Farm News (08/12/14)

Important Reminders:
  • This week we are delivering vegetables, fruit, eggs, and dairy.
  • Next week we will be delivering vegetables and fruit.

The Vegetable Share:

  • Heirloom & Beefsteak Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 'Red Maria' Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Cucumbers
  • Fresh Oregano & Thyme
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Italian Parsley
  • Zucchini (for on-farm pickup)
  • Watermelon or Cantaloupe (off-farm pickup sites)
The Fruit Share:
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • 'Ozark' Plums
Ripe plums on the tree  

The Dairy Share:

  • Aged Swiss Cheese from Hook's Cheese Company
  • Handmade Butter flavored with Maple Syrup from Nordic Creamery
  • Plain Lowfat Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy

Producer Profile: Hook's Cheese Company of Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Tony and Julie Hook have been making cheese for over 35 years. They make their cheeses in a facility that was built into the hills of historic Mineral Point over 150 years ago during the area’s mining boom. This week's Swiss cheese was aged for 2 years in curing caves at just the right temperature and humidity for a slow curing process that aged it to perfection.

Reminder Regarding Pickup Site Times
Just a friendly reminder that, as a courtesy to our site hosts, shares need to be picked up during the time period designated for your particular pickup site. We know that unforeseen circumstances do arise, so if you are unable to pick up your share during the designated hours, please email Jen at and we'll try our best to make alternate arrangements for you. Thank you!

CSA Member Tomato U-Pick
This year at the Grayslake farm we're offering multiple tomato u-pick opportunities for CSA members. Here are the details:
What:  Members can pick up to 30 pounds of heirloom, beefsteak or paste tomatoes for $1.50/lb. Who:  Members of the Summer Vegetable Share
Where:  At the Grayslake Farm (560 Harris Rd, Grayslake IL)
When:  Members are welcome to sign up for one u-pick day. Most of the u-pick opportunities coincide with regular Tuesday and Thursday pickup times at the farm. The u-pick days are the following:

Tuesday, 8/19, 3:30 - 7:00pm 
Thursday, 8/21, 3:30 - 7:00pm
Tuesday, 8/26, 3:30 - 7:00pm
Thursday, 8/28, 3:30 - 7:00pm

Saturday, 8/23, 9:00am - 12:00pm

There will likely be additional u-pick days in September as long as the weather cooperates and the plants are still healthy.
You can sign up for your u-pick day by emailing Jen at, and she will send you a confirmation email.

Bulk Quantities of Tomatoes are Available
In the coming weeks we'll have 20-lb cases of beefsteaks, heirlooms and paste tomatoes available for members. You can order cases by emailing Jen, and we'll deliver them right to your pickup site. Beefsteaks and paste tomatoes are $38 per case, and heirlooms are $48. (Some members have requested that we offer mixed cases of beefsteaks and paste tomatoes, and we're happy to do that too. These mixed cases are $38.)

Heirloom and beefsteak cases will be available the final week of August and the first two weeks of September. Paste tomatoes will be available the first two weeks of September. Order deadline is noon on Monday of the week you'd like to receive them. Please email tomato orders to and let us know when you would like to pick up your order.

This Week's Featured Recipes

Spicy Peanut Noodles with Vegetables & Tofu
for the sauce: 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

for the noodles:
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 large head of broccoli, top cut into florets, stem peeled, cut into thin strips
1 large kohlrabi, peeled, cut into thin strips
1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
10 ounces extra-firm or firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 ounces spaghetti, cooked
1 cup lightly salted roasted peanuts for garnish

Prepare the peanut sauce. Mix peanut butter, soy sauce and garlic in medium bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup hot water. Add remaining ingredients; whisk to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day.

Meanwhile, heat peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and stir 30 seconds. Add broccoli and kohlrabi and sauté 5 minutes. Add leeks, zucchini and Sherry and sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Add tofu and stir gently until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place spaghetti in large bowl. Add peanut sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to platter. Garnish with chopped peanuts.                                         

Leek and Swiss Chard Tart
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
2 tablespoons butter
2 large leeks, white and pale green parts chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup whipping cream
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg

Roll out pastry on floured work surface to 12-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold under; crimp edges. Cover; chill.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard; saut until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Whisk cream and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.

Roast Beef with Tomato-Parsley Sauce
1 2 1/2- to 3-pound beef roast (chuck or round)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 cups chopped Italian parsley
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

To make the beef roast, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano.

Place a medium, heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Heat the olive oil. Sear the beef over high heat on all sides. Turn off heat. Place the seasoned tomatoes around the seared beef and place the pan in the oven. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees for medium rare, 135 for medium, about 40 to 50 minutes. Take the roast out of the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should rise 5 degrees F more and the juices will redistribute into the roast.

To make the sauce, place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, red wine vinegar and the roasted tomatoes from the beef pan and process until pureed. Add the olive oil in a steady stream with the machine running.

To serve, slice the roast and place on a serving platter. Drizzle a little sauce over the meat. Serve the remaining sauce in a small bowl alongside.

Swiss-Style Scalloped Potatoes & Kohlrabi
2 lbs potatoes, thinly sliced
1 medium to large kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
6 ounces grated Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the potatoes, milk, salt, garlic, pepper, rosemary and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until crisp-tender.
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into potato mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; gently stir in cheese.

Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over potato mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and crumbs are golden brown.

Next week's harvest (our best guess)... carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, peppers, eggplant, melons, broccoli, blueberries, green onions, sweet corn and more!

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  • Margaret Sheaffer