The fields are plentiful from the September rains and we're sharing this week's abundance with you!
Moringa Pods are the fruits of the Moringa oleifera tree, which is known for its high nutritional value. Many parts of the Moringa tree are edible including the leaves, young and mature pods and seeds. The flesh inside the pods has a flavor reminiscent of asparagus or peas, and can be prepared in a similar manner. Our recommended cooking method is to cut off the ends, then cut the pods into thirds and steam in a pot with 1-2" of water for 5-10 minutes. You can eat them as an appetizer like edamame - just scrape the flesh off of the pods. You can also scrape out the interior (flesh and seeds) and use it in any dish as a substitute for asparagus or peas. For more information, check out the recipe below, and the website: http://www.themoringa.com/moringa-oleifera-tree/moringa-fruits
Parsley is much more than just a garnish - it is a delicious vegetable that can be prepared in a pesto with or as a substitute for basil; in the classic meditteranean dish tabouli with bulgur wheat, cucumbers and lemon juice; or chopped and mixed with soups, salads, stir-fries or any dish. It is an excellent source of folic acid and vitamins A, C and K. Check out the recipes below!
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), also called Tulsi Basil or Sacred Basil, is a relative ofbasil in the mint family. It is commonly cultivated in South Asia for medicinal and religious purposes, and is often grown around temples and homes. Holy Basil is used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen, to reduce cellular sensitivity to stress. It can be used as a seasoning similar to basil in Thai cooking, or it can be taken as an herbal tea - more reminiscent of mint than basil tea. You can place the stems in a vase or jar of water like a flower bouquet, or store the bunch in a plastic bag in the fridge. Check out the recipes for Holy Basil below.
You have either beans or okra in your box today-
Yardlong Beans (Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis) are a type of legume that can be prepared and eaten just like green beans, even though they belong to a different genus than the common stringbean. Despite the name, they are only actually about 1.5 to 2 feet in length. They are also known as chinese long beans or asparagus beans, and are a tropical/subtropical annual vine. There are several different colors and varieties, ranging from green to red. Their flavor and texture are best when the beans are cut into smaller sections and sauteéd, stir-fried, braised, steamed, stewed, roasted or cooked in a curry. The beans are an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, phsphorus and potassium.
Okra is excellent fried or sauteed, or used in s chili or gumbo. Just chop into one to two inch sections. Our red burgundy okra is prized for its striking color and tenderness even in the large pods. When cooked it turns the more familiar green.
Cranberry Hibiscus is making a comeback in tis week's share- try this burgundy leaf in your salad, or cook it briefly like spinach either alone or mixed with other greens.
Your bananas are either green or ripe - if still green, allow them to ripen for 5-10 days. These are all sweet-eating bananas.
Bok Choy is excellent raw or stir-fried. Try it chopped finely for a crunchy green salad, or cook it briefly with ginger, garlic and tumeric - maybe even a bit of sugar to offset any of the natural bitterness.
The cucumbers are thin-skinned Asian variety, so it's up to you whether or not to peel them. They are delicious sliced in any salad.
Claudia and the crew at Ridge to Reef Farm
Photo above: CSA field with okra, yardlong beans and cucumbers.
SAUTEED MORINGA PODS
1 bunch fresh moringa pods
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cup pigeon peas or other beans, cooked (from can or dry beans)
1 bunch seasoning pepper, chopped
1 bunch yard-long bean pods cut into 1-1/2" lengths and sliced lengthwise
Cut moringa pods lengthwise into 4 pieces. Slice white pulp including tender seeds. Discard outer covering. Cut pulp into 1-1/2 inch lengths. Sautee garlic, onion, and seasoning pepper.
Cover, and cook 2 minutes. Season with sea salt. Add beans, and cook 3 minutes. Add moringa pulp and yard-long bean. Cover, and cook 10 minutes.
Holy Basil Tea
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Pour over 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of Holy Basil leaves and flowers. Let steep 10 minutes, covered. Enjoy hot or iced.
- Add lemongrass, mint or other herbs with the basil.
- Sweeten with honey or agave, if desired.
1/2 cup medium grain bulgur
1 1/4 cups water
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups diced cucumbers (peel if desired)
1/4 cup green onions chopped, both white and green parts
1/4 to 1/2 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped mint leaves (optional)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bring water to a boil, pour in bulgur, stir, cover, and turn off heat. Let stand 20 to 25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and bulgur is fluffy and tender. Pour off any remaining liquid.
To prepare dressing, in a small non-reactive bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt, and oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.
In a large salad bowl, toss together parsley, tomatoes, green onions and mint. Add bulgur. Pour dressing over salad, toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
2 cloves garlic
2 cups packed, stemmed Italian parsley
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast (or to taste)
2/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
In a food processor or blender place the garlic, parsley, pinch salt, walnuts, and cheese. Process until they form a paste. Gradually blend in olive oil, taste adjust your seasoning if necessary. Great with pasta, poultry, vegetables and rice.
Chicken with Holy Basil (Gai Pad Gaprow)
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 Thai chili peppers, chopped finely
1 cup chicken, chopped coarsely (~1 chicken breast)
1 red jalapeno pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon thick black soy sauce
1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
1 cup Thai holy basil leaves
1. Cook the chopped garlic and chilis in a good amount of oil (2-4 Tablespoons) over high heat until the garlic is golden brown.
2. Add the chopped chicken and cook until it is done. While it's cooking, use the spatula to break apart any pieces that clump together.
3. Add all three sauces and saute a minute longer. Do a taste-test here and adjust seasonings if needed.
4. Add the red pepper slices and cook till almost done. Then add the holy basil. Saute just until the basil is wilted, then remove from the heat.
5. Remove the pad gaprow from the wok and return to burner with a little additional oil. Allow the oil to get very hot and then crack an egg into it and allow to fry to your desired level.
6. Serve pad gaprow alongside jasmine rice with the fried egg sitting on top.
Recipe from the blog Rachel Cooks Thai
Cucumber-Dill Soup with Scallions
Thank you to our CSA member Lana from St. John for this cucumber recipe!
5 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch dill, ends picked
1 clove garlic
Juice of 3 lemons
1 quart buttermilk
1 cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper
Dash of Tabasco
1. Thinly slice half of the cucumbers and half of the scallions, set aside.
2. Coarsely chop the other half of the cucumbers and scallions and transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the dill, garlic, lemon juice, buttermilk and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper and purée in a blender or food processor.
3. In a large bowl mix together the purée and the sliced cucumbers and scallions. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste. Chill at least 2 hours.
Makes 2 quarts
STIR FRIED BOK CHOY WITH GINGER AND GARLIC
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
4 cups chopped fresh bok choy (1-2 heads)
1 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
Salt and ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add bok choy and soy sauce cook 3 to 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
This Week's Harvest
Okra or Yardlong Beans
Ridge to Reef Farm serves the US Virgin Islands with certified organic produce grown with sustainable permaculture practices (and a lot of love).