After taking only a few weeks off this summer, the rain has returned to dampen our spirits, disappoint children's hopes for camping and discourage my outdoor attempts at food photography. Luckily there was some overlap between the last two weeks' shares so I was able to cover everything.
I'm leading with the picture of week eleven's tomatoes because it seems like a miracle that they made it. Despite the previously mentioned late blight that's wiping out tomato crops all over the Northeast, the good folks at our CSA have been diligent enough at fighting it to produce a combined three pounds of heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes per share in the last two weeks. The other recent highlight has been the dragon beans (or dragon's tongue beans, pictured at bottom on the left), which we have found more tender and tasty than their green bean counterparts.
We are getting used to having all of these fresh vegetables around and making good use of them. The presence of a few fresh ingredients on Friday turned a normal make-your-own-sandwich night into a gourmet sandwich bar—arugula provides a nice bite in place of lettuce on any sandwich, as do chopped scallions, which are great raw for those of us that like onion flavor but not the strength/after-breath of a red onion. It's also been great having eggplant around in abundance, since it's one of Dinka's favorites and something I've finally come around on. In the past week, we've had an Armenian mixed salad of grilled eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, a savory tart with eggplant, tomatoes and smoked mozzarella (who knew that existed and was so delicious?), and another round of grilled eggplant with a tomato-shallot vinaigrette.
We are being spoiled by the bounty of late summer, which continued with week ten's share:
I love getting such a colorful array of plants and vegetables each week, the deep purples and bright greens, coming right out of the ground like that. Here's week nine's share:
From the week seven share, I tried fava beans for the first time last week and I would highly recommend them to anyone that hasn't. They take a bit of handling to prepare but cook quickly and are delicious unadorned. They have a nice, buttery mashed potato texture and taste. They're also quite a brilliant green underneath all those layers.
Here's the week eight share, half of which is already gone: