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FarmShare CSA Newsletter week of September 8th, 2015

What’s in this week’s box?


Purple Islander Peppers




Cherry Tomatoes

Field Tomatoes





Storage, handling and general cooking tips…



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 – If your beets still have greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem. Keep these greens unwashed and refrigerated in a closed plastic bag. Store the beet roots, with the rootlets (or “tails”) attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but their sweetness diminishes with time; so try to use them within a week.

 Handling – Just before cooking, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets. If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or vegetable peeler, then grate or cut them according to your needs.

 Just before cooking or consuming, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets.  If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or vegetable peeler, then grate or cut them according to your needs. Try baking beets at 350-400 degrees for an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork.  Cut the tops and bottoms off and the skin should easily slip off. Why not add some other root vegetables to the dish along with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt. I like to boil beets as well. Boil beets 45 minutes to an hour depending on size, they should easily pierce when done. Plunge them directly into cold water after boiling and the skins will slip right off. Then slice and top with fresh lime juice. Please don’t miss the opportunity to have your kids taste beets! My daughter loves them and they are chock full of fiber, vitamins (lots of Bs and C!), minerals (iron, magnesium), and antioxidants. Plus, they look beautiful on the plate.


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.



Corn is quintessential Americana, synonymous with BBQs, Summertime, and Grilling. There isn’t a red-checkered tablecloth on a picnic table that won’t see a bowl of these steaming ears. Sweet corn is not only tasty it also contains fiber, protein, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorous. Fun fact: there is one silk for every kernel of corn, on average there are 800 kernels in 16 rows on each ear of corn. Here at Applecrest we grow about 5 acres of corn, which at the height of the season will remove about 40 tons of carbon dioxide from the air, talk about goin’ green!

Storage and Handling 

Corn can be stored in its husk up to four days in the refrigerator but it will be at its sweetest the closer it is to the day it was picked. Corn can also be frozen. Boil your ears of corn for 4-6 minutes, cool in an ice bath, cut kernels off the cob, store in air tight container (bag or tupperware works), and stick in freezer. You’ll thank yourself on a cold February night, when you can taste these sun kissed kernels alongside your meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Cook tips

Corn can be grilled, boiled, or roasted. Easily eaten directly off the cob, added to a salad, or frozen for later use.


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 !

  • Eggplant Napoleon
  • Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree
  • Beet Cheddar and Apple Tartlets
  • Charred Corn Salad with Basil and Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sandwiches
  • Garden Fresh Tomato Soup
  • Roasted  Broccoli & Chickpea Burrito
  • Beet, Corn and Quinoa Salad
  • Apple Dumplings

Eggplant Napoleon

  • 4 baby eggplants or 1 large eggplant thinly sliced vertically
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 red or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • *Optional:1 large tomato or 1 zucchini, sliced (any vegetable you like can be added into these stacks)
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 tsp minced roasted red pepper (in a jar)
  • 1½ tsp salt and pepper each
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Spanish thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Olive Oil
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil (or whichever herb you like best)
  1. Remove tops and bottoms from the eggplants and slice vertically into very thin pieces. Thinly slice the onion (and zucchini-optional) and arrange it with the sliced eggplant and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with ½ tsp salt and pepper each and ½ tsp Spanish thyme. Roast at 400 for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, thaw out your puff pastry according to the package directions. Cut the dough into small rectangles (should have 3 long layers for sheet once rolled out- cut each long layer into 3 separate triangles) and lay each rectangle of dough flat on a baking sheet poked with holes from a fork. Bake according to the package directions then place aside to let it cool.
  3. To make the red pepper cream (the glue that holds it all together) mix the ricotta cheese, minced roasted red pepper strips, remaining salt, pepper and Spanish thyme, red pepper flakes and ½ cup grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese. Mix well and refrigerate until time to assemble.
  4. Assembly:
  5. Start with the one piece of puff pastry as the base, and then add on a layer of the red pepper cream, then eggplant, layer of basil, layer of zucchini, layer of onions and finally another sheet of puff pastry. Repeat this process once more (or twice if you prefer) ending with the puff pastry.


Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree

From Smitten Kitchen
From the Author: “I’ve made a few adjustments/suggestions to the original recipe. The eggplant is a total sponge and it seemed no matter how much pasta water I added, it was still lacking in sauciness. I think a higher proportion of tomatoes to the eggplant (which I have adjusted below) would have loosened up the sauce a bit, and perked up the flavor as well, as would a glug of vinegar or lemon juice at the end. Mixing it with ricotta was something many of the commenters on the Food Network site enjoyed, and I can’t imagine that would steer it in a bad direction.”1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, whole
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Glug of balsamic or red wine vinegar or freshly-squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the pine nuts in a small baking dish. Place in the oven on the rack below the vegetables. Roast until golden, about  4 minutes (only do it for 8 if you want them nice and burnt, like mine). Remove from the oven and reserve.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve (at least) 2 cups of the cooking liquid.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the torn mint leaves and extra-virgin olive oil. Puree the vegetables.

Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl with the pasta and add the Parmesan. Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta is saucy, as well as a glug of vinegar (optional). Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and serve.


Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe from Katie at the Kitchen Door

Makes about 1 cup.

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash tomatoes and remove/discard stems.  Slice each cherry tomato in half and place cut side up in single layer on baking sheet with rim.  In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, and salt, then pour over the cherry tomatoes, doing your best to get some oil on each tomato.  Roast for 45-60 minutes, until tomatoes begin to caramelize.  Let cool, then store in a glass jar topped off with extra olive oil (will last up to one week in fridge). Enjoy in your favorite salads, or just eat straight out of the jar.

Beet, Cheddar and Apple Tartlets

From Martha Stewart


  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into six 4 1/2-inch rounds
  • 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar (3 ounces)
  • 1 small apple, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small beet, scrubbed, peeled, and very thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pastry rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Divide half the cheese among pastry rounds. Top each with 2 to 3 apple slices. Tuck 2 to 3 beet slices among apple slices and top with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Bake until pastry is golden brown and slightly puffed, 13 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


 Charred Corn Salad with Basil and Tomatoes

From Bon Appetit


  • 12 ears of corn, husked
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, large leaves torn
  • 1/3 cup (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Rub corn with 1 Tbsp. oil. Grill, turning frequently, until corn is charred and heated through, 10-12 minutes. Remove from grill; when cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a large bowl. DO AHEAD: Corn can be made 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Place onion in a strainer and rinse with cold water to mellow its flavor. Drain well. Mix onion, remaining 5 Tbsp. oil, tomatoes, basil, 1/3 cup lime juice, and thyme into corn. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired. DO AHEAD: Salad can be assembled 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Tomato Sandwiches

From Food & Wine Magazine

  • 3 ounces French feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 slices of garlic-rubbed grilled country bread
  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, cut into different sizes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Radish sprouts, for garnish

Mash 3 oz. crumbled feta with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons minced chives; season with salt and pepper. Spread on 6 slices garlic runed toast, and top with tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt.


Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1 sliced onion

4 whole cloves

2 cups chicken broth

2 tblsp butter

2 tblsp all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. white sugar, to taste


  1. In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all of the flavors. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl, or pan. Discard any stuff left over in the food mill.
  2. In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is a medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt, and adjust to taste.

Roasted Chickpea & Broccoli Burrito

From Thug Kitchen

makes 6-8 burritos

3 cups of cooked chickpeas  (2-15 ounce cans, drained)

1 large yellow onion

1 bell pepper (red or green or purple–cooks choice)

1 large crown of broccoli

4 cloves of garlic

1 lime

Spice Blend:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander or more cumin if you don’t want to go to the store

black pepper or cayenne pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop up the onion, bell pepper, and broccoli so that all the pieces about the size of a chickpea. Chop up the garlic real small but save that until later. Place all the chopped up veggies in a large bowl with the cooked chickpeas. Pour in the oil and soy sauce, stir, and then throw all the spices in there. Mix until all the vegetables are covered.

Put all of that on a large rimmed baking sheet (like what you would put cookies on but with an edge) and bake for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven, don’t burn yourself, add the garlic, and bake for another 15 minutes. The broccoli will look a little burnt at this point but that is the plan so take it out of the oven. Squeeze the juice of half of the lime over the pan and stir the roasted chickpeas and veggies all around. Taste some and see if it needs more spices or anything. Now make a burrito. I like mine with spinach, avocado, cilantro, and some fire roasted salsa but you do your thing.


Beet, Corn and Quinoa Salad

From What’s Gaby Cooking


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetables stock
  • 4 beets, quartered and ends trimmed off
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed
  • 1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls, halved
  • 10 basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine the quinoa and stock in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat. Cook the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the liquid and then remove it from the heat and set aside.
  3. Place the quartered and trimmed beets on a roasting pan and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place the pan into the oven and roast for about 40 minutes until the beets are tender.
  4. Remove the beets from the oven and set them aside to cool. When they are cool enough to touch, rub off the skin and then cut the beets into bite sized pieces and add to the quinoa mixture.
  5. Toss in the corn, mozzarella and basil leaves and give the salad a quick toss.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, remaining olive oil, champagne vinaigrette and dijon mustard. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.


Typically quinoa is cooked with a 2:1 water to quinoa ration. But I’ve found that cooking it with a 3:1 water to quinoa ratio, makes it even better!

Apple Dumplings

From Brown Eyed Baker


For the Pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
⅓ cup ice water

For the Apples:
8 medium apples, peeled and cored
8 teaspoons unsalted butter
7 teaspoons granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the Sauce:
1½ cups light brown sugar
1 cup water
½ cup salted butter, cubed


1. Make the Pastry Dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Gradually add the ice water, tossing the mixture with a fork, until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Divide the dough into eight equal portions, wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

3. Assemble the Apples: Roll each portion of dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 7-inch square. Place an apple in the center of each square. Place 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture in the center of each apple.

4. Gently bring up the corners of the pastry to the center of each apple; pinch the edges to seal. Place the pastry-encased apples in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.

5. Make the Sauce: In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, water and butter over medium-high heat until it just begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce evenly over the apples.

6. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the apples are tender and the pastry is golden brown, basting occasionally with the sauce. These are best served warm immediately after baking.

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 |