Hello everyone! We hope this newsletter finds you enjoying the weather-the word is there are some BIG CHANGES coming around the corner. We think most of our Twin Cities members escaped the majority of the serious storms that swept though a few days ago. We had a lot of corn get blown down in strong winds, fortunately the hardest hit was the popcorn (thats right–there will be popcorn in the boxes this year!) and it can continue to dry out whether it’s on bent over stalks or not. This is likely the last week for sweet corn, anyhow, so we guess we should give thanks that what got damaged was on the way out anyways! Blown over pop corn This week marks a pretty big transition for the produce–we (or more accurately, the cool weather and rain) are ushering out the high season summer crops of corn, tomatoes, eggplant, melons, basil and beans and beginning to see fall crops mature such as rutabaga, winter squash, onions, kale and collards, carrots, radishes and more. There might be a precipitous farewell to summer crops this weekend depending on how much frost/freeze we experience. Paul Huttner of our very favorite weather blog, The Updraft, is saying we may get a frost on Friday or Saturday. If that happens, we will be saying goodbye to the tomatoes, basil, peppers and eggplants. The good news is that it just might mean the beloved fajita box will soon make an appearance: lots and lots of peppers, whatever tomatoes are left, onions, and cilantro. Keep an eye on the weather and stay tuned to see what goes on in next week’s box. Fall onions were harvested this week. Brandon spreading them out to dry on mesh tables before storing. Cool bug of the week, found in the swiss chard patch during Monday’s harvest. This week’s box has a fun assortment of produce, so without further ado:Tomatoes (1 1/2# for small shares, 2# for medium shares, 2 1/4# for full shares) Sweet Corn (2 each for all shares) Shiso (1-ish ounces per share) Baby Kale (1/2#, small shares only) Snap Beans (3/4# for small shares, 1# for full shares) Eggplant (1 each, medium shares only) Cucumbers (1 each for medium and full shares) Swiss Chard (1 bunch for medium and full shares) Head Lettuce (1 head for medium and full shares) Hot Peppers (2 each, full shares only) Melon (1 each, full shares only) Cauliflower (1 each, full shares only)
Tomatoes-These may or may not be the last of the season, depending on the weather! Enjoy them! Sweet Corn-Same story, sadly. Didn’t it feel like summer lasted for only a few days this year? What a cool, wet, strange growing season. Shiso-This super-cool, very beautiful Japanese herb is just too lovely for us to resist growing for you. Requested a few years back by member Peter Kim, we have finally had a successful crop of this difficult germinator to send out. A staple of Japanese cuisine, shiso has an herbaceous and citrusy taste, and this variety has striking two-tone leaves: green on the top and deep purple on the bottom. It’s best used raw, and a good rule of thumb is to slice it thinly and use in anything you’d use basil or mint for. It is also most famously used to give umeboshi plum paste it’s gorgeous color. This great blog has lots more info and ideas! We’ve given you several recipes below as well.Shiso
Snap Beans-either the very fine haricots verts (albeit yellow) or the fat and wide romano bean. Cauliflower-This technicolor variety is called Purple of Sicily. Melons-Although we tried our best to prognosticate our way into a great melon year, this season falls a little short of what I would call a true year-of-the-melon. Not-so-hot weather and way way way too much rain has produced a short run of so-so melons whose sweetness was watered down. Not bad by any means, but not great. There’s always next year, right?
Japanese-style Shiso Pesto (and Pasta)
- 1 ounce shiso leaves
- 1/4 c. raw pistachio nuts
- 1 tbsp miso paste (any type)
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1/2 c. olive oil
Pulse everything except the olive oil together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a smooth paste. Add salt to taste. Enjoy tossed with any shape of cooked pasta (soba noodles would be great!), diced raw tomatoes, and shrimp, chicken or tofu.
So, summer may be on it’s way out, but say goodbye in style with a great take on the Mint-based Kentucky classic! Muddle 3 shiso leaves in a glass with 1 ounce lime juice and 1 ounce simple syrup. Add 3 ounces Maker’s Mark or any other fine Bourbon, shake with ice, and top with a bit of club soda.
“Gazpacho” with Shiso Oil
from Ming Tsai
In a blender combine the cucumber, tomatoes, rice vinegar, tamari, and Worcestershire blend to combine. Add onion, garlic, hot pepper, and 4 shiso leaves. Blend to combine. Check for seasoning. Strain mixture. Chill well. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together the garlic clove, any remaining shiso and extra virgin olive oil and season. Serve in chilled martini glass and drizzle in shiso oil. Garnish with sauté mini croutons. Have a great week, everyone! All the best from all of us at Sleepy Root, Brandon, Heather, Frank, Ben and Baby Root