Update from the garden

So. Cardoons. I had some pretty high hopes for this trial crop this year. They are part of the artichoke family and artichokes are delicious and these are a classic Italian vegetable. The truth is, I grew plenty of cardoons to share with the entire CSA membership and the crop did well under the conditions this season. The plants are huge! This week Mathias and I picked some to cook up so we could advise the CSA membership this week on what to do with them. Turns out cardoons are extreeeemely bitter and so recipes ask cooks to boil the cardoon stems for 30 minutes in salt water (I’m already seeing red flags here)  but then we found a recipe that made a gratin with the cardoons following the boil. Everything looked good… We boiled the cardoons, layed them out in a baking pan, sprinkled them with butter, bread crumbs and cheese, then baked them.

They came out gorgeous and smelled good too. Mathias and I each took a bite and for pretty open minded eaters, these seemed downright inedible. Alas, I will not impose this vegetable on you this week or any week!! Instead, I will make everyone suffer with yet more summer squash! Don’t worry, fall is coming… the winter squash are on their way for next week.

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This week’s share of the harvest
Kale or Chard
1 box Fingerling Potatoes
1 Cabbage
1 bunch Carrots
1 box Pattypans or Zucchini
1 Eggplant
1 box Tomatillos
2 Peppers
Large ONLY: Take 1 extra bunch Carrots + 1 bag Herbs (Basil or Parsley) + 2 Onions

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How to use this week’s share
Tomatillos are a great little surprise in the CSA. This year I actually forgot to seed them in the spring but these wonderful plants took care of it and just seeded themselves! If you can believe it, all of the tomatillos we are harvesting this season will be volunteer plants (thank you nature!).

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The main thing to make with tomatillos is Salsa Verde 0r Green Salsa. It’s super easy and fast, it’s fresh and you can freeze it if need. The recipe is in the Veggie Guide. If you want to try something different, try this:

Creamy Tomatillo Sauce (Great on kebabs or anything grilled)

  • 3/4 pound tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed (optional)
  • 1 medium white or red onion, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces.
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 peeled avocado
  • Coarse salt

    In a small saucepan, combine tomatillos, jalapeno (optional), and enough water to cover ingredients by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, 7 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender and add onion. Puree until smooth. Add cilantro, buttermilk, and avocado. Season with coarse salt; puree until smooth.

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