From the Field
While we're nearing the end of the Winter CSA season, we're sowing the seeds for the CSA seasons to come - keep your eyes and e-mails peeled for news on the sign-up, which will begin soon. We're once again in the mode of saving seed, starting new plants, sowing cover crop and preparing new ground to plant into. The bees and other beneficial insects sure like the flowering basil and coriander in the fields, and numerous other plants are setting flowers that will soon bear fruits - cashew, mango, surinam cherry, passionfruit and more.
Our eggplants are abundant, and so is your share this week - you'll find a generous amount of them, along with tomatoes and a newcomer - Jalapenos! Try out some of the recipes below. I've also heard they're tasty in a Bloody Mary (alcoholic or non) made with fresh tomatoes. There's also a bunch of fresh green onions - use them raw or cooked in any recipe that calls for scallions, onions, chives or green onions. Your greens this week are called Komatsuna - they are similar to mustard greens, but mild not spicy! Treat the leaves like spinach, as it does not need much cooking and can be eaten raw. Use in any recipe that calls for greens.
Thank you for your continued support!
Enjoy the harvest,
Claudia Seixas & the crew at Ridge to Reef Farm
Pictured above: Bees enjoying the flowering basil in the field.
Jalapeno Corn Bread
2-6 jalapenos, lightly roasted in the oven (see instructions below)
2 C all-purpose flour
2 C corn meal (yellow or blue)
1/4 C sugar (turbinado, white or brown)
1 TBS salt
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 TBS flaxseed meal soaked in 1/4 C warm water*
2.5 C soy milk (or other dairy or non-dairy milk)
1 stick (1/2c.) melted Earth Balance, butter or margarine OR ½ c. canola oil (or other mild oil)
• Preheat oven to 400°F. Roast jalapenos about 5 minutes on each side, until the skin starts to bubble up and look like yummy roasted goodness.
• Meanwhile, mix up the batch of Texas cornbread.
• Remove peppers from oven, and turn down the heat to 350°F
• When peppers are cool enough to handle, slice down one side and remove some or all of the seeds. Dice the peppers into small pieces. • Grease a 9×13 baking dish, or cast iron skillet (or muffin pan)
• In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
• Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add prepared jalapenos to cornbread batter and mix to incorporate.
• Pour batter into baking dish and bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes for muffins, or 40-45 minutes for 9X13 pan, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.
* To make flaxseed meal from whole flax, just blend in a coffee grinder or food processor until fine.
Eggplant, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 medium eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 pound sliced tomatoes
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush two rimmed baking sheets with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil each. Arrange eggplant slices on sheets. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until eggplant is golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
• On a serving platter, layer eggplant with sliced mozzarella and tomatoes. Top with basil leaves and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and balsamic vinegar.
Recipe couresty Martha Stewart, Everday Food
Eggplant Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers
Ingredients for Stuffing:
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1-2 large Eggplants
1/2 c. parsley, finely chopped
Ingredients for Poppers:
8 to 10 Jalapenos
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
1 cup Bread Crumbs (More if needed)
1. Broil the Eggplant in a broiler for about 5 to 10 min. on each side until done.
2. Heat the oil in a small pan, add cumin seeds, once they start spluttering, add tomato and cook until tomato becomes soft and mushy.
3. Peel the skin of eggplant. Blend the tomato, eggplant, parsley and salt to taste in a blender and keep it aside
4. Make a slit on one side length wise on each Jalapeno and remove seeds.
5. Stuff the above mixture into each of these.
6. Heat enough oil in a pan to deep fry them. Mix All purpose flour with some water and salt to make a smooth paste. It should not be too thick or thin, it should be at the right consistency to coat the jalapeno.
7. Dip each jalapeno into the flour mixture first and then dip them into the bread crumbs to coat them properly. Then put them into oil and deep fry them until done.
For the dip: mix the remaining stuffing mixture with yogurt and added a dash of salt.
For tempering: use 1 tsp of oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. Pour over the dip and mix.
Serve the poppers with the dip. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy the blog Snackorama
Free Farm Stay for CSA Members! (A $125 value!)
Do you ever wonder what life at the farm is like? Well, we would love for you to experience it with us! Please take this opportunity to volunteer in the gardens, join us for a community dinner, and retreat to your private cabana after dark...
Call us at 340.220.0466 to make your reservations. See you soon!
THANK YOU HOSTS!
Gifft Hill School
St. John 4-6 pm Thursday
Havensight, St. Thomas 11 am -1 pm Thursday
Christiansted, St. Croix 3-5 pm Saturday
Frederiksted, St. Croix 2-4 pm Saturday
FARM WISH LIST
Got some things laying around that we can re-use in the CSA?
Last season we received egg cartons, more reusable bags, a blender, some garden hoses, a trash bin, and other great things that we use and were saved from going to the landfill or rotting in a shed. THANK YOU!
Ridge to Reef Farm serves the US Virgin Islands with certified organic produce grown with sustainable permaculture practices (and a lot of love).