisk until thickened, 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Simmer for a minute or two more.
6. Whisk in the Gruyere until melted.
7. Place the leeks, cut side up in the prepared pan. Spread the sauteed kale over the leeks evenly. Pour the sauce over the leeks and kale. Top with the shaved cheese blend.
8. Bake until the dish is bubbling and golden, approximately 35 minutes.

Cheddar & Herb Baked Apples

 From JJ Begonia
  • 12 Medium-Sized Apples, Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • Dash of Nutmeg
  • ½ Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • ½ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ½ Cup (or More) Grated Cheddar Cheese
  1. Preheat your broiler to the low setting.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with all of the ingredients with the exception of the butter and the cheese.
  3. Melt your butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the coated apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until softened.
  4. Transfer the cooked apples to individual ramekins (This recipe will fill 4 ramekins) or a small baking dish.
  5. Top with cheddar cheese, and an additional sprinkle of herbs, if desired.
  6. Place under the broiler for approximately 5 minutes, just until the cheese begins to bubble and brown.

Mint and Scallion Soba Noodle Salad

From Food52

Serves 4-6

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/4 cup “lite” seasoned rice vinegar (Marukan)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced fresh mint (chiffonade)
  • 1 cup julienne cut scallions
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots
  • 2 cups green beans cut on the sharp diagonal into about 3-inch lengths
  • 8 ounces package soba noodles, broken in half
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Julienne the cucumber and place it in a large bowl along with the vinegar, sesame oil and soy sauce. Let the cucumber marinate while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  3. Add about ½ teaspoon salt to the water then stir in the soba noodles. Set the timer for five minutes. Continue stirring the sobas until the water comes back to the boil. Lower the heat so the water is at a medium boil. After one minute, stir in the green beans. When the timer goes off, test a noodle to be sure it is cooked. Pour the sobas and beans into a colander and rinse with a little cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the noodles and beans very well as water will dilute the dressing.
  4. Stir the well-drained noodles and beans into the bowl with the cucumbers. When coated with dressing, stir in the mint, scallions and carrots. Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.


Grilled Kale and Scallion Negimaki

Negimaki is a Japanese dish that consists of beef rolled around scallions which has been marinated in a teriyaki sauce.  This makes a great main dish, but could be adapted as an appetizer if the rolls are sliced thinner.

Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine, September 2011 (p. 143)
1/4 cup tamari (soy sauce)
1/4 cup mirin (rice vinegar) 
1 1/2 Tablespoons red miso or red miso soup mix
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound center cut steak (thin cut and then pounded to 1/8 inch thick)
1/4 pound kale, stems removed
4 to 5 scallions, sliced in half lengthwise 
olive oil
toasted sesame seeds
  1. Whisk together the first five ingredients and pour all but a 1/4 cup over the steaks.  Turn the steaks in marinade once or twice and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the kale for about 2 minutes.  Drain in a colander and squeeze out any excess water.
  3. Lay one of the steaks on a cutting board with the long edge facing you.  Place one or two scallions along the edge facing you and then put on a layer of kale with the ends extending beyond the ends of the steak.
  4. Roll the meat tightly around the kale and scallions, then secure the roll with several toothpicks (I used one every inch or so, this made it easy to cut and serve).
  5. Place the rolled up steaks on an oiled grill grate over high heat, turning every 3 minutes, so that all the sides get sufficiently charred.
  6. Just before you remove the rolls from the grill, brush the reserved marinade over the meat and let cook for a few more seconds, so that the meat looks glazed.
  7. Slice the rolls about every inch, between each of the tooth picks.  If possible, remove the tooth picks for serving, but if the steak has not cooked together, simply serve as is.


Leek, Kale and Onion Soup with Gruyere Toasts

Serves: 8
Think of this soup as the progeny of Caldo Verde and French Onion Soup.
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
  • 3 large or 6 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 small leeks, thinly sliced and washed well
  • 1 large bunch kale (about 6 leaves), stems removed, washed well and roughly chopped
  • 4-6 cups homemade broth or stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 day old baguette, cut into 1/2″ slices and toasted
  • 1-2 cups shredded Gruyere (use more or less according to your preference)
  1. Heat the oil in a 3-4 quart pot. Add the onions and leeks. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they reduce in volume by about half and turn lightly golden.
  2. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes. Add the broth or stock, dried sage and bay leaf. Taste and add salt. Simmer until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Ladle into bowls and top with a few toasted baguette slices and shredded cheese. Place under a low broiler to melt cheese, if desired, or press down and the cheese will melt from the heat of the soup. Alternatively, top the toasts with the cheese and place under the broiler, then in the soup.


Chicken Kale Pasta

From The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 pound Penne, Cooked To Al Dente And Kept Hot
  • 3 whole Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Bite Size Pieces
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 3/4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (more If Needed)
  • 1 bunch Kale, Torn Into Small Pieces (stalks Discarded)
  • 2 cups Grape Or Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
  • Shaved Parmesan

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken chunks in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Don’t stir for a minute or two in order to allow the chicken to brown on the first side. After that time, turn the chicken and brown on the other side. After 30 seconds, stir it around and cook it until it’s done, then remove chicken from the skillet and set it aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and quickly stir it to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in the wine and broth. Stir the liquid, scraping to deglaze the pan. Allow it to bubble up, then continue cooking it until it reduces by at least half.

Turn off the heat, then add kale and tomatoes, the pasta and the chicken, and the Parmesan shavings. Toss it to combine; the kale will start to wilt/soften as it mixes with the other ingredients. Serve it right out of the skillet to hungry folks! Such a gorgeous and satisfying dish.


Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Whipped Cream topping:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray an 9 inch round or square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat until melted. Add the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour into the bottom of the greased pan. Arrange the apples over the brown sugar mixture.
  3. In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Set bowl aside.
  4. In a large bowl or mixer, beat together 1 cup sugar, and ½ cup butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat in flour mixture alternating with the milk until smooth. Pour the batter over the apples and spread evenly.
  6. Bake 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, to make the whipped topping, beat whipping cream on high until soft peaks start to form. Add in 2 tablespoons sugar.
  8. Run knife along the edges of the cake and flip upside down on a pan. Serve warm with whipped cream on top.



Super Easy Applesauce

From Elephantine

(fills a 16 oz. jar)

4 cups chopped apples (I left the peels on, but you don’t have to)
1 cup water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
honey or sugar to taste (optional)

Toss the chopped apples, water, and cinnamon into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook with a lid on, stirring occasionally, until the apples have broken completely apart (about 20-30 minutes). Sweeten it a little with honey or sugar, or leave it deliciously tart if you prefer. Let cool and refrigerate.



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 |