Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekly Newsletter 9

Casalegno Family Farm Weekly
July 24 – 30, 2011 
This week our 4–year–old son Wyatt ate the first Gravenstein apple of the year.  I suspect that it was a little on the green side, but he didn’t seem to mind the tartness! Gravensteins are our earliest apples, and we usually begin harvesting them sometime in early August, so they are very close.  We realized that we still have jugs of apple cider in the deep freeze from the winter’s last press and since the new crop of apples is almost here we decided that the last of the cider would make a special treat in your boxes this week! This delicious apple cider is un-pasteurized and should be kept refrigerated.  It should be used in 7-10 days.

In this week's Full Share Box:
3 bean trio - mix of Blue Lake, Yellow Wax and Trionfo Violeto
Summer Squash and Zucchini
Lemon Cucumbers
Satsuma Plums
a jug of our very own Apple Cider!


Potato Green Bean Salad with Basil & Mustard Vinaigrette

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
several grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1 lb potatoes
3/4 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
•Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
•Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender; drain and cool. Cut potatoes into chunks and add them to a large salad bowl.
•Cook green beans in boiling salted water until just tender; drain, then cool under running cold water. Dry thoroughly on kitchen towel. Add beans to potatoes. Add red onion and basil.
•Whisk dressing, pour over potatoes and green beans, and toss to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Just what is a lemon cucumber anyway?!?  Only the sweetest crunchiest least bitter cucumber ever! These pretty round yellow cukes get their name because of their resemblance to the lemon not because they have a particularly lemony flavor.
Here is one of our favorite ways to quickly enjoy any garden fresh cucumbers
Slice thinly and dress with seasoned rice vinegar, sea salt, a drizzle of sesame oil and freshly ground black pepper.  Refrigerate for at least 30 min.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve chilled as a refreshing side.



Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Reduction


·                     1 pound pork tenderloins, cut in 1/2 crosswise
·                     Vegetable oil
·                     Salt and freshly ground black pepper
·                     1 1/2 cups apple cider
·                     1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
·                     1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions: Heat oven to 500 degrees F and put rack in the upper third. Brush tenderloins with oil, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 pieces of pork tenderloin and cook until brown on all sides, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Set pork aside on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining pieces.  Place pork in oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the tenderloin registers 145 to 150 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place pan over high heat, add cider and vinegar and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Cook until mixture is reduced by 2/3, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in maple syrup and remove from heat until pork is cooked.  When pork is ready, remove to a cutting board to rest about 5 minutes. Warm sauce over medium-high heat, add pork and any accumulated juices and spoon sauce over meat to completely coat. When pork is warm, return pork to cutting board and slice thinly. Serve with pan sauce spooned over.

Originating in the Satsuma province of Japan and popular in America since the 1890’s, this heirloom plum has a rich lovely flavor that is excellent for fresh eating, cooking, canning, drying or preserves.   These were just picked off the tree today and will still ripen a bit as they sit in your fruit bowl.

Summer Squash Pan Cakes
This recipe was recommended as “dinner pan-cakes” but I think they would be best as a savory breakfast, maybe served with scrambled eggs, salsa and avocado….mmmmm…..


·         2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 3/4 pound)
·         2 tablespoons grated red onion
·         1 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
·         6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon kosher salt
·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·         Unsalted butter and vegetable oil
Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater. Pat or squeeze dry with paper towels, remove as much moisture as possible.  Stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the baking powder, salt, and pepper. (If the batter gets too thin from the liquid in the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)
Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter into the pan. Cook the pancakes a few  minutes on each side, until browned. Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan with a dry paper towel and add more butter and oil to the pan if necessary.  Continue to fry the pancakes until all the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Thanks all!!! See you next week- get ready for apple time!                     ~Casalegno Family Farm

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly CSA Newsletter 8

Casalegno Family Farm Weekly
July 17 – 23, 2011
It feels like summer is really here – and everything on the farm is growing great! We started the down town farmer’s market this Wednesday, and it is good to be back, seeing our old customers.  Beans will be rolling in by the bucketful pretty soon – you guys got the first of them in your boxes today.  Our favorite flat Italian Romano Bean will be along shortly as well! Right now the Dahlias are really starting explode – remember if you are not signed up for flowers and are interested in getting them weekly we do have spots available, or you can always just pick up a bouquet for $5 each any time you come by!



 In this weeks Full Share Box:

Lettuce                   Green beans

Chard                     Summer Squash and Zucchini

Kale                       Broccoli and Radishes ~OR~ Beets and Carrots  

Red onions             Cucumbers          

Garlic                      Lemons

Bunch of fresh Herbs    


Roasted Garlic

Of all the wonderful gifts of nourishment Mother Earth gives to us, I would have to say that for me garlic is probably the most essential.  Few meals are complete with out this delicious pungent bulb, and our immune systems all thank us for the healthy boost it gives.  Besides adding into our daily cooking there is another amazing way to use garlic: roasting.  Just smothering it in olive oil, wrapping it up and throwing it in the oven transforms it into another substance entirely mellow, buttery and spreadable!
·   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
·   Clean garlic heads without damaging skins too much
·   Drizzle generously with good olive oil.  You can cut the top 1/4 of the heads off if you wish - the cloves will be more saturated with the oils, and a little easier to squeeze out if you do.  Otherwise it will be a bit firmer and less oily, but still delicious.
·   Wrap well with tin foil.
·   Place directly in oven, cook for about 25-35 minutes, or until there is some give when gently squeezed with an oven mitt.
·   Enjoy spread on good fresh bread with a sprinkling of sea salt, mashed in with potatoes, as a pizza topping or mixed with sour cream, salt and herbs for a delicious dip!

Lemon, Garlic and Herb roasted Chicken
A favorite recipe!
• 1 5-6 lb. Roasting chicken • salt and pepper • 1 head garlic cut in half lengthwise
• 1 large bunch of herbs – thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, bay etc. • 1 lemon, halved
• 2 TB butter, melted
Remove the chicken giblets, if any and rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers if necessary and pat the outside dry.  Place in a roasting pan and liberally salt and pepper inside of chicken.  Stuff cavity with ½ of lemon, then all herbs and garlic, then other lemon ½.  Brush the outside with the melted butter then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Tie legs together with kitchen string.  Roast for 1 ½ hours. Or until juices run clear when cut between leg and thigh.


 Zucchini Gratin


·        6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, plus extra for topping
·        1 yellow onion, cut in 1/2 and sliced
·        2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
·        2 teaspoons kosher salt
·        1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·        1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·        2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·        1 cup hot milk
·        3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
·        3/4 cup grated cheese – Chedar, Gruyere or Jack
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a very large (12-inch) saute pan and cook the onions over low heat for 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Add the zucchini and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes. Stir in the flour. Add the hot milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes, until it makes a sauce. Pour the mixture into an 8 by 10-inch baking dish.
Combine the bread crumbs and cheese and sprinkle on top of the zucchini mixture. Dot with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned

They are here!!! Hope you all enjoy them as much as we did!
·                     ½ -1 pound green beans
·                     Extra-virgin olive oil
·                     Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
·                     ½ -1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim off the tough end of the beans and arrange the beans on a nonstick cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top and bake until the cheese melts and forms a crisp shell over the beans, about 10 minutes. Let the beans sit a few minutes for the cheese to cool slightly. Lift the beans out onto a platter and serve.

 THANKS EVERYONE!!!! Have a happy healthy week
                                            Casalegno Family Farm

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly CSA Newsletter 7

Casalegno Family Farm Weekly
July 10 – 16, 2010
This week on the farm we have been battling our summertime foes – WEEDS and GIANT ZUCCHINI!!!!! The tomatoes are being staked and we found the first few ripe cherry tomatoes – with any luck the weather will stay warm and you should all be receiving a basket of them in your boxes soon! We are also starting to see the first little cucumbers out there, as well as the first peppers! And Bartlett Pears are just around the corner!

Kale Chips
I know I have already printed this recipe, but it is one of my favorites! So here it is again, for those of you that are new with us, or anyone that has not tried it yet I highly recommend it! I worked all winter on finding the best way to make kale chips that produces consistent delicious results.  Here is my method ~ please try it out so you and your whole family can enjoy these yummy healthy chips!

All you need: 1 bunch of kale, good olive oil,
Sea salt and a large cookie sheet

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Start off with kale that is completely dry.  This makes a big difference in the outcome.  Remove the tough central rib by folding the leaves in half around it like a book and pulling leafy parts away.  Similarly sized pieces bake most evenly.
3. Toss kale leaves in olive oil just to coat, and arrange in a flat, single layer on cookie sheet.  I always end up making 2 batches from 1 bunch of kale since it is important that they are not piled on top of each other.  Also ~ don’t add salt yet ~ it pulls moisture out and kale won’t cook as well, you can add salt when they are done.
4. Place in oven and bake for about 7 minutes.  I usually check it after 5 minutes, and then have to put it back in.  I rarely use a timer when cooking, but with this recipe I do since 1 minute too long can over cook it! You want the kale to just sort of dry out and get a little crisp, but not get too brown or burnt.
5. When leaves are dry and not soggy, and before they get too brown, remove from the oven and slide onto a plate. 
6. Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!

Pesto is a summertime staple for us.  After a long day sometimes the last thing I want to think about is cooking, especially in the summer when it is hot out.  One of the quickest, easiest and most delicious solutions is a batch of pesto! Mix into hot pasta, throw in some diced squash, cherry tomatoes or maybe some chicken, serve with a simple salad and you’re good to go! Of course it is also wonderful to make an extra batch and freeze – just omit the parmesan cheese.  You can mix it in after thawing, right before using.

2 cups firmly packed basil (biggest stems removed)                     3-4 garlic cloves
½ cup good olive oil           ¼ cup pine nuts                             ¾ cup fresh parmesan cheese        
 salt to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and whirl until smooth. 

Easy and filling! Kids love them! I served ours with a quick garlic lemon aioli sauce and they were a big hit!
I large zucchini, grated         1/2 cup oil
1 small onion, chopped      
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed               
1/2 cup cheddar cheese       1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk              2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients together.  Batter will be thick!  Heat 1 vegetable oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat.  Drop large spoonfuls into hot oil and flatten slightly with spatula.  Cook until golden brown and centers appear dry, then turn.  Cook on the other side until golden brown, drain on paper towels.   
TO MAKE AIOLI: Mix mayonnaise with fresh lemon juice and minced garlic until you get the flavor you like. Add any other chopped herbs or seasoning you want!





·                     8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
·                     2 cups peeled and 1/2-inch diced boiling potatoes (4 potatoes)
·                     8 extra-large eggs
·                     15 ounces ricotta cheese
·                     3/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
·                     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
·                     1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
·                     3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
·                     1/3 cup flour
·                     3/4 teaspoon baking powder


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch ovenproof omelet pan over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes and fry them until cooked through, turning often, about 10 to 15 minutes. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small dish in the microwave.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then stir in the ricotta, Gruyere, melted butter, salt, pepper, and basil. Sprinkle on the flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mixture.  Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata until it is browned and puffed, 50 minutes to 1 hour. It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted in the frittata should come out clean. Serve hot.

That’s all for this week everyone – enjoy!!!
             ~Casalegno Family Farm

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekly CSA Newsletter 6

Casalegno Family Farm Weekly
July 3 – 9, 2011
Now that all the garlic and onions have been pulled, their beds are being prepped for all the winter squash and pumpkin plants that were started in the greenhouse a few weeks ago.  The addition of a greenhouse has made it so much easier for us to get a head start on the crop rotation and make more efficient use of our little field! We are planting 5 types of winter squash – Delicata, Butternut, Buttercup, Acorn and Spaghetti, as well as 6 types of pumpkins – Sugar Pie, Howden (for jack-o-lanterns!) mini white and orange types, and some heirlooms – Cinderella and the beautiful, tasty, blue-gray Jarrahdale as well as a giant just for fun – the Big Max!

Although considered a “Japanese plum” the Santa Rosa actually originated in China, where plums date back to 479 B.C. They were prominent in the writings and songs of Confucius before being brought to Japan in the 1600s. The cultivation of plums became very popular in Japan, and the fruit was an important part of the culture. In the late 1800s, Japanese plums were introduced in the United States. The Santa Rosa plum cultivar became a big favorite when it was introduced in 1906 after being developed by Luther Burbank, in his Santa Rosa, California research garden.  The Santa Rosa is still the gold standard plum for farmers markets and home growers. They remain an old-time favorite with sweet, juicy flesh perfect for eating off the tree or for canning and baking.  Still one of the most widely grown plums, this fragrant, superior quality, heirloom is one of the prides of our orchards!



Orzo and Italian Zucchini Salad


Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium Italian zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1 to 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar


In a medium pot of boiling salted water, cook orzo until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain well. let cool completely.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add zucchini and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
   Transfer orzo to a medium bowl; add zucchini mixture, basil, vinegar, and remaining teaspoon oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. If storing, cover and refrigerate up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before serving.

2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch kale, rib removed and chopped into 1” lengths
½  meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese  (grated parmesan would be great too!)
salt and pepper
Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
While the quinoa is cooking, combine the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, olive oil, pine nuts, and goat cheese in a large bowl..
Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed -- the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff with a fork and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Are you guys eating your beets?!? I hope so! Many of you probably have them stockpiled in your fridge - which is fine – they will store well if wrapped in plastic.  You may have to save them up so you will have enough in order to try some of the recipes I have posted, like the Chocolate Beet Cake or Rosemary Beet Roesti.  However….I really encourage you to just simply cook them all at once.  It is so easy to just trim them and boil until tender – about 20 min at a full boil – then the skins slip right off under cool water and they are so good just sliced with a little vinaigrette or thrown in a green salad! If you are looking for something different try this



·                     5 to 7 beets, peeled, quartered

·                     1 cups water

·                     ½ cup brown sugar, packed

·                     ¼  cup balsamic vinegar

·                     1 ½  tablespoons butter

Preparation: Combine beets with water, brown sugar , vinegar, and butter. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue simmering, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until beets are tender and most of the liquid has boiled away.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!!                                 ~Casalegno Family Farm

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekly CSA Newsletter 5

Casalegno Family Farm Weekly
June 26 – July 2, 2011
Welcome to any of you that are just starting up with us – Summer is truly here (despite that rain we got on Tuesday – just enough to give us all a free car wash!) and as we wait for those beloved summer crops we are coming ever nearer the peak of the season that is soon to be filled with all my favorite foods - Italian beans, juicy heirloom Tomatoes, sweet peppers, crisp cucumbers loads of summer squash and sweet basil and of course our delicious tree fruit.  The first of the plums are so close to being ripe, we expect to begin picking next week and you should get some in your box to enjoy.  

In this weeks Full Share box:
Radishes OR Broccoli
Garlic chives and Green onions

The Casalegno Family’s     Red Italian Garlic

This specialty garlic was originally brought over from Italy by one of the Casalegno brothers sometime in the early 1900’s.  We have been growing the same strain ever since.  We love this garlic for it’s rich full flavor and use it for everything.  If yours is still a little dirty from the earth that is because it was just pulled! Wipe it with a dry cloth, but don’t get it wet.  It may still be a little soft because it is so fresh but is perfectly good to use.  It will harden up as it dries out. Keep somewhere relatively dark, dry and cool to cure and it will last for many months!

Raw Beet and Carrot Salad
- 1 pound carrots
- 1 pound uncooked beets
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar - balsamic, wine or honey vinegar
- 1 teaspoon strong Dijon mustard
- Tabasco sauce or poblano pepper flakes, to taste
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Optional add-ins:
- Leafy fresh herbs (cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, chives), chopped
- Toasted nuts (almonds, pine nuts, cashews, peanuts) or seeds (sesame, sunflower seeds)
- Shaved parmesan or cubed feta cheese or crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
- Chiffonade of lettuce leaves
- A grated apple or shallot
- Any dried herb, spice, or spice mix you think might work
Trim, peel, and grate the carrots and beets. Place the rest of the main ingredients, from garlic to black pepper, in a large salad bowl, add the grated carrots and beets, and toss until well combined. Add any desired add-ins and toss again.  Taste, adjust the seasoning, and let stand for 30 minutes, if you can, before serving: the beets and carrots will render juices that will make the salad moister. 


Stir Fried Kale and Carrots

Ingredients                                                                                                                                    3/4 lb. fresh kale
Boiling water
2 tsp. olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut julienne
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper, if desired


1.Rinse kale and remove large stem running through center of each leaf. Place a few leaves on top of each other and cut into thin strips. Repeat until all kale is cut.
2. Add kale to pot of boiling water and boil uncovered 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 more minute. Add coriander, salt and pepper, to taste, and cayenne, if using. Cook 15 seconds. Add kale and cook 1-2 minutes. Serve.

This amazingly tasty broccoli is one of the crops that really kept us going all winter! Broccoli plants usually produce 1 main larger center head like the ones you are used to seeing in stores.  After this has been harvested this wonderful brassica does not simply quit but instead shoots off many smaller stalks that we continue to harvest.  They are very tasty and can be used many ways – my absolute favorite way to prepare them is to cook greens, stems and all in olive oil in a very hot pan (careful though! It spits hot oil!) until it is completely tender and begins to brown, then sprinkled generously with sea salt.  It is so crisp, flavorful and good for you!

Roasted radishes with soy and sesame
This recipe was REALLY good! It had kind of an Asian influenced flavor, with just a little bite.  If you are not crazy about eating radishes raw, or just need a new way to prepare them, then this recipe is perfect!
1.Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Slice the radishes lengthwise into about 4 thin slices. Toss with oil on a large baking sheet. (I used sesame oil, but you can use any oil you like or have on hand)
3. Roast for 25 minutes, turning once or twice, until the radishes are tender and beginning to brown.
4. Drizzle soy sauce over the roasted radishes and toss with chopped onion (I used yellow onion, but green onion would be great, and even red would work)
5. Roast for a further 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
6. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and, if desired, cilantro.

That’s all for this week everyone – hope you all enjoy your produce and have a fun, safe Independence Day!
~Casalegno Family Farm